Monsoon usually makes Mumbaikers plan weekend trips to hill stations around the city. We do that too, every year. But mostly to Lonavala.
Last year though, on my birthday, my hubby decided to surprise me and booked an amazing weekend getaway to Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar. Mahabaleshwar is a popular hill station near Mumbai, but much further than Lonavala.
All excited and pumped up we started our 5 hr drive from Mumbai. An amazing ride later with wonderful views of the valley we arrived at this gorgeous property. With chrome yellow buildings and lush forest trees all around it, my heart lifted at the sight.
Spread over 27 acres, the resort consists of two pools (one outdoor and one infinity overlooking the valley), spa & fitness centers, activity center, and 4 dining & bar options.
The Infinity pool was my best experience here. Temperature controlled with breath-taking views of the valley of Western Ghats, we spent considerable time here soaking ourselves. There is a bar near the pool (Plunge Bar) from where you can order some refreshing drinks and snacks.
One can also get a relaxing massage done at Explore Spa. It is a little pricey but we did enjoy ourselves:)
The resort has to offer a lot to people traveling with kids. There are a number of indoor & outdoor activities for kids to enjoy!
If the weather is good, you can just walk around the property and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding forest.
The rooms are spacious and come with balconies. They have Classic rooms (with different views) and Suites.
We had booked a Classic Forest King room. It came with a huge balcony overlooking the forest trees, and my favorite, a huge bathtub! It was a comfy and cozy room with modern decor and rustic tones.
I have had good experiences with Le Meridien Food at their other properties, and Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar is no different. The breakfast spread is lavish with continental, oriental, and Indian options. So I would suggest booking a room which has breakfast included.
We had dinner at Chingari. It offers North Indian, Awadhi, and Hyderabadi cuisine. The ambiance is pleasant with low lights, and rustic mahogany furniture. The food is quite tasty. It is a nice place to have a quiet dinner with your spouse or your family.
Mahabaleshwar has a lot to offer to its tourist. A day can be spent exploring the city with its numerous points, waterfalls, local markets, eatery joints, and of course strawberry farms.
We had some amazing corn bhajjis & strawberry milkshake at The Garden Ice Cream Restaurant.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t go to any waterfalls, but based on popular opinions & my research I would suggest Dhobi Waterfall, Chinaman’s Falls, Bhilar Waterfall (for more adventurous people), and Lingmala Waterfall.
We did go to Elephant’s Head Point & Kate Point, and the view from both was spectacular. We also visited Venna Lake. It is a serene lake with boating and a number of eating stalls around.
Monsoon and winter months are the best for travelling. However, since Mahabaleshwar is a hill station, summers are not so bad either.
Overall, we had an amazing stay at Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar. I understand that traveling during COVID times is not advisable. But as soon as things open up, I would suggest booking a stay here, and basking in the lap of nature with all the pampering of a luxurious hotel.