COVID safe Getaways near mumbai in the HILLS

Covid-19 changed so many things in our lives, especially the way we travel and also the where, how, when of it? It wasn’t so simple anymore, was it ? Advance booking, multiple destinations and also international travel was a challenge.

First we had to get used to a “lockdown” or restrained in one’s own house, only going out when absolutely necessary, for 2 months. Then when travel was allowed did we feel safe catching a flight, living in a hotel ???

Spending quality time with family and close friends became the priority. And so started Dr Wanderworld, not venturing on any long trips but finding safe havens within driving distance.

Some of the protocols we followed were

  • Choosing a property where we knew the owner so that a strict sanitisation process was ensured.
  • The villas were usually unused in the week, sanitised and locked up.
  • The staff lived around the property with minimal contact with the nearest town.


I had heard so much about this place from friends and it was completely worth visiting. A family owned farm and villa, a labour of love for Shivani Borade Shah, Le Farm is the place to breathe in that fresh air you longed for.

The view of the lake and the valley from the villa

Distance from Mumbai: 110 km (approx 3 hr drive)

Website :

Category : Boutique luxury villa.

Bedrooms : 6 bedroom (usually all booked together, esp. weekends. Weekdays could book lesser rooms)

Amenities : Pool, lake view, 15 acres farm, indoor games

If you were looking for a place to seclude yourself with your extended family or a big group of friends look no further.Perfect as a WFH option, great farm fresh food, immaculately styled rooms and relaxing views. There could never be a dull moment, indoor and out door games, kids play area, books; something for every age!

Being so close to water and surrounded by fruit and vegetable orchards has a soothing effect here. One can just sit and take in the beautiful vistas or go for walks and short treks.The living room is the main event of the house, large and spacious. All bedrooms face the water and the rays of the sun make magical reflections on the glass. Every angle is so picturesque. Definitely the place to come to immerse yourself in nature!

Meals : in house chef, set menus (veg/non veg)


This place is like second home to me, we have come here so many times B.C.(Before Covid), especially in the monsoon. But I still can’t decide which is more intoxicating here…. the wine or the views?

Vineyards and lake view

Distance from Mumbai: 160 km (approx 3.5-4 hr drive)

Website :

Category : Boutique luxury vineyard stay. Bedrooms : 4 bedroom (can be booked separate)

Amenities : Lake view, vineyard and wine cellar tour,

I am a totally morning person and the walks here really make me happy. The entire region is the mecca of wine making in Maharashtra, producing the best species of grapes. The Pai family forayed into wine making here, successfully producing some truly exceptional and award-winning wines.

The 4 bedrooms are on the top floor, tastefully done with rustic furniture and Jaipur print linen. Two are valley facing and two garden facing, but the common area in between has a large valley facing balcony for you to savour the view. The restaurant on the first floor serves the most amazing pan asian food with a larger balcony attached, so you can drink in the view from every angle (if you did resist the wine). Also the best place to enjoy the rain if you are here in the monsoon !

Meals: A la carte from Malaka spice restaurant (veg/non veg)


When you want to get away from the ever so madenning crowds at Lonavla and Khandala these days, the shores of Pawana lake offer some really tranquil places to stay. We had the opportunity to stay at 2 different villas


Step down to an Infinity Pool that overlooks the golden fields around the lake. Could you ask for a more blissful location for a getaway weekend ?

Distance from Mumbai: 120 km (approx 2.5 hr drive)

Website :

Category : Mid range villa.

Bedrooms : 5 bedroom

Amenities : Pool, lake view, kids play area

Meals: in house cook, can choose options within the set menu (veg/non veg)


This 5 bedroom villa is located at a height to offer mesmerising views of the lake from the verandah. The lush green expanse of lawn in front of your eyes, the Balinese decor, the cool breeze that lulls you into a trance, the ultimate place to relax.

Website :

Category : Luxury villa.

Bedrooms : 5 bedroom

Amenities : Pool, lake view, kids play area, indoor games

Meals: in house cook, can choose options within the set menu (pure veg)

The area around the lake is perfect for walks, be it in morning or evening. Monsoon is definitely the best time when its all clouds are misty and the waterfalls flowing all over the valley. There are treks to Lohagad and Visapur fort possible from here for the adventurous and water sports on the lake.


Fancy spending a time in a bygone era, surrounded by colonial architecture and artefacts. Top that with finger-licking Parsi meals, and you have yourself a fantastic weekend.

Distance from Mumbai: 90 km (approx 2.5 hr drive to the car park and then 5km on horseback or walk )

Website :

Category : Luxury villa.

Bedrooms : 4 bedroom

Amenities : you don’t need anything: Just be with yourself (Mai aur meri Tanhai )

Meals: in house cook, can choose options preferably Parsi delicacies (veg/non veg)

Having a cup of tea in this verandah, has a whole new meaning ! The house is tastefully decorated with stained glass windows, paintings, artefacts, Ming vases and lamps.There is nothing modern here and that’s the beauty really ! Every piece of furniture is vintage too, like old wine one has to savour this place slowly.

The staff is so courteous and cooperative , it’s hard to leave this place!
The food was exceptional. Mutton dhansak had succulent pieces cooked to perfection and the dhansak gravy was too good to be true (Believe me I am a lover of dhansak and cannot tolerate imperfection in this glorious dish). The Caramel custard too was just perfect!
The white bed linen and Jaipur print rajais in Muslin make the most amazing companions for a good nights’ sleep.
Here you can just put your feet up and do nothing, listen to the chirping birds while you sip a cup of tea or take a walk enjoying the beauty of nature ( Charlotte lake and Echo point are not too far away)


Solitude and serenity gets a new meaning here. Far away from civilisation a mesmerising morning sunrise awaits you each day. A dip in the pool, “garam bhajiya” in the rain, karaoke and board games to entertain.

Distance from Mumbai: 100 km (approx 2.5 hr drive)

Website :

Category : Luxury villa.

Bedrooms : 6 bedroom

Amenities : Pool, Karaoke, board games

Meals: in house cook, can choose options within the set menu (pure veg)

Drive 25 min ahead towards Aamby valley and trek up to Korigad fort. You will be aghast to find such picturesque sights at the top.Did we get magically teleported to the Lake District, you may ask? The views of the surrounding valleys from the top make the climb so worth it.


6 rustic cottages in a rugged environment, yet the farm offers a comfortable stay of a different kind. Simple delights that we miss because we live in the city. Farm fresh food and the best way to enjoy outdoor life.

Distance from Mumbai: 90 km (approx 2.5 hr drive )


Cottages: 6 bedrooms, eco friendly

Amenities : Nature all around

Meals: in house cook, veg/non veg local thali.

Be it with friends or family, this place will be enjoyable yet relaxing for all. Don’t miss the recycled tyres and bottles used to make unique wall hangings and lights.A reminder that we must be kinder and closer to our Mother Earth.

Last but not the least

STRAWBERRY COUNTY, BHILAR {Between Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani}

Everyone goes to Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar but the real fun is in the strawberry fields of Bhilar and Kaswand where you can pluck your own juicy fruits in winter.

Distance from Mumbai: 250 km (approx 4 hr drive )

Recommended place to stay : Red Stone Casa

“Once a year, go somewhere you have never been before.” –Dalai Lama

Thanks to Covid, I discovered and rediscovered some hidden gems around me !