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

ROMANCING BRUGES

Saunter around cobblestone streets, gaze at the milky white swans swimming in vivid canals or take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage to soak in the bucolic landscapes; just hanging around Bruges makes you want to be in love

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When you think of romantic getaways, you think of candlelit dinners, luxurious, pampering accommodations and long walks on the beach. But some destinations need none of these; just a certain je ne sais quoi about them makes them insanely enchanting. Bruges, the capital of West Flanders, is one such out-of-a-fairytale, dreamy set up. There’s just something in the air here that makes you desperate to hold hands with your partner. Even if you’re one of those least expressive couples, you’re bound to find yourself woo-ing your significant other, when in the beautifully-preserved medieval city.

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