By Aditi Datta

A wise lady recently reminded me that in ancient times, what the doctor ordered in cases of general malaise was a change in ‘havaa paani.’ Getting away, for a little bit, was all you really needed to make a strong comeback.

So we’re always on the lookout for spots that leave us just a little bit on the outside, looking in. That means getting far away enough that you’re technically outside town and breathing in a palpably different air. But you’re close enough to see the twinkling lights of the highway that will sweetly get you home.

Taj Gateway at Damdama Lake hits just this sweet spot. About 4 kilometers shy of the Westin Sohna property, Gateway is about 22 kilometers away from Golf Course Road, or about 45 kilometers away from the airport.

We’ll say right at the start – the Damdama Lake mentioned in the name is more poetic in text than the real lake, about 50 meters away, is in real life. But once you enter the driveway of Taj Gateway, you won’t be too sad to leave visions of this lake behind.

The first thing to strike me as we drove in was the aesthetic of the sign bearing the name of the property. It looked almost hand-carved, on a piece of stone that was part of the natural environment. And in fact this property pays great attention to indigenous points of pride, ensuring that due respect is paid to the surrounding geography and history.

We walk towards the lobby, past the sculptures casually scattered across a garden patch and made of reconstituted motor parts. The neelgai and local costume are celebrated as rearranged bits of Yamaha. We look past the glass walls into the lobby, which has its fair share of interesting art, alongside large overflowing tapestries. The glass walls seem to continue through many parts of the property, making it feel bright and cheery despite the distinct chill in the air.

The all-day dining restaurant, Buzz, is more or less what you’d expect an all day dining restaurant at a Taj property to be. Good. There is also a fine dining contemporary Chinese restaurant, Sian, if you feel like turning towards the East. And Swirl, the in-house bar, if you feel like getting some fluids.

We don’t usually call out service separately, but in this case, we’ll make an exception because the happy staff at the property were indeed exceptional.

If you’re staying over, the property features 78 rooms and 2 suites, all built into low-rise structures with pretty views wherever they are to be found. The Adventure Zone will give you plenty of reasons to tire yourself out and look forward to crashing head first into their super fluffy beds, or drifting towards the spa. You’ll find adventure trails, cycling, archery and if you’ve got kids bouncing off the walls, you’ll be so thankful for that trampoline.

Perfect for when you want to get away. Perfect for when you want to be back.

Notes in our Little Black Book |

The Gateway Resort Damdama Lake is a full-service resort managed by the Taj Group of Hotels, located approximately 22 kms from Central Gurgaon, and 45 kms. from IGI Airport. A good mix of sprawling green, interesting art and superb hospitality, this resort makes for an excellent choice if you’re looking for an easy day trip, or a night away from town.

Where: P.O. Damdama, Off Sohna Gurgaon Road, past Badshahpur and Bhondsi villages. Pass K.R. Mangalam on your left, G.D. Goenka on your right, and within a kilometer, pass the Maruti showroom on your left. Take that left turn and drive straight for 7 kms.

For more information: Click here 

Contact: +91-124-398 3000

Prices: Room nights start at INR 9500. Meal for two at Sian approximately INR 4000, including one alcoholic beverage each.