A BOHEMIAN GETAWAY IN ALIBAUG

Weekend getaways often work like quick breathers from our monotonous, automated schedules. For the Independence Day (August 15) long weekend, we chose to stay at Bohemyan Blue Stay, Alibaug…

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Here’s an express review of the property: Read more

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TRANSFORM YOUR ATMA-MAN-TAN

buddhaMy husband and I are packing our bags for a four-day break at a newly-opened health retreat near Mulshi Lake, Pune. We are thinking of packing swimwear, laptop for checking office e-mails and kindle so that we can read some e-books by the pool to pass the time. However, we don’t end up reading a single page of any e-book and completely forget about our emails or text messages, or you can say “work”. We both are super busy, but in a very healthy and fulfilling manner. As enthusiastic newcomers to the world of luxury wellness retreats, we happily devote ourselves to the course planned for us, as per expert advice.

IMG_20160602_070611 (2)When I utter the word “luxury”, I don’t mean you’re assigned a chauffeur with a Lamborghini to pick you up from your residence or served with rich, ghee-laden Indian food in plates of silver. Here, opulence is associated with being trained by a highly-skilled fitness expert, treated to authentic massages by master masseurs and offered food that’s loaded with healthy, farm-fresh ingredients. To sum it up, before you head to Atmantan, you must be mentally prepared for a kind of a lifestyle makeover!

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PAMPER YOUR MIND, BODY & SOUL AT HILTON SHILLIM ESTATE RETREAT & SPA

When my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, I said some peace and solitude. So, we opted for a three-day getaway to Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa, near Pawana Lake, a 45-minute drive from Lonavala. Set amidst the breathtaking landscape of the Sahyadri mountain range in the Western Ghats, the 320 acre property offers undisturbed natural beauty, topped with complete seclusion and serenity.

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Since it was a warm summer’s day, it was nice being greeted with a cold, fragrant towel, a glass of fresh juice and some homemade energy bars that instantly helped us regain all the vitality we had lost during the five-hour road journey from Mumbai to Pawana Lake, courtesy the traffic jam at Mumbai-Pune expressway. Yes, our stomachs were growling with hunger and we headed straight for breakfast, obviously a healthy one.

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Post a hearty breakfast, we were escorted to our discreet King Spa Pool Villa – a 205 sq m villa, with a private pool and lawn area as the name suggests – and we were more than delighted to make it our home.

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Apart from offering breathtaking views of the valley from the private deck, the villa featured a sun bed to spend some relaxing time outdoors, a beautiful stone bathtub with candles to amp up the romance factor, outdoor and indoor shower with indulgent bath amenities and, not-to-forget, a royal four poster bed. Clean, contemporary and elegant. Read more

6 THINGS I ENJOYED DOING AT SULA FEST 2016

A weekend at SulaFest was a mega mix of great music, wine, drinks, gourmet food, fashion, shopping and more in idyllic surroundings of the scenic vineyards in Nashik. Here’s every little fun detail for you

(1) SHOPPING AT THE MINI BAZAAR

When there is music, wine and shopping, you don’t really need more! SulaFest had these little shops selling knick-knacks and creative items sprinkled across different areas. I found some hand-painted bottles, antique silver jewellery, hand-embroidered little clutches from Kashmir, pretty Pashmina shawls, colourful ganjis with quirky sayings for both men and women, jootis with ghungrus, dainty and French-like kitchen ware in subtle shades of white and pink and a lot more. Even if you don’t really intend to go back with your hands full of shopping bags, sometimes, it’s just a lot of fun to look around and hunt for interesting stuff.

(2) GRAPE STOMPING, OF COURSE!

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The moment you look at those bunches of grapes lying in a huge wooden barrel, you simply want to kick off your shoes and jump in for some fun. The experience of squishing and squashing fresh grapes with your bare feet and feeling them between your toes is utterly delightful. Plus, grape stomping never fails to be the perfect photo op! This activity at Sula Fest was chargeable at Rs 300 per person for 10 minutes. Had it been cheaper, I would be dancing, sleeping and rolling in that tub full of purple grapes all night.

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I AM GOING ‘GLAMPING IN THE VINEYARDS’!

For a very long time, I am yearning to take a road trip to a camping site and sleep under the enormous sky in the wilderness, where nature is my only alarm clock. I wish to peep out of my cosy tent and soak in the incredible sunrise amid green hills or simply laze around in a hammock. I am day dreaming of nothing but toasty, chocolate-dipped marshmallows and yummy barbecue dinners accompanied by bonfires and late-night acoustic jam sessions.

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The Let’s Camp Out team offers unforgettable, luxurious camping experiences at handpicked idyllic locations including forests, beaches and hills

And when I happened to plan a three-day glamping trip to Sula Vineyards located near the beautiful Godavari river in Nashik, it was almost like the universe had conspired to grant my travel wishes yet again. In fact, an upgraded version of my wishes this time. If you have never heard of glamping, the definition is: Glamorous Camping.Β Glamping was first introduced in early 1900s in European and American safaris as the affluent travellers did not want to sacrifice the comforts and luxuries they were accustomed to. And, the glam quotient cannot get any better. Yes, it’s time to indulge in the harvest season at Sula Fest 2016. I am already doing a happy dance around my living room as I can see myself squishing grapes between my toes, downing glasses of delectable wine, treating myself to the lip-smacking gourmet spread and shopping some pretty, delicate knick-knacks at the little fest bazaar.

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