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“Magical!”

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Neemrana's - Verandah in the Forest
Ranked #2 of 21 Hotels in Matheran
Certificate of Excellence
Navi Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Magical!”
Reviewed June 11, 2012

We spent one night at the Verandah in June and it was wonderful, we didn't want to leave when Monday came about. If you want to spend a weekend with a single-point agenda: Rest & Relaxation, then this is the place to be.

Far away from the usual hustling that goes about in the "hill" stations of Maharashtra, deep in the forest this place has loads of character. From the four poster bed, to the dining table, to the easy chair on the verandah - you will feel you are part of the Raj half expecting one of the company officers to walk out of the rooms and greet you.

The food was stupendous; the lunch was dal, country (gaoti) chicken, stuffed tomatoes, kadai paneer, bhindi, rice/roti, papad, pickles and a cabbage salad. I never knew raw cabbage tasted so good! The dinner was a sit-down continental in candle-light. A vegetable noodle-broth soup was followed by cheese fritters and a corn salad. The main course had chicken and mushrooms, ratatouille, fusilli in a home-made cheese and tomato sauce and potatoes au gratin. The piece-de-resistance was the dessert - apple tart with a vanilla cream sauce. All this was accompanied by the freshest, softest white bread I have ever tasted. The breakfast the following day was toast, cereal, fruit and eggs your style - they had a bread roll that brought back memories of the bread pakora that were available on the Railways. All in all we could tell the the Chef made the spices very subtle to emphasize the flavor of the food.

The highlight of our trip was while we were having lunch on the verandah - the clouds came in and the outside turned dark and misty - Magical!

A couple of nit-picks, the coffee (powdered nescafe) was awful and it might be worthwhile investing in a good coffee machine, the tea (in teabags) was better but I was expected "masala" tea and pakora during the evening when it was raining.

If you have kids who don't read or don't keep themselves busy - you may have a problem keeping them occupied - but as a romantic getaway you can't beat this place.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank je_pather_shesh_nei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this review, June 13, 2012
Dear Guest,

We are delighted to receive your warm and appreciative review about The Verandah in the Forest heritage hotel in Matheran, near Mumbai. It is heartening to learn that you thoroughly enjoyed the ambience of the property, and relished the food during your stay. Your compliments have been conveyed to the Chef and his team.

This is what we strive to achieve and it is always rewarding if someone at the receiving end can sense the effort and the love.

We are pleased to inform you that a table tennis facility is being added at The Verandah in the Forest to increase the choice of activities. Guests and their children will soon enjoy playing table tennis at the property.

We have noted your feedback about the tea and the coffee machine and shall try our level best to incorporate your suggestions at the earliest.

Once again, on behalf of the entire Neemrana team we thank you for your kind words and continued patronage.

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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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (183)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
72 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2012

Background: Went for our 2nd anniversary. Have stayed in other Neemrana properties so was sure about the quality of the place. Went with another couple and their 2-year old kid.

Info on the property: Locally known as Barr House, an early 19th century property is situated well within the forest really and gets nice and chilly at night. They have 12 rooms that includes a variety of suites, rooms and one tent. So as such something for everyone.

Reaching the property: You stop your car or vehicle at Dasturi village and go up by walking, horsing or by carts pulled by men. Its approx. one and half hours upwards as a journey.

What do the Neemrana people tell you: Its a pleasant walk of around 45 minutes up the hill.

What to expect on your trek to Barr House: Dust, horse dung and more dust. No proper terrain to walk on. You would be walking on the rail-track or rocks or dust. It definitely cannot be in any time of the day be termed as pleasant. If you trek, you arrive covered in the red dust of the hill. If you horse, you come with your body feeling disjointed. If you are pulled, you feel embarrased to see men huffing and pushing you with such pain that you dont feel good at all.

Enjoyed the property, the food is excellent and the service is impeccable. We were extremely pleased with our room choices. We stayed in Kapadia (which is at the backside of the property, very seculded and right at the edge of the forest. My friends stayed at Shankershet and it was very nice too.

Shall go back only if I am para-dropped from the sky on to the property. Shall not go back if this is how they are going to access Matheran - the worst hill-station in the world !!!

Room Tip: Its a Neemrana property... you shall enjoy whichever room you choose.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Bazked
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this review, June 1, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind 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 rooms, the food and the service by the team. Your compliments have been conveyed to the hotel team.

As you are aware, Matheran is Asia’s only pedestrian hill-station. Enormous effort has been put in to maintain this cut off point between civilization and peace.

We hope that as you discover more of real India with Neemrana, you’ll find more to tell us about. We thank you for your continued patronage and look forward to welcoming 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.
Indore, India
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2012

The place seems pretty good from the reviews, except the fact that there are no ACs in any of the rooms. however, most people i have tried to find out from have mentioned Usha Ascot as the best hotel in Matheran. To be able to make a decision, i thought i would speak to the personnel at the hotel and clarify some questions i had regarding the hotel and our trip. However, i was really disappointed that despite trying several times, i have still not been able to speak to anyone at the hotel directly.
1. I called at the matheran number and was told that they do have any details about reservations and that some one would call me back. It's been around 5 days and it hasn't happened.
2. I again tried calling them but either the calls are not answered or the number in not available etc (these are the numbers given on their website)
3. I called at bangalore office and no one answered my call. I registered a call back request on their voice mail but i did not get any.
4. i called ta their Delhi head office. My call was transferred to different people 4 times. Finally i was told that the concerned person is busy and she will call back. I told them the whole story as to how i havent been able to speak to anyone and i need to finalize the reservations asap. I was again promised a prompt call back but no success so far.
5. I did get the tariff on mail when i left the details on their contact us page on the website. However, it wasn't enough for making a reservation as i am still not able to get the details i need about transportation, weather etc.

My enquiry was for off season for about 6 rooms for which one would expect a more pro active approach from the hotel. on the contrary, it seems they don't want any guests. If even that is the case, it would be courteous to simply let the guests know that.

I would give one last attempt by leaving another call back request at the website. If it doesn't work, i hope i can come back and write a good review about where we stayed at Matheran if in fact we do get one.

Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
7 Thank NJ1502
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this review, May 14, 2012
Dear Madam,

Thank you for your feedback about the booking process for our heritage hotel in Matheran – The Verandah in the Forest.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused. We are writing to apologize and to offer and explanation.

The Verandah in the Forest is located in Matheran, which suffers from very poor phone connectivity. For the convenience of our guests we have a centralized booking system handled by our Sales offices across India.

We are distressed to learn about your experience and assure you that the team has been pulled up and given the requisite support and training so that feedback like this does not recur in the future. We have already sent you a message on Tripadvisor requesting for your contact details. Alternatively, please feel free to contact our Corporate Head who would be happy to personally coordinate your stay at the property. Her details have been sent to you in a private message.

We do hope that you will not hold this against us and will give us a chance to serve you in the near future.

It is our endeavour to constantly improve and it is feedback such as yours which helps us do so.

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.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mansi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
163 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank SwetankJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
india
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank manojchan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this review, 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.
mumbai
1 review
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank takeabreaknow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NeemranaHotels, Guest Relations Manager at Neemrana's - Verandah in the Forest, responded to this review, 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
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 Neemrana's - Verandah in the Forest

Property: Neemrana's - Verandah in the Forest
Address: Barr House | Matheran, District Raigarh, Matheran 410102, India
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 #2 of 21 Hotels in Matheran
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Neemrana's - 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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