Friday, June 22, 2007

Lonavala & Khandala Resorts

For those who have been asking me for details on Lonavala/Khandala resorts I have personally stayed at, here they are:

#1. Duke's Retreat: Pune Mumbai Road, Khandala 410301. Phone: 952114-269 -201 /2/3/ 4/5/6 /7/8/9. Room rates vary from Rs:8000/night to Rs: 12,000/night.

In my opinion this is the best resort in this area, but relatively expensive. They have rooms with balconies that have an excellent view of the distant hills. The cottages are good for families whose kids may want easy access to the swimming pool and the play area. Duke's has excellent views (especially from it's restaurant which is located on a steep cliff-side overlooking the expressway and the hills beyond. They have a spa, large gardens (with some ducks, geese, and rabbits), and an excellent buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you are lucky you may also run into some celebritries. The first time I was here, Kajol, Ajay and some of their friends were here too (my first close encounter with Bollywood outside of a movie hall!). During weekends, they have a DJ during the evenings. They also have a great outdoor bar.

#2. Sahil Sarovar Portico: Anandgiri Society, Near L&T Mgmt Dev Centre, Lonavala. Phone: (02114) 270 060/612/62. Room rates vary between Rs: 4500/night to Rs: 6500/night.

The resort is small and so is the swimming pool. However, the rooms are clean, the service pretty good, and the food simple but good. The best thing in this resort is their spa which in my opinion is among the best you can get in this area. I would recommend this place for the spa alone! Incidentally, ran into Bollywood here too; Emran Hashmi was partying in the bungalow next door creating quite a bit of excitement among the hotel staff.

#3. Velvett Country Resort: Vikas Valley, S V Road, Near PWD Guest House, Khandala -410301. Phone: 952114-269136/37/38/39. Room rates vary between Rs: 4500/night to Rs: 9000/night.

They also have a large cottage with multiple bedroom that can be used by a larger group. They have a great restaurant, large gardens with lots of greenery and flower beds, swimming pool and spa. However, the resort doesn't have many views of the surrounding hills. The staff in the spa are well trained, but the one in Sahil has better ambiance.

#4. The one other resort I haven't stayed, but has a reputation is Fariyas. They claim to be a five-star hotel and have been around for a while. Incidentally, both Fariyas and Sahil Sarovar Portico are located in the same general area. Rack rates vary between Rs: 9000 to Rs: 14000. Phone: 2114-273852 /3 /4 /5.

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