Ranthambore Tiger Safari and Stay in Kipling Lodge

ranthambore

A Ranthambore Tiger Safari with a first timers luck! I spotted a tigress right at the gate of Ranthambore National Park and it just walked by my jeep.

I had a wonderful time here in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan in the Ranthambore National Park and Kipling lodge. This trip was just spectacular because I had many new experiences; I stayed in a lodge for the first time, tried my hands at clay pot making, saw a Tiger for the first time and a lot more. Let me show you everything you need to know to visit Ranthambore national park and Kipling lodge.

Watch my entire Ranthambore journey below!

Ranthambore National Park, Sawai Madhopur

Ranthambore National Park counts the most tiger sightings because it is home to about 80 tigers. It covers a vast area of 282 km and is habitat to many wild animals. 

How to get there

By air РThe closest airport to the park is Jaipur International Airport at a distance of 160 km. You can travel by train or road from the Airport to the park. 

By Train РSawai Madhopur Railway station is just 11 km away from the park, and most of the trains from major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Agra halt here. Cab and a local bus will get you to the park. 

By Road РRanthambore National park is connected by road to all major cities. 

Jaipur City to Ranthambore via NH23 170 km 3 to 4 hours depending of traffic

Delhi City to Ranthambore via NH48 351 km 6 to 7 hours

Mumbai City to Ranthambore via NH52 1088 km more than 21 hours

Tiger Safari

The best way to book your safari is through your hotel. The entire park is divided into ten zones and each zone has a varied range of wildlife sightings. 

You can either select Zones 1 to 7 or Zones 8 to 10. Although tigers are spread throughout the park, you are likely to spot more in zones 1 to 6 which have the most number of water holes. But I spotted one right at the gate as we entered, so it might depend a little bit on your luck and timing!

Safari timing

Morning safari 06.30 am ‚Äď 10.00 am

evening safari 02.30 pm ‚Äď 06.00 pm 

Stay updated with their website about any changes in the time or schedule.

Private Vehicles are only allowed upto the Ganesh Temple and Ranthambore Fort. So you have to book a jeep or a Canter in order to move further and have the complete experience of a jungle safari. 

Safari Vehicles

Shared Canter Safari

This is a 15-20 seater open roof bus 

Rs.1500-1800 per person

Shared Jeep Safari

This is a open roof Gypsy which carries 6 people, plus 2 (Guide and driver)

Rs. 2300-2500 per person

Private jeep Safari

Your own private jeep which would be just you (and your people) and the guide and driver.

Rs.15000 or more

The best season to visit is from October to June. The park stays open all around the year, although in monsoon some zones are closed and the time for entry and exit might also change. You can also opt for a full day Safari as well, which would last about 12 hours and cost a lot more.

After you spot a tiger, you can‚Äôt just relax because there is still so much you have to explore.. 

So stay sharp and Don’t miss this in Ranthambore National Park!

Ranthambore Fort- A majestic fort since 994 AD which witnessed so many battles.

Birdwatching- Peacocks and Parakeets, Kingfisher, Bulbuls and just so many of them.

Other wildlife- You might also spot leopards, Sambhar, Chinkara, Indian Wild Boar.

Raj Bagh ruins- Another historic structure which you can see during the Safari.

Padam Talao- A large water body where you can stop for a few minutes and spot many wild animals.

I spotted a peacock, Sambhar and Spotted deer, and even saw some shedded antlers. Click on this link to catch a glimpse of this amazing safari.

If you are a nature enthusiast, love bird watching and of course wish to see a tiger up close, book your Safari now! 

The Kipling Lodge, Charoda Rd, Sawai Madhopur

The Kipling Lodge is a serene property nestled close to the Ranthambore National Park. The entire property is surrounded by lush greenery, vibrant flowers and purple lotuses blooming in tiny ponds. Named after Rudyard Kipling, an enigmatic writer who holds a special place in all our hearts, this place succeeds to do the same. 

Rooms in The Kipling Lodge

Superior Garden Rooms 

Accommodate upto 3 people and have a Garden view 

Rs.15,000/- per night all meals included 

Majestic Suites

A suite with enough space for about 3 people and a Garden view

Rs.24,000/- per night all meals included 

Junior Terrace Suites

These have a terrace attached to them, and are smaller than the majestic suite. Perfect for 3 people.

Rs.20,000/- per night all meals included 

Check-in time 2.00 pm

Check-out time 12.00 pm

What’s the food like?

I tried a bunch of different cuisines here and I have to say I loved Chinese food the most. I also enjoyed their breakfast which had so many options and the irresistible chocolate brownie with ice cream.

Amenities

Free Wifi

Parking

Library

Room Service

Activities

Swimming Pool

Wellness and Spa

Clay pot making

Souvenir Shop

I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this trip. I am still obsessed over watching a tigress from such a short distance. The soothing climate at Kipling Lodge and their lovely staff and management made this experience spectacular. 

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Rambagh Palace, Jaipur | Most Expensive Hotel in India

Rambagh Palace Jaipur

Rambagh Palace is one of the most luxurious hotels in India. It was acquired by the Taj group a few years ago, and they retained the beauty and luxury of this heritage hotel, and manage it till date. Suites ranging upto 10 lakhs a night make it one of the most expensive hotels in India. But the hand-carved infrastructure, refreshing gardens, royal bedrooms and their flawless service make a stay here indeed memorable for life.

Manicured gardens and intricate architecture spread across the wide area of Rambagh Palace. Previously this was the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur and now hosts guests from all over the world. 

The grand entrance, Mughal style gardens, water fountains, lavish rooms and every aspect of the architecture carries forward the historic magnificence of this palace. Spending your vacation here is literally – living like royalty.

The exquisite experience begins as you enter Rambagh palace and you are showered with rose petals as a welcome. Next thing you can do is simply try to grasp the palatial beauty in front of you. The Palace decor is a beautiful composition of vintage and antique style. From the palace you can view the magnificent gardens and peacocks dancing everywhere in all their grace. 

Take a look at the luxurious Palace Room of the Rambagh Palace. For a video tour watch this!

Every aspect of the room is distinct and majestic, but these tiny things set it apart from everything else!

  • Mirror work design
  • Ac vents
  • Utility Ropes

Dining at Rambagh Palace

Rambagh Palace has plenty of dining options and each of them feature unique ambience and dishes.

  • Suvarna Mahal

Suvarna mahal is just the place to dine like royalty. True to its name, Suvarna or ‚Äėgold‚Äô mahal has an extravagant decor of gold. Your food arrives on a large golden plate. You can choose from varieties of Thalis in Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian or you can order √†-la-carte. 

Know more about this place here.

  • Steam Restaurant

Steam Restaurant adds a very unique touch to your experience here. The restaurant is inside a resotred steam engine and also has a Victorian style station waiting area. One can enjoy comfort food like wood fired pizzas, soups and much more. 

  • Polo Bar

The best place to relax and chit-chat while you enjoy the signature cocktails and rare whiskies.

  • The Oriental 

The Oriental brings all the flavours of Asia to Rambagh Palace. Currently it is a place to host private parties in the palace. 

  • Rajput room

A lively all day dining area. They usually have a breakfast buffet here and one feels like they are dining with royalty.

Night time

As the sun sets in, Rambaug palace illuminates in the brightness of the lights. This view quickly brings a sense of calmness to you. At night you can enjoy the dance shows and music out in the courtyard. 

Activities in Rambagh Palace

  • Buggy rides

A horse buggy ride across the magnificent property of Rambagh Palace is included in the 35k stay package. It takes you through the wide paths surrounded by the greenery of the Mughal Gardens. The entire ride you will spot peacocks everywhere, dancing and roaming gracefully. 

  • Indoor pool  

Rambagh palace has a huge Indoor pool where you can drop by for a swim or just lounge by the pool. 

If you want to experience history, traditional architecture and of course royalty, then Rambagh Palace is the place to visit when in Jaipur.

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Kumarakom – Backwaters, Resort and more | Weekend in Kerala

Kumarakom
Exploring Kumarakom backwaters and the beautiful Vembanad lake is something that needs to be in your Kerala travel plan.

Watch this video to know more about my Kumarakom experience.

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Kumarakom is one of the most scenic places in Kerala. It is a village, situated on Vembanad lake and is a gorgeous holiday destination. In fact, it is the ultimate place to relax and chill.

Kumarakom

The bird sanctuary in Kumarakom is one of the must visit spots here. A lot of Himalayan and Siberian migratory birds from are seen in the months of June and August.

Kumarakom

Very close to the Birth Sanctuary is the Taj Kumarakom Resort & Spa. This is actually a family residence converted into a hotel property, inclusive of rooms, cottages and executive villas. It is situated so close to the Vembanad Lake that you could board a sunset boat cruise right from the hotel itself! A gorgeous property with delicious food. You can check out my Kerala style meal experience here in this video.

A trip to Kumarakom is incomplete without experiencing the backwaters here. You could enjoy a day cruise here or just a boat ride during sunset, but its something that you absolutely must experience.

Kumarakom

Kumarakom

Kerala has a lot to offer in terms of responsible tourism. Kumarakom is in fact one of the first few places in India that began promoting responsible eco-tourism. Apart from Kumarakom, I have explored various other destinations in Kerala. You can watch them below!

Munnar

Thekkady

Alleppey Houseboat

Kochi

Poovar

Kerala Ayurveda Experience

Alleppey to Cochin Houseboat experience 

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Kumarakom

Kumarakom

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AOne Royal Cruise Hotel Pattaya – Review

AOne Royal Cruise Hotel Pattaya
AOne Royal Cruise Hotel was my home for 2 nights in Pattaya

When I heard about the name AOne Royal Cruise, I thought that they wouldn’t take the cruise part of it very seriously. But boy, they did!

AOne Royal Cruise Hotel Pattaya

The AOne Royal Cruise Hotel is designed to give you a lavish cruise experience. The exterior and the interior of the hotel have been beautifully done to give that feeling of being on a fancy cruise ship, albeit without the waves. A mini observation deck area, a massive piano by a cafe and a wide staircase – the hotel lobby has it all. And once you take the lift to go on the higher floors you can actually see the Pattaya beach coastline, which is stunning in itself.

AOne Royal Cruise Hotel Pattaya

At the hotel I stayed in their mini Sea View suite and let me tell you that the suite was anything but mini! A large bedroom, combined with a seating area and a wardrobe area, mini bar and tea counter and a lavish bathroom – the suite had it all. It also had a a balcony with a seating area and the ocean, which although far off, made for a great view.

AOne Royal Cruise Hotel Pattaya

AOne Royal Cruise Hotel Pattaya

AOne Royal Cruise Hotel Pattaya

AOne Royal Cruise Hotel Pattaya

AOne Royal Cruise Hotel Pattaya

The AOne Royal Cruise Pattaya also has a restaurant called the Boat restaurant and that is where they serve all their meals in buffet form. For anyone who loves sea food, this spread is massive! And being a vegetarian I did find a lot of dishes, including a few Indian dishes in every meal. Their fruits, vegetables, desserts – everything is fresh and delicious.

AOne Royal Cruise Hotel Pattaya

In my Pattaya vlog series, I have given a whole tour of the hotel and also shared their buffet. Do watch it below!

If you want to find out more about AOne Royal Cruise Pattaya then do check out their website.

AOne Royal Cruise Hotel Pattaya

Want to know about Indian food in Pattaya? Watch this!

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Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 | Best hotel in Bangkok

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11
On my recent visit to Bangkok, I stayed at the Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11.

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11

In terms of location and hospitality, Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 is a clear win. It is located just 2 minutes from Nana BTS, in the Sukhumvit area in Bangkok. And in this area, you will definitely find a lot of restaurants, bars and also a bit of shopping.

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 is a premium property by the Accor group of hotels. So you can be rest assured that the service and hygiene will be par excellence. And actually, this would also not be as expensive as some of the other hotels by the Accor group. In fact, room rates here start at Rs.5500 (approx.2500 Baht) if you book in advance.

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11

I stayed in a Deluxe room at Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 and it was so spacious! King bed, study area, coffee machine, mini fridge, wardrobe – it had it all. There was also a cozy sofa seating by the window.

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11

In the bathroom, even the sink area was very well spaced out. A bathtub and a separate shower cubicle is also something that I personally appreciate in hotel bathrooms.

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11

The hotel does have a gorgeous swimming pool area as well. And it is done up with colorful cabanas and interesting furniture pieces that make such a lot of difference to the whole feel.

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 offers buffet breakfast and also an evening happy hour. You can try to incorporate a buffet breakfast in your room package to get a good deal. And the breakfast spread is pretty good. As a vegetarian, I indulged in a lot of food and salads here and the chef was kind enough to even put together a sandwich for me. Their happy hour is also pretty awesome! You can sip of some cocktails and enjoy cheese and crackers while enjoying the Bangkok skyline.

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11

Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11

I have to give an extra mention to the the staff at the reception and restaurant area of the hotel. They were the kindest ladies I have come across and definitely go an extra mile in making you feel comfortable during your stay.

When in Bangkok, definitely try staying at Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 11. You won’t be disappointed! To know more about the hotel click here.

You can catch this hotel in my video below!

Want to read about my visit to the Bangkok temples? Click here!

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Ayurveda Resort in Kerala – Somatheeram

Ayurveda Resort
My Ayurveda Resort experience in Kerala was fabulous!

One of the first Ayurveda resort in the world, Somatheeram should be on your wellness itinerary. Watch this video of my entire experience below.

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Ayurveda Resort

Located in Chowara near Kovalam, Somatheeram is one of the best Ayurveda resort not just in Kerala, but also in India. This wellness retreat began in the year 1985, when Ayurveda was generating a lot of curiosity amongst international travellers visiting Kerala. The nearest airport for Somatheeram is Thiruvananthapuram and after that it’s about a one and a half hour drive.

Ayurveda Resort

Somatheeram is not just an Ayurveda resort; it’s also a hospital. One can avail their treatments for various health issues and also those that are suited for relaxation and leisure. I checked in here just for 2 days and I could already feel the calm and peace thanks to all the greenery around the resort.

Ayurveda Resort

My room here was a traditional Kerala style cottage and it had an antique rustic feel. And oh so cozy!

Ayurveda Resort

Food is a very important aspect of Ayurveda. In Somatheeram, you will find a buffet spread for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But this is not just a regular buffet –¬† one can find a wide variety of seasonal vegetables, healthy juices and an authentic Kerala menu which is usually very nutritious. Also, the individual dishes are marked with the doshas they are most suited for – Vatha, Pitha, Kapha. This helps guests navigate the buffet as per food that is really suited for their body.

Ayurveda Resort

Ayurveda Resort

Ayurvedic treatments, therapies and massages are all available in Somatheeram. But these are basis the guidance given by the doctors there. Basically, during check-in, one’s healthy history, problems and concerns are discussed and basis that a treatment plan is decided. And this includes exercise, food and massage.

The property is also beautifully green. And very close to the beach. So the sound of waves is something that you will hear all throughout your stay here.

Ayurveda Resort

Ayurveda Resort

I absolutely enjoyed my stay at Somatheeram Ayurveda resort. It is an experience that I recommend you have when in Kerala. You can check out their rooms, rates, packages by clicking here.

Read about the most underrated destination in Kerala – Poovar.

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Poovar

Kochi

Alleppey

Thekkady

Munnar

Thali


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Poovar Resort with access to Backwaters and Beach

Poovar Resort
The best Poovar resort that can take you on a splendid journey through the backwaters of Kerala and also the Golden Sand Beach!

A Poovar resort that feels like heaven – the Estuary Sarovar Portico in Poovar, Kerala is one of the best places to stay while you are visiting this gorgeous island.

Watch this video from my stay in Estuary Sarovar Portico resort in Poovar for a visual tour.

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Poovar Resort

When it comes to resorts in Kerala, a lot of them end up being scenic primarily because of their location. But the Estuary Sarovar Portico takes its nature landscape to a whole different level. This Poovar resort is massive – filled with lots of coconut trees, various types of stay options and a restaurant that helps you experience local Kerala cuisine.

In terms of location, this is one of the best. Access to the backwaters and the beach right from the resort – what else can one ask for when in Kerala. And that estuary view is seriously underrated!

Poovar Resort

Estuary Sarovar Portico has a lot of options when it comes to accommodation. From Garden view rooms to luxurious villas with a pool. And they are even coming up with estuary view rooms and cottages. I stayed at their premium cottage and it was more than comfortable! Massive room, a dressing room and bathroom with a cute bathtub for two – I couldn’t really ask for more!

Poovar Resort

Poovar Resort

In terms of food, I was spoilt for choice during my visit. Firstly I had the ‘sadya’ meal here which was phenomenal. The Chef and the staff go the extra mile to get as many dishes as possible and give guests a true Kerala sadya experience. They also have a sampler dinner menu of sorts – so 4-5 different dishes, local to Kerala are part of the menu and the portions are small since there are multiple dishes. And this also included a delicious banana payasam. Usually they have a breakfast buffet which has everything – right from appams, to idli-dosas to the more common American buffet dishes. What caught my attention¬† in their breakfast spread was that they prepared their tea and coffee fresh right in front of you, and to suit your needs.

Poovar Resort

Poovar Resort

Poovar Resort

Poovar Resort

Poovar Resort

Poovar Resort

The resort has many amenities – 2 pools, a massive badminton court and play area, local tours, sightseeing and lots more.

Poovar Resort

Poovar Island is so beautiful – I don’t find as many people talking about it as they do for other places in Kerala. But this, in my opinion is one of the prettiest places that you can visit when in Kerala.Trivandrum is the closest airport to Poovar and it’s just about an hour’s drive from Thiruvananthapuram airport. And when you visit Poovar, do consider Estuary Sarovar Portico as your stay option. Its perfect for a honeymoon stay, a family vacation or even a corporate offsite. Check out all their details on their website.

Poovar Resort

Before Poovar, I visited Thekkady. You can know all about it here

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Greenwoods Thekkady Resort – So Green & Gorgeous!

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort
You’d expect a Thekkady Resort or hotel to be lush and serene. But Greenwoods in Thekkady is so gorgeously green!

Here’s a video from my visit to Thekkady Resort Greenwoods, Periyar Lake and a Spice Garden. Watch below.

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Greenwoods Resort is one of the best places to stay in Thekkady. Location wise it is very convenient – just in the beginning of the market side and about a 15 minute auto ride away from the bus station for Periyar. For anyone who is in Thekkady and looking for a fun resort with their family, kids or even if you are on your honeymoon, Greenwoods Resort Thekkady is an option to be considered.

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

The resort itself has a beautiful feel. Surrounded by trees and lush greenery, this place has that forest-like vibe. They also have a lot of spice plantations inside the resort itself. Spices are very common in Thekkady and you can do a mini spice plantation tour right inside Greenwoods resort! They have a restaurant and a pool area too. And also an area called Gokulam which is where you will find ducks, rabbits and a few Gir cows in their cow sheds. The resort promotes responsible tourism – they have a waste water recycling plant, tree plantation activities for guests and also use minimal plastic. Other activities in the resort include a Kerala cuisine cooking class, a Kerala style saree and lungi draping and a traditional Indian dance performance.

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

Coming to the accommodation at Greenwoods Thekkady, they have superior and deluxe rooms, premium suites, villas with private pools. I stayed at Amaravathy – a premium suite with a pool and garden view. It is easily one of the most spacious cottages I’ve lived in and it was a super comfortable stay. A separate living room area (2 levels), a cozy bedroom with a balcony sit-out and a more than spacious bathroom.

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

In resorts like these, you could opt for an American Plan, i.e. a package inclusive of meals; so you don’t have to wander around in search of good, hygienic food. At Greenwoods Thekkady Resort they¬† have a restaurant serving Breakfast Buffet and A-la-carte Lunch and Dinner. And you will be able to fulfil your cravings for trying authentic Kerala cuisine here because they have it all!

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

I definitely recommend Greenwoods Resort in Thekkady. It’s a great place for a good holiday, honeymoon or just some time off to relax and unwind. You can check out their prices, packages and other amenities on their website.

Looking for a resort in Munnar? Read this!

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Munnar

South Indian Thali

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Amber Dale Hotel Munnar | Luxury Hotel & Spa in Munnar

Amber Dale Hotel
I recently stayed at Amber Dale Hotel in Munnar and my experience was amazing!

Watch this video to know about my Munnar experience in Amber Dale Hotel.

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Amber Dale Hotel is a luxury hotel and spa in Munnar. It is a beautiful property and boasts of the best view that one can get in Munnar. And that is absolutely correct. Once can admire endless stretch of mountains from various points in this property.

Amber Dale Hotel

In terms of rooms, you will find ones that fit every budget. I stayed at their premium Valley View cottages and it was one of the coziest rooms ever! Also the view was absolutely worth it.

Amber Dale Hotel

Amber Dale Hotel

This beautiful sit out is where I recommend spending a lot of hours, sipping on tea or coffee and enjoying the breathtaking view.

They do provide an in-room dining service as well and that includes a lot of Kerala specialities. 

And not just in-room, their breakfast buffet is one of the best ones I’ve tried – fresh local food, of course with a gorgeous view.¬†Amber Dale Hotel

Amber Dale Hotel

I didn’t get a chance to try out their luxurious spa section, but I can imagine it to be very relaxing!

Amber Dale Hotel

With Munnar, as is the case with many hill stations, often the best of views come a little further from the main market area. This is just about 15 minutes from Munnar town and I recommend staying here because of the unparalleled scenic landscapes. The property also offers tours and other amenities like cycling, tea maiden costume (which you can see in my video thumbnail above), Kerala cuisine cooking demo, Barbeque and lots more. This is a beautiful getaway and one that I will surely cherish for life.

Amber Dale Hotel

You can know more about Amber Dale Hotel Munnar on their website.

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Alibaug Weekend Trip | U Tropicana Resort

An Alibaug weekend trip can be such a quick getaway from Mumbai.

Earlier in the year, I stayed at a luxurious villa on an Alibaug Weekend Trip. Check out this video from my trip.

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Alibaug weekend Trip

U Tropicana is  good property in Alibaug. In fact I have stayed at their regular resort rooms and also their villa and I can vouch for both. A villa is great when you are in a big group  and want to live under one roof. If booked well in advance, you can even find a steal deal online. And their individual rooms are great for privacy. Most of them are pool facing, with a cozy sit out.

Alibaug Weekend Trip

Personally, I enjoy taking a ferry ride or a speed boat to Alibaug. The drive is quite long – a 45 minute ferry ride versus a a 3-4 hour drive! So I would definitely recommend the water route. However, double check this mode of transport if you are travelling during monsoon.

Alibaug Weekend Trip

In terms of food, Alibaug is all about coastal Maharashtrian cuisine. So expect a lot of non veg! However, if like me you are vegetarian too, then U Tropicana has you covered. They do have a pretty decent veg fare.

I would recommend Alibaug for a quick weekend getaway. It gives that feel of being away from the city, without much travel. And there is quite a bit to do there – the beaches, the forts and more. So definitely explore Alibaug!

Watch more travel videos

Weekend trip from Bengaluru

A summer trip to Shimla – the summer capital of India

Quick trip to Tokyo, Japan

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