We made a quick trip to Lonavala last weekend. It’s a glorious drive through lush green mountain slopes, drifting clouds, deep valleys and trickling waterfalls. The small towns of Lonavala and Khandala are extremely touristy and weary groups of Mumbaikars will be found at every bend of the meandering roads. Lonavala provides an easy and “not-so-expensive” getaway.
During our earlier trips,we have taken the much beaten track and stopped at every view point to see the sunset over the mountains. We have wrestled with the crowds to get some space in the steps of Bushy Dam. We have even been marooned in traffic in the lone bazaar street. Standing in long queue outside Coopers for Fudge ,Manganlal Chikki , Chandralok Gujarati thali, Roasted corn (Bhutta) with mirchi masala are sacrosanct for the complete Lonavala experience.This time, we wanted something different.
Exhausted and stressed over the last few weeks, we needed calm and quiet. We decided to head to the coveted eco resort close to Lonavala called “The Machan”. Perched at 3000 ft ,the resort is bang in the middle of 25 acres of healthy forest. True to its name, all rooms are built on top of trees . Each room has been put up with great focus on privacy . All walls are with glass and some showers are open to sky. Local material has been used and all furniture has been designed with old world charm. There are easy steps and ramps to access all rooms. The resort prides itself of a sound eco-policy and we also saw it in good practice.They have a functional solar panels and small windmills to support the power needs.
As we were travelling with our parents we opted for 2 rooms. The Forest Machan has the best view into the valley and easiest for elderly to access. The deck opens out into rolling meadows and hills and it’s a treat for the tired eyes. A trickling stream, bird calls and lots of flitting butterflies adds to the aura. We also rented one of the Jungle Machan. Plonked on top of a tree, the Jungle achan is built to accomodate the towering branches. This machan gives a true “top of the tree” experience.
We went for a short walk around the property in the evening. Its quite an experience to trudge the slippery slopes with cricket calls, sprouting fungi, Lichens, rare forest trees and spice plants. There are yoga classes over weekends and one can walk around the property at freewill. There is a small well stocked library and carom board to occupy some time of our long day at Machan. The resort can also organize short treks around the property.
Food is simple and delicious. We need to book in advance for the meals and its largely maharastrian /North ndian fare. This resort believes and practices Slow Travel. Hence if you need your morning coffee at the crack ofdawn ,please make your own arrangements.
We are not very used to lazy holidays and hence walked up to the thatched reception to know more about activities. The manager promptly and sweetly said,”people come here for resting –not to do anything-hence please slow down and while away your day”. We lounged at the deck,slept late, photographed the delicate flowers, chased a blue mormon butterfly and tracked squirrels scurrying through trees!
Recharged our batteries !!!! Can we go again,soon?
Resort Coordinates –
Phone: +91 22 26716033, +91 22 26716035, +91 7303158658, +91 9594053113