Visited : March 2022. Stayed for 3 days.
For our customary birthday holiday this year we decided to go on an Indian west coast road-trip, popularly known as Konkan road trip. We had the fortune of staying three nights in Villa270, owned by Saffron stays group while stopping over at Dapoli, a coastal town in Maharashtra.
A half hour drive from Dapoli, Safron Stays Villa270 sits on top of a hill overlooking the 270degree view of Suvarnadurg fort (off the coast), Harnai village and Anjarle beach.
Villa 270 is a group of about 5 cottages named after popular flowers on different elevations hidden strategically behind the foliage of the hill connected by wide rock stairs going around property. The in-house restaurant is perched on the summit of the hill with a sweeping view of the whole coastline. Each cottage has a different angle of the same coastline where any family can enjoy their own unique unbeatable views. It’s not exactly older/handicapped friendly but it is ‘pet friendly’.
This was our first trip after we turned into a gang of four. Sunny, me and Jiraiya (our GSD) were now paws and hands full with a baby beagle, Jeannie. Therefore our itinerary unlike our usual ones was mainly focused on bonding with Jeannie as a family, relax and enjoy some beach time with Jiraiya. Beaches on this belt or so empty, clean and serene that we did not hesitate to let Jiraiya play off-leash.
The booking process was seamless with a full payment done on booking via Saffron Stays website. A representative from the Saffron Stays group connected with us on call/whatsap two days before our check-in and introduced us to the caretaker of the property Mr. Mangesh Jadhav.
On the day of the arrival, we spoke to Mr. Mangesh and informed him of our estimated time of arrival and meal preferences. Although we were a bit late, we were welcomed with warm delicious complete meal, served in our room. The food except breakfast was charged separately and was delicious. They were kind enough to provide us with boiled chicken for our fur babies for chicken cost. Rooms have a mini fridge to keep the beers and the chicken cool. The staff was very pet friendly. Jiraiya can be a bit overwhelming due to his size and wolfy features but they all became friends during our stay. Pets are charged separately on a daily basis.
Although we had seen multiple photos online of the place, nothing could spoil our astonishment on being there. The glass walls of Jaswanti (our cottage) and the almost 270degree view of the coastline was something we had never enjoyed before, especially straight from our bed. The wide balcony overlooking the canopy of trees and the sweet bird songs along with wind chimes were nothing less than nirvana. We spent so much time there, that we actually missed clicking any pictures of the room or in the room. . Perhaps, check their website to get the feels. The strong sea breeze kept the March heat away and set the mood for best sunsets and sunrise walks. Rooms are equipped with good wifi, but do you really need it?
Balcony also became our very own hide to sit and wait for rare birds to come around searching for food and enjoying the variety found inside and outside the property. The bestest-best was an eye level view of a pair of soaring White-bellied sea eagles morning and evening building their nest beyond the hill. Birders know the thrill impossible to put in words for this moment. 🙂
Sitting in the balcony to enjoy the view, reading a book and doing some very unusual birding is on top of our suggested things to do when staying in Saffron Stays Villa270. But if you do decide to move around rather than being a holiday potato, (which you very well will be here) try going to these spots to experience the true beauty of these lands (Disclaimer: Self driven vehicle is required to visit these spots) :
Hidden in plain sight. Driving through narrow village alleys, suddenly at the end of the road is a wide expanse of soft golden brown sand with nothing but the blue sea in front and palm trees all around hiding the fishing village. Anjarle beach, is a refreshing beach where one can really absorb the essence of the sea. Due to its cleanliness, this beach is a nesting site for Olive Ridley turtles. Please make sure you leave it better than how you found it!
A bit ahead from Anjarle beach is it’s lighthouse on the cliff. It was visible from the Villa 270 and on driving up to it, we found it to be a very peaceful and best to enjoy the sunset from. We can not go on top of the lighthouse due to security issues, and we did not miss it either. The view from the cliff edge was outstanding enough.
Underneath the lighthouse cliff the sliver of beach between Anjarle and Savane beaches is actually a great way to observe miniature marine life. The ocean rocks reveal themselves and the pools within them hold the high tide water and trap the excellent marine life. Get on your knees, and use a zoom lens!
Sunset hopping and strolling
Watch the sunset from literally anywhere, the beach was our usual hangout yet the one we saw from the cliff point in front of Kelshi lighthouse was the most memorable one.
We were barely able to enjoy the above ones with our baby Jeannie tugging along, too tiny to be left on her four paws, too tiny to fend for herself yet old enough to catch infections or claw her way out of our arms. So…we skipped the below spots, but they have definitely found their place in our ‘Next time list’ :
It’s a hiking trail an hour away from the villa along the edge of the River Kotjai (some have spotted crocodiles in it, beware!). take a precise route map from the caretaker. The road is average and signboards are scarce. These caves are not commercialized yet, which makes them a spot for peaceful exploration. Ah, perhaps something we won’t miss next time.
Harnai fish market
A must-visit to see the action-packed bidding, buying, and selling before sunset when the fishing boats come in. A must-go if you want to get the essence of local life, smells and colour! . Even though we missed going to the main fish market, we did cross these parking docks where hundreds of fishing boats were parked waiting for the tide to come under a creek bridge in on our way to Anjarle beach. Oh such great photo ops!
Like some other Konkan forts, this one too is in the sea. Boats from Harnai take tourist to the fort.
March being one of the good months to do Dolphin watching in the sea, we were really looking forward to doing this one. But unfortunately due to a local festival we could not do this. Boats are available from the parking lot of Anjarle beach. Just ask around!
We loved our time strolling in and around the property, chilling in our balcony watching the sunset, sipping on beers and listening to the sounds of the ocean. The art of doing nothing, just lying down and feeling the sea breeze in our hair and toes. The living-in room experience, the property caretaker, the guard, the housekeeping, the chef, the quality of the room – was so heart-warming and welcoming that we would choose this stay option again and again in a heartbeat.
Hope you choose to stay in Villa270 after reading this, let us know how your experience was. 🙂