A verandah is defined in the OED as "Open roofed portico or gallery along side of house".
The Verandah in the Forest (TVIF benceforth) is exactly that . Lovingly restored , a 19th century bungalow with a trellised balcony has been converted into an unique heritage hotel by the Neemrana Group at Matheran, a hill station in Maharashtra.
It is only the second house built in the isolated Western Ghats by Cape Barr in that period to serve as a retreat to the Britishers to escape from the heat of the plains.It is now a popular heritage hotel in Matheran, and part of the experience is getting there by road from Pune or Mumbai to Neral,and onwards by a 77-year old toy train or on horseback !
The rooms at TVIF are all tastefully appointed with period furniture and there are 11 rooms imaginatively named after Parsi families - Petit,Chenoy,Kotwal and Peerbhoy - and there is
even one in the turret named - guess what - Elphinstone.
Breakfast is included while lunch and dinner is separately accounted for. All mod cons exist
and the peace and quiet is well worth the journey.
Apart from the Charlotte Lake, the only other activities consist of walking,trekking,horse riding and valley gazing.
A couple of nights at TVIF and one is transported back to a different era and a different lifestyle - and returns to the mundane life of today refreshed and madeover,
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The paths once cleared by the British in the forests of Matheran, making it the last British hill station have acquired a new identity as the place where Bombay’s movers and shakers which include filmstars and businessmen come to spend a few quiet and peaceful days.Perched atop the Sahyadri ranges, Matheran is Asia’s only pedestrian hill resort. Chug up in a toy train, trot, or arrive in a palanquin, past gigantic mansions built by the British, the Parsis, and the Bohras. The Verandah in the Forest was the second house to be built on the isolated Western Ghats, by Captain Barr. Now, with every facility in place, it is reputed to be second to none! Indeed, the nobility of the proportions of The Verandah bring civilizational honour to the Sahyadri ranges. Lounge like never before in this verandah of your dreams. Read under the highest domestic ceiling you would have known in the salon – 12 metres/35 feet high. Stroll down to Charlotte Lake. Or take longer walks with a picnic basket. Relish the local cuisines. Heave your chest, muscle your calves, take all the oxygen back in your lungs. Link your planet with your own two feet.Find space for more space in your mind. Or lose yourself to find yourself anew.Long after you return, you will wonder who would have dared to sprawl out such a tree-home space in such spell-binding wilderness? ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Verandah In The Forest Hotel Matheran
- The Verandah In Forest