The festive season brings with it numerous school holidays. The best way to keep little one’s entertained is by travelling! We recently visited the Taj Gateway Resort, Damdama Lake, for a quick weekend getaway. Read on for information on the resort, things we liked and things that needed improvement. You can scroll down to the last section of this blpost if you’re only interested in reading the review.
THE TAJ GATEWAY RESORT, DAMDAMA LAKE GURGAON:
The resort is located roughly 58 kms and 2 hours by car from Delhi. Billed as an adventure resort, they offer multiple activities to suit the entire family. We were a group of two families including 4 adults, 3 children ranging from the age of 2.5 to 10 years and 2 nannies.
BOOKINGS & HOW TO GET THERE:
The resort is most easily accessible by road from Delhi NCR. If you’re flying into Delhi, it’s a 1.5 hour drive from the Delhi airport.
TYPES OF ROOMS:
There are 3 categories of rooms, starting from Superior Resort Room, Deluxe Resort Room and Suites.
We stayed in the Superior Room category, which was different from the Deluxe category only in that it didn’t have a bathtub.
The rooms and attached bathrooms are very spacious, replete with modern amenities, and a lovely sit-out balcony.
Rooms and meals are available for accompanying drivers and nannies, for a reasonable charge. However the room allotted to our nannies was in a filthy condition and we had to put pressure on the staff to have it cleaned properly.
THINGS TO DO:
We couldn’t use the lovely pool of the hotel in November, as it isn’t heated. There is a baby pool next to the main one.
The hotel has an activity area dedicated to paid adventure activities. These include archery, zipline, wall-climbing, target shooting, high rope course and hanging bridge. They also arrange for mud-biking, trekking and cricket on request.
Other specialized activities include camel rides, lawn tennis, zorbing ball, bull ride, bungee jumping, remote control car and paintball.
The best way to save money on these adventure activities is by opting for one of three available packages which allows you to pick and choose the adventure activities of your choice for a nominal fee.
The activity area also has a playground for children, but it was very dirty when we arrived.
Residents of the hotel can avail of the following services in the recreation center –carom, air hockey, table tennis, golf putting, cycling, badminton and basketball.
If you’re not looking for adventure but still want to have a good time, you can try the following paid activities- bonfire, paintball, treasure hunt, karaoke, day or night cricket, day or night bubble soccer, volleyball and football.
These activities are aimed at large groups such as office retreats and family/ wedding trips.
KIDS ACTIVITY AREA:
This indoor recreation center offers video games, soft toys, board games and swings; clearly catering to all age groups. Unfortunately, it was closed for renovation when we were there.
On the hotel’s brochure, this hill claims to be a romantic spot to sit and admire nature.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS:
They have a fully stocked gym.
The spa is beautiful and has many different services. I opted for a 60 minute rejuvenation treatment, which includes a deep-tissue massage to relax sore muscles. Opt for a different massage if you don’t like heavy pressure, or skip the massage completely.
This coffee shop provides a sumptuous buffet for all three meals and is open 24 hours. The buffet breakfast is good but main meals are better on their a la carte menu.
Their Oriental restaurant is authentic in décor but falls short on flavor. It was surprising that there was no sushi on the menu.
This kitschy bar is a nice place to relax with a drink.
THE PICNIC TABLE:
This cute café provides snacks and drinks right next to the adventure area.
On special request, the hotel can put together a romantic setting for two overlooking the gorgeous pool.
You can also order from a special pool-side menu all day long.
CAKES & BAKES:
The hotel will provide cakes upon due notice.
Due to its proximity to Delhi, beautiful setting and reasonable pricing, Taj Dumduma is popular for corporate retreats, pre-wedding shoots and many other group celebrations.
A large banquet hall and business center are other useful services.
For interested parties, there is a lovely amphitheatre space in the midst of greenery, that can be used for plays and other performances.
REVIEW OF THE HOTEL:
The property is stunningly beautiful. An optimum use of glass and wood ensures tasteful interiors, and the plush greenery and aesthetically designed grounds are a treat for city denizens. During our stay, the grounds were being used for a “pre-wedding shoot”, and I’m sure it’s a popular location for other video and photo projects too.
The rooms are spacious and well-designed, as are the hotel’s facilities. The staff is courteous and willing, though slightly lacking in polish. I’d like to thank Mandeepa Shrestha for always being on call for our group.
The minor issues we faced included the unhygienic condition of the children’s play area; a severely diminished wine list; lack of pizzas due to a broken oven; and no tour of the property due to a broken golf cart (which was working a couple of hours later). However, the helpful staff made up for this by providing a bottle of wine and a plate of fruits, and addressing the concerns wherever possible. My massage in their in-house spa fell short of my expectations, as the therapist applied a rough hand despite my repeated requests to lower the pressure.
Everything we tried at the coffee shop was tasty and satisfying, I particularly enjoyed the Mustard Fish I had for lunch. However, our Chinese dinner at Sian was not up to par.
The activity center was a huge attraction with the children who enjoyed the slide set thoroughly, and insisted on multiple camel rides. The zipline will be fun to try with older children.
Overall, the Gateway Resort is nice for a weekend away from Delhi with your family. It’s not the most luxurious vacation but certainly a comfortable and wholesome one. If you’re looking for luxury read my review of ITC Grand Bharat Manesar here; and if you’re looking for a fun and uncomplicated staycation, read my review of ITC Mughal, Agra here. If you’d like a luxury vacation in Delhi itself, you won’t go wrong with the Imperial Hotel, Delhi (read review here).
It was a delight to click photos in the hotel! All images are my own and copyrighted by nooranandchawla.
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