We visited this place our 2nd time after a gap of almost 3 years in last week of February 2022. With Winter almost fading away, we did not carry any warm clothing except our thin jackets just in case they are needed. I am a Club Mahindra member and we are given the bookings to this resort with payment of nominal differential amount i.e., 1000 INR per person per night per room and by the way of Tariff, our available days inventory is deducted by the number of days we avail our stay at such affiliated resorts. So we were 3 of us and the room being allowed to accommodate only 2 individuals, we paid 800 INR per night which was informed to me when I had called the resort. At the time of check-in, there was some irritating confusion by the way that the person was not aware of the Club Mahindra scheme and hence we had to wait till everything was sorted out. And till that time I was wondering how our trip would progress. However, things started falling in the groove as we checked in to our room.
The resort facility has standard / deluxe rooms that are usually given to the Club Mahindra members and which was absolutely fine to us as we were there just to relax and enjoy the time as we had already done the sight seeing. The rooms have a balcony that overlooks a small lawn area and about 10-15 foot trees that are full of chirping birds in the morning. The resort has provided them with water and food in the bowls / trays / nests or something that resembles their dwellings and they happily visit. Amidst the lawn, there are paved walk ways with special red colored stones that lead to the swimming pool and reception area. The weather, although sunny through out the day, was very much pleasant. The staff is cordial and attends to most your needs. The plants are looked after well and with an emphasis on organic manures and we can see almost every plant even though small, starts flowering / fruiting and the yield is of good quality. The power and water arrangements are very good and have been well managed.
And more importantly, we cannot undermine the food. We mostly get Maharashtrian cuisine in the resort; but that may depend on the occupancy as well. Any kind of roti ordered here is extremely good in taste. The rotis are perfectly round and evenly cooked almost every time. Jowar rotis are soft and full of taste. The subji and special delicacies like pithla and baingan bharta are too good. Owing to less occupancy on certain occassions, the variety of food is limited but whatever is available is very well made and served. Sometimes, there is music played while dinning or there is a Karaoke night as well.
If you choose to see places near by, a visit to Koyna nagar Nehru Udyan is a must see. If you can arrange for a local guide, negotiate with him and he shall show you around as there is just natural beauty and not a particular spot to be. There is also a way you can enjoy local food at their other facility which is a cabin accommodation at Kathi village. Basically, they have furnished the regular transportation containers that are used by trucks and converted their interiors into the rooms and the food in that location is cooked in a rural fashion. While you are sight seeing, you can shop for some locally made papad, achaar, rice and other commodities. If you are a plant lover, ask the management about the local nurseries where you can shop for them.
And not to mention, there is Koyna river that flows just across the road where the resort staff provides you with river-side barbeque facility. The koyna river flowing there is a back-water stream from Koyna dam and is full of biodiversity. Across the river is the Forest area and the resort also makes arrangements for a night safari in case someone wants to be a little adventurous. Likewise, there are other activities arranged as per the season, occupancy and subscriptions.
All in all, even though this is not a very popular destination, it is very serene and filled with precious moments provided by nature. I hope you find this review helpful and make plans to visit this place.
Stayed with husband and 21 year son in the Selections Pool Cottage in February 22. Having been to similar rated properties found this one outstanding - prompt friendly service, spacious rooms, good food. Cottage itself was a pleasant surprise with a two bed room and private pool for another person without having to put up with the inconvenience of a folding bed etc. Had a great time simply chilling in the room and lawns, though plush and green. We all enjoyed the night safari experience it was actually something different.
I stayed at forest escapes with my wife and Son for 1 night. You start getting good vibes about this place right from the entrance gate and the stone pathway leading to reception.
Check in was bit delayed due to the late checkout by previous guests. But everything after that was smooth. Room was spacious. It had a living area with sofa cum Bed set, writing desk and chair, TV. The terrace attached to the room was spacious and presented us the view of nature outside. Bedroom had a king bed and AC along with a small balcony behind. Bathroom was spacious and clean with 24hrs hot and cold water. There is a separate small swimming pool for Magnolia Rooms and we enjoyed swimming in it.
Entire resort is well laid out with stone pathways, trees and multiple stay options. Cleanliness is very good and they have provided sanitizers in various areas. Area near deluxe rooms had a lawn and the bigger swimming pool. Indoor Games rooms was also in this area and they have provided carrom, Table Tennis, Kids area. Along with this, badminton rackets and shuttles are available. They have many indoor activities like archery, farm visit, documentary on Koyna, Karaoke night, nature walk in morning etc..
Restaurant is adjacent to reception area. You get a good view of nature outside and it is good experience to have a food in airy and well lit area. Food served is tasty and portion is also good. You can opt for Buffet or Ala Carte. Some of the food items are a bit expensive though. You can also opt for a paid barbeque in your room. Bar option is also available just below restaurant.
Entire staff is polite, cooperative and always there to help you. Mr.Pankaj and entire staff provide nice service to guests.
All in all, it was nice experience and if you are looking for a nature resort within 3-4 hour drive from Pune then this suits your requirement. Tariff is a bit expensive in my opinion but if you ok with rates then this place is excellent option.
Note: Around 20 km patch of the rood approaching Koynanagar and resort (for those coming from Karad, Umbraj side) is very bad in patches and few kilometers are of concrete.
We were 3 couples who stayed in Forest Villa for 3 nights in end October. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The Villa provided the right amount of privacy to us while within the Villa we had ours too since the rooms are well separated.
The rooms are well appointed and have all the amenities. The food at the Restaurant was always good, placing order in advance ensured that the food was ready to be served when we reached. We even enjoyed Barbeque one evening, which was a delight.
The morning and evening walks were very enjoyable, a variety of birds were visible and were well explained by the staff.
The location of the rooms is such that there is a requirement of walking on steep inclines and steps, those going there should be prepared for it.
The private pool is a great value addition, although the water was relatively cold, we managed to enjoy the pool for some time.
The Staff is very responsive and polite.
All in all, we had a very enjoyable stay at the Forest Escapes
1. Good parking space. However if you have someone old with walking problems then please note that there's a steep gradient if you're staying either in pool villa, pool cottage, plumeria or Magnolia to walk to reception / dining area. But if you're in regular rooms then nothing to worry.
2. Staff is courteous and very helpful. They aren't some graduates from hotel management but much much better in service and food quality because they simply care for you!
3. They've activities like archery, billiards, carrom, badminton, table tennis, swimming and are available subject to pandemic norms.
4. If you're for business, vodafone and jio works. Nothing else.
5. When you check in, please check if the intercom (phone) is working.
6. Carry a stick with you while walking - friendly dogs, not so friendly snakes, if you're lucky then a peacock or two and some occasional growls in the night - but overall it's safe and this is exactly what some of us would desire
7. Enjoy climbing up on their machan which is in front of Magnolia rooms (for photography lovers this is your spot)
8. Hope these pointers help you plan your trip here.