Recently I had a wonderful experience and was fortunate to have spent a night in Dahanu.
If you are visiting Dahanu or Gholvad, do go and stay with Parivaz and Ronnie Irani at their charming little Pearline Hotel.
Do make sure you call and reserve a room, because Pearline Hotel has only 12 rooms, and they are always in demand.Before the Iranis took over, this place used to be the Imperial Hotel, and it was owned by a Muslim solicitor from Bombay by the name of Mohammed Raoji.
Ronnie’s father, Bamanbehram Irani, bought it over in 1962. At that time, the residence they are staying in now was the hotel. It had just four rooms but these rooms were large and rather aristocratic in their appointment. The Iranis used to run another hotel next door called the Royal, which had 12 rooms, but they gave that up in 1987 and spent time and money in developing Pearline Hotel properly.What is there now is a charming one-storeyed cottage with 12 rooms and the Irani’s heritage-like bungalow by the side. My in-laws had stayed in this older part of the hotel some 35 years back!! We met charming Dolly Irani who still is quite involved and active and visits her sons, daughters and grand children here.
Parivaz looks after Pearline Hotel while Ronnie does what most other Irani men do in Dahanu, he is an agriculturist. The couple live here happily with their dog, Zeus the Boxer. Occasionally their sons visit from the US. The elder boy, Jaron, is a US Marine and he is just back after fighting George Bush’s war in Iraq. The younger son, Malcolm, is studying in LA.
The rooms are comfortable and fitted with fairly modern amenities. Some photos of the Pool facing rooms:
Food that is served at Pearline Hotel is Parsi food and other mouth watering and deliciously prepared dishes like Hyderabadi Biryani, Prawn Biryani, Masala Prawns. You will not get anything like this in Dahanu. I say this at the risk of upsetting half the township’s Zoroastrian residents whom I know personally and in whose homes I know the dining is exceptionally great. But Parivaz and Ronnie Irani are fortunate. Their cook is one of those old Parsi retainers who are more skilled in the kitchen and at cooking Parsi food than the Parsis themselves.
The cook at Pearline Hotel is a Mayavanshi, a tribal, and you have to eat the Kheema, Akuri and Aleti-Paleti he does. Ask him also to get you a glass of chilled Neera for your breakfast. It hits the right spot and sets the mood for the rest of your morning. The hotel has a restaurant as well. It is called Garden Restaurant. At nights, it is a happy little place all lit up and serving, again, the most sumptuous dinner in Dahanu. Here are some food items we had:
Photo: Chicken Lollipops
Photo: Breakfast Omelette, Akuri and Jam Sandwiches
Photo: Cheesy Potato Chips
You must go to the Pearline Hotel sometime even if you have no work to take you to Dahanu. A train will take you to Dahanu station in two hours from Bombay. And from the station, the hotel is a short auto-rickshaw ride. We had our taxi and toured around the fish market where the local catch of the day is as fresh as you can get! Promfrets, Boomla, Lobster, Shondh, Prawns and other seafood is a must to have.
Parivaz manages the place and is a very bubbly, generous and gracious manager. Parivaz has a special day for the local kids, who come to spend the day and eat at the hotel. I was impressed by here energy and enthusiasm. As a parting gift, she presented us with a specialty – Chickoo Chocolates.
Pearline Hotel, (Pearline Beach Resort on Dahanu’s Seaface)
Tel: (952528) 222442/223768.
Bombay office: 23806637.