Not every property I stay at lives up to my expectations, however it is rare that a hotel I choose, disappoints on almost every front. Sadly, The Gateway Hotel, Ummed Ahemedabad, failed to impress. This despite the fact that The Gateway Hotels & Resorts is a ‘Taj’ brand and is described on the official website of the Taj Hotels, as a full service upscale hospitality brand in the South Asia region.
Tucked away in Chharabra, Mashobra, near Shimla, lies Wildflower Hall. Surrounded by fragrant pine and cedar trees, this mystical Oberoi property is situated on 22 acres of virgin woods and is located at a height of 8350 feet above sea level. The former abode of Lord Kitchener, Wildflower Hall has been grandly restored and is now a luxury hotel.
An evening at the magnificent Taj Mahal Palace never disappoints. And if that evening is followed by a nights stay at this architectural marvel of a property, you are sure to feel special. With its hand woven silk carpets, crystal chandeliers, a cantilever stairway and tall columns and archways, the Taj Mahal Palace is a perfect venue for any grand occasion. And yes, they do make you feel like a true Indian Maharajah. We were here to celebrate Laveena’s birthday.
For the August 15th weekend, we chose to travel within India. After a short early morning flight from Mumbai, we landed in Managalore, a little after 10:00 am. A hotel car was waiting to drive us to Bekal, a small town on the shores of north Kerala , a state in South India. The drive from Mangalore airport to Kasaragod district, where the Taj Vivanta Bekal is located, was quite picturesque with vast expanses of coconut trees and river crossings. Kasaragod is bounded by the Western ghats in the east and the Arabian sea in the west and has twelve rivers flowing across its terrain. On account of extensive road work, our drive stretched on for an extra 30 minutes, but we did not complain as we let our eyes soak in the local surroundings.