“Here was a hotel to rival the best in the world, built by an Indian – designed by an Indian architect, too – and run by an Indian.”
– R.M Lala, Beyond The Last Blue Mountain
One thing that happens as you grow up is that the time that you spend with family unconsciously reduces due to myriads of responsibilities and commitments. My family and I have been planning a vacation since a long time, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it somehow never materialised. So finally, when chance presented itself in the form of a quick getaway to Nasik, we jumped on it.
Nasik is approximately 170kms from Mumbai, and a smooth drive on the NH160 ensures that you reach the destination in approximately 3 hours. This season was ideal, with the light drizzle along the way and a dulcet scenery adding to the amazing playlist that we curated.
We reached The Gateway Ambad Nasik at noon, where the General Manager Mr. Vinod Pandey had graciously invited my family and I for lunch. The Gateway Hotels are a part of the Taj Group of Hotels. The hotel is easy to locate, as it is right off the NH160.
Mr. Pandey welcomed us and made sure that we were comfortable after our journey. The much needed teas and coffees were ordered and before we knew it, my chatty family and Mr. Pandey were discussing topics ranging from hospitality and defence, to politics and higher education!
Mr. Pandey has been with the Taj Group since twelve years and comes with years of experience in the hospitality business. He has been with Taj Nasik since last two years. He is currently helming their transition and rebranding.
We got talking about the emotional attachment we Indians have with the Taj group and it’s exemplary hospitality that stands true since centuries. From being a vision of one man, to being an integral part of the nation, Taj is every Indian’s dream.
About The Hotel
The two decade year old hotel is surrounded by 20 acres of lush landscaped gardens. It is divided into two wings – old and new and boasts of beautiful Rajwada (the kind of majestic gateway
befitting a Maharashtrian royal residence) architecture in the lobby and the old wing, and a new age modern architecture in their new wing.
The hotel has 148 rooms. It has six types of rooms for the guests to choose according to their needs, namely, standard rooms, superior rooms, executive rooms, junior suite, executive suite and the wine themed suites.
One theme which is prominent in the hotel is that of “wine and worship”, with Nasik being the wine capital of India and a gateway to holy towns like Triambakeshwar and Shirdi. This theme resonates in their decor of the old and the new wing with paintings and overall the appearance.
The wine themed suites called ‘Pinot Noir’ and ‘Zinfandel’ have muted yet attractive golden interiors and take their inspiration from white and red wine. Divided into two areas – living and bedroom, with a personal verandah and spacious bathroom these are ideal for couples and families. Mr. Ajit Jha of The Gateway Hotel informed us that that price for these rooms vary with seasons and days and these are usually in high demand. Well, of course, look how stunning they are!
Mr. Pandey had requested Mr. Jha to give us a tour of their majestic property and he patiently took us around in the hotel buggy while we indulged into the details of the same.
Gardens and The Grand Ballroom
The hotel is ideal for a destination wedding or a corporate conference. They’ve used the landscape very smartly and provide stage setups, meeting rooms, green room and a ballroom that can accommodate 350 pax when divided into clusters and 600 pax if one utilises the whole space. There is a separate dining area attached to the ballroom.
Being just a short drive away from Mumbai they cater to corporate on weekdays and turn in to a leisure destination on weekends to welcome the families with kids and parents for holidays.
The Meal That Was
The hotel has 3 restaurants – one with the Indian theme, a Alfresco Grill, serving Mediterranean Grills during dinner and coffee shop which serves world cuisine. The executive chef of the hotel Chef Ali Khan, started a pastry chef is an all rounder has given a complete facelift to the hotel’s food by introducing one of Nasik’s first and the best Mediterranean Grills – The Grill. He suggested we try their curated 6 course Lebanese meal. Well, let me tell you, it is by far one of the best Lebanese meal I’ve had…and I’m not exaggerating.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking here:
Our captain Nima ensured that we had a sumptuous meal and enjoyed it thoroughly. At this point I’d also like to mention that we were truly impressed by his knowledge and hold on the Lebanese cuisine where he informed us about each dish and it’s origin.
After a hearty meal it was time to bid goodbye to the hotel and continue the journey towards our destination (coming up in the next blog!).
As I mentioned earlier, The Taj Group’s hospitality is next to none and they live by the Indian motto of ‘atithi devo bhava.‘ As an Indian we’ve always taken pride in them and though they’ve evolved over the years, but the one thing that has remained constant has been their generosity and gratitude towards their customers. It is this, that will have us all continue taking pride in them and keep returning to them. Taj is a shining example of India’s hospitality and culture and always will be.
The Gateway Hotel Ambad Nasik
P-17, MIDC Ambad, Mumbai-Agra road, Nasik, Maharashtra – 422010
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