Presenting that much-needed calmness to our over-worked minds, Radisson Blu Resort & Spa in Karjat, India, is extremely rejuvenating, provided your stay goes through without any glitches
By: Niyoshi Chudgar
Posted on: October 20, 2016
LF Says: ★★.5
Every once in a while, the cryptic bud of wanderlust sets in, and the best of us ache to unwind and take off to the mountains, hills or a favoured beach resort. While such whims are hard to fulfil always, it helps to indulge oneself to a few days in the lap of luxury. The Raddison Blu Resort at Karjat, nestled in the heart of nature, is one such property that makes for a perfect weekend retreat.
In a city filled with mega hotels, this cool, calm and relatively isolated piece of architectural marvel located merely 60kms from Mumbai, is a static revelation in its own right. Owned by the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, this property is Radisson Blu brand’s 29th addition in India. With impeccable taste, the resort stands grandly amidst the scenic beauty of Karjat, making it Mumbai’s ultimate urban hideaway and the perfect stopover if you’re heading out of the city. I reached the resort in about two hours by road, enjoying the picturesque hills alongside the bustling Ulhas river.
While a rather warm and helpful force of representatives made sure my luggage and related formalities were taken care of, I could already feel the weight of my city woes shed as I sipped on the welcome drink, a refreshing lemon grass iced tea.
Surrounded by an open-walled lobby lounge, small reflection pools are designed to cool the interior naturally as light breeze ripples across the surface of the water. There are 103 rooms including state-of-the-art suites, all decorated in soft neutral shades combined with sleek wooden panelling.
After freshening up, I was taken on a tour of the vast estate by the resort manager. With top-notch facilities, a stylish lounge with an in-house DJ, kid’s play room, a spacious banquet hall for conferences, wedding functions and three swimming pools, the sprawling property validates luxury living. The outdoor pool offers an extensive selection of grills and barbecues, accompanied by customised cocktails. If aquatic fitness is not on your mind, then sit back and relax in the outdoor heated Jacuzzi where you can indulge in some serious cloud gazing.
The interiors embrace an organic style with influences from Balinese and Thai architecture. The property has been pepped up with wood and stone, leather and glass, as visioned by famed architect, Mr Anil Badani. And so, the resort has already won the “Best Architectural Design” award at the Asia Pacific Property Awards this year!
Another attraction is the Blu Lounge, a cosy yet sophisticated bar where guests can unwind over an extraordinary array of international and domestic wines, spirits and cocktails, accompanied by a curated selection of small bites. An outdoor deck area encourages guests to enjoy being surrounded by the resort’s multiple water bodies, in a laid-back yet elegant setting.
I had heard rave reviews about the in-house spa facilities and the blissfully hushed Escenza Spa proved to be one of the best experiences of my trip. They offer treatments which are developed by amalgamating nature and science, celebrating the union of the body, mind and soul. I decided to go for an Aroma Candle massage. The massage candle was melted into a warm sumptuous massage oil. This warm oil of natural butters was drizzled over my skin easing away any muscle tension while nourishing the skin. Serene, calm and delectably soothing, the therapists here deliver a massage that’s smooth and sweet, firm and steady or as zingingly tough as you can take it. Ask for a senior therapist who really understands your body and can melt away all the knots.
After a relaxing Spa, I contemplated the twinkling lights as dusk fell, while sipping a zesty lime cocktail in the pool overlooking the entire property.
After a good night’s rest, I had the pleasure to meet with the owner, Mr Suhasish Chakraborty for a quick chat the next day. He enumerated that the resort was not built to compete with neighbouring properties in terms of prices or room costs but views it as a luxurious “Home away from home” for a wholesome family experience.“We have trained our staff with an aim to provide qualitative facilities as we target a very niche crowd of urban travellers living in Mumbai and Pune along with overseas clients looking at a destination to hold weekend reunions, weddings and corporate conferences. We want to provide a fun-filled, salubrious experience to each guest with a keen attention to comfort while providing exciting activities that can be enjoyed by couples, and large families alike. We are planning exhilarating excursions like a walk in the neighbouring village with local breakfast, treks to the historic Konadana Caves, bird watching, etc., keeping interests of family units in mind.”
The only damper to my experience was the torrential rainfall and the erratic electricity, wifi and cable network cuts that came with it. Since it is a one-month old property, this can be attributed to teething problems.
The serenity of the resort’s riverside setting, near the Ulhas valley, is what gives it its soothing calm. It’s raw beauty can hit you both ways—while the deafening silence could compel you to embrace nature in its entirety, you might also find yourself craving for the infectious city energy. Either way, you should not miss connecting with your rustic alter ego. For it is here that the true magic of nature unfolds in all its glory! You'll be reluctant to pack up and push once the weekend ends.
LF Says: ★★.5
Coordinates: Opposite Geeta Ghare English Medium School, Khandpe, District Raigad, Karjat, Maharashtra, India