Stayed one night at the Verandah and enjoyed almost everything about the place. Of course, it was not a surprise... one has heard so much about the Neemrana experience and this property lived up to it.
Location: TVITF is about half an hour walk from Matheran station / market, so be prepared to backpack it or engage a horse / cart / coolie to assist your journey. The bungalow is in the forest, so walking to/from it after sunset wouldn't be advisable, unless you have local company. Charlotte Lake and Echo Point (amongst a few others) are just a few minutes' walk from here.
Room: They have different room designs and the website has good descriptions / photos of the various options. We chose Kotwal, a suite with 3 beds in two rooms. This was quite comfortable for us (2 adults & 2 kids). Although the property is 'ancient', its maintenance is impeccable. Our room was on the upper (verandah) level; it appeared to me that the ground floor level would be better / quieter when the property is fully occupied.
Food: We had lunch, dinner and breakfast... overall, I'd rate the food as Good. Your options are limited -- lunch was Indian and dinner was Continental. They had a set menu and you can choose between Veg and Non-veg. At Rs 500 and 600 per head, the two meals were on the expensive side but you don't have many options too... Breakfast was a buffet set up; apart from cereal and toast, they had just one dish (like a bread pakoda) and egg/omelets.
Service: I would rate them weak on service. It appeared that they were a bit indifferent to what the guests wanted / were doing. For instance, when we were leaving our room (after check-out), the main caretaker just stood on the verandah filing our nails... no good bye or thank you or offering to help with the luggage... that was in quite poor taste. Even when they served us food, the staff seemed more intent on "shall I clear your plate" than checking if we were satisfied with the food or if we wanted anything else.
Overall, the Verandah is a wonderful property that provides a quaint experience of the olden days, allowing you to lose yourself in the pleasant sounds of nature... The only thing that stops me from wholeheartedly recommending this place was the service experience - I just hope that it was a (bad) exception.
- Also Known As:
- The Verandah In The Forest Hotel Matheran
- The Verandah In The Forest Hotel
- The Verandah In Forest
- 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