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“Arty,stylish yet simple” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Norling Guesthouse

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Norling Guesthouse
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Norbulingka Institute, Dharamsala 176057, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 108 Dharamsala B&B and Inns
India
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Arty,stylish yet simple”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2011

The stay here started with a bitter experience initially. As we drove in after an extremely long tiring drive from Delhi we were barred entry at the guest house\ monastery by the police and some army personael. Why? Because the chief of the army's wife wanted to visit the monastery. They stopped our car and asked us to park it away and wait till she was gone. After picking a fight with the cop for misusing their authority we gained entry.
The guest house is absolutely lovely. It's attached to the monastery and the art work shop. The entrance is typical Tibetean style architecture. The guest house has woodwork done by the Tibetean artisans. Beautifull paintings done with intricate appliqué work as well as special Tibetean style adorn the guest house. We had the most exquisite painting on the Walls of our rooms.The fish painting , was so mesmerising I spent hours just staring at it. The compounds of the guest house has the art shop where you can buy the art work done especially by the students . One can walk into their work shop and observe them at work.

They have a very nice doll museum that houses typical Tibetean dolls. The entry is Rs 5. It's worth a look. The dolls depict typical seen from Tibetean life ( royalty as well as ordinary life).
From the entrance of the guest house one Can see the monastery against the snow covered mountains in the back drop. The view is lovely.

The Norling cafe is stylish with cobbled path and lovely greenery leading to it. They have outdoor seating and indoor too. I would recommend one try their Tibetean food. They have a 3 page menu but nothing Ever seems to be available in it no matter when you go. Their breakfast is very good. Awesome pancakes, waffles and omelettes .love their fresh juices.Great coffee and tea. However the service is slow and the cafe closes by 9p.m.

Over all loved this place and it's setting.

Room Tip: The fish room . Great view and lovely painting.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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42 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
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English first
Nottingham
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2011

First, the good things : a) true Tibetan atmosphere; b) totally friendly staff; c) beautiful gardens; d) feeling of "oasis of peace" as you walk through the entrance; e) Tibetan workshops on site; f) great value cafe on site with good and varied menu ... in fact, no reason to ever leave the site, if you're looking for a few days' peace in a Tibetan environment; g) nice walks in surrounding village and countryside.

Now ... unfortunately, the bad : a) we stayed for four nights, and we struggled to sleep every night with the sound of the incessant barking dogs from the village - by the fourth night, we were glad to get away; b) our room smelt of urine from the very start. We only realised when we were about to leave that it was from the mattress under one of our beds. Don't know how long it had been that way.

Unfortunately, despite the great positives, we won't ever be staying at Norling Guest House again. ... Sorry!! ... But, for the management, if you wish people to stay at Norling, please look at some of your bed mattresses and change them if necessary.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2010

We visited Norling Guest House in August, when the rainy season was starting to come to an end. As a result, most days were cloudy/rainy, but it was still a great experience.
Location: The guest house is in the Norbulingka Institute, which is dedicated to preserving Tibetan and Buddhist culture. The place is located in the beautiful Kangra valley, surrounded by the Dhauladhar range.
Rooms: The rooms are clean and well maintained, with functioning AC and 24/7 hot water. Our room overlooked the neighboring plot of land (no views to speak of), but it only takes a 5 minute walk to see the mountains surrounding the place. The reason for the low rating on sleep quality is nothing to do with the room, but due to the dogs that seem to be everywhere in Himachal Pradesh, and which engage in barking competitions from sunset till sunrise.
Service: The place is run by ethnic Tibetans. Service is polite and efficient. The restaurant in particular (Norling Cafe) is very well run. They have a fairly diverse menu, and the staff is friendly and eager to please.
Things to do: The Norbulingka Campus houses a beautiful Buddhist monastery with some amazing decorations. In addition, the institute conducts intensive training on Tibetan Buddhist painting and applique work (Thangka), wood working and metal working. Guests are allowed to see the workshops, and a guide is provided. The gift shop houses some of the work of the artists and artisans. The prices are high, but the products are of the highest quality (must see the Thangka section). In addition, you have the satisfaction of knowing that your purchase goes directly toward keeping the arts and culture of Tibet alive.
For the outdoors-minded, there are plenty of things to do and see. We saw the Chamundi temple (nothing great IMO), and also took a day trip to see the Rock-cut temples in Masroor (44 km away from the gues house). These are >1200 years old, and carved out of a single rock. Some of the structures have been damaged by earthquakes, but it is an amazing place, not to mention the beautiful drive to get there. For nature lovers, the Maharan Pratap Sagar (Pong) bird sanctuary is supposed to be good, but we didn't have time to see it.
Definitely worth a visit.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Canberra, Australia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2010

We stayed here for two nights in August 2009, paying Rs 1800/night.

The Norling Guesthouse is set within the grounds of the Norbulingka Institute, which was established to preserve Tibetan language and culture. The institute's grounds are well designed and beautifully maintained and there's a small cafe that caters to visitors and those staying at the guesthouse. Even if you decide not to stay at the Norling Guesthouse, the Norbulingka Institute is well worth a visit.

The guesthouse itself is not flash but has a certain charm. The building is roughly circular, with each room looking out onto the institute's gardens. Our room had two single beds and an attached bathroom, which had recently been renovated. There were two computers in the lobby that appeared to be for guests' use. Wireless internet was available in the rooms at Rs 80/day.

We used the Norling Guesthouse as a base to explore McLeod Ganj and surrounds. Bear in mind that it's a 20-25 minute taxi ride from the Norbulingka Institute up the hill to McLeod Ganj. Rs 250 each way was the going rate. Getting a taxi was never a problem for us.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2010

The gorgeous Norling Guest House is located in Sidhpur, about a half hour drive from Mcleod Ganj, and within the grounds of the Norbulinka Institute, which is dedicated to the study and preservation of traditional Tibetan arts and culture.

The Institute is a highlight of any trip to the area - beautiful gardens, a cafe, art gallery, workshops, temple and doll museum are also within the grounds and you can spend a leisurely day poking around the grounds and watching the craftspeople and apprentices at work.

To stay at the Institute is a real privilege and offers the chance to experience a taste of many aspects of Tibetan arts and culture. The rooms are comfortable and decorated with the arts and crafts being practiced at the Institute. The staff are very helpful and friendly.

We had a driver, so it wasn't such an issue to be rather far from Mcleod Ganj...but if you don't I would recommend staying at least a night or two at Norling and the same in Mcleod Ganj.

Absolutely recommended.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Norling Guesthouse

Address: Norbulingka Institute, Dharamsala 176057, India
Location: India > Himachal Pradesh > Dharamsala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 108 B&Bs / Inns in Dharamsala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located within the Norbulingka grounds, Norling Guesthouse is surrounded by lush gardens and flowing streams. We strive to offer our guests all the modern amenities in a setting of traditional Tibetan charm. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Norling Guesthouse Hotel Dharamsala
Norling Guesthouse Dharamsala, Asia - India

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