One of the latest properties on the timeshare block, is Club Mahindra's Lake Pavna resort. For starters, one of the biggest positives for this resort was its off beat location. The resort is a good hour's drive from Lonavala city. The last 10 kms is through a jungle path with barely room for another vehicle to pass. No pollution and far, far away from the din and crowds of Mumbai and even the teeming tourist population that descends on Lonavala during weekends. It is extremely helpful if you have your own vehicle especially if you want to do some sightseeing in Lonavala town and the "points". We did all of that during our previous Lonavala visits and this time just wanted a resort enviornment to unwind with our child. We were definitely not disappointed.
The resort is not fully functional and there are quite a number of things which probably need a long way to go before it reaches the standard of other Mahindra resorts like Varca or Coorg. Like the service, which is really warm, friendly and helpful, but hopelessly inadequate when it comes to handling crowds and busy traffic. So we took 45 minutes to check in on Saturday and a whole hour to check out on Sunday. But the staff did ensure that we were comfortable during the delay so no worries there.
Next up is the room. We had an extra adult with us and hence had booked the 1 bedroom suite which "affords privacy to 2 couples". We had the mental image of Varca where the same description got us a quaint cottage with a kitchenette, living space (with a fold out sofa) and a large bedroom. The rooms were a little small in comparison. There was one bathroom to be shared among everyone and just one TV (yes, TV is a big deal in our household)..all forgiveable but yeah, no WiFi? that was really frustrating because cell phone signals were erratic and a litle bit of WiFi could have really helped! The kitchenette was quite self sufficient and well stocked with cutlery and crockery, A pretty dining area and overall, we were happy. The space could have been more but still happy with what we got.
The only real disappointment was the food. We had opted for the half day package which was bout Rs 800(inc taxes) per adult and included breakfast and either lunch or dinner. The buffets were fairly disappointing with the vegetarian fare being particularly bad. Most of the gravies were watered down as the buffet progressed, refills took a long time. The breakfast spread was marginally better but lunch was frankly, quite bad. We ordered a-la carte for dinner and that was a refreshing change. So maybe will stay away from the buffet. A-la carte was expensive though.
We were rained in most of the time but the resort staff had really gone out of their way to make our stay a fun one. Lots of indoor games, fun for the entire family. There were some carnival games on show the evening we were there. Cycles on rent included even kiddie models. Air hockey, Wii and PS2 competed with carrom, pool and table tennis.. Really happy with the fun zone.
The swimming pool was amazing! A beautiful infinity pool overlooking the breathtaking view of the lake and the mountains..really heavenly!..another smaller pool for those looking for privacy and a kiddie pool with a water slide!..Pools were clean and well maintained too.
The bestest part of the trip was the spa. It has to be checked out. The last 10 kms of bumpy roads upto the resort had seriously cramped by back and the masseur gave me a beaultiful back and shoulder massage to take all that tension away! As everywhere, really good service and friendly staff. The spa is something the resort should pride itself on. The almost zen like ambience of the place is seriously something very difficult to find!.
Ours was a very short trip but this property is definitely on our radar for the future. Unbeatable location, great service and an even a toy train that transfers you from rooms to other parts of the reception. Fun for the whole family. Definitely coming back