Beauty Fashion Food Travel

HILLSIDE BEAUTY

August 8, 2016
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I finished my day at Parsons, ISDI Mumbai, where I teach a Fashion styling course on Saturdays and was extremely eager to head out to my next destination. I had not only researched the accommodation before but also heard a lot of positive things about it, so I was pretty excited to check it out! My boyfriend, who is always on time, was waiting at the school for me and we took off from Mumbai at around 4.30 pm. It was a three and a half hour drive but the view on the way was absolutely spectacular. These resorts in Lonavala, Amby Valley and Khandala are not called hill retreats for no reason. This place though – Hotel Hilton at Shillim, was about an hour further from Amby Valley, amidst the Western Ghats, which is accredited to be a world heritage site by UNESCO – who believe in living in harmony with nature rather than disturbing it. Luckily for us we caught the sunset on the way there as well!!

 

On arriving there we were ushered into the reception area and served lemon ice tea. Later, since the villas were all a kilometer away from the reception area, we were driven to our villa in a Nano. We were upgraded to the King Villa which had a really cozy and warm feel to it. The room had a four-poster bed with drapes on all sides – I loved it, as it gave the room an absolutely dreamy look. The room also had a balcony, which was sort of like a terrace with a dining area and a couch set. The restroom had double sinks, a separate toilet and bath area with a tub. There was also an outdoor shower connected to the bathroom. We couldn’t see much of the view by that time since it was pretty dark but the trees outside our room on the balcony were filled with glowing fireflies. It was an extraordinary and unforgettable sight!

The next morning we went out to explore the hotel.  This was all by car as everything was at a steep distance.  The first spot we went to was the infinity pool and garden restaurant. I would unquestionably recommend the Thai curry rice! There was another small pool too. The view was really incredible as all you could see was greenery, lakes and mountains. We then checked out another dining area, where there was an organic food and drink place as well. The hotel, being a spa and wellness resort, has an entire menu of healthy options ranging from food, through pillows, to massage and yoga options. They have seventeen treatment rooms, three consultation rooms, a relaxation terrace and fitness studio, a yoga pavilion, hydrothermal facilities, and an amphitheater.  There was a culinary class going on as well as we went through the different dining sections and they also offered a wide range of other classes like pottery, dance, farming etc.

We then explored the spa area, which was my favorite – the spa pool, the different therapy rooms, and my absolute pick of the place was the meditation cave. It was a shadowy cave-like room with yoga mats on the floor for people to sit on and a beautiful echo to it. Other spots we accidentally came across were the horse stables and vegetable plantation.

On returning to our room and eating lunch, we were upgraded once again! And this time to a private pool villa! This room was twice the size of the king villa and had a sizable plunge pool just outside the room. Not only that, but it had an entire living room attached to the bedroom with a dining area as well. All in all, the stay was extremely relaxing and even though it was not one of the cheapest options it was definitely worth it!

 

Sonya Vajifdar  – traveller and fashion designer. You can find out more about her on FacebookTwitter,LinkedinInstagram.


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