If offbeat destinations are your thing, then you have arrived at the right blog post. The ‘Machan‘, is a carefully hidden resort in the green environs of Lonavla, ahead of Pune. Owing to its strategic location, one may miss it on a regular visit to Lonavla, but it is this very location that is its USP.
Think of plush greens, an adventurous trail, the hill-side top views, glorious sunsets, perfectly carved out tree houses plonked in the midst of nature and you have ‘The Machan’. It is a perfect getaway for anyone wanting to drown out the city noise and head towards a more peaceful, calming & invigorating trails in the midst of natural environs.
My fiance then (now hubby) & I planned this trip for a short getaway and we were extremely delighted when we arrived at the property. Stretching over an expanse of 25 acres, the Machan is quite sought after for its exquisitely designed rooms and the trails leading up to your ‘finds’.
We stayed at their ‘Woods’ property, and the moment I stepped inside the room, it literally did feel like I was besotted in the middle of a jungle. The entire look lends it a rustic charm. There is a neat washroom with bathtub and shower, and a small balcony in the ‘Woods’. Depending on your budget, and the choice of a room, one can choose between the varied options; Woods, Canopy, Jungle, Sunset, Starlight, Forest & Heritage Machans.
Their reception desk has a spacious lobby, where I could just sit for hours doing nothing. The audible chirping of birds, and the calm view of the waters ahead was a delightful experience. After a quick round of freshening up, we went for the trekking trail, which is essentially a tour-around of the property, also giving a glimpse of the other Machans. There is one stretch where there is a bit of a climb, barring which it is a fairly doable trek, and the guide helps you along the way in identifying the different tree/plant species. The table-top viewpoint of the gorgeous sunset would definitely be the centerpiece of this trek, packing in some extraordinary views.
Post the trek, I had thought of indulging in some yoga and other recreational activities on offer, but instead we retreated into our room to savor the stay. The room featured a minibar, and a wood-en-carved fireside in the wall, and no network ensures that you truly ‘switch-off’. Though a wifi password is provided to ensure you switch off, but don’t feel completely cut-off, if that makes sense. 🙂
Post a quick shower, we headed out for the candle lit dinner-side, under the open sky. The buffet menu was primarily Indian, and there was a separate counter for the south Indian delicacies like Kuli-Paniyaram. The staff was very friendly and helpful, & I must admit, had it not been for their coaxing I wouldn’t have indulged in that extra bit of food.
We waded past the dimly lit property post dinner, checking out the pool table and TV room, and explored the trail leading up to the reception from the other side. Don’t be surprised to encounter the frog’s croaking until you realize its right by your feet. We retreated back into our room, and almost finished off a game of chess, my hubby had to of course give up once on the verge of losing. 😉
The next morning I indulged in a hot cuppa tea sitting in the balcony, serenaded by trees all around. Our starved selves enjoyed the trail along the property to reach the breakfast place. Its interesting how the property is so spread-out, and there is a different trail that takes you to each destination, almost as if one is on an exploratory mission. The breakfast menu packed in the buffet comprising of cold meats, breads, paronthas, idli/dosas, & fresh fruit juices. At a reasonable height, the seating area was such that it gave us an overarching view of the forestry. What better way to enjoy your steaming cup of hot frothy cappuccino!
Racing to make it in time for our check-out at 11 AM, we quickly packed in our stuff, placing it at the reception. I grabbed at the opportunity to soak in the calming embrace of the surroundings before our tuk-tuk came in to drive us back to the main city, from where we hired back a cab to Pune. My handy tip in case you plan a trip to this property would be to get your own vehicle. We had to rely on the property staff to help us book an auto back to the city, at their agreed rates.
The eco-resort is a perfect short getaway, if you want to get spoiled in a luxurious property in the midst of nature. Albeit a bit on the plus side, I’d visit it again and probably check out the Jungle or Sunset Machan with a group of friends or family.
The next day, we meandered around in Pune, and dined in the chic pub-restros in Koregaon Park, showing off the places to my fiancé (then) in a city I had now come to call home for almost 5 years. Post our mini relaxed vacay, we headed off to Delhi to bring in the celebrations of my dad’s 60th birthday in Plum by Bent Chair, Aerocity. Its India’s first retail restaurant, where you can actually take home the furnishings you like, of course for a price! We then shifted tables to Farzi cafe, right opposite the Plum, and hogged on more drinks and food! Delhiites must check out the Aerocity for its plush restaurants/bistros and pubs.
We devoured the iced paan and called it a night, ready to tuck-in our beds clinging onto sweet memories from the past week for comfort.