With a 550 km long coastline along the majestic Arabian Sea, the beautiful state of Kerala is every beach bum’s dream destination. God’s Own Country has been blessed with some of the most exotic beaches in the country apart from its glorious backwaters and famous tea and coffee plantations.
Situated at a distance of about 40 km from the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, lies the quaint beach town of Varkala, often identified as the best seasonal beach in the country. The Varkala beach offers glorious sunset views, crystal clear waters and stunning backdrops, making it the perfect destination for a peaceful beach-side getaway. If you’re looking to add a touch of grandeur to your perfect luxurious beach vacation in Varkala, here’s where you should be putting up to pamper you mind, body and soul!
The Gateway Hotel, Varkala
The property is a favourite amongst couples visiting the beach town of Varkala in search of a peaceful beachside getaway.
About the property
Sitting majestically on top of a hill near the Varkala beach, The Gateway Hotel is a four-star property of the Taj Group of Hotels and is identified as one of the most luxurious properties in the area. It offers warm hospitable service that makes you feel at home while offering comfortable accommodation options, exciting dining choices and services to pamper your senses.
Guests have the option of choosing from standard garden view rooms, superior sea-facing rooms and the plush executive suites. Each of these rooms come adept with all modern facilities while the interiors are simplistic yet classy. The element of simplicity finds its way into the hotel’s architecture style as well There are a total of thirty rooms in the property, all of which come with private balconies to enjoy the gorgeous views.
The hotel has a well-equipped fitness centre, tennis court, library lounge and table tennis facility that will keep your hands full throughout your stay.
A stay for two starts at ₹14,500 for the standard garden view room and goes up to ₹20,500 for the luxurious deluxe suite. The price includes room tariff, a healthy and wholesome buffet breakfast and free Wi-Fi connectivity.
From authentic Indian cuisine to the best flavours from around the world, there are plenty of dining options at the The Gateway Hotel to suit all palates. The in-house multi-cuisine restaurant, GAD is a favourite amongst visitors here who relish dishes from different corners of the world at this extremely well done-up restaurant. To add to that, there’s also the Sunset Lounge which makes for a cosy, romantic place to enjoy a cup of evening tea and snacks.
Best time to go
Varkala’s climatic conditions can be best described as tropical which results in hot and humid summers and heavy monsoons. Therefore, the best time to visit the beach town is in winter, that is, between October and March.
What to do here
Apart from the fact that there is plenty to do for guests in the hotel, its prime location means it is only minutes away from Kappil Beach and a 2000-year-old temple! Here’s all that you can do in and around The Gateway Hotel:
1. Sip exotic cocktails in an unusual setting
Set right in the middle of the hotel’s swimming pool, Sunken is a one-of-a-kind bar. While the unusual setting adds to the element of quirk, the skilled bartenders serve some of the best and most unique cocktails you will ever taste! Don’t forget to try their seafood specialities to go with the drinks—they are out of the world!
2. Pamper yourself with Ayurvedic treatments
The in-house spa at The Gateway Hotel offers some of the most relaxing Ayurvedic treatments you will ever experience. Managed by a team of trained professionals, the spa offers everything, from a simple Ayurvedic massage to highly specialised treatments.
3. Laze around on the Varkala Beach
Surrounded by a long, winding cliff, the white sand beach of Varkala is one of the most pristine and most-visited beaches in the region. The beach is extremely well-maintained and clean while the picturesque setting makes it the perfect spot to soak in some sun and watch time pass by. There are plenty of small shacks and restaurants on the beach serving some mouth-watering delicacies and ice cold beers. One can also indulge in a range of water sport activities on the beach.
4. Explore the backwaters of Edava
Located at a distance of just about 5 km from the city of Varkala, lies the unexplored backwaters of Edava. The untouched beaches of Edava are virgin stretches circling a blue lagoon where sea and backwaters run parallel, divided by a straight road. Head to this peaceful hamlet if you’re looking to escape the tourist activities of Varkala and soak in the solitude.
5. Offer your prayers at the Janardhana Swamy Temple
Dating back to more than 2000 years, the Janardhana Swamy Temple is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site visited by thousands of devotees every year. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Hanuman and rests majestically atop a hill. If you happen to be in town around the time, do attend the famous Arattu festival celebrated at the temple every year!
How to reach Varkala
The closest metro city to Varkala is Bengaluru, at a distance of 680 km. Here is how you can reach Varkala from the IT Capital of India:
By Air: The closest airport to Varkala is the Trivandrum airport, located at a distance of 40 km. There are several daily flights connecting the cities starting at ₹2,000. The airport is an hour and a half long drive from the resort.
By Train: It takes about 14-15 hours to get from Bengaluru to Varkala on a direct train. The hotel is just a couple of kilometres away from the railway station.
By Road: The NH 44 connects Bengaluru to Varkala and it takes about 13 hours to cover this distance.
Which is your favourite beachside destination? Write in here and tell us about your fondest beach vacation memories.