Chikamagalur is a small town located in the foothills of Mullayanagiri range. Climate is lovely and there are plenty of coffee estates all around. It takes around 4-4.5 hours from Bangalore to reach here.
We stayed at Taj Gateway during our visit. It is a beautiful heritage property. There are small lotus ponds and flowers all around the place. Away from the hustle bustle of city, this place is a mini-paradise.
When you come to a Taj property(even if it’s not one of the best they have on offer), you come with a certain set of expectations. Our first day’s experience was really bad at this place. Prices here are at par with other Taj properties, but service and F&B is sub standard.
Our check-in was smooth. They were serving filter coffee and cookies for evening snacks that day, the reception guy made a big show about the coffee they serve, its quality etc, but what they served was too milky for my taste and lacked flavour.
We left the coffees and decided to check out our room. The room we got(123) was quite big, with a nice balcony overlooking the lush gardens. The room could have been better furnished though. Since it was so big, and had very little furniture, it rather looked like an empty living room.
We decided to check out their bar- Mukhwada, before dinner. The bar was minuscule and restaurant servers were doubling as bartenders! The menu doesn’t have many choices of liquor, so we stuck to the basics and ordered whiskey. They had only soggy peanuts to go along with the drink, so we thought of checking out the starters in dinner buffet. To my sheer amazement, they had only 1 veg and 1 non-veg starter as a part of their exorbitantly priced buffet. The whole spread was highly disappointing, and this was on a Saturday when restaurants usually serve their best food.
Service in dining hall was horrible. Many a times servers took away the plates while we were still eating, without even asking.
I was happy to see dahivadas in the spread, but noticed handful of cornflakes covering the vadas for some inexplicable reason. The cornflakes had obviously gone soggy and gave the whole dish a strange taste. There was a gravy of pinapple corn capsicum, which tasted pathetic. Maybe the chef was trying to be innovative? Well, he failed miserably. Mutton rogan josh was chewy and chicken chettinad was equally bad. Frankly, I can’t remember a single dish that I liked. Dessert spread was also a sorry affair. Custard was as bad as it could get, and Ginger cake had no taste or flavour of ginger whatsoever, rather it smelled of eggs gone bad.
The head server asked us how the food was. I was really annoyed with the bad food and service, and told him so.
Not really a place I would recommend.