Tuesday, August 20, 2013

WelcomHeritage Maharani Bagh Orchard Retreat - Ranakpur

WelcomHeritage Maharani Bagh Orchard Retreat
Sadri, District Pali
Near Ranakpur Temples,
Ranakpur 306 702

“Wonderful Property, Service, Staff, Food”

We had such a lovely experience when we halted at Maharani Bagh for lunch while visiting Ranakpur.

Right from the person greeting us at the parking lot and escorting us to the dining area across the beautiful wooded gardens, to the staff serving us lunch. It was an experience to remember, even though lunch was all that we had stopped for.

The buffet was excellent jazzed up home style food. We really loved the chicken curry and the laal maas.

Every person of the staff that we interacted with, was a pleasure to talk to. If we, ever have to stay overnight at Ranakpur, we will choose the Maharani Bagh for sure.

Rating : 5 / 5

Monday, August 19, 2013

Club Mahindra Fort Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan

Club Mahindra Fort Kumbhalgarh
Maharana Pratap Marg,
Kumbhalgarh 313325

We stopped here at Club Mahindra Fort to have a Coffee and refresh ourselves before the long drive back to Ghanerao. We were the first guests to order evening coffees and it took us 2 hours from time of order to bill settling. All this time - for 2 coffees, 2 lime sodas, 1 french fries and 1 chicken sandwich!

Resident guests who ordered after us, had even longer waits.

This is our second visit to a Club Mahindra Property after Gir, so we know that we will never consider visiting or staying at one of their hotels. Most Club Mahindra Properties are a little too crowded and noisy for our liking, but I can see the appeal of the place for people with young kids.

Rating : 2.5 / 5

Value : 3 / 5
Location : 2.5 / 5
Cleanliness : 2 / 5
Service : 1.5 / 5

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ghanerao Jungle Lodge,

Ghanerao Jungle Lodge
Near Muchala Mahavir Temple
PO Ghanerao,
Ghanerao 306704,

“Excellent Property, but our trip was at an unfortunate time.”

We had booked the Ghanerao Jungle Lodge for the long weekend Aug 15-18 and were quite excited to be staying there. Unfortunately, a week before our departure, there was a demise in the family and so things for the hosts were thrown out of gear.

It is commendable for them, that they did not cancel our booking. They ran the lodge with skeleton staff who ensured that we lacked for nothing.

Having read all the glowing reviews on trip advisor, we would have loved to have had the chance to spend more time with our hosts, but sadly that was not to be.

With the incessant rains of the last few months, the road from Mt Abu to Ghanerao was in bad shape in huge patches. You definitely need an SUV, if you plan to drive here during the monsoons. We reached only at around 10pm, but the staff from the lodge kept calling us to ensure that we were on the right track and all was ok. they had a nice hot meal waiting for us when we arrived, which was perfect for our exhaustion levels and we just tumbled into bed.

The next morning, we had a wonderful time wandering around the property. The Muchachala Mahavir temple is right next door. We could not visit the crocodile dam as the rains had caused some streams to appear in the path and we weren't feeling adventurous enough to hop across the streams. However, they did take us for a nice walk around the property and pointed out some indigenous herbs in the area.

We did day trips to Ranakpur and Kumbhalgarh from here and the location was quite convenient for both. But the roads are currently, really bad in patches, which makes driving really difficult and the ghat section to Kumbalgarh is not for the weak stomached.

The property too is bearing the brunt of the monsoons, expanding doors (due to moisture) that won't close properly, rain water seepage etc. As long as you aren't allergic, its still a good experience.

However, I do think that summer would be a much better time to visit, so you can explore the national reserve and observe animals that come down to the stream near the lodge for water.

The peace and quiet at night with just the insects chirping is something I haven't experienced for an extremely long time. The Ghanerao Jungle Lodge is a lovely place to just sit and relax and enjoy nature. Maybe next time, we will visit in summer and just stay put and not go rushing around to catch the nearby sights.

Rating : 4 / 5

Value : 5 / 5
Location : 4 / 5
Sleep Quality : 4 / 5
Rooms : 4 / 5
Cleanliness : 4 / 5
Service : 4 / 5

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Aodhi Hotel, Kumbalgarh, Rajasthan

Aodhi Hotel
Dist. Rajsamand,
Kumbhalgarh 313325

“Beautiful Property. Average Service. Terrible Buffet Lunch”

After reading the reviews on trip advisor, we visited Aodhi for lunch on the day that we visited Kumbhalgarh from Ghanerao (where we stayed on this trip).

Their website clearly mentions that they have 3 restaurants. But when we visited they said that they did not have any other restaurants except the one that was serving buffet. We asked if we could order a la carte, but they said that would not be possible.

Given that it was late, we decided to go ahead and have lunch here anywhere. The food taste was less than average, hardly any spice in any of the food. Everything tasted bland (tasteless bland, not just non-spicy bland) They just had one non veg item chicken kheema on the menu and that too was tasteless. They charge almost 1000Rs per person for this buffet and it was unpalatable, except for the hot rotis. My husband finally asked if we could add on another dish to our order, which they finally agreed to and got us some chicken curry which at least had some taste.

Dessert was fruit salad of just apples and papayas in a thin custard. Fortunately they agreed to give us ice cream instead.

We had much better food on this trip at Maharani Bagh & Fateh Bagh in Ranakpur, Ghanerao Jungle Lodge, Devigarh Fort and all at much better prices.

Its a beautiful property, but we will never go back. The whole experience left an unpleasant feeling at the end of it, except for 1-2 wait staff who later tried to get us something palatable to eat.

The feeling we got during lunch was that they are only interested in catering to the foreign tourists and don't want any Indians around.

Rating : 3 / 5

Value : 0 / 5
Location : 5 / 5
Cleanliness : 4 / 5
Service : 2.5 / 5