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“Really unique, pristine but has to improve substantially...”
Review of The Machan

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The Machan
Ranked #4 of 67 Hotels in Lonavala
Certificate of Excellence
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Really unique, pristine but has to improve substantially...”
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Unique, pristine but WIP…

We stayed in November 2012 for 3 nights and 4 days in this beautifully thought-out holiday place (for the lack of better word). I am neither calling it a resort nor a retreat because many standard facilities that are available with a resort or a retreat are absent here. But it is no way a hotel. With that introduction, let me start with the positives and then, move on to negatives.

Positives


We stayed in a canopy with a beautiful view of the valley and the forest. The early morning sunrise and the late night star gazing are just super! The canopy is an 800 sq. feet room perched at a height (it is not a tree house by the way). There is a large living room with a large bed, one air cooler, one fan and a small ipod dock, if you want to some music watching nature, which I suggest everyone must have a go at. It is not the living room that is impressive, but the bathroom with its cute little accessories and premium toiletries. Worth it! I have put some pics. By the way, no TV here, which is fantastic. My 5.5 year old daughter did not remember TV for 3 days, without any exaggeration.

Location – This place (watch out for the white-washed stones) is around 12-15 kms from Lonavla, which really works for us. Since this place is inside agri and forest area, there are limitation on how much concretization they are allowed to do and therefore, they have left a large portion of the 25 acres land untouched. The eco-friendly tag that this resort claims, in my view, is part by choice and part-forced. But we loved the location and the calmness. We drove around in the 15 kms radius along the club Mahindra route and Pavna lake and we met many interesting villagers. It was like a field trip for my daughter on agriculture, nature and birding.

Food – Just amazing. We had lunch for just one day (two adults and one child and vegetarians). We were surprised with the choices and how well cooked they were. The morning breakfast near the hammocks is superb. Room service was surprisingly efficient, just not what I had read in some other reviews.

People – Very warm and friendly people. They take great efforts during breakfast and dinner. We asked for bonfire twice and they did not hesitate. Loved it.

Disappointments:
Website: It is a misleading website with its photographs of animals, birds (one page is dedicated to birding) and wildlife. Since I am into birding, the answers were like it is better to see from the canopy than otherwise. I sincere hope they make the website more realistic. You have to see the website of Jungle Lodges & Resorts or other wildlife resorts and they are more sober than this one. Or put some disclaimers upfront.

Front gate: Before you go out with your car, please take the phone number of the guys working there, as the front gate will definitely be closed when you come back. You have to honk or someone has to walk down half a km and ask them to open the gate. When we checked-in, we were not told about this and my wife had to walk twice down to get someone to open the main gate.

Room interiors: I have posted some pics of the furniture and interiors here. The furniture and fixtures are very old, broken in some cases and make creaking noises when you sit. The tent is not clean in some places like bathroom door (if I may call that). Beware of the extra bed – you may need a back message when you wake up. For a place that charges more than US$ 300 per night, I think they should renovate or refurbish. One can be eco-friendly, which we totally support but not short-change customers with shabby stuff.

Overall, we loved the resort but still think there is a need to refurbish a lot. Will we come again? Yes but I do sincerely hope they clean-up interiors and offer a better staying room.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Natraj S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (279)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Pune, India
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2012

If you have not yet experienced living on a tree (at a height of say 25 ft from ground), then, Machan is a place worth going to. They have limited tree houses (6 nos only when I visited in June 2012) & property is spread in many acres! Food is good. Room interiors are good (but they do not have TV inside) & its a worth experience.

Room Tip: A room on Tree.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hemantmktg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

It is a nice getaway from the chaos of city to unwind and recharge yourself. Situated in midst of the forest, the machans at tree top level offers a magnificent view. The food is good and service excellent. It has all the basic amenities but if you are looking for pool, gym, disc etc this is definitely not the place for you.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Anonymus00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2012

The place is secluded with basic necessities intact. Food is OK. Nature trails leave much to be desired. Not much to do in terms of activities.

Out of the two nights we spent there, we could hardly sleep. On windy nights, the machans are extremely noisy with flapping roofs and shades.

Overall, I felt it is way too overpriced for the kind of fun it offers.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Fulltimemom270
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheMachan, Owner at The Machan, responded to this review, November 3, 2012
Dear Fulltimemom,

We're glad to have had the opportunity to have hosted you at The Machan.

As you are aware we are rather exposed to the elements in our natural surrounding. Unfortunately, your visit fell during the unpredictable return of the monsoons period when wind gusts pick up during the nights. Staying in a tent can be an exhilarating as well as an unnerving experience for folks not used to camping and we're sorry to hear you weren't able to get much shut eye.

On account of the Zero Damage environmentally friendly arboreal construction we perform, our costs on avg. are 4 times what one would spend on a brick and mortar structure. Yet we try and price ourselves as regular structures.

We're working towards engaging guest with more "active" outdoor activities as we speak and do hope you shall be pleasantly surprised during your next visit to The Machan.

Disappointed that we were not able to wow you as much as some of our other guests. Do lend us the opportunity to do that on your next visit.

Kind regards,
The Machan Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2012

We, a family of 6, with 3 year old child, expectant lady, 2 senior citizens stayed in Heritage Machan. Best: The night view from inside the room is the most unique experience. We just look at the tree tops & sky lying on the bed thru the glass wall/window.
Suggestions: Should have doors on each levels for privacy in Heritage Machan(HM). Food can be much better. The big insects, lizard inside each level crawling is not a good sight. The crow's nest should have few good benches. There should be option to pull down blinds at night. The bathroom near the door should have blinds.

Room Tip: Families/non couples should opt for Heritage machan, sleeps 6 adults.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PRIJIN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheMachan, Owner at The Machan, responded to this review, November 1, 2012
Dear Prijin,

We're glad that the entire family took precious time out to visit us at The Machan.

I'm not sure if this was shared with you but, we began this project, with no commercial intent, to restore the natural flora and fauna of the western ghats over 19 years ago. Around 5 years ago the Heritage Machan was built as a family vacation home. Owing to its primary purpose of being a single family vacation home for a family of 4 adults the structure has a very open plan as you rightly noticed. Terribly sorry if you were not made aware of this fact before you made you booking. With regards to the bathrooms, we had to build them on the same level even though the sleeping sections are across three levels. This is due to the structural limitations place on us when building a giant tree house 45 feet off the ground around a tree. In order to avoid any inconvenience we normally recommend that senior citizens spend their evening on the main deck with direct access to the living, dinning, sleeping areas and two full bathrooms. Lizards are one of natures most fantastic creatures and we would have hoped you would have enjoyed observing them. Do hope you'll reach out to us the next time you visit and we can have the in-house naturalist conduct a private educational session on the endemic species of moths and lizards of the western ghats for the family, I'm sure you'll end up loving it.

All in all we try and supersede all expectations and ensure our guests don't think of us as merely average. Do hope you shall give us another opportunity to host you soon so that we may make that stay even more memorable and truly exceptional.


Regards,
The Machan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2012

It is the most awesomest place & makes you feel in the lap of Nature! Completely disconnected from city life...

The nature trail is to divine and serene. No words I’m so speechless...

I and my husband ... truly loved it.

Thank you to the entire team for all the love & great hospitality!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Preeyaaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheMachan, Owner at The Machan, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Dear Preeyaa,

Thank you very much for the kind words you have shared about The Machan.

We are truly glad you enjoyed the peace and serenity of the green surroundings at The Machan.

We look forward to you returning to our neck of the woods soon for some well deserved R & R.

Kind regards,
The Machan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2012

I am very happy that I choose The Machan to spend one of my weekends and must say that this was a totally different experience. My family thoroughly enjoyed the stay..especially my son who was excited to stay in a tree house. The amenties are just perfect. Needless to say that the Machan team is doing an excellent job of providing all the facilities which other start hotels provide...but you won't get the Machan experience in other hotels. I would definetly come to this place in a different season to enjoy the peace, flora and fauna.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Explorer_S_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheMachan, Manager at The Machan, responded to this review, October 27, 2012
Dear Explorer,

We're so glad that your family took the time out to visit us at The Machan. In particular we're glad the young man enjoyed the experience.

It was a pleasure hosting you and we thank you for the kind words.

We look forward to welcoming you back to The Machan in the very near future.

Best,
The Machan
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 Machan

Property: The Machan
Address: 8 km Short of Aamby Valley, Lonavala, India (Formerly The Machan & Camp Canopy)
Phone Number:
Location: India > Maharashtra > Pune District > Lonavala
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 67 Hotels in Lonavala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Machan 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An award-winning eco-resort in Lonavala. The Machan is a story of dwellings that rise above the forest floor and form a symbiotic relationship with their natural surroundings. All of its individual accommodations are floating in the air, with enchanting views and elegant rustic interiors. Its carbon footprint is minimal - with its energy generated solely through solar and wind. Located in Jambulne, one of 25 biological hotspots of the world and a mere 2.5 Drive from Mumbai (1.5 Hours from Pune), the Machan makes for an accessible weekend getaway. We invite you to take some time away from work and immerse yourself in this one of a kind experience. Reconnect with family, friends and loved ones in the comfort and privacy of this truly exclusive retreat. ... more   less 
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