The pandemic has had a significant impact on the real estate market in India. As a result of being cooped up during the lockdowns, many people have reflected on their real estate goals. Before the lockdown, people did not spend considerable time at home, probably only during the weekends. Now, they are keen on improving their quality of life, starting with deciding where they want to live. While many were trapped in their apartments, some savvy buyers who had a vacation homes outside of the city were able to escape right before the second lockdown.

Location is no longer an issue with work-from-home options, as technology has displaced traditional offices. As a result, if you have a high-speed internet connection, you can work from anywhere. Why suffer in suffocated city apartments devoid of nature when you can escape to the countryside, where fresh air, nature, and sunshine are just a few steps away? Surprisingly, research indicates that humans have an innate connection to nature. When we are in nature, we heal, rejuvenate, and refresh. This notion has been reinforced by the pandemic. Staying in confined spaces has almost resulted in claustrophobia, emphasising the need to get outside and improve one’s physical health. People were mostly sedentary before the pandemic, and with the work-from-home arrangement, the situation could worsen,  causing everyone to reconsider their ways of life and places of residence.

Holiday Homes India

Interestingly, Mumbai has India’s largest and most expensive real estate market. With 31,700 people per square kilometre and no room for expansion, it’s no surprise that Mumbai has become the crowded city it is today, with spiralling real estate prices. According to a Business Line article referencing the UN-Habitat Data, Mumbai is the second most congested city. While it makes sense as cities are where the jobs are, off-late work flexibility has forced people to rethink their priorities and quality of life. With well-maintained state and national highways plus regular availability of trains to the outskirts of the city, people can travel as and when required.  Read the article here – Mumbai is the Most Crowded City in the World.

Now, people are exploring vacation homes as an escape from congested Mumbai due to the pandemic’s ramifications. According to a survey conducted by India’s Sotheby’s International Realty, 29 per cent of respondents were willing to invest more than ten crores in the right vacation home, and 46 per cent felt they needed to upgrade their lifestyle following the pandemic. A whopping 65 per cent of people do not see themselves going back to the office on all five days, making it clear that the hybrid work model is the future of officer goers. Read the article here – India’s Rich are Planning to Invest in Vacation Homes.

Additionally, vacation homes will be thoroughly checked and authorised by both government officials and the Maharashtra police department to ensure the safety of property owners and renters, according to the draft Vacation Policy released by the Government of Maharashtra. Furthermore, the policy aims to increase vacation home sales, which have been increasing at an alarming rate since the pandemic. The security and safety aspects will make a significant difference to vacation home buyers as vacation homes are typically located in rural, secluded, and quieter areas, so the vacation policy will be a game-changer in vacation property investment. Read the article here – Maharashtra’s Vacation Homes Policy.

Vacation Homes Near Mumbai

Mumbai, the City of Dreams, is known for its fast-paced and vibrant way of life. However, it is also known for some lovely weekend getaways that provide a respite from the city’s hustle and bustle. The following are some of the most beautiful locations that would be ideal for a vacation home near Mumbai:


Alibag is a coastal town in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. Alibag translates as “Ali’s Gardens” and refers to the fruit orchards planted by Ali, an Israelite who owned most of the land in its early days. It’s about 100 and 143 kilometres from Mumbai and Pune, respectively. From Navi Mumbai, it is only a two-hour drive. Alibaug is also accessible by ferry from The Gateway of India and is only 30 minutes away by speed boat or an hour away by ferry. It is a charming coastal town nestled between the Sahyadri mountains and the Arabian Sea, with water on all three sides. It is ideal for people who want to transition from a fast-paced lifestyle to a relaxed and unhurried way of life free of pollution and noise.

Alibag, with its pristine and untouched beaches, has emerged as a top choice for real estate investments following the lockdown. Several Bollywood celebrities and wealthy businessmen have vacation homes here, giving Goa a run for its money because Alibag is closer, cleaner, and less crowded.

Some of the most popular villages to buy land in are Nagaon, Thal, Chaul, Varsoli, Revdanda and Kihim.

Alibag has something for everyone, from seaside bungalows to tucked-away homes amidst the greenery. The best time to visit is during the winter, as summers can be hot and humid, and the rainy season transforms Alibag into a tropical nature haven.

It is well known not only for its lush vegetation and beautiful coasts but also for its numerous historic churches, forts, and temples. In addition, sports enthusiasts can dabble in parasailing, jet skiing, and banana boating, which both beginners and experts can do.


Lonavala is a picturesque hill station with pleasant weather all year. It is in Maharashtra’s Pune district, about 64 kilometres from Pune and 96 kilometres from Mumbai. This idyllic hill station is at an elevation of 2041 feet above sea level, tucked in the Sahyadri ranges. Living in a hill station like Lonavala can be a wonderful experience that improves your quality of life and makes life easier because the Mumbai Pune expressway runs through the hill station, giving you the best of both worlds. Additionally, trains such as Duranto Express, Mails and various Local trains always stop at Lonavala. Its strategic location makes it an ideal place for a vacation home. With summer temperatures much lower than in nearby big cities, chilly winters, and misty monsoons creating a blanket of lush greenery over the hills, gushing waterfalls, and beautiful lakes, it’s no surprise that many Bollywood movies have been shot here.


Karjat, located in Maharashtra’s Raigad District, has a fascinating location along the Konkan coast. Surrounded by the Bhor Ghat, Karjat is a quaint hill station is known for its majestic forts and ancient rock-cut temples. Located at a short distance of 60 kilometres, One can reach Karjat through the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. With impeccably maintained state and national highways, the journey to Karjat is scenic and smooth sailing. With local trains running from Mumbai every half an hour, reaching Karjat will never be an issue, either by train or car. Karjat is known for its many health resorts and farmhouses. And for its proximity to the Ulhas River is famous for adventure sports such as trekking, waterfall climbing, rappelling, and river rafting. As much as this hill station offers a lot of adventure sports, it also has spacious farmhouses for families, couples and individuals who want to live a relaxed and laid back life. Karjat is relatively less expensive than the famous Alibaug and Lonavala, making it ideal for people who want to buy homes on a budget.


Jawahar is a beautiful hill station located about 165 kilometres from Mumbai, a little further than the previous hill stations listed above. It was a camping site for Maratha King Shivaji and his army. The closest railway station being at Igatpuri, 60 km from Jawahar, makes self-driving the most convenient way to reach Jawahar. With its scenic views and many historical structures, Jawahar is a remote hill station steeped in History and tribal culture. If you are fascinated by History living at Jawahar would be worth it as the local tribes such as Warli, Kolcha, and Kukana have ensured that their local culture and heritage are intact. The rural landscapes make it an ideal location for your vacation home. Jawhar, also known as Thane’s Mahabaleshwar, is surrounded by the Western Ghats, which provide a stunning, verdant environment during the rainy season.


Bhandardara is a holiday resort village in India’s western ghats, located on the banks of the Pravara River and atop Mount Kalasubai, Maharashtra’s highest peak. The town is in the district of Ahmednagar, Maharashtra and is dotted with lakes, mountains, and enchanting waterfalls. Bhandardara is an ideal hill station for vacationers. It is well-known for its trekking routes and is a haven for adventure seekers. Bhandardara is home to the toughest trio of forts in Sahyadri, namely Alang Fort, Madangad Fort, and Kulang Gad. It is also known as the “Queen of the Sahyadri Ranges” because it is nestled among the Sahyadri ranges and has lush greenery. Bhandardara translates to “Valley of Treasures” and refers to beautiful landscapes. The idyllic villages in the surrounding area will provide a rural experience surrounded by forests and natural landscapes. The abundance of rivers and waterfalls will make you forget about the hustle and bustle of city life


Khandala is a hill station in Maharashtra, India, located about 3 kilometres from Lonavala. The Mumbai-Pune expressway runs through Khandala, making it a convenient location for a vacation home. The winter season has sunny days and mild winters nights, the summer is hot during the daytime and cool during the nights, and the monsoon season is magical and lush with the forests drenched in the rains. Located 550 metres above sea level, Khandala is best known for hiking tours that provide panoramic views of the Sahyadri region. Sunset Point, Rajmachi Point, Tamhini Ghat Pass, Kune waterfalls, and the caves of Bhaja and Karla are among the well-known tourist attractions. It is regarded as a premium holiday destination, along with Lonavala, because of its breathtaking valley views and proximity to Mumbai. It is well-known for great adventure spots such as Della, 19-Degree North, Kamshet Flying Adventures, and Imagicaa, making it a well-rounded choice for your vacation home. It is not only an excellent vacation destination but also an ideal investment in terms of property appreciation. The most prominent builders and developers have beautifully designed vacation properties for people who want to get away from the cities.


Second Homes India

While finances are the most important considerations before looking for second homes that can be used as vacation rentals, here are a few other reasons why investing in vacation homes might be a good idea.

  • If you are the type of person who does not need to be in the centre of everything, such places may appeal to you. You may prefer the solitude on the city’s outskirts to the hectic life that comes with living in the city centre.
  • Tourist destinations are typically high-traffic areas with many visitors. With hybrid working systems, one can look for vacation rentals in peaceful towns close to the city that provide good privacy while avoiding crowded tourist hotspots.
  • Look for second homes that will increase value over time and gain similar benefits as your primary home.
  • We are all subjected to pressures and stress in our daily lives. It quickly turns frantic and mentally exhausting. Vacation homes in a peaceful or scenic setting will help you stay grounded and stress-free. You’ll have a much better chance of becoming mentally and physically healthier in environments that encourage you to move your body and breathe in the fresh air.
  • We all have a bucket list of places we want to visit worldwide, but how often can we do it? Only very rarely. However, with a vacation home near your base city, you can plan regular weekend getaways, improve your mood, and save a lot of money that you would have spent on larger holidays.
  • When you decide to retire, you will already have a home in a beautiful and peaceful location. You can consider selling your primary home and make your vacation home your primary residence, allowing you to live a life of leisure and rest.
  • The opportunities for generating a side income from your vacation home are limitless. Listing it on platforms like AIRBNB, renting it out for smaller gatherings, or hosting your events are great ways to generate an income.
  • Increase your assets and wealth by investing in vacation homes that you can pass down to future generations.
  • The cost of living drastically comes down, as everything that one needs on a regular basis is cheaper in smaller towns.
  • Living outside of cities, in smaller but more beautiful towns, fosters a sense of community. With a smaller population, it is more tightly knit and has a more positive outlook on life, which is lacking in larger cities.

Vacation Homes India

Keep in mind that once you own a vacation home, it will need regular maintenance if you want to rent it out to guests when you do not use it. Ensuring your property is booked mainly during the offseason and fully booked during the peak season would bring maximum benefits. People are ready to book vacation homes for months with work from home scenarios. The right agency will make sure it is listed on all online portals. It would be their responsibility to screen guests who might want to stay longer. Financing, screening, repairs, and maintenance can be a challenging task, but it will be as smooth sailing as possible with the right agency. An agency would be an extra cost, but if the property is unique and booked out regularly, making the investment in an agency worth it.

Also, it can be tricky to look for a vacation home outside of your city. To avoid complications it would be best to get hold of an experienced real estate broker with local knowledge of the locality/town that you are interested in as it would speeden up the process of buying a vacation home.

Overall, owning a second home that doubles as a vacation home outside of the city is a great way to generate a substantial passive income while enjoying the conveniences of a second home close to your base city, providing much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of fast-paced cities that no longer guarantee a well-rounded healthy lifestyle. With improved health and wholesome environments, the advantages of investing in a second home in an idyllic location with maximum exposure to natural surroundings far outweigh the benefits of investing in a rental home in the city for extra revenue. Please browse our inventory of second homes ( to find your ideal vacation home and look forward to a life of peace and leisure!

Rochelle is an independent landscape architect with a master's degree in Landscape Architecture from Germany. She writes about architecture, landscape design, home décor, real estate, and travel.
Rochelle Dayal
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