When you build your dream venture with a passion it shows. Rhythm Lonavala in Maharashtra is the expression of Ashok Jatia who bought the land from a freedom fighter's family and built his dream on it without cutting a single tree in the premises. Reema Lokesh walks through Lonavala's all-suite resort, which reflects an Asian colonial style of architecture
When you build your dream venture with a passion it shows. Rhythm Lonavala in Maharashtra is the expression of Ashok Jatia who bought the land from a freedom fighter’s family and built his dream on it without cutting a single tree in the premises. Reema Lokesh walks through Lonavala’s all-suite resort, which reflects an Asian colonial style of architecture
The story of this Rhythm dates back to India’s pre-independence era. Ashok Jatia, chairman, Rhythm Resorts and Spa, bought the land from Jawahar Mulraj, the grandson of Kersondas Mulraj, an unsung freedom fighter of India. Interestingly, he was named after Jawaharlal Nehru, which was revealed in a letter, now in the safe custody of Jatia. The Jatia family are also custodians of authentic documents and letters of that era, which triggered their decision to build a resort, which was not just a luxury abode but a place that reflects heritage and character of the bygone era, but in sync with nature.
The property has been built around a family of trees that are over 70 years old. “While surveying the property before its purchase, my father (Ashok Jatia) felt a calming vibe, which he attributed to these trees and promised himself that notwithstanding any development he may undertake on the land, the trees would remain in their place. At the design stage of the project, we undertook a massive tree mapping exercise and planned the entire flow of the structure around the trees. We paid close attention to the location, girth of each tree, height and also the spread of the branches. Even after taking these into account it was very difficult to judge the spread of the roots and we had to keep improvising during the execution stage to adjust for the spread of the roots. This natural legacy is the ethos behind our ‘tree of life’ logo and our efforts to re-unite us with nature,” says Vaibhav Jatia, MD, Rhythm Resorts and Spa, with pride.
Handpicked design elements
Apart from nature and heritage, the resort has its own distinct style in terms of its architecture and facade. Though located close to the old Mumbai-Pune highway, NH 4, the resort is designed in a way that ensures a tranquil experience. The logo of the property is an abundant, well rooted tree, which is rather distinct as it welcomes you to a property that is simplistic and uncluttered. The elements of nature seem to be well balanced with light, water and space rightly utilised. The entrance and lobby area also leads you into a tastefully designed lounge or library room, which serves as a meet and greet enclosure as well.
However, what catches the eye in the lobby zone is a large decorative unique boat structure that has been hand crafted by tribal artisans from the Timor Islands of Indonesia. This rare artefact is unique since the entire piece is made from one single bark of wood. The element of nature is also carried forward in the rooms. Round wooden artefacts adorn the walls of the bedrooms – remains of a huge tree within the property which fell during heavy rains. Ashish Jatia, director, Rhythm Resorts and Spa, adds, “Inspite of our best efforts this tree could not be saved. However, we felt it would be right to give it a new life and meaning by using slices of the bark as decorative artefacts in all the rooms. Each section is from a different height of the tree trunk and is our tribute to the beauty of Mother Nature.”
Apart from the walls, the floors, too have a story to share. All the tiles in the lobby and rooms are custom-made heritage pattern tiles. The designs, pattern, colours have all been hand-picked personally by Ashok Jatia.
According to Ashish Jatia, “These type of tiles can still be found in old bungalows and some heritage properties today. The origin of these tiles dates back to the 1920s in India when they were used as part of the Swadeshi movement as a contribution to India’s economic independence by producing tiles of international quality to replace imports. After installation, the tiles are required to be polished seven times to bring out the unique pigmented colours that gives them a natural feel.”
Food and facilities
When it comes to the palate, the team at Rhythm is ready to offer their clientele a satisfying gourmet experience. The Treehouse Cafe offers guests an all day dining experience. The Courtyard Poolside Bistro has its own charm amidst a natural setting, while those who like to relax over a drink and some music, the Cedar Lounge & Restaurant is your place to be.
For your pampering ritual, the resort has an in-house spa facility and a small spa outlet around the pool for a quick relaxation experience. The resort is also well equipped to cater to the MICE business as it offers a pillarless banquet facility called Grand Oak, with around 4,000 sq ft space. This can be also further divided into three smaller conference rooms. Apart from MICE, the resort is ready to welcome the wedding business as well, as its open lawn options can cater to both the segments. The resort with it’s 42 Cypress and 42 Banyan Suites is ready to give its clientele a novel experience in Lonavala, being the game changer in the highly popular hill station in the Sahyadris.