22 of us as part of a school tour stayed at this property from 1st to 4th October, 2013. We had occupied 7 rooms in their main block as well as their annexe. But we were very disappointed with the hotel.
1. Running water in the bathrooms in the annexe was feeble at best. When we brought it to the attention of the manager he sought to check the problem and concluded there was an air block and assured us the problem had been rectified. Yet, the problem persisted. We had to let the water running, fills buckets and then bathe. As we had to leave by 3.30 am to Tiger Hills, one bucket of hot water was provided for each room (3 adults sharing a room) by 2 am. This was still a big inconvenience for both the hotel staff and us. And considering we had booked the rooms a month and a half in advance, shouldn't these have been checked BEFORE guests arrive and not after?
2. Despite the fact that the tourist season in Darjeeling had taken a big hit due to the curfews and bandh, we were still charged Rs.1,30,000 for 7 rooms for 3 nights. We were told that several hotels had even hashed their room tariff by 50%. We were ok with the price Ivanhoe charged us, unfortunately the services were not at par with it.
3. Choice of food was very limited. For example, all we had for breakfast was stuffed paratha one day and poori and sabzi another. After we insisted they included corn flakes and omelets from the second day. We had also asked them to arrange dinner but the spread wasn't great. The first night they served us old rasagullas as dessert. We asked them to include fruits, so the next night they omitted dessert! Even the fruit, was a single sliced papaya for 22 of us! It seemed as though the hotel was paying through their nose to provided a meal instead of us already having paid them so much!
4. The rooms did not even have a kettle with tea/coffee sachets. Everything needed to be ordered through room service. They provided packaged drinking water only on the first day too. Of course, no welcome
5. When we brought all this to the attention of the manager, and asked for a discount as their services were below satisfactory, he simply told us that A) nowhere in any hill station will you find running water at nominal speed, B) he had asked us for a food menu but we were vague about it (agreed we were vague by telling him to prepare 'local cuisine' but should the guests spell out everything and perhaps even make him a list?? All hotels offer a good spread without guests insisting, don't they?) C) He told us he could discount Rs. 2,400 for the snacks we had ordered the evening we checked in and that was all. It didn't sound too generous when we learnt that he he had charged Rs.40 for a slice of bread (filled with a slice of tomato and capsicum and called sandwich) and Rs.45 for tea! In addition he said he had also discounted a meal (of Rs.500) that was ordered separately by one of our friends. This friend later told us that he had in fact settled the bill already!!!
6. And be warned, they have no sitting area outside, except for one table, so if you are traveling as a group, you may find this an inconvenience.
I am sorry to say that our stay in Darjeeling was unpleasant because of Ivanhoe House. It's only pluses are its proximity tho the shopping area, helpful support staff and a colonial house that has been well preserved. But as a hotel, it lacks basic facilities and an understanding of guests' basic requirements.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a 2-storey Heritage House of India – originally built in 1871 - as a “quietly comfortable and elegant” Boarding House for British Raj families”. Famous names like ‘Vivien Leigh’ (of ‘Gone with the Wind’) and ‘Julie Christie’ (of ‘Dr. Zhivago’) used to live here. Sir George Everest, the Survey General of India (who discovered Mt. Everest as the highest point on earth) was here, along with Col.Younghusband, who led the British Expeditionary force to Lhasa, Tibet (then a forbidden country to enter). The House was also occupied by the Vicereine of India, Lady Curzon (wife of the then Viceroy); Sir Charles Bell (Indian Civil Service – British Political Officer for Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet); George Mallory and Andrew Irvine – British mountaineers who disappeared below the summit of Everest in 1924 and alas, never returned. ‘Ivanhoe’ was, of course, one of King Arthur's beloved knights of ‘The Knights of the Round Table’ fable (or was it true?!)Today, we are delighted to see a rising tide of discerning domestic guests, who relish a stay in “an old place from the Indian Colonial days”. We also host the stays of overseas guests (with, or without, family), who feel that an old Colonial home is just right for them! ... more less
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