Road trips: Socially distant by design

With aviation services not being considered as a safe mode of travel due to the pandemic, it gave a push to road travel as travelling in personal vehicles and rented cars emerged as a much safer option. Lately, we have found that most of our guests are locals, who live close to our luxurious treehouses in Lonavala.

This trend is most likely to continue in 2021, as a traveller will continue to choose road trips rather than flights. It is excellent for couples, families, and is socially distant by design. At The Machan, most of our guests plan a road trip to Lonavala from Mumbai or Pune. Most resorts near Mumbai are currently not operational due to Covid-19.

In this issue of the travel bug, we would like to help plan your perfect road trip, with our ultimate tips and trends, it would certainly be a one-of-a-kind experience. Here are our promising tips to plan your perfect road trip.

Budget: The initial thing to define is the budget for the road trip. This analysis affects the choice you make, and it has to be revised once you’ve chosen your destination, and have started to make your bookings. Hence, planning out your overall budget, and your daily expenses can help you make better options.

Choose a destination: Every road trip should have an objective. It shouldn’t be wherever the road takes you! That’s just wandering around. Have a place in mind that you want your road trip to end in. We urge you to choose the machan!

Build your itinerary: This means picking out interests that you want to see during your road trip. You must spend time looking at the maps, reading, and trying to understand what is possible and what is not. Download offline maps, or have paper maps with you. At the machan, we will provide you with a map of the entire property.

The Machan Map

Stock up on water and fuel: Driving in remote locations can have its cons, hence carrying sufficient water and fuel is always important. Don’t rely on buying water bottles. 5-6 plastic water bottles a day don’t help the environment.

First aid kit: Never leave for a long road trip without a first aid kit. Some of the key things to pack include compression bandages, Band-Aids, antibiotics, eye drops, moisturizing cream, hand sanitiser, sunglasses/safety glasses, and mosquito repellent.

Take a break: Driving tired is one of the most dangerous things anybody can do. It is highly advised to stay well-rested, hence taking a break from driving is important.

Interview: Sustainable travel

We anonymously asked around travellers and influencers what they think about sustainability through two simple questions.

Q: What changes will you make to your travel plans for 2021?

A: Travelling always makes me delighted, hence I have started planning more solo trips, or only a few friends. We usually go trekking, and camping in remote areas, which keeps us socially distant from the rest.

A: Travelling has always been a hobby of mine, it soothes me, and calms me down. The 2020 restraints have now made me more conscious, and I take many socially distant measures while travelling.

A: We would love to visit The Machan again, especially during these times. It is the only resort near Mumbai, that is socially distant by design.

Q: As a traveller how do you show your responsibility towards the environment?

A: We carry our water bottles and refill them whenever we can, using mineral water bottles is something we should stop completely. They are single-use and are often littered all over the mountains.

A: The pandemic should be taken as a lesson by everyone to be more apprehensive and concerned about the environment.

A: As a traveller after the Covid-19 situation, I travel with all the safety precautions, and try not to cause any harm to the destination.

A: Travelling reignites the fire in a drowsy soul, and every traveller should fulfil their obligation and support eco-friendly resorts. The hospitality industry takes up a lot of resources and rarely gives anything back to the environment. It is time for a change in this industry. Eco-resorts are the future of travel!

Workation: Finding the best office view.

The Travel Bug

The lockdown and the social distancing norms have disrupted livelihoods and changed behaviour. Many industries are currently facing existential challenges. However, the silver lining is that it has allowed many people to aim for a better work-life balance. As office blocks remain partially open for the foreseeable future, many have embraced the opportunity to combine work and travel. What is a workation, and how do you take one? What are the things you should carry, and what are the best destinations for a workation? This issue of the travel bug will guide you through your workation planning.

Workcation at the starlight machan
Workcation at the starlight machan

What is a workation?

‘Workation’ as the word spells, means to combine work and vacation. It is a trip to a location of your choice combined with working remotely. Have your virtual business meetings under palm trees, and inspire your colleagues to explore. It is an opportunity to clear your head and enjoy a change of scenery without falling behind on your work. Utilize the time to relax, and explore. Workations can help you find a healthier work-life balance and has numerous other benefits.

What to carry for a workation?

There are a few additional requirements that you need to pack while going on a workation as compared to a regular holiday.

You need to think about the clothes and accessories you need for your leisure time, but also the requirements for your working setup. A basic workation setup is:

  • A good lightweight laptop.
  • Headphones with mic.
  • Wi-Fi dongle.
  • Personal planner.
  • Travel lock.

5 reasons why Workations are a great idea

  • You save your office vacation days.
  • Your workflow proceeds seamlessly
  • You are more productive
  • You find time to think of the bigger picture
  • You are excited to return to work

How to have fun and be productive?

The first rule of having fun in a workation is balance, hence make it clear to yourself and your friends. It is very easy to create a trap for yourself by either working too many hours to prove that you are still being productive or not working enough and just having an amazing time.

Hence, it must be clear that you are still working, and be firm about when you will stop working. Take periodic breaks to enjoy yourself, and try finishing a big chunk of your daily work in the first half, by getting up early. Be sure to change locations frequently. Nothing feels worse than sitting inside your hotel room in front of your computer. Hence, switch it up! Work by the pool or in the balcony, or by inside a treehouse in Lonavala amidst the wilderness. Find a new favourite coffee shop and explore the local cuisine.

Best Locations for a workation

Alleppey

Hire a houseboat for a day or two and sip some soul-refreshing filter coffee while making your presentation and explore what God’s own country has to offer.

Mussoorie

Mussoorie, Queen of the Hills, located some 290 km north of New Delhi, is among the most popular hill stations of the country. It is a captivating paradise for leisure travellers and honeymooners.

Uttarkashi

Uttarkashi that literally suggests ‘Kashi of the North’ is also nicknamed as ‘Somya Kashi’ and ‘Shivnagri’. Like Kasi, the town of Uttarkashi also houses the sacred Vishwanath temple. This holy shrine features a copper trident, having a circumference of 1 meter.

Lonavala

This quaint hill station near Mumbai is the perfect getaway from the hustle-bustle of the city and to enjoy the purest, freshest air possible.

Shillong

The northeast is a tranquil, untouched, pure region in itself. Shillong has the most gorgeous surroundings and lots of greenery to relax and rejuvenate and to lose yourself in.

Capturing the moon

We at the machan have always tried our best to inspire and initiate the creative journey of artists and explorers. We thank and congratulate 16 year old Anvit Khade for validating that belief by capturing the moon at the machan from his homemade telescope.

Our curiosity paves our future and having said that we wish Anvit a bright and starlit future.

the machan bonfire

This refractor telescope was made by Anvit on 19th December 2020. This was his first attempt at making one from scratch. Anvit is studying 10th std Euroschool -Airoli Navi Mumbai. He has a deep passion for the subjects physics and Mathematics. Mr. Udayan Sathe (HOD physics at Euro school) has inculcated an interest in this subject in Anvit from 7th std. The astronomy club at the school also helped him to get more knowledge in stargazing. 
Stargazing was the main attraction of visiting Machan. As the location of the resort is just perfect.. away from city light pollution and truly in laps of nature. Anvit could explore his photography skills from macro photography as well as astrophotography. 
For our family, this was a very good break and a lovely experience at Machan. Apart from stargazing we really enjoyed nature trail, forest bath, private bonfire, night walk studying insects (I forgot the name of an expert who guided us for these activities..she was wonderful). We liked literally everything at the machan. Actually, we were looking out for Starlight machan experience, but unfortunately as per our schedule, it was not available. 
Thank you for giving us this opportunity to share our experience.

Ar. Swapna Navin Khade ( M/O Anvit)

We are glad the machan was a part of this creative process. Let’s also hear a few words from the Anvit himself about his creative journey.


I referred 10th std Physics ICSE text book.. did all necessary 
calculations of focal length etc. Apart from pvc pipes from local shop, everything else was recycled from old stuff at home. 
I was quite excited to watch jupiter saturn conjunction for which I assembled this telescope.

Anvit Khade

Isn’t it exciting to see the new generation being so much more concerned about the environment!? We are glad that the machan philosophy of preservation, conservation and community reflect in Anvit’s work.

The treehouse dream of an artist

Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected. We live in a society based on production, where we are indeed very productive, but we often forget to be creative. The people who are building the future, they need poets and artist to make sense of what the future actually is. And somewhere between the traffic, and fast-moving city life, many talented artists often fail to find the time to create something magical and everlasting.

One of the main reasons why we believe in offering a disconnect is that so that many artists can find the peace and quiet to reconnect with their inner self and let their imagination paint the canvas, with colors and poetry. The results of our efforts have truly been fascinating and extraordinary. We are extremely flattered to have been a small part of the creative journey of these wonderful artists.

We would like to share some of these beautiful creations that make us think of a simpler, quieter time. Here is a poem about being in the state of true presence, where all your senses are elevated by the sound of birds and fresh air, a moment where we don’t think about the past, or worry about the future, a moment where we are truly present.

“Sunlight filters through the canopy of leaves,
Leaves crunch beneath soft feet,
Birds sing and gentle winds whistle,
And the trees sway in unison, as one,
And as they sway, the forest dances,
Pulsating with life
So I let nature speak
I close my eyes…
I breathe
I listen
I feel
Till I can hum with the birds,
And dance with the trees,
And hear my heartbeat fall into sync with the movement of the winds through the branches

And I feel calm
I feel at home
I feel alive”

picturing_poetry

Here is a painting of the reception area at the machan, painted by our talented guest Darshana Thatte

Painting by Darshana Thatte
Painting by Zainab Tambawalla

Flip through this wonderful machan sketchbook created by our guest @siddhisurte about her machan experience.

Sharing beautiful moments when art and beauty are born is always inspirational. We hope this short compilation inspires the artist within you to create.

10 perfect tree house moments: The Machan Gallery

“With a treehouse and a little imagination, you can go almost anywhere. “

Anonymous

Keeping this in mind, we launched the machan gallery to celebrate the best photographs clicked by our guests at the machan.

The Machan Gallery Vol 2

We defy impermanence with our films, poems, and photographs. Each photograph has a hidden subtext that says ‘I will not let go!.’ Every month we get to see so many amazing pictures clicked at the machan. And a few of these amazing pictures are truly extraordinary.

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”

Jonathan Swift

Hence, we decided to support their creative vision by nominating them for an award. We believe even a small event like this could lead to greater things for our talented guests.

We have managed to conduct two contests so far, and the response has been beyond our wildest imaginations. We are glad that a small tree house resort in Lonavala can inspire people to be creative, and they help us see the world through their colorful lens, changing the way we perceive things. The winners of the contest receive vouchers and goodies for their next machan visit.

Let us hear what a few of our winners have to say about their victory.

Thank you so much for nominating me. This made my day.’ –

Priyanka Deshmukh
Resorts in lonavala

Thank you

Kreetika Sharma

‘Thank you so much for the appreciation, when I was clicking this picture, I didn’t realize it will reward me back in such a pleasurable manner. As they say, you do good and good things comes back to you. My stay at machan was one hell of a great experience and now this is like a cherry on top.’

Mukul Vaswani
Lonavala resorts

A creative moment occurs when something bigger than ourselves finds its way through us. Creativity is the interconnection between disparate concepts or ideas to reveal something new.

We hope that the machan continues to inspire people to be more creative, which will further spread our message of conservation, preservation and community.

 Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take a moment and make it perfect. Check out the other nominees in the gallery below.

R

Machan resorts in Lonavala: Words can’t describe it’s beauty

Resorts in Lonavala
The Machan Resorts Lonavala

It was such an amazing experience staying at Machan resorts in Lonavala. Words can’t describe its beauty and the way it is designed in between the forest. It is all away from ear-splitting traffic horns and the buzz of the city. It is so good that there is no network which is an add-on to the peace and calmness of the place.

There are narrow pathways covered with trees and plants all around connecting each area of the resort. All the patches around the pathways were covered with lovely flowers, hedges, and green ground covers. I really enjoyed open to sky breakfast with the chirping of birds to the dinner with forest darkness.

There were so many sitting and get together spots all around. I enjoyed sitting near the bonfire and the area overlooking the pond.

lonavala resorts
The Machan Resort Lonavala

We had a mesmerizing stay at starlight Machan which is the premium of all the Machans, having duplex bedrooms with a bathtub on the deck, morning view from the private deck was breathtaking with the hills in front and the forest as we see down, open to the sky shower area and a private plunge pool. The most amazing feature of this Machan as the name suggests is a translucent, retractable roof to enjoy the monsoon rains in between the forest and starry sky of summer nights.

Every category of Machan is distanced from each other. Perfect care has been taken of privacy by separating each Machan by thick forest cover, trees, and nature acting as a visual barrier giving complete privacy. To bring you more close to the nature, Machans are constructed using wooden planks, bamboos, stone, etc giving a woody colour and texture everywhere. The resort is beautifully planned without disturbing much the natural terrains and slopes of the area.

I wish to visit the place again and even suggest people to visit the place.

And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. – John Muir

                                                                                                           
-TARISHEE KUMAWAT

The Starlight Machan

If only there were more places to travel in my own country that are sustainable and mindful of the environment. There is nothing more rewarding than an ecological living.

The Starlight Machan

Have you ever seen a constellation in a bathtub? I have. At midnight, tucked away not into bed, but a cradle of warm water, out on the balcony where the bathtub was. The sky looked so different from my pent house in Mumbai, and with stars both above below me, floating on the surface of the water, I wondered if the stars would be reflected in my eyes. My dad, who joined me on the balcony a while later (pretended) to identify constellations. “See that bear? Those three sisters?” and I played along with the infallible confidence of a child as he pointed them out. I’m pretty sure that night we saw even Mufassa’s face in the stars and that’s when I knew staying at The Machan was the perfect place to celebrate my last Children’s day.

Earlier that day, when I was still at home, I wasn’t even sure of coming. I really needed wifi to submit my assignments and I was afraid it would be sporadic in a treehouse. Eventually, I thought to myself, “Since when did wifi get to decide the places I go?” and trust me, upon reaching our Starlight Machan, I forgot all about my assignments. I forgot all about wifi and social media and I think for those brief few minutes upon arrival I even forgot I was in the twelfth grade as I raced about like a child, wide-eyed, so excited about the treehouse I had just walked into.

The Machans are designed in a way that is both vintage and contemporary. On one hand, you’ll see traditional Indian paintings, the four-poster bed of Indian royals and seductive light and dark wood furnishings. On the other hand, you’ll see modern, socially conscious ideas in design, such as Upcycling. The majority of the Machan’s furniture is handcrafted by them onsite, made from recycled or sustainably farmed wood. From using parts of an old ship, to hand-carved ancient screens, to rugs made from recycled PET bottles and old cycle tubes. And I know one probably only looks at how cozy the bed is when they step into a hotel room, but it fills me with pride to have chosen to stay at a hotel that cares enough to give natural resources another lease at life. It’s a concept I’ve always admired abroad but this was the first time I’d seen it in my own country. When you stay in an aesthetic place your entire outlook towards life changes. It’s like forcing yourself to exercise and go out when you’re having the most tragic day and your hair is falling out. Over the valleys of Lonavla, one breathes different air, a lighter air, it’s addictive.

Starlight Machan Lonavala

In fact, the design of the Machans perfectly reflects their philosophy: Conservation. Preservation. Community. When you arrive at The Machan, you’ll most likely take a path through the trees on the way to your treehouse. You’ll see natural water holes brimming with fish sunbathing on the surface. A butterfly might rest on your shoulder, just for a second if you’re still enough, and bright yellow birds I can guarantee you’ve never seen in the city will greet you with singing.

The Machan Resort Lonavala

The Machan really does go out of its way to give to an environment that gives to them. You might not know this, but 10% of The Machan’s profits go towards preserving the flora and fauna of the Western Ghats. One of my favorite natural things to see as I ate breakfast was a corner of the open dining area where a tree was growing, and the edge of a table was cut out like a jigsaw piece to accommodate the branch of the tree. It was such fine detail, barely even noticeable if you weren’t looking for it, but it made me so incredibly happy because it seemed like there was a place for everybody, including the trees. This is something you need to see, our country is so beautiful in places like these, places that accommodate everybody.

My advice? Pack shoes. There’s a lot to do. Early morning sip Chai on your balcony then go on a hike. Let the outstretched arms of trees larger than life surprise you. When you’re back and hungry, learn to cook with the chef. Most of the staff employed are wonderful locals. Reminisce about how long it’s been since you last had that much fun cooking. Or the time to set aside for the secret ingredient of patience. Then look complacent about your very own dish. In the evening walk to where you can watch the sunset diffuse like warm tea into the valley. Head to the spa then and forget about the whole world. Treat yourself at a bonfire for dinner. Sleep like a log under the stars.

Couple Resort In Lonavala

I haven’t even covered half the things to do there. Check out their website for more.

It is important to acknowledge places that make the effort towards sustainable tourism. It is important to lift them up high because it is not always easy to think of others, especially if they are flora and fauna without a voice. It sets our country way beyond her years and shows us that the great Indian hospitality that was born as inviting guests for chai ( and not letting them leave without snacks and cold drinks) is still revived in places like The Machan. Look closely at the places you travel to, and choose valuably.

Thank you to all the lovely people that make The Machan what it is.

The Jungle Machan – Quite literally within the Jungle

The concept of nature lodges and tree houses is fast making its presence felt in the hospitality circuit. In an industry that feels the need and pressure to evolve its offering constantly, going back to the roots has become an important differentiator for hoteliers and resort owners since the turn of the last couple of years. However, it’s one thing to build a nature resort and quite another thing to erect one, slap bang boom in the middle of nature itself.  

This is one of the many reasons why The Machan Resort in Lonavala is one of the most sought after destinations in the country for holiday goers who like to vacation with a sense of meaning. Because at The Machan treehouse of your choice, you will not only get peace, calm, and tranquillity in abundance, you will also get your fair share of luxuriating creature comforts to keep you comfortable and regal. And you will get all of the above and more while sharing heart and soul with a biodiversity hotspot in the middle of a tropical rain forest.  

 Treehouse resort, Treehouse cottages, treehouse in Lonavala

Where else could you stay in a Jungle Machan which is built quite literally in the middle of a jungle and holds true to its name unlike most other fancily coined accommodations in this region?  The Jungle Machan truly puts a new spin on the term “tree-house”. With living trees sprouting from the floor and going through the roof, the feeling of being one with Nature is fully encapsulated. This suite is divided into three very distinct and purposeful areas for you to explore while you soak in the sights and sounds that percolate from the very heart of Mother Nature.

The Master bedroom leaves you feeling a certain loyalty to the mattress and nothing else thanks to its rustic and luxurious demeanor while the spacious bathroom comes equipped with a tub as well as an open rain shower to help you set the mood if you know what we mean. The wooden deck that you are also privy to is where you can breathe in the crisp jungle air, practice yoga on, have a spa therapy session, and enjoy each other’s company over countless cups of beverages and delicious meals set specially for you.

Resorts near Pune, Nature hotels near Mumbai, Unique living Lonavala

Apart from the Jungle Machan, there are several other parts of the resort that you can experience to your heart’s content. Start off with nature trails and treks that are enhanced with the sage learnings of a professional naturalist. Climb to nearby historical monuments and learn about the ethos and history of the land that we so often mistake as just another hill station. Sooth away the fatigue of the day at the Aranya Spa, while a team of experts massage away your worries and finally spend time under the stars roasting your favourite of a crackling bonfire, made entirely for you and only your group should you choose to have a night of revelry or bonhomie.   

Honeymoon resort in Lonavala, Romantic resort in Pune,

The Machan Booking process and the Machan price for the Forest Machan are both equally seamless as well. All you have to do is visit the official website or then call on the designated numbers and the well drilled back office staff will guide you through your booking. This incredible Jungle Machan and everything delightful that comes with it can be all yours at just Rs13,000 a night. Well, don’t just sit there reading, book away!

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