We were a group of six who planned to visit Kalimpong during the month of monsoon, in early July ‘13. After, due planning and lots of research we zeroed in Holumba Haven. We found lots of positive reviews about it. Before going there we came to know that it is not a hotel but a facility of homestay, a first for most if not all of us. Before booking, while enquiring we really found a very helpful Mrs Thinlay Pempahishey clearing most of our doubts and always keen to clear most of our doubts. So, before actually reaching there we were very much there.
After reaching the resort, all of us were equally dumbfounded about the vastness of the property. It is just a kilometer before the main city starts, so location wise it is peaceful, though not much aloof, the city centre is 10-15 mins walk. It spreads over a huge area. Upon reaching Mrs. Thinley not only warmly greeted us, but also suggested local sightseeing spots and also marked a few good eating places on the city map which she handed over to us. It helped us a lot. We booked the whole of Magnolia cottage which was opened fully to us. (They open the whole cottage only if all the rooms are booked. Else, single rooms can also be booked by individuals). The whole place is very quiet, clam and full of greenery. They have lots of greenhouses for orchids and other plants. Beside Magnolia they do have other cottages named Wood Cot, Bamboo Groove, Spring Site, Pine Wood and Tree Top (the last one lays at the highest point of the property). All of the cottages are equally beautiful and have nice sitting place, living room, walk in closet, etc. and very well decorated interiors. Magnolia is the oldest among the cottages and I found it was built way back in the ‘30s. It’s also very near to the main entrance and lesser in altitude than the others. The owners themselves reside inside the property, so that’s according to me is an added advantage. There are two natural springs flowing beside Holumba, which supplies water source for the property. They do have fooding facility, but as it is a homestay expect lesser variety and little overpriced (which explains their suggestion of various eating places at the beginning of the stay, only morning tea is complimentary). They will also arrange cars for sightseeing on request. There is a little fish pond and quite a variety of pets inside the property. All the cottages are at a distance from each other, so it gives you a sense of tranquility and complete peace of mind. They also do run a souvenir shop in the dining area which is named Orchid. They do have some good collection of Tibetan, Bhutanese and Chinese art pieces, home décor items, woven materials and junk jewelry. Also, they can lend you books on request. At night, though the property is well lit, it is very calm and quiet and you have numerous crickets chorusing for company. The experience is really very different from the city life. Overall, we really have a great experience staying there. All the best to family who runs the property.
Pros: Huge property, very well maintained lots of greenery
Complete peace of mind
Very helpful hosts.
Cons: Though not much, still could appoint a security person at the gate as it’s very open.
Could have little prominent location marking, we missed it at first.
If there is a power cut (fortunately we don’t have any), generator back up is only till 10PM, could extend it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.