Traffic. Loud screeching noises. Your face in someone’s armpit. Mumbai may be our hometown, and we love it but it can be too crowded and chaotic even for us sometimes – especially in the slick summer heat. So when we found out we could drive 2-hours away (an hour and 45mins, if you leave early enough) to enjoy ten acres of seclusion, spa sessions and silence at Anchaviyo Resort – we jumped in a car and took off. In the Palghar district of Maharshtra, its strategic location through a nearly 7km long isolated path of vegetation makes it an ideal hidden, yet accessible gem.
Room(s) with a view
We arrived on a sultry Saturday morning, and discovered the resort is vast, and rooms and amenities are littered across the property (not in one corporate-like building) – meaning we had to be dropped to our rooms in a snazzy little e-rickshaw. And thank god we did, because whilst its lush greenery and open-plan style make it gorgeous to look at, it means you’re exposed to kinds of weather – in the Maharashtrian summer, that means high temperatures. Whilst the accommodation includes igloos, chalets, mud houses, log cabins and tents (the most basic category) – we picked the Igloo and the utterly adorable Traveller’s Cabin.
Ice, ice baby
The former, set almost 3-storeys high, is a cool concept and offers endless views of the resort – a bathroom larger than the room (perks for us Mumbai-folk) with a crazy view meant we spent more time in the tub! The only drawback is if you’re sharing the igloo room with a roommate, the design concept keeps its size smaller than the average double bedroom.
Around the world
The Traveller’s Cabin on the other hand, with its own little garden (and giant iguana/ chameleon lizard for company), views of the river and travel the world memorabilia was perfect for us. Remember, you’re here to revel in the lap of mother nature – so enjoy the birds, bees and bugs you’ll inadvertently cross paths with as the rooms are set all over the property, interspersed with a bunch of cute corners (river-facing swing, we’re looking at you). Allegedly designed by the owners themselves, the interiors are subtle, wood-accented and thematic (see our image of the Traveller’s Cabin for reference) and urge you to spend time in the property – just enjoying the prettiness. One of our favourite spots was the yoga deck, overlooking the river – while we may not have gone beyond Savasana, we did rather enjoy the sunset views from the top.
Food for thought
A stay at Anchaviyo is inclusive of breakfast but its seclusion means it makes the most sense to eat all your meals within the resort – and the food doesn’t disappoint. Whether you want to make the most of room service, enjoy a romantic breakfast in the gazebo or go old-school in the dining area, the breakfast spread of everything from muffins, croissants to Indian classics, was our favourite meal of the day. Chef Santosh (who has worked in Mumbai before) went out of his way to impress our carnivores’ hearts, with their all-vegetarian menu – and his breakfast spread stole our greedy little hearts (who can resist tea cakes and muffins for breakfast?). From Chinese, Italian to Indian favourites of the menu – the food is fresh, simply made and home-style. However, our favourite favourite part of the menu!? The 12am-5am midnight munchies. Come on, we cannot be the only ones who like our Maggi fix in the dead of the dark!
We’re going to be real – when we travel far and wide, we’re all up for adventure – think hikes, treks and budget living. But if we’re going 2-hours away from Mumbai for a short weekend getaway, we prefer living in the lap of luxury – think spa sessions and swim time. At Anchaviyo, we got the chance to do both – whilst the rooms are ideal to lounge in (and lounge we did), and the river-facing swimming pool a gorgeous spot to enjoy mojitos in, there’s a host of activities available. From paddle boat to speed boat rides, kayaking to ATV riding and Segway rides – honestly, a weekend wasn’t enough to squeeze in everything we wanted to do so we stuck to ATV-riding on the dirt track and kayaking just before sunset. It may have just been a quick getaway and over way way too soon, but the few hours of no traffic noises, and just the overarching silence of nature – not to mention the beautiful towering mango, chikoo and guava trees and endless river views were just what your over-worked GYG girls needed. Now, we do wonder what those Igloo views would be like with the rain clouds overhead… as the mist takes over the gorgeous property, perhaps giving us a whole new perspective? Anchaviyo.com
Location: Palghar, Maharashtra
Getting there: Easily accessible via road from Mumbai city (less than 2.5 hours)
Best time to visit: Summer for the activities, monsoon for the weather, Winter for the activities and slightly pleasant weather.