This was our first trip to Matheran and we planned it in the last hour. After looking at tripadvisor and making calls to first ten of the ranked hotels only to discover all of them were already booked :( Finally went for Byke and they did have accommodation in their "Luxury Deluxe A/C" room. I was little unsure about this resort as I saw it in Rank 14 and more to it, I read the negative feedback here on TripAdvisor like "Fungus on wall, food was pathetic and got good infection" etc. But I was desperate to visit Matheran and of course in the last hour I didn't see any other choice. Well so went for Byke and of course told my husband, it would be 50-50 kind off. Considering my adamant nature he okied it. It was for 3 nights and 4 days.
We went by local train to Neral and then took a taxi to Dasturi. From there took a horse ride to Byke resort. Here goes the experience.
TripAdv neg feedback Vs my Experience:
TripAdv Feedback: There was only one guy in reception trying to contact head office and manage things...
Fact: Fact is, there were three people in the reception and attended to us very well. Fourth one immediately walked to us with a glass of juice. My first doubt was cleared right there. Fifth one came and offered to carry our luggage to our rooms.
TripAdv Feedback: Rooms were not clean and had fungus on walls.
Fact: Our room was very clean and very spacious. Bathroom were spacious and geysers worked well to get hot water. There was TV, AC, Telephone. Welcome kit with Towels, Soap, Shampoo, Moisturizers. Bed, Sofa, Chest of Drawers, and a small attached room with Almera and lockers. Wooden hangers (antique I guess) to dry clothes.
TripAdv Feedback: Food was bad and some claimed about food infections.
Fact: We checked in at 12:15 PM. 12:30 was lunch time. I was really getting scared. I really risked it all. Still we went there. Food was pure veg. And Jain food is also available. Lunch was on North Indian Thali system in the dinning hall. Whereas breakfast and dinner were on open garden as buffet system. Believe me lunch was very tasty. It had two sweets, unlimited rotis, three gravied side dishes, one vegetable curry, dhal fry, curd, butter milk, papad, samoza/some gujrathi snacks, steamed rice, salads. I might have missed one or two. My husband who is food critic, gave his feedback after lunch that food is real good there. Now about food infections, we all are back hale and healthy. This feedback goes for breakfast and dinner too. It was just great.
TripAdv Feedback: Entertainment and fun games were there.
Fact: Yes I agree. Mornings they have pool side activities pre lunch time. We were not particular about water activities as we had a toddler. So we didn't get into it. But pools were clean and crystal clear water. I did see many plunging into it and having fun. Besides they had some activities for children ( like we see in amusement parks). Besides carom board, Pool, and kits for tennis, badminton are available.
Besides at 6 PM they do their Tambola/Housie game every day. I got to win on one of the three days we stayed. And at 7 to 10:30 they have variety games and entertainment:
Day 1: Tambola, Magic Show, Karoke (Melodious old hindi songs)
Day 2: Tambola, Puppet show, Couple and Children party games, Karoke(Melodious old hindi songs)
Day 3: Tambola, Couple and Children party games, Karoke(Melodious old hindi songs)
I got win in one of the party games. Hence back home with two prizes :)
At 10 PM parallely to Karoka, starts the Disco as well inside the Disco room. We didn't go for it anyways. Rather chose to retire into the room.
And more to it, the third day, we were delivered a "CHIKKI gift pack" to our room. It had 12 varieties of chikki, with 3 pieces in each variety wrapped in a rectangular box. Chikkis tasted good.
TripAdv Feedback: Huge area and average maintenance:
Fact : Huge area is right. As far as maintenance is concered, it is very good for the areas where people predominantly use. Like rooms, garden area, pool side etc. Those extra lands which were on the border and exteriors where people hardly go into were left uncared for. But this doesn't bring down the quality of experience in the resort.
TripAdv Feedback: Monkeys and stray dogs were nuisance
Fact : Matheran means monkeys. This one has to understand when you visit that place. Monkeys were seen during day time but during the night they never turned up. But they have placed a security just to watch and turn away monkeys on the pool side/buffet area. You can't stop monkeys in Matheran, unless you have chosen a badly confined place to your stay. But atleast I can say this aspect was taken care of and they give you enough warning about it. Strays I did spot one running around on my third day. But next day I didn't notice it.
Overall Byke has been a good experience and it is worth the money you are paying. I had never been to any other resort in Matheran so far and hence cannot compare. But atleast I had a good experience for sure.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Byke is Matheran's first dwelling place. Built in 1854 by the discoverer of Matheran, Hugh Malet, then Collector of Thane , it is a heritage building that still stands majestically in all its pristine glory, personifying a heritage unparalleled, surrounded by the inheritance of 7 sprawling acres. In this wooded estate the first luxury Resort of Matheran, The Byke- A Hotel Retreat, has been blended with nature. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Byke Hotel Matheran