Alibaug beach it is! After almost a year of staying at home, we took our first vacation to Alibaug, a coastal town situated in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. Most people from Mumbai, Pune, and the neighboring cities have probably been to this place before. Still, its beautiful beaches and the amazing regional cuisine attracts most of us to this place, time and again. Its proximity to Mumbai and Pune makes it more appealing as a weekend destination.
How to reach?
It may sound exhausting but this time we chose to travel by our bike, a Royal Enfield Thunderbird. Since we were three of us, frankly it was not a great decision. But we enjoyed most part of the journey, until our body became numb from sitting uptight for this long.
For young couples and bike aficionados, this however is the best way to reach Alibaug beach, from Mumbai or Pune. The route is scenic and the roads are well-maintained. We left on a Wednesday morning at around 10 am and reached by 1 pm. There was hardly any traffic and once we crossed Panvel, the road was clear and the highways buttery smooth.
One tip, if you feel like you need to stop mid-way to just relax or visit a restroom. An ideal stopover would be the Go Green nursery, just a kilometer ahead of the Karnala bird sanctuary. In these pandemic times, you could trust their cleanliness and food refreshments while you can also visit the grand nursery, displaying all types of exotic and usual plants.
Where to stay?
So, on our previous trips to Alibaug beach, we never booked any hotel in advance. But this time it was different, due to Coronavirus the threat was high, so we booked a boutique beach house, Bougainvillea – what an exotic name!
One of my friends has visited this place and she highly recommended this place to us. I must say, I was impressed. It’s a luxury hotel with utmost cleanliness. Bougainvillaea is just seven minutes away from Nagaon Beach and about 20 minutes from the famous Alibaug beach. It’s so close to the beach that you can just walk to the beach in your swimsuit and enjoy the sun and the sand.
The rooms are spacious and clean. The house cleaning was done as and when we requested. The room size was decent and the highlight for me was the wooden swings attached to the balcony. The privacy factor was a little negotiated as the balcony of each room had no walls, just a jute curtain as a separation. But still, it was lovely to just swing and enjoy a view of the greenery and the sound of the chirping birds.
For the first time, and I say this after staying in several hotels, did I saw some uniqueness in the bathroom. It displayed fresh plants in the extended area, with beautiful wall art. So, never a dull moment even while doing your business. Lolz.
Moving on, the resort has an indoor clubhouse. It has a small section earmarked for kids’ play area and a section for adults to play indoor games, including board games, table tennis, carrom, foosball, and billiards. It also had a swimming pool, but it was not operational due to the COVID pandemic. So, post-dinner, we did spend some time at the clubhouse, situated on the terrace, offering quite a peaceful view in the night.
What to eat?
We dined at the inhouse restaurant quite a few times in our three-night stay, of course, due to the fear of eating at local restaurants and inviting the virus. I vouch that the food was delicious and the service was prompt. They served fish and chicken thali, which is ideal if you are hungry and, in a mood, to enjoy the local cuisine. The fish was tasty and fresh. The highlight of our stay at Bougainvillea was the breakfast buffet. I and my daughter loved the fresh fruit variety. Also, poha, idli, dosa, and even the cereals were served.
But then after a day or two, when we were not so conscious of the virus anymore, we ventured out and pretty much ate at many local restaurants. Mahesh lunch home was clearly a favorite for me and my hubby. We just loved having the fish thali there. It reminded me of the seafood we gorged in Tarkarli. The best part of the meal was the yummylicious hot modaks, which by the way you can have in Alibaug any time of the day. The cost of eating at local restaurants of course was more affordable than at the resort restaurant.
Stay tuned as in the next blog I will share more about the beaches we visited and the secluded beaches we explored thanks to our Royal Enfield Thunderbird.