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Tue, 18 Dec – Wed, 19 Dec (1 Night) | 1 Room | 1 Guest
The Verandah in the ForestBarr House, Matheran 410 102District RaigarhMaharashtra, Matheran , 410102 | Show on Map
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by Shayon on November 7, 2018
Matheran is avoidable unless you love visiting Juhu Chowpatty on a Sunday. But. There's something about the place, beyond the chaotic main market, the pestering touts, the commercial Missal Pav and the overburdened stallion army. And those are the quaint bungalows on muddy inclines, stuck in time, mood, colour and feel. Each bungalow has a story wrapped around its periphery wall. Perhaps an old man sits inside waiting for you to walk in and surrender to his Ruskin Bond tales. One such property is Dune Barr House near Charlotte Lake. The imposing old structure was a Neemrana property till it changed hands. It had a romantic name, 'The Verandah in the Forest.' In fact, locals call it 'Veranda' or 'Barr House'. This place was never meant to be a hotel. To start with, there is no reception. You sit at the verandah and check in while sipping lemonade. The rooms have surnames. Parsi families who once owned the place maybe. Or Neemrana's way of a branding exercise, to make it sound time-warped cool. The present owners have retained the surnames. So you are not staying in Room #106 but at Sassoon's or Peerbhoy's or Chenoy's. Fancy. And when you have such illustrious company, expect food that's equally fantastic. Choose between a humble Indian fare or Conti - the Pestos, the Bolognaise, the Ratatouilles of the world. To sit at the verandah and eat is an experience. Or you choose to occupy centrestage at the Dubash Dining Hall with candles to give you company. Ratheesh, the manager, is an ever helpful guy with clarity on questions and queries you have. The boys working at the property serve you with a smile, specially Pandu and Suresh. There is nothing much to do at Barr House. Read a book, watch the monkeys, listen to the crickets or go for walks. The property is completely cut off from all modern information gateways namely television and internet. You can barely talk on phone to someone from one corner if you are blessed with Vodafone. The Airtel girl has to concede defeat unlike the advertisements. To reach Barr House, you have to use all modes of transport if you are not driving. The local train lovers can hop on to Karjat or Khopoli Fast to get down at Neral. Take a taxi to Dasturi car park from Neral station. Once at Dasturi, walk up to Aman Lodge. If you have heavy luggage, hire a porter. From Aman Lodge, take the toy train or walk along the railway track to reach Matheran. From Matheran railway station, ride a horse to Barr House or sit on a hand pulled rickshaw. Room Tip: Go for a Heritage Superior room as they are much better compared to their cheaper cousins. The lack of vehicular traffic makes the town stand out among the chaos of other hill stations. But don't expect cool weather. It's pleasant in November. Days are hot though. Avoid going out after lunch, till about 4 o'clock. If you are not keen on Barr House, choose some other property but stay away from the market area for sure. It's noisy, crowded and commercial. In today's day and time, Barr House is your best bet to relive the era gone by. Muddy pebbled roads, fresh air, hoofed friends, rickshaws and silence. The only element missing in the maze are the Sassoons, Peerbhoys and Chenoys in their evening tuxedos. That would have made it a time travel tale. Another story.
by Noveen P on October 26, 2018
I'll start with the conclusion so you can avoid the long ranting : No value for money if you are putting hard earned money. For a 2 day stay here, my out of pocket cost was about Rs 20,000 while the I had various issues. I wouldn't want lack of facilities when I am the one paying so much of hard earned money. Now below I will list issues only with the hotel, you may check my other review of Matheran trip for other issues I faced. 1. Location: place is almost on the other end of entry point. Horseman may claim as almost 6 km. By horse at walking speed we reached in 35 mins. Can horseman be walking with our horse at 10 km per hour speed ? Anyways he charged us 1400 for 2 horses along with a porter for luggage costing 400. Reason: hotel does not provide these services. 2. Rooms: When we arrived, we were given room called Kapadia which was behind the kitchen. It had two rooms each with its bed and separate bathroom. So it was kind of a residence. To us it appeared like a servant quarter. Probably servant working in kitchen lived there during British periods. We felt it was very secluded for i had a kid too and hence asked for room on front side where varandah is there so my kid will have open space to run and we can oversee. Even though the whole hotel was empty, we were given only first room at entry, as option. This one was small and damp but we agreed since we were family and did not want to be in backyard. 3. Room ambience : everything looked old and vintage. Some people make like that but I being from middle class don't want to spend on old furniture that is shaky and repaired. Management is saving money on maintenance but charging customer premiums on old stuff. Only ceramic basins, bathroom fittings and electronic locker seemed like from today's era. The good thing is they do proper dusting daily. Electric switches were old, felt some need to change. Lighting effects were nice to suit the heritage feel. 4. Food price: they had a small menu of 2 pages, where everything looked like above Rs.300 . A simple cheese toast sandwich 300, cup of tea 50. And so on. One can surely go to market for cheaper food but that's 15 mins walk on the rubble filled roads. No family thing to venture in dark night. 5. Entertainment: they had indoor games, most of them were rugged. Colour book for kids was torn and already filled. Several sets of scrabble were mixed with missing alphabets . Books were old and several in bad shape. Overall No TV and no internet. For mobile network can't hold hotel accountable. There was a tree house that was broken so we could not enjoy that. Garden was green but filled with stones so difficult to stroll. 6. Lighting : At night around 9, they switch off all premises light. Complete darkness. Fright to step out of room. Even no lights outside on road. The path outside can get so dark, going to any nearby viewpoint would be seriously challenging.
by Kusum_Mo on October 22, 2018
We had been here for a week 2010, when it was still under Neemrana. The loveliest place, completely solar-electricity based, eco-friendly in every sense with small little thoughtful note for guests, lovely vintage furniture and furnishing and the most amazing hospitality. We loved the breakfast at the tree house, strolling under the canopy of trees, hearing the sunrise through the chirping of at least a thousand birds. We loved the most amazing royal multi course dinner in real silverware with the stories of the cuisines and how it came to be. The place and ambience was dreamy and the memories still fresh. I hope the new owners have kept the legacy alive. Highly recommend.
by writtikam on October 4, 2018
Was a hasty last-minute plan for us to book a stay here and hop on to a cab to reach Matheran. And we could not have taken a better getaway decision! The property is far away from the market area and well hidden from the crowd.....lush green surroundings, in a stylish quaint setting, it was love at first sight for us. The staff was supremely courteous and did everything they could to make our stay pleasant. The rooms were huge and had a lovely old-world charm to it. While the choice of food available was limited, the fare was delicious. Charlotte Lake is just a couple of minutes of walk away and there is ample space to just roam about in the wilderness aimlessly. Perfect destination for those who want to switch off from their mundane lives and spend a couple of days in the lap of mother nature
by PulkitV on August 28, 2018
Stayed here with family including a one year old baby. Location - away from central Mantheran, hidden in middle of nowhere and close to all tourist sites. We liked the location quite alot though it was a struggle to find it as we had no connectivity and boards weren't clear either. So, if you are planning to stay here, plan your way in advance Rooms - spacious large rooms which are well-maintained and clean. The rooms and amenities felt over-priced but considering the location and service, it was definitely a good place to stay. We had to request for water heating kettles as they were not there in the room. Food - we went for Indian options only, they were delicious and quantity was good Entertainment - they don't have TV and there was no net connectivity either so, we requested for games and had a family Monopoly evening Service - it was one of the best I have seen so far. The team was always on their toes to help. They accommodated alot of our requests like preparing and serving breakfast early morning, preparing additional item for the baby, etc. To sum it up, Dune Barr house is a beautiful place to stay for couples/ family who want to enjoy each other's company, serene nature, good food and excellent service.
by mailkumaranraj on May 4, 2018
by richa49 on March 19, 2018
by Thee_Master on September 29, 2017
by RohunRege on September 13, 2017
by R S K on September 10, 2017
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