Geraldine Cavagnon, a guest at Eco-Hamlet
Eco-Hamlet, the space
Strategically located between the two major cities Mumbai and Pune, with many tourist spots - ancient caves, adventure sports such as hot-air balloon and paragliding, trekking - close by, Eco-Hamlet is an ideal place to chill. For the family, friends, or even by yourself, it is that great getaway from the bustle of the city!
The entire property is an award winning ecological site (with a zero carbon footprint), hence offers a healthy option for tourists and is good for the environment.
We spoke to Suchita Bhat, owner of the property, about what makes this place different, and how was she coping in these unusual times.
These are unusual times with the Covid19 pandemic. What are you doing to ensure safety of your guests?
Indeed, unusual times. But I believe that now is the time people will prefer smaller homestays rather than busy, crowded places. They are safer, and offer the comfort of the home too.
We are putting up this slogan at Eco-Hamlet:
The ongoing pandemic has paralyzed the population. Confined to their homes, scared of each other, where masks, caps, gloves, and sanitizer is the new normal.
Travels, hotels, restaurants are a faraway dream for the moment. But Eco-Hamlet safeguards your desire for liberty. It was ‘no-man’s land’, unlived for three months. Now dusted, cleaned, and sanitized! It is spread over a 4.5-acre land. A big bungalow, dining in a large open veranda and a sprawling garden to bask in.
You can choose your group members whom you trust, and we welcome you onboard Eco-Hamlet. Let go of your newly imposed protective gear, as soon as you enter our gate, because there is nobody around you to infect. Plenty of space will naturally respect social distancing and yet allow for your favored company. The home-made hot food by masked chefs will surely reassure you.
Let your suppressed steam blow off! Share the freedom and unwind!!
What challenges do you face generally?
The one and only challenge for us is electricity. Being in the village, the electricity goes off for hours together.
We manage the damage with our inverter which has an eight-hour capacity. Electricity failure for longer than a few hours becomes a ‘situation’. In such cases we avoid watching TV, and shut off lights and fans, for the inverter to last longer.
Any exciting experiences you can share?
Before booking Eco-Hamlet, guests would ask an endless stream of questions, most that come with apprehensions related to safety.
It is in the village area, quiet, with lots of vegetation, so what about safety? Yes, very true. There are creatures that you do not meet in the cities. But we live there for decades and we are fine.
But once they land at Eco-Hamlet, the tone completely changes. They are ecstatic, appreciative, and inquisitive. They love its aesthetics, the rawness, and enjoy the local food that we make which is clean, and healthy.
What makes you feel proud ?
We do the work ourselves. Whether it is polishing the furniture, painting the walls, planting rice, nurturing the trees that give us fruits and flowers, or using our farm’s produce for cooking.
Our effort, our pride!
The house has two bedrooms with double beds and a common big toilet - bathtub and WC.
The living room is large with a big day-bed, where three to four people can sleep. We put extra five to six single beds if required, in the living room. It’s very pleasant weather most of the year round, so there is no need for air conditioners or room heaters.
There is a large studio room with a bathroom and WC. Beds can be added to make it the third room which can house five to six people. It is overlooking the farm.
A big veranda amidst the garden is aligned with the service quarter. It is equipped with rustic log furniture for sitting, chatting or working and also for having meals together especially for big groups. It also has an adjacent bathroom and WC.
For the night stay guests - Tea/coffee and breakfast.
For the day tour guests - Tea/coffee and light snacks.
Lunch and Dinner can be provided on demand at the time of booking at extra cost.
Maximum 20 people can be accommodated for night stay. Comfortable number is 16 to 18 people group. Up to 50 people for the day tour, can be accommodated.
Guests can go around the property anywhere they want - in the farm, garden, and house.
Access to the kitchen area is restricted, for the purpose of hygiene, and for the privacy of the family of the staff, who reside in the staff quarters adjacent to the kitchen.
A guide for trekking can be made available only on prior demand. Taxis can be arranged on prior demand subject to availability.
Other things to note
As the site is in the interior and the vegetation is thick, venturing out at night is risky.
There is an open water body on the property, not for swimming therefore children should be watched by their parents.
The property is situated in the wilderness, hence insects, reptiles, rodents are a common feature. But they are harmless if not disturbed.
The electricity cuts are rampant, but inverters are provided for lights and fans only. In case the inverter batteries are exhausted, emergency lights are provided. Solar powered hot water is combined with electric geyser.
Indian conditions are to be taken in account especially in the rural areas.
Bedroom 1: 1 double bed
Bedroom 2: 1 double bed
Bedroom 3: 6 single beds
Indoor fireplace, Kitchen, Free parking on premises, Hair dryer, Breakfast, Cable TV, Iron, Hot tub.
Details for booking
Group Overnight stays - tea/coffee, Breakfast only.
Group Day tours - tea, snacks.
Lunch, dinner, tea/coffee on demand in advance, with extra charges.
Double beds in 2 bedrooms.
Large day-bed and folding single beds in living room accordingly.
Kitchenette, dining, big bathroom + WC in the house.
Studio room with bathroom + WC.
Big Veranda for Dining out, with one bathroom + WC + one Indian WC.
We book one group at a time for their privacy if the group is 8 and more in number.
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