Quite like the rest of the country, the town of Kihim has its historic roots dating back to the British Raj. Back in early 19thcentury, Kihim had all of four properties; each belonging to British shipping companies to house the Harbor Masters. Harbor Masters were basically put in charge of bringing the ships into the Bay of Bombay, what we now know as the Gateway of India. With the advent of modern navigation systems, Harbor Masters’ need faded and these properties were put up for auction.
That’s when the Tayabjee Family bought their property along the Kihim Beach in Alibaug which is today divided into 42 homes. The trader family from Bharuch moved to Bombay looking for business opportunities and found a summer home in Alibaug where they continue to go on family holidays lasting a month even today.
I chatted with them before going on my trip to Alibaug and learnt about some interesting traditions like the Akbar Ki Kitaab where-in every guest who has resided in one of these homes has written about the experience. The books have logs of romances, summer loves, ghost stories and folktales dating all the way back to 1890s. It’s a tradition that is maintained till date by families in Kihim.
With just a little bit of background about the place, I also made my way to Kihim, Alibag as a guest of Lohono Stays by Isprava. Created to craft contemporary, luxury vacations for the discerning travelers, Lohono is derived from the Hawaiian word ‘lono’ which is associated with peace and relaxation. I arrived in Mumbai via flight and took a private boat to the Mandwa Jetty. We drove to our Villa Beira Mar situated just 20 minutes away from jetty along the Kihim Beach.
As we enter the gate, we are greeted with lush greens planted all across the floor and walls. It would be safe to say, it felt like I had entered a tropical paradise when we were greeted with some coconut water and cold towels as we stepped down from the car. The spacious villa came with 5 impeccably done bedrooms, a living room & bar, a dinining area, TV lounge, a wide garden with a gazillion coconut trees, a gazebo, a pool, outdoor patio and icing on the cake? Private access to the beach.
It was my first time to Alibaug and I couldn’t have picked a better place to stay at. My room came with a four-poster bed and floor to ceiling windows that overlooked the garden, pool and the shoreline. Talk about waking up with a view! Each day, my breakfast was served to me on the outdoor patio and it was a feast, to say the least! From a selection of fruits, cereal, juices and eggs to Indian delicacies such as poha, paratha, vadapav and the like, they could make anything I desired.
Post my breakfast, I would usually indulge in some massage therapy that they offer on request before dressing up for the day and lounging in the living room with a beer as lunch hour kicked in. With an extensive menu and their supremely talented in-house chef Anjali, we would gorge on Punjabi, South Indian and their special Maharashtrian thali. Each lunch was a six-course meal with salads, dessert, variety of mains and warm dishes that just keep on coming. It seemed to be an ideal place to book when travelling with kids or families because you do not have to worry about one thing. NOT ONE THING. Their staff is extremely accommodative and is always eager to help no matter what your request. It just makes your holiday exactly what it should be, relaxing!
Post my lunch, I would walk barefoot in the garden and the staff very readily set up an outdoor picnic for me with fluffy pillows and best travel reads so I could spend my afternoons reading under the coconut trees constantly swaying in the sea breeze. It was an experience that even with all luxuries in our homes, we would never take the time out to enjoy. Alibag has this sense of homeliness that was further intensified by the way Lohono has done the homes.
From the kind of art, you’ll see on the walls, to the color palette of the furniture in every room and further accentuation with artefacts and planters, every detail was well thought out. It all flowed in perfect harmony and you could intrinsically feel the amount of effort that must have gone into making the property. I didn’t carry too many things with me for the trip in terms of entertainment and yet I wasn’t bored for a second. I had the constant companionship of nature and when I needed more, Lohono has a brilliant selection of books and even board games.
I couldn’t help but already think how perfect the villa could be for a weekend birthday getaway with your loved ones or for a bachelor/bachelorette party where you can actually make full use of the 5-bedroom space and all the perks that come with it. Even as a corporate retreat for your team members to bond a little more, Lohono Stays would be ideal! It’s easy accessibility via Mumbai is just another feather in the hat.
I had the best time on my quick getaway to Alibag with Lohono Stays and to make sure each of my readers can experience that, we have created a special discount code for every booking that you make till March 15 for Villa Beira Mar. Just type in LOHONO_SURABHI at checkout or while chatting with your villa specialist. What are you waiting for? Get some lono with Lohono!