Ive had a pleasure of staying twice in the past year at Fleetwood Bungalow in Matheran. Once during last new years & more recently for a weekend during this October. The fact that I chose to stay here again, eventho we had numerous other hotel options in Matheran, itself speaks volumes of this place.
Fleetwood is a quaint old colonial bungalow situated in the remote southern region of Matheran near One-tree hill & surrounded by greenery & forests. That translates to you living in the midst of a serene woodland detached from the tourist centric market & the other over crowded spots in Matheran. That also means that you are completely cut-off from the hustle-bustle of the world, including your cellular network! On a vacation like this, thats a major plus point :)
The cliff is just a 2min walk away from the property & an amazing spot to catch your morning cuppa or evening tipple. Though the walk to the market is about 45mins, we didn’t really find the need to move out this calm haven. All meals are cooked & served at Fleetwood itself by their ever friendly staff. Of course the food is typical maharashtrian village cuisine – A lil spicy, very tasty & totally home-made!
The property comprises of the main bungalow, an outhouse behind, a stable, another smaller cottage, a horse riding ground & even tents for the more adventurous types. However don’t miss a visit to the exotic temple situated on the property complete with a mosaic courtyard ,mayan-inspired huge pillars & carvings. The temple is quite famous amongst the locals too due to its eclectic architecture.
The thing that I liked the most here was character & coziness of the main bungalow. Each of the 4 bedrooms & dining room are filled with assorted artifacts that just add to the charm of the property. Right from the various paintings around the house to the customized bath soaps in each bathroom, from the 4 coaster beds with the old style mosquito nets to the amazingly comfortable old fashioned arm chairs in the verandah… it all just blends into the heritage of the place. And yes the attached bathrooms were spacious & clean :)
Another plus point is that the place is pet friendly.. and even if you don’t have a pet, get ready to hang with the 3 horses, 1 donkey & numerous pups that also reside at the property. One species conspicuous in this absence is the rogue monkeys of Matheran. Anywhere else in the hill station, you just cant miss them creating a havoc, but surprisingly at Fleetwood we didn’t face any simian issues. Amen to that!
My advice to fellow travelers visiting Fleetwood is, don’t come here expecting a spa in the woods (at least not yet) or a monstrous family resort (the type which unfortunately now dots the landscape of Matheran)… accept & enjoy Fleetwood for what it is.. the old-age charm, a cozy comfortable home-stay cared by Deepesh the oener & his man-Fridays & mother nature all around at her very best!