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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We had booked a starlight machan which comes with a swimming pool and a skylight. We were shown how to open the skylight and told to open it after 9 pm at night as the insects would have found their nest to roost by then. But when we tried to open it at 10 pm, it would simply not open!

So the technician was called and he said that there was a major problem and they couldn't do anything till morning. But we had to checkout in the morning and the entire experience was ruined! Also, they could not even reach the incharge of the place as he would not pick up his calls at night.

We had paid 30,000 for this particular machan, and its main skylight feature wasn't working! We were damn pissed. And even if there was an issue that it wasn't working, they did not provide us with another machan or refund us part of the money as a solution.

When we spoke with the general manager in the morning, he was unhelpful and quite arrogant about it. Instead of providing a proactive solution or even acknowledging his mistake, he rudely told us to be "only happy with the vibe we experienced of the place"

In fact, he turned quite preachy and said that it's not about "the lodging here" and that the skylight is "unique machinery" that may or may not work. Oh really? Then maybe you shouldn't be offering different styles of machans (along with machinery that doesn't work) at such expensive rates!

Another thing I noticed that his words and actions didn't make any sense! When my partner told him that the whole point of the skylight was that we could sleep under the stars at night (atleast for an hour), he had The Gall To Laugh Right In Our Faces!

(Let's look at what the website description says of The Starlight Machan -
"Bringing the ancient concept of a "star bed" to the modern era, our luxurious Starlight Machans have a translucent, retractable roof for guests to enjoy the pitter-patter of the rains in the Monsoons and the starry night sky in the Winters & Summers.")


After arguing with him, he finally waived off our food expense bill which amounted to around 3000 rupees as "settlement" But we were still not happy with his arrogant attitude and the frustration we had felt when there was no one around to help us at night.

Furthermore, we noticed later that the machan itself had minor defects like a broken table, broken bathroom stand and such. So, it looks like the the machan wasn't maintained well as well.

Overall - Location might be great, but if the service and hospitality is so bad, then what's the point of going to such a place? I would recommend to avoid this place for sure.

Date of stay: November 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
3  Thank jo_keswani
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TM General Manager, General Manager at The Machan, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Please refer to the response to "ShreyasJoshi" as this is a duplicate review put by you.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Location:
We went in mid November and the location looked very beautiful with cool weather and greenery everywhere. Even the trip from Lonavala main city to the Atvan village itself is very scenic. The property is surrounded by jungle and is part of jungle itself with fences ensuring that no unwanted wild life enters the property.

The Lodging:
We took a starlight machan. This machan has a two bedrooms with decks/balconies. The upper deck has a single person bathtub. There feels little privacy though to use the bathtub as your neighboring two machans will be visible from the deck. You could use it with swimsuit on though. The upper room has an open roof bath with commode and the washbasin indoors. A nice setup so that you don't have to worry about bugs creeping into the washroom. We mostly used the second washroom and bath on below room as we saw a big spider and a tiny frog in our upper room bath. The Machan also has a good plunge pool with water above waist level we swam a lot and had great fun here. The pool is good for 4 people and the water was warm and clean as well.

The Property:
They have maintained a good garden and walkable paths through it with a few seating areas and hammocks. The also have a very small butterfly garden. If you are lucky best visit it in the early morning. The rest of the property is a jungle of various different kind of trees and there is walking path through it where the guided nature walk takes place. Be sure that this is a jungle and you will find wild life at some or the other point. We saw a snake about 3 foot long casually gliding across the property garden when we were roaming around. When we asked the surrounding staff they said that there are bigger snakes too.

Things to do:
We had gone for a night stay and after the lunch we straight away went for a swim in our pool. We had booked a nature walk by 5pm for a nominal fees of 100 per person plus taxes. The walk is a bit of mini excursion as it involves climbing up and down a lot and the path takes you across multiple streams, through some dense jungle part and finally to a sunset point. We missed the sunset though as the walk started a bit late. Do carry a water bottle though as you will sweat a lot. We found the nature walk worth it. They also offer free yoga session and documentary screening which we opted out of.

The Service:
The Machan felt to be short staffed and pretty unprofessional in service. The inhouse dining took about an hour to deliver food as they were bogged down by orders. Also when asked to take away our plates we were instructed to keep our empty plates outside besides our door and they would take it away - which was still lying around our door till the time we were checking out.
Our Machan had a retractable roof but the mechanism didn't work when we tried to open it (somewhere around 10.30-11.00 pm). we called the reception and they sent out someone to check on it. The Technician checked the rooftop mechanism and informed as that some major issue was there and that they would only be able to fix it in the morning. When we asked at the reception to have us a room change or for any other solution they just said that the reception is closed and nobody will be able to respond to us till the next morning. Now the starlight is the most expensive accommodation of the machan and it is called starlight because you are able to retract the roof at night and see the night sky. Imagine how worst it is when the management is unavailable when such a major issue is present. So we had to sleep off disappointed that the thing we payed for is not available. But this is not even the worst of the experience. The worst happened the next day.
As we went for our breakfast next day we met with Vikrant Jharia the General Manager at the property and the conversation that transpired was really the worst hospitality we have seen till date. When we tried to tell him about the issue all he had to say was how unfortunate it was. When we tried telling him that we are very disappointed in the service he ranted on the N number of decades of the Machan and the efforts they put into maintaining the forest and all. But what he would not listen is how that didn't matter if we have paid for the service which we did not get. He was so blatant as to say that "the machan is about the good vibes and not about the lodging" - now why would you charge such an exorbitant price for the starlight if it wasn't about the lodging, could have charged the same as any other machan(which is about 10k less). He continued on to say how we were the ones who were having a negative vide and to leave the negativity and enjoy the stay. He also went on saying that they have worked decades on the property and we just merely go there and pay some amount for the stay in the property. What he doesn't get is that we have worked hard to earn the money we are spending in the Machan and that the arrogance he has for the Machan is not going to make do with loss we faced. He then went ahead saying that we should have opened the roof sooner in the day and that insect would come at night - When we checked in, the staff that showed us the room explicitly specified that to open the roof after 9pm as insects would not come in. To which he went on saying why even open the roof at night. When we said "to sleep under the open sky", he started laughing. I don't see the humor there, how you could laugh at your customer for the very thing you are selling. After this humiliating bit he went ahead saying that they could have opened the roof manually us - Yes for each of our want to open/close the roof we would then have to call the technician all the way from wherever he is and wait and dump the privacy you get at night - no thanks.
For all the disappointment, humiliation, frustration that we had to go through they dropped all the pending charges for food and activity which was less than 4K - Not much considering the cost of THE LODGING.
All I have to say about the upper management is that they are very rude, arrogant and no sense of responsibility. Their attitude is "sorry for your loss but we didn't do any mistake". They will rant away with all the long history of the Machan without a care that there customers hard earned money.

Food & Beverages:
We had non veg lunch buffet over at Machan. The food was good but definitely overpriced. I have stayed at places where they prepare locally sourced food. And local sourcing actually reduces price not increase it. We had in-house dining for dinner which was also way overpriced. If ever you want to visit this place the best thing would be to carry your own food if you can. The dining area also is smaller and you would have to struggle to find seats.

My Take:
I will not visit this property again. It does not have much to offer. There are properties which would offer a great deal more for the same price - nature, tranquility as well as service. I have lived in 5 star hotels and have lived in the most nature exposed camps. This property tries to have a take on both but fails due to bad service.

My suggestions to The Machan:
Value each customer. Things go wrong - I get it - but that's what management is for - to handle the situation when things go wrong. We are not expecting a 5 star service but you are not a small camping establishment either.
Try to increase the staffing - mostly the reception ones who are directly in connect with customers.
Replace the cloth hammocks in the Machan with rope ones as the cloth ones accumulate a lot of dust and leaves. - if they are not present still its okay.

Room tip: Starlight is not worth it. Room changes is not possible if anything is amiss.
Date of stay: November 2021
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank ShreyasJoshi
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TM General Manager, General Manager at The Machan, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Dear "ShreyasJoshi"

At the very outset I do apologise for the malfunction of the roof and we did at multiple times expressed this to you.

However, it is with a lot of dissappointment that I see such a review from you after you were offered a recovery for one mal-function of the roof and that was a fair one. You also resorted to put up two reviews seperately. We offered to rectify it in the morning but you denied. Over and above waiving off all your food and incidental charges and duly apologised, we only attemoted to guided you on what is that you should undertand that you have gained from here. Not everyone underetands that unless told.


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The machaan makes a poor effort at being a luxurious resort and no effort at being a tree house resort which it claims to be one. We stayed at the forest plus machaan number 5, and lucky us that we chose to stay just one night. The beds were squeaky, bathtubs unclean, bathrooms unclean (the one at the reception so bad that I had to wait until we got ours which wasn't clean too), kettle broken, unclean cups, and the list goes on. Forget covid protocols, wonder how they even do their basic cleaning if bathtubs bathrooms and cups themselves are so poorly maintained.
The reception being poor in responding to crisis that one can call them to fix something as basic as providing a functioning kettle, and be assured that after numerous calls and false promises like give me seven minutes, the problem will be fixed, hopefully, 2 hours later. The food quality poor except for the tandoori naan being exceptionally good. And yes, you need not pay for the internet because if you find the right spot in the machaan, you could get internet connection too (so much drama for digital detox!). At the time of booking, we were told that first machaan plus is the tallest machaan's only to be told at the reception at the time of check in that the plus resembles an extra bed in the room. At the property, no one knows where what is. When asked for directions for lunch, we were told just walk down and ask someone, and there was no one to be found to ask someone. We asked how do we go on the trail, we were told just walk towards forest machaan and ask someone. But who do we ask? Other guests. Forest machaan plus shares a wall with forest machaan 4 and lucky you if you have same guests as your neighbors as we did not. So much for quietness, and privacy, the machaan promises that you can hear your neighbors talk and walk in the next room, and jump about on the roof as well (forest plus machaan 5 has another forest machaan on top of it!). Haha! Yes, so much for being a tree house that you share spaces with others too! And to top it all, there is constant construction noise even on a mighty Sunday! Yes you read it right, there is an executive room being constructed whose construction noise is surely something you wouldn't miss (so much for running away from Mumbai construction!). They take a 3000 security deposit (which one is not informed to carry at the time of booking) for incidental damages. However, on reaching the room, a "piece of advice" says that if you do not vacate the room at 11am, late charges would be deducted from security deposit. Threatening works I guess. All in all. For 25000/night (inclusive of all meals) you can visit much more luxurious properties who do not falsely advertise and pretend to be what they are not.

Room tip: The resort itself is something you want to avoid.
Date of stay: November 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
4  Thank NatAgar30
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TM General Manager, General Manager at The Machan, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Dear "NatAgar30",

I feel terribly sorry that you have this impression and apologise for the delay in service and other observations.

All the furniture are made inhouse and are maintained such, however if you would have called us we would have attended to the bed issue in a jiffy.

We have atleast 80 more guests dining the same food and sometimes its just a personal taste. We are very happy to adjust or customise as much as possible for you based on your taste.

We understand that this is not a structured Hotel building with boundaries and that there would be hotel staff around to show directions to guests. We have hence errected numerous direction signage inside the property. If our guests just follow them they will reach the desired place.

There all types of Machans available. Sometimes while you book, we may not have the one with your specific requirement. You are either given a choice of another date or a choice left to you to take a decision. However our reservation consultants do inform of the structure. All most all guests also come here for the peace & serenity and they do appreciate when we request them to lowerdown their volumes. incase of disturbances to others. If you would have told us of the disturbanses we could have got it addressed.

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

The best place to disconnect and rejuvenate. It was heaven on earth. Food was fresh and tasted fantastic. The atmosphere and facilities were great. The staff support and service was excellent! Highly recommended. It’s a very different experience from regular resorts and properties. If you really love to be in nature, a must visit. Starlight machan just left me speechless. Will visit again for sure.

Thank you!

Date of stay: October 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank Aishwarya169
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 26 October 2021 via mobile

Machans was an amazing job xperience. The best part is you are fully literally disconnected with the outside world and you get to enjoy the scenic natual beauty spread across multi acre in a very raw style. The buffet they offered was also nice, especially the morning breakfast. The roads leading to machans gets a little rough towards the entry as it is situated in a remote village but its worth after you get inside the property. This place is amazing to get refreshed.

Note: People having Airtel and Jio network please dont bother to check your phone at Machans as it is completely shunned off. Only vodafone and idea network os available that too with great difficulty. The idea is to enjoy and be with nature so it shouldn't matter at the end of the day.

Room tip: Plz avoid late evening or night travels as it is situated at the top of the mountain it is bound to get cloudy or dark. The roads are rough too.
Date of stay: October 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank 545sujits
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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