Responsible Tourism Society of India to onboards Machan Resorts to Promote Sustainable Tourism Practices in the Western Ghats

The machan and RTSOI

The Machan is pleased to announce that it is now a member of the Responsible Tourism Society of India (RTSOI). This membership will aid in minimizing any negative social, economic, and environmental impact that tourism may have on the ecosystems of the Western Ghats and preserve its communities. 

Who is RTSOI ?

The Responsible Tourism Society of India (RTSOI) is a non-profit organization, established with the aim to promote and ensure environmentally responsible and sustainable practices in the tourism industry. The founding body of RTSOI comprises 13 widely experienced professionals from relevant fields. They are:

  • Mr. Rakesh Mathur- Former CEO, Bass (IHG) Hotels, South and West Asia; Former President, ITC Welcomheritage Hotels
  • Mr. Steve Borgia- MD, Indeco Hotels, Chennai
  • Mr. Mandip Singh Soin, FRGS- Founder & Managing Director, Ibex Expeditions Pvt. Ltd.
  • Mr. Jose Dominic- MD, CGH Earth Hotels
  • Mr. P.D. Rai- Former Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
  • Dr. Venu V, IAS- Revenue Secretary, Government of Kerala
  • Mr. Ravi Singh- CEO, WWF India
  • Mr. Toby Sinclair- Wildlife Film Maker; Director Indian Safaris
  • Mr. Avay Shukla- Additional Chief Secretary (Retired); Government of Himachal Pradesh
  • Mr. Krishna Kumar Singh- Former MLA and Environmentalist 
  • Mr. Sudhir Sahi- Consultant, UNDP
  • Mr. Niranjan Kharti- Founder, iSambhav; Former GM Environment, ITC Welcome Group Hotels 
  • Mr. Mr. Sarath C.R.- Chief Naturalist, Taj Safaris; Associate Director Evolve Back Resorts

“While we talk about the benefits of tourism, it is also important to acknowledge and take actions against the substantial negative impacts this industry has on a destination’s environment, culture, and locals. The Machan promotes eco-friendly tourism practices and is one of the few resorts that implement plans to be as sustainable as possible and minimize any damage to the Western Ghats,” Machan’s spokesperson. 

The Machan’s strategies for sustainability

  • Use of only LED lighting throughout the property
  • Provide pure mountain water for consumptions in glass bottles from the property’s 300 foot deep bore well
  • Recycle 80% of all greywater and use it to water plants on the property
  • To reduce dependency on fossil fuels, the Machan uses parabolic solar cookers to cook a portion of meals
  • All energy is generated off-grid from renewable resources 

The Machan shares RTSOI’s vision of sustainable tourism and the synergy between the two organizations aims at benefitting the Western Ghats by making positive contributions to the conservation of the biodiversity of the area and generating economic benefits for the local communities. 

The joined resources and efforts of RTSOI and the Machan will result in:

  • Formulating and implementing plans for long-term sustainability efforts
  • Working with relevant bodies of power to establish sustainable tourism practices which will not only include conservation of nature and wildlife but also allow local communities to benefit from tourism
  • Better support for eco-based research
  • Promotion of efficient energy saving practices like water harvesting, use of solar and other natural energy sources, and reducing overall carbon footprint
  • Organize training and other activities for guests, staff and locals to create awareness on ecotourism and sustainable tourism

Additionally, RTSOI will help The Machan network with sustainability experts and offer solutions to problems relating to sustainability, and inspire other resorts in Lonavala . As a member, the Machan will have a medium to share its best practices with other member organizations and promote its vision.

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.

Activities at the Machan

Has your life been a little monotonous lately?

The award-winning luxury retreat is here to your rescue! The Machan provides an array of soothing activities that will help you unwind and elevate your spirits.

Bid adieu to the stressful city life and indulge yourself in The Machan experience. All this while protecting the wild treasures of nature.

At the Machan, you can find privacy and freedom in the lap of nature. We believe in the concept of preservation and conservation, while enhancing the community. A place to calm your soul amidst the forest; to recharge and rejuvenate.

A set of activities at the Machan for you to connect with nature:

Trekking

At the Machan, you can enjoy a 2.54 km long trek, with panoramic 360 views of the Western Ghats, on our private protected path. Where you can be intimate with nature and challenge yourself to higher peaks.

In this resort in Lonavala, guests are delighted by the serenity, an experience they cannot get enough of. The morning zephyr whispers the song of energy and adventure and is worth getting up in the morning to watch the sunrise.

Yoga

Yoga can recharge and revive your mind, body, and soul. Our trained yoga instructors know how to calm your senses through various asanas and transcend you to the river of reality.

Yoga at the Machan helps you appreciate in little things in life.

Spa

The sybaritic Aranya Spa is a hymn to nature, intriguing to the senses yet calming to the mind. The slow sound of the falling water, the fine incense of ouzo and anise, and a variety of treatments offering different experiences designed to awaken your senses.

The Aaranya Spa at the Machan is crafted specially for full body massages by expert therapists specialized in Ayurvedic therapies.

Shinrin-Yoku

Experience the ancient Japanese art of Shinrin-Yoku at the Machan. The Japanese embraced this art and used it as an Eco–therapy. The purpose of Shinrin-Yoku was twofold. Firstly, they to offer an eco-antidote to the everyday technological fatigue, and also to inspire residents to reconnect and protect the forests. The sound of leaves and the scent of wood provides us a sense of comfort. In our protected forests, amid the chirping of birds, you’ll connect with the forest. You will be at one with nature, and nature will be at one with you.

Star Gazing

Gaze into the open cluster of the celestial hunter, Orion in our private stargazing session. The clear sky above our luminous forests is home to millions of stars that puts city lights to shame. You can rejoice under the twinkling stars or gape deeper into the universe through our high-end telescopes.  After that, you’ll have the best good night’s sleep ever.

Private Bonfire

Watch the embers reflect upon your loved one’s eyes at our private bonfire. Wander and decorate your memories with love and epic adventures. Collect stories people won’t believe and memories that’ll keep you warm in your twilight years. These are just a few things that you can do at the Machan. Nature has a lot more, waiting for you. All you need to do it find it.

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 is 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 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.