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“we loved it and we will be back”
Review of The Dukes Retreat

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The Dukes Retreat
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Khandala
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 7, 2011

The surroundings, the property, the housekeeping, the quality of food and most important the smile on the face of the staff was a pleasant experience. The GM was on the floor, leading from the front to ensure impeccable service.

Room Tip: choose the rooms with valley view
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Dhrubo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RahulKanungo, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2011

Dear Guest,
We thank you for your precious time to offer your feedback on the various aspects of the services and products offered by Dukes Retreat during your stay.

We are glad to know that you have had a comfortable stay at the Dukes and enjoyed the food and services offered by the resort

Myself and my team look forward to welcome you and family / acquaintances to the Dukes in the near future.

Warm regards

Rahul Kanungo
rahul.kanungo@keyshotels.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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764 - 770 of 816 reviews

Reviewed September 4, 2011

Dukes retreat is a beautifully conceived hotel run by a team primarily concerned by their own convenience rather than the comfort of their customers. Its wonderful location commands outstanding views , there are touches of genius in the architecture and the facilities should be second to none. Unfortunately the efforts of the hard working and willing staff are stymied by third grade managers who could only have got their positions through family connections (or worse) - anyway, not through any discernible merit.

On arrival we were found reception manned by a single beleaguered individual trying to cope with another customer, us and three ringing 'phones. There was nobody else to be seen. When he was eventually able to attend to us a middle aged management type in a poorly looked after suit appeared, just in time to insist that the check-in formalities were completed immediately at the desk rather than after we had been shown to our room and served some chai as his more intelligent but junior colleague had suggested.

Time from arrival to reaching our room - 25 minutes.

The room - marketed as a 'cottage' but really a junior suite, was excellently appointed - the design team obviously had real flair and good eyes for detail. The bathroom, the most important room, was compact but perfectly clean and functional. The bed was deep and comfy, made up with fine white cotton, we had an extra outside shower, flat screen TVs in the bedroom and the lounge, a small dining table and huge windows with wonderful views. Everything was crisp and modern. If the architect had arrived with us he would have wept. The pictures on the wall were wonky and the TV in the bedroom was skew-whiff with wires poking out from behind it. The cabinet containing the mini bar was at a random angle as if dropped in a hurry and the whole place smelled of damp. Despite having a prior booking, clearly nobody in authority bothers to check the rooms before guests arrive.
A few hours with the AC on did clear the damp and smell but the temperature controls had no effect - we had a choice of two settings - 'off' or 'frigid'.

Maybe a drink would cheer us up? We repaired to the Highpoint Bar. My wife's choice of cocktail - "not available". My choice of cocktail - also "not available". We eventually ordered a couple of caipirinhas and after a 20 minute wait were served 3rd grade margueritas. We sat outside under a shelter of plastic sheet and welded steel that the shanty it was stolen from probably want back and admired little piles of bricks and rubble that somebody had left lying around.

Depressed we moved to "DUCHESS RESTAURANT: the fine multi-cuisine restaurant offers a wide range of cuisines and a sumptuous buffet. A la Carte is also available." er... not today. Today we could eat the sad looking picked over congealed food from the buffet, or we could starve. A la carte? "Not available". Duchess restaurant on buffet days has the atmosphere of a college canteen.

Back to the (chilly) sanctuary of our 'cottage', which we didn't leave for the rest of our stay. bed comfy, TV movies plentiful, towels fluffy, hot showers glorious.
Room service patchy.
Breakfast was cold by the time it reached us. Not a good look for scrambled eggs on toast. Because nobody had arranged for the excess rainwater to be mopped from the passageways, the waiters arrived tramping it through our sanctuary. Wet marble flaws become very slippery, as one of the staff discovered with a cliched but still sickening dull thud. We laid newspapers on the floor to try and save future lives.

Lunch from the snack menu was excellent, but luke warm. The club sandwiches, burgers and fries would have been far more enjoyable if some bright soul could come up with a way to get them from kitchen to guest while they were still warm. Perhaps heating the plates would help? Coffee was OK, though espresso and cappuccino were (naturally) 'not available'.

We spent the afternoon in our room watching movies and monkeys outside in the rain and ordered our evening meal from room service. The curries were to our taste and by the miracle of planning and the correct equipment arrived still hot. We were entertained by a series of brief power cuts. Maybe 20 of them, all for between 5 and 30 seconds. I guess that this is a common occurrence and that there is back up power but that it was specified and installed by people who have no idea what they're doing.

After a good night's sleep - it really was a very comfortable bed and despite Duke's proximity to the highway the room's sound insulation was excellent we enjoyed a cold breakfast which included a very generous plate of fresh fruits and resigned ourselves to the tortuous 20 minute check-out process.

I was given a feedback form with so little space I laughed.

Dukes is not a cheap resort, and with a very little care it and its staff could be excellent. The first step is to appoint competent management.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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11  Thank Neil C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RahulKanungo, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2011

Dear Guest,

Greetings!!

At the onset thank you for choosing to stay at Dukes Retreat - A Keys Resort and your candid feedback on various aspects of the property.

I deeply regret the inconvenience caused to you during your stay at the property and would like to assure you that your feedback on front desk operations and food delivery has been taken up with utmost seriousness. Incessant rain during the period did hamper our operations and also resulted in postponement of project work around the ‘Al Fresco’ sit out area due to which, unfortunately, some building material was left around.

My team and I take pride in serving our guests and together we have succeeding in creating memorable experiences for many of our valued guests, as substantiated in earlier trip advisor feedbacks and other accolades received on different platforms. High percentage of repeat clientele also speaks volumes about our product and services. .

We are extremely sorry about your experience at Dukes and do sincerely hope you give us one more chance to serve you. Rest assured, this time around, it will be a memorable one.

Best regards,

Rahul Kanungo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2011

My wife and me had not had a relaxed outing for almost an year and thats when i surfed around, read reviews and decided on Dukes Retreat for our Independence Day weekend. Our purpose was to unwind and relax. The moment we entered the property my wife felt very happy. But the moment we entered the room and slided out the curtains, we were like .. WOWWWWWW. The room is excellent by any standards and an excellent view of the Valley and the waterfalls and the greenery waits for you. the people are highly hospitable and we were pampered the most. I wholeheartedly recommend this place to anyone who wants to have some unwinding moments and relax from the busy schedules.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank mkanandnair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RahulKanungo, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2011

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your feedback.

We are happy that you had a good stay at the Dukes Retreat.
Your feedback is very nice and it motivates us to go the extra mile.
Look forward to welcome you at the Dukes in the near future.

Warm regards

Rahul Kanungo
rahul.kanungo@keyshotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2011

The hotel is located at the best location you can imagine. bang opposite is the Waterfall with full flow during the monsoon, every now and then the hotel gets surrounded by the mist and clouds, Rooms are good can match any 4-5 star hotels. swimming pool is good and maintained. We had buffet breakfast and lunch at the hotel, and it didn’t disappoint us . the spread is good , with variety of Veg –non veg spread available, especially in non-veg , they had fish ,lamb and chicken at the same time.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ABHIJIT B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RahulKanungo, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2011

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your feedback and the beautiful images of the Khandala specially the one of the water fall with the tree in the foreground.

We are very happy that you had a good stay at the Dukes Retreat and also enjoyed the food and services offered by the resort.

We look forward to welcome you .

Warm regards

Rahul Kanungo
rahul.kanungo@keyshotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2011

The stay at Duke's met most of our expectations. After having read the reviews on trip advisor we booked the resort for a one night break from mumbai and were not disappointed.

the resort boasts of excellent views of hills, the valley and a number of waterfalls which sprout out during the rainy season. the view from the restaurant is unbeatable. The rooms itself are very spacious and have most amenities you would expect in a star property. The staff in general is extrememly courteous, going out of their way to help you.

Even though the resort borders the highway, there is almost no noise which filters into your rooms. The beds are great and provide for a good night's rest.

Food however is not as great. The restaurants provide only buffets which is rather expensively priced. The only other option is in-room dining with a rather limited menu. The breakfast buffet spread was adequate.

The resort also needs to get the front desk sorted out. Check-in was smooth as we arrived on a friday. However, check-out was quiet chaotic. There was heavy rush owing to the weekend, and the desk was inadquately staffed to handle the same.

The hotel manager, Mr. Rahul is extremely helpful and jolly man and takes care of any requests you make.

Overall, we had a great stay and i would love to come back to stay at Dukes.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank funkypratik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RahulKanungo, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2011

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your candid feedback on the services offered by Dukes Retreat during your stay and beautiful narration of the property and the surroundings.

We are glad that you had a good stay at the Dukes Retreat. We also made a note of your feedback on the service offered at the Front Desk and we wanted to intimate you that we have taken necessary steps to improve the service in this front and I am confident that you will be noticing the changes in your next visit to Dukes Retreat

We look forward to your next visit to Dukes Retreat

Warm regards

Rahul Kanungo
rahul.kanungo@keyshotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2011

View is great from all rooms including executive rooms - thanked god for having booked this hotel only with breakfast, as the spread was good but not the taste - beware about soggy bread toasts. Front desk is totally clueless - did not have our booking at check-in, did not know whether we had already paid or not during check-out, considering we had booked through Agoda and refused to give me a copy of the bill for claiming a refund (have not encountered in many international and indian hotels that I have stayed in and booked through Agoda earlier)

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Krishnapv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RahulKanungo, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your precious time to offer your feedback and we are extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused at the Front desk.

We made a note of your feedback on the breakfast which has been shared with my colleagues and necessary actions initiated to enhance the meal experience.

We thank you again for your feedback which helps us to improve our services thus facilitating better services to our patrons.

We will be looking forward to your visit to Dukes Retreat in the near future.

Warm regards

Rahul Kanungo
rahul.kanungo@keyshotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2011

I totally enjoyed my stay at the dukes retreat khandala. They have very spacious rooms n the view from the room is just amazing. U can actually relax n feel good in any part of the hotel,be it the roof cafe or the restuarant or the room. Food was good,lot of variety though the veg food taste was average,not that good. But to some it up its just a perfect place for a mini vacation. And monsoon is really the time to go.

  • Stayed: August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank kashrai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RahulKanungo, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback.

We are happy to know that you had a comfortable stay and we have noted your comments on the taste of Vegetarian food which has been shared with my colleagues in the food production department.

I am sure our chef will be delighted to meet you once you visit us and offer you the vegetarian goodies to tickle your taste buds.

We will be looking forward to your visit to Dukes Retreat.

Warm regards

Rahul Kanungo
rahul.kanungo@keyshotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Dukes Retreat

Address: Pune Mumbai Road, Khandala, Lonavala 410301, India
Location: India > Maharashtra > Pune District > Lonavala > Khandala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Khandala
Price Range: $126 - $222 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Dukes Retreat 3.5*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Dukes Retreat at Khandala is not more than a 15 minute picturesque drive away from Lonavala. The resort is a landmark located 1850 ft. above sea level. Keys Khandala is spread across 11 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, valley-view and the mesmerizing Western Ghats. The property benefits from being set in the lap of the flora of the region and nestles amidst waterfalls, nature trails and winding forest paths. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Dukes Retreat Hotel Khandala

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