Home away from home is a term I have struggled to get behind. How could an enthralling safari in the middle of the wild, no matter the epiphanic experience, a tent fitted with luxury amenities at a high-end glamping site, or a room with a full glass facade at the edge of the earth, ever compete with the simple joy of lying on your own bed, splattered like a frog? Was it even really possible? I didn’t think so.
My thinking perhaps doesn’t matter, because the travel industry seems to be in a maddening scramble to create homely ‘feels’ at luxury properties — a lot of frills to ensure the traveller has a no-frills experience that can sometimes prove to be counterintuitive. I mean, you could spend eight days lazing under the Italian sun or a weekend letting your hair down in Phuket. But when you reach home and roll the suitcase to a corner least used in your house, you feel something that, for the most part, is irreplaceable. And I was sure about this.
Then, came the opportunity to visit Tooth Mountain Farms (TMF) — a boutique farm stay located in idyllic Karjat. A two-hour drive from Mumbai, this sprawling 20-acre property manages to find that evasive sweet spot between premium and comfort. Located in the laps of the Western Ghats — that comes alive in swathes of verdant green, each monsoon — this getaway is earmarked by genuine attention to detail, warm service and old-worldly charm.
The last of which permeates through the entire property and comes through, for example, in their earthy decor — punctuated by handwoven rugs, distressed furniture and antique fittings. Or, in the fact that their rooms are named after Indian blossoms like Basant Rani, Palash and Gulmohar. And TMF makes a concerted effort to keep the traveller connected with nature, wherever it can — in the bathrooms with sunroofs that offer an unhindered view of the sky, the rooms that open into other worlds with views of the hills, rice fields and foliage and the premises itself, which comes with a private man-made lake, an art village and a plant nursery. This aside, there’s also a gorgeous swimming pool nestled among palm and frangipani trees, a large recreational room that can prove to be instrumentally fun for those travelling in groups and a farm-to-table restaurant.
Speaking of which, food at TMF is surely a hit. Whether you like enjoying live barbecues in front of a bonfire, your desi staples (for lunch, dinner and breakfast) or salads, pasta and pizza, their unassuming kitchen and restaurant manages to dish out preparations that are tasteful, minus the hoo-ha. Plus, it’s all made with genuinely good produce, fresh ingredients and a lot of love. It might not be modern/elevated, but it does the job of satisfying you well enough to want to sleep right after a meal. And thankfully, there are many places to do that at this languorous farm stay — the plush beds inside the rooms, sun loungers by the pool and hammocks by the lake.
Originally a family-owned farmhouse and plant nursery, it evolved into a boutique stay over 15 years of land acquisition, and somewhere, continues to retain that ethos evoking memories of days spent well at a relative’s home during school vacations, but only, for grown-ups. And as much as I hate to admit it, Tooth Mountain Farms does feel a little like home away from home.
Things To Do While There
- Do a morning trek to Tooth Mountain.
- Cycle to Hatnoli village.
- Visit the bird pen and cow shed inside the premises.
- Go on a nursery tour.
- Stop by the Peacock Life warehouse where you can purchase knick-knacks for your home.
- Participate in indoor games and sports.
- Go on a nature trail around the farm.
(Images: Tooth Mountain Farms)
The post Finding A Home At A Farmstay: Why Karjat’s Tooth Mountain Farms Should Be On Your List appeared first on Man's World India.