Review: We spent the weekend at Hilton Shillim Estate Resort & Spa -A home of luxury and leisure nestled in the mighty Sahyadris of Maharashtra, spanning 320 acres. Here’s all about our experience.
The hustle-bustle of India’s maximum city, Mumbai can be grueling. Operating at a pace of its own that rarely seems to slow down. Be it the booming roars of the stock markets during the day or the flamboyant cheers of the night being painted red. Having grown up in this metropolis, I’ve realized that tuning out of the noise can be difficult, leaving us in constant pursuit of sanctuary, and that’s exactly where the Hilton Shillim Estate Resort & Spa comes in.
Being their first leisure and luxury property in India, it’s an absolute detox destination for all things urban chaos and surrounds you with flora, fauna, and freshness. Located in the quant Shillim village in Maharashtra and towards the South-Western end of Pawna lake, the Hilton Shillim Estate Resort & Spa stretches 320 acres covering almost the entire mountain. It’s a three-and-a-half/four drive from Mumbai airport but a mere 45-minute helicopter ride if you’d like to BLADE it. If you’re choosing to drive, just know that the final half hour of your journey will be riddled with potholes and slim rural roads, considering the resort is nested deep into the forest.
Upon arrival itself, you’ll realize that the entire resort emphasizes on one particular emotion – Peace.
You’re completely tuned out of the city noise and engulfed in the tranquility of nature. Usual check-ins are 3 pm but we requested an earlier one, absolutely hassle-free yet subject to availability. We stayed in the ultra-luxurious and expansive King Pool Villa which features a large living room, a larger bathroom with a two-person bathtub, and a private outdoor pool. With these villas being generously spaced away from each other while already being secluded, you have the utmost privacy and quietness. We’d prefer picking this villa option but if you’d like a view of the forest or valley, ask for the King Forest Villa or King Valley Villa. But remember, whichever villa you choose, doors and windows shut if not in use. You wouldn’t want any forest crawlies curiously exploring your luxury villa.
The entire mini eco-city’s transit system runs on a fleet of Tata Nano’s. Being 320 acres large, moving around on foot can be a bit tiring, however, that too has a charm of its own. But otherwise, be sure to request a Nano shuttle a good 15 mins ahead of your scheduled departure when exploring the property if you wouldn’t want to be kept waiting.
There’s so much to do at the Hilton Shillim Estate Resort & Spa, that even a three-day trip may seem short. I’d advise heading straight to the Dharana Wellness Center upon arrival, they’ll introduce you to the ‘Dharana Way of Life’ – A personalized consultation upon which you can curate your holiday. During my consultation, by deeply analyzing my pulse, they gave me an insight into how my hustle-bustle city life was impacting my health, be it diet, sleep patterns, mental focus, and more. This way, they were able to curate a diet as well as an itinerary in terms of how I could best detox during my stay.
If you’re up for getting wet and wild, book yourself a steam walk. I was so hesitant at first, but after hearing the roars of the stream and seeing how fresh and clean the water was, I simply couldn’t resist. Also, I’d advise keeping your electronics away if not, really well tucked and waterproofed. Expect some big splashes.
On the hand, if you’d like a more subtle approach in terms of things to do at the Hilton Shillim Estate Resort & Spa, get yourself a nice Ayurvedic massage, you can never go wrong with that. You’ll be escorted through the Dharana Wellness Center, onto a large grassland-like space that leads to your massage chapel. Again, surrounded by nature, and completely zoned into serenity. I’d advise choosing a higher-pressure massage type for maximum effectiveness.
Apart from this, there are still tons of fun things we wish we could do during our stay. But please, I hope you don’t miss out on them. Here’s a quick list of them – Aqua aerobatics, star gazing, Chao Dao tea ceremony, visiting the organic farm, Shillim trek, and pottery class.
In terms of food, there’s one particular dish from one restaurant that won me, it was the Green Table’s Ayurvedic Thali. With wellness and nature being the resort’s key themes, every Katori in this thali has been specially curated to simply ‘feel good’, and oh, it really did. I’d also suggest exploring their seafood dishes, be it appetizers or main courses. The play of ingredients at the Green Table is highly wellness-oriented yet experimental.
During the evenings, I preferred sitting back at the Mountain Bar which overlooks the mighty mountains that surround the estate. I’d suggest getting yourself a nice brew and munchies while you admire those sunset hues. For dinner, there’s the Valley Bar for you, which is more lounge-ish and relaxed. Get yourself a drink and indulge in their multi-cuisine menu. For brekkie, you have Terrazo, apart from their buffet, I’d definitely suggest checking out the menu.
The Hilton Shillim Estate Resort & Spa offers peace in its own accent. One of the key reasons why I wanted to visit this property was because of the many awards it has won. It’s truly an experience unlike any other. As a luxury wellness resort, they perfectly deliver what they’re aiming for. During my three-day stay, I absolutely tuned out of all my city stress and was truly in the moment. Being surrounded by nature and embracing it, has its own charm, and Hilton Shillim truly embraces that. While their prices are definitely luxury-grade, the experience they offer and the time spent there, it’s absolutely worth it.
All images: Courtesy Hilton Shillim Estate Resort & Spa