Maharastra is a hotpot of bio-diversity: there are beaches and mountains in equal measure here, and an incredible variety of flora and fauna can be found here, too. Amidst all the natural beauty and bounty that the state is home to, a number of eco-resorts have cropped up, especially in recent years, giving luxury travel a delicious spin. For those who like to travel with a conscience, here are the properties to check out that gives equal weight to comfort and sustainability. By Team T+L
1. The Machan
The Machan is an exclusive eco-resort designed to minimise any impact on its natural surroundings while offering its guests spectacular views in luxurious comfort. The highlight of the property is its unique tree houses, rising 30-45 feet above the forest, offering a perfect escape to those looking for complete serenity. It is arguably, the most ideal place for a weekend getaway from Mumbai. Whether you want to indulge in relaxing therapies conducted in a cabin in the midst of nature; or go on challenging treks where you can also explore historical forts and caves — Machan has something for everyone. At Machan, they generate all of their energy off-grid from renewable sources, cook a large part of their meals on parabolic solar cookers, recycle 80% of all grey water and use it to water plants on the property, and most importantly, limit their accommodation so that each guest can have around one acre of green space, thus reducing the stress on the forest while providing a private and peaceful experience to their guests.
2. The Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge
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Safari Experience: The best safari experience is ensured by us, as you drive through the jungle in our luxurious modified gypsy vehicle. Customized for your pleasure with posture supporting comfortable bucket seats, better leg room and camera storing units , we beckon you to an unparalleled wilderness experience. #ConservationthroughConversations We at The Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge, have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you regularly as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in. #safaris #safariexperience #modifiedcars
What for many would seem like an other-worldly fantasy is an actual way of life at The Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge at Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve near Chandrapur, Maharashtra! The villas at this resort are ingeniously crafted with all the luxuries you’d expect from a modern property yet keeping you in sync with nature. If you’re a discerning traveller, interested in spending a vacation in the lap of wilderness, consider going for this property in India’s oldest national park. Spread over 1,773 sq. km., Tadoba-Andhari is also the largest tiger reserve in Maharashtra and is home to attractive flora and fauna that verily thrives here. The Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge is just a 10-minutes’ drive from Kolara Gate of Tadoba-Andhari. You not only live in rooms overlooking the breathtakingly picturesque Lake Maasal, with a variety of birds flitting past your room windows, but also get to contribute to the environment by being a part of the eco-friendly architecture.
3. Dongarmatha Eco Care Resort
Approximately 250-km from Mumbai, Dongarmatha Eco Care Resort is nestled in the Konkan coast that strikes a balance between man’s needs and nature’s offerings. Most of this eco-resort is constructed using natural and renewable resources such as bamboo; there’s minimum use material such as steel and cement. It’s a simple resort where they encourage you to go on a bird-watching trail or undertake an adventure programme in an unexplored region without disturbing the natural cycle of the eco-system. They help the local community group by promoting their music, folk dance, pottery and arts while the guests get to learn about a new culture. The best part about the resort is that they arrange for you to experience the pleasure of having worked in the fields during harvests. It’s a great place overlooking the splendid Vashisthi river where you can shape your hobbies without letting the world in on you.
4. Chira Meadows Eco-Resort
Carefully designed to give a feel of coastal life, Chira Meadows Eco-Resort has premium cottages surrounded by spice plantations. The lush greenery all around all through the year makes it paradise on Earth for nature lovers. The entire property is built with extreme care to reduce carbon footprint; the sustainable cottages and spacious eco-friendly rooms are designed to be in harmony with nature. Most of the construction is done using locally available chira stones and Mangalorean roof tiles; giving a traditional breathing character to this resort located in the beautiful meadows near Dapoli, the queen of Kokan. The multi-cuisine restaurant serves authentic Kokani and Maharashtrian cuisine bringing to the guest a one-of-a-kind experience. Also, high roof and spacious cottages ensure that the internal ambience is fresh and cool, so much so that you don’t feel the need for air conditioning even during summer! Special attention is given to natural light and ventilation; cow dung, leaf litter compost and neem-based fertilisers are used for the gardens and crops and their major power requirement is met with the in-house solar power plant.
5. Grape County
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The green grandeur of Grape County is paradise for those seeking good times indulging in nature while being responsible towards it. Spread across 120 acres of land, Grape County is right adjacent to acres of reserved forestland, that gives it a whole wilderness vibe. At Grape County, they don’t just ensure that your stay is comfortable but also treat you to distinct offerings of nature. Whether you are looking for a luxurious weekend break or a rustic getaway in the wilderness — the Eco Homes here follow strict architectural guidelines to protect the environment and conserve natural resources. They also endeavour to arrange for you little adventures; where you can trek through the picturesque hills of the Sahyadri range and experience local wildlife up close. Or relax on the gorgeous waterbody as your kayak takes you on a fun-filled journey.