Over the years, Mumbai has become more and more crowded. Also the fast pace of the life in the city leaves most of us craving for some leisure time. To take a pitstop from the mechanical life, we all crave for a holiday. In order to satiate this desire of leisure and relaxation, I would recommend this holiday which is not about hopping from one place to another for sightseeing or visiting multiple restaurants. The destination that we are looking at is Alibaug, Maharashtra.
In the past, I have been to Alibaug twice and both the times, I ended up spending time with my friends on beach rather than in the resort. So when my friend recommended me U Tropicana Alibaug, I instantly said yes! My craving for a holiday which meant staying and relaxing at a resort was about to become a reality.
There are two alternatives to go to Alibaug, 1. Ferry from Gateway of India till Mandve (later from Mandve to Alibaug by either taxi, bus or hotel pick up). 2. Road trip (Alibaug is well connected by road to Mumbai and takes approximately 2-3 hours depending on your starting location from Mumbai). We decided to take the second alternative as I believe in enjoying the journey as much as the destination.
U Tropicana Alibaug
Spread over 12 acres, it is a lush green property. Located away from the noisy city center, U Tropicana gives you the pleasure of enjoying your time with nature and your loved ones. At the gate, the guard guided us towards the reception building. The entire complex is divided into small buildings which are very beautiful and well maintained. As you enter you would find the reception and spa complex on your left whereas accommodation complex on the right.
Upon arrival, we were offered Kokum Juice. Post the welcome drink, we were given a brief about property, facilities and restaurant cuisine and timings. The staff was welcoming and helpful and the first impression was really positive. The most interesting part of the check-in process was that we were offered multiple options of soaps to select from. The options included soaps with fragrance varying from Green Tea to Firangipani; we choose Lemongrass. After check-in, we were taken to our room in a golf cart. Though the journey was very short, it was pleasant and sweet as it was along the internal resort road surrounded by lush greenery.
The rooms in the residential block are allotted in a U Shape, just as the name suggests. There are rooms on the ground floor and the first floor. The second floor has the restaurant. All rooms have the view of pool which is in the center of the U shape. For people who have rooms on ground floor, they have a direct access to pool along with outdoor sitting outside the room and in front of the pool. First floor people have privilege of private balcony where you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee, lovely breeze and the view of pool. Rooms as well as the bathrooms are very spacious. Also, the soap in the shower area is the same as the one selected at the reception. Also, to maintain a fresh look and fragrant appeal, there were flowers placed on various objects within the bathroom like the towel, napkins, soap case etc. The rooms have ample lighting and opportunity to maintain the ambiance by selecting lights based on one's preference. The beds are amazingly soft and cosy too.
U Sante Spa
After a short refreshing nap in the comfortable bed of the room, I went for a back massage at U Sante Spa. As soon as you step inside the Spa, you can feel relaxation taking over. The spa therapist took me to therapy room for 30 minutes of compete rejuvenation. The room had the perfect environment to calm your senses. With right amount of pressure and energetic strokes, the entire experience of back massage was amazing! U Sante Spa offers their signature full body massage, focused therapy massages and facials.
The spa complex also has a Gym. It was well equipped with modern instruments and tools. All the equipment were well maintained and in really good condition.
EAT Restaurant and Captain Cook's Bar
EAT Restaurant is the all-day dining restaurant at U Tropicana. In my stay package, breakfast was included and we decided to go for a la carte for lunch and dinner. As we reached the resort at 1 pm, we headed straight for lunch post refreshing at our room. The restaurant offers continental food in a la carte menu and we opted for Chinese. Manchow soup followed by Fried Rice and Manchurian. We expected basic food as we were in Alibaug, but U Tropicana surprised us with the quality of food they served. Even for dinner, we asked the staff for suggestion who recommended Dum Biryani with U dal (Dal Makhani). Having stayed in Delhi for a long time, most places in western India fail to match the quality of Dal makhani one can get in Delhi. However, the dal at U Tropicana was really at par with some of the best dal makhani I have eaten. The food was just perfect with the right blend of flavor and spice. There were lots of options at the breakfast buffet too. With options from Idli, Wada to Upma, one can pick up quick munchies like muffin or go continental with cereal. Other dishes included Paratha, Baked beans, Poori Bhaji and Omlette. There were multiple fresh fruit and juices on offer too.
The Captain Cook's Bar is an amazing place to spend your evening. It has cosy and comfortable seating area with perfect lighting in the green area of the resort. Right adjacent to the sitting is the pool and the serene breeze with dim light is likely to ensure that you have the most perfect evening.
Pool and other facilities
The swimming pool at U Tropicana was very well maintained and beautiful. Unlike many pools, the resort pool had small jacuzzi area on one side of the pool to relax your body after a swimming session. Also there is water bed in pool to play around or just take break from the fun. The swimming pool is pretty big too.
The resort also had bicycles which can be used for moving around the resort. Personally I love cycling and never miss a chance to just go for a small ride. Cycles were well maintained, in all sizes for everyone in the family. There were no tracks as such for cycling but since the resort was so big you can create your own track. The cycles cannot be taken out though. Cycling in the greens of the resort was indeed a memorable experience.
For people who love indoor games, you are in for a treat. The game room has pool table as well as carrom table and many other indoor games to select from. Also, there was a good collection of books in the resort library for people who like to spend their team sitting by the pool reading a book.
In a resort like U Tropicana Alibaug, you will not feel like going out to see anything. However, if you still feel like exploring city then Kihim Beach is just 2 km away from the resort. Post my cycling session at the resort, I decided to visit the beach to see the sunset. The beach is sparsely populated and was very less crowded. It was a beautiful beach with some ruins around and a beautiful place to see the sunset. There is very little settlement around the beach ensuring that you spend your time in the lap of nature with almost zero artificial influence. The main Alibaug city is around 8 km away from resort but from my personal experience, going to Kihim beach is much better than heading for Alibaug beach as you will find less crowd and cleaner beach. Kihim beach also has activities like Banana ride, Jet ski, Horse Carriage Ride and Parasailing. Sunset is a magical time and view from the beach is paradise for photography lover.
In a nutshell, U Tropicana Alibaug leaves you feeling energized, relaxed and refreshed. It is indeed lap of luxury in the heart of nature.
Location: It is located in the outskirt of Alibaug in Mapgaon. From Mumbai it is around 3 hour long journey and around 20 minute journey from Mandve ferry point.
Unique: Best part of stay at U Tropicana is that they offer you 24 hours stay at the hotel from the time guest check-in till check-out period. Also unlike other beach resorts, U Tropicana is located away from the noise of the city. It offers you freshness of lush greenery with an easy access to quite beach nearby.
Room Tip: All rooms have view of pool and mountain in the background. For direct access to Pool, opt for rooms on ground floor and for private balcony, first floor is best!
Don't Miss: Be ready with your swimwear for a dip in the pool or just relaxing at Jacuzzi. Foodies must try their Veg Dum Biriyani and U Dal. Also, do not miss their breakfast. It is amazing.