Malwa Retreat Mandu
After our excellent stay at MP Tourism’s Gateway Retreat, Sanchi, we’ve been on the lookout for other MPTDC properties to stay at. And we found two in Mandu – Malwa Retreat Mandu & Malwa Resort Mandu. Retreat’s a budget option with ‘air-cooled’ rooms for Rs.890 and air-conditioned ones for Rs.1490. Malwa Resort has individual cottages for Rs.1190 and Rs.1890. I was leaning towards this one as the cottages sounded really good in the guidebooks. But when we got to Mandu we realized that it’s about 2.5kms from the village center; without a car it would have been difficult for us to get around. So we opted for the Retreat, which is just about a kilometer from the center.
Malwa Retreat has just 9 double-rooms on offer. They are a little old and need some updating, which seems to be underway. Our double-room was decently sized, had an updated bathroom and was quite comfortable with a color TV and ample closet space. It even had a small balcony, which looked out over a forested valley. The only problem was that we couldn’t close the windows completely because of an air-cooler that was installed in the center. Thankfully, there was at least a protective net, which ensured that no bugs or insects crawled into the room. However, they didn’t provide any weather or sound protection. Since the weather was mild when we got there, we didn’t have any trouble but in winters I’m sure it must get quite cold. The worse problem, though, was the sound. When large, noisy families gathered in the backyard to drink and make merry, which happened twice during our stay, they ruined our evenings completely. Since updates are ongoing, for the sake of future visitors, I hope the windows get fixed.
Retreat has a lovely cafeteria in the front; the rooms are in a separate building at the back. The cafe looks newly updated with modern furniture, a road-facing glass wall and an open kitchen. The food was priced very reasonably, freshly prepared and quite edible. We ate almost all our meals here and loved the service as well.
No laundry service was available but one of the hotel staff got ours done elsewhere for a reasonable price.
Overall, the Retreat is a great place to stay in Mandu. It’s extremely well-priced for its location and the facilities offered. Once the updates are complete, it’ll be even nicer!
Rating: 8 out of 10