Getaway From: Mumbai
Distance: 2.5 hours away from Mumbai, by road
The Machan: Lonavala gets a new lease of life as a weekend destination with this exceptional tree house located on the Western Ghats. Three rooms and two bathrooms combine to form one functional house that houses up to six people and is surrounded by 25 acres of greenery and looks out into the valley, Jambulne, on the Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats. It is one of the most eco friendly buildings ever built, and runs on power generated from wind turbines and solar power, trees were not felled to erect the structure, nor were any machines used.
The house has four levels which include the crow's nest, the loft, the main deck and the hanging room. The crow's nest is the highest point, 40 feet above the main deck, from where you can take in a 360 degree view, and also sit out under a starry sky. Directly below it is the loft, a room from where you can watch the sun rise, as it east-facing. The main deck is the area with all the facilities of a functional house, like a lounge area, kitchenette, dining table, etc and its four walls are made of glass so that you can enjoy spectacular views no matter what you're doing. Finally the hanging room is suspended below the main deck and makes you feel like you are suspended midair, surrounded by the forest canopy.
Photo courtesy: Mallika Viegas
Distance: 3.5/4 hours from Mumbai by road
Beyond, Sula Vineyards: The Sula Vineyards in Nashik offers the first of its kind vineyard resort called Beyond. The 20-room resort follows a wine theme having each room named after a type of grape or Sula wine and has a delightful view of the lake as well as the swimming pool. There is also an option of the 3 bedroom villa at the resort. You can kayak, cycle or swim at leisure, or just lounge and enjoy the peace and quiet. You also get a complimentary tour and wine tasting and a meal at their restaurant Café Rose. The best part about this getaway is that it is perfect anytime because every different season has its own charm at the vineyards.
Distance: About 10 hours from Mumbai by road
Wildernest: This beautiful eco resort is located on the border of Goa and Karnataka and offering a spectacular view of the Vazra valley. Wildernest has 18 perfect eco-huts which make you feel like you are living in the lap of nature, not forsaking the highest eco-tel standards of service. The forests of the Western Ghats have much to offer in terms of flora and fauna, and you will not run out of activities be it bird-watching, trekking and even folk performances. You can even relax and unwind at Wildernnest's very own bar, Cloud 9 or take a refreshing dip in the beautiful infinity pool while you take in the scenery. Indulge in a bit of retail therapy and support the local artisans by purchasing their wares and understanding their rich history. Wildernest is utterly beautiful both in the monsoon as well as the winter because the landscape changes according to the seasons making it a different experience each time.
Photo courtesy: Ines Figueira
Distance: 2 hours from Mumbai by road
Aamby Valley City: Over 10,000 acres of land come together to create the uber luxurious Aamby Valley City which combines convenience, luxury and natural beauty. The accommodation options are vast and are crafted using wood, stone brick or glass, giving each villa a special and different feel. The luxurious cabanas, on stilts are for romantic getaways and have a private sun-deck and plunge pool. Besides this, there are countless options for recreation even if you don't choose to go for the Cabanas. Open-Air theatres, lounges, bars, sports activities, a spa and so on make you feel like you are truly spoilt for choice while you are on this holiday.
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