Visited Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar with family in November Diwali vacations for 3 days. 4-5 Hrs drive via Bombay-Pune Expressway is pleasurable experience once you cross Turbhe .I asked myself how come you have not visited Panchgani , in spite of living in Bombay for so many years , and travelling to Lonavla every year and Pune so many times , from Bombay it’s just 4+ hr drive man!!
Panchgani has emotional relation with me via my all time fav movie “ Izajat ” as actors Rekha and Shami Kapoor lives in Panchgani and there are many references as such.
We stayed in Hotel “ Panchgani Health Resort “ much better than our expectation , booking done based on net feedbacks etc. We booked double room Suite suitable for 5 persons, spacious , absolute sparkling white linen ,clean toilets (2) , valley view from 2 big French windows is awesommmeee , Resort is situated on hill edge and down below is clear valley , Krishna river (pic) view , other side huge mountain , and also beautiful geometrical shapes strawberry farms similar to paddy field or Tea gardens. All rooms of Resort are facing valley , make it perfect place to stay ,slightly away from main city hustle , peaceful location with no traffic , back side is valley and no road or few houses down side. Small dining area , open garden at the hill edge provide full panoramic view .
Other Hotels I found at good locations are 3 or 4 star Hotel Ravine , budget hotel Signature crest . Sai palace etc. Hotel Ravine seems to be at fantastic location at cliff with nice valley view . Important is being in Panchgani or Mahabaleshwar place must have valley or lake or river view .
I prefer Panchgani more than Mahabaleshwar, other popular sites are Venna Lake for boat riding , Sydney Point, Parsi Point , Sherbaug , Arthur point, Wilson Point, Bombay Point, Lodvick Point It seems all these Points were Britishers residences and posh Bungalows ,located at various prime scenic locations , developed by them during their rule. For eat out Mapro Garden on main road is worth visiting once for their wood fired oven Veg Pizzas, Grilled Sandwiches and Strawberry Ice cream ,Yummylicious .Forget Calories Strawberry or Black Berry Ice cream with fruit full Glass (pic) is must have while in Panchgani/ Mahabaleshwar in any Restaurant . We prefer to roam around raw places like any road with dense green cover (pic) and find many such beautiful drivable roads, instead of visiting market and crowded tourist spots .I was happy to see cleanness and no littering of Plastics, rappers etc. At such popular tourist destination , also found well maintained and preserved greenery . Wish to visit during rainy season or for New Year .I found both locations better than my expectations .