Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha

Tripoto
18th Jun 2018
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha by Rupa Abdi
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 1/51 by Rupa Abdi

There comes a time in your life when you have passed your prime but your love for travel and adventure is still young. Or you love to travel with your family, have the money but you have neither the time nor the patience to plan a trip. This is when you start looking for a holiday resort chain which has most of the things planned out for you, preferably a tried an tested brand and it offers maximum diversity in terms of geographical locations.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 2/51 by Rupa Abdi

Well, travelling has been our passion (me and my husband's) and in our greener days we travelled on medium budget. We would rough it out in seedy hotels, dharam shallas, and B-grade home stays or village huts of the locals with our two young sons in tow. Low budget travelling can be a tremendous learning experience - getting up close and personal with the local people, culture and Nature, which includes the good, bad and the ugly.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 3/51 by Rupa Abdi

However, with age and economic prosperity, we've developed a low tolerance for unhygienic hotel rooms, mosquitoes and flies, dust and heat. In addition every time a trip needed to be planned, it required research, surfing through various travel sites and bargaining our way through the itinerary, and we had begun to find this quite stressful and exhausting.

We were introduced to Club Mahindra by a friend and decided to go for it. This was our first trip to their Kanha resort as a part of a complimentary five-night offer. We decided that three nights were enough to explore Kanha.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 4/51 by Rupa Abdi

Day 1

We took a train from Delhi to Jabalpur. At Jabalpur we had the choice of hiring a local taxi (charge rupees 3500/-) to the Club Mahindra Kanha Resort or avail the pick up facility of Club Mahindra (charge 4000/-). We took the local taxi. We covered the distance of about 158 km in about four and half hours.

The major plus point of this resort was its location. It wasn't on the main road but towards the interior. At the resort we were greeted with a welcome drink of mango panna and a porter immediately took our luggage to our designated flat.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 5/51 by Rupa Abdi
Our flat at Club Mahindra on the first floor

The one-bedroom flat was just the right size for a family of four. Apart from the bedroom, the living room had a double-bed sized relaxing and sleeping area. I was won over by the cooking and dining area. It had a working platform for making tea/coffee, a microwave for reheating and a sink which has taps supplying R.O. water as well as normal water. There was liquid soap and sponge for washing the cutlery, complete with a kitchen napkin and microwave glove. A circular dinning table for four was part of the dining area furniture. There was 24-hours hot water supply. It almost felt like home!!

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 6/51 by Rupa Abdi
The living -dinning area

The interiors had a wood and stone finish with clean curtains and upholstery. The balcony overlooked the wilderness area which begun just beyond the border fence.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 7/51 by Rupa Abdi
View from our balcony

After buffet lunch at their Spices restaurant we tried our hand at pottery making. It was fun and we were charged Rs. 165 + GST per person. Some activities like snooker, video games and Spa were chargeable and some like table tennis, badminton and swimming were on the house. However, if you hadn't brought your swimming suit along, the resort would lend it to you for a price.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 8/51 by Rupa Abdi
Learning pottery

The resort had beautiful landscaping with a large variety of local trees as well as horticultural varieties, well-trimmed bushes and the naming of cottages after indigenous trees added to the overall charm of the Resort. An old banyan tree with rubber tyre-swings was a source of fun for the kids.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 9/51 by Rupa Abdi

The evening was spent strolling inside the beautiful resort and later making arrangement for the early morning forest safari at the travel desk of Club Mahindra.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 10/51 by Rupa Abdi
Club Mahindra, Kanha

We had booked the safari permit online in advance from the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department website. It costs Rs. 1550/- for 4 people. There were two safaris, an early morning one which started at 5:30 am and the next one at 11 am.

The travel desk arranged our safari jeep at the cost of 2500/- for one jeep. We were to pay Rs.500/- for the guide who would accompany us on the safari.

Day 2.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 11/51 by Rupa Abdi

In the morning we collected our packed breakfast parcels prepared by the resort staff - mayonnaise sandwich, two muffins, a packaged drink, an apple and water bottle. We were picked up from the resort by the safari jeep at 5 am. Our aadhar cards were checked at the N.P. gate, a forest guide hopped into our jeep and off we went.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 12/51 by Rupa Abdi
Gate made from shed deer antlers

It was a beautiful ride and we managed to spot four tigers as well as other animals.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 13/51 by Rupa Abdi
Tiger alert !! Notice how their tails start going vertical.
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 14/51 by Rupa Abdi
Tiger , tiger burning bright....
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 15/51 by Rupa Abdi
In the forest of the night !!
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 16/51 by Rupa Abdi
Such perfect camouflage !
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 17/51 by Rupa Abdi
Barasingha or Swamp Deer (probably female)
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 18/51 by Rupa Abdi
Male and female Barasingha along with Chital
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 19/51 by Rupa Abdi
Such beautiful antlers !!
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 20/51 by Rupa Abdi
Wild Buffalo or Gaur
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 21/51 by Rupa Abdi
Wild Buffalo or Gaur with a calf
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 22/51 by Rupa Abdi
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 23/51 by Rupa Abdi
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 24/51 by Rupa Abdi
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 25/51 by Rupa Abdi
A pair of Jackals
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 26/51 by Rupa Abdi
A common sight in Kanha N.P.
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 27/51 by Rupa Abdi
Peninsular Rock Agama Lizard
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 28/51 by Rupa Abdi

We were dropped at our resort by 11:30 am. An afternoon swim in the resort swimming pool was followed by a buffet lunch. A short siesta, and a very fruitful discussion with the customer relation staff of the resort who persuaded us to shift our membership from white season to red season (for details on this you can check out the Club Mahindra web site).

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 29/51 by Rupa Abdi

The evening was occupied with a game of table tennis and post dinner stroll around the resort. The resort staff organised various activities every evening and this included salsa dance lessons, DJ night, and small outdoor games. The loud speaker was being used for some of the late evening outdoor activities and we felt that this should not be allowed as the nearby wild life, especially the birds roosting in the nearby trees would be disturbed by the loud noise.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 30/51 by Rupa Abdi
The game and fun zone at the resort

Day 3

The resort arranges a visit to a local village as well as nature trails and bird watching trips under the guidance of Shri Qadirbhai for interested visitors at the cost of Rs. 200/- per head. Qadirbhai took us along a beautiful trek in a forest patch behind the resort and impressed us with his knowledge of local trees and birds. He could identity the birds just by looking at their silhouette or from their calls.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 31/51 by Rupa Abdi
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 32/51 by Rupa Abdi
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 33/51 by Rupa Abdi
Blue -tailed bee-eater
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 34/51 by Rupa Abdi
Balck-winged kite
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 35/51 by Rupa Abdi
Indian Roller
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 36/51 by Rupa Abdi
Vultures
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 37/51 by Rupa Abdi
Crocodile Tree, the bark pattern resembles a crocodile skin
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 38/51 by Rupa Abdi

During our nature walk we also chanced upon some locals:

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 39/51 by Rupa Abdi
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 40/51 by Rupa Abdi
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 41/51 by Rupa Abdi
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 42/51 by Rupa Abdi

The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent treating ourselves to a buffet breakfast, purchasing some curios from a shop inside the resort, a swim, and buffet lunch followed by a brief siesta. The buffet was like a feast catering to different palates. The local sweet preparations like 'Chandrakala' were simply delicious, and so were the Chicken and egg salads. The Chinese preparations were satisfactory. Most of the main courses were great, but their mutton and fish dishes left something to be desired. The south Indian vada was a bit dense and hard. The restaurant staff was very cordial and went out of their way to please us.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 43/51 by Rupa Abdi
With our guide - Qadirbhai

Encouraged by our morning bird sightings with Qadirbhai, we decided to go on our own Nature hunt in the evening, in and around the resort, and boy, were we rewarded !!

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 44/51 by Rupa Abdi
Oriental White-eye spotted in the parking area of the resort
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 45/51 by Rupa Abdi
A beautiful orchid plant growing on a tree inside the resort
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 46/51 by Rupa Abdi
Pods with seeds of Sinduri tree, used in the preparation of Sindoor
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 47/51 by Rupa Abdi
Oriental Garden lizard spotted behind our apartment
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 48/51 by Rupa Abdi
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 49/51 by Rupa Abdi
Four o'clock plant
Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 50/51 by Rupa Abdi
Lantana

We spent the last night at the resort staring at the night sky while lying on our backs on the charpais that had been placed in the resort lawns.

The next morning our hired taxi arrived on time and we left for Jabalpur after breakfast. The total food bill at the resort for 4 adults was about Rs. 16000/- We had opted for buffets for all the meals. We got a discount of Rs. 3000/- on this as first timers.

From Jabalpur, after visiting Moti Mahal at Ramnagar, we boarded the train to Delhi.

For us the pros of this whole Club Mahindra Resort experience was:

1. Luxury amidst wilderness.

2.Enough to do, you will not run out of activities to pursue, both indoor and outdoor. And most of the activities cater to all age groups.

3. Variety of food is available.

4. Accommodation is very cosy and comfortable

5. Very friendly and co-operative staff.

6. No exhaustive and stressful surfing on the net in search for suitable hotels.

7. All rates are fixed, no hassle of bargaining for discount etc.

The flip side is :

1.Not affordable for everyone

2.Limited exposure to local food and culture. We were told that they used to organize a Baiga dance for the visitors but that has been discontinued.

3.Some of the activities are a bit overpriced.

4. They do have a tie-up with RCI linked resorts but Mahindra itself does not have a presence in every part of the country, such as the north-east. We were informed about some new Mahindra resorts coming up at newer locations. We are hoping that they open up a few resorts in the north eastern states as well as in our neighboring countries like Nepal and Shri Lanka.

Photo of Holiday Resort Chains, should you become a member? : Club Mahindra, Kanha 51/51 by Rupa Abdi
A young bamboo leaf

Photo credits: Rupa and Razi Abdi

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