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“go before everyone else discovers this place”
Review of The Machan

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The Machan
Ranked #4 of 67 Hotels in Lonavala
Certificate of Excellence
mumbai
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“go before everyone else discovers this place”
Reviewed 27 August 2010

It took us just 2 1/2 hours from Mumbai to discover this entirely different universe. I cannot have enough good things to say about The Machan. From the moment I called to make enquiries about a booking, the service and attention to detail has been exceptional. The tree canopies are unique, beautifully laid out, thoughtfully planned and have super bathrooms. But what really struck us was the warmth and graciousness that was the hallmark of our stay here. There are many beautiful properties/hotels around the world, but it takes a special effort to make your visitors feel like guests. Varun and Sanath, the owners spend 3-4 days a week here and their personal attention to detail reflects in everything at the resort. Expect rustic luxury & delicious, simple, home style cooking. Don't miss their yummy masala chai. Order it in room service and sip it while overlooking the entire forest and valley. They've just got a young, enthusiastic naturalist, Naval, who took us and our two young kids on a nature walk through their 25 acre property. Our kids just loved checking out the baby millipedes, baby crabs, the spider lillies and wading through the ankle deep streams that criss cross the property. We went during the rainy season which was superb but were told that the weather and the stars during winter are also spectacular. They are also one of the rarer eco resorts that try to generate their own energy, both solar and wind.
We are going to be dreaming about the view from T-1, our room 30 feet in the sky as the mists drifted past ... for a very long time!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Peripatethic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (279)
Date | Rating
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English first
Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
33 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2010

I discovered this property on the net and decided to celebrate our anniversary with three more couple friends. We wanted to book this place only for one night but the owners insisted that they would not give for less than two nights. Since the property looked very exclusive though expensive i booked it for two nights for 3 couples since one couple dropped off!!! at Rs.50,000 for two nights for 3 couples. I personally went home to hand over the advance and felt very assured as the owners promised that we would get the best in terms of great service , food, views, and that this weekend getaway would be a memorable one.
However after a few days ..our booking for the second night was cancelled due to some confusion ( which was not there) and i was not even informed.!!! A few days before i happened to call them to take the directions to reach there and i was informed that i had booking for only one day!!! and not two!!!and that my envelope with half refund was ready and that i could collect it whenever i wanted!!!!this was disgusting.... they had my phone no and my email id.... why did they not inform me on the day when they chose to cancel my booking.....anyway after some argument they helped me and co-operated by the fact that if i wanted i could take the whole refund back!!!!
Since it was a prime weekend--- monsoons + 15th august weekend and i had already promised my friends about this awesome property... and well i was looking initially for one night ,,,i agreed to take the booking only for one night ( 13th aug) .
The weather was perfect and the drive to lonavla and machan was amazingly beautiful and with great excitement we reached Machan.
We were greeted in a very friendly way by the care takers and they promptly got our bags and showed us into this nice looking bunglow hung high on a mountain top amidst lush green forest and the excitement mounted and i felt great for having made plans for my friends at such an exclusive property.Yes for things like this you always pay higher...no problem....
But just as we tried to settle in joy...in came the welcome drink ..glasses of cold drink which was not cold....never mind ... who cares ....forget the cold drink... the weather demands hot cups of tea and coffee.... we loked around for tea maker and there was none... so we looked around for a bell to call some attendant... no bell...so one of went out and yelled out and well soon a half trained sort of a person came in a gave us the menu card.... and we ordered for hot masala tea...The tea sure came in after half an hour not soo hot and no masala....but we were high on our spirits...so never mind.... who cares the weather was great and the view greater...after gazing for an hour from the balconies...we decided to put the bags in our respective rooms....but hey there were only two bedrooms both with no attached bathrooms and one bed was in the living area,,,with a small see thru wooden partition...My heart sank a bit but i made it up by offering the two bedrooms to both our other couple friends and i decided on the living room.... thats okay...as long as we have a lovely time who cares ...for a little discomfort... so what if on my anniversary...i sleep in an open living room!!!!
But our high excitement declined every minute sooo fast... when we saw that there were not enough towels and napkins for 6 people, that there were so many mosquitoes and no good night or any other type of repelent,only an almost used odomos creme in the bathroom. that there was no network and we were not informed,that we should not put on lights as electricity was a major problem, no candles. no lanterns .....
For every small help --one of us had to go out and yell for help... and when we told them that this was getting disgusting..than we were given a temple bell....to ring each time we needed help...
We wanted to go out for a stroll... but we didnt know where we could keep our wallets as there were no safes and a few cupboards here and there had either no keys or they had untidely some owners belongings!!!!
Any ways we all tucked in our cash here and there and it took a while to change as there was no dressing room or any closet...what with friends in the living room... we had to change in the washrooms.... i wondered how and were would they fit in the 4th couple if at all they would come!!!!
The jungle trail( the only activity) was sooo badly full with mosquitoes that we returned half way...
We decided to play cards..on the top most area of the Machan...but they managed only chairs and no table ..so we decided to settle down with drinks and cards on the dining table...and help ourselves with the titbits that we had carried...yes it was fun...alright ....why complain for small things...
Than comes dinner time...we were enjoying our session of cards and drinks...but the staff insisted that we must have dinner at 9.30.... no way....so they agreed last on 10.30....good enough...and we told the staff to make our daal with onion and tadka and keep the food spicy and hot...
But the dinner was sooo disappointing.....the daal was cold and blend, the paneer looked pathetic, the sukha aloo gobhi was manageable, and the falkas were all pre made and were without and ghee and were served in a casaroll.... in dessert there was kheer .. do we call it kheer as it was boiled rice in milk!!!! This was surely not we were promised..... But we had some stuff with us so we managed.... and the salad that we asked for ....was charged in our bill!!!! though at the time of booking i had specified that it was our anniversary and a cake was promised there was no cake..... AND IT WAS THE POOREST DINNER WITH WHAT I TREATED MY FRIENDS!!!
By this time our rooms were stormed with all types of moths and flying insexts and we were terrified to go to bed as there were no mosquito nets on the beds....
We have stayed so many times in forest properties in south africa and thailand....but they always make an amazing atmostphere...what with candles and lanterns and incense and nets and fruit baskets and flowers etc... etc...
The excitement and now turned into utter disappointment.... the care takers had not guided us with any switches ...so it took us a while to firstly put on the lights and than to put them off...
The breakfast was disgusting... cold toast with not so fresh butter, alooparathas with no masala that were premade, the curd was thin, the pava was cancelled because we asked for parathas, no fruits.... and masala tea with no masala....
The kitchenet outside the room was messy and wet in case we decided to help ourself!!!
At the end of our one day stay we summarised... what was so amazing about the location? we have stayed in far better properties in lonavla facing the pawna lake, at less than half the price and much better food...
At the end of the stay we felt a bit fleeced...the food was sooo basic the service so unprofessional, zero activity, nature gazing yes...but toooo many mosquitoes....all in all not worth at all for the price... tooo expensive .....and not recommendable at all....never again.....

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank KALPANA003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheMachan, Manager at The Machan, responded to this review, 29 August 2010
Dear Kalpana,
Thank you very much for taking out the time to visit us. We're rather disappointed that you had an experience that varied greatly from what our other guests have had. For this we apologise.
We personally took the time out to analyse the gaps in our service and facilities that you pointed out. The kheer was not up to the mark during the evening you spent with us and we have rectified the same.
That being said, it is our duty to point out that the majority of your facts right from our first personal interaction with you during the booking process to when you cancelled your reservation with us due to an unforeseeable event in your friend's family (for which we provided you a full refund) are grossly misrepresented in your text above.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai, India
1 review
Reviewed 4 August 2010

Awesome location close to Mumbai, homely food, comfortable stay, but tents are shaky during heavy rains or wind, nevertheless worth a visit.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank katrulez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2010

I heard of this place through a friend, and now I owe this friend one huge favour! My husband and I stayed here for one night, and we really wished we could have stayed longer. The place is incredible!! Beautifully appointed room (turn of the century gas lamps modified to fit CFL bulbs were my favourite), super comfortable bed, luxurious bathroom, huge veranda with breathtaking views and an amazingly gorgeous property! The Machan is definitely amongst the best hotels we have ever stayed in and certainly scores very high on the romantic scale - imagine sipping a glass of wine on the veranda while clouds literally surround you! A special mention has to be made of the hospitality of this place - not only is the staff super friendly, courteous and helpful, the owners of the place themselves go to all pains to make sure you are extremely well taken care of. They took us on several walks of the property, explaining all sorts of things about the property, the streams, the vegetation, the animals around.. And the best part? These guys are doing everything possible to be as eco friendly as they can - solar and wind power, afforestation, the works. The food was brilliant as was room service. I highly recommend this place to every person with a sense of adventure and fun. This place is much less a hotel and much more a 5 star tent facility. We can't wait to go back here post the monsoon season when they take you trekking up the hills around the property.

One last comment - This place is truly for people who appreciate and enjoy privacy, nature and class. No offence, but if you're looking for a large commercial type establishment serving you 5 different kinds of cuisine, then you're knocking on the wrong door.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Travelgirl2583
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 July 2010

This is to the whole team at The Machan for giving us a spellbinding experience and we cannot thank you enough for the pleasurable hospitality.

Foremost it’s such an inspiring fact to know about someone who can bring a dream of a place to reality and the owner’s efforts and vision are deeply commendable.

Please have the originality, nativity, and purity of this lovely place intact and I am sure there will be an ever greater a queue of happy visitors like us (and the publicists!).

Thank you and wishing you the very best.

- Kalyan and Family.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KalyanK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Machan

Property: The Machan
Address: 8 km Short of Aamby Valley, Lonavala, India (Formerly The Machan & Camp Canopy)
Phone Number:
Region: India > Maharashtra > Pune District > Lonavala
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Lonavala
#3 Spa Hotel in Lonavala
Price range (per night): ₹ 8,526 - ₹ 18,990
Hotel Class:3 star — The Machan 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An award-winning eco-resort in Lonavala. The Machan is a story of dwellings that rise above the forest floor and form a symbiotic relationship with their natural surroundings. All of its individual accommodations are floating in the air, with enchanting views and elegant rustic interiors. Its carbon footprint is minimal - with its energy generated solely through solar and wind. Located in Jambulne, one of 25 biological hotspots of the world and a mere 2.5 Drive from Mumbai (1.5 Hours from Pune), the Machan makes for an accessible weekend getaway. We invite you to take some time away from work and immerse yourself in this one of a kind experience. Reconnect with family, friends and loved ones in the comfort and privacy of this truly exclusive retreat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Machan Lonavala

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