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Dune Barr House - Verandah in the Forest
Ranked #3 of 22 Hotels in Matheran
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 23, 2012

Set in the non-polluted,lush Matheran, this hotel is just what you need for a break from urban life. This place has a nice, quaint feel like you have stepped into another time. The rooms are clean and decorated in the same style. We loved the dinner where you could meet all the people living in the hotel and sit down together and share stories over the meal. This was my highlight and i strongly recommend it. Its not plush in an obvious way so you want to stay here only if you are looking for a different experience.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mansi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Dune Barr House - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this reviewResponded May 3, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kinds words about The Verandah in the Forest hotel in Matheran. We are delighted to learn that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay at the property, including the dinner.

We thank you for your continued patronage and hope that as you discover more of real India with Neemrana, you’ll find more to tell us about.

Warm Regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

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410 - 416 of 489 reviews

Reviewed March 31, 2012

The Verandah in the Forest is another beautiful and elegant property from the Neemrana group. Hidden in the middle of the forest it is an amazing property with the glorious 19th century feel.
The property is about 2.5 km from the main market and (toy train) station of Matheran. Matheran is the only pedestrian hill station in Asia. This town is really unique as it doesn't allow any motorized mode of transport. That mean no 4 wheelers, 3 wheelers, 2 wheelers or even a bicycle. You can either take a horse ride or a hand-pulled rickshaw cart.
So if you need to reach the hotel from the main market and don't want to walk your best bet is taking a horse ride. They are available on each and every step in the market and horse owners will keep on asking you to take their horses. They can ask for anywhere between 150-200 INR per horse to taker you to The Verandah in the forest but you can easily bargain them down to 75-90 INR per horse.
Won't suggest you to take the hand pulled rickshaw cart as there is no road and the ride on those wheels can be really bumpy once you enter forest.
As far as we are concerned we walked all the way from Dasturi point which is about 5 km from the hotel.
The regular check in time for the hotel is 2 pm but very surprisingly when we reached hotel at 9 am that is 5 hours early before the check in time they happily provided us the room without even saying anything. And from then onwards every thing turned out to be much better than expected.

Now let me tell you about the hotel.
It is an old heritage building done up really nicely by Neemrana. It has two floors ground and 1st. On the first floor all rooms open in The Verandah which is really huge and amazing. That is how the hotel gets its name.
Then on the ground floor there are some more rooms with another nice verandah.
There is also a beautifully decorated huge living/common room with a nice victorian styled dining room.

Rooms: The rooms are huge with double bed/two single beds and a day bed.
They have attached bathroom which are again generously big with a separate dressing table area and changing room.
There no Air Conditioning in the hotel and in the rooms. But our room was as cold and cozy as it would be with any air conditioning that too when the outside temperature was almost 40 degree centigrade that day.
Another thing that you don't have in the room is Television. Though it is compensated by hundreds of books and magazines kept all over the hotel. But if you are not a great reader I would suggest carry a tablet or laptop loaded with a couple of movies, as it can get really boring after sunset in the hotel with nothing much to do.
There are in all 11 rooms and all have a separate name and theme. But practically they are not much different. We stayed in Jahaangir.

Food: They have fixed breakfast and evening tea as part of the room booking. for lunch they charge 450 INR per person and for dinner 500 INR per person. Not much variety for these two as the menu is fixed, but food is really good and they serve you well in their nice royal dining hall. Usually lunches are Indian and dinner is continental.

Staff: The staff is really friendly and treats you well. But one thing could have made the experience really great if they were more informed about other things also than just their service. Typically in a heritage hotel you would want to know about the property or surroundings, but the staff here had no clue about anything else.

Shopping: There is a Neemrana shop also in the hotel but there is nothing to write about as there was nothing to shop in there.

Overall the place is really good for a day or two max. Property is neat and clean and certainly takes you back in time.

And yes it is certainly the best place to stay in Matheran, any other hotel is absolutely nothing compared to this one.

Room Tip: From the view point of view the first floor rooms facing the verandah are the best. But from privacy...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank SwetankJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Dune Barr House - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your kind words about The Verandah in the Forest in Matheran.

We are delighted to learn that you had a pleasurable experience and enjoyed the ambience and food at the property.

As you may be aware, Neemrana tries to employ as many local people, who are often not educated. We put them through a training programme and then try to empower them to run our local heritage with pride. We will ensure that the hotel team is given the requisite support and training in order to assist guests with information about local activities in Matheran as well as the history of the property. In the meantime we recommend visiting our website which has details about the history of the property as well as the activities in Matheran.

The Neemrana Shop at the Verandah in the Forest offers a unique shopping experience with lifestyle products, artwork and gifts. The shop offers merchandise ranging from table linen, fashion wear and accessories, candles, pottery, silver plate and porcelain, tableware, flatware, tea sets, candle stands, trays and many more. Also available are objects and items used in the Neemrana hotel suites to take home both the heritage and the contemporary lifestyle experiences. It is a popular choice for lifestyle and gift shoppers. You are welcome to send us your suggestions at the email address mentioned below and we will try our best to incorporate them.

We thank you for your valuable review and look forward to serving you at our 26 properties across India!

Warm regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

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Reviewed March 27, 2012

It is a colonial style building,tucked away in the dense forest,this is the place to be if you want to run away from city life to gain back your peace, away from main market, close to nature with NO TV, NO Mobile Signal, NO AC makes it silent and peaceful, Food was great with Indian fare during lunch time and continental during dinner time with ever beautiful setting of candle lit huge dinning room.

I requested for 4am bed tea, and you know what is the answer? Yes we will serve you Sir, what more to write for the service.

Blissful place, so Rush Rush Rush....

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank manojchan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Dune Barr House - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your motivating review about The Verandah in the Forest.

We are delighted to learn that you had a pleasurable experience and enjoyed the ambience and food at the property.

As you may be aware, Neemrana tries to employ as many local people, who are often not educated. We put them through a training programme and then try to empower them to run our local heritage with pride. Your compliments have been conveyed to them.

We thank you for your continued patronage and look forward to serving you at our 26 properties across India!

Warm regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2012

We spent a couple of days there recently
food's nice - not too many choices but nice
staff's enthusiastic
room - quaint, but they seem to have overdone the un-hotel bit. cupboard wdnt close, the upholstery's getting threadbare, and the room has a damp, dank smell

hammock's off-kilter
the grounds around the hotel are not very well maintained - some rubbish, some construction material..
a couple of mangy dogs too..but they don't bother you

no cellphone reception, except in one area - nice
no tv - nicer
once you get to the hotel - v quiet and relaxing

but matheran's a dump - dust and dung(from the horses) all over.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank takeabreaknow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Dune Barr House - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback about The Verandah in the Forest.

We are sorry to learn that you did not find all at The Verandah to your satisfaction.

At The Verandah in the Forest, broadly, we serve Indian cuisine with a few Continental or Oriental dishes at random, to suit a range of tastes and palates. Italian and Chinese dishes are often added to enrich the range of buffet spreads. Should you desire to taste a special dish or have a particular preference, you can certainly make a request at the previous meal, and the chefs will try and please you during your next visit.

Your feedback has been shared with the Manager at the property and we assure you that the necessary steps have been taken to improve the areas mentioned by you. Please do accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused.

It is our endeavour to constantly improve and it is feedback such as yours which helps us do so. We are confident that you will notice an improvement in the maintenance of the property when you visit next.
.
Warm regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2012

A beautiful heritage property. Tucked away in the dense forest, this is a property which will make you forget the fast paced life of city.

Room Tip: use the website which gives a good view of all rooms. Kapadia room tho small is recommended as its i...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Amit G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Dune Barr House - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your valuable review of The Verandah in the Forest.

We are delighted to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay at the property. It is only the initiated traveller who appreciates the authenticity of a restored 19th century building in spell-binding wilderness! Your feedback is heartwarming for the entire Neemrana family.

We thank you for your patronage and look forward to serving you at our 25 properties across India.

Warm regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2012

A two night stay at this place and it is already competing to replace my a favorite south goa hideaways. We choose Kapadia room because it was the cheapest but after staying there i wouldn't stay any other room. The room is isolated from the rest of the hotels and it opens to the jungle, so the blissful mix of privacy and nature is incomparable. It is a colonial style building and all rooms are tastefully done. Kapadia is adequately sized for couple/small family and equipped with everything you need. Staff is congenial and always very careful not to disturb the calm.
The breakfast is just enough, we had toast, eggs, fruits, curd and upma and they have a variety of in-house spreads and preserves too. If you are looking for jumbo buffet then you might be left wanting. We trekked through the day, so never had lunch there but I am sure it would be good. The dinner is continental fare and it was good if not out of the world. If you are a strict vegetarian (prefer eggless pastries/savories) then you might be complaining. One Guajarati family was very upset with the tarts and quiches because it had eggs!!Now really, the original recipe does call for eggs, plus they never informed before so no point blaming the staff.

This place is very close to Charlotte Lake and an early morning walk is highly recommended and you can sit on steps in front of kapadia room by the dusk and sip some wine (we got our own). Horse riding is an option too, try it only if you know how to ride.

You can eat at the nearby Lord's central hotel, there lunch was quite good, the caramel custard is worth a mention.

So if you want to run away from Bombay to gain back your sanity, then this place is your answer.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Bombay8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Dune Barr House - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your motivating feedback about The Verandah in the Forest. It is our constant endeavour to provide ‘experiential authenticity' and your feedback is heartwarming for the entire Neemrana family that strives hard to put new life into an unused and ruined building.

Should our guests desire to taste a special dish or have a particular preference, they can certainly make a request at the previous meal, and the chefs will certainly incorporate their requests.

We look forward to serving you again soon!

Warm regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2012

The Verandah is a beautiful colonial style building about 15 mins walk from the main street. The rooms are spacious, well furnished and tastefully decorated. Staff were helpful and service was good. Breakfast and lunch are quite good. Dinner (continental) is not their strong point but it is easier to eat here than walk in the forest to town in the dark. The larger, lighter and, I think, more expensive rooms, are on the first floor and open on to the verandah. The beautiful, comfortable lounge is also on that floor. Unfortunately, although these can be great places to relax and read, this really depends on the other guests who are also using the shared space. In effect, your room is just a few metres from those eating and socialising. If you were lucky enough to be there with couples this would be ok, but we were there for two nights and on both nights there was a large, noisy group monopolising the area. It was virtually impossible escape the racket, you just have to wait for them to go to bed or go out. When they did, it was bliss! This would make me hesitate to return as, in my experience, it is the norm in India to have largish groups in hotels. If it were not for that, I would like to go back. Matheran itself is dusty and a bit tacky, and some of the walks are very crowded with people and horses. However, the walk to Chowk point was quieter and quite pleasant, with nice views, though be prepared to see a lot of litter.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank marie083
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Dune Barr House - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your review about The Verandah in the Forest. Your feedback is heart-warming for the entire Neemrana family, for it is guests like you who continue to reinforce our belief in our philosophy of putting new life into an unused and ruined building.

We are sorry to learn that your retreat was disturbed by our other guests at the property. Although our staff is trained to handle such situations, sometimes it becomes difficult to monitor this. For guests looking for solitude, we recommend booking the Kapadia suite which is literally a jungle suite facing the forest. It is an ideal choice to spend a few quiet and peaceful days.

We look forward to serving you again soon!

Warm regards,
Team Neemrana
friendofneemrana@neemranahotels.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 Dune Barr House - Verandah in the Forest

Address: Charlotte Lake Road, Matheran 410102, India (Formerly Neemrana's - Verandah in the Forest)
Location: India > Maharashtra > Raigad District > Matheran
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 22 Hotels in Matheran
Price Range: $55 - $110 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Dune Barr House - Verandah in the Forest 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
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 
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Also Known As:
The Verandah In The Forest Hotel Matheran
The Verandah In Forest

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