August has given us two consecutive long weekends and we are not complaining. So why not make the best use of it and escape to a place away from work-life stress and all the hustle and bustle? To a place where you can observe cloud-laden hills and lush greenery, where the only sound you hear is that of sweet chirping birds or a tropical getaway with palm trees swaying gently in the wind. Insta stories featuring low fi versions of songs and droplets of water, you know the drill. Wondering where to head and need some recommendations? We make it easy for you with 10 relaxing getaways and staycations for the coming long weekends.
1. Oleander Farms, Karjat
If you’ve ever been to Saltt Karjat and always wished for rooms to be built there so that you can enjoy the picturesque and serene property a tad bit more, there’s good news for you. The owners have answered your prayers with the launch of Oleander Farms, a getaway resort in laps of nature. Experience comfort and luxury in the lakeside, poolside or lawnside view rooms. A larger group can opt for the 3-bedroom villa, which comes with the ancestral history of the owners. It was the very first house built on the land and has been revamped to offer that same homely vibe. The villa is surrounded by gardens and trees planted over 3 decades ago in addition. What’s more? Multiple culinary options to satiate your cravings through the multi-cuisine restaurant Saltt, a coffee house for breakfast and healthy meals, a brewery for beer connoisseurs and an upcoming Pan-Asian restaurant. Fashion enthusiasts can shop from the in-house retail outlet Akashii for sustainable clothes, kids can choose from world-class imported chocolates at Cococart, wine lovers can spend some time at Vintage wines (the in-house wine store bringing wines from across the globe) and plant parents can take a little souvenir back home from the homegrown nursery, Kensho greenery.
2. Jehan Numa Palace, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Having been ruled by the powerful women of the royal family for over 400 years, Bhopal is popularly known as ‘The land of the Begums’. One of the key philosophies of the Beghums was to preserve the city’s environment and cultural heritage, and the people behind the Jehan Numa Palace carry this philosophy being their direct descendants. The palace is now a regal stay for you, standing at the foot of Shyamla Hills with sweeping views of the city. Built by the last son of the Begum, General Obaidullah Khan in the early 19th century, the Palace beautifully captures the family’s legacy and history of Bhopal and the royal’s way of life. So expect nothing short of royal treatment here. Heritage rooms open onto balconies with views of the royal stables and racecourse–the undeterred love for horses has been a significant legacy in the family. Treat yourself to the royal Bhopali cuisine with dishes created using centuries-old recipes, besides global, modern culinary offerings. And if you fancy history, you’ll like spending some time at The Jehan Numa Museum located in the central courtyard that tells the story of Bhopal and the Royal Family.
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3. Amrapali House Of Grace, Goa
One might not consider Goa during the monsoon. But there’s so much more to Goa than its sand and sea, and party scene. During this season, Goa is surrounded by greenery. There are so many charming spots and stays that you can visit during this time–it will give you a peek at the different sides of the state. And if you’re someone who loves to be amidst green pastures and appreciates architecture, you will love this boutique hotel stay, which is a restored, 100-year-old Portuguese house on the banks of the Zuari river. Amrapali House of Grace screams grandeur with its range of expansive stay-ins from a glass house and a Moroccan-themed villa (both with private pools) to quaint rooms with vintage-themed decor. Spend tea time around the pool for a front seat to the orchestra of tropical birdsong or sunset on the waterfront verandah with a breeze laden with the fragrance of jasmine. You can also indulge in a dining experience that offers local and international flavours as well as the lavish breakfast spread, which is a crowd favourite here. Amrapali House of Grace is a home away from home–one that will give immense tranquillity and positive vibes.
4. Sage Cottage, Uttarakhand
Tucked away amidst Jagalia Gaon’s hills, lakes and forests is this charming boutique homestay. The only sound you’ll hear is that of a Himalayan monal (a bird) and the view you’ll wake up to is the scenic Bhopal range. The three-bedroom stay with cosy furniture and large glass windows can accommodate a group of five. The kitchen has everything for you to prepare your own meal but of course, there’s also a cook who will whip up warm, comforting food for you. You can either choose to roam around the garden with bright flowers or spend some time by the fireplace with a book from the bookshelf and a hot cuppa. Nature enthusiasts can head out for treks and trails from choosing to go on a picnic to a nearby pine forest or walking towards the Naukluchiatal Lake where you can watch the beautiful sunset.
5. Chittoor Kottaram, Kerala
A mystical boat ride through the Kerela backwaters waters will lead you to a royal mansion, one that is surrounded with palm trees and gardens, and was once the humble abode of the King 200 years ago. The heritage hotel still retains that sense of splendour and serenity for which it was originally made. The royal caretaker enlighten you with anecdotes and stories of the Palace as you take a tour of it. Single-key mansions await you for a private and luxurious stay. Your living quarters are dotted with wooden windows, a beautiful verandah and a backyard to sit back, relax and enjoy the gorgeous greens and waters. And let’s not forget the Kerala specialities that come from the kitchens here–it is carefully planned and personalised to suit your tastes and dietary needs.
6. Dolkhar, Leh, Ladakh
Although it is located in Tukcha (at the heart of the main town Leh), Dholkar still offers that serene seclusion from the busy streets but is not too far away from the main city for you to access it. The sustainable villas made from local materials exude a raw and rugged feel while still making you feel at home. Wake up in rooms with stone walls that are similar in the colour to Ladakh’s multi-coloured mountains. Bask in the rabsal balcony of your private villa balcony with a cup of tea and book while taking a moment to appreciate the breathtaking landscape. The team here also gives you the opportunity to get familiar with the local lifestyle and culture. Savour freshly prepared Ladakhi meals at the villa’s restaurant Tsas by Dholkar, which means kitchen garden in Ladakhi language. The menu incorporates produce from Dolkhar’s kitchen garden and local, ethical, sustainable producers. If you have an appreciation for art, the team can help you get closer to Leh’s craft. Visit women of Kharnakling who are known for the refined textile Craft in sheep wool, pashmina and yak wool, immerse yourself in a pottery workshop on the property, or go on a day trip to Chilling or a short trek to Sumdha, a village of metal workers. You’ll not only leave Dolkhar feeling relaxed and nourished but after all those artsy trips, you might just discover your new hobby.
1. Fairfield by Marriott Mumbai
Don’t feel like getting away from the city but still want to relax somewhere? That’s what staycations are for and a new hotel in Mumbai awaits you. Fairfield by Marriott Mumbai is a great spot to chill in its spacious executive rooms or the luxurious presidential suites that offer a runway view. The in-house restaurant Mado Mado features local delicacies, global cuisine and interactive live stations, for you to indulge in gastronomical delights. If you’re planning to go during the Independence Day long weekend then you can devour the special Independence Day brunch with a spread of 75 items to celebrate 75 years of independence. You can also unwind with drinks and intimate music at Bisou or the rooftop infinity pool with a view of the runway. When you’re in need of some munchies to satisfy your cravings in between, you can head downstairs to The Market, the 24-hour food & beverage pantry with products sold on MRP.
2. The Hilton Bengaluru
This new business hotel is combined with the Hilton Convention Centre next door and the neighbouring Hilton Garden Inn, making this the group’s first dual-branded property in India. Although the new Hilton property is mostly for corporates, it has many amenities and services that still make it a haven for a much-needed break. Elegantly designed rooms come with gorgeous city views and the suites feature a separate living area, a pantry and expansive bathrooms. There are lots to do within the hotel too. Take a dip in the temperature-controlled pool, unwind yourself at the spa or read a book at the cosy library. Devour authentic South Indian meals at the dinner-on restaurant Neer which offers authentic South-Indian preparations and is shared between both Hilton properties. You can also head to Neo Kitchen for brunch where a magician and some live music serve as entertainment. Choose from a range of delectable cocktails available at the hotel’s bar, Double Up, which is run by an all-women team.
3. ITC Narmada, Ahmedabad
As the name suggests, the new ITC Narmada draws inspiration from the Narmada river along with the architecture and culture of Gujarat. The hotel’s facade borrows influence from the 12th-century carved columns in Toran, Vadnagar; the atrium’s step wall design celebrates the architectural wonder Adalaj Ni Vav, and the river Narmada is depicted in the form of a waterfall in the centre of the atrium. While the hotel is big on design and architecture, it pays equal attention to a lavish stay. Choose from an option of three kinds of spacious rooms or a deluxe suite, each giving ample comfort and peace. Then go an indulgent culinary spree with multiple dining options–Adalaj Pavillion for regional Indian and global delicacies, Peshawari for food from the North-West frontier, Yi Jing for Pan-Asian cuisine, Royal Vega that offers vegetarian meals from the erstwhile royal kitchens of India and Fabelle – The Chocolate Boutique for sinful chocolates. What’s more? A large pool that invites you for a dive in and a holistic spa that puts you in the zen mode.
4. JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa
Had many plans for the long weekend but all of them fell through? Fret not, if you are in Bengaluru, check into the JW Marriott Bengaluru Prestige Golfshire Resort & Spa where you can enjoy an added one day complimentary stay when they book for two days, with their ‘Stay for 3 Nights, Pay for 2’ offer that is available only for a limited period. The luxury resort offers its guests beautiful views of Nandi Hills. The offer comes with complimentary breakfast, a dip in the temperature-controlled lagoon pool or even choose to spend time at the yoga terrace while soaking in a gorgeous sunrise. The resort hosts varied fun activities which includes magic shows for kids, family canvas painting, kite flying in addition to ‘Halli Katte’, a local high tea experience, and a complimentary access to fully loaded entertainment zone with select games included and a Family by JW children’s club with interactive activities, a certified nanny to take care of your tiny tots. Book us in.