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“DETAILED REVIEW FOR FIRST TIME TRAVELLER TO VARKALA”

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The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala
Ranked #3 of 52 Hotels in Varkala
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 20, 2012

Stayed for 3 wonderful nights
LOCATION: Very good, on the road from Varkala town centre to Varkal Beach (Helipad / North Cliff). Janardhana Swamy Temple is about 8 minutes walk from the hotel. Costs about Rs 30 to Rs 40 to go to Varkala Beach (Helipad / North Cliff) or town centre by auto rickshaw (3 wheeler taxi).

GETTING TO THE HOTEL: About 55 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) airport and taxis are available at the airport, one way drop costs about Rs 1100/- for a 4 seater car and about 1900/- for a 7 seater van. There are trains and AC buses from Trivandrum city to Varkala but I guess not worth the trouble.

HOTEL: The hotel is located in a very safe & quiet area and is well maintained. The lobby is spacious and the view from there is amazing. There is a tennis and badminton court which the kids enjoyed. We also enjoyed playing TT and chess in one section the lobby. Worldwide hotels have begun to provide complimentary wifi as it is a necessity in today’s times and hope that they too start providing complimentary wifi.

POOL: It’s the centre of attraction and is pretty big. There are plenty of lounge beds all around. At all times there was a life guard / attendant around. Everday in the morning the pool staff would drape each lounge bed by a fresh towel (WOW). We even spotted a Kingfisher on a tree close to the pool.

ROOMS: View from all the rooms is amazing. The rooms at lobby level (i.e the higher level) offer sea view. We had rooms at one level lower than the lobby. We were upgraded from Standard to Superior rooms and all our 3 rooms had a private sit out and each of the rooms had a beautiful PRIVATE spacious garden.
The rooms have been renovated recently and are bright & spacious. They are provided with a minibar & a safe. The AC is effective and the beds were very comfortable. The linen and towels are replaced daily or alternately if you desire. The bathrooms are big and modern. The shower area, cannot call it a cubicle as it is unbelievably spacious (a rarity in modern times) is provided with a nice rain shower. The toiletries provided are excellent.

BREAKFAST: The breakfast spread is excellent. Plenty of south Indian dishes, porridge, parathas, breads, cereals, salads, fresh cut fruits, fresh juices (no tetra packs), coffee, tea, milkshakes, curds, cheese, dry fruits, etc. Since we are vegetarian, everyday Mr Bijoy the head chef (with a twinkle in his eye) ensured that we were served freshly baked “eggless” donuts and cupcakes. Though the timings are 7.30 to 10.30 a.m the staff does not rush you if you ahappen to be late (afterall you are on a holiday). A special thanks to Abhimanyu who served us tirelessly and lovingly.

STAFF
I have yet to come across a staff in ‘any deaprtment’ in any Taj hotel who would not go out of his way to please the guest and the same culture has been maintained at Taj Varkala. The warmth with which we were welcomed is note worthy and the see-off was touchy. Mr Dennis, the GM is so humble and caring that I don’t have words to express-everyday he would converse with all the guests and make them feel special. Mr Manoj patiently looked after our minutest needs and ensured that we had a comfortable stay. The entire team is OUTSTANDING.

BEACH: Varkala beach is one of the cleanest beaches. By road the beach is about 15 minutes walking distance from the hotel, however there is a narrow pathway by which you can reach the beach in about 5 minutes. Up above the beach, there are plently of restaurants on the North Cliff (operational only during season), we also enjoyed the food at Hindustan Beach Resort.

We will comeback and enjoy your hospitality.

Room Tip: Opt for a room with private garden, may not have sea view but still worth it.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank Sanjay P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 11, 2012

Stayed here in March and immediately wound down and fell into relaxation mode. Staff were warm, friendly and welcoming. Our comfortable twin room was a little minimilistic with white walls and dark wood in a contemporary Keralan style. The shower room was very smart, ultra modern and possibly a little bit kinky. The separating wall to the bedroom was floor to ceiling glass so all would be revealed if the blind wasn't pulled down! We had a small verandah with chairs looking out over a terraced garden (all lush and green) and the pool on a higher level just beyond.

The breakfasts were good. We ate our evening meals down at one of the beachside restaurants, just a 10-15 minute walk away through the hotel grounds and a series of steps, out through the gate and down eventually to the road and beach.This gate is locked about 7.30PM so you have to get a taxi/rickshaw back (Rs 50) as it's too far to walk by road at night (and much too dark!) These restaurants serve delicious food (especially fish) and there is much more atmosphere to be had as well as a whole lot cheaper!

We enjoyed our stay and felt vey comfortable here.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SUSEYG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2012

We were in Varkala just before the beginning of monsoon. This was a stay which provided us the ideal kerala experience. you can say dream kerala experience..The campus is greenly and the structures are simple but well designed. We stayed in a room with balcony facing the sea. Day and night you can look at the sea with its flashy temperaments.Rooms are neat.We enjoyed the stay,that too at moderate rates.Food ,both Indian verities and western types(both vegetarian and non vegetarian) was good.
The most interesting item was the local tour involving Anjengo fort,Azhimugam(outlet to the ea)and ponthuruth(golden island).Mr sreedaran the driver of the hotel car showered local knowledge which made the trip most unforgettable.The staff led by Manoj the manager made everything enjoyable.

Room Tip: choose sea view room with balcony
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank scariaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2012

We stayed during the off-season period. Manoj the Front Desk Manager gave us a tour of the property as soon as we arrived and settled in. The rooms are big and well furnished and we had the superior rooms facing the garden and the beach, with attached balcony where you can sit out and watch the sights and sounds of the secluded beach. The beds/mattress were so comfortable that one did not want to get out of it! The food at the restaurant is great. Buffet breakfast, dinner was a-la-carte. I had fish and chips with tarter sauce which was more than adequate for dinner. I went to the Ayurvedic treatment centre and one of the best treatments I've got so far - Anu and Mahesh were attentive and suggested the best treatment based on the number of days we were staying at the hotel. The hotel has a fabulous pool with a sunken bar in the pool. We can walk to the beach in 4 minutes from the hotel's exclusive gates. Badminton and tennis courts are in the hotel premises as well as bicycles to ride on in the huge compound and hammocks are strategically placed to relax. The hotel lobby has a table tennis table, a carrom board and a chessboard/pieces for guests to play and relax. The hotel has a very tranquil atmosphere and I loved staying there and I will definitely be back for more to this hotel in Varkala, Kerala.

Room Tip: All rooms are good - I had Room 202.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Liz T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2012

Real nice smart hotel, in great location, with excellent staff,,

Room Tip: the higher the floor, the better the view!!
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jacqui f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2012

The rooms and ambiance are excellent. But the food is on higher side. Even lays packet is charged which is not a good thing as you would have paid so much for the room.

Room Tip: Choose a sea view room
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Iyengari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2012

My friend and I have just returned from a week's stay at the Gateway Hotel - following a tour of Kerala. The hotel grounds are beautiful & the rooms large, modern, comfortable & very clean. We had 2 ground floor rooms, each with a terrace & small garden. I had emailed in advance with certain requests and Manoj, the charming front desk manager, had ensured that everything I asked for was arranged. We had wonderful service from Saji (?) at the pool - anticipating the sun, moving my umbrella frequently & replenishing the drinks regularly! The food was excellent with plenty of choice & we were sorry we didn't have a further week to enjoy this lovely hotel. I was unable to use the steps down to the beach (although my friend did frequently) but a short tuk tuk ride 50-60 rupees took me down there to stroll the beach & sit & watch the sunset from a cafe/bar. We will happily recommend the Gateway Hotel to friends who are looking for a peaceful, relaxing holiday.

Room Tip: There are no lifts but the garden rooms are on the same level as the pool & restaurant.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank JK44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala

Address: Near Government Guest House | Janardhanapuram, Varkala 695141, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > Varkala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Varkala
#2 Family Hotel in Varkala
#4 Romantic Hotel in Varkala
Price Range: $144 - $294 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is set amidst tall, swaying palms and is 60 ft high on a cliff, Varkala is located 55 kms (1 hr 15 m drive) from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. The railway station is a 5 minute drive from the hotel. The hotel offers a choice of 30 elegant rooms including 2 suites. A multi-cuisine restaurant and 2 bars, meeting room, Ayurvedic center, WiFi and indoor/outdoor sports facilities makes the hotel an ideal getaway for the discerning leisure traveler. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala Kerala

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