Hotel Review: Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa, Maharashtra in India
A unique concept by Starwood hotels, Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort and Spa with its culturally-refined design and atmosphere combined with stunning views, is perfect for a refreshing break and has emerged as a leading resort in the country. Leading travel writer Jyoti Balani takes a good look at what is on offer at the luxury spa resort.
A pleasant three hour drive from Pune to Mahabaleshwar takes one past magnificent views of the picturesque expanse and peaks of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. Popular with tourists all over the country, Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in Maharashtra is a delight whether one visits in the summer, the rainy season or the winters.
The launch of the new Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa has ushered in an era of five star comforts in the beautiful environs of this hill station. As one steps into the resort which is spread over 27 acres, all that is visible is a lot of greenery and vast open spaces, a refreshing change from the concrete jungle that we are so used to living in. Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa features 122 stylishly appointed guestrooms and suites, all complemented with private balconies that offer expansive views of the surrounding natural scenery. Each room features the brand’s signature amenities and destination-inspired moments of discovery.
The brand’s reinterpretation of the traditional lobby, the signature Le Méridien Hub, transforms the public space into a social gathering place. We were greeted by a 24-hour curated soundtrack by French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague, exclusive illy coffee prepared by Master Baristas, and sparkling cocktails, inspired by Europe’s aperitif hour. Old fashioned street lamps, French windows and mossy wooded groves, make this resort a delight to be in. Tastefully deigned suites are housed in secluded buildings separated by acres of greenery. The suites, several with terraces, and bearing names such as Serenity and Sanctuary, offer sweeping views of the evergreens clothing the hills. Jamun trees nestle against the walls of the terraces.
The 122 well-appointed, spacious guest rooms and suites with private balcony provide a blend of contemporary style with modern touches and technology, all of which offer secluded and sheltered privacy. With a minimum of 41 square metres, rooms include Le Méridien Discovery bed for a transformative sleeping experience; a flat screen 40” LED TV and high speed wireless Internet.
Well-appointed guestrooms and suites include 69 Classic Forest Rooms, 36 Classic Valley Rooms, 1 Classic Accessible Room, 8 Tranquility Suites, 6 Sanctuary Suites and 2 Serenity Suites. The coffee shop named Latest Recipe serves various innovative preparations such as Rassa Omelet, House Salad, Malai Broccoli, Wild Mushroom Cuppuccino, Mutton Pandhara Rassa, etc. Guests can indulge in a fine-dining experience at Chingari Restaurant that serves Indian delights in an elegant ambience. For those who prefer to relax over a drink can visit Longitude 73.
With a brand such as Le Meridien in the picture, it was but obvious that one would be spoilt for choice when it comes to the cuisine offered by the hotel. While in Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar, it is a great idea to dine in Chingari, the fine dine restaurant which offers high end Indian food in an elegant and luxurious ambience.
“A show kitchen which is located centrally, a private dining area and Patio overlooking the natural surroundings make Chingari a visual delight for all our guests. Right from the luxurious ambience to authentic North Indian cuisine is the USP of Chingari. The spices used to prepare and marinate the food are freshly grounded and prepared within the kitchen by the chefs, undoubtedly setting us apart from others. Our menu is specially designed to offer unique choices to discerning guests. As a Chef I would recommend the Raan E Peshawari, Murgh Tikka Sirka Pyaz, Lahori Chooza, Gosht & Subz Galouti, Subz Panchforan, Daal E Chingari to name a few. We have a specially curated menu of ‘World of Wines’ and our staff shares the knowledge with our guest on pairing wines with food,” says Executive Chef Arindam Bhattacharya, who has had an extensive career in the Indian hotel industry.
Chingari is all about luxury whether it is the ambiance, the cuisine or the superlative service. For more culinary experiences, one can indulge in the resort’s destination restaurants and bars. Latest Recipe, the interactive all day dining restaurant, features an evocative mix of international, Asian and local cuisine. The pool-side restaurant, Plunge Bar, allows guests to savour canapés and sublime blends and spirits, while Longitude 73 transforms from a casual coffee house by day to a vibrant social scene in the evening.
Other facilities include the well-equipped fitness centre along with both a lagoon style swimming pool and a rooftop infinity pool make for the ideal rejuvenating experience. The resort also offers 250 square metres of banqueting space including a ballroom, four versatile meeting rooms and a well-appointed business centre. Serene outdoor venues provide for inspiring spaces for meetings and events. Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar also offers Le Méridien Family Kids Club with programming that allows families to play and strengthen their bonds during their vacation. The resort provides seamless access to the quaint hill town’s rich tapestry of offerings, including a curated visit, courtesy of the brand’s UNLOCK ART programme, to the Devrai Art Village and the 5,000 year old Krishna Devi temple, using only the room’s key card for access. In addition, guests can indulge in strawberry picking at a farm and return to cook with the chef at the hotel.
Explore Spa at Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa features eight treatment rooms including a hammam bath treatment room, a vichy shower treatment room, a couple treatment room and five single treatment room. While in the spa, it is a good idea to try the Hammam scrub with Exfoliation- Hammam is regarded as the ‘silent healer’ of everyday life. It conveys the atmosphere and magic of oriental bath with a deep exfoliation. Focusing on the element of water and beauty wellness, Hammam is the traditional bathing ritual from Turkey and the Middle East. This service begins with Hammam Steam Room, and is followed by an authentic bath performed on a heated white marble table. Its purpose is to cleanse, relax and purify the body and skin using hot and cool water techniques in conjunction with exfoliation practices developed over centuries. The Hammam Turkish Bath Treatment resonates deeply with mind, body and spirit and embraces the essence of ancient rituals.
Address: Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & SPA 211/212 Mahabaleshwar Medha Road, Mahabaleshwar 412806 India