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“Wonderful on so many levels.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Glenburn Tea Estate

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Glenburn Tea Estate
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4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Dist. and Post Office Darjeeling, Darjeeling 734101, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 79 Hotels in Darjeeling
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Tremezzo, Italy
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Wonderful on so many levels.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

We recently spent a week at Glenburn (5 days allows you to see all there is and 2 extra days allows for relaxation time) and it surpassed our expectations in many ways.

Firstly the location is stunning: perched on the side of a hill facing the magnificent Kanchenjunga mountain range the 2 accommodation lodges have glorious vistas (Nov-March the mist can obliterate this) pure air and complete solitude.
Just a couple of hours away is Darjeeling with its toy train and English Heritage (including the time-warp Windamere Hotel). If you take a guided tour with Siddarth (accessed through Glenburn) you will see and enjoy Darjeeling in a way tourists cannot. He is fantastic.
Also nearby are villages and market towns and valleys to hike in..all excursions included in your tariff with driver & guide.

The accommodation is wonderful. All Old English/Indian fusion with huge, well appointed rooms and superb service. There is an old lodge (elegant rooms opening onto a long return verandah replete with cane furniture and fans) or a newer building with slightly better views and facilities. Hard to choose. In the old lodge there is a lovely lounge with a fire where guests gather for pre-dinner drinks before moving to the adjacent dining room. We had the most wonderful evenings meeting our fellow guests and expect to catch up with several at some later date.

The estate is managed by Sanjay and the guest services by Jenny. You will not meet a more expert, efficient and fun pair. Sanjay is all charisma and humour and obvious management skills and Jenny is the perfect host. She managed 8 couples, a large house staff and a fleet of drivers with tremendous flair and precision. I was amazed she could have so many balls in the air and not seem stressed. It is a mammoth job. Jenny was a significant factor in making our week so memorable and I overheard one couple marvel that they had felt as if they had been "special" all through their stay..as we did.

A couple of suggestions I would offer: the electrical wiring in the old lodge is dreadful and need work. Also, having the car pick ups and drop offs in front of that property disturbs the peace of the verandah and the bedrooms there.

I expected to enjoy my stay but I was surprised how much it exceeded those expectations.

Room Tip: Possibly the newer lodge is more comfortable given the car issue and a tendency for people to chat o...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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181 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Nottingham, England
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

My wife and I stayed, with friends, at this old colonial tea estate as part of a tour arranged by the Indian based travel company 'Legends and Palaces'. Only 15 miles from Darjeeling it offers an oasis of calm and tranquility. Our room in the Waterlily House was both spacious and extremely comfortable. The chef provided varied, plentiful and tasty food. Breakfast and lunch on the patio are a delight. For all that, it is the location is what makes this place worth the journey.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Glenburn cannot be bettered! The journey is awful, but the road is being improved, and frankly it is very exciting to look down onto dams and the mountains on the way there.
The estate itself is extremely beautiful, and manages to make you feel entirely at home, as if you are with your old friends, even if you've only just met them.
The rooms are glorious (ask for the new rooms; they were purpose built so have fabulous bathrooms and are very quiet), and there are verandahs everywhere to sit and read, or simply stare at the spectacular views.
The food is wonderful, and the team (headed by Jenni and Sanjay) were superb.
Darjeeling itself is lovely in a very bonkers sort of way, and the Toy Train was so exciting I hooped up and down all the way. Fortunately we took the 45 minute ride; 7 hours of hopping would have been too much of a good thing.

Room Tip: The new suites are the best
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cranbrook, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

This old colonial estate in a beautiful location is an oasis of calm. The rooms are excellent with good bathrooms, heating when necessary and stunning views. Take the walk down to the lodge and on to Sikkim (about 13kms) to see the tea estate, the forest and a couple of villages and have lunch by the river. The service is outstanding and the food reasonable quality. Don't be daunted by the road journey to get there, it's all worth it.

Room Tip: Take the rooms in the new building or on the corner of the old building.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

This was our first visit to India and we chose Glenburn for the 'relaxing' element of our trip after reading such wonderful reviews. We were not in any way disappointed with the staff or location but the greatest disappointment for us was the quality of the food produced each evening. The evening meal was served to all guests at one sitting in the large dining room (if en-masse dinning is not for you there is the option of eating in your room but there was no appropriate furniture for this in our room). Unfortunately every single dish that was served was both bland and cool at best but mainly it was served cold. The food served at lunch was of a Mediterranean style, which was far superior and we did wonder if there were two chefs at work here due to the marked difference. The dining experience was a real disappointment to us taking the edge off what is otherwise a great place.

Room Tip: A room in the Water Lily Bungalow: rooms here are by far the best located being a little away from t...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Ignore all the complaining about the roads and the staff. It is what it is and it is spectacular and wonderful. The local people are lovely and Jenni , the new manager, will make it all better no matter what. The location takes your breath away at every turn. You have to earn this wonderful experience. It is not for those unwilling to hold a grip on the car door for 3 plus hours or if you are fussy or get car sick. Be prepared to have jolly, enchanting visits with the other guests at dinner. And if the Irish want to sing, join in. You can feel elegant and calm again at breakfast served in multiple courses after tea has arrived at your door.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms except you have to hike down steps to the newer building.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

The Glenburn Tea Estate ranks as one of the best places we have stayed at, ever. And this is not praise we give lightly!

We were collected from the airport and taken on the 3 hour drive to Glenburn by one of their staff. Although the road is steep and narrow, the driver was extremely proficient and competent. He stopped halfway, and proceeded to get out a picnic of homemade sandwiches and cake, as well as Glenburn tea, which was poured into china cups on a wicker tray!

When we arrived, we were greeted with cold lemonade, and taken to our room - the Singalila Suite in the Water Lily Bungalow. This MUST rate as the best room in the Estate. Through the big picture windows were wonderful views of the Himalayas, and Kangchenjunga. There was a large, comfortable 4 poster bed in a huge colonial style room. The bathroom was spacious with a roll top bath.

Afternoon tea is served on the veranda in the main bungalow; followed by pre dinner drinks (either by a big bonfire or on the veranda). Although drinks are extra, it was a nominal charge - about 200 rupees or £2.50 for a gin and tonic. Dinner is served in the main dining room around a communal table. The food was absolutely excellent and it was lovely meeting the other guests - from the US, Canada, Australia and France, whilst we were there. The hotel is more than willing to serve you a private dinner, if you're not up to socialising.

Every evening they ask you at what time you would like 'bed tea', which is where they bring you tea to your room in the morning. We always asked for it very early, so we could sit in our room, with a wonderful pot of Glenburn tea and cookies, watching dawn break over the mountains. I get goose bumps just thinking about it!

Sanjay, the tea plantation manager, joined us most nights for dinner, and we all stayed on the veranda until late, drinking wine and setting the world to rights. You honestly felt more like honoured family guests than 'hotel clients'.

All excursions are included. Glenburn provide a list of suggestions in your room, ranging from a 2 1/2 hour hike down to the river (within their grounds), to full days out visiting Darjeeling, or a day visiting their tea plantation/factory and local village/school.

On the first day we took the hike to the river. All trips are guided; the staff that work in the hotel, share guiding duties. Halfway down to the river, our young guide removed a flask from her rucksack and proceeded to pour us homemade lemonade into glasses, which she presented on a tray! We had opted to have lunch down by the river. When we arrived, a beautiful table was set up with fresh salads, and we were waited on wonderfully!

I could rave on about the 4 nights we stayed there, but I'm hoping that this will suffice. Our 4 nights were no where near enough - we'd have like to stay a week at least! Throughout the rest of our tour of India, we would keep saying...'If we were at Glenburn.....' ie on the early morning river trip in Varanasi; 'If this was organised by Glenburn, we'd have been offered a lovely cup of monsoon tea by now in a china cup....'.

If you stay in Calcutta beforehand, do take advantage of Glenburn's guided package there. It was an excellent day; if you're lucky you'll be looked after by Bompti....

A fabulous stay, without exception. We SO hope to come back and stay again.

Room Tip: The Water Lily bungalow rooms have the best views. Our choice would be the Singalila Suite.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Glenburn Tea Estate

Address: Dist. and Post Office Darjeeling, Darjeeling 734101, India
Location: India > West Bengal > Darjeeling
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Darjeeling
#1 Romantic Hotel in Darjeeling
#3 Family Hotel in Darjeeling
Hotel Class:4 star — Glenburn Tea Estate 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Glenburn Tea Estate Hotel Darjeeling
Glenburn Tea Estate West Bengal

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