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“Sympathetic hotel near the beach”

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The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala
Ranked #3 of 49 Hotels in Varkala
Certificate of Excellence
Haarlem, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
132 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Sympathetic hotel near the beach”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2013

After we ran away screaming from our initial hotel The Oceano, we sighed with relief after choosing the Taj Gateway.

It has a lovely pool and gardens, great views, and the beach is easily accessed.

The rooms in the old part are outdated, but the rooms in the new parts are great!

The food was ok, nothing special, but we were content.

It does not have the same level as some of the other Taj's that we stayed in, but I think that is to be expected, since this is Varkala. Not a top-end-tourism destination (yet).

There happened to be a temple festival going on (10 days), which kept us awake at night, due to the loud loudspeaker noise and music 24/7. But that's just bad luck. The hotel cannot help that, I guess.

Overall we were very happy here.

Room Tip: Choose a room in the new parts!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tangobabe1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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720 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (214)
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English first
London,
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2013

Stayed here in Nov 2011.

There appeared to be limited choice for a luxury hotel in Varkala, so the choice was easy to stay here. Was a bit concerned before arriving, but there was no need. The staff at the hotel were always happy to help, the pool was great and the view was nice from there.

The grounds of the hotel were very nice, you could walk through them to the beach. The path on the route to the beach could do with some widening, I would not recommend this route for anyone who has any difficulty in walking. I am sure there is also the risk of stumbling across a snake on it. At night it is closed and am not sure I would like to walk it anyway in the dark

The rooms were clean not too large but we had a great view of the sea from our balcony.

Breakfast was saved by the omelette man as there is not much choice that I fancied after that.

Couldn't really comment on the food at lunch and dinner, we always ate down at the beach or on the cliff top, where we didn't have one bad meal.

Overall - I would definitely return if I was to visit Kerala again.

Room Tip: Save your money - visit the cliff for dinner and lunch. It is not the hotel is bad but every restau...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank lankymanc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
england
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013 via mobile

Stayed at the Gateway for two weeks in Feb had room 212, had some doubts due to what I had read on trip advisor. I could not have asked for more from this Hotel the room was lovely and all the staff were excellent and could not do enough for you nothing was to much trouble for them. Stayed full board and the food was fantastic the chef and all the restaurant staff were so helpful. The position of this Hotel is good for beach, walks and visiting places. Have never returned to the same place but already looking to a second visit.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank sunseakerEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire Uk
Level Contributor
252 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 285 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

I was almost pleased to see speed bumps have arrived in Kerala as we entered Varkala folllowing our one hour transfer from the airport in the dark. Our driver narrowly missed an elephant and various other forms of transportation on the hair raising journey to the Gateway hotel. Because of our early morning arrival we had booked an extra night so we were able to go straight to our room for a few hours sleep. We awoke in time to enjoy a delicious breakfast of freshly cooked omelettes and an assortment of fruits and juices. There was also a selection of Indian dishes and cold meats etc. We stayed on full board and enjoyed all or meals, being able to choose from the a la carte menu on a lunch time and either a la carte or buffet in the evening was excellent. The freshly squeezed fruit juices around the swimming pool were lovely and refreshing.
Our sea view room had a fantastic bathroom, it looked brand new with a big walk in rain shower. Basic toiletries were provided but I was pleased I had brought my own as they were not the best quality. No robes or slippers. Very limited storage in the bedroom with no drawer space at all. We ended up leaving most things in our suitcases.

We liked the pool area, it was never crowded and the sun loungers were comfortable. Nice big towels provided and very clean although the edges of the pool could do with a bit of renovation. On our first evening we were invited by the manager to a cocktail party on the lawn. Complimentary drinks and nibbles, a nice touch.

The spa area and gym is very basic and we were told we would have to give 3 hours notice to use the hot tub so we didn't bother. The path from the hotel to the beach looks worse than it actually is. It only takes a few minutes to walk down the steps and then along a narrow track which comes out close to the beach where we found a couple of restaurants. A nice place to sit and watch the sun set if you don't want to walk the extra 10 minutes along the beach to the cliff where there are many restaurants and shops to chhose from. This area can also be reached along the road by rickshaw for around 70 rupees.

On our final evening we were gived a traditional Keralan meal cooked in a banana leaf. It was delicious. When we returned to our room we found a flower made from towels and covered in petals and a gift of a box of spices. When we left the following day we were given a scented candle and shell necklaces. These little extras just show how kind and thoughtfull the staff are at the Gateway. The chef even asked if we would like a picnic to take on our train journey to our next hotel. The staff really were exceptional, nothing too much trouble and we left with the feeling they really wanted us to enjoy our stay there.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank york1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vladivostok, Russia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2013

The Gateway Hotel, by the five-star Taj chain, is a funny place in Varkala. In a laid-back, hippy-trippy little beach town like Varkala, the charm would really seem to be in either backpacking it on the north cliff or--if you desire to drop more bread on the venture--in a small, family-run luxury yoga-centric B&B. However, if you're set on Varkala and you really do require a predictable room, then the Gateway is as predictable and safe as you'll find. The property drips like candle wax down a hillside facing the ocean. At least a little bit of blue saltwater is visible from every room, framed on either side by hills carpeted in green coconut palms. The single best aspect of the hotel is the pool, featuring a swim-up bar and shade in the morning and later afternoon hours. Service is competent and friendly, but dreadfully slow. Food is quite good but, again, boring in its packaged predictability. Some rooms have been recently renovated, while others feature old fixtures and a bit of moldy smell.

Room Tip: Bottom-floor rooms (100's) have private-ish green grass gardens extending from the patio. Top-f...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank WilliamDalhar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

My husband and I stayed at The Gateway Hotel in Dec 2012 for 2 nights. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and will definitely visit again.
Room - spacious, clean and comfortable. Top floor rooms have the best view. The only issue we had was that the mattress was a little too soft (...but I'm sure if we mentioned this it would have been replaced!).
Hotel – a lovely large reception area and swimming pool. The ground looks beautiful and is very well maintained by the gardeners.
Staff - the people working in the hotel are very attentive and friendly. Everyone we walked past (cleaners, gardeners, etc) would stop what they were doing to great us with a big smile. On our first visit to the restaurant, I made a comment to the waiter at the end of my meal that my curry lacked some heat (chilli). On our evening visit, even though we opted for the buffet, I was presented with my very own special dish, hot and spicy, just how I liked it! If that wasn't enough, the restaurant manager came to check if we were happy with everything. I was very impressed with the service.
Restaurant - the Indian food was delicious and well presented . We didn’t try the Western dishes. Prices are a lot more expensive compared to the restaurants in Varkala city centre. The buffet was very good, plenty of choice.
Beach - walking distance and the hotel have their own private path leading to the beach.

Room Tip: Rooms on the top floor have the best views.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank PriyaLovesHolidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pune, India
Level Contributor
57 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2013

The hotel attracts quite a few Europeans (mostly retired), so were a bit odd fit with young kid (only 2 other families we saw with kids).

Location/Property: The hotel is located on the south end of the beach. Very easy to find. The property is very well maintained.

Rooms: The rooms were quite modern as compared to the outside look. Very clean and with modern amenities. Most rooms have views of the garden and the upper floor has view of the sea at a distance. Not really worth spending extra money for that.

People: All staff was quite friendly and helpful.

Food: the food was very good, but thought it was a bit pricey for the selection offered for buffet (lunch and dinner -- including a special one for Valentine's day). The Chef was very friendly approachable and willing to accept requests. Great experience!

Activities: The swimming pool is quite nice, but needs some clean up. The flooring and wall were slimy. The beach is accessible through a small walkway through hotel and other properties. Once on beach, the North Cliff is within few hundred feet (takes longer via road).

Suggestion to hotel: The hotel should consider providing beach amenities (seating, towels, etc) either directly or through partnership with resorts already on the beach front.

Definitely a good place to stay in Varkala. There are several options on the North Cliff, but none appeared decent from outside. If you want a predictable service and safety, this is the place to stay even if it's a bit expensive as compared to other options.

It was a bit disappointing that we didn't get the room higher up (for better views) in spite of several requests and booking way in advance (3 months).

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sr1000
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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