We are back with the second instalment of our list of cosy cottages. This time, we take you through quintessential vacation havens like Goa, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. If you are as done with the lockdown as done could be, we suggest, you must contemplate taking a restorative break at one of these resorts.
All the properties are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a safe stay for their guests and upgraded standard operative procedures and protocols are in place. All you need to do is be responsible as a traveller.
Avaas B&B, Uttarakhand
This may not be the best time to visit Nainital as, well, you know why! The possibility of crowds as it is a popular destination. But then there’s next door Ramgarh, where you can be assured of a safe and sound(less) vacation. The quaint, picturesque village offers some great stay options for the solace-seeking traveller. Avaas B&B is one of them. Here you will get to slow down the pace of your hectic city life in a colonial-style stone cottage. You will feel a profound sense of calm here. No cacophony of television and no honking vehicles. Just an occasional mooing of a cow from the nearby farm or the faint tolling of temple bells.
The cottage comes with two bedrooms, an attached bathroom, a living room and a kitchen with all modern facilities. Antique furniture adds to the old-world charm while its open-air dining space provides the perfect set-up for candle-lit dinners. Do head to the terrace to capture the most arresting views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and for endless gazing of stars.
Location Visarat Ganj, Ramgarh Road, Ramgarh. Phone: 09810100192. Nearest airport: Pantnagar airport is around 78km from the property. Website: avaasbedandbreakfast.com
The Machan, Maharashtra
Nestled along the Western Ghats in the beautiful Lonavala, this treehouse resort could be just the right choice to rejuvenate in the lap of nature and spend blissful time away from the four walls of your home. A perfect getaway for Mumbaikars and Punewalas, the property offers a slew of tree houses. The Machan is encompassed by the verdant forest expanse of the Western Ghats and serves as an eco-friendly resort. When here, you can indulge in cycling, trekking, hiking or simply lolling around aimlessly in the balcony of your treehouse cottage. Then there’s their spa, which provides holistic therapies for your mind, body and soul. Food is an integral part of your experience at The Machan. Their restaurant serves an Indian buffet that will leave you spoilt for choice.
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We recommend that you try and book the Sunset Machaan if your idea of a perfect vacation is chilling in a bath tub while witnessing stunning sunsets from the balcony. Sounds like a plan?
Location: Lonavala, Jambuline. Phone: 022-30635133 Cell 07666622426, 09594053113. Nearest airport: It is 105 km from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport. Website: themachan.com
The Serai, Karnataka
Stuck in your Bangalore home answering unavoidable Zoom calls? Want a refreshing break? Hit the road less taken and drive on the absolutely spectacular Bangalore-Bandipur Road to reach The Serai in Bandipur. Nestled on the fringes of the vast Bandipur forest reserve, the resort is set against the magnificent Nilgiris and offers a wild and wonderful experience. This is a place where you will find both the beauty and the beast. The African-styled log huts here cater a one-of-its-kind experience. Food at their multi-cuisine restaurant The Sanctuary is absolutely delicious.
The best part about the experience at The Serai is Moyars Edge, their bar. When done being tipsy and marvelling at nature, you can also head to Oma, the spa and let all the anxiety and stress melt away. And needless to say, take a jungle safari to the Bandipur Tiger Reserve which your hosts would happily organise for you.
Location: Mugthihalli, KM Road, Chikmagallur. Phone: 09900476403, 08262224903. Nearest airport: Bangalore’s Kempegowda Airport is 250km from here, and Coimbatore airport is 184km away. Website: theserai.in
Leela Cottages, Goa
Regular visitors to Goa would be aware of Ashwem’s charm. For those who aren’t, well, Ashwem is a prime destination of North Goa with great restaurants, designer boutiques and Goan shacks set against the beautiful backdrop of swaying palms. Leela Cottages is one of the most sought-after places to stay around Ashwem Beach. Located in Morjim, the property is adorned with palm and coconut groves and offers eco-friendly wooden huts that make for an amazing stay.
A stone’s throw distance from Ashwem, Leela embraces the beach culture. From antique Rajasthani doors and imposing sculptures of deities to charming vintage furniture and traditional Indian artifacts, the resort's interiors are a charming mish-mash. Leela also specialises in yoga and various natural therapies at their spa located within a lush coconut grove. Foodies will have a great time savouring a variety of local, Indian, Chinese, Continental and Italian dishes.
Location: Ashwem Beach, Morjim Road, Near Ajoba Temple, Goa. Phone: 08407924040, 09326103486. Nearest airport: Goa International Airport is 60 km. Website: leelacottage.com
Barefoot Resort, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Imagine a resort with a private beach. Imagine that you are having the time of your life surrounded by tranquil turquoise waters and greenery. Imagine being in a far-off land without having to worry about meeting your next deadline. Sounds inviting enough? Well, all this is possible. All you are required to do is book yourself a cottage at the Barefoot Resort in Havelock Island.
Untouched wilderness of endemic forests stretch along the sparkling ocean. Pin-drop silences envelop the resort as the sun paints the evening sky in shades of tangerine and purple. Located on the Radhanagar Beach, the resort offers everything that makes for a memorable vacation. The restaurant here is a tribute to the last swimming elephant, Rajan. The Dugong Dugon Bar here pays homage to the endangered species, dugong. The staff at their spa will make sure that all your worries melt away right away. Could it be any better?
Location: Beach No7, Radha Nagar Beach, Havelock, Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Phone: 03192-40012200, 080-48893964, 09731557551. Nearest airport: Port Blair Airport is 44 km from Barefoot Resort. Website: barefoot-andaman.com