Unveiling the Starlight Machan experience

The journey towards disconnect, revival, inner peace, and enlightenment requires a safe space. Space where you can be free from having to manage external concerns so that you can be free enough to take a journey inward. Your mind shifts from survival-based orientation to a more poetic, whimsical, and creative state of being that soak in the beauty and ignores outwardly muddle. That’s why at the Machan, we have thoughtfully designed these spaces for you so you can fully immerse in nature’s goodness.

The Starlight Machans strikes a perfect balance between natural bliss and modern comfort. The ideal, translucent roofs of these Starlight Machans, let you soak in the distinctive beauty of the forest and the night sky. The elegant space provides you comfort, peace, and privacy along with all the contemporary amenities.

The forest takes on a distinct life of its own under the influence of the night sky. You will indulge in that immersive experience in our luxury resort near Mumbai. Each of our five Starlight Machans offer a unique and captivating ambiance, that’s perfect for a romantic stay.

The Starlight Machans have duplex bedrooms, with separate bathrooms, so they easily accommodate a family of four. The charming settings to dine and unwind, including a four-poster bed, and an antique writing table. To top it all off, there’s a pool underneath the guest bedroom for you to just laze or revel in.

The large glass walls of the Machans, including the ceiling section above the bed, offer an unrestricted view of the surroundings. At night, the sky reveals all its glory, providing a rare opportunity for urban dwellers to immerse themselves in its sensational beauty. In monsoons, rain pours through the glass and strikes the ceiling, creating the most beautiful orchestra. It makes you forget all those ear-splitting traffic horns.

The private deck in front of the master bedroom contains a bathtub and an open shower so you can soak in the beautiful sunset while dousing in the plunge bath. At Machan, we are very cautious about your privacy. It is ensured by dense trees, bordering all the Machans, which hide them from one another. The resort is beautifully planned without disturbing the natural foliage in the area.

The Starlight Machans provide an escape from city noise and blinding lights. The sight of starry nights is a rarity in most metro cities, as the sky is curtained by pollution. Here, at our luxury resort near Mumbai, you witness what nature has to offer. You gaze upon the distant yet mesmerizing constellations such as Orion, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Ursa Major/Minor, Sirius, Venus, Mars, etc. October through May is the best time to visit our luxury resort near Mumbai if you’re particularly interested in watching constellations. Our naturalists accentuate your star-gazing experience with facts, myths, and stories.

The most sensual thing one can experience is mysterious. While stargazing, it’s hard to be self-centered as you submerge into the enormity of the universe. The stars are calling, from our luxury resort near Mumbai, and you must visit.

The Machan Architecture

The machan Lonavala

” Our thoughts shape our spaces, but our spaces return the favor. .”

Steven Jonhson

We shape our environment and our environment shapes us back, we are a product of our surroundings. A way to mediate our interiority, aside from mindful self-inquiry and meditation, is through harnessing the power of the built environment, which is Architecture. It is a revolutionary concept that we can architect the mind by architecting the space around us.

Why do form and function matter?

The design, shapes, shadows, and forms have a great impact on human subjectivity. Holy spaces, Cathedrals are monumental in nature, and witnessing majestically beautiful designs and spaces transcends us to a state of aesthetic arrest. The open corridors, spacious halls, high ceilings, and floating treehouses in the midst of the forest are a few of the things that inspire awe.

The Machan started with a vision of creating an accommodation that reflects the idea of, “designing with nature”. It is built to portray that construction doesn’t mean the demolition of the surroundings. Our purpose is to dissever our guests from the city life. Our guests are not contained or limited to a small view from a window. Rather, they are exposed to an unrestricted view of the vast, endless, and majestic forest that leaves them spellbound.

The location was a mountain slope and the area was limited. So, we decided to make the house around a wild fig tree. On the one side we had a ramp that connects it to the falttish part and the tree becomes a coutyard where the house is built.

Shabbir Unwala, the architect

Every single Machan is a universal space. We refrained from putting walls between the living and the dining area so that the guests can enjoy a big open space. Bedrooms are concealed by wooden partitions. We are meticulous about the privacy of our guests that’s why all the Machans are intelligently placed where they are curtained by dense trees. It strikes the perfect balance between life and luxury. Nature’s therapy can be enjoyed while being nicely tucked in the comfort of your machans.

One of the greatest challenge is building the machan was to keep the modernity and the automated comfort intact while blending in the natural elements. We ensure this convenience in our Stargazing Machans with the retractable roof, that unveils the mesmerizing night sky with a single click. The architecture of the Machan is crafted to give you a completely immersive experience of the surroundings.

Every Machan is unique in itself. As they have a personality of their own, guests find it easier to choose one as it matches their requirements and their desired aura. This leads to a more personalized experience. Below are the highlights from each of our Machans:

  • The Heritage Machan incorporates a hanging room that makes you feel aloft while you savor the scenery. A Loft is also built 40 feet above this Machan, which provides a complete 360-degree view of Jambulne and the surroundings.
Heritage Machan
  • The Starlight Machan is your doorway to the stars as it lets you sleep under the night sky bejeweled with stars. The experience in bewitching. It also allows you to witness several constellations through the telescope that we provide.
Starlight Machan
  • The Canopy Machan is made from 100% recycled hardwood that contributed to the master bedroom, a bathroom, and a private deck. It has only glass walls so guests can have uninterrupted views of the surroundings.
Canopy Machan
  • The Jungle Machan truly brings out the jungle experience as real trees, sprouting from the floor are fully stretched through the roof. The goal of living in harmony with nature is completely realized in the Jungle Machan.
Jungle Machan
  • The Forest Machan is truly fascinating as it floats 45-55 feet above the ground. This Machan is perfect for a family getaway as it is children-friendly and offers spacious rooms where you can spend time with your family.
Forest Machan
  • The Sunset Machan is designed as a loft suite that has four distinct sections. It is known for its spectacular sunrise and sunset views. It is perfectly placed for guests to soak in the morning sun and watch the sky showcase brilliant shades of red and yellow when the sun goes down the valley.
Sunset Machan
  • The Cabin: The Machan also offers a secluded cabin for those who love their time away from the noise. It is built on the ground so it has a different look to it. It resembles those ancient samurai houses in Japan with its sliding rood that bends on the edges and the open porch with a water feature.
The Cabin
  • Woods Machan: Our Woods Machan is designed to be cozy and snug, with its fireplace, to keep you warm in the chilly nights. Sunlight filters through the tall trees and reveals seductive shades of solid brass in the Wood Machan. It’s both couples and eco-friendly.
wood machan

The architecture of the Machan is planned to mirror our main purpose, which is, being at one with nature. It is uplifting to see our vision coming to life.

Carbon Neutrality at the Machan

As we idly sit by locked up in our homes and waiting on the world to change, we must realize that it is up to us to change it. This year let’s focus on reimagining and recreating the future by restoring the environment. We are capable of great deeds but often lack the emotion to execute them. Let’s find it in our hearts to be gentle to the future generation by increasing biological diversity, eliminating waste, and reducing our carbon footprint.

The Hospitality Industry and its Carbon Footprint

The hotel industry is currently responsible for 21% of the global carbon footprint and is projected to increase up to 25% by 2035. An average hotel uses its energy on space heating (31%), water heating (22%), refrigeration (31%), cooking (12%), and lighting (3%). This seems to be a very heavy price to pay for luxurious living. Can’t we find a balance between life and luxury?

Carbon Neutrality

Carbon neutrality refers to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. This can be done by balancing emissions of carbon dioxide with its removal or by eliminating emissions from society. As of today, the world generates 36 billion tons of carbon each year, while in India, one person is estimated to generate 1.91 tons each year. India as a country produces 2.5 billion tons of CO2 every year, which is 6.8% of the total global emissions. We all must do our part to decrease our carbon footprint, and achieve carbon neutrality for a sustainable future.

Carbon Neutrality at the Machan

At the Machan, we follow the sustainability model of people planet, and profit. This reflects in our philosophy of preservation, conservation, and community. The Machan is targeting to achieve carbon neutrality by 2023. We hope we can inspire other resorts worldwide to start their journey on becoming carbon neutral.

The journey towards Carbon Neutrality

Carbon neutrality can be achieved in the hotel industry through the following ways.

  • Using Solar and wind energy: We are primarily powered by solar and wind energy and built sustainably for the future.
  • Barren Land Adoption and Tree Plantation: Over a thousand new trees are planted every year, which has been a 25-year long effort of converting barren land into lush greenery.
  • Protecting Biological Diversity: We protect 100 acres around the Machan from hunting, overgrazing, and tree cutting.
  • Greywater Recycling: We recycle all grey water and utilize it to water the plants.

World Bicycle Day: Finding the balance

We all remember that sense of accomplishment when we rode a bicycle successfully for the first time. Constantly worried about falling down, but as we grew up, we realized that riding a bicycle is just like riding through life. We are always trying to perfectly balance ourselves on those slim wheels of life, without plummeting on either side…

Those nostalgic bicycle rides with our childhood friends used to be our daily dose of happiness and joy, but the pollution of modern-day city life seem to have clouded those memories. This world bicycle day, we at the Machan try to revive and relive that same experience in the midst of nature, and hope to find the right balance between nature and luxury.

Why World Bicycle Day is celebrated?

We celebrate the uniqueness and longevity of the bicycle to reimagine, recreate and restore the future. In a study conducted by the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy, it was found that in the present scenario, bikes and e-bikes make up 6% of total miles traveled in world cities. If by 2050, bikes and e-bikes make up 14% of travel, there would be an overall 11% reduction in carbon emissions.

World Bicycle Day 2021

2021 is the era of eco-awakening. It draws attention towards a futuristic and sustainable transportation system that promotes economic growth, reduces inequality while supporting the fight against climate change. In many progressive and eco-centric countries, people are making this switch from cars to bicycles whenever they can.

Bicycles are simple, affordable, and environmentally sustainable means of transportation. It is an amazing sight when a group of bikers in their pointy little helmets and gears, pass you by in whoosh. You instantly get motivated to ride a bicycle yourself!

Cycling along the Western Ghats at the Machan

Riding a bicycle among lush greenery amplifies its physical and psychological benefits. The Machan is the only resort in Lonavala that lets you explore a biological hotspot in the Western Ghats within the protected paths of the Machan. Hop on to one of our bicycles and take it for a spin anytime you want!

Benefits of cycling to the environment

Riding a bicycle reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the impact of air pollutants like methane, carbon dioxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. The largest car factory is 70 million square feet, making 3,800 cars a day, which is 13,87,000 cars in a year, which is an additional 63,80,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. Doesn’t that number shock you? Be a part of something greater than yourself to save valuable green spaces from deforestation by adopting the habit of riding a bicycle. The global average carbon footprint per person is 4 tons, which needs to drop to 2 tons by 2050 to ensure a sustainable future. Won’t you like to be a part of this revolutionary journey?

The Eco- Awakening Movement

We often forget the fact that over a million species on this planet are prone to extinction! The millennial generation has been declared as the most charitable, environmentally sound and caring generation in history. The global search percentage for terms related to biodiversity have increased over 65% globally, since 2016. It’s heart-warming to witness this wave of change that has the potential to rinse the old and detrimental human practices that harm nature. Rising concerns over the destruction of biodiversity are being reflected upon social media, as people show a great level of interest. We are currently a part of the eco-awakening movement that’s escalating quickly throughout the globe.

What is Eco-Awakening?

Eco-Awakening means that we as human beings are being increasingly mindful of the disruption that we cause towards nature and its gifts. We’re moving towards more sustainable ways of living and conducting business that is harmonious with the environment’s well-being. This provides humanity a golden chance to fix its relationship with nature and re-establish a stronger positive one.

Frequent protests are being conducted against government deals that deteriorate forests and wildlife. The youth is raising questions and demanding solutions for the problems created by generations before them.

Since today is National Endangered Species Day, we would like to raise awareness regarding a few majestic species that are prone to endangerment in the Western Ghats.

  • Pangolin: Pangolins are often hunted as they are a source of protein and have unfounded medicinal benefits. They are traded in the international market, particularly in China and Vietnam for their meat and scales. According to the Seizure reports, around 3,000 Pangolins were hunted from 2009 to 2013. During the same period, 5,000 kg of Pangolin scales were also confiscated in 25 seizures. IUCN has declared these creatures as critically endangered.
Pangolin

  • Nilgiri Wood Pigeon: These beautiful native Indian birds are found in the Western Ghats and are distributed in the states of west Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, and Maharashtra. They occur in altitudes from 50 to 2,250 meters.  Nilgiri Wood Pigeons require dense forests to survive, and they feed on wild fruits, berries, flowers, and leaves. According to IUCN, they are vulnerable to extinction.
Nilgiri Wood Pigeon:
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  • Nilgiri Pipit: The habitat of this little bird, which is the grassland, is gradually being converted to plantations of tea, eucalyptus, and silver wattle. It’s common to find the Nilgiri Pipit at heights of 2,000 metres but it sometimes descends as low as 1,000 meters. Its typical diet includes creeping grass in the valley. It builds a nest in marshy grasslands with slightly taller grasses and sedges, particularly near streams. It has also been declared vulnerable to extinction by IUCN.
Nilgiri Pipit
  • Kondana Soft Furred Rat: This furry rat is only found in Sinhgarh, a small plateau of about one square km at altitude of 1,270 meters in south-western India. It’s a tad bit larger than common rats. It lives in tropical and subtropical dry deciduous forests, and scrubs. It’s losing its habitat to overgrazing and increased disturbance due to unfretted tourism. It also falls under the category of critically endangered species.
Kondana Soft Furred Rat
  • Red Sand Boa: It’s a non-venomous snake found in India, Pakistan, and Iran. It’s also identified as the two-headed snake for its round tail that looks like a head. Its reddish-brown thick body with small keeled scales looks glossy. It can grow up to 2-3 feet on average. It feeds on rodents and other little snakes. Its IUCN status stands at Near Threatened.
Red Sand Boa

At the Machan, we believe in the principles of preservation, conservation, and community. Hence, we heavily patrol the 25 acres at The Machan and 50 acres around us to prevent deforestation, hunting, and over-grazing. We are devoted to doing our part, it’s time you join us too.

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.

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.