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Review: Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa

Review: Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa

Introduction

Well, this was an interesting one! There I was, on Hilton.com, looking up the Conrad, Pune, and suddenly I find myself booking 4 nights at a wellness retreat for a spot of relaxation and yoga. I’ve never done yoga in my life! This place, however, looked too good to be true. I mean, sure, I wanted to go to India for the culture, but secretly, being a travel geek, I also wanted to explore some cool hotels so when I saw a Hilton with villas, forest lodges, pools and a huge spa, all set in 320 acres of Indian countryside, I just couldn’t resist. It seemed so different to anything I’d been to before. However, as I sat in the back of an Uber, driving 12 kilometres over one of the roughest roads I’ve ever had the misfortune to endure, I found myself wishing I was back in the Conrad.

I’d read online about the state of the access road but I didn’t realise it would be this bad, with so many potholes, lumps and bumps. With 6 kilometres to go I found myself feeling incredibly nauseous and just desperate for it all to be over.

The bumpy road to the Hilton Shillim Estate
Views on the way

The trip was definitely made more interesting by the local traffic on the road!

Getting up close and personal with the locals

Finally we reached the hotel and pulled into the car park. I’ve never been so relieved to arrive somewhere! Let’s hope this hotel really is worth the journey.




Booking

As I mentioned in the introduction, I found this hotel while looking at prices for the Conrad Pune. Compared to other Hiltons in India, which can range from as low as £30-£40 / night, this one was expensive, starting at around £170 / night plus tax, but I soon discovered that it tends to be cheaper during the week, often by quite some margin. After a little more searching I managed to find a mid-week rate of £115 which worked for my dates. I then noticed that, rather strangely, there was a cheaper option listed under a drop down arrow at the bottom.

Clicking this gave me an advance purchase option which brought the price down by another £10 to just over £100 per night. This seemed like a really good deal. I also had the option of paying 43,000 points per night but I can get much better value from my points in some of the nicer Conrad resorts, such as Koh Samui and Maldives, so I decided to pay cash this time.

I ended up booking four nights in a king valley villa for approx. £144 / night, including tax and service. I really wanted to book the king spa pool villa, but at almost £350 / night, it was more than I wanted to spend. After doing a bit of research online, it sounded like this resort treats its Diamond Honors members very well, so I was hopeful of getting a decent upgrade, but, as always, I made sure I was happy with what I booked as upgrades cannot always be relied upon.

One useful point to note is that all rates at this hotel include breakfast, so that’s one less thing to worry about if you’re staying here without Gold or Diamond Honors status, both of which include free breakfast.

Location

The hotel is located in between Mumbai and Pune, in the Sahyadri mountain range in the Western Ghats. It takes about 3 hours to drive there from Mumbai and about 90 minutes from Pune, dependant, of course, on the Indian traffic, which can be quite horrendous!

Given the remote location, there really isn’t anything to do outside the hotel. No bars, restaurants or shops, so you’re at the mercy of the hotel for food, drink and entertainment. Make no mistake, this is not a party resort. You come here to relax.

Arrival and check in

Private cars are not allowed on the 320 acre estate so the drop off point at the edge was the end of the road for me. When the taxi pulled up I was welcomed to the hotel and my bags were taken from the car. The journey this time cost £23, but once again I tipped high. I felt sorry for the driver having to go back along that awful road!

Arriving at the hotel drop off point

As usual, my bags were scanned to make sure I wasn’t carrying anything dangerous.

Security!

Security was completed without any fuss and from there it was on to reception to check in. From the moment you step through from the car park it’s clear that this is no ordinary hotel. The first thing that immediately hits you is the sense of peace.

The hotel reception

The whole resort is designed around wellness, advertising itself as ‘a sanctuary for the body, mind and spirit’. Having never been anywhere like this I was really intrigued and I was looking forward to finding out more.

The hotel reception

Reception is set on a terrace overlooking the Sahyadri mountains, with seats placed along the front, facing the view.

The hotel reception

The reception desk is in a small room at the back of the terrace, but I didn’t have to go in.

The hotel reception

The front of house manager, Ameya Goray, came out to see me on the terrace and invited me to take a seat while he brought out the paperwork. Sitting there, taking in the views and enjoying some chilled water, I quickly forgot about the drive. I could almost feel the tension start to drain from my body.

The hotel reception

I was given a map of the resort, which showed the sheer scale of the place. It really is huge!

Resort map

There was still one question remaining, though. What type of room would I be in? Bearing in mind that this is an ‘all villa’ property, even the basic room I booked, the king valley villa, looked lovely. However, on checking the app that morning I noticed that I had been upgraded a few categories to a forest villa, which was a nice surprise. I was, however, very keen to try the king spa pool villa, which is the second top category, sitting below the presidential villa.

The hotel reception

When I was leaving the Conrad in Pune I had a quick chat with the Concierge and asked if he could call this hotel to see if they could move me to the king spa pool villa, if they had one available. I figure if you don’t ask, you don’t get, so it’s always worth a try, right? The chap I spoke to, however, had recently been to the hotel for training and highly recommended the forest villa as the best option, so I now found myself torn!

The hotel reception

As I was filling in my paperwork I was delighted to see that I had, in fact, been upgraded to the king spa pool villa. However, FOMO had set in over the forest villa. I mentioned my conversation with the Conrad concierge to Ameya and he offered to take me to both so I could see them and make up my mind, a chance I leapt at so off we went.

Due to the size of the resort, spread across 320 acres of countryside, guests are transferred by car to their villas so I climbed into this little roller skate, accompanied by Ameya and our driver and off we went, first of all to the forest villa.

RTransport around the resort

Room

Forest villa
King spa pool villa
Presidential villa

The drive through the estate to the villas was along tree lined roads with beautiful mountain views. The forest villa, which we visited first, was a long way from reception and quite far up the mountain. Ameya showed me around it and I was very impressed. I could now understand what the concierge in the Conrad in Pune was talking about.

It really was a beautiful room, and part of me wanted to stay there, but I wanted to see the king spa pool villa.

To throw a curve ball in, Ameya also kindly offered to show me one of their three presidential villas. I’m not sure if this was a good or bad thing as it was absolutely gorgeous and I was blown away by it, but it was incredibly expensive and, more importantly, unavailable! I was very grateful to see it, though, and I took lots of pictures, which I’ll add at the end of this section so you can see what it’s like.

Lastly, we visited the king spa pool villa, the one I most wanted to stay in, so I was really looking forward to seeing it. The ‘spa’ part of the name refers to the location, at the bottom of the resort, near to the spa and within walking distance of the The Club Room, the resorts main restaurant and bar area, so it’s ideally located. The villa was, as expected beautiful, which made my decision very difficult!

In the end I just couldn’t make up my mind between the two . What I did know, though, is that I really loved this resort and wanted to stay longer. Although I didn’t have a whole lot of room in my schedule if I wanted to go everywhere I had planned in India, I figured I could squeeze in one more day here. Seeing my dilemma, Ameya very kindly offered to split my stay across both villas so I agreed that I would extend my stay by one more day and spend three days in the pool villa followed by two in the forest villa.

I started off in the king spa pool villa, so let’s review it first.

King spa pool villa

I stayed in villa 201, the first of the villas in the spa area of the resort.

Resort map

The villa is entered from the roadside, down a short path, with the front door opening into a large living room containing a comfortable sofa, two armchairs, a coffee table and a television set into one the back wall.

King pool spa villa

Over half of the walls in the room are made of glass so there is plenty of natural light, making the room feel very bright.

King pool spa villa

Going through to the bedroom, there is a small sitting area as you walk in, with a couple of chairs facing into the room.

King pool spa villa

The bed is a large, four poster affair, with the standard, firm Hilton mattress, complemented by a quilted topper and soft, cotton sheets. I really do love Hilton beds. They are incredibly comfortable!

King pool spa villa

By the time I reached this room, turndown service had been carried out, so all of the curtains in the villa had been closed and the nets had been pulled around the bed. One thing I really liked was the torch left beside the bed in case there were any electricity issues during the night. Having experienced a rather frightening problem like this once in Africa, I found this very thoughtful!

King pool spa villa

One side of the bedroom has patio doors opening out to the garden and the swimming pool.

King pool spa villa

Behind the bedroom, there a long corridor of wardrobes with plenty of storage space.

King pool spa villa

The wardrobes contain useful items, like a dressing gown, slippers, a safe and an ironing board.

King pool spa villa
King pool spa villa
King pool spa villa

On one side of the corridor there is a separate toilet, with a phone, of course, in case you get stuck in there for a while and need somebody to chat to.

The other side of the corridor takes you into the bathroom, which has twin sinks and a large mirror.

King pool spa villa

There are additional toiletries, including a vanity kit, dental kits and a shaving kit, in the box at the back of the worktop.

King pool spa villa

The drawer below contains a hair dryer and a loofah in a box.

King pool spa villa

Further into the bathroom, just beyond the sinks, there is a shower with a rain head and a hand held jet, as well as a huge bath, set in the corner against windows overlooking the garden and pool area.

King pool spa villa

Bathroom products are Hilton standard, by Crabtree and Evelyn, and there is a tub of magnesium crystals to help you relax in the bath.

King pool spa villa

I tried the bath out one evening and it was lovely! The sloping side made it very relaxing to lie in. It took forever to fill, though. The candles were also a lovely touch, making for a very romantic evening. For one!

King pool spa villa

Outside there is another shower, which is perfect for rinsing off after a swim.

King pool spa villa

And finally, there is the swimming pool, which is the part I was most excited about. Until I tried to swim in it. Unfortunately the pools are not heated, which is a real shame as, being the middle of winter here, the water was freezing! It may be over 30 degrees during the day but it drops to single figures over night so the water just didn’t heat up. That made the pool pretty much unusable, which was very disappointing.

King pool spa villa

This picture gives you a pretty good idea of what the real estate of the villa is like. The area around the pool really is lovely and very secluded. During the day, as part of the cleaning service, the housekeeping team puts cushions on the day beds, which is a nice touch, and then takes them in again at night.

King pool spa villa

During the day, when the sun was hitting the terrace, it really was lovely to just lie out by the pool and relax. It’s just such a shame the water was so cold.

On the afternoon of my arrival, shortly after I checked into the villa, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to one of the housekeeping team delivering a welcome gift of cakes, nuts and dried fruit. The chocolate cake was absolutely delicious! In fact, I had a complimentary cake delivered to my room every night of my stay, which was a lovely touch. Not great for my waistline, but my taste buds loved it.

Welcome gift

There was a small minibar in the room, which I unfortunately did not get any pictures of. It contained a couple of soft drinks in cans, a couple of bottles of beer and a chocolate bar. Prices were reasonable, at around £1.50 for a soft drink, but what was nicer is that anything you wanted from the room service menu could be ordered and brought to the room with no delivery charge. Even something as simple as a can of Coke could be requested and would be brought in on a tray 20-30 minutes later and served with ice and lemon. Bottles of still water were replaced in the room daily and more could be ordered at no extra cost, which was nice. Sparkling water was chargeable, though.

In general, the finish in the room was excellent and everything was in very good shape. The only real rough edges were around sockets, which were a bit untidy, but that’s a minor point.

One thing I really like about this villa was it’s location. It was just a few minutes walk to the spa and to the main yoga studio and 8 minutes from the Club Room, where breakfast was served every day, where activities could be booked and where the resort’s main restaurant and bar was located. You can order a car to shuttle you around between buildings, but I prefer to walk so the location of this villa really suited me.

Overall, I was really impressed with my stay here. I especially loved the layout. The rooms felt really spacious and there was a lot of natural light, particularly in the lounge. Everything was built to a really high standard and housekeeping was excellent. The villa was always spotlessly clean and I loved the little extra touches, like the turndown service and taking the lounger cushions in and out. The only downside was the cold pool. This was a huge disappointment. Had I paid full price for this villa so I could use the pool I would have felt really let down. I was told by Ameya that this is something that is being addressed at the moment so let’s hope it gets resolved soon.


Forest Villa

After three nights in the pool villa, I moved to the forest villa for my last two nights. Having seen it on day one, I was really excited to go back and stay there.

The villa I moved to was the one I was shown on the first day, villa 508. It is located at the top of the resort, a long drive from the spa and the Club Room. For the move, all I had to do was pack my suitcase and everything was taken care of while I was out, which made it nice and simple. My new keys were delivered to the Club Room and I was driven to the villa, accompanied, once again, by Ameya.

Resort map

The forest villa is set below road level so you have to go down a few sets of stairs to get to the entrance.

Forest villa entrance

The villa is entered through a side door, from a small terrace surrounded by trees.

Forest villa entrance

The first thing you see as you step in is actually a set of wardrobes. These form the wall at the back of the bed, but as you look left you are left in no doubt what this room is all about.

Forest villa

The view over the mountains! I’ve taken this picture from the centre of the bed to show how perfectly positioned it is. It really is incredible. The first thing you want to do as you enter the room is go straight for that incredible terrace.

Forest villa

Standing on that terrace, I was just blown away by the scenery and by how perfectly isolated it felt, despite being in the middle of a huge resort. The terrace has a day bed and a table and chairs, so it’s clear that this room is designed around outdoor living.

Forest villa

Looking back in from the terrace you see a beautiful, four poster bed, perfectly positioned for morning views over the mountains.

The bed is huge and incredibly comfortable, and is the same as the one in the pool villa, with the usual firm, Hilton mattress, complemented by a quilted topper and soft, cotton sheets. Again, it is incredibly comfortable. There are a couple of chairs at the base so you can sit inside and enjoy the view.

Forest villa

There is a small writing desk on one side of the room with a multi-country plug socket and an annoyingly positioned lamp that I bumped by head on when I stood up every time I sat at the desk.

Forest villa

On the other side of the room there is a TV mounted to the wall on a swinging arm so you can pull it out and watch it from the bed. The cabinet below houses the mini bar, as well as holding a kettle and some complimentary bottles of water. Overall the room feels spacious and, with the large windows opening out to the mountains, very bright and airy.

To the right as you walk into the villa, facing the wardrobes, is the bathroom, with twin sinks and a large, full width mirror.

There is a separate room with toilet beside the sinks, but I didn’t get a picture of that, and, although not shown, the drawer below the sink contains various amenities, including a couple of dental kits, cotton buds and a shaving kit.

Bathroom products are by Crabtree and Evelyn, the standard in all Hiltons.

Continuing further round to the back of the villa, there is a large bath tub and separate shower

Forest villa

The black pot contains magnesium bath salts to help relax your muscles in the tub.

Forest villa

At the far end of the bathroom is a large, walk in shower with both a rainfall shower head and handset.

Forest villa

There is also a separate outdoor shower with a rainfall head, which is lovely in the sunshine.

Forest villa

I absolutely loved this villa. More so, I think, than the pool villa. It just felt so calm and relaxing. Sitting on the terrace, overlooking the mountains, I just got lost in myself. I spent a good few hours sleeping out there in the sun and I finally realised that life can actually be relaxing.

Like the pool villa, there was a small minibar in the room, but I tended to order what I wanted from room service as the choice in the minibar was limited.

Between the two villas, this was, surprisingly, my favourite. The concierge in the Conrad was right! My feelings may have been different if the pool was heated in the other villa, but I think this one would still have won. It just felt so relaxing, but also more special, like I was actually living in the forest and at one with nature, albeit with a four poster bed, a huge bathtub and room service! I guess the view is really what won me over.

Presidential villa

As I mentioned above, I was lucky to see one of the three presidential villas while I was being shown around. This really is in a different league and it is also, unsurprisingly, a lot more expensive. However, with 3 bedrooms, the cost could be shared amongst a small group of friends or three couples. With taxes and service included, the villa would cost around £1,800 / night, so £600 per night per couple, but there may be arguments over who gets the best room! Is it worth it? I guess that all depends on what you can afford, but at almost 6,000 sq ft it definitely has the size to impress. Have a look at the photos and see what you think.

Like the forest villa, you go down a set of stairs to the entrance.

Presidential villa

The open plan lounge / dining area is huge, with a dining table set for 8

Presidential villa

and a comfortable sitting area.

Presidential villa
Presidential villa

Two of the bedrooms have large, four poster beds and look directly out onto the pool area.

Presidential villa

The bathrooms are beautifully fitted out with large wash basins and a wet room shower.

Presidential villa

The bath tub is definitely big enough to party in.

Presidential villa

Toiletries are standard Hilton, which surprised me. I thought they’d have gone more upmarket for the presidential villas but this may be a branding limitation.

Presidential villa

As with the other villas, the showers in each of the rooms have a rain head and a separate, hand held nozzle.

Presidential villa

There is a small study area between rooms.

Presidential villa

The third bedroom has twin beds. Ideal if you’re taking the kids, but this could be an awkward conversation if you’re sharing with two other couples.

Presidential villa

This is the bathroom for the second bedroom, but the bedroom itself was undergoing some repairs at the time I visited so I agreed not to take any photos.

Presidential villa

There is a small kitchen, where your private butler can prepare snacks and drinks.

Presidential villa

And, finally, the infinity pool, which, I’m delighted to say, is heated. The view from the pool is just breath taking. The villa is at the highest point in the resort so you get to see the whole mountain range and beyond.

Presidential villa

Being so high up, it’s also very secluded, with nothing overlooking it, so you have great privacy.

Presidential villa

So there you have it, the presidential villa. I have to say, pictures don’t do it justice. It really is beautiful, inside and out. It’s expensive, but if money if no object, it’s definitely the one to have.

Food and Beverage

The Hilton Shillim has seven different restaurants and bars across the resort. The blurb says that they use ‘primarily organic and locally sourced ingredients’ and that ‘guests can enjoy fine dining whilst maintaining a regime of good nutrition’. I’m sure that’s true but I still managed to put on a few pounds in the time I was there! being in the resort for 5 nights, I was able to visit all of the restaurants and bars, as well as trying in-room dining.

In this section

Breakfast
Terrazzo
Valley Bar
The Library
The Reserve
Mountain Bar and Bistro
The Green Table
The Tea House
Room service

Breakfast

Let’s start with breakfast, which was served in Terrazzo, the all-day dining restaurant in the Club Room.

On most days I got up bright and early for breakfast as I generally had some activity booked so the restaurant was always quite empty when I arrived, but it soon filled up later.

Terrazzo Restaurant

One of the great things about this resort is that breakfast is free. It’s not just a Gold or Diamond Honors perk. It’s free for everyone! That’s a good thing because eating in the resort is not cheap, and there is nowhere else to eat nearby, but more on that later.

Breakfast is served every day between 7am and 11am and is a typically Hilton mix of buffet service with some menu items that can be ordered from your server. Now, I mentioned above that breakfast is free for everyone so status, in theory, doesn’t really matter. However, they do single out status members during service. Shortly after being shown to my table this little sign was placed on it.

Now, I can’t say for sure that it had any bearing on service but I was very well looked after throughout my stay, with regular visits from the manager on shift to ensure that everything was going well. Indian hospitality is generally excellent, but I do think this pushed it just a touch further.

The main breakfast buffet is in a small side room, near the entrance to the restaurant and there is a really good selection of food to choose from.

If you want a light breakfast, you can help yourself to tea, with herbs and spices for flavour, along with bread, cakes and pastries.

Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast

There are also a number of hot options, both home grown and from around the world.

See Also

Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast

There is plenty of fruit, if you’re looking for a more healthy option.

Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast

And various drink options, from fruit juice to smoothies.

Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast

This section contains a range of cereals with various toppings that you can add, as well as cheese and biscuits.

Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast

The jam is all locally sourced.

Terrazzo breakfast

And it would be hard to find fresher honey!

Terrazzo breakfast

Coffee is available to order from your server and you can also order from the menu, if you wish a freshly cooked, hot item or freshly squeezed orange juice.

Terrazzo breakfast

I tried a couple of options and they were delicious. I also want somebody to serve me their freshly squeezed orange juice every day. Forever!

Terrazzo breakfast
Terrazzo breakfast

Overall I was very happy with breakfast. I like that it kept a real Indian flavour, but with some more international options included, and I was very happy with the service I received. The fact that breakfast is included in the room rate is a real bonus, particularly given the price of food in the resort.


Valley Bar

Terrazzo, incidentally, is open all day for food, until 11pm, and I will cover dinner in there a little later. When I first arrived at the resort, however, I went to the Club Room for a look around and was able to order food in Valley Bar from the same menu as Terrazzo.

Valley Bar

I really like Valley Bar as it has a great, open outlook to the mountains and also has an outdoor area with incredible views. Generally after breakfast I would sit there with a cup of coffee and enjoy the mountain air.

Valley Bar

My meal in there was absolutely delicious. Everything was beautifully cooked and the flavours were incredible. I was very impressed. The cost, however, was on the high side. I had a main course with some rice, bread and a bottle of sparkling water and it came to over £30, including tax. Not ridiculous in London, but very expensive for India.

There are, of course, alcohol options on the menu, but they’re not cheap. At the extreme end, bottle of Dom Perignon would have set you back over £600! Standard cocktails were about £14.

Valley Bar

On one evening I was invited, as a Diamond Honors member, to Valley Bar for some complimentary food and cocktails, which was a really nice touch. In the interests of, eh, journalism, I broke my ‘no alcohol in India rule’ for this one.

Valley Bar snacks
Valley Bar cocktails

The Library

On the other side of the corridor from Valley Bar is Library Lounge. It’s listed on the hotel’s website as another dining area, but really it’s just a lounge where you can also order snacks and drinks from Terrazzo or Valley Bar.

The Library

The Reserve

Down below Valley Bar is The Reserve, the hotel’s private wine cellar. As I was ‘mostly’ avoiding alcohol, I didn’t spend much time there but I did take a quick tour.

The Reserve

It’s a nice, dark, moody lounge. With the right music and a group of friends, I imagine it could be a fun place to spend the evening, as long as you had a large bank balance!

The Reserve
The Reserve

Terrazzo

On my final evening in the resort I ate dinner in Terrazzo and discovered that they also have a buffet option, something I wish I’d known before as the choice was excellent. This was actually one of my minor gripes about the resort. Given the scale of the place and the various options on offer, I think more information should be given to guests on arrival. That aside, let’s get back to the buffet. It was primarily vegetarian, but with a few meat choices too. Camera to hand, I, as always, snapped a few pictures of the food on offer.

The restaurant was very busy in the evening but I was still able to find a seat without waiting.

Terrazzo

Having checked the (rather grubby!) menu, I was told about the buffet, which was about £25, so I decided to give it a go.

Terrazzo

The buffet was set up in the same room as breakfast.

Terrazzo buffet

On one side of the room there were some non-vegetarian options.

Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet

The rest of the dishes were vegetarian and, while I have a full fledged carnivore, I actually enjoyed them more as the flavours were so intense.

Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet

The salads were also delicious.

Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet

There was a wide range of dessert options.

Terrazzo buffet

This chocolate pudding may not look much but it was, quite possibly, the nicest thing I’ve ever eaten!

Terrazzo buffet
Terrazzo buffet

And, finally, cheese and crackers to finish the meal off.

Terrazzo buffet

This was my favourite meal of the week. Not because it was the tastiest, but because I liked having the choice of so many different dishes. It was also very good value. I wish I had found out about it earlier.

Mountain Bar & Bistro

The Mountain Bar and Bistro is another of the resort’s main bar / restaurants. Set further up in the mountains than the Club Room, it’s easier to access from the higher accommodation, such as the Forest Villa.

Mountain Bar and Bistro

When I arrived I was welcomed by the barman, who showed me to a chair on the terrace, with stunning views across the valley, and handed me a menu.

Mountain Bar and Bistro
Mountain Bar and Bistro

Having eaten a big breakfast, I wanted something light so I ordered the mountain garden salad and a tomato and basil bruschetta.

Mountain Bar and Bistro

The salad was nice, but underwhelming, particularly for the price, which was a little over £10. The bruschetta (not shown) was similarly disappointing and equally over-priced.

Mountain Bar and Bistro

To drink, I stuck with sparkling water for this meal, but did have a look at the cocktail menu. Prices were eye-wateringly similar to London prices, at around £14 each, by the time tax and service was added.

Mountain Bar and Bistro

Prices and portion size aside, it really is a lovely place to spend a few hours. It’s a shame the food was disappointing.

Mountain Bar and Bistro

There is also a large pool area attached, but more on that later.

Mountain Bar and Bistro – pool area

The Mountain Bar and Bistro is open every day from 11am until 8pm, and until 10pm from Thursday to Saturday.

Green Table

The Green table restaurant is located in the spa area and is the resort’s healthy restaurant. It can be accessed via the spa entrance or via its own entrance, a little further up the estate.

Green Table entrance
Green Table entrance

I had planned to eat there one evening and, in fact, sat in the restaurant one afternoon to update the blog. During the day it’s a lovely place to work from, overlooking the meditation pond, with lots of natural light. While I was there I had the opportunity to look at the menu, which, ultimately, is what put me off.

Green Table

While the food looked tasty enough, this was actually the most expensive restaurant in the resort. Relatively speaking it still wasn’t too bad for price, but, with the majority of dishes being less than 200 calories, the portion sizes must have been tiny. There was no way this was going to fill me up! On the bright side, this is when I decided to go to Terrazo and found the excellent buffet…

Green Table menu

If you’re hear on a detox or wellness retreat, this is definitely the restaurant for you but if you’re a foodie like me and you’re looking for a more substantial meal, I’d suggest going elsewhere.

Tea House

Also situated in the spa area of the resort, the Tea House is a nice spot to come and relax if you’re a tea lover. It’s on the same level as the Green Table restaurant and, as the name suggests, serves only tea. Like the Green Table, it also overlooks the meditation pond so has a very calming feel.

The meditation pond

Shoes are left at the door as you walk in wearing socks or bare foot.

The Tea House entrance

The room is quite large, but in the few visits I made, I was always the only person in there.

The Tea House

It does have a very relaxed feel to it. Very calming.

The Tea House

There is a book of different teas to choose from, ranging from standard to positively obscure, all brewed to order. Once delivered, tea is served in a tea cup, with enough for three or four cups per pot.

The Tea House

Tea prices range from around £4 upwards. There are some pretty rare flavours, which can get quite expensive but if you’re a tea lover, you’ll be in heaven here!

The Tea House
Room Service

Lastly, of course, there is room service, which I used on a few occasions. One of the great features of room service here is that there is no ‘tray’ charge, so delivery is free. As the villas are quite a walk away from the restaurants and the mini bars are not particularly well stocked, it was nice to be able to order something as simple as a drink without being fleeced. It generally took 20-40 minutes to arrive as it had to be driven over from one, but it was great to have it available. On a couple of evenings I also ordered dinner to the room. It arrived about 45 minutes later and was, surprisingly, still warm. The food was as good as in the restaurants and priced the same.

Room service dinner

So, there we have it – all of the onsite restaurants for you to choose from. Overall I’d say the food here is very good, but perhaps a little over priced. I certainly enjoyed everything I ate, but I did feel a little aggrieved at paying £10 for a tiny bruschetta in the Moutain Bar and Restaurant. For me, the best meal of the week was the buffet in Terrazzo.

Services and Amenities

Executive lounge

There is, unfortunately, no executive lounge in this property. However, the generous upgrade more than made up for that. Also, as I mentioned above, I was invited to the Valley Bar one evening for free cocktails and snacks, which was a nice touch. I can’t deny, an Honors’ lounge would have been nice, but it certainly didn’t make or break the stay for me.

Swimming pools

Aside from those in the pool villas, there are two, main pool areas in the resort. Unfortunately, neither feature heated pools so I didn’t use them while I was there, but I did take some pictures.

Mountain Bar and Bistro swimming pool
Mountain Bar and Bistro swimming pool
Mountain Bar and Bistro swimming pool
Mountain Bar and Bistro swimming pool

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