Matheran – can be mystically at its best especially during rains! Though it is not supposed to be the best time to visit Matheran during rains, it indeed is a very mesmerizing experience in itself.
We received a warm welcome at The Verandah in the Forest. The welcome drink – a concoction of lemon and ginger, was too good to quench the thirst and release the fatigue. The registration was surprisingly quick. While booking I had particularly asked for a chocolate cake (the best from the chef) to be placed in the room. It was taken care of even before we checked in.
We had booked Kotwal Suite, which met our requirements. There were 2 rooms, one had a single bed, the other had a large king size bed. The property is quite old but well maintained. The luxurious feel you get on entering the room is out of this world. Unique in its own kind, the ceiling lies at 3 times the height of the door.
The bed and furniture arrangement was skillfully made to provide huge space for movement in the room. The room was well lit. The bed, though coming from the old era, was as comfortable as the one you would usually find in any top class 5 star hotel across the globe. The outer room had a single bed, a work table, a sofa set and a wardrobe. The inner room had a double bed, a wardrobe, a dressing table. The entry to the bath room was through the inner room. Availability of hot solar water makes it even more pleasing to bath at any time of the day. The interesting part here was the bucket and mug made of heavy stainless steel.
An exciting buffet lunch spread awaited our arrival. The spread comprised a mix of Indian and Continental Cuisine. Not to mention, the chef did a wonderful job. The food tasted as good as it was presented. The servers here ensured that monkeys don’t trouble you while you have your lunch.
Post lunch, we rested in our room for a while. We had the delicious chocolate cake along with the evening tea (here too they offered us a variety of tea to choose from – masala, earl grey, darjeeling and lemon).
The dining room had a huge dining table which can accommodate 20-25 people. It is here, where other guests staying in the hotel join you for the dinner and you actually end up interacting with each other. The room was not well lit as they serve a four course candle light dinner. A soup followed by starters, main course and dessert to end the meal.
They also have a huge common room where one may relax, listen to music, read books, play carom, cards, chess, etc. Another must see thing at this hotel is the Neemrana Shop located just behind the main building.
The next morning, breakfast was lavishly spread. Bread/Toast with butter, jam and cheese. Interestingly, they had as many as 12 flavors of house-jams. Eggs were prepared and served to order. Assorted breakfast cereals, main course, desserts, tea/coffee formed the other breakfast items.
After breakfast we headed for another stroll through various breathtaking points. We returned to the hotel at around 1 pm. Though the checkout time is 12 noon, the hotel extended its courtesy to allow a late checkout (post lunch).
During lunch, we extended our thanks to the servers, the chefs and the manager for ensuring our satisfaction. Needless to mention, this non-hotel hotel exceeded the expectations!
Just one suggestion for fellow travelers – it is recommended that you carry cash to pay your bill, especially if you are visiting during monsoon. The telephone lines may not be working all the time and it is likely that you won’t be able to make a card payment.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The paths once cleared by the British in the forests of Matheran, making it the last British hill station have acquired a new identity as the place where Bombay’s movers and shakers which include filmstars and businessmen come to spend a few quiet and peaceful days.Perched atop the Sahyadri ranges, Matheran is Asia’s only pedestrian hill resort. Chug up in a toy train, trot, or arrive in a palanquin, past gigantic mansions built by the British, the Parsis, and the Bohras. The Verandah in the Forest was the second house to be built on the isolated Western Ghats, by Captain Barr. Now, with every facility in place, it is reputed to be second to none! Indeed, the nobility of the proportions of The Verandah bring civilizational honour to the Sahyadri ranges. Lounge like never before in this verandah of your dreams. Read under the highest domestic ceiling you would have known in the salon – 12 metres/35 feet high. Stroll down to Charlotte Lake. Or take longer walks with a picnic basket. Relish the local cuisines. Heave your chest, muscle your calves, take all the oxygen back in your lungs. Link your planet with your own two feet.Find space for more space in your mind. Or lose yourself to find yourself anew.Long after you return, you will wonder who would have dared to sprawl out such a tree-home space in such spell-binding wilderness? ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Verandah In The Forest Hotel Matheran
- The Verandah In Forest