Monsoon Getaways

June 13, 2011 8:38 am by
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Location: Shillong, Meghalaya.
Best for: Working couples looking to momentarily forget that they live in a noisy, grimy city.
Ri Kynjai is a 45-acre resort located on one of the many leafy private estates on the banks of lake Umiam in Meghalaya. They have five, lake-facing cottages with sloping, thatched roofs that are a characteristic feature of Khasi (earliest inhabitants of Meghalaya) architecture. Each elevated cottage has a fireplace and jacuzzi. The hotel also has 12 wood and cane furnished lake-front rooms. The pine tree-fringed property boasts a spa with facilities for a Khasi bath and a traditional, muscle-toning Khasi massage. Chow down on North-Eastern specialties such as bamboo smoked pork and Cherapunji chicken cooked with pepper at the hotel’s restaurant Sao Aiom; or take it to go for a picnik on the lake’s shore. Activities include paddling across its tranquil waters or indulging in a leisurely game of golf at the near-by Shillong Golf Course.
Rates: The cottages are priced at Rs10,000, supreme rooms at Rs6,000 and superior rooms at Rs7,000. All prices are exclusive of taxes but inclusive of breakfast. All rates apply to two persons per night.

Location: Avalanchi, Tamil Nadu.
Best for: Families seeking adventure while on vacation.
Destiny is a farm-style resort nestled in a mist-laden valley 25 kms away from Ooty. Each of the hotel’s 25 rooms affords expansive views of the lush Nilgiri Hills that fringe it. At Destiny, guests get a taste of the farm life without having to forgo comforts. Planting and picking organic veggies are the main activities on offer here. Guests can also purchase fruits, spices, veggies, coffee and herbs that are organically farmed at the hotel’s ancillary estates and sold here. On request, the hotel arranges for horse riding, farming and fishing sessions.
Rates: A deluxe room is priced at Rs3,775 on weekdays and at Rs3,975 on the weekend. Luxury rooms and the honeymoon suite are priced at Rs5,475 on weekdays and Rs5,675 on the weekend. All prices are exclusive of taxes but inclusive of breakfast. All rates apply to two persons per night.

Location: Pondicherry.
Best for: Couples keen on a beach holiday, away from prying eyes.
This beachfront resort on the Coromandel Coast is the preferred retreat of artists, authors and musicians who take up residence in the villas for months at a time. No two villas (they have 30 in total) at the Dune Eco Village look the same. The artist studios, reserved for artists and writers looking to stay for long stretches, and the Kerala-style houses have private pools with sun decks or jacuzzis; the Pop House is decorated with Indian film posters and other colourful accessories, some are duplexes with bathrooms that open up into the garden and are meant for couples only; and others, walled-in family houses are meant for groups of four. All rooms are designed to have minimum impact on the environment. They are built using reclaimed building material and are fitted with solar water systems and energy-saving bulbs. Not that being eco-friendly means you have to forgo little luxuries: the 35-acre resort has a 14-room spa that offers Ayurvedic and aromatherapy massages. You can even go boating, play golf or retire to their DVD library, which has over 1,500 Indian and foreign movie titles.
Rates: The Bamboo, Bay Watch, Mud and Pop Houses are priced at Rs5,500. The Beach, Bangle, Dome and Wood Houses are priced at Rs7,950. All prices are inclusive of taxes and breakfast. All rates apply to two persons per night.

Location: Mulshi taluka, 40kms away from Pune.
Best for: Families looking for a quick weekend of fun.
The Malhar Machi resort is built on the banks of the Mulshi lake, on an undulating patch of green. Built on an elevation, each of the 19 rooms has a balcony with expansive views of the lake enveloped by the Sahyadri mountain range. Given its proximity to Mumbai, the 10-month old resort is the popular choice for company offsites. Sip on mojitos and soak in the sunset while lounging by the pool or retire with a book in one of the hotel’s many sit-out areas, covered by thatched umbrellas.
Rates: The premium rooms with air-conditioning are priced at Rs4,000 and those without it at Rs3,500. The Maharaja rooms with air-conditioning are priced at Rs4,500 and those without it at Rs4,000. The Bougainvillea rooms with air-conditioning are priced at Rs4,200 and those without it at Rs3,800. All prices are exclusive of tax but inclusive of breakfast. All rates apply to two persons per night.

Location: Wayanad, Kerala.
Best for: Couples seeking solitude albeit with plenty of distractions.
The view, of 30 acres of coffee and pepper plantations, is enough to make anyone feel like a colonial plantation owner. If that doesn’t have you yearning for Tara, then opt for the tree house cottage, one of only seven cottages that have ingeniously been built into the rock formations common to the area. You’ll see lush trees—500 of which were planted by the owners in a bid to reduce soil erosion—and rock formations galore. The area is renowned for its caves (some dating back to 10,000 B.C.) and prehistoric carvings, so much so that the resort has even turned one of them into a candle-lit dining area. If cave dining isn’t your thing, sit in the open-air amphitheatre, take in a local performance of kalaripayattu or just walk through the lush valleys, sip on a steaming hot cuppa and survey the land before you.
Rates: Rs3,300 per couple per night, inclusive of breakfast and taxes.

SEE ALSO: Weekend Getaways