A heritage mansion in Matheran, Maharashtra
In quaint vehicle-free Matheran is this secluded heritage property set amidst trees where you will share space with birds and monkeys. The Dune Barr House, part of the Dune Wellness Group, is a 170-year-old British mansion with a beautiful and deep verandah.
There are just 11 rooms on offer and each room is unique in design, décor and furniture. But expect the look to be period, with four-poster beds and wall mounted photographs of people from the days of the British Raj, and the feel to be comfortable. The rooms are named after famous British, Parsi and Bohra families of Bombay.
All the rooms have private outdoor seating. However, the pièce de résistance is the Elphinstone Heritage Suite located on the right side of the main house.
It is a very large suite with a separate children’s room and a large lounge-drawing room at the entrance. Named after the British Governor of Bombay, this heritage suite is built into a turret and opens out onto a private garden.
The restaurant, the Verandah in the Forest, serves delicious Indian and European fusion cuisine along with Parsi and Bohra specialities. Do ask for a Parsi lunch of curries and ras and eeda (egg) dishes.
The food is always made-to-order using fresh ingredients. Many of the ingredients come from the Dune Group’s two organic farms at Elephant Valley, Kodaikanal and Dune Eco Village, Puducherry. The bread, jam and pastries are all home made and you will not find canned products or ready made frozen dishes here, neither will you find glutamate, chemicals colours or other taste enhancer.
Do request the staff at Barr House to organise a private dinner in the picturesque private gazebo on the side of the house.
Matheran is a great place to try out different activities, from horse riding and trekking tozip lining and bird watching.
But, you will be hard pressed to leave the peace and solitude of the Barr House with its cosy verandah that is the perfect setting for a lazy day spent in the company of an engrossing book with breaks only for tasty meals and refreshments.
Price: From Rs 6,200 per room per night; includes breakfast, excludes tax.
As is expected from the Responsible Tourism conscious Dune Group, The Barr House is also committed to the environment. There is no air conditioning, no TV, no minibar and the property uses solar hot water systems, LED lighting and organic linen and bathroom amenities. Free purified water is served in glass bottles to guests. The food is always made-to-order using fresh ingredients. Many of the ingredients come from the Dune Group’s two organic farms at Elephant Valley, Kodaikanal, and Dune Eco Village, Puducherry. The bread, jam and pastries are all home made and you will not find canned products or ready made frozen dishes here, neither will you find glutamate, chemicals colours or other taste enhancer.