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“Quiet, restful hideout in the Nilgiris”

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The Gateway Hotel Church Road
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Coonoor
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 February 2011

It was a pleasure to arrive at this hotel after the hair pin bends one had to endure! Reception staff were warm and offered the traditional indian welcome of garlands and a refreshing warm drink of ginger and honey (pretty nippy late afternoon). Hotel security and check-in were both efficient.
Our room was in a charming bungalow style building - large entrance which doubled up as a lounge area; even larger bedroom with a fireplace and ample storage space; a very modern bathroom. The extra large double bed was most comfortable and bed linen of a good quality. Evenings are very cold and the fire was lit for us (most romantic), hot water bottles provided and electric heater available. The large walk in shower was powerful but the bathroom was very cold and the towels had seen many better days.
We had breakfast and dinner at the hotel. Room service dinner was prompt but the quality of the food was mediocre and did not justify the high prices being charged. Breakfast in the main restaurant was a fine affair. Very wide choice of both south indian and continental dishes. Dinner experience in the main restaurant was most disappointing. We opted for a la carte - service was slow and when the fish arrived it was undercooked. As we were finishing our dessert, a waiter enquired as to why we had not eaten our main course (he had taken away the plates 20 minutes before) - he offered to reheat it! Much fuss was made but no complimentary drinks or a conciliatory gesture of any sort was offered - bad practice in my books.
Our only negative experience was at dinner times. Otherwise we had a pleasant stay here. The hotel grounds are vast and beautifully maintained - reading in the gardens or taking in the beautiful scenery was most relaxing. During the day the sun is strong but it gets very cold in the evenings. All the staff are most helpful and welcoming. The hotel grows all its vegetables on the site. The hotel manager inspires much confidence.
There is a lovely church right next to the hotel - we did not have the time to visit.
It is unfortunate that this hotel does not provide wash facilities or meals for drivers. We were on a private journey and most other hotels provided these services to drivers at a small cost.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank zenu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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623 - 629 of 672 reviews

Reviewed 17 February 2011

It happened to be one of those weekends where we just wanted a break from the routine burn-outs, so we logged on to tajhotels.com and figured that The Gateway Hotel in Coonoor was worth a try. Booked out a Taj Holidays 4D/3N package (minimum 2 nights' stay) for INR 17250 (includes breakfast, meal credit, sightseeing package and others).

Loved the environment and ambience on arrival. We were garlanded and offered a befitting welcome drink and escorted towards the rooms. The hotel staff were friendly and walked us through a couple of rooms, following which we froze on a Superior Room on the first floor of one of the blocks.

The room was lovely and nearly everything was perfect. Extremely prompt service by all ranges of staff (some of them extremely talented) made our experience absolutely fantastic and as good as clockwork. Excellent food across breakfast, lunch and dinner was a treat, with delectable dishes right on dot - made to order. We had a lovely experience in the badminton court, the gym, the in-house theater and at the ayurveda center - lots of activities kept us going throughout the day.

While everything went absolutely well with our stay, these are the very small things I'd suggest The Gateway Hotel should take care of. Taking care of these really miniscule things would make anyone's stay absolutely perfect:

1) Regional TV Channels: I was surprised to notice that the prominent TV channels of the south weren't available (notably channels from the Sun Network, select Asianet ones). I later on discovered that the hotel has an in-house setup tuned to receive a pre-determined set of channels and that they weren't able to tune us in to the regional channels we ideally wanted to have.

2) Internet access - Speed: Ideally, these properties should offer free high-speed Internet access. Nevertheless, I chose to check it out for a while. While signing up for the hotel's paid access, it was advertised that the hotel was equipped with a 4Mbps connection. A speed test I ran very early in the morning indicated that the actual speed was just around 256Kbps. The only site you could access for free was www.google.com.

3) Internet Access - Packages: The Internet access packages are real-time-bound and not "hop on, hop off", i.e. if you bought a package for 1 hour, you would ideally need to remain connected for one continuous hour from the moment you activate the package in order to take full advantage of it. You won't be able to hop off and hop on at any time beyond the timeframe you signed up for it. Not good value for money at all when it comes to connectivity for the business traveler. I would ideally want to connect for a total of 60 minutes across 24 hours - that's true value for money for me.

4) The mattresses: Not really an issue here, but the mattresses we had in our room seemed to have inclined over time as a result of lack of maintenance. Ideally, sensitive mattresses need to change orientation regularly so that the evenness of the mattress is maintained throughout.

5) Room Heater: One of my biggest peeves. The room heater failed to keep our room warm. Ideally, radiators could be installed to better radiate the heat and effectively keep the room warm.

6) Sleep Quality: I strongly feel that the comforters/sheet combo should be slightly heavier, in such a way that the sheets literally cuddle your body to keep warm while its cold outside. Given the comforter/sheet combo was lighter than expected, it took quite a while to warm up under the sheets!

Overall, we had a lovely time and we are absolutely sure we're going to return soon. If at all you want to have a splashing time in Coonoor on a slightly higher budget, I would strongly recommend The Gateway Hotel in Coonoor. It's bliss every moment.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank RoadOnFire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2011

The hotel is old but well-maintained, the wooden floors and the antique furniture bring back the British charm. Warm your feet by the fire in the hotel lawn, swing on the swings, borrow a cycle and relive your childhood or just burrow into the cushy bed and take in the luxury. We had an amazing time.

The only sour point was that the dine-in service did not live up to what was promised.

Can't wait to go back again though!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Simeen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2011

We spent a weekend in Coonoor recently and stayed at The Gateway Hotel, Coonoor. The hotel is off some distance from the main Coonoor town, but its away from the bustle of the town. There are plenty of shops nearby and also a good fruit shop and a decent bakery. The rooms were fairly large and well appointed. Breakfast is included and was very south indian but filling. The staff was very courteous and welcomed us with garlands and welcome drinks. Check-in was very quick and we were explained in detail about all the facilities available. Cleanliness was very good. Similarly checkout process was also very smooth and quick with no hassles. Over all it has become our favorite place to stay when we visit the Nilgiri's again.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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Thank gvrgvr75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2010

We visited this place in December 2009. Since our trip was unplanned we could not get reservation for new year's eve but for the two days before that.

I assume the property was an old british estate and they have managed to retain the British charm. The rooms are ultra spacious and well designed. You have a lovely foyer and two charming fire places. There is plently of place around for the kids to play. We had requested a baby cot in the room for my 2 month old baby and I was amazed when they provided a real baby cot instead of the tacky metal crib that most resorts offer these days. They even brought a crib to the restaurant and the coffee area outside whenever we walked it. That was really thoughtful. These little extras are what really makes you go to a place again.

The food was really nice (though the spread has become slightly smaller compared to when they were Taj arden retreat and now.) And the people were extra friendly.

All in all, it was a lovely holiday and a wonderful getaway from the daily hustle.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank maitrayee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2010

We have been exploring the Taj properties in the hill stations ofSouth Indian for some time and our experience was excellent, but sorry to say that Gateway Coonor was a letdown. Though an early check- in was confirmed, we had to wait for an hour, discount on my Taj Gold card was not reflecting on the hotel booking (had to forward the mail to them later to set this right), our welcome drink and ceremonial welcome with garlanding totally forgotten were issues faced during the check-in. Usual warmth of the Taj service was lacking, especially for the room service staff and service was sloppy (but restaurant and housekeeping staff was excellent) . Our check-out was delayed by more than 1.5 hrs upsetting our travel plans since the front desk staff could not get hold of our food bills due to some reason.

Rooms were neat and spacious with traditional fireplace and the gardens well maintained, monkeys around are a nuisance (cannot leave the cottage doors open due to this) but cannot blame the hotel for that I feel.

Our rating for the place is “Just Satisfactory” and is the first the Taj property where we don’t want to make another visit.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank BobbyBangalore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2010

I vistited the restaurant at The Gateway Hotel Coonoor. I was staying at a different hotel which did not have a bar and decided to have a drink at this place. The hotel is located in a nice place, it has a decent look to it.

I entered the hotel and asked to see the bar. The bar looked good with wooden paneling etc., but it was completely closed in on all sides and did not have a view. So I asked if I would be served alcohol in the restaurant, the staff said yes. My friend and I took a table near a window and I asked to see the bar menu. A peg (30ml) of single malt glenfiddich was about INR 380 and a peg (30ml) of Teachers was INR 410. This surprised me. I asked the waiter, he gave me an explanation I did not understand. Thinking that the guy could not communicate, I did not ask for a repeat explanation. In any case I order a large peg (60ml) of glenfiddich.

Now is when things went downhill. The waiter brought me a peg (30ml) of glenfiddich. When I asked him why, he acted as if he did not hear the order right the first time. I did not make too much of it, so I told him it was fine. The first peg was good. When the waiter brought me the next peg, it tasted like cheap whiskey. I called the waiter and told him that the second peg was not glenfiddich. He insisted that it was. So he goes back to the bar and brings me the full bottle of glenfiddich and pours me another peg from the bottle. Even then the peg tasted like cheap whiskey. I have lived abroad and I know the taste of glenfiddich. I had to tell the waiter that what was served from the bottle was not glenfiddich. The waiter kept insisting that it was original stuff. I have heard of hotels serving original whiskey the first round and then serving cheaper stuff from the second round onwards. I did not expect a Taj property to pull such a con on its customers.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank lcman
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 Church Road

Address: Church Road | Upper Coonoor, The Nilgris, Coonoor 643101, India
Region: India > Tamil Nadu > The Nilgiris District > Coonoor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Coonoor
Price Range: $122 - $210 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Gateway Hotel Church Road 3.5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled In the heart of rolling mountains and drifting mists, guests at The Gateway Hotel find it easy to lose themselves in the beauty of soothing views and exotic surroundings. No two rooms are alike at this historic hotel with old world charm. An artful blend of colonial architecture and contemporary amenities ensures that guests will find their stay here to be a relaxing experience ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gateway Hotel Coonoor

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