Rediscover Lonavala: A Guide to Maharashtra's Iconic Destination

Many of us associate Lonavala with our childhood vacations. A lot of us still visit, looking for weekend getaways from Mumbai-Pune. But it is only rarely that you come across something entirely different and exciting on a weekend getaway to Lonavala, isn’t it? With Zostel Plus Lonavala, we bring you one more reason to visit the town, but with unique and special new experiences.

Treating you to a luxury stay in Lonavala, Zostel Plus Lonavala offers you an exclusive slice of the gorgeous Pawna Lake. Here, you can enjoy activities such as kayaking and taking island tours, hiking, fishing, and even stargazing. Giving tough competition to all the luxury resorts in Lonavala, Zostel Plus offers cottages and suites with jacuzzi and private balconies, a swimming pool and lakeside gazebos, the chicest outdoors and utterly picturesque indoors. You can check out your new luxury stay in Lonavala here.

Best luxury resort in Lonavala- Zostel Plus Lonavala
Picture by Ankit Gupta

And while there’s plenty to engage you at the property, in this Lonavala travel guide, we’re giving you even more reasons to explore. Read on and find out?

Best time to visit Lonavala

A hill station in Maharashtra, Lonavala hosts pleasant temperatures as compared to its city counterparts of Pune, Mumbai, and Nagpur in all seasons. Having said that, the absolute best time to visit Lonavala is during the monsoon season, ie the months from July to October. 

In summers, vacationers resort to Lonavala for an escape from the city heat, while in winters, travellers enjoy the pleasant weather over bonfires and hot chocolates.

Luxury resort in Lonavala Zostel Plus Lonavala
Picture by Ankit Gupta

Places to visit in Lonavala

Although touristy, Lonavala still has pockets of serenity tucked all across its map. Listed below are some offbeat and not-so-offbeat places to see in Lonavala, so you can pick the ones that work the best for you.

Lohagad Fort (10 km, 30 min from Zostel Plus Lonavala)
For an exciting escape, you can trek to Lohagad Fort with Zostel Plus Lonavala. Loved by people who enjoy nature and history, this fort makes the perfect day out. On your trek, keep a watch for Vinchu Kata, a range of hills that resemble the Capricorn in design. 

Close by, you can also go to the Visapur Fort, which is 10 km from the property.

Canyon Valley (13.5 km, 43 min from Zostel Plus Lonavala)

Made for hikers and campers, the Canyon valley is an offbeat spot by the river Ulhas. It is close to Kune village, and is home to the Kune Waterfall that can be explored on a day trek.

Pictureby Aditya Vyas Rajpurohit and Snehasish Barman Roy

Bhaja Caves (12.6 km, 38 min from Zostel Plus Lonavala)

Dating back to the 1st century BCE, Bhaja Caves are among Lonavala’s best places to visit. They are a set of enchanting rock-cut Buddhist caves located in Bhaja Village, open from 8 am to 6 pm. Explore the 22 caves, 14 stupas, and the nearby waterfall on your visit.

Bhaja Caves- Places to visit in Lonavala
Picture by Jason Akura

Karla Caves (19 km, 52 min from Zostel Plus Lonavala)

Close to Bhaja Caves are the Karla Caves in the village of Karli. Hosting an iconic aisle of 37 pillars along with magnificent motifs, sculptures, and inscriptions, Karla Caves are also a set of Buddhist caves from about 2200 years back. They’re open between 9 am and 6 pm.

Tikona Fort (19 km, 49 min from Zostel Plus Lonavala)

A historic fort that blossomed in the Maratha rule, Tikona Fort offers exceptional views from its height. The entrance to this fort is through a small cave that further leads you to five different caves. Explore the ruins of a temple, gigantic stone wheel, and water tanks at this fort.

Things to do at Zostel Plus Lonavala

Located right by Pawna Lake, our biggest Zostel yet offers exquisite experiences. Whether you're travelling solo, with your partner, or with a bunch of friends, there's something to do for everyone here.

You could start by boating or kayaking during the evening. Watch the sun go down as you row through the serene Pawna Lake, an experience that is only open for Zostelers.

On a lazy afternoon, try fishing in the lake or picnicking at the gazebo that offers a brilliant view of the western ghats of Lonavala. You could also go on an island tour, exploring the out-of-reach regions of Lonavala with locals.

Finally, if your idea of a holiday is to go on treks, you'd be surprised with what Lonavala has to offer. Trek to the ancient Lohagad Fort or simply go for hikes nearby, exploring the serene valley with a completely new perspective.

Best luxury hotel in Lonavala- Zostel Plus Lonavala
Picture by Ankit Gupta

Places to eat in Lonavala

For a taste of authentic Maharashtrian food, head to Maval Maratha. Offering a range of dishes, including their special thalis, Maval Maratha is empowered by local Maharashtrian women preparing traditional dishes. It is located only 750 m from Adlabs Imagica.

Maval Maratha- best places in Lonavala
Picture by taste_thehunger on Isntagram

1.4 km from Kune Village is the Anglo Indian cafe, known for its patio and European interiors. Serving an international fare on its menu, this cafe is perfect for a date night.

It wouldn’t be right to visit Lonavala and then not go try its legendary food items. The town is known for its chikki, fudges, and the irresistible strawberry desserts that are omnipresent in hill stations of Maharashtra. Maganlal Chikki in Lonavala is a 135-year old shop with an impressive number of flavoured chikkis.

How would you like to visit a factory where fudge is made right in front of you to further pamper your sweet tooth? The Live Fudge Factory in Lonavala is your childhood dream come true, where you can try 6 types of fudges as you see how they are made.

The final leg of your dessert run should be the branch of Mapro Garden in Lonavala, serving its classic strawberry sundaes and shakes and a handful of pizza dishes. These three spots are all within 3.5 km, close to the town’s centre.

Golden Vadapav- Best places in Lonavala
Picture by Omnath Ramesh

Finally, you’re not really vacationing in Maharashtra if you don’t try an authentic vadapav at a local joint. In Lonavala’s case, it is Golden Vada Pav, located at a minute’s walk from the Lonavala bus stand. Munch on this iconic streetside delicacy whenever you’re around, because it is likely that you’ll come back looking for more.

Zostel Plus Lonavala

Offering a luxury stay in Lonavala, Zostel Plus Lonavala is the perfect place for romantic getaways from Mumbai. As perfect as it is for couples, Zostel Plus Lonavala is also the coolest party place in town that you can enjoy solo or with your group of friends.

It treats you to the pleasures of spaciousness, extravagance, and serenity. Unwind in the swimming pool as you sip a drink, indulge in games at the glasshouse common room, or watch the sun go down from the jacuzzi in our luxe cottage– the options are delightful.

Best luxur stay in Lonavala- Zostel Plus Lonavala Luxury stay in Lonavala- Zostel Plus Lonavala
Pictures by Ankit Gupta

Our luxury resort in Lonavala comes with a cafe, a workstation area, vast outdoors, and happening in-house activities. And for a decadent stay, you have private, lake-facing cottages, chic dorms, garden side villas, and aesthetic bungalows.

Network and internet connectivity

The network connectivity in the area is still under development, with only Vodafone and Idea SIMs offering a range. The hostel is equipped with a 15 Mbps internet connection and a workstation for you to work comfortably.

How to reach Zostel Plus Lonavala

By Car: 
First, navigate online from your location ONLY to Kumar Resort or Shivaji Chowk, Lonavala. Once you reach either of the two landmarks, manually follow these directions: 

- If you have reached Kumar Resort, drive for 850 m to reach Shivaji chowk. Turn left and continue for 5.9 km to reach Dinosaur Park. From here, continue straight for 1.5 km to reach Dudhivare Khind.

- Turn right to get on the Dudhivare Khind road, the road between 2 hills. Drive for 1.3 km to reach Hillside Resort. From here, drive straight and take a right after 500 m. Continue on this road for 4.8 km towards Aapti village. Zostel Plus Lonavala will be on your left.

Important: Please follow the direction boards only (and not online maps) to navigate all the major turns indicated above.

By Bus or Train:

Take a direct bus or train to Lonavala. From both the Lonavala bus depot and Lonavala railway station (both are 16-18 km from the property), you can take an autorickshaw to Zostel Plus Lonavala for INR 700. For a discounted fare, you may contact the front desk prior to making the journey.

Zostel, but make it Plus⁣

We have crafted Zostel Plus to redefine social travel like our hostels and homestays. Zostel Plus properties are designed from scratch to treat you with extraordinary locations, prime services, and a unique stay experience. You can check out our Zostel Plus properties here.

Lonavala best luxury resort- Zostel Plus Lonavala
Picture by Ankit Gupta

That’s all for now. To get more travel updates from us– we promise you’ll love it– become a part of our Instagram community. Or you could jump straight to planning your next trip with us on our website, Keep Zosteling! \z/

Writer, Pranavi Chhikniwala.