The Dukes Retreat Lonavala is scenic and vintage

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found out that reservation was available at The Dukes Retreat Lonavala. We had tried several times in the past but found this resort fully booked on all occasions. May be it was a Ganesh Chaturthi long weekend so many decided to stay back at home for the pujas. Finally, we booked two rooms and off we went on a Thursday morning.


The check-in time was at 1 pm and we reached there on time. It took us just one and a half hours to reach the resort from Mumbai through Mumbai-Pune Expressway. It is certainly one of the old resorts in Lonavala as the décor and interiors suggest that it is not a new property. But that’s the best part as the rooms are bigger than the average with huge French windows opening up to the valley, vintage furniture and old style landscaping. Every room has a balcony and garden furniture to enjoy fresh air and sit out lunches. Monsoon had covered the valley into a lush green carpet, with clouds and white fog cascading over the emerald rocks.

Dukes Retreat Lonavala Silver waterfalls dotted the scenery at various places. It just looked so beautiful and serene and dreamy. I could enjoy this scenic view right from my bed. Though one rainy day destroyed my dreamy delight. The bathrooms are modern and the rooms are well equipped with a mini-refrigerator, TV and a sofa cum bed. Hair dryers are available on request.

The resort lift is the squeakiest so I used to take the stairs instead most of the times. The open air Panorama restaurant is next to the swimming pool. The swimming pool is decently big and has a kid’s section. This is on the uppermost floor (4th floor). The Duchess restaurant is on the 3rd floor. Rooms are located on 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor but every room gets a breath taking valley view. The resort has a small activity room where you can play pool, carom, Table Tennis and an old style video game for a fee. (They should make it free.) You can walk down to a garden area from the reception which gives a clear view of the valley and the Expressway. Amazing view is also available from the terrace adjacent to the Panorama restaurant but it is sometimes menaced by the apes.
Incidentally, Panorama and The Duchess restaurant have the same menu. But people prefer to snack at the Panorama and eat their major meals at The Duchess. The Duchess gives a lovely view of the valley too. We found the buffet at The Duchess to be economical and well worth the money. The quality of the food was good if not great. A variety of food are offered during the buffet. Breakfast is also served here which is part of the booking deal (for most of the visitors). It is an elaborate affair which consists of juices, cereals, eggs to order, dosa to order, Indian and Continental fare. If you don’t wish to eat at the resort then you can always drive down to some other dinning option in the city. But not much is around this resort. The service during dinner was sluggish and I so wished they were a little more alert to their guests needs.

The Dukes Retreat Lonavala
This resort is ideal for relaxation. You can chill at the pool, get an ayurvedic massage at their spa, sit in the porch and enjoy a great conversation with a mate or see your children participate at the various activities arranged by the resort. It isn’t a very big resort but a good option if you are looking at a quick weekend getaway from Mumbai.

Tip: The resort beauty is only during the monsoons. Best time to travel would be between September to November, when the rains have just faded.

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