Mystica Resort, Khandala

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored/paid review. Visit to this property was purely personal.

I’ve been on a few holidays recently and mostly appreciated the lovely hotels I’ve stayed at. In fact, hotels serve an important tool for comfort and rest during a holiday. Me and M (my better half) have always been those kind of travellers who would get off the hotel post breakfast each day and come back only for showers and a good night’s sleep. While we were young travellers, a hotel was never meant for poolside reading or leisurely afternoons watching random foreign channels on television. We treated hotels as merely a shelter with a good washroom and an air conditioner. This time, a resort treated us well and I felt the need to start sharing my views of both luxury and budget hotels. The first one goes on to be Mystica Resort in Khandala, Maharashtra. The long weekend of Independence Day called for a mini holiday to Lonavala/Khandala, where we hadn’t been yet. So, we packed a mini bag and started off our journey from Pune to Lonavala.

Mystica Resort

Mystica Resort

Location

The distance from Pune to Lonavala is 50 km and from Mumbai it’s around 100 km. If you’re visiting Lonavala/Khandala from any other city, you can hop off to Pune/Mumbai and use the easiest route via Yashvantrao Chavan Expressway. There are petrol pumps, washrooms and food courts on the expressway around 1 km before the Lonavala exit. Once you take the exit, you will enter the sleepy little hilly twin township of Lonavala and Khandala. The main town/bazaar road is around 3 km from the expressway and you have to turn left and traverse a narrow road for 1 km to Mystica Resort. The road leading from Lonavala town to the resort is narrow but not damaged.

Address: Survey No 133/134, Old Khandala Road | Nagpal Society, Opp Tata Prive, Khandala, Lonavala – 410401, Maharashtra, India 

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6X Green Tea

When Green Tea is mentioned, I’m not exactly the one who’d jump with joy and opt for it. I have tried various brands and can’t proclaim real or even fake love for Green Tea. For most of the brands, they have been good for health and rich in antioxidants, but not much has been done on the flavour. There’s ginger, lemon, honey and even tulsi added to Green Teas by Indian brands, and each of them tends to quiver towards an oddly bitter taste. 6X Green Tea by Four Fountain Labs is probably the first among the ones I had that tastes very well too. I received five sachets as a sample with a note about the product.

6x

How Does 6X Green Tea Taste?

Amazing – if I have to describe it in one word. The best part is that, it comes as a powder in a sachet, rather than a tea bag. The powder is totally soluble in water and gives a light brown hue. I feel tea bags often lead to wastage of the flavour and taste of tea. In that respect, 6X Green Tea doesn’t leave room for any waste. The brew has a subtle flavour of mint and taste of ginger that is far from overpowering its inherent quality. And it is far from being bitter even near the dregs. I loved the refreshing after-taste and the feel it imparts. Easily one of the best Green Teas I’ve ever had.

6xa

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Mainland China

Mainland China came into existence in 1994, the first outlet being in erstwhile Bombay. It’s not surprising that this piece of news didn’t reach the majority of middle class people residing in Bengal. Why would they have bothered with accounts of some expensive Chinese restaurant opening in Bombay? I, as a child, was quite happy with our occasional Peping and Chung Wah stints while visits to Calcutta and the ketchup slathered ‘chowmein’ at street stalls. Eating out hadn’t gained popularity, nor had Chinese restaurants popped up like mushrooms all over the city. The China Town or Tangra area in Calcutta still ruled when it came to amazing food and liquor at modest rates. Years passed, Anjan Chatterjee made his mark with Mainland China and Oh! Calcutta, and finally inaugurated the first outlet in Calcutta in the last decade. It was still inaccessible to a student like me with its posh location and exorbitant prices. It was only when I left home ten years ago, the Western concept of eating out slowly imbibed into my being. Mainland China was still beyond my reach with its à-la-carte prices that could slash my wallet brutally. I’m not sure about the year of inception of a buffet or ‘set meal’ (as referred in the China buffets all around US & UK) in Mainland China, but I was over the moon that the bill could fit in my wallet in lieu of some great food. Summing up my experiences of over five years at Mainland China outlets in three Indian cities hitherto.

The Decor

One of the most attractive features of Mainland China (MC) is the decor. I’ve been to four different MC outlets and the decor is always soothing, oriental, calm and soft to the eyes. The entrance of every outlet has been a mishmash of designer wooden panels as dividers that impart a feeling of passing into a private space. The lights are dim and tables are very strategically placed, so that you don’t overhear conversations, get irritated by inane people nearby or stumble into someone else while filling your plate from the buffet counters. Seats are quite comfortable and tables are adequately spaced to fit in your satchel or purse. The decor at each outlet I’ve visited fetched a big thumbs up, and here’s a glimpse of my favourite piece at any eatery, the ceiling lamp.

At the South City Mall outlet, Calcutta

At the South City Mall outlet, Calcutta

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#FabBag Review: January 2015

I had never subscribed for a beauty bag before I checked out the Fab Bag contents from my sister-in-law. She had subscribed and was very satisfied with the products. Just shy of hitting the 33 mark, I decided to gift a subscription to my ageing self. I must say I’m pretty impressed with the products and their results to start this column itself. I’ve used the common beauty and skin products available in the market and most of them are so full of chemicals that they’re not of much use. I wanted to try the best organic, handmade and less-chemical products.

If you still haven’t subscribed The Fab Bag, do so now.

The January contents with a surprise mask.

The January contents with a surprise mask.

I received the bag within 10 days of subscription and I must tell you that I was eagerly waiting, excited as a kid for a Christmas present. Well, New Year, at least!

The bag in itself is metallic pink and glossy this time. I’m not a fan of pink but thankfully this one isn’t much the neon stuff. It’s not bad even for a pinkphobic person,and in pretty good quality. I’d surely use it as a handy cute little carry on bag for my make-up.

The contents in this bag were: Laqa & Co. Fat Lip Pencil in Jammy Bastard shade, Bioderma Sensible H2O Makeup Removing Micelle Solution, Splurge Daily Moisturizer with Sun Protection and Seasoul Dead Sea Facial Mud Mask. Since the theme for this month is ‘Beauty Unmasked’, they sent a lovely shining mask for parties later!

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