A staycation in Ganpatipule

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ganpatipule stay-Ratnagiri-Aarey Warey beach

I’ve said enough of how I have turned into a corporate slave. Work is getting the better of me. And while I enjoy budget travelling and roughing it out on the road, I’ve slowly developed a need and liking for do-nothing holidays. Those we also call ‘Staycation’. The type of trips where your hotel is a world in itself. There are no rushed itineraries to meet or monuments to see. You sit back and relax in your room, read a bit, watch movies, grab a beer, take a dip in the pool, spa, may be 😉

Ganpatipule was my first trip for the year 2017. It was also my first solo leisure trip. I mean, I’ve travelled alone a lot. But it has been mostly for work, where I squeezed in some time to explore the city. This was a long pending trip that got cancelled thrice before materialising in late February. I stayed at the luxurious Blue Ocean Resort and Spa by Apodis in Ganpatipule.

The journey

I booked myself on the Goa bound Mandovi Express. Popular for its expected delays, I reached Ratnagiri two hours behind schedule. Yogesh, from Blue Ocean Resort, had come to receive me. He would also tour me in and around the town over the next three days.

Ganpatipule was about 45 minutes from Ratnagiri. We drove along the coast with the picturesque Aarey Warey beach for company. At one point, we halted the car to marvel at the expanse of the ocean. I simply couldn’t believe a place like this existed in my home state. Rural Maharahstra is indeed charming and to a large extent unexplored.

ganpatipule stay-Ratnagiri-Aarey Warey beach

On the way to Ganpatipule

The stay

My first impression of the Blue Ocean Resort and Spa by Apodis was an oasis of green. Thousands of trees planted in and around the property made the place cool, even on sunny afternoons. The location was peaceful and perfect for someone who had come down to take a break from work life monotony.

ganpatipule stay-blue ocean resort and spa by apodis

My cute little villa

Time ticked away unhurriedly at the resort. During my three day stay, I literally dragged myself out of the resort to explore the town. I had simply preferred to stay indoors which was a world in itself.

My tropical garden view villa had a nice sit-out area in the backyard that opened to bouganvilleas, chikoo and love apple plantations. Sitting in the verandah and spotting birds came with pleasures of its own.

Chikoo and love apple plantations in my villa backyard

I took a property show-around and it was huge. About 38 Portuguese style villas dotted the 80 acre resort, in addition to an executive wing and two beach villas. They had two restaurants, a swimming pool, kids water park, business centre, yoga room, gym, jacuzzi, spa and, hold your breath, private access to the Malgund beach. A Ganesh temple on a hill top within the premises offered splendid views of the sunset. Although, I got terribly tired climbing up there because of my poor stamina.

Malgund beach is one of the nicest beaches I’ve seen in Maharashtra. I visited the Ganpatipule beach on the last day, and trust me; Malgund is far better, cleaner and quieter. One morning, I even spotted three dolphins jumping in the sea, while I sat at my beach side gazebo.

ganpatipule stay-blue ocean resort and spa by apodis

Private access to the Malgund beach

At dusk, I booked myself an appointment for a foot massage. Sukho Thai provide in-house spa services at the Blue Ocean Resort and Spa by Apodis. The facility is right by the beach, and my foot massage was absolutely de-stressing… may be, it always is, when you can hear the sound of the waves in the background 😉

In-house Spa

Cycling around the town was fun too. And when I worked up an appetite, I gorged on some prawns Koliwada and home-style chicken curry and rice at the resort’s in-house restaurant – Atlantic.

ganpatipule stay-blue ocean resort and spa by apodis

Cycling on the Malgund beach

Mobile connectivity was nonexistent at the Blue Ocean Resort and Spa by Apodis. Although, it didn’t make much of a difference to me as I got more ‘me’ time. I made it a point to have my meals at the restaurant, which is when I got free WiFi to connect with folks back home.

ganpatipule stay-blue ocean resort and spa by apodis - malgund beach

Sex on the beach, eh!

Things to do in Ganpatipule

In terms of things to do, one can visit the Prachin Konkan Museum that showcases 500 years of Konkan culture through life size dioramas. Or hike to the Jaigad fort, once ruled by the Marathas. The famous Ganesh temple on the Ganpatipule beach is one of the biggest crowd pullers here. If you’ve relished the quietness at Malgund, the crowd at the Ganpatipule temple and beach will disappoint.

ganpatipule stay-blue ocean resort and spa by apodis-ganpatipule beach

Ganpatipule temple

On the last day after check out, I also made a quick stopover at the Thibaw’s Palace in Ratnagiri. The palace was home to the last king of Burma who lived here in exile after Burma was defeated in the Third Anglo-Burmese war in 1885. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enter inside the palace as it is shut on Mondays.

That was my last stop on this trip. Yogesh then dropped me at the Ratnagiri railway station for my train back to Mumbai. His parting words were, “Wapas aana”. I replied, “Family ke saath” 🙂

ganpatipule stay-blue ocean resort and spa by apodis-thibaw palace

Thibaw’s Palace

Getting there

Blue Ocean Resort and Spa by Apodis is in Malgund near Ganpatipule. It is 347km from Mumbai and 300km from Goa. The best way to reach there is by car. If you’re travelling by public transport, Ratnagiri is a big junction for trains and buses. From there, Blue Ocean Resort and Spa is a 45 minute drive. Taxis and Rickshaws are easily available from the station and bus stand respectively. Check out the resort’s official website for more information.

Best time to go

Ganpatipule can be visited all year round. Monsoons are pretty and quiet. Winters are pleasant. And summers…well, Mango season!

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Note: I was on invitation at the Blue Ocean Resort and Spa by Apodis. Thoughts are my own. Promise.

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Edwina D'souza

Read write watch, 2 left hands and feet, recluse, gazer and occasionally suffer from wanderlust syndrome!!

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