Sunday, August 18, 2013

Weekend getaway to Alibaug

Every so often, Mumbaikars feel the need to get away from the city even if it is to simply breath a little easy. Often with just a weekend to spare, a quiet little nook close to home is what we look for. Luckily, we don't need to look too far. Alibaug is a perfect destination to head to - it is close to Mumbai, convenient to get to and has a lot of options to stay.

When I visited this coastal town some months ago, I stayed at the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa - Alibaug. It was absolutely fantastic!  

Radission Blu by day with the Sahyadri range in the background
It is a huge spread with rooms lined such that they form a squarish courtyard. This has a little island in the centre with a smattering of beautiful mango trees that you can admire from your room. This island, I was told, has seen many an Indian wedding. 

We gave Alibaug beach a miss and instead headed to the quieter Varsoli beach located about a mile from the main beach. Varsoli is a small village near Alibag and has a thick vegetation of coconut.
Me at Varsoli beach
You can hire a rickshaw to get there. We hired one to take us to the beach from our hotel and drop us back with a couple of hours waiting time in between - and all this for Rs 200. This beach is less popular among tourists and therefore cleaner! 

To look for other attractions to visit while in Alibaug, browse this great site called

The Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, as the name suggests, is known for its humongous spa called Mandara Spa, which has won many awards. The hotel has two restaurants - Aparanta which is a multi-cuisine restaurant and Kokum & Spice which specialises in Konkan cuisine. 

The second night, we decided to try Kokum & Spice for an authentic Raigad experience. The decor and the food was absolutely fantastic here although non-vegetarians will more to choose from. 

And since we were the only guests that night (we were so lucky to miss the wedding party that was about to land the day we were to leave!) the chef prepared something that was not on the menu that night.    

How to get to Alibaug
Taking a ferry from Gateway of India is the best option. It's quick, economical and very convenient. Although ferry services don't operate during the monsoons, they have very good frequency. Ferry services start from September and go on till May.

The service is available between 6 am to 7 pm. Travel time from the Gateway of India to Mandwa port is approximately one hour. 
For more details on the ferry timings and rates, check the Alibaug tourism website. 

Check Tripadvisor ratings and reviews for Radisson Blu Resort & Spa here. You can also explore other accommodation options in Alibaug. 

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