Our good friends in Mumbai, Kati and JP, booked a vacation home called Firefly in Alibag on Airbnb for a weekend in April and invited us to join them. Alibag is a small coastal town located approximately 108 km south of Mumbai. By the way, isn’t Airbnb an amazing concept? It was founded in 2008, only 7 years ago, and Airbnb seems to have become a huge trend for travelers these days. Just in case if you are wondering, this post is neither requested or sponsored.
It just happened that my husband was traveling during the weekend when our friends booked to go to Firefly, so he could not join us. It’s always a bit intimidating to travel with three kids by myself (not really as I went there with my friends, but you know what I mean), but I decided to make this weekend at Firefly happen because Alibag is a car-ride away from Mumbai and it was the last chance for us family to go on a trip with Kati, JP and their kids who have been good friends to us from the beginning of our stay in Mumbai. Sadly enough for us, though, they are moving this summer and will leave Mumbai for good. The children were very excited to travel together and it helped me a lot to ride with all four girls and my son in our car during the 3-hour car ride as they entertained each other. As expected our girls had the best time and even my son has been asking “do we go to Alibag?” all week after our return.
As I always do, I would like my readers to have a photo tour of the beautiful Firefly so that you can virtually experience the gorgeous farm house in Alibag. The setting was exquisite. As a person who loves interior design and photography, it was the most inspiring weekend to be at Firefly. I will also add my take on the experience at Firefly with the photos. I hope it’ll be helpful.
Transportation to Firefly
Firefly is located about 30 minutes inland from Alibag town by car and it is a 3-hour drive from Mumbai.
According to the Firefly’s page, it is a one hour drive from the Mandwa Jetty, the port in Alibag to Firefly. If you take a ferry from the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Colaba, it takes about 50 minutes by ferry.
Based on my experience, if you travel from Mumbai with small kids, I would recommend taking a car to Firefly instead of a boat from Colaba. It’s easier on you. You will read later about meals, but Firefly owners encourage you to cook your own meals. You will have to bring a lot of food, so if you travel by boat to Alibag, you still might want to take a car to load all of your luggage. Also, the schedules of ferries and speedboats can get affected by the weather, so depending on the weather, it is a possibility that ferries and speedboats get cancelled.
We went to Firefly in two cars and our drivers used the smaller back roads to avoid the traffic on the main roads. It felt like it took longer, but actually we made it in 3 hours which is how long it should take even though we left Mumbai around 4:00 pm on a Friday which was rush hours. I don’t know exactly which roads, but I liked the back roads from Mumbai to Alibag. It was scenic compared to the main roads and the kids enjoyed the view very much.
There are total of 5 rooms. I only saw 3 rooms and I have photos of two rooms on this post.
My girls and my friends’ girls slept in the room downstairs inside the Poolside Cottage. My friends, the couple, used a room with a king size bed on the upper level of the Poolside Cottage. I used a room called the Glass Cottage with views over the Revdanda Valley with my son and my friends’ son and his friend (they took a friend of their son) slept in the Gatekeeper Cottage which was a bit away from the main area .
They accept 10 guests. My son who is 3 years old was counted as one in this number as well. If you have any questions, please ask the Firefly owners, Martin & Sagarika, directly on this.
If you go to Firefly with younger kids of age 10 and under, you might have to be creative with your room assignment because the rooms are not located all close together. There was one room that all girls slept together with a queen size bed and a sofa bed that spread to be a queen size bed that was perfect for them.
Meals & Cooking
The owners of Firefly encourage their guests to bring their food and drink from Mumbai and cook. To read more about cooking and meals at Firefly, please click here to see their descriptions and House Rules.
To be honest with you, if I have a choice to not cook during the holiday, I go for that option. It’s just one thing less to worry about as a mother of 3 when I travel with kids and more time to spend with them. I went to Alibag a couple of months ago and stayed at Ccaza Ccomodore. The best thing about Ccaza Ccomodore was the food. They serve lovely full course meals and the warm food would be waiting for you on the table at every meal time.
That being said, I can tell you that if you prepare well in advance, it is not that bad. My friend, Kati, cooked delicious BBQ chicken and I brought some already cooked gyoza dumplings (pot stickers) for the first dinner. We brought mac and cheese boxes, ramen noodles, marinated teriyaki chickens and sausages to grill, some vegetables for salad, fruits, lots of bread, peanut butter, cheese, dips, crackers, banana bread, chips, snacks, wine, juice boxes, a cereal box, and so forth. Thus, the preparation for meals did not take much time. I got lucky that my older kids and my friends’ kids were wonderful about looking after my youngest monkey son while I was cooking.
The website says pets and children are welcome, but they have two dogs at the farm. They also have many roosters that came out in the morning. The owners also warn that the farm is built on a steep hill and it is not suitable for unsupervised children.
I agree with the owner. I also got lucky in a sense that I had older kids around to watch my son. Since my son had a falling incident in Goa in 2014 (you can read about that here), he is pretty good about not jumping off from a very high place and scared of the deep water, so he would not jump into the deep end of a swimming pool. I also realized that I was probably banking on the belief that during our stay at Firefly no injury would happen to my kids.
Firefly is located 30 minutes away from Alibag town and is standing on a hill in the middle of the fields. There is no lodging for drivers near Firefly according to the driver I had that day. There is no extra space at Firefly, either, if you have 10 guests staying.
We let our drivers take the cars to go to wherever they needed to go to stay. One idea that I might suggest is that if you have multiple cars to get there, keep one car at Firefly in case of an emergency.
We had one injury during our stay. Luckily it did not require us to go to the doctor’s, but in case we had to, it would have been difficult as it would probably take at least 30 minutes to the doctor’s. We also did not have information for any doctor’s there and our cars were gone with the drivers. It might not be a bad idea to check doctor’s information in Alibag.
I do not mean to scare anyone, but as a mom, I cannot help thinking of all possible scenarios when we travel. If you are a group of all grown ups, there is nothing to worry about, right? Wink, wink.
It was 32,000 Rupees (USD 500+) per night to stay at Firefly.