The first rains over Mumbai have a wondrous effect, people smile and rejoice the end of the insufferable heat. While the novelty is still well in place, the second rains are met with similar zeal, the third slightly less so... Before you know it, you’ve been damp for a month solid, spent half your day in traffic and overall you’re a sodden, miserable mess. This is the point where you have to step back and admit to yourself – I need a holiday.
Although it would be fantastic to be able to call on your trusty butler, summon the plane and jet off to Hawaii for a week, most of us have to face the reality that any holidays we’ll be taking have to be squeezed in between the late hours of Friday evening and the earliest moments of Monday morning. What you need are places that are close by but still offer the pampering and distance you need to shake off the week. To that end we’ve hunted down the perfect destinations around Mumbai where you can wrap yourself in a blanket to vegetate with a book and a hot drink because I think we can all agree, the monsoons are much more amiable from indoors.
I. Contemporary Wood Lodge - Lonavala
Distance From Mumbai: 2h 30m
This hilltop cottage is the perfect place to unwind from the city stress, private and serene so you can really appreciate the blissful silence away from the city. Due to its seclusion, this is also a popular spot for small parties and get-togethers. The interiors are tasteful and totally eco-friendly with wood furniture and intriguing curiosities. Whichever way you turn you are faced with the lake, mountain or waterfalls even on the days you don’t feel up to trekking through the hills or kayaking through rapids, you can always set up a hammock and laze the day away.
What it will cost you: You’ll have to contact the owners directly for the current pricing but we can assure you that whatever it is, it will be worth it.
II. Farm Stay Cottage – Pali
Distance From Mumbai -2h 44m
Rustic cottages spread across several acres, this sprawling estate captures the simplicity of farm life without depriving you of your city comforts. Each of the five cottages are distinctively themed but each comes with a spacious veranda from which you can watch the rain beating down on the lush fields around you. If you happen to visit on a rain-free day you can take advantage of their many outdoor activities which include fishing, horse riding and bird watching so you can really experience the forgotten joys of country living.
What it will cost you: At Rs. 4000 a night we think it would make the perfect weekend away
III. Guest House - Matheran
Distance From Mumbai: 2h 41m
This colonial era guest house built in 1871 is a testament to the timeless charm of baroque architecture. Take root in any of the four bedrooms which are all plush and comforting and feast on the Maharashtrian or Gujarati fare provided by the on-site cooks. If the monsoon chill is getting to you there’s no need to worry, the solar-powered water systems will ensure you can always take a steamy shower before returning to the busy work of relaxing.
What it will cost you: Old timey living with new timey prices at Rs. 5000 a night
IV. Lakeside Artist Villa - Kamshet
Distance From Mumbai - 2h 48m
The frenetic energy of the city may be too much for the more artistic souls. The perfect place to recoup and find your inspiration is this flawless villa nestled in the heart of the Sayadhris. The lake and surrounding hills play the perfect subjects for artists and photographers and even those who aren’t so inclined will be left in awe of the pristine beauty. It’s located in a quiet rural village so if you’re on the hunt for a party house this may not be for you. If what you need is a destination where you can be at peace and take in the natural beauty then pack your bags because this is the space for you!
What it will cost you: You better hope you paint a masterpiece ‘cos at Rs. 32,000 a night you’re going to need the money
V. Lake View Cottage- Khadakwasla, Pune
Distance From Mumbai: 3h 45m
Although it’s called a cottage, this stunning creation completely outdoes its humble description. A marvel of modern design, the wooden construction is eco-friendly and blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings. The balcony overhanging the lake is the perfect spot for a hot mug of coffee and a quiet conversation.
What it will cost you: This amazing house is a place worth seeing and at Rs. 8000 a night you could even see it twice.
VI. Little Paradise - Beach Front, Murud
Distance From Mumbai: 4h 16m
In the peace of Agardanda, 10 kilometres from Murud you can exchange the harrowing torrential rain for the soothing sounds of the sea. Right on the sea front, this house is isolated with no neighbouring houses so the 300 metres stretch of sand feels like your own private beach. The two units of the house come with spacious porches where you can sit and revel in your weekend away.
What it will cost you: Sea views? Private beach? Rs. 8000 a night? We’re in!
VII. Luxury Bungalow - Karjat
Distance From Mumbai: 2h 10m
This little bungalow is a home away from home, decorated in a simple squashy style every bed and chair beckons for you to sit and sink into its comforting embrace. The house is full of paintings and curiosities which give it the feel of a treasure trove. If the weather is kind, you could always lounge in the hammocks which hang by the brook on the periphery of the property. Either way, this quiet sanctuary will allow you to take the time you need to recover your strength before braving another week.
What it will cost you: A higher level of luxury @ Rs. 12,000 a night
VIII. Luxury Pool Villa - Zirad, Alibaugh
Distance From Mumbai: 3h 24m
The parks of Zirad play home to this super snazzy farmhouse where you can commune with nature from the lap of luxury. Pick any of the four spacious bedrooms to lay your head and sleep away the stresses of the regular world, put up some umbrellas and enjoy a barbeque in the rain or simply sit on the wide porch and while away the day, whatever you choose to do you’re sure to leave here totally renewed.
What it will cost you: With four bedrooms this place is way over most normal people’s budget but if you can get a large enough group together @ Rs. 35,000 a night might just be doable.
IX. Machan -Lonavala
Distance From Mumbai -2h 10m
A Homegrown favourite, Machan returns once again to our list. If you’re still unfamiliar with this Lonavala gem, allow me to fill you in. The main attraction is of course the chance to play out our childhood dreams and sleep in a tree-house. They are also an eco-conscious set-up with renewable power and they dedicate 10 per cent of their profits to maintaining the ecosystem of the Western Ghats. They have five types of treetop accommodation, plus cottages for those a little less fond of heights and in lieu of swimming pool, you can take a dip in the nearby dam that refills during the rainy season.
What it will cost you: Live out your Tarzan fantasies at Rs. 12,000 per night
X. Mango Villa - Kihim
Distance From Mumbai: 3h 31m
No need to trek off to Goa in search of untainted sands, the beach at Kihim is a mere 100 kilometres from Mumbai and it will more than meet your expectations. And the only place you should consider staying here is at Mango Villa, a delicate home with a charm rarely seen in the modern world. Romantic and unassuming, this could be the dream destination for a couples’ weekend or even a solo trip to reconnect with yourself.
What it will cost you: This quiet retreat is perfect for a seriously splurgey vacation @ Rs. 30,000 a night
XI. Tathastu Homestay – Nasik
Distance From Mumbai: 2h 30m
At the end of the day, you can always count on a glass of wine to wash away the days challenges so at the end of the week where better to head than India’s own wine county, Nasik. Unlike the better known areas like Alibaug and Lonavala, Nasik has remained relatively untouched so you can go exploring, Uttara and Adwait Kher, the couple who own the house, are both avid trekkers and are happy to show you around. Or if you prefer the more laid back approach to holidaying, you can just sit back and ‘sample’ a few glasses of the local wine.
What it will cost you: @ Rs. 6,500 a night you’ll have a substantial amount left over for...beverages.
XII. Urban Farmhouse – Panvel
Distance From Mumbai: 1h 47m
In the monsoons, the city takes on a greener hue but to fully experience this splendour the Urban Farmhouse is the place to be. Hidden in the midst of mango orchards, this contemporary home is the best way to experience the rains. This could be the perfect setting for a weekend party, large and spacious it can accommodate up to 25 people and you can arrange for meals so you never need to endure the downpour to restock the snacks. The house comes with plenty of indoor entertainment such as pool and a tennis table so there’ll never be a minute of boredom.
What it will cost you: It will set you back Rs.4000 per person for a night to stay in this modern oasis.
XIII. White Villa - Karjat
Distance From Mumbai: 2h 10m
This bungalow is the pinnacle of trendy homestays. Perched on a hill facing a river the angular architecture and super modern decor are at odds with the natural beauty right outside the door. The key theme of this home seems to be ‘space’ and there’s absolutely no lack of it. At a jaw-dropping 9,000 square feet this will be the remedy for all you claustrophobic Mumbaikars. Better yet its location makes it the perfect weekend destination where you can go after work on Friday, recover and be home in time to face a new week – if you want to that is.
What it will cost you: The vast expanse has a pretty vast price tag at Rs. 20,000 a night