The alarm rang at 7:30 am. I peeked out of my blanket into a semi-dark room and wondered why I had decided to take this trip on.
A brief backstory: I had been on personal leave for 4 days prior to this visit and had been travelling already, when my editor presented me with a rather last-minute request to travel and review an upscale stay amid mystic mountains, just out of the city. The travel buff in me knew that the opportunity was too good to miss. Especially if it's the famed Della Resorts.
Just a stone's throw from both the metros, Mumbai and Pune, Della is a resort that spans around 45 acres and includes three properties – the Adventure Resort, Luxury Resort and Camp Della. It has the perfect balance of modern amenities set against an untouched natural setting.
Della Resorts, Lonavala
I stayed at their Luxury Resort – and after a rather smooth check-in, I made my way to the room that was located all the way around a long pool of fountains.
Coming from a city like Mumbai, where match-boxed-sized homes are the norm, I like roomy stays on vacations. So while I would have preferred the bedroom to be more spacious, it had everything you'd probably ever need on a getaway. Think a fully stocked mini-bar, complimentary Wi-Fi, a writing table, TV for mid-night entertainment, tea and coffee-making facilities and welcome sweets! The room had a royal air, courtesy of its floor carpets, plush bed and airy sit-down areas both inside the room and outside too.
The washroom needs a special mention, sheerly owing to its enormous size. It came with his and her sinks, a toilet, shower cubicle and a tub which can be the perfect Netflix binge-watch spot on a weekend staycation because it faces a 32-inch TV too.
I headed for a scrumptious meal at the resort's in-house Parsi Dhaba. The Dhaba offers a rustic dining space that serves authentic Parsi-style delicacies, think salli boti, berry pulao to traditional aromatic gravies. I sampled the salli boti, chicken Russian pattice, berry pulao and lagan nu custard and while it didn't blow me away it did the job of feeding a famished soul (God knows, I was starving!).
After revelling in a food-induced coma, I headed to the spa for a relaxing afternoon, where they used soothing essential oils and massage therapy that put my now, tired body at ease. Must I mention that their spa facilities run 24 hours? I guess so.
And now it was time for some fun and sports. For those who don't know, Della Adventure Resorts is the country's largest adventure park with over 100 activities including bungee jumping, paintball, archery, shooting, carrom, tennis, zorbing and buggy rides. It is an ideal weekend staycation option for those seeking an exhilarating rush, right in the middle of nature! I indulged in a game of shooting before heading to their Italian restaurant for a quick dinner.
Villa Bistro is the perfect place to dine for the evening. Designed and conceptualised by Jimmy Mistry this spectacular Italian bistro spreads over 4000 square feet and features classic Italian dishes, from antipasti, wood-fired pizzas to hand-rolled pastas.
I started off with the burrata, followed by the pappardelle al funghi-mushroom pasta and quattro formaggi. I indulged in the Italian-inspired cocktails and enjoyed their live music. After a long time, I savoured a good Italian feast was a perfect end to my day!
I woke up bright and early, to mountain views framed by palm trees and a fountain in the distance. I decided to begin the day with a short walk and tour of the property. Della has a swimming pool, a fully equipped gym and a gift shop for those looking to take back a little keepsake from the trip.
With a growling stomach, I headed for breakfast which was a hearty spread of Indian plus western options – both sweet and savoury – like pancakes, muffins, poha, dosas along with cold cuts and juices, all served on tables overlooking the serene blues of their pool.
Satisfied with my morning meal I decided to check out with warm memories. And while my body did eventually give up on me from all the extensive travelling, it's safe to say that it was all worth it.
Tarvene is a chocolate and chai fiend who is constantly on the hunt for cute cafes. You can catch her baking some Biscoff cheesecakes or binge-watching Netflix shows. She likes filling up her free time painting, listening to music or going on long drives.