With the long weekend coming up – we suggest you run while you can; grab your favourite people, pack your bags and get the hell out of the city! Notorious as we might be for being perpetually stuck in holiday mode, this list we’ve got here is going to render any counter-arguments quite invalid. With villas, sprawling estates, luxurious farmhouses and one plantation stay we just can’t stop thinking about, you shouldn’t need further convincing to go on that three-day hiatus from your city life with this diverse range of options that will (hopefully) appeal to a wide range of budgets. And if not, just remember–everything’s budget-friendly when there’s more of you.
I. Mango Villa - Old World Charm Beckons
Kihim beach, just 100km from Bombay, is a relatively untouched beach located close to Alibaug. Just a short walk off Kihim is this refurbished beach cottage replete with the charms of a bygone era. An abundance of tree cover and plenty of greenery veil a delicately camouflaged petit swimming pool that has the answers to all your problems. This little beach cottage seems perfect for a solo getaway when urban life is getting too much.
II. White Villa - Getting Some Elbow Room
This slick apartment comes across as all edges and corners, a modern mecca symbolising the most elusive commodity in a city like our Mumbai - space. We suggest you get here soon as possible, and just spend a couple of hours revelling in just how much space there is to be had in this sprawling property coming in at a whopping 9, 000 sq ft. Set on a hill top facing a river with an unobscured view of the mountains as well, this fully furnished beauty comes with ensuite bathrooms in each bedroom, and yes there’s air-conditioning everywhere. While the lower bedrooms overlook the pool, the upper rooms each come with a private terrace and views intersected with horizons. The pool’s no stranger to space either - 30 ft in length, it overlooks the garden The sheer number of balconies - not to mention the kind of space that’s been accorded to them - deserve some sort of special celebration - barbeque anyone?
III. Gandhar - Your Personal Eco-lodge
Think thatched roof, and tons of bamboo, stone and pole in architecture. Located amidst a cluster of villages, this getaway will reduce you to tears with the respite it provides you away from the jaws of concrete jungle. The foliage and mattresses laid out in pagoda-type Keep it simple - this homestay has the air of a place that can cleanse you of years of crowded, polluted city life. This is the place for you if you’re looking to connect to loved ones, or just yourself, while at the same time developing a synergy with nature. Just switch your phone off - everything you need is right here.
A 20-acre farm between the Arabian Sea and the Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary, this one’s right on the beach and lets you revel in the greenery and variety of natural life that flourishes within it as you sip a glass of whatever you prefer and watch the sun sink into the body of the sea. This really comes across as the epitome of ‘homestay’, replete with furniture and little knick-knacks that transform a space into something more personal and homely. The cane swing in the ground floor bedroom is guaranteed therapy, and the room from the upstairs one doesn’t sound like it hurts either.
V. Nandan Farms Homestay - The Rustic Charm of the Konkan
Where: Near Sawantwadi town
A 12-acre cashew, coconut, banana and pineapple farm is the backdrop of a Konkani dwelling constituted of mud walls, terracotta tiled roofs and gorgeous wooden beams. 8 hours from Mumbai and 6 hours from Pune, Nandan Homestay is quiet haven for those in search of peace. Vengurla’s beaches are no more than a half an hour drive away, where white sands and hills teeming with cashew, coconut and jackfruit plantations are to be found side by side. If it’s adventure you’re on the lookout for, the Amboli jungles await just an hour away for some nature time. Nandam Homestay comes with two luxurious rooms with bath attachments, windows clad in mosquito nets and clean laundry. What more could you ask for?
VI. Luxury Holiday Farmhouse - The Perpetual Pool Party With A Dog
The poolside kitchen steals the show with this jaw-dropping luxurious spread of a house you just want to own. The massive pool overlooks lush gardens, and this is the perfect place for an intimate get-together, full of cosy seating areas and picturesque views. It even comes with its own labrador! You can call him ‘Sniff’.
VII. Serene Plantation Stay - A Foliage-Fringed Haven
This is quite a feat in eco-tourism, with structures made of dried coconut palms (leaves and branches), a rustic construction that you’re unlikely to have witnessed anywhere else at all, let alone a city. What’s really striking about this homestay is probably how uncontrived it all seems, blending in seamlessly with the picturesque backdrop, soothed by the sound of babbling brooks in the distance. Authentic Malvani cuisine, cooked the traditional way, and water sourced from pure springs are other attractions you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
VIII. Colonial Charm Amid Valley - Heritage At Its Finest
Built in 1897 as a holiday retreat for Sir Jacob Sassoon, this homestay teeming with history was later acquired in 1917 by Mr. Pestonji D. Patel, the famous cotton merchant. Views of mountains and valley rub shoulder in this paradise, an elegant holiday retreat tinged with the breath of nature that is guaranteed to make for one of the most relaxing getaways you’ve had in a while.
IX. A Luxurious Farm Stay - Where Modern Luxuries Meet Old World Charm
15-acres of private land sprawl around this property, cloaked in the charms of a bygone era. Located on the backwaters of Vadivale Dam, this is a great place for long walks or morning runs on the farm, in the backdrop of hills guzzled by a river, all amidst flourishing greenery. At a confluence point of modern luxuries and old-world charm, the farm is a beautiful place for relaxation and adventure alike.
X. A Picturesque Cottage Stay - Why Location is Key
With a spa, pool and a restaurant to boot, the cottages in this homestay are comfortably spaced out for privacy and some much-needed legroom. Located near Pavana lake, the Sahyadri range also graces the views from this vantage point. After you’ve had your share of R&R and want to head out, there’s Mulshi dam that’s not too far off and the ancient Karla caves with Buddhist carvings are also in the vicinity.
XI. Serene Couple’s Retreat - The Weekend In Bed
This unique wood and glass structure houses a single bedroom property that’s the perfect place to spend a weekend in bed at. Equipped with hammocks, a library and yoga mats, this is the perfect tranquil set up for some downtime. Located 20 minutes from Khadakwasla, if you do want to get out and get adventurous at some point, Sinhagad is just over a half hour away.