After a six-hour-long drive from the city of Mumbai is a small rustic town called Phaltan. Right there, situated just off the highway is India’s first LEED GREEN Platinum Rated Hotel, Jakson Inns.
Hidden in a faraway village, Jakson Inns may look like an average no-frill bed-and-breakfast inn, at first sight. A closer look would reveal it’s an extensive property spreading across six acres of land, so spacious and airy that it would give a quintessential Mumbaikar a much-needed relief from the claustrophobic constraints of the city.
It’s at a perfect distance from the city, not too close to be the crowded haunt of city crowd, and not so far that those who do not believe in making plans can’t go for a quick three-day escape. People staying in Mumbai or Pune can drop by during any time of the year but October, November, and December will give you the best experience.
After a long bumpy ride on dusty roads, almost drowsy with the heat, I was taken by surprise at the sight of a contemporary structure, which looked rather out of place in the midst of endless rows of sugarcane fields. And I could feel the initial disappointment of a tiring journey starting to ebb away. The next thing I know is, I was being ushered into a chic, warm property, welcomed with refreshingly cool towels and a glassful of minty, iced welcome drink in an elegant flute glass.
It was a packed itinerary over two days and two nights. I was given a brief about my stay and the plan ahead but like it has always been, excitement was nudging me from within to go on and explore the rest of the property.
Moving On To The Room
Jakson Inns boasts of 69 deluxe rooms of 290 sq ft each and four suites of 560 sq ft each. My room was on the third floor, from where I had a view of the lawns and an endless sprawl of sugarcane farms. The room had all the basic amenities, including a mini bar, a 45-inch smart television, and a tea kit. But what really impressed was an assortment of dark and white chocolates layered nicely on a tray as a sweet welcome. I nibbled off a bit on my favourite pralines and then took a small nap to help myself gear up for the plan ahead.
Lunch At Green Beans
Refreshed after a power nap, I headed to Jackson Inn’s in-house restaurant, the Green Beans for lunch. Taking in the well-done interiors, all in the shades of ochre and pistachio green, I was curious to know what was planned for lunch. I was surprised to find out that they had chosen to serve us peasants’ food.
Ya, even I was alarmed at the thought. But as the manager explained on the various courses of the meal, my reaction changed from shocked, to inquisitive, to mildly amused, to nostalgic, within no time. It was an authentic Maharashtrian thali, comprising of all Maharashtrian essentials and much more. Being a North Indian, the nutty, spicy flavours were new for my palate. And yet I could feel the warmth of home and taste of the earthy flavours. A Maharashtrian rural thali reminded a Punjabi of her pind. That for me just sums up the experience.
Heading Up To The Windmills
Post lunch, we made a move to the windmill farm, which was an hour and a half away from the hotel. While driving through more of those sugarcane farms, I could spot the windmills stretched in rows from a good distance, that was when I knew exactly where we were heading.
After reaching on top of the cliff, the sight that we had was a nice change to the endless scenery of farms. We were facing a clearing of sorts, on hills, with mega wind malls standing tall in front of us. No traffic, no roads, away from the hustle and bustle, the silence was enough to allow the wind to make its sound heard. Nature’s beauty was captured yet again with a landscape of vast green pasturelands spread across the acres, against the backdrop of the sun hued deep orange, about to dip below the horizon. It was a blissful experience to look at the silhouettes change into dusk.
Back To Hotel
It was an eventful day that came to an early end with dinner at the Green Beans restaurant. To help me charge myself for the next day itinerary, the decision to call it an early night sounded sane.
If leisure is the idea of a perfect holiday, then Jakson Inns can help you cherish that in a perfect way. The day started with a heavy breakfast arrangement. It was a buffet for the cold food items but the rest was being served hot on the table. From English breakfast to Maharashtrian poha and also South Indian idli and vada, everything was there on the breakfast menu. After tasting through too many things in bits and pieces, freshly baked muffins were a delightful experience above all.
With this, it was time for us to get started with the day’s plan. In no time after that, we left for Rajwada Palace in the Satara City. The Palace was almost 30 minutes away from the hotel. A step inside the palace gave us royal goosebumps. Like any other palace, there was a heavy wooden door guarding the majestic entrance. Though the palace looked small, compared to many others in India’s rich heritage of the royalty, it was no less than amazing when we went inside. The palace had around 11 blocks. There were family, as well as, individual portraits of the royal family. It was disheartening to know that photography was prohibited inside the palace, we indeed missed taking some really beautiful pictures. But nevertheless, our eyes seized the royal set up which looked full of life even today, even though it is close to 190 years old.
Evening Tea At The Riverside
At around four in the evening, we all geared up for a nice evening tea session by the riverside. Jakson Inns had made a tempting arrangement of live snacks, tea and coffee on a small patch of barren land, at some 20 minutes distance from the hotel. It was a wonderful experience of sipping the tea with a sunset view and birds chirping. What can be a better sight to embrace the nature’s beauty after a long day of travelling?
The Foot Massage Session
Yes, we were tired. And Jackson Inns had the solution to it. After an eventful day that we had – now was the time for the foot therapy at the Kundalini treatment room. It was one of the best I have ever experienced. A visually impaired therapist who knew exactly the right pressure points on the sole of my feet to help me relax. In no time I could feel the skill working to help me de-stress.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience. I would give full marks to Jakson Inns for an extremely humble staff, courteous enough towards even the minutest details.
The location of the property makes it an ideal place to plan a quiet and relaxing holiday or a get-away from a hectic work life. In fact, it can also be an appropriate place to plan your corporate meetings or office offsite.
Help yourself With The Distance
Nearest Railway Station: Jejuri (59 km), Satara (64 km), Pandharpur (105 km)
Nearest Airport – Pune (113 km), Shirdi (230 km), Aurangabad (256 km)
From The Major Cities – Pune (113 km), Navi Mumbai (236 kms), Aurangabad (256 km), Thane (257 km), Mumbai (259 kms), Belgaum (292 kms), Nashik (299 kms), Panjim (380 kms)
Text and images by Kamya Kandhari
Kindly note: The Humming Notes was invited by Jakson Inns, Phaltan to visit their property on a media tour.