Post your Travel memories on Travel Tales from India & win a 2 night free stay for 2 at Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa

It takes a lot to spill a well-kept secret! Which is why, in collaboration with Condé Nast Traveller India we’re giving one Travel Tales from India reader a 2 night free stay for 2 at Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa, Mumbai and a copy of the latest issue of Condé Nast Traveller India

All you have to do is share your best-kept travel secret in less than 100 words with Travel Tales from India using the hashtag #TravelSecret. Don’t forget to include your email address.  So the last line of your comment should look like  #TravelSecret followed by your email. The contest ends on 24 November 2014.

Share Your Thoughts to Win!
Share Your Thoughts to Win!

Share your thoughts in the comments section, from which the name of one lucky winner will be chosen. The best entry as judged by the CNI team would win.  The hotel opens to public from March therefore the validity for winning voucher is from 1st March to 31st Oct 2015. All the coordination for the winner would be done by CNI team.

I am sure you wish to know more about the resort and this is what an exclusive preview in Condé Nast Traveller India October – November 2014 issue says about the property.

Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa

“If you’re looking for a holiday full of delicious contradictions—seclusion and togetherness, modern luxury and mossy wooded groves—this is a good hotel to pick.

Its romance and tranquility is undeniable and it affords an unexpected degree of privacy. Several rooms are housed in stand-alone buildings separated by acres of wooded area, so you can allow yourself the illusion of having the place to yourself. The suites, several with terraces, and bearing names such as Serenity and Sanctuary, offer sweeping views of the evergreens clothing the hills. Jamun trees nestle against the walls of the terraces.

There’s food for the soul, too. This being berry country, you can expect strawberry pancakes and mulberry shots, apart from intriguing signature dishes such as the Gavran mooli chathai peeth and chikki muffin. Look out for Latest Recipe, which serves international cuisine. And for coffee and cocktails, there’s Longitude 73.

Outside, there are additional delights, such as pony rides or fruit cream from roadside eateries. You could walk up to one of those ‘points’ where you can sit and contemplate. Or you can hold hands and rediscover good, old-fashioned romance in this good, old-fashioned hill station.

LE MÉRIDIEN MAHABALESHWAR RESORT & SPA opens in March 2015

211/212 Mahabaleshwar-Medha Road, Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra (021 6826 2222; www.starwoodhotels.com; doubles from 12,999, including breakfast)

To read more grab your copy of Condé Nast Traveller India October – November 2014 issue, out on stands”

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88 thoughts on “Post your Travel memories on Travel Tales from India & win a 2 night free stay for 2 at Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa”

  1. Ohh .. there are so many 🙂 🙂

    We love to research and plan our travel in advance depending on our leaves – we often book flights on wed or thursday which has cheaper rates compared to other days , apart from that hotels are always booked via booking.com with option of free cancellation, so no visa worries or refund worries. And we always prefer to visit places during the shoulder season when prices are less and crowd too 😉 #TravelSecret

    http://thetalesofatraveler.com/

  2. the lone Saviour : The less routine the more life’ is what I think after spending almost 18 hrs. for my bike to mend. On my way to Zozila pass in Sarakas, ( Ladakh,India ), my bike broke down in the middle of nowhere. Being a travel photographer, I always imagined that in many ways, the goals of travel are most purely realized through adventure. And while waiting for my bike to mend, I was wandering around to capture something unusual but was in vain. After hours of waiting, arrives this blessing blowing the sand from the surface of the earth. #TravelSecret vineetsingh.photography@gmail.com

    link to the post : the lone Saviour https://www.facebook.com/vineetsphotography/photos/a.397771630271284.83886.210087622373020/728338157214628/?type=3&theater

  3. So many to secrets to share!
    Since Singapore is a popular stopover from India, did you know Changi Airport has 2 great free tours of Singapore and you don’t need a visa?
    Clear your browser’s cache before you buy your flight online (prices go up if you’ve check it out a couple of times before).
    Convert your idle credit card reward points into miles or hotel points for upgrades, free flights and stays.
    #TravelSecret revati@different-doors.com

  4. There is something fascinating about the magical environment of Goa. Many people find it hard to delve into the possible reasons that entice them to visit this mesmerizing place and party hard here. I ticked off Goa from my bucket list last week and the visions of its white-sandy beaches, delectable seafood, cool breeze, ocean cruise and beautiful sunset, still clout my mind…sigh, if only you could experience that feeling! I landed in Goa post sunset and while driving towards our hotel, a tagline in one of the big hoardings captivated my attention, which was “Goa – Where the Sun Never Sets”. #TravelSecret manishpandey994@gmail.com

  5. OUR HONEYMOON TOUR WAS MOST FASCINATING TO SAY THE LEAST.WE BEGAN CLIMBING THE HILLS OF KODAIKANAL FROM KODAI ROAD STATION FOR 5 HOURS .THE CLIMB WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD.WE STAYED AT KODAI FOR 8 DAYS AND PROMISED TO RETURN .THE PLACE IS TOTALLY MESMERISING. WE THEN TRAVELLED TO MADURAI BY ROAD AND AFTER DARSHAN AT MEENAKSHI TREMPLE WE PROCEEDED TO OOTY.THE CLIMB UP THE HILL WAS ASTONISHING AND WE STAYED IN OOTY FOR 8 DAYS.WE THEN TRAVBELLED BY ROAD TO MYSORE AND AFTER STAYING FOR 8 DAUS WENT TO BANGALORE .THE TRIP WAS FOR 30 DAYS AND TRULY UNFORGETTABLE SIR.
    WARM REGARDS,
    RAMESH BHOJWANI. rameshjbhojwani@gmail.com #travelsecrets

  6. I have been to Goa 5 times so when I chose it to be the first stopover during my first ever solo trip across India; it wasn’t a surprise to anyone. What followed was 3 months of an incredibly different experience. I went to Goa because amidst all the maddening crowd and crazy parties, it has something so serene about it that you definitely have to explore the quieter side of the city once. Unpopulated beaches of South Goa, Yoga and meditation routines of Agonda and Palolem, smile on the faces of everyone, English speaking cab drivers and hawkers. Imagine an India like that! Sigh! #TravelSecret aditiroy@mydreamtravels.com

    link to the post : Change Is Inevitable
    http://www.mydreamtravels.com/apps/blog/show/42749388-change-is-inevitable-the-tale-of-3-cities

  7. hi, we’re a couple in as much love with mountains as with each other. It was our Himalayan destination Sikkim this time.
    In past we’ve traveled across mountains, biked manali to leh, been to North east also many times until this time we found a treasure! A beautiful place called Pelling which is about 2.5 hrs from Gangtok. This place had some mystical rustic caves and an even better forest trek cum national park at the highest of the peaks. The treasure really was a hotel called ‘The Elgin Mount Pandim’ right at the peak of Mount Pandim. The hotel which actually is a vintage palace of the kings is breathtakingly beautiful with each artifact from the bygone era. The windows in the rooms open to the majestic Kanchenjunga, and the first sunlight passing through the peak to your personal garden is too beautiful to miss. This was a secret from the north east. Another such place is a hotel called 360 Leti based near Almorah, again in the middle of himalayas. Its hard not to visit the place if you see the website yourself. hence not mentioning anything. Just experience it here 🙂 http://www.shaktihimalaya.com/destinations/shakti-360-leti/
    #travel secret neha.celly@gmail.com

  8. Ever wondered what heaven looks like on Earth? Ever faced danger of getting frost bite and sunburn at the same place? Ever challenged yourself to drive a bike on highest motorable road? Ever felt the adrenaline rush of adventure and spiritual calm of Buddhism at same place? Ever saw a galaxy by naked eyes while sleeping next too to a frozen lake ?
    Ever rode a camel in a desert surrounded by snow peaked mountains ? If your answer to any of above question is no, pack your bags and go to Ladakh. Be prepared to have the trip of lifetime. #TravelSecret bansalrajat@gmail.com

      1. Thanks Mridula. I didn’t know you are managing this contest. Have heard a lot about you from Anupriya. I think she is your IIT K junior 🙂 Have been a fan of your blog since long. 🙂

  9. Year was 2010. I planned solo Royal Enfield Thunderbird motorbike driving from Mumbai to Yamunotri. The drive was going fine as I crossed Ahmedabad, Pushkar and reached Rishikesh solo while having few stops for night stay.
    Rishikesh to Yamunotri journey was exciting as well as never had driving experience within mountains. I was enjoying and passing via Hindolakhal > Nagni > Chamba Chowk > Dharkot. High mountains all around was a beautiful experience as well as little scary whenever there was a look towards deep valley.
    It was Kandikhal village where I reached and a passing showers. I stop under a shade. After the rains I re-started journey/driving. Few kilometers zig-zag journey and a sharp turn. Suddenly a fast driven jeep from the opposite side. I was terrified. I tried to shift motorbike towards left side and applied both brakes. The moment I applied brakes the motorbike slipped and I was on road in front of jeep tyres. Yes, I was wearing helmet. When I got up I saw right hand till shoulders was having lots of cuts and blood was oozing out. A guy helped motorcycle and myself to be OK. There was nobody there when I got up. Only myself and the guy. I thank him and re-started journey. I remember only after 20 kilometers of journey I reached a place – Kandisaur and had bandaged etc. Entire 20 km route was almost empty. It was the first and till-date last time I had a fall from motorbike but this I will always remember and suggest everybody please drive slowly and carefully within mountains. I was driving slowly but I was not aware of driving after rains in mountains specially when the mud close to pitch road is wet. Drive slowly, Drive early. I was driving early that is why I had a chance to reach a location where I can get medical attention. Two days I stayed in Kandisaur hotel and then with bandage I re-started journey towards Yamunotri.
    I reached and had trek to reach Yamunotri. I was very happy though there was pain.
    I believe this is the #TravelSecret I wish to share.
    E.mail: tushar@40kmph.com

  10. I was travelling alone for the first time in Singapore. Despite claims of it being a safe city, I kept feeling jittery. Nothing empowered me more than finding something off the tourist radar. Stumbling upon an alley – Haji Lane in the perfect glow of the moonlit night did it for me. This street swirled like a narrow ribbon adjacent to Arab Street. It was speckled with quirky shops of local designers and some old shops. I learnt later that this is a hip local retail stretch by day. Bars had taken residence in these old shops with no change of the signage. At night when some of the shops downed their shutters, a few watering holes spread out vibrant carpets on the pavements replete with shisha and local artists strumming guitars. A guy with deep brown eyes translated Rumi’s poem to anyone who was willing to be his audience. Small tables were set up for a quiet party for two. Finding this quiet yet vibrant lane was like peeling the label off ritzy and sterile Singapore and chancing upon its miniature bohemian side. Takeaway – walking around is the best way to get your bearings of a new city. It doesn’t matter where you go, there will be deliberately hidden places waiting to be unearthed. #TravelSecret #diptikharude@gmail.com

  11. #travelsecret

    While the travel is on the planning stage ; Always compare the options side by side offers on different browsers with the Travel Interest ; review them on the different Reviewing platforms ; discuss the exact worked out details of your Check-in and Check-out timing ; pick-up drop details ; meal specifications ; any other specific requirement!! if needed eg. pets are allowed , drivers: helpers separate provisions available ; preferred Mode of Payment ; not to forget any sp.discount available 🙂 Light travel explores heavy Experiences 🙂 pbhatt014@gmail.com

  12. Recently I had visited Mahabaleshwar. We went to see sunrise at Wilson Point. After waiting 20 minutes we could see sunrise. It was a surreal experience, seeing sunrise for first in my life. People call me nocturnal, so getting up at 5am was a tough task. But it was totally worth it. The experience was made memorable by a tea seller. He was selling tea for Rs. 10. I ask him to click a photo. He clicked a real good photo. After a while, he approached me and said I will click a shadow photo for you. When I saw the photo, I was blown away by it. He had such an amazing talent, that I told him to stop this tea business and start a photography business. So I would suggest next time when you visit Mahabaleshwar, ask the tea seller at Wilson Point to click some photos of you. This was definitely a good find, which I had not known after researching and reading so many blogs before traveling to Mahabaleshwar.
    #TravelSecret kavitachoudhary89@gmail.com

  13. When monotonous and boring office life becomes unbearable, the only thing I do is ESCAPE to a new destination. As last month was full of festive so couldn’t make any plans with friends and solo travelling is a straight NO from parents. While heading to my hometown (nearby Amritsar) for Diwali, I decided this time I will explore Amritsar and in two good days I explored Golden Temple, Street Food and Wagah Border like I never visited before. And now memories and info is pushing me to share details of my Amritsar trip by blogging :P. #TravelSecret neelam.mandaar@gmail.com

  14. Travelling for me is a happiness beyond words. I travel for travel’s sake..that I reach finally somewhere is the most wonderful part of it. We seldom have fixed plans for travelling. I’m always ready even at the shortest notice. The secret of travelling, to me, is the immense experience, knowledge and joy that make life better for us. And how can I forget mother Nature, who rejuvenates my soul always ever.
    #TravelSecret : email : maniparna5002@hotmail.com

    BTW, Wonderful initiative Mridula from you and CNI team 🙂

  15. Me n my sister like to travel but my dad is always skeptical to send us alone n we end up travelling in group tours(which is never a memorable experience). Once we went solo to Matheran in our first ever ‘backpacking trip ‘ was an experience which we cherish till date. We found a couple on the road talking in our mother tongue who happily helped us n suggested a reasonably good hotel to stay .We enjoyed a lot over there! Secret , try to find someone who communicate in your mother tongue, they will go all out to help you.#Travel Secret shuklaradhika@yahoo.com

  16. When checking-in in any hotel, you can always ask the person at reception if they can upgrade you complimentary ! You will be surprised how many hotels will actually do it, especially if they are not very busy or full . #travel secret . Khyati390021@yahoo.com

  17. I have travelled extensively but there are two distinct travel memories of india that I will always cherish, 1- The vacation of a lifetime in kashmir with my entire family, the hospitality, the scenic beauty, outstanding food and not to forget the beautiful apple orchards & saffron gardens. I have had the most delicious food & kawah. sledging down the slopes of the himalayan snow mountains. 2- my trip to kerala with my husband the freshness of the backwaters and coconut curries and the relaxing massages. we had the most memorable trip enjoying the beaches and the beauty of bekal in kerala. And yes I love mahabaleshwar because I did my schooling there and I would love to go back to the place where I have my entire growing up memories. #travelsecret ridhi10@hotmail.com

  18. Wow this is one popular post and lots of replies!! . My secret is really simple, a lot of people go to Rajasthan for Palaces and Forts, I go there for bird watching in Tal Chapar and Bharatpur both excellent birding hot stops and spots. So it is that simple and now that the secret is out, I hope more people will think of Rajasthan as a birding destination too. thedesitraveler @ gmail. com #TravelSecret

  19. Look beyond the surface and travel into the wilderness is the travel mantra. Whenever I travel I ensure I interact with the locals to understand the virgin truth of the destination and get a glimpse of the culture, folklore and the legends. You might have some well known spots in your list and missing on that cool place with an interesting local dish, that cave with a history dating back to the stone age or a bamboo rafting experience in the wilderness. All of this is when you get to know the true essence of the destination and explore the unknown and the unheard.
    #travelsecret rathinasankari@gmail.com

  20. We were on our way to Shimla when a navigational error, or shall we say serendipity, brought us to Dagshai, an unpretentious hill town with a distinctly colonial air. Perched at 6000 feet in the middle of a thick pine forest, Dagshai cantonment is sleepy yet magical. Unlike Shimla which is always swarming with tourists, Dagshai remains undiscovered and free from the invasion of the plainspeople. If you savour lazy walks, unspoilt greenery, and clean mountain air, then you’ll fall in love with Dagshai’s quaint charm– just like we did.
    #TravelSecret rimzim@gmail.com

  21. The less paved paths are the most beautiful ones – Firm Belief!
    When people go to Orissa it is for the Konark or Puri temple but very less people know that the best place in India to spot Irravaddy Dolphins is just 50 KM from Puri. The place is called Satpada – the Sea Mouth Island where Chilika Lake meets the Bay of Bengal. And as tourism board hasn’t promoted this place much there is a lack of resorts , locals rent out rooms for staying and you get to enjoy traditional oriya food and fresh marine food from Chilika.

    #TravelSecret vishvarsha@gmail.com

  22. Most of the time I travel solo. I love to pose as much as I love to be behind the camera. I come back with plenty of my own pictures. My friends ask me in doubt ‘ did you travel alone ?’ My secret 1. I am very good at taking selfies without looking at the camera. 2. I keep or hang my camera at appropriate place for self timer pictures 3. I don’t hesitate to make faces or posing in front of strangers when I request them to capture me in my camera. #TravelSecret girijamr@gmail.com

  23. I am not sure if it is a secret/tip but when I read reviews of homestays/hotels on travel sites I switch on my ‘suspicious mode’. Any homestay/hotel that carries only good reviews written by first time reviewers earns more ‘suspicious’ points than the ones that have mixed reviews. Sometimes common facebook friends with the reviewer pop up and that review earns ‘trustworthy’ points.
    Also, I prefer to ‘cheat’ while booking my room. I surf the travel sites for a place to stay and when I come across one, I immediately look for direct contact numbers so that I could speak personally to the owner and book my room. Somehow it makes me feel more comfortable.
    Just my bit for #TravelSecret myworldfoodtravel@gmail.com

  24. The valley is silent, except for the gushing of innumerable streams. I stand there, mesmerized.

    I am on a 5-day-long solo trip across the Scottish Highlands. Nature is moody – the purple bog rarely smiles at me. Mostly it stays shrouded in mist so thick that I yearn for a glimpse of the Old Man of Storr.

    Hours later I come across the first signs of civilization. Sheep and deer look at me startled, unsure whether I really do exist or am just a figment of their imaginations.

    I think of you and me. And for the first time ever, of “us”. Someday we’ll be here together. Because here, anything is possible. #JourneyThatChangedMyLife #TravelSecret vibhamalhotra@gmail.com

  25. It has to vbe my Goa trip. A gift from a friend, i was quite excited to explore this new destination! Was done planning the trip with another friend buybut last minute all hell broke lose. Friend’s office cancelled her leave and i was lost wondering if i should go ahead or cancel. But then decided to go for it, was a tad nervous during the 23hr train journey (train was near empty) but had the most amazing holiday experience ever much to everyone’s surprise… Loved it. That is my #travelsecret.

    My mail id is aaroo4@gmail.com / aarti@aartikrishnakumar.com

  26. Moments are not bound of any timing, its just the right time when they were happening “Whether you were there or not”, I was looking for the scenic beauty from the tallest peak of Karnataka “Dodabetta Peak” a long awaited dream was coming into reality, but for many moment was taking place at some place else , where a painter was making a pencil sketch of a lady, guided them again and again “The view is point there not here”,nobody moved glued to the photographers pencil, concerned and laughing i was giggling, that lady was happy but could see the anger in eyes, knew it was irritating, Dodabetta’s beauty had been robbed, and by none other than my Wife, yes she was my wife who got became the view point for many that day. But it was that moment which left me thinking about only one thing #TRAVELSECRET , everybody has its own perspective, mine was the scenic beauty from above the clouds, nnd many were clueless what to see.
    Since that day i have been traveling collecting Moments and to be there at right time.
    #Travelsecret mygreedybackpack@gmail.com

  27. Every destination has a charm but it is the journey that weaves memories. The one journey that is etched is the drive to Coonoor from Nasik through the Western Ghats in our Maruti 800. Snaking through the lush landscape of the rolling Ghats; discovering the misty Amboli; the waves crashing near the highway in many places; driving by the cashew plantations ; watching the twinkling lights of the Nilgiris from Kannur in anticipation of the next day’s drive through the terraced tea estates; every mile covered has been worth it. Our secret? To plan the route and let the journey take over! #Travel Secret ilakshee@gmail.com

  28. I once dreamt to cook n eat maggi n hav hot coffee on road while raining. It wz drizzling beautifully while we were roaming on d hills of Panchmarhi, M.P;we stayed road side where a small river waz crossing d road and flowing down..d hills. I realised somewhere i have seen this n suddenly..reminded yess it wz my dream; i hav maggi, small sigdi n coffee n milk powder..hah…n after tht i didnt stop to make it true. Arranged pot n cooked maggi n cooffee. I jst wnt to thnk god..to put this tranquile dream in my eyes..n giving d opportunity to make it come true. Want to say.alwz..keep..ur travelling accessories wid u..god knows..when he can giv u chance to complete it. Happy Travelling…
    #Travelsecret
    ruchiivijay@gmail.com

  29. Overseas is overrated!
    The best jewels of nature lies within India and one such mesmerising place I recently visited was dubbed as the Asia Cleanest village , Mawlynnong in Meghalaya. This place comes as a breathe of fresh air , if you have lived your life in concrete jungles! The warm people, pretty small bamboo cottages, planned walkways and landscapes , the village is not only spot on clean rather it’s a treat to your eyes!
    The cutest thing is small bamboo dustbins held on sides of road within every 500metres which makes experience of dumping garbage also beautiful.
    What to look for :- 85feet man made sky view overlooking the surreal grounds of Bangladesh and the incredible rare living root bridges.
    Fact file :- 190kms from Guwahati and 100kms from Shillong. Best way to reach is by Road.
    Best Time to visit :- Monsoon
    #travelsecret sharmaanirudha@gmail.com

  30. In the walled city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat, lanes are so narrow that cars and taxis are not best option to go for sightseeing in. It is suggested that you could take auto rickshaw who go on short half day or full day tours where they show you famed step wells, mosques, local eateries and of course the very popular ellis bridge. The auto rickshaw tours are very economical too specially for a group of 2 elders with 1 kid. More than that it would not be comfortable. Best time to visit Ahmedabad would be from November to February. #Travelsecret dhempe@gmail.com

  31. The hidden gems of Goa are not the beaches or clubs in North Goa but the islands like Chorao and Divar in Central Goa. You can get there only via ferries which you need to catch from Ribandar on the Panjim-Old Goa causeway. The greenery of these islands is the highlight along with amazing bird watching opportunities! You can actually drive your car up the ferry and take it to the islands! Visit during monsoons for best results! #Travelsecret dhempe@gmail.com

  32. If you love trekking, Kumara Parvatha Trek (Pushpagiri Trek) is one of the toughest treks to accomplish! When you climb towards the peak, you would be really famished and tired after 6km trek. You would be pleasantly surprised to see an isolated house there which welcomes weary trekkers all times of the day! It’s Bhatru Mane (Bhatt’s House) who feeds exhausted trekkers for reasonable price & also provides guidance in the no man’s land! Call Bhat at +919448647947 and +919480230191 before you start trekking so he can prepare food for your team! #Travelsecret dhempe@gmail.com

  33. One very relatively unknown yet historically significant fort in Goa is not Aguada fort or Chapora fort, but Fort Reis Magos! You won’t find this fort even in Wikipedia’s listing of forts in Goa! This Fort stands on the north bank of the Mandovi at Reis Magos, and is very much visible from the Panaji side of the Mandovi river. Being recently renovated after preservation, it’s an amazing fort showcasing Portuguese architecture which you shouldn’t miss! #Travelsecret dhempe@gmail.com

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Mridula Dwivedi

I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!

If you wish to collaborate with me, please check out my media kit. You can write to me at mridulablog@gmail.com

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