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“Beautiful Grounds but Very Tired Rooms.”

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The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi
Ranked #4 of 87 Hotels in Varanasi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 2, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for one night this past February. It took us about 35 minutes from the airport and we were surprised to find a quiet and pleasant location once we passed through the front gates. The lobby is large and comfortable leading directly to the main restaurant, a small bar, a more formal dining room, and the pool area. Our room was not ready, so we were offered tea or coffee and some cookies and we were asked to wait either in the lobby or by the pool area. The hotel has extensive grounds with a very nice garden with many varieties of dahlias in many diferent colors. The pool is of a nice size and there are about 20 lounge chairs and plenty of space. The only thing that makes this hotel special is that it is quiet and peaceful.

We booked a junior suite, as there was nothing else available during the dates we were visiting. Once we made to our room we found it to reflect the quality of a two or three star hotel, with very tired and basic furniture. We had a separate living room with a couch and chair set and a small coffee table and our room was basically two regular rooms combined. The bathroom was better, with a glass shower and an updated sink and vanity area. The regular rooms are very small but you really won't spend any extra time here, so it doesn't really matter that much.

We had appetizers and drinks at the bar and the service was professional and timely. Breakfast was plentiful but the quality was just o.k. Service on the other hand was excellent with the waitress offering extra juices or more coffee. Overall this hotel is overpriced for what it offers but that is what you get when demand is higher than availability. We were told this is the best hotel in town, but we would suggest future visitors to Varanasi take a look at the Radisson and compare the rates.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank RCLBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gatewayvaranasi, General Manager at The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2013

Dear Guest,
Greetings from the city of the temples!!
At the outset I would like to thank you for taking your valuable time in sharing your kind feedback. This is small note to assure that we have noted your suggestive & constructive feedback pertaining to the product upgradations and the same has been duly shared with the team and we promise to take corrective actions at our end.
It is our constant endeavor to provide the finest of products and service in line with the standards of Taj Group of Hotels We value your patronage and I am confident that you would provide us another opportunity to be of service to you and experience the gracious hospitality and the legendary service provided by The Gateway hotel Ganges Varanasi. I have shared your appreciation with my team as feedback such as yours motivate us to achieve higher levels of service. We value your patronage and look forward to welcome you back to Varanasi!
Kindest regards,
Ahmar Siddiqui
General Manager
The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi
Nadesar Palace Grounds
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221002 Indi
T +91-542-666 0001 F +91-542-250 1343

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,013 - 1,019 of 1,631 reviews

Reviewed February 28, 2013

We recently stayed at the Gateway Hotel for two nights. The room was very very plain, but clean. As this is wedding season, there were two wedding occurring on the grounds. The music was deafening until 11p on both nights.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank concon60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

It's a well located place and an oasis of peace in an interesting but chaotic city.
The F&B staff and management were particularly kind.

The Princep Bar was very good, as was the 24 hour coffee shop. The Varuna restaurant was gloomy though.

Room Tip: There's some renovation going on so ask for a room away from it.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Suguna46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Hotel on the whole was good, and the food was very enjoyable, especially the breakfast! We stayed here 2 nights on our tour of India & Nepal, and I decided to have some laundry done. I telephoned reception and was told they would come and pick it up, but when we returned from dinner, it was still in the bag waiting, and there it remained!
The bar was a lovely area, but unfortunately the barman didn't seem to want any of us to be in there, and was extremely grumpy, and kept checking his watch waiting for us to leave - it wasn't incredibly late, about 10.45 pm.
More disappointed with the laundry not being done as we were living out of our suitcases.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank PugseyAberporth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2013

Unless you are a Hindu pilgrim, I guess the main (only) reason one visits the Hindu holy city of Varanasi is to see the morning and evening ceremonies at the ghats (stairs) down to the River Ganges. These ceremonies are a humbling, perhaps emotional experience, which you will share with thousands of Hindu pilgrims who flock to the city on a daily basis through the grime, smells and bustle of the city. You will need a comfortable albeit slightly faded haven, even more so if you visit at the time of the Kumba festival and experience 25mm. rain in 24hours, as we did. The luxury Varanasi Gateway provides that, most of the time.

The hotel is located in 30 acres of splendid gardens. Entering the hotel grounds - as elsewhere with International hotels - means passing through several security layers, the first of which comprises hydraulic metal posts at the entrance. On arrival, Gateway staff were friendly and helpful. However, when we came to check we were told that the hotel could not provide us with a double room - even though the reservation had been made about one year ago. Anyway, after a considerable amount of argument, the duty manager, then the manager, finally finally offered us a premium double, from which we would not need to move after one night (another belated concession, after too much prevarication and resistance. This is supposed to be a high end chain, right?). Anyway, after too much unnecessary argument, we got to where we should have been half an hour before - and we got a nice cup of chai. The room was spacious, but with a small, rather awkward, bathroom (albeit with a pretty large shower), small closet and fairly large safe. The hotel provides reasonably reliable wifi, but at a cost (140INR for 0.5 hours, 320 for 2 and 620 for 24 hours). But, why does a supposedly high end chain charge? Why not also charge separately for electricity, water, cleaning? Frankly, it's petty. We tried to ascertain whether one could log off and log on again to use remaining time, but got no answer from the IT people to whom the front desk transferred us. No one answers the extension on the website and the website does not say. I think the answer to the question is No. Facilities in this premium room included a useful desk as well as a couch, but no ironing board or iron. The view from the room was uninspiring and included a rusty fire escape, no sign of the beautiful grounds.

Notwithstanding our premium room miraculously appearing from nowhere, the hotel was pretty full with some large (very friendly) international tour groups, who reserved numerous tables in the nice, large, dining room opening out on to the gardens for breakfast and dinner. The buffet breakfast included a range of "western" and Indian fare with friendly and attentive staff ready to provide coffee and extras, and opportunities to chat with other tourists. The dinner buffet at 1,000INR a pop is reasonable value, although the food is hardly haute cuisine. Salads and pulses are available, and quite a range of Indian main dishes, which change somewhat from night to night. Some of them, notably the lamb dishes, need better preparation as they are something like 80% bone. Fish and chicken are usually better choices. Maybe there is a chef management issue with the lamb dishes.

Apart from these problems, we were also surprised to find a high-end hotel providing beds with springs protruding. Our double bed was uncomfortable. Finally, despite the front desk staff being very helpful, friendly, and obliging, there were several occasions when we had to follow up on our requests, and sometimes no one answered the telephone. Same with getting a second cup of coffee in the dining room.

Nonetheless, when you have had to walk through filth, rain, and goodness knows what else for a couple of kilometres to the ghats, when your car cannot get you any nearer because of the high volume of Kumba pilgrims and police controls, you will surely appreciate the Gateway.

I guess there are few alternative options in Varanasi, if one really wants to go there.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank JohnEO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2013

This is a smart hotel with very big grounds. I got a bit grumpy with the staff as my suite wasn't ready when on arrival - I hate that! The room wasn't as nicely furnished as some Indian hotels in this price range, a bit stark for my taste but comfortable enough. I think having shelled out $140 per night extra for a suite I expected more somehow. Anyway, the reception and door staff were friendly enough and (once we got booked in) efficient for the rest of the stay. In common with several other hotels encountered on this trip they don't seem to be able to do breakfast service very well with long delays getting a refill of coffee etc.
There's a nice cheap place to eat just up the road - Brownies - any taxi or tut tut will know it and you can get nice art and handycrafts if you want. No pressure, if you see it and like it then buy it.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank imacbeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

This older, former grand hotel was a welcomed oasis from the hustle and bustle that is Varanasi. It is clean and comfortable but somewhat worn. Rooms have small, updated bathrooms. Beds are comfortable and the lighted headboard really cool. We originially only had 2 towels and 1 washcloth in the bath but after we requested more, Seema left us plenty plus rose petals on the bed! There was no clock radio in the room. There were the usual short power outages we encountered in many of our Indian hotels. Binod was the best bartender, making wonderful cosmopolitans and mojitos! Taramoni was a gem of a waitress in the casual restaurant where we had a custom-made pizza. The breakfast buffet was good. The fancy restaurant, Varuna, had the best lentils and biryani on our trip, although they were very spicey. I must add that we only found mosquitoes in Varanasai during our two week trip in India, especially down by the Ganges River.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Teramo48
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 Ganges Varanasi

Address: Nadesar Palace Grounds | Cantonment, Varanasi 221002, India (Formerly Taj)
Phone Number:
Location: India > Uttar Pradesh > Varanasi District > Varanasi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 87 Hotels in Varanasi
Price Range: $89 - $267 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi 5*
Number of rooms: 130
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Group-oriented mid-rise hotel centrally located on Raja Bazar Road at Nadesar Palace Grounds, on the banks of the Varuna River. ... more   less 
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