If you had a chance to spend a long weekend midst farm and nature or exploring a new city; which one would you pick? (I picked the former!). We are soon approaching a really long weekend next month and the traditional question will be on the lips of many – ‘Where are you going this long weekend?’. If you are in Mumbai, Pune or Kolhapur and are reading this blog, we are going to give you an answer to that.
A few weeks back on one of the long weekend, I got a chance to visit Phaltan – a place that I had not heard of before. The email read – ‘Windmills and Farm Tours’ and I was 90% in for the plan. Afteral, who wouldn’t want to skip a day or two and not commute in crowded Mumbai Local?
Moving away from the hustle of the city, in the middle of nature, it all sounded amazing to me; and I replied with a big yes to the email. Then came the day I had to set off on the trip! Phaltan is 4 hours drive away from Mumbai and is a few kms off Satara. I was ready to experience the unique trails among nature and spend the weekend at the luxurious abode – Jakson Inns.
Jakson Inns is India’s first 3-star LEED Green Platinum rated hotel, nestled among serene sugarcane fields and pomegranate orchards. The Hotel is spread across 6-acres, has 69 deluxe rooms, 4 suites, an ADA compliant (disable friendly) room, and my favourite – rooms for solo women travelers with safety camera facility. One thing that really amazed me was the installation of solar panels which accounts for the electricity requirements of almost one floor of the hotel. That’s something I haven’t seen in a hotel so far, have you?
The hotel staff greeted us with their patent welcome drink – sugarcane juice, flowers and a fresh scented wet towel to take away all our commuting stress. As you enter the hotel, on the right is their multi-cuisine restaurant – Green Bean. The hotel also has spa facilities, a contemporary bar, a conference room for events/weddings, a gym and activity room for kids. The staff gave us our unique itinerary for the next 3D 2N of the trip and guided us to our room.
The rooms at the hotel have two beautiful views – one of the highway and vast farms and the other of the swimming pool and hotel grown organic food. I got the former. The rooms are well equipped with an LCD TV, bathroom, separate table for work (I was so glad about this), WiFi, fresh fruits on the table (they had fresh pomegranate juice from their farm – +1!) and a really comfortable-looking bed. Take a look!
Our itinerary consisted of – indoor/outdoor activities with rustic experience in modern day environment. It was a mix of natural surroundings and a relaxing time at the hotel.
After a great lunch, we set off on a tour of the Phaltan city, a couple of kms away from the Hotel. We got a chance to visit the Rajwada Palace, Ram Mandir, Jabreshwar Temple and Pomegranate farm. The Rajwada Palace belongs to the descendants of Naik Nimbaji Nimbalkar, the erstwhile ruler of Phaltan. It is not open to public but if you are a guest of Jakson Inns, be ready to get a guided tour of the entire palace. The décor and furniture of the palace is so well maintained that you will be left wondering if the family still stays there. The staff told us about the various Bollywood songs which have been shot at this palace in the past.
Every room of the palace tells a story – the roof, the chandelier, the furniture, the paintings; all seem like a tale living right there in the palace. The Ram Mandir outside the palace (in the same premises) is about 250 years old and the one outside, Jabreshwar Temple is 800 years old and belongs to Shiva.
After a tête-à-tête with the architecture and history, we moved on to the Organic Farm of Jakson Inns which comprised of Pomegranate orchards and vegetables like – Onion, Eggplant, Corn and more. We also got a chance to see a Peacock wandering near the Orchard.
The Green Bean Restaurant in the Hotel had a great Maharashtrian spread for us planned for the dinner. Take a look!
The next morning, we set off early for a day packed with lots of outdoor sight-seeing. To know more about it, stay tuned for our next blog.
Team Brown Scooter