MahuaBagh is a boutique beach resort with a set of 10 elegantly done-up cottages around a tranquil knoll that slopes into the beach. Perched amidst a 24-acre mango orchard, the resort offers eclectic rooms, open spaces, views of the sea and mountains and ample space to lounge around.
There’s plenty to do around the village, too. The fort beckons, as do the local temples.
Four hours south of Mumbai is the seaside village of Murud, home to an island fort called MurudJanjira. Back in the 15th century fishermen built it to protect against pirates. But when the NizamShahi Sultan of Ahmednagar came across it, he was determined to capture Medhekot, as it was called then, because of its wide area and strategic location. His successors continued to use and strengthen the fort; their influence can be felt not only in the larger, sturdier structure we see today, but also in their name for the fort. The term Janjira comes from the Arabic word “jazeere” for island.
The café is the perfect spot to chill over a cuppa chai or enjoy quality time indoors, but outdoor meals can be cheerfully arranged; visitors can enjoy al fresco dinners and tea service by the beach. At night, bonfires are lit in season and barbeques entice you with fantastic food grilled fresh and festivities galore.
Make the most of the getaway by taking in the greenery. Rest your eyes and mind; have a picnic basket packed by the staff and set out on a nature walk to restore your inner balance.
And if relaxation is more your style, treat yourself to a calming massage from one of the therapists at the resort; the trained staff is available for head, foot and body massages.
The gardens and grounds make perfect arenas for family games; make memories as you lounge or play.
A resort with a spa is lovely on its own, but you can’t come to a fishermen’s stronghold and not get in the water. V Resorts MahuaBagh can arrange a boating trip for you into the open waters; you can have a small adventure just going out in the bay or use the boat for a trip to the fort following the route that locals have used for the last seven centuries. Get ready to flip the view and see the shore from the sea for a change. The lookout, perched on stilts, is perfect for taking in the landscape, plus eating al fresco is definitely the thing to do in this orchard haven.
After you check in at the resort, rest for a while, take in the cottages, relax. In the early evening head to the horse-shoe shaped beach, a mere five-minute walk away. The shore is flanked by mellow hills and has both white and black sand. If the tide is low, you can wade across the creek.
At night, eat at the café or ask for a candlelight dinner in the densely-forested area on the hilltop, where a light breeze and the night view of the sea are sure to wow you.
Start your day with yoga in the grounds if you like, followed by breakfast.
A morning tour of the nearby Nandgaon village would be perfect next. Boating after the village tour will help you build up an appetite and a picnic lunch would surely hit the spot. If you want to visit the fort, this would be a good time to do it.
Back at the resort, unwind in the gazebo, have some tea at “asthanchal” the sunset point, hike in the grounds, or play some games.
Your evening meal will be served outside. You’ll enjoy the delicious, traditional fare around the bonfire.
Yoga or a walk will get you going for your last morning. Enjoy your final breakfast in the orchards or at the gazebo. Walk up to the coastal outpost on stilts to bid the birds, the surf and the mountains a final farewell.
MahuaBagh is 134 kilometres or four hours from Mumbai by road, but is also accessible by water ferry to Alibaug from the Gateway of India and then a 45-minute taxi or auto to the property. If you choose to drive, the road is scenic with passage through the Karnala bird sanctuary. If you’ve got more time, you can also route through Roha village along the lush boundaries of Phansad wildlife sanctuary.
Where: Nandgaon in Raigad district, Maharashtra, 10 km short of Murud
How: By road or ferry from Mumbai (no ferries in the monsoon)
When: Any long weekend. Chill away from the Holi madness, perhaps?
Package: INR 12,999/- per couple