By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | October 11, 2017

Cestlavie, loves music, painting, cycling, is an outdoor person and is now deep into the ‘creative world’.  Her paintings have soul and depth, her passion in music is laudable and her love for nature is err, hmmm… thanks to Allan and June!

So who is Cestlavie? She is the first-born of Allan and June Mendez, a December child, born just a couple of days before the Angels announced the birth of our Lord to the Shepherds, who were watching their flock by night, under a starry sky!

Now, what is Cestlavie! It is a home away from home for the traveler who yearns to stay in the lap of nature, just like the Shepherds… and yes, you can watch the clear blue sky with the stars shining bright. You can also hear the sound of the chirping birds and the rustling of leaves, all while you lie in bed.

Cestlavie is named after Cestlavie!

Inspite of the concrete urbanization of the sleepy town called Lonavala, Cestlavie, is a little deep, away from the town and away from the maddening weekend crowd who throng the hill station, wanting to let their hair down and make some serious noise. Cestlavie is not for that crowd: it is for the soul who is yearning for a little quiet, all by him/herself or for some quality weekend with their family. It’s a perfect getaway from Mumbai, which is just 64 kms from this Hill Station.


Allan has maintained the original ambience of the bungalow (1950), incorporating a library and a table tennis board all within the premises. There’s also a lawn all around with a barbeque corner. There’s plenty of play area too for children, who are always within the radar of the parents as they laze around in the courtyard.

What’s interesting about this place is that after Allan purchased the bungalow which belonged to two brothers who moved to distant shores, he has painstakingly worked on every corner of the house with his own bare hands, chiseling away wood or cementing the cracks or even setting the hinges which creaked in its place. This is a home built with passion.


Cestlavie is perfect for a family or even two families who want to get together. You could also be a couple (provided you are married!) or just a family of four or five who want to spend a quiet birthday or celebrate an anniversary.

And if you are really the adventurous type, Allan can provide a dinner under the stars in his four wheel monster that climbs every terrain. You could even go to the highest point in Lonavala… for an extra price, though.

Recently, I spent a quiet weekend with my family and a friend’s family. We were driven over rocks for dinner under the moonlit sky, amidst a light drizzle and then taken to the highest point in Lonavala.

Most importantly, I was woken up by the sounds of chirping birds.

Bookings, I believe, are only on recommendation. You see, Cestlavie is a private heaven and Allan is St. Peter there!

Cestlavie, Rao Colony
Lonavala 410403
For Bookings contact: +91 98508 79097




Also Read: When the journey is more important than the destination

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