We all love to pamper and experience beautiful hotels with great hospitality. However budget is the constraint. So I thought of writing more articles giving insights about the hacks I do and how do I manage to finance a luxury trip in budget!
Firstly alibaug is good getaway from Bombay as it’s only a TWO hour ride from the gateway. We did a two nights three days stay at Alibaug and seemed perfect.
• How to get there? / TRANSPORTATION
Take the CATYMARINE (PNP) FERRY, that one is the best. It is available at a frequency of one hour. However on weekends it gets full pretty quick. It costs Rs 160/170 ONLY for upper deck to Mandwa. Avoid taking the AC one as it’s beautiful to experience the sea in the open and also the white birds are quiet a beautiful sight to behold.
If you have sea sickness, you can also try the road which should take you about 3 hours odd as the roads in Alibaug are not so smooth and pretty bumpy.
You have to board the ferry from gateway of India and you will get down at the Mandwa jetty. The ferry ticket can be taken to Alibaug which is approx. Rs 200-230 and that will include bus ride from Mandwa to Alibaug bus depot.
#TGJTIPS : Please buy your return ticket from Mandwa jetty for whatever day you intend to return as it avoids the hassle of last minute standing and also avoids possibilities of being sold out.
However we wanted to stop by Boardwalk at Flamboyante on Mandwa jetty so we got down at mandwa jetty, ate there and then there is a fleet of rickshaw available for you. We went really local and took that. It costs Rs 450 approx. from Mandwa jetty to Radisson Blu Alibaug.
#TGJTIPS : If the rickshaw guy is sweet and courteous, do take his number so you can always contact him for your return journey / inside travel
• WHERE TO STAY? / ACCOMODATION :
We travelled from 28 Dec to 30 Dec. Certainly being a peak period, rates will be soaring.
However we booked it 4 months in advance and got a cheap deal of Rs 6500 per night (including GST and taxes). However the same is excluding any meals. The breakfast package was 2.5 K more and not worth as I am a poor eater.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu at Alibaug. Sadly there are very few good properties at Alibaug so we picked the best amongst the few.
#TGJTIPS : We booked through make my trip app and also there are hacks to use wallet money so your stay will turn out even cheaper
• WHAT TO DO:
1. Enjoy the property:
Radisson Blu at Alibaug is a huge resort. The swimming pool is a good relaxing option. Also we played outdoor sports like cricket and tennis. Further cycling around was also lot of good fun
2. Explore the beaches and try watersports if you like:
The Alibaug beach is extremely crowded. So I avoided that. Kihim beach is also good, a bit quieter and calmer.
We chose the naigon beach. That beach is famous for water sports.
Again being a weekday, it must be less crowded. So the watersports section of the beach is very crowded.
But as you walk further it’s so serene calm and secluded.
3. Soak in the sand and Surround by the sunset :
Walking by the beaches, staring at the waves and scrolling in the sand while watching the sunset is a site to behold.
4. Go for dinner to a local shack at the beach with Bollywood songs:
We were exploring and we ended up at the this beautiful local hotel called “Ecocentre” . They also have cottages to stay and they are decent enough if you are ever planning. The good advantage is its right by the beach. We had some masala chai, fries and dry Manchurian there. Bill was only Rs 250. The staff knew English too. Also it was beautiful sitting by the bench overlooking the sea and listening to songs.
#TGJTIPS : You don’t get beer/ booze there however the staff is sweet, so you can take your booze and sit there.
Also there are local things to eat at the beach, especially for sea food lovers. There are stalls of maggi, pav bhaji, fish, etc.
• WHAT TO CARRY:
1. Booze. As there are very few liquor shops in Alibaug. However please be ensured you have the rights as for catymarine they do check bags.
2. Clothes: The weather was pretty good so I carried dresses and shorts.
3. Ointment: You might need it for bumpy rickshaw rides
4. Food: At night if you feel hungry, you might be left with nothing except room service. So carrying dry snacks/ tetra packs is always helpful.
• WHERE TO EAT:
1. The Aparna restaurant at Radisson Blu is multicuisine. It is reasonably priced as compared to other 5stars. We had a margarita pizza for INR 575/600 plus taxes. We had fried rice/ Manchurian and our bill was around 800-900
2. U Tropicana at Alibaug : Also this is a good dining place but again go only if you have transportation
3. Zomato Online delivery: There are very limited options for the same but you can surely try out.
4. Local Sea Food: The sea food over there is to relish on. Do be a local and try it out
• HOW WAS THE PROPERTY:
The property is humungous. It is a beautiful resort on the outskirts. Also the rooms are spacious. However the view from the room was a bit disappointing as we got the parking lot. Also the wifi was not working and nothing was resolved.
Also majorly what makes or breaks the five star property is the hospitality and to be honest I was a bit disappointed.
The poolside in its beauty is huge and really nice. However, was astonished while we were swimming between 10am to 12pm, there was not even one attendee from the staff except guard. Also to place an order we had to go right inside and post that when he gave the bill, we paid him.
Then he said, madam don’t have change.
He didn’t even have the courtesy to ask can I give it or return it in a while. Its not about the change but the way they treated.
Lastly, Radisson blu puts up this huge board at the welcome desk claiming 100% guest satisfaction or don’t pay. At the end of the stay, when we actually
• HOW WAS THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE?
I loved Alibagh for its sole reason as its convenient from Bombay and prefer it over locations like Lonavala and Karjat.