Can you imagine a day without internet, television or even mobile network? Well, as a matter of fact I could not. But the experience that I had, proved that being without these three was indeed possible for me. It was the occassion of our first wedding anniversary and we were spoilt for choices with respect to the places that we could visit for the occassion. It so happened that from somewhere I recollected reading about an ecoresort in Lonavala which had tree-houses. It had been a childhood fantasy to once dwell in a tree-house and The Machan in Lonavala proved to be the ideal way to live my childhood fantasy.
Let me start describing the path that leads there. We happened to travel from Lonavala railway station and we took the Aambey Valley route to reach The Machan. The road until the turn to Aambey Valley is really good. But as soon as you take the left to go towards The Machan the roads become rocky and full of stones, not a very pleasant drive! It made me wonder if I really made the right choice by choosing this place...,but as soon as we entered the main gate all my fears were put to rest. The road from the entrance gate was a smooth drive. The reception is the first tree-house that you'll see although it is a miniature version of a tree-house. It is located amidst all the machans and the best part is that they actually instruct you of the do's and don'ts. The place is entirely solar energy driven and has solar panels installed in the property. After the initial formalities and registration, we proceeded to our room which was a jungle machan. By the way, the property contains Sunset machans, heritage machan, canopy machan and jungle machan. Coming back to our room, it was situated at a five minute walk from the reception admist trees and noises of birds as it ideally is, in jungles.
There are 6 jungle machans the entrance and balconies of each facing opposite to each other which assures that the guests get 100% privacy. The floors are made of wood, you actually live with trees because you see two to three trees branching out from the floor of your room upto the ceiling. Just next to the entrance is placed a mini fridge and then there are booklets, two of them, one briefing you about the property and the activities (they have activities like tour of the entire property, trekking, bird watching, star gazing, spa, yoga) that are arranged for the guests and the other one tells you about the do's and don'ts. Going further, the room opens into a balcony. This balcony is not anything thats ordinary, it in fact is lined with glass walls and contains a reclining swing, a wooden bench and a bath tub with facility of warm and cold water. There is also a bathroom and attached toilet inside the room which are well provided with all the required toiletries. A very striking characteristic about this entire property is its cleanliness. Througout and everywhere the Machan is very clean and well maintained.
The view from the balcony is that of trees from the top and there is just this wide expanse of beautiful green trees everywhere. It is indeed beautiful to spend some time with nature sipping tea and just reclining on that swing. Thats when you feel how important silence is. You get to hear noises of different birds in between but thats music to the ears!
The dining area of the property requires a walk of 5-7 minutes but it is absolutely worth the walk. This is an open area with tables laid out under trees with fresh air soothing your senses. Caution is taken by the staff that the wind does not interfere with the food. There is a windmill adjacent to the dining area which is continuously in motion again which is used as an alternate source of power. The food is served as a buffet and is absolutely delicious and you are spoilt for choice. We did convey our heartfelt praise to the cooks who were involved in the food preparations.
We did not really avail any of the activities arranged by the hotel but then we explored the property on our own and I must say it was an enriching experience. We loved our stay at this place and would definitely want to visit again. This one is defnitely a place worth publicising and revisiting.