As a traveller, it’s easy to fall into patterns & go to the same *favorite* destinations over & over. So I try my very best to keep exploring new places. A couple of months ago I was invited by Saj Resorts to check out their beautiful property, Saj On The Mountain in Mahabaleshwar. I’d been to a couple of hill stations (both in Maharashtra & the rest of India) but had never been to Mahabaleshwar, so I was super excited to experience it for myself!
So early one Friday morning, a bunch of us bloggers + vloggers got on a bus to start the (approximately) 6 hour journey by road. We started on the Mumbai-Pune expressway & then got on the road to Panchgani-Mahabaleswar. The last set of ghats can be kind of brutal, but I’m a heavy sleeper & blissfully slept through it all (missing some amazing views in the process, unfortunately).
Where We Stayed | Saj on the Mountain
When we arrived at the resort, we were greeted with refreshing welcome drinks & then got to see our rooms. Saj on the Mountain has 78 rooms on the property, divided into three categories. We stayed in a cottage, which is the largest & most luxurious of the three. The room is really large, (one double bed & two single beds) it’s especially designed to comfortably accommodate a whole family. I remember being forced to stay in a separate room when travelling with my parents because hotel rooms usually only accomodate two, so I think family rooms are a really nice option. They also come with a private back garden, which is enclosed for privacy – my mom loved relaxing on the swing during our time there. I did make a video (which you can watch below), which also includes a bit of our journey, a room tour & some other highlights from the trip, doing my best to showcase over two days in less than two minutes.
The resort is on the side of a hill, with the reception being on a lower level & the rest of the rooms higher up. It also has two restaurants, a couple of different kids play areas, a game room, Vyom spa, a pool & more.
Plus, there’s so much of pretty landscaping & flowers, that is was fun to get mom to pose by these purple ones.
What We Ate | Dining at the Resort 🍽️
All food served at Saj on the Mountain is vegetarian, & they have two restaurants & one bar / gastropub.
Fasal is where we enjoyed our first meal, this delicious thali with some chilled buttermilk.
And here are some of the evening snacks they arranged for us all in the outdoor area we started our treasure hunt & zorbing.
I don’t have photographs from Wilson’s Cafe, but I loved the ambience there. I didn’t really enjoy the pastas too much but breakfasts were superb!
Finally, there’s Darwin pub, where we had a little sundowner on our first night. The chefs at Saj customise the menu according to the season & since we were there in peak strawberry season, strawberries were incorporated in interesting ways, like these delicious strawberry cosmopolitans.
The staff at the resort are also happy to arrange open air snacks / dinner for groups & we even had this great open air dinner on our last night there, complete with a bonfire & a fantastic telescope through which we got to see close super close ups of the moon! 🌕
What We Did | Activities
Most of our downtime was spent within the resort itself, there was so much to do that I could stay within the premises without being bored!
Along with the standard pool & play area mentioned above & a game room with table tennis & more there were even some great activities like zorbing (where you basically roll around in this giant plastic bubble). There were also multiple trained people around us while we tried our hands at it, to demonstrate & see that we were doing everything safely, which is much needed when trying any adventure sports!
Where We Went | Places to See 🏞️
Mahabaleshwar is an established tourist destination & does have a set of places you can visit. We did visit a couple of very historic temples (which I’d only recommend if you’re religious or interested in history).
We also went to see Lodwick point – it did offer nice views but was crowded & slightly underwhelming. You can also walk to Wilson Point from there.
Finally we finished our tour with a visit to Panchgani market, which is always bustling & a great place to pick up local snacks, chocolate or shop for Mapro goodies – I’d highly recommend their syrups & I did enjoy their Mazaana brand of chocolates.
Strawberry Picking 🍓
People flock to Hill Stations in India mainly for the increased foliage & cooler climes – but Mahabaleshwar also has another (famous!) specialty – strawberries. Indeed, it’s said that 85% of strawberries in India are produced there, & there’s a strawberry field / garden at every corner.
Needless to say, if you are you’re heading to Mahabaleshwar during strawberry season, this is one activity you shouldn’t miss – which is primarily why I classified this as a separate activity!
We went strawberry picking just after breakfast, the fields were actually within walking distance of the resort.
Spotting some pretty sunflowers before we got to the picking.
Mom showing me how it’s done. Aren’t those the juiciest, most luscious looking strawberries you’ve seen?
If you’re in a hurry you can just buy some from many vendors like this, who set up beside major roads.
I also put together another small video of our strawberry picking, & now Strawberry Fields Forever will play in my head… forever.
I really enjoyed my stay at Saj on the Mountain, I’d love to thanks the folks at Saj Resort & DeTales Communication for being really gracious hosts.
Saj on the Mountain is a very versatile space – great for couple, families, groups of friends etc. I think they have enough facilities to keep every kind of traveller comfortable & happy. It’s also a great place to have a party or even an intimate destination wedding!
Mom & I just spent most of our downtime sleeping, the wonderful air & cool climate just makes you want to wind down & relax. We did have trouble getting cell phone reception & got almost no mobile internet, also the resort doesn’t have wifi. It’s a great place to shut off from the outside world, but if those are necessities, this might not be the place for you.
You can find out more about Saj Resort Mahabaleshwar (Saj on the Mountain) & book on their website, they also have a second property, Saj on the Lake at Malshej Ghat, near Pune.
Mahabaleshwar is a fairly convenient weekend getaway option from Mumbai, you can drive or even take a bus from Mumbai (& it’s even closer to visit if you’re in Pune!) If you’re planning a trip to Mahabaleshwar anytime soon, I hope this post gave you some ideas! Fell free to share your own experience or tips in the comments below. x