Fancy staying in an 18th-century royal palace filled with local arts and crafts? Or perhaps at a sprawling resort that reimagines a Maratha-era military encampment? Of course, if you prefer the privacy of your own villa, we’ve got you covered too! Whatever your travel style, our summer getaway edit of nine gorgeous homestays and resorts around Maharashtra will sort you out.
1. Udaan, Lonavala
Even among Lonavala’s crowded luxury villa market, Udaan stands out for its artistic aesthetic. Run by Le Sutra Great Escapes (the company behind Mumbai’s Le Sutra Hotel and Out of the Blue restaurant), this is the second in the series of art-themed holiday villas. In keeping with the theme of flight, Udaan is strewn with specially commissioned artworks that range from the mythological to the fanciful. Its four bedrooms are bright and spacious and come with balconies and attached bathrooms. The master bedroom on the ground floor has direct access to the lawn. While there’s no swimming pool, a massive jacuzzi on the terrace can easily accommodate eight people. Meals come from Anglo-Indian Café & Bistro (part of the same gated community) and are uniformly delicious.
Tariff from Rs. 32,000 plus taxes for the entire villa; website
2. The Chavni, Lohagad
Nestled between Lohagad and Visapur forts, a short drive ahead of Lonavala, The Chavni is a recently opened boutique resort that gives you a feel of Maratha-era glory. Designed like a military encampment from the time of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, this sprawling property offers a range of accommodation options like well-appointed canvas Rahuti Tents, expansive Royal Carts that stand atop large bullock cart frames, and a two-bedroom Yashwant Rao Wada. The furnishing is sumptuous and features Maharashtrian fabrics like himroo from Aurangabad and even repurposed sarees. Original 17th and 18th-century artefacts are placed all around the property, adding to its period aesthetic. All meals are included in the stay package and feature both Maharashtrian and North Indian delicacies. Note that this is not a pet-friendly property.
Tariff from Rs. 9,000 plus taxes for Rahuti Tent (double occupancy, including all meals); website
3. East India House, Gorai
Tucked away near the village of Uttan, barely 90 minutes from Mumbai, East India House is a tranquil, 10-room resort that seems a world away from the bustle of the city. Built in an eco-sensitive manner, following the contours of the land, the resort extensively uses natural stone, some of which has been excavated from the site itself. Rooms sport a contemporary colour palette and décor and come with either a balcony or a sit-out, all of which overlook the infinity pool. Meals range from Indian and pan-Asian to Continental, with a few East Indian specialities like seafood in “bottle masala” also on offer.
Tariff from Rs. 10,500 plus taxes (double occupancy, including yoga and all meals); website
4. 360 South, Khandala
Cascading down a Khandala hillside, 360 South is a new boutique hotel designed and built by a team of French and Swiss architects. It combines the sophistication of European design with traditional building techniques and is built entirely with natural stone. Each one-bedroom cottage is spacious with large windows and balconies that overlook verdant views. Rooms are tastefully appointed, some with vintage-style four-poster beds. The infinity pool, with panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys, is certainly a highlight. The vegetarian-only restaurant serves an array of Indian and international cuisines in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. Note that this is not a pet-friendly property.
Tariff from Rs. 7,500 plus taxes (double occupancy, including breakfast); website
5. Ahilya Waters by Kosha Villas, Pawana
Design aficionados will love the three-bedroom SaffronStays Ahilya Waters by Kosha Villas that overlooks Pawana Lake. This contemporary-styled villa comes with an expansive terrace with a pool and sweeping views of the lake and Tikona mountains in the front, while the back of the villa has views of Tungi Fort. Done up in whites and greys, the villa sports a minimal aesthetic accented by abstract art and nature views through massive windows. The living room and ground-floor bedroom open onto a spacious terrace. A winding staircase brings you to the indoor swimming pool and shower area. The two bedrooms on this level have a shared lounge area with lake views (all bedrooms are en suite). The property is not pet-friendly.
Tariff from Rs. 31,000 plus taxes for the entire villa; website
6. Lush Villa, Nashik
If you’re planning a wine-fuelled weekend with your pals in Nashik but would prefer to stay in your own private space, look no further than StayVista’s Lush Villa. This sprawling six-bedroom villa is located on a vast 50-acre farmland and is a 45-minute drive from both Sula Vineyards and Vallonne Vineyards. All the rooms are en suite, located at ground level and are done up in muted hues and wooden accents. The villa comes with a large swimming pool (including a kids' pool), a jacuzzi, an expansive lawn with a picturesque gazebo, and a man-made lake nearby. Note that this is not a pet-friendly property and all-male groups are not allowed.
Tariff from Rs. 48,000 plus taxes for the entire villa; website
7. Terra Soul, Pali
Set amidst 70 acres of beautiful greenery, SaffronStays Terra Soul is a three-bedroom, luxury villa in Mahagaon near Pali. This sustainable and eco-friendly retreat is built with natural elements like wood, bamboo and marble dust while traditional Mangalore roof tiles add to its rustic charm. The spacious living room and three en suite bedrooms are all located on the ground level, making it an accessible option for kids and senior citizens. The pet-friendly estate also features an outdoor stone bar, two gazebos, a courtyard, and a large lawn with a fish pond and waterfall. Home-style meals are a farm-to-table experience, made with seasonal veggies grown on-site.
Tariff from Rs. 19,000 plus taxes for the entire villa; website
8. Sawantwadi Palace, Sawantwadi
Sawantwadi, on the Maharashtra-Goa border, is known as the land of artists for upholding the craft of lacquerware and the dying card game of Ganjifa. Both these art forms occupy pride of place at the newly opened boutique hotel housed within the 18th-century Palace of Sawantwadi. Each of the six rooms is inspired by an avatar of Vishnu and is specially curated with Ganjifa art and woodwork collected over generations of the royal family (who still reside in a separate wing of the palace). The kitchen, helmed by the Yuvraj and Yuvrani of Sawantwadi, dishes out everything from European breakfast to Malvani thalis to tasting menus. Laze by the pool, try your hand at a Ganjifa art workshop or visit Chitari Gali, Sawantwadi’s famous toy market.
Tariff from Rs. 13,000 plus taxes (double occupancy, including breakfast); website
9. Prana, Alibaug
Hop on the Mumbai-Alibaug Ro-Ro ferry and drive a mere 20 minutes from Mandwa Jetty to arrive at SaffronStays Prana, a plush, four-bedroom villa located amongst acres of orchards. The grand living room features a double-height ceiling and is adorned with artworks from around the world. One bedroom is located on the ground floor while others are on the first floor, all en suite and sporting Balinese architecture and unique interiors. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring plenty of natural light into the villa as well as garden views. The sparkling pool invites you to take a dip or just laze in the shaded lounge with a cocktail in hand.
Tariff from Rs. 38,000 plus taxes for the entire villa; website