The Gateway Hotel at Ambad, Nashik is one of the Taj Properties. I have visited this stayed here each time I have visited Nashik and the Taj hospitality is what makes me go back over and over again.
The property is located on the main highway from Mumbai to Nashik, and is a little away from the main city, though with the current growth, they city seems to have expanded all the way here. Some years back this was one of the only 5 star hotels in Nashik. With the tourist explosion, there are a ton of new options. On my last visit, we noticed, that even this Hotel is expanding by adding rooms.
On two of my earlier visits, we stayed in a Standard room. These are on the lobby level of the Hotel and a lot of them don’t have a great view. We had a view of a Coke bottling plant right outside our window. The last visit we took in October 2014, we opted for a Superior Room. This was a level higher than the lobby and our room had a view of the gardens. Frankly, I don’t like spending too much time in the room and the view isn’t too much of a deterrent.
Our room was spacious and had a queen sized bed. We added an extra bed for my daughter and the housekeeping was wonderful. They made sure the bed was positioned perfectly so that we were comfortable and there was enough space to move around the room.
The bathrooms were newly done and had a rain shower. Toiletries were Biotique. I prefer the Forest Essentials ones that are at the other Taj Hotels, but these are still good to use.
The Hotel Property
The hotel is not very large but it has a nice lawn in the front as you drive in. This makes for a beautiful walk and they have created a walking path. There are a few levels to the garden and there is a very basic play area on one of the levels. There are a few small swings, a slide and a see saw. This is really tiny and not at all like the other Taj hotels. I actually didn’t mind this much since we were not at the hotel a lot.
The pool is at the back of the hotel and at the ground level. They also have a few activities for older children such as Table tennis and a basketball hoop. My daughter enjoyed running around the lawns near the pool. The hotel also has a Spa and a Beauty parlor but I didn’t have the time to use these facilities.
We ate most of our meals at either the Coffee shop or ordered room service. The breakfast at the coffee shop was a really relaxing experience. The restaurant opens up to the lawns and they had put out tables there so you could get an alfresco dining experience. The spread was really great with cold cuts, cheeses, juices, fruits, yogurts, breads and Indian staples as well as eggs or dosa to order. This was my favorite meal of the day.
The dinner was a little monotonous and we seemed to see similar dishes on all 3 nights. The room service menu was also really well thought out and there were plenty of options for us to choose from. The burgers and sandwiches were huge, enough for two.
The Travel Desk
I normally don’t mention the travel desk, but these guys are really great. They have always helped us work out our itinerary in the best possible manner. On my last visit, the travel desk executive took a lot of effort in getting our online VIP passes for Shirdi organized. On one of my earlier trips we had booked a car one evening. There was a delay in getting the car and so they upgraded our ride the next day from a Swift to an Innova, just to make up for the 45 minute delay. I really appreciate these gestures, it shows that the care about your time and comfort.
Yes, I really like this place – I even know I’m going to be visiting here again and again. It is convenient and has exceptional service. I have always been loyal to the Taj group for only one reason, the service. You can replicate a nice room and a fancy lobby, but good service is difficult to maintain.
Value for Money: 5/5