We recently stayed in this excellent, quaint, colonial property. The building itself is probably more than 150 years old and is in a good state of repair. There is a lovely verandah surrounding the rooms and a good place to bond with other guests.
Mind you, the property is truly victorian and one would not find modern conveniences such as Air Conditioners, Televisions, Internet or even the Radio! Truly a good place to unwind if one wants to. The place is reasonably clean, considering the orthodox architecture ( double height room ceiling makes it difficult to clean) as well as the Matheran red mud that gets into everything. The service is quietly efficient. Don't expect attendants to jump up at the snap of one's fingers. This is a place to relax and hence: all in good time. One should not hurry.
The hotel provides breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. The lunch is Indian and the dinner, continental. Being vegetarians, we were a bit vary to have continental food, assuming that there may not be many varieties. However, we had dinner on 3 consecutive nights and the dinner during each of them was a four course meal, which we found excellent. Hats off to the chef ( he is from Rajasthan) for presentation, style and taste. In comparison, the Indian food, served during lunch, was nothing much to write home about, and was the run of the mill, punjabi fare , seen at most buffets.
The attendants are, as previously stated, quietly efficient. All our needs were taken care of and we did not have to remind them for any requests. They keep their distance, but are always available.
Since we had visited the place during April, it did tend to get a bit warm, especially in the afternoons and we found the clutter of pedestal fans all over the place quite unbecoming. Some ceiling fans, reminiscent of the colonial era, would have been nice. The management may consider t introducing some activity or game that would allow some past time or social networking, such as billiards, darts and such. The library needs to be re stocked and most of the magazines were 2-3 years old. The hotel does not offer any Bar facility and beer is the only alcoholic drink available. It would have been great if there was a bar where one could have a drink before dinner or a brandy after. Different types of tea are available during breakfast and tea, but the only coffee available was the instant kind. We had prepared ourselves and had carried our "Filter" and peaberry coffee powder and so had no problem. But it would be nice if some fresh coffee was made available.
We were lucky to have very pleasant and sociable co guests during our stay and our breakfasts and dinners lasted hours after finishing our meal, though there was the odd guest who needed to improve their social skills and graces.
The property was home to monkeys earlier and now, and the monkeys levy a price for our staying there. This could be by taxing a part of your meal or some of your more dazzling fashion assets. One should be careful and keep the door of your room closed at all times as else the monkeys could decide to inspect them.
"The verandah", as the property is commonly known, is situated near the centre of Matheran and hence very convenient to visit the various attractions, mostly in the form of look out points. There are three sets of rooms. One set on the ground level, one on the main floor and two in the back. We found the main floor "Verandah" rooms the most charming since we could mix with the other guests. ( The rooms are used only for the afternoon siesta or during the night) We did not find it noisy as mentioned by other reviewers, probably since the hotel was not fully occupied and possibly due to the absence of children at that time.
We had paid for the entire trip including the meals in advance and the manager informed us that we would not be able to get any refund if one wanted to skip and meal or cut our stay short. It seemed a bit unfair since there were guests, who had not pre booked and paid for their meals in advance, who were asked every morning during breakfast, whether they would be having lunch or dinner.
All in all a good property, efficiently run and with good service. A good place to relax and unwind.
- 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