We reached Club Mahindra, Naldehra yesterday. It took us an hour and 45 minutes to do the 50 kms from Club Mahindra, Kandaghat. We came through Shimla and infact crossed Hotel Peterhof that we had stayed at in 2015. The traffic police was out in full force to manage the continuous stream of vehicles in Shimla. The traffic abated a bit after we got out of Shimla, but there were still a lot of vehicles moving around. The roads are winding and several turns are tight, but no potholes or bad roads on this entire stretch. We absolutely enjoyed our stay at Kandaghat – the first time that we have had no complaints in a Club Mahindra stay.
The Club Mahindra at Naldehra is a beautiful property with stunning views of rolling hills as far as you can see, but a few things didn’t go well as it always doesn’t with Club Mahindra. First the property is on top of a hill and there is a fork in the road from Mashobra towards Dhali at Beldiyan, with a sharp elevation. The signboard there says Pristine Peaks and no mention of Club Mahindra !
Google maps immediately tried to have some fun by saying we needed to go 4 kms further. Luckily Krishnan remembered that the Club Mahindra Naldehra property was called “Pristine Peaks”, so we stopped at this fork and called the property. We were told that was the fork to take and that even trucks go up ! The road is a single lane road and if you aren’t comfortable driving up steep slopes, then pray that no other vehicle comes from the opposite end. There are some places where there is a shoulder wide enough for you to stand aside and let another vehicle pass by, but again, one has to be comfortable backing on a slope going up or down.
We reached the foothills of the property and saw yet another steep climb so Krishnan got off and walked up to check if there was enough space to turn the vehicle. He signalled to me from the top saying there was enough space so I drove up. The wait for the room was long, not just for us but for many other families as well. We decided to have lunch rather than wait for the room.
What are the chances of getting to meet a Tamilian from Coimbatore in Naldehra ? If you said “low”, that’s the wrong answer ! The young man serving in the restaurant was from Coimbatore and it was great to order food in Tamil :). The food was outstanding, especially the Chana Madra, a local speciality that we had last had at Amit’s place. After lunch, we got to our allocated room. The sofa-cum-bed had some issues and Amma was anyway uncomfortable to use it as it was very low on the ground. The housekeeping person said the “rules” don’t allow him to bring a single bed into the Studio room and that it was only for 1BR and 2BR apartments. I spoke to the housekeeping manager and he thankfully understood my problem and allowed a single bed to be put in the room. We rearranged the furniture a bit to make the room more comfortable for us.
We were asked to park the car in a slope near the reception. A car that was parked in front of our apartment complex had just left and I asked the security guard and the bell boy whether I can park the car there as it had a shade. I was told that was a “no parking” zone and the other car that was parked there would also be removed. I wasn’t convinced but didn’t argue with them. Today when we went out for a walk in the morning, we saw another car and the other car from yesterday parked in the same spot ! We don’t enjoy being lied to as a customer :(.
A woman driver – Yesterday while I was waiting at the start of the climb for Krishnan to check if there was enough space to turn the car, the security guard apparently asked Krishnan if he should send a driver down who could drive the car up the slope !! Really ?. Krishnan told him that I had driven all over India and didn’t need any help. Similarly, everyone just assumes that only a man can drive the car in the hills or the highway. The same thing happened at Kandaghat too – the security guard said, that their driver can help me park ! I didn’t say anything to him, but what he doesn’t know is that I park really well. I should have got Kabir to tell that guy about how he lost the bet on parking at Centre Court :):).
Anyway, the place is beautiful and we are here to rest and relax. So doing just that.