Travelogue: The Ark Wellness Retreat
The place is about 30 km from my place (in Wakad). We took the road from Hinjewadi going to Pirangut via Maan village, past Kumar Megapolis and touches the Mulshi road in Pirangut, opposite the road leading to Lavasa. Need to take a right on Mulshi road and drive towards Paud. At Paud, just after the ST bus stand, take a right going towards Nanegaon, Kolvan etc. Girivan is a pretty well landmarked resort on this road and if you reach its diversion then you have gone a bit too far. Unfortunately there no sign boards for this resort on this road, all the way till when you need to actually take a right turn. The board is bang on the turn and if you are not cautious, you can miss it. If you reach Chinmaya Vibhooti then you have missed the turn. The turn is about 10 km from Paud and after you take the turn, you drive about 1 km on kaccha road.
I have never seen a resort structure like this one. Most places try to maximize the # rooms they can build apart from the open area outside of the resort building. But here apart from the entire ground floor, which was just open sitting area, even on the first floor, between the rooms there were places for sitting and maybe having a cup of tea. Tea maker and relevant material was placed in these areas as well. Our room, D1 overlooked their fish pond area, which is a big pond at the back. Didn't see too many fishes in in though. Both inside and outside of the first floor are big inclined iron rods, on which the roof rests and in between at regular intervals, there are seats built into the structure. So looks like the place has been designed to visitors to just go and sit anywhere and enjoy.
They have a big herbal garden right at the entrance, and this results in some really nice fragrance all around this place. We had a walk in their herbal garden and one of their staff members explained it all to us. They have over 20 different types of herbs and it was really amazing to get to know about them. We even tasted many of these, and probably that helped us disinfect ourselves in the process. At side is a big fish pond (that we could see from our room as well) and all around it is a walking/jogging path. There is good amount of plantation all around. Some is already grown well and some is in its early stages. They have a big kitchen garden as well which is used to get some of their daily needs, though they do purchase daily fresh vegetables from Pirangut.
The hotel didn't seem to have any cold drinks to offer. The weather was still on the cooler side so this wasn't an issue and at night the temperature dipped further. I guess this place is easily 3-4 oC lower than Pune city's temperature. Some of the guests seemed to have brought their own helping of drinks that they put in the resorts fridge to chill them.