Nature’s Nest Goa- A Staycation Close To Nature!

Well on some of the days, we really wanna get away from the hustle bustle of daily life and that is one of the prime reasons I left Delhi and chose to live in Goa. Goa in itself is so peaceful and surrounded by nature that I find it refreshing me all the time, but even then, sometimes we want to go a little far away from the daily life and spend a couple of days relaxing. What better than staying close to nature for a perfect getaway and relaxation.

Nature’s Nest

I had read about a lot of places that offer accommodation in the lap of nature, and Nature’s Nest true to its name was the one name that cropped in my head. I discussed it with my friend, and she too readily agreed to the trip. We chose the Independence Day Eve as a perfect day for our mid-week adventure. Nature’s Nest is located in Surla area of Goa, which was approximately 60kms away from where we stay. Its truly surrounded by nature, its close to the Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary and very popular with bird watchers and trekking lovers, as it offers perfect spots for both.

The Journey

We set out around 10 AM from our place, as it would take us 1.5 hours drive to Nature’s Nest and the check in time was at 12 Noon. The weather was totally on our side and once you cross Ponda, the drive becomes even more beautiful. The narrow roads, with greenery in abundance on both sides, makes for a fantastic view. We added some music in the background, grabbed a couple of drinks and snacks for the way and we were all set. We reached Nature’s Nest quite on time, at 12:15 we were at the reception of the resort.

The Ambiance and Rooms

The ambiance has a very raw appeal to it and is surrounded by greenery. It’s like practically living in mud and bamboo cottages in a middle of a jungle and in one look, I loved it. The greenery seemed even more alive and fresh after the rains and as per me, monsoons are definitely one of the best times to visit this place, not that you cant visit during other months, but trust me monsoons are the best. After a warm welcome at the reception along with a refreshing Kokum drink, we were directed towards our cottage. The resort houses 10 cottages and they look so lovely.

Our cottage was named Kunjan, and once again the raw appeal of the cottage, the mud walls, the thatched roof, all reminded me of the times I have spent in the villages and it was nostalgic. The room was spacious and comfortable, twin beds, with side tables, a dressing table and an open cane shelf for keeping clothes etc. The bathroom too was very spacious and huge, it almost felt like another room.

Lunch

After settling in the room and chilling for sometime imbibing the nature, it was almost time for lunch. At 1:30, we headed towards the restaurant area and a traditional Goan lunch was waiting for us. Prawn Curry, Chicken Xacuti, Rawa Fish Fry, Veg Gravy, Bhaji, Dal, Solkadi, Salad, Papad, Bhakri and Rice, the menu was quite a big one and was perfect for both vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians. It was freshly prepared and had the authentic taste of Goan flavors. Loved the kheer for sweet-dish.

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Activities

After lunch, we retired to our rooms for a power nap and returned to the activity area at 4 PM. We indulged in 3-4 activities before our dinner and they were:

Artificial Wall Climbing

Well, this one was not for me, as with my fingernails I just could not get the grip and climb even one step. My friend did try a bit, but even she couldn’t do much. So we kind of skipped this one and moved to the next activity.

Flying Fox and Zip Line

Now both of these were really fun, I had never tried a zip line before and although it wasn’t a very high or long one, I really enjoyed it. Zipping between the greens and with raindrops drenching me, it was something I really loved.

Trek to a Plateau

Well, this was an evening trail amidst nature, we trekked to a nearby plateau, the slight uphill climb was beautiful. The sounds of a peacock and a flowing stream were almost filling the entire place. View from the top point was breathtakingly beautiful. I could not manage a lot of clear pictures because it rained heavily while we went there and also some of the pics came blurred because of this reason. Nevertheless, what I captured in my mind and soul will remain with me for a long time. We also saw an insectivorous plant and a pair of Hornbills, they looked amazing as they flew from one tree to the other. Their flight looked magically beautiful.

This point is otherwise very famous for sunset, but as we were in monsoons, there was no sunset to watch, but a lot of refreshing greenery, the water stream, plants, birds, frogs, and yes the peacock. I felt so so good after this trek. Also met an Ornate Flying Snake Baby, never had a chance to see a snake so closely, it looked so so beautiful. And strangely enough, I wasn’t scared.

Night Trail

By the time we returned from our trek, it was almost 6:30, we came back to our rooms to freshen up a bit and then at 7 PM headed for a short night trail. This night trail was specifically to show us a luminous kind of mushroom that glows in the dark, so complete darkness was important.

After a walking for a short while, we reached the spot, though we were using our flashlights to walk through the dense forest, at this point, our guide, Mr. Ramesh, one of the partners at Nature’s Nest instructed us to switch off all lights and close our eyes for a few seconds. After those few seconds, when we opened our eyes we were astonished. A full tree branch, from the ground to the top was glowing, it felt as if someone had put a tube light there. We even held one of the branches in our hand, with the flashlight on, it felt like any other branch, with nothing special to notice, but the magic happened when it turned dark.

Source

Dinner and a Good Night’s Rest

After this night trail, we were a bit tired with the day’s activities and chose to have an early dinner. A spread of simple dishes including Kadhai Chicken, Mushroom Curry, Dal, Baingan Bhaji, Rice, Roti, and Seviyan was laid out. It felt like a home cooked comfort food, nothing fancy, but simple yet tasty. Though we had all intentions to retire to bed early as we had to go for a morning trek too, but we ended up chatting for long hours sitting and relaxing in the restaurant itself and then with some background light music supported by the music of falling raindrops on the roof, the sounds of the cricket and watching the fireflies glow near the window, we drifted into to a good night’s sleep.

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The Talde Waterfall Trek

We got up early the next morning, as, after a quick breakfast of omelet, poha, pav and black coffee, we had to leave for the Talde Waterfall Trek. We left the resort at around 8:30 AM. The trek point is about 10 minutes drive from the resort and its a 30 minutes trek into thick forest with very narrow lanes. 20 minutes of the trek is more of a straight walk, but like I said the walk is on a very very narrow lane which can barely fit one person, and the last 10 minutes of the trek are tougher with more of an uphill climb on slippery stones and rocks, but once you reach the waterfall, its all simply worth it.

The view is mesmerizing, the noise of the waterfall filled me with so much calmness that I words will fall short to explain my feelings. It’s definitely worth a visit. For me, it was my first experience of almost dipping in the water and feel a waterfall so closely. Its one of those experiences that I will never forget. We spent a good half an hour enjoying the waterfall and after capturing memories in my camera, we started on our way back. Once back to the resort, we did our check out formalities and came back home completely refreshed and rejuvenated.

This entire experience filled me with so much of positive energy that as soon as I was back home, I was raring to go for another adventure. I did not feel even a bit tired. This staycation was a much-needed break for me and although I was not very sure about anything, as everything was new for me, all I can say is I am glad I took this decision and chose Nature’s Nest.

Also Read- Exploring the Fontainhas, Goa

As per season, Nature’s Nest offers a lot of activities like Bird Watching, Jungle Safaris, Night Trails, Trekking, Waterfall Treks etc. Make sure you check with them of the available options and plan your travel accordingly.

 

Witnessing Royalty of Rajasthan at Fairmont, Jaipur!

Opulence, Royalty, Class, Expansiveness, Luxury are some of the words that came to my mind the moment my car stopped at the porch of Fairmont Hotel, Jaipur. And as I kept moving from the porch to the entrance and finally to my room, all these words turned into reality. Right at the welcome, when a man clad in traditional Rajasthani clothes sings “Padharo Mare Des”, you start feeling the royalty of Rajasthan seeping in, at least thats what I felt. To me whenever this song is sung with a deep tone, it gives me goosebumps.

As I moved towards the lobby, smiling faces awaited me to process a smooth check-in. While it just took about 5 minutes for the entire process, even in those 5 minutes, glimpses of luxury started to show. Cold Towels, Welcome Drink and Escorted entry to my room, I had already started to enjoy my short vacation.

Now coming to the best part, the room, it oozed out opulence and class and trust me when you open the doors to the expansive bathroom, your heart almost skips a beat. Calling it lavish, would be an understatement. The bathtub in the centre catches your attention instantly and all you want to do is, fill it up with a hot bubble bath and just soak yourself and let the luxury take its course on you. But as I reached late in the afternoon, the hunger didn’t let me indulge in the bath at that moment, and it had to wait for a later time in the night.

Now to satiate my hunger, I headed down to Zoya, the all day dining multi cuisine restaurant. A chicken caesar salad, a platter of non-veg kebabs and lamb biryani comprised of my hearty meal. The salad was good and gave me a refreshing start to the meal. From the kebab platter, I loved the Kasundi Mahi Tikka the most and also the Chicken Tikka and Chicken Malai Tikka were done well, but the best was the fish.

The Lamb Biryani is surely something you shouldn’t miss, it was one of the highlights. The rice were perfectly spiced and the fried onions garnish added another layer of flavour to it. The mutton pieces were really soft and tender. Served with raita, its a complete meal and believe me you won’t need anything else. 5 senses and toffee date pudding are the desserts you can’t afford to miss again. They will melt in your mouth.

After this appetising meal, I retired to my room for a small nap, whereas my son tried his hand at Table Tennis in the hotel itself. The hotel does offer quite a lot of activities for children of all age groups. Later I spent most time of my evening dipping myself in the expansive pool, almost for 2 hours and it made me feel refreshed and tired at the same time, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

A quick shower and was ready for yet another culinary exploration and this time headed to  Zarin, a speciality restaurant that serves Persian delicacies. Shishlik, boneless lamb chops on skewers was a melt in the mouth experience and is definitely a must try. Jujeh Kebab was the next dish on my platter, succulent pieces of barbecued chicken, this too was delicious. We also ordered for roasted lamb chops and they too were a delight, full of flavours, but only I wished that the meat was a little more tender.

For main course, we tried Dal Zarin, Nihari Khas and a Chicken based gravy dish, and all the main course dishes were fabulous and should surely be given a try. But the best was yet to come, it was the dessert platter, with Baklawa and Baglawa and I just could not have enough of both of these items. They were simply the best I have ever eaten.

After a very hearty meal yet again, I headed to the comfort of my room for a good night’s sleep. I really had a very peaceful sleep as the rooms are completely sound proof, I got up just in time for the breakfast. The breakfast was a lavish spread at Zoya and one can get a lot of options from English breakfast to American and Indian with regional delicacies as well.

I spent the day at leisure, indulging in games, hitting the gym and dipping in pool. The lunch was special on this day, as we got to savour the typical Rajasthani Thali and no amount of words can justify the flavours, the presentation and the taste. You really need to have it yourself to believe the goodness of it. I have to admit that I had once earlier also tasted the Rajasthani Thali but didn’t like it much back then, but here at Fairmont, it was easily one of the best things I had. The veg thali especially included things which I had never tasted before and I loved all of them. Papad Mangodi ki Subzi, Gatte ki Subzi, Sagri Ke Kofte and Dal Batti Churma, everything was outstandingly delicious. In the non-veg thali, Laal Maas was obviously the highlight. Finishing the meal with Kulfi Falooda was just the thing to do.

For dinner, we have a private set up done at the terrace overlooking the pool and a magnificent tomb. We settled for some Asian food that night and I think this is one area where the hotel needs to work a bit. In comparison to the Indian and Persian food, Asian food did not meet much of expectations. Main Course consisting of Sichuan Chicken and Chicken Garlic Noodles was really good whereas starters except Chicken Spring Rolls were disappointing.

After a luxurious bath at night I once again had a comfortable sleep at the Hotel. The third morning, after a continental brunch at Zoya, I had to bid goodbye to this luxury and head back home. I enjoyed a grilled chicken breast with mushroom sauce for my brunch and it truly was delicious.

Goodbyes are often the most difficult thing and who wants to leave such comfort, class and luxury, but like they say ‘all good things come to an end’ and so did my short 2 night-3 day trip to Fairmont Jaipur. But I am sure I will be going there back very soon as I fell in love with the place. If you haven’t stayed at this hotel, it should definitely be in your list. I am still swooning over the place.

Hotel Fact File

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAIRMONT JAIPUR

Toll Free (Room Reservations only):
1 877 289 1012
jai.reservations@fairmont.com

2, Riico Kukas
Jaipur
India
303101
Maps & Directions

TEL + 91 142 642 00 00
FAX + 91 142 642 00 11
International Numbers

Lemon Tree Hotels launch universally accessible hotels in Gurugram

The Lemon Tree Hotel Company, the third largest Indian hotel chain by asset ownership in the country, announced the formal opening of its twin properties in Gurugram, thereby becoming the largest owner of hotel rooms in the millennium city.

Adding a collective inventory of just under 400 rooms, Lemon Tree Hotel, Sector 60 and Red Fox Hotel, Sector 60, located just off Golf Course Extension Road and a short distance from the key business hubs also houses a separate Convention Center with commercial and office space making it the largest accessible MICE destination in Delhi NCR.

In line with the fresh, fun and spirited ambience of Lemon Tree, these properties promise to delight its upbeat guests with their vibrant interiors, scrumptious food, impeccable facilities and the distinctive warm and friendly services that Lemon Tree is known for.

Speaking on this occasion, Vikramjit Singh, President, Lemon Tree Hotels said: “We are delighted to reach a milestone of six hotels in the city. Gurugram continues to attract business and leisure travelers throughout the year and the launch of these twin properties along with a Convention Center, only brings to fore the potential of this market and LTH’s successful run here.”

With this launch, Lemon Tree group now commands a joint inventory of 530 rooms in the city.

Designed on the principles of universal design, these special hotels allow people of varying abilities to access all areas of the hotel with ease and offer specially designed room and multiple suites for differently-abled guests.

They are a part of a unique initiative adopted by the company, wherein, Lemon Tree has taken its initiatives on inclusion to a new benchmark. Not only are these hotels 100% accessible for people of all abilities, but are also run by a special team.

As part of the group’s HR strategy, we usually hire 12-15% employees with disability and a similar percentage of persons from the economically and socially marginalized disadvantaged segments (EcoSoc) of the society. In a first-of-its-kind endeavor, 70% of the hotel staff in Lemon Tree Hotel, Sector 60 is either from the Economically and Socially marginalized segments of the society (EcoSoc) or differently abled (Employees with Disability).

Aradhana Lal, Vice President, Sustainability Initiatives, Lemon Tree Hotels explains: “We truly believe in mainstreaming and including people with disabilities and those from the marginalized segments in our employee base and provide them the same opportunities as others in order to realize their full potential. This launch is special to us. We are proud to introduce our new hotels in Sector 60, Gurugram run by a truly special team

Strategically nestled between high-end residential societies, the twin hotels offer easy access to HUDA Metro Station, Leisure Valley and Sector 29, the entertainment district of the city, besides being 20 minutes away from Signature Towers, IFFCO Chowk and the Mall mile on MG Road.

Lemon Tree Hotel, Sector 60 has been designed with innovative interiors and inspiring artwork that make for an ambience that is refreshing, contemporary and stylish. It has an inventory of 104 stylish rooms and suites, a 24×7 multi-cuisine coffee shop – Citrus Café and a hip recreation bar – Slounge in addition to a business center, a fitness Gym and open-air swimming pool.

Red Fox Hotel, Sector 60 is an economy business hotel and offers 154 smart rooms and suites, a multi-cuisine coffee shop – Clever Fox Café, a Cyber Kiosk, an efficient meeting room, a well-equipped fitness centre and laundry service. The hotel welcomes guests with its fresh bold interiors as well as crisp and clean rooms and delights with its unbeatable value and reliable safety standards.

With the opening of this new property, Lemon Tree Hotels now owns and operates 40 hotels in 23 cities with over 4100 rooms and over 4500 employees.

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