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“Hotel rooms are nice, but management needs to buck up”
Review of The Dukes Retreat

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The Dukes Retreat
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Khandala
Certificate of Excellence
Mumbai
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Hotel rooms are nice, but management needs to buck up”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Have been to this resort twice. First with family and another time for business for our company conference. The management had probably changed the second time. My review is more from the second time point of view. The rooms are nice and seems to have been renovated from my earlier trip. But with change in management, there seemed to be some lapses in the way things were done. For e.g. some of my associate rooms had welcome chocolates and fruits in their rooms, whereas some didn't have. The rooms which were not assigned to our company used to get mornings newspapers, whereas rooms allocated to us didn't get any news papers (we were there for 2 days). Such small things gets easily noticed and does not go well with what they claim it to be as a "premium property".
Another point would be that the spread of buffet breakfast can be extended, especially when they are catering to large guests.
The property was also undergoing some renovations, however, adequate safety measures were not taken, like side of the pathways had been dug up, but no instructions were written or precautions were taken for guests safety.
Overall, may not be value for money.

Room Tip: chose the rooms near to stairs to avoid confusion. The layout of the hotel can be a bit confusing.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank krushiparekh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RSGuleria, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your stay and the time you have taken to share your valuable feedback with the trip advisor community.
We are glad that you liked our newly renovated rooms.
Kindly be informed that we have already started providing newspapers in all the rooms. Amenities like chocolates and fruits are part of inclusions if requested at the time of booking.
We apologize that currently the pathway is under renovation and we have taken all possible measures with signages and diverted the guests movement through the ramp.
We shall be in a position to give an enhanced and all new experience to our guests very soon.

My team and I look forward to your continued visits and assure you of our best services and attention at all times.

With Best Wishes,

Rakeshwar Singh Guleria

Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (282)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Sydney
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2013

I recently stayed at The Dukes Retreat and enjoyed my weekend. I took a break from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai and found the retreat quaint and enjoyable.

The resort, like many in India, is in a little need of routine maintenance. However, the rooms and staff certainly made a great impression. The bar and pool overlooked the valley and waterfalls and was a good place to relax. The traditional massage was also very enjoyable.

You are limited in your choices for food - a buffet in the restaurant or bar food.

I found both Yasar (Front Office Manager) and Athena (General manager) generous in their efforts to make my stay enjoyable.

The only annoying thing about the resort is the constant road noise. The main Mumbai-Pune road is cut into the side of the mountain below the resort. It is OK if you sleep with the windows closed but it is quite noticable (and relentless) if the windows are open

Room Tip: Check your room before you unpack. Some have trees blocking all of their view
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mark_manly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RSGuleria, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this review, March 15, 2013
Dear Guest ,

Thank you for sharing your comments with the TripAdvisor community .
We are glad you explored the hotel and sincerely appreciate the time taken to share your feedback. We are happy to understand that your overall experience was good and you enjoyed the weekend with us.
Kindly be informed that we are now serving Ala Carte’ menu at Panorama Café’
Entire team looks forward welcoming you again.

With Best Wishes,

Rakeshwar Singh Guleria

Assistant General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pune, India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 3, 2013

We just returned from a 2 night stay at Dukes. We were hoping for a nice weekend stay with my parents who were visiting from overseas. We have a large family, so we booked a Deluxe room for ourselves, and an Executive room for my parents. The Deluxe room had a breathtaking view and was huge, plenty of room for everyone (four children). The Executive room had NO VIEW whatsoever. We arrived very early and so we asked to move my parents into a different room. The staff claimed all the rooms were occupied, so it was not possible.

Our next disappointment came when we learned of their absurd rules surrounding alcohol. Forget enjoying dinner and drinks as a family. Liquor can only be served INSIDE their tiny bar, and no children are allowed there (nor does the bar have proper tables for actually eating on). But this is not indicated anywhere. They serve a menu card to the table with drinks, but then inform you that you can't have any. (Same with the in-room dining card)

The next disappointment came at lunchtime. Their buffet restaurant was so overpacked, people were literally eating standing up. We instead headed to their outside restaurant and had the a la carte menu, which after waiting a long time for menus and any attention from waitstaff, was actually really good (food came pretty quickly and was delicious).

Being rather full after our late and large lunch, we decided we'd rather have a la carte for dinner as well. We were informed that this was impossible as both restaurants were only accepting buffet. So we ate in our room. This happened again at lunch and dinner the next day. Thanks to the fact that we had a HUGE room with amazing views, this actually wasn't too bad. But it did get a bit old. (Why on earth did they not allow a la carte ordering in their restaurants??) Oh, they can't serve alcohol to the rooms either (despite the in-room dining card that includes a list of drinks), so we still never got to enjoy dinner with drinks as a family. [Note, the food itself was great; no complaints there.]

Our first night there was a VERY loud party happening outside. I tried calling the staff to get the group to quiet down so we could sleep, and after 1am they were still at it! Seriously? Sometime after 1am they finally quieted down. This is the kind of thing you maybe expect at a 2 star budget place; I was not expecting this at Dukes. Another huge disappointment.

Their activities notice mentioned kite-flying, which we thought would be fun for the kids and grandparents to do together - nope, that's not available. They mentioned DVD players for rent -- after much calling around (apparently staff wasn't really aware of this option), we were told the rate -- 500 Rs + tax PER HOUR. Really? I'm guessing they made that number up on the spot so they wouldn't have to bring it.

The pool and playground were nice for the kids, but surrounded by very unsafe, broken up grounds, including huge pits in the sidewalk with metal spikes at the bottom -- this is on the walkway to the playground. Absolutely no marking or barrier around any of it. The tiles in the pool are all falling apart. So sad, really.

The staff -- some staff were great (the waiter at the outdoor restaurant was excellent), but many were just not friendly at all. Don't they teach how to greet guests?

To sum up, Dukes has the potential to be a great place (maybe it used to be a long time ago?), but under the current management, it is definitely NOT worth the money. Very disappointing overall. I hope someday it is re-done and worth another visit.

Room Tip: Try to get a good view! Not sure which have the best, but avoid room 319 as it has no view at all...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RKline333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RSGuleria, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for sharing your comments with TripAdvisor community.

I along with entire Dukes team deeply regret the inconvenience caused to you in your stay and we apologies in the areas where our service delivery could not meet your expectation.

We would like to further clarify on the areas where we failed to satisfy you.

Though we tried to deliver the best of our services from our F & b Service team, however we are limited due to the scope of areas where we serve the alcohol which is as per the excise rules& regulations.

To enhance the guest experience we have made the note of the concern and we will definitely consider your feedback and look for the possibility of serving alcohol in the Restaurant & in rooms.

We will keep you posted in this aspect in near future.

Best Wishes,

Rakeshwar Singh Guleria
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

It was my birthday and we were looking for a quick break from our usual routine.. Given the time we could spare, the only option we could think off was Lonavala/Khandala... We drove up there this weekend and were looking for a good hotel to spend the weekend.. We were in no mood to explore Lonavala/Khandala.. So, we were looking for a place where we could spend the entire weekend without stepping out of the resort. After a long search in Lonavala, we headed towards Khandala and found exactly what we wanted. Peace and tranquility.
We knew we would love the Duke when we got into the lobby. The place is under a little bit of renovation but we hardly noticed. The rooms were great and spacious and offered wonderful views of the valley and the expressway. The bathroom was nice and spacious. The bed is nice and soft.
The food impressed us the most. We opted for an all-inclusive package and were a little apprehensive about the food. But all our doubts were put to rest. The food was really very good and offered several options. Even my 1.5 year old daughter enjoyed her meals.
The staff is very courteous. We had a little bit of a problem with the room we were initially put in. But we were immediately moved to another room as soon as they figured they could not fix the problem soon.
If I have to pick on an improvement tip, I would suggest having at least a few rooms with king size beds. We were told that all rooms have 2 single beds that are joined together. We would have been fine with this had it not been for our daughter who would sleep between us. :) The gap between the 2 cots is a little bit of a problem. But, having said this, once the beds are joined, the bed becomes super huge. :) Our daughter enjoyed the soft bed.

Overall, a wonderful experience and I'l definitely go back for a short break.

Room Tip: Both the rooms we stayed in had good views of the valley.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TaPri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RSGuleria, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Dear Guest ,

Thank you for taking time to share your experience with the TripAdvisor community.

I am pleased to note that you had a comfortable stay and the services rendered by my team were to your satisfaction. We have updated the preferences in our system and for your next visit this shall be taken care .We do enjoy the privilege of being located amidst natural beauty which is a given facet of admiration from all our guests who visit.

My team and I look forward to your continued visits and assure you of our best services and attention at all times.

Best wishes,

Rakeshwar Singh Guleria
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2013

We visited dukes retreat on valentines days on 14th feb to celebrate our marriage anniversary , and our experience was stupendous.
Resort has all amenities what one looks for in five star resort , room were very well decorated with lots of privacy , the deluxe rooms are awesome built in duplex style , on arrival we were given a very quick check in without any delay .
Regarding the meals all the 3 buffet meals had nice variety and the food quality and the taste was mind blowing and too good , i would really like to appreciate the cook.
To our surprise they came to know that it was our anniversary and when we entered the room , we found a nice welcome bouquet and chocolates on our bed which really overwhelmed us and made us feel so special , thanks to the resort management and staff. In the evening we were served with a complimentary anniversary cake by making our anniversary so special by the duchess restaurant staff.
we had a toddler with us and On request we were provided with a baby cot and baby products complimentary.
All the management and staff are very very cooperative.
The gym , swimming pool , game room are really nice and the Ayurveda massage is too good and must try for all, overall we really had a wonderful stay and wud love to come back again.
I wud recommend dukes retreat to all the travelers planning their trip to khandala or lonavala.

Room Tip: i wud recommend deluxe room which has a good valley view and has lots of privacy
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank aman32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RSGuleria, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Dear Guest,


Thank you for sharing your comments with the Trip advisor community .

It gives us tremendous pleasure to note that you took back fond memories of a special occasion complimented by your experience with us. Our team is our strength and it is feedback from esteemed guests like yourself which motivates us to scale greater height of excellence . we are truly honoured and inspired by your recommendation of our hotel being your preferred choice in Khandala and Lonavla.

Thank you very much for your kind words of appreciation . We look forward to your continued visits .

Best wishes ,

Rakeshwar Singh Guleria
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pune
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2013

We stayed in Duke Retreat fo3 days during weekday and non rainy season and had taken the all meals package.

Pros

- Superb/Great Foood
- Good Staff
- Good view from Valley view room

Cons -

- Average and dated rooms
- Average and below par Amenities ( child play area was unsafe and non child friendly)
- Far from the city (you need a vehicle to travel around)

We expected more from this place hence the disappointment - great food was the highlight.

Room Tip: valley view
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank akshin2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RSGuleria, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your comments with the Trip advisor community .

We are glad that you explored our hotel . We really appreciate your feedback and sincerely regret that we did not meet your expectations in few areas. We have shared your valuable feedback with the relevant teams in our hotel and assure you of a better experience the next time . Each one of us is delighted by your recognition of recommending our hotel for sumptuous and tasty food .

We await the opportunity to welcome you once again .

Best wishes ,

Rakeshwar Singh Guleria
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
41 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Me and my husband decided to get out of mumbai on a saturday and we zeroed down on the dukes retreat.. We took the all meals package and booked ourselves into the deluxe room.. the meals are not bad and there is quite a bit of variety for both the vegetarians as well as the non vegetarians.. the property is nice (though there was some renovation going on) and the staff is helpful.. the pool is small but they have a nice table tennis, carrom and video game room which ensures that the patrons have a pleasant evening.. it is recommended to stay in the deluxe room as these rooms have a direct valley view.. the only issue being the staff keeps on roaming outside the room which leads to slight invasion of privacy.. the hotel provides for various activities (barbeque, trekking, yoga...obviously at a cost) which is an added benefit.. the hotel also has a kids pool and a kid play area which is a bonus if u are traveling with kids.. overall a nice experience and a complete recommendation to anyone who wants to stay there..

Room Tip: chose the deluxe rooms... they are slightly expensive than the executive rooms but have a better vie...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mitali w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RSGuleria, General Manager at The Dukes Retreat, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear Guest ,

Thank you for sharing your comments with the TripAdvisor community .

We are glad you explored the hotel and sincerely appreciate you taking time to share your feedback . I am pleased to note that you had an overall nice weekend with us. We regret to note that we were unable to meet your expectations in a few areas. We have shared your concerns with the relevant teams.

The team and I eagerly await your next visit and assure you of your best services and attention at all times.


Best Wishes,


Rakeshwar Singh Guleria
Assistant General Manager
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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