RK Vilas Location and Setting
If you think Alibaug has become too crowded and commercialized and are looking for a more peaceful beach alternative, you'll be happy to discover Kashid. This small village with a three kilometer stretch of white sandy beach is situated around 30 kilometers further down the coast from Alibaug. You could say that it's only just being discovered as a tourist destination. Yet, RK Vilas has been in existence for more than a decade.
Warm and welcoming host Rubina Khan (the property is named after her) will explain that she bought the three acre plot of land on the spur of the moment, as her children loved the idea of having a holiday home in the area. The plot was originally a rice field. Rice is still grown on part of it but the rest has been developed into a mini farm with organically grown coconut, mango and chikoo trees, a small menagerie of birds and animals, and a rambling 5,500 square foot farmhouse spread over three levels.
The architectural design of the farmhouse is remarkable, and is one of the most appealing things about the property. It takes full advantage of the natural surroundings by having numerous balconies/sit outs on both upper levels. For me, a highlight of my stay was relaxing there, catching the breeze, and watching birds and squirrels in the trees while being soothed by the sound of the sea. Blissful!
RK Vilas Accommodations
RK Vilas has five double rooms -- two on the ground floor, two on the middle floor, and one on the top floor. Now, if there's only one bit of advice I could give potential guests, it would be to choose the "suite" on the top floor. It costs a little over 1,000 rupees more than a ground floor room (and 500 rupees more than a room on the middle floor) but in my opinion it's totally worth it!
Why? The top floor suite is the only room in the farmhouse that has a private balcony. And there's not just one! It's surrounded by balconies on three sides (one even offers a glimpse of the ocean), with huge glass doors that open out onto them. This makes the room delightfully airy, and a wonderful retreat for couples or honeymooners.
Of course, RK Vilas is well suited to families and friends as well. If you are traveling in a group, it's possible to rent the whole farmhouse for a fun vacation. Otherwise, one family can book the two rooms on the middle level, which also has the kitchen, lounge, and dining room.
The rooms can best be described as large, bright and rustic in style with exposed stonework. Each one is decorated in a different color scheme. All have attached bathrooms, as well as air conditioning for the hot summer months.
RK Vilas Food
A great thing about staying at RK Vilas is that guests get to eat fresh produce from the farm. I was greeted with a glass of cool coconut water, served homegrown rice with my dinner, and had an omelet made from free range eggs laid by the chickens.
Meals were simple, tasty, and cooked in Konkani style. For dinner there was chicken curry, two types of vegetable preparations, daal, rice and salad. The host usually gets a professional chef in to make the meals for guests, so quality is consistently good.
RK Vilas Amenities and Activities
What's available to see and do at RK Vilas will depend on what time of year you visit. During the dry months, the swimming pool is full of water and hammocks are strung around the garden. Kids will love feeding the ducks and geese, and there are goats, chickens, rabbits, and dogs as well. This means that RK Vilas is very pet friendly. You can even bring your own.
RK Vilas is situated within walking distance from Kashid Beach. It will take you 5-10 minutes to get to the beach on foot, or just a couple of minutes by car.
Another alternative is to go for a drive along the coast to Murud. A more developed beach town around 15 kilometers south of Kashid, it's famous for Janjira Fort in the middle of the ocean (if you're feeling adventurous, you can take a boat out to explore it). On the way you'll pass the Palace of the Nawab of Murud. It's in a sad state of disrepair and you can't go inside, but it's worth stopping to admire its intricate construction from the rusty iron gate.
If you like nature, the dense forest of Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary is close by, although animal sightings aren't guaranteed.
As Kashid is yet to be developed, you'll find very few decent places to stay in the area. This makes RK Vilas a standout option for anyone who's fantasized about having a beach house, or wants to get away from it all!