“Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before” – Dalai Lama
As rightfully said by The Dalai Lama, we happened to visit the one place we hadn’t had the chance of visiting and had been on our wish list for a while now. Our dreams came true, when Food Bloggers Association of India (FBAI) invited us to be a part of their #FBAICheckIn at Aamby Valley City!
The magnificent Aamby Valley City is spread over 10,600 acres in the Pune district making it easily accessible from Mumbai (120 kms), Pune (87 kms) & Lonavala (23 kms). Read on to find out our adventures, adrenaline pumped 3 day Staycation we enjoyed with great food, friends and activities.
Adventure Quotient: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 4/5
We started our journey on a Saturday morning from Sahara Star to Aamby Valley aboard the fun bus of bloggers and adventure junkies. It was smooth ride with refreshments, entertainment and ice-breakers. Upon our arrival into the city, we checked into our hotel rooms and thus began our journey that we recall until today, as one of the best weekends we’ve had in a long time.
To sum up our trip, we decided to break it down section/category wise, so it’s a quick read and is beneficial to you when deciding and planning your next trip to Aamby!
Rooms: we count ourselves to be extra blessed to have been part of this wonderful trip, and all the experiences we have had in the three days spent here. On day 1, we checked into our individual Spanish cottages which were about 1 km away from the main reception area. Luscious rooms with ample space and amenities (TV, wifi, fruits, snacks, newspaper) await you as you check in here. Day 2 we were upgraded to the Aussie cottages which is a more luxurious version of the previous rooms with state-of-the-art amenities. Uber comfortable bed, a sofa, fruits/snacks, morning newspaper service and the best part- it’s the closest set of rooms to the reception and the Woodpecker restaurant for the early morning breakfast.
Price: Spanish cottage: 10,500 INR + taxes & Aussie Rooms: 12,000 INR + taxes
There are several options and types of rooms to choose from depending on your budget and space required. Details here: https://secure.staah.com/common-cgi/package/packagebooking.pl?propertyId=2247&Ln=en
Food: with several restaurants and dining options around the city – Aamby valley boasts of several types of cuisines available in the city to cater to various needs an individual might have. Starting with Namak – apt for those who love and want to indulge in great North Indian food, don’t forget to have the dal Makhani and the Paneer Tikka here. Mabruk, is perfect to treat your taste buds to Middle Eastern cuisine, must haves here include the hummus platter & great options for entrees. Ask for the chefs special and enjoy your meal with some belly dancing performance that happens every weekend. 7, is the sports bar & grill for all those looking to grab a drink with quick finger food, this is the place to be. The bar has been designed keeping all the legendry players who have had the no. 7 in their careers. The Khao Suey and appetizers here are recommended. Curry coast is the perfect place for sea food and vegetarians as well. Yes, you read that right: they have equal amount of options for both. Don’t miss the sol kadi here. Lastly, a special mention for Manuhar, specializing in Veg Gujarati + Marwari thali’s, this place is perfect to visit after a long adventurous activity. The thali is priced at 950 INR + taxes.
Adventure: with so much to do, there is everything you can imagine here. Pretty much all seasons are a good time to visit here, but monsoon and December winter seems the perfect time for here. In the monsoons, plan your adventure as the rain might change your plans a wee bit. At 19 degree north, you can indulge in zip lining, paintball, ATV rides and Jeep rides to a village down south to enjoy a hot cuppa.
Within the property they have facilities of an aqua bus, jet boat ride, Jet Ski, wave pool and boat rides. To take it further, there’s also a 5 level waterfall trek which is perfect during monsoons. During our visit, we visited the 1st level and cannot stress enough on how much fun we had! We almost didn’t feel like leaving, but it was about to get dark and we had to make our way back to the rooms for dinner. Food’s always first 🙂
Sights: after a heavy day of adventure and eating indulge in some sightseeing at Aamby Valley city! They have a beautiful 200+ acre golf course; we tried our hand at golf as well, and managed to learn a little about the sport. They have a farm where you can play & pet dogs and horses as well. Take photos across the city, with picturesque locations, the ones by the swings is not to be missed! Lastly, over the weekends DO NOT miss the light and sound show, it is spectacular! We’ve only seen similar type of acts abroad, and this one clubbed with Bollywood music is a sight not to be missed.
A few things we learnt during our visit:
- Entry into Aamby valley city is restricted to those who have a prior booking or own a bungalow/villa inside, so ensure that your reservations are made before you leave home. They do not have any on-the-spot booking facility; bookings can be made through their website and/or by calling the Sahara star hotel’s concierge.
- Don’t be surprised if you spot the spelling of Aamby varying in different parts around the city. We found out that in the recent past, the management had considered changing the spelling of the city to Ambay valley city, closer to the deity Ambe maa.
- If you thought Aamby valley only had things to do, see or eat, you’re not the only one who’s mistaken. They also have a school, hospital, theatre, golf course and many more things to do.