Unlocking Destination Mahabaleshwar with LeMeridien Resort & Spa

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Confession time! I had never visited Mahabaleshwar until November of 2015. One of the most popular getaways for Mumbaikars seemed so close to home that i often shrugged it off, without realizing what i was missing all this while.

My bro often keeps prodding me to explore more of Maharashtra, our home state – for it’s natural beauty and lush Sahyadri ranges flanked by rivers, lakes and beautiful vistas all around.

So when LeMeridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa invited me to check out their brand new property in Mahabaleshwar, i took it as a call i had to answer…

Getting There

We took the most common mode of transport – a shared 4×4. Most of the journey was decent, but the moment we passed Wai, i realized why my bro was such a fan of Maharashtra and specifically Satara. Wai felt like a portal we just entered. Lush green, serene and peaceful expanses and meandering hilly roads (ghaats) that offered quite the spectacle around sundown.

The Property

Surrounded by rare evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa provides a perfect atmosphere of unhurried relaxation.

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At a cooling elevation of 1,430 metres, the chic resort is an ideal place to discover the local destination with a new perspective.

 

The resort consists of 122 well-appointed guestrooms and suites:
69 Classic Forest, 36 Classic Valley, 1 Classic Accessible, 8 Tranquility Suites, 6 Sanctuary Suites and 2 Serenity Suites.

The majestic, virgin views of the valley – especially from their gorgeous infinity pool were my absolute favorite part of this exquisite property.

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… oh, and as for the indoors, the glass door bathroom in my room was my favorite (with retractable curtains of course).

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Cuisine & Dining Options

Flavours, colours and aromas combined. That’s how Le Meridien describes it, and i agree.

Latest Recipe – An interactive all-day dining restaurant that guaranteed a delectable experience with its extensive selection of International cuisine.

The Le Meridien Signature breakfast offers a fine selection of traditional cafe classics enlivened with flavours from local cuisine.

i loved the ‘eye openers’ – Le Meridien’s way of infusing local flavors in drinks. Served as shots over breakfast, i chose the mango + chillli which was a refreshing ‘spice rush’!

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The other interesting creation i stumbled upon was idli + rassa – this savoury-spicy curry is usually served on top of an omelette, but i poured it on my idli mistaking it for sambar. And it was love at first bite… Give it a shot and thank me forever!

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Chingari – Specialty restaurant serving exotic and authentic flavors of North India prepared by creative chefs.

Plunge – Set in a convivial atmosphere by the pool side, Plunge is a great place to much on some savoury canapes and cocktails concocted by expert bartenders.

Longitude 73 – A sophisticated space invites guests to engage in relaxed conversation with friends and fellow travellers over fine coffee and exotic cocktails.

Around Mahabaleshwar & Panchgani

Le Meridien’s promise is to help you ‘unlock’ a destination – and that’s just what we did. From picking strawberries to visiting the local Devrai Arts Village to standing in awe of a 5,000 year old temple overlooking the valley… it opened up the destination to me like i never imagined before.

Strawberry Season

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You can’t visit Mahableshwar and Panchgani and not have strawberries! We were lucky to visit in peak season, and even managed to visit some local farms and pick some ourselves.

The best place to shop for strawberries, mulberries, fudge and other decadent delights of the region is the main market of Panchgani, in and around the Mapro park.

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Anywhere from October to March is a great time to visit – November is perhaps the best, since the valley is lush green and strawberries are in season.

Verdict

A property par excellence, offering exquisite and undivided views of the valley, well appointed rooms and suites, a plethora of delicious dining options, a pool that’s nothing short of Bond’s fantasy and a region that is so naturally and culturally rich – you wouldn’t want to leave! What’s not to like about Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa?

i can’t wait to return and continue exploring the destination they helped me unlock!

Lastly, don’t just take my word for it…
Here’s a review by a friend who recently visited them.

For more information or to book, please visit www.lemeridien.com/mahabaleshwar.

Disclaimer: This trip was made possible by Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa, and i was hosted by the property. Opinions are purely my own.

Exotic Gringo (Kaushal Karkhanis)

Leading an experimental life as a digital nomad, Kaushal started traveling in 2007 while choosing to shuttle between Goa and Mumbai as ‘home’.