Taj Damdama, as The Gateway Resort Damdama Lake Gurgaon is popularly called, is a perfect getaway for a family.
Summers of 2018 – we had been planning to go on a family outing for a long time but something or the other kept stopping us. With a parent who can’t sit in flight, cannot go to hills, cannot travel long distances and it being summertime, our choices were more limited than limited. We tried everything – all permutations and combinations kept failing.
Planning the Family Getaway
After loads and loads of research, we shortlisted Taj Damdama and all I can say is that this turned out to be one of the best decisions in recent future, minus a few hiccups. But then, what’s life without a few adventures.
We had booked one room with triple occupancy – Dad, mom and me. After a few days, dad was reluctant as he had just returned from a 10-day Chardham Yatra and had lots of work piled up. So, we checked with my sister and niece (5 years old – so free accommodation), if they are free and would like to join and she agreed. Later we were joined by my aunt who came to Taj Damdama for day spend. And thus, it became an all-women trip with three generations travelling together.
The Trip Begins!
Since the venue is not very far from Delhi, we decided to drive ourselves. Little did we know that GPS will take us through a route that will have a patch of boulders and sands. At one point we even thought of returning lest the tyres burst. It was showing 10 kilometres distance and we weren’t sure how long with this rough patch last. Luckily it was only 2 kilometres patch and the speed-breakers of 8 kilometres after that also didn’t bother us. They felt like a smooth ride.
Finally, after the adventurous journey we reached the resort and voila, all troubles were forgotten.
The resort was lovely. Set in the Aravalli, this upscale resort is 1.3 km from Damdama Lake. The resort is spread over 22 acres and is surrounded by greenery.
Beautiful Taj Damdama Resort
The architecture and interior designing of the resort is done very intelligently. The glass panels give you the feeling of being surrounded by greenery yet being indoors among all amenities and facilities, especially in the scorching summers.
The subtle colour palette of the place complements its surroundings as well as the interior design.
At the time of booking, we had checked for wheelchair assistance as there are no elevators in cottage style rooms. So, the Hotel staff was helpful enough to give us a room closest to the reception area. They also put up a ramp, so the wheelchair can easily go into the room. In fact, the room was so close, that we didn’t need wheelchair assistance except check-in and check-out. Also, there are golf carts to take guests around, so we took a round of entire property in the cart… these are the perks of going on a weekday.
I fell in love with the property as soon as we entered the resort, even though I am not a big resorts-fan. Backpackers travel on limited budgets and resorts are out of reach. Its only when I travel with family, do I stay in resorts.
As soon as we checked into the hotel, we were greeted by ever-smiling and pleasant staff of Taj at the reception. A special mention to Amal, who took great care of us during our stay. He ensured the check-in process went smoothly and also got the ramp arranged for my aunt on wheelchair, so she could go into the room without any trouble.
The Hotel Room
The room was a quite spacious but the spacious award goes to the bathroom, It was huge. One could easily spend a couple of hours in it. A TV set and a recliner was all that was missing and mind you there was space for both in the bathroom.
After spending sometime in the room, we realised that AC wasn’t working properly so, called the housekeeping guy who came promptly and resolved the issue. Apparently we had turned the AC temperature to minimum and because of which the cooling wasn’t as good as it should have been… weird but well… as long as it works, we didn’t wanna argue unnecessarily.
So, once settled and air conditioner working fine… we decided to have lunch. Wherever we travel, we always carry one meal with us… who knows by the time we reach lunch is over or it’s not great or we feel hungry on the way. So, we had homemade lunch surrounded by nature which added to the while experience.
It was yum and felt well-deserved after the journey through boulders. Some foods always taste better during travel… cant explain why though. Once fully fed and food washed down by tea, it was time for some games.
After all my niece had laid down her agenda before she agreed to travel with us – games, swimming and a night party being main amongst those. It was time to fulfil her first demand – games. So we played tambola (housie). She just loves it though we still don’t know why. She loves it and gives a reaction every time a number is called out, so we know whether she hit the bull’s eye or not. After two rounds, she was content and left the elders to rest and decided to go watch a kiddie movie that was playing in the kidzone at Taj Damdama.
It just felt nice to be relaxing in the lovely room surrounded by greenery on all sides. Drawing the curtains gave the feel without worrying about if the people on the outside would be seeing us.
In the evening, we called for a Golf cart and took a round of the resort where the cart driver explained all the various amenities that the resort has to offer. And there is lot – kid zone, adventure zone, fitness area, spa, swimming pool. They had planned activities to keep guests busy – circuit training, horse riding, rain dance etc.
After the tour of the resort, we went back to the hotel lobby where they had organised evening tea and cookies for guests. It was nice to see many families with small kids and elders. Seems like we are not the only ones to think of Taj Damdama as a family getaway.
After the tea, it was time for my aunt to go back so we confirmed the route with Hotel staff so that we could avoid the kachcha rasta with boulders. And they told us another better way.
After she left, we went back to the room and rested for a while before it was dinner time.
The dinner buffet was on the first floor and there was an elevator for that so we could take mommy easily. The place was nice and inviting with low but decent lighting.
The are was buzzing with people. Lots of guests had checked-in in the evening, being Friday and beginning of the weekend.
The food spread was decent but the quality of food was average, unlike the Taj Standards. The food was too salty, so we ended up leaving some food, even though we prefer not wasting food.
After dinner, we took a walk around the place. The weather had cooled down and it was a nice walk.
Then my niece decided to have a party so we went into the room, played music and danced and danced. With our old bones and fully fed, we got tired fast, so we gave her the option to go for a walk of the resort and click pictures.
Photographer in Action
Thankfully, she liked the idea and we were rescued. The Resort also gave lot of opportunities for photography.
After that, she took pictures of every tree, statue, leaf, flower present in the resort.
Once she was satisfied, she decided we could go back to the room. But that doesn’t mean we were allowed to sleep. We went back, played, talked, laughed, danced more before she agreed it was time to sleep.
Day-2 at Taj Damdama
The next morning was a lazy one. We got up the usual time but lazed around with a cup of tea, sitting in the small garden attached to our room.
My mother went and collected all the flowers, so she could make flower-jewelry for her grand-daughter, just like the times when mom was a kid and they used to make jewelry for themselves. A special sewing kit was asked from the housekeeping.
Once it was ready and my niece was up, she wore the jewellery and showed off, clicked some more fun photos.
Then, it was time for her to go swimming. In the meanwhile, my mother and I got ready so we could all go for breakfast once swimming was done.
The Hotel staff had requested a timely check-our being a Saturday and guests pouring in.
The breakfast buffet was laid in the same place but the fare seemed limited and again too salty… it was the most disappointing part of the entire stay.
But even then, its not a dampner on the entire stay because fruits, breads, eggs and beverages saved the day. But what we still can’t figure out is the reason for the food to be so salty. Maybe its to beat the heat because I see no other reason.
Time to Checkout
After the breakfast and a lovely stay, it was time to checkout. Hen I went to settle the bill, my niece decided to give them a handmade feedback form with all things excellent in the hotel.
She was wondering why they didn’t have a feedback form as she is still not introduced to E-feedbacks. The staff was quite touched by this gesture.
The Photography Continues
And with this, our journey almost came to an end except that the photographer in my niece found some new subjects to shoot on the way back like the cows and other animals… after all, she is an autographer (meaning photographer) in her words.
We were back home in time for lunch, fully relaxed and charged up to face the world again.
All in all, it was a great getaway, just what we needed! And looking forward to more already.
Whats your Favourite Getaway
What has been your perfect getaway this summer. Don’t forget to share details in the comment section below.