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Windamere Hotel
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Reviews (343)
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All reviewscoal fireobservatory hillhigh teahot water bottlesstep back in timemusic roomtea planterscolonial hotelwhite gloved waitersfive coursescucumber sandwichesafternoon tea and dinnertime warpmanaging directorfell illevery eveningbygone era
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Reviewed October 9, 2011

Spent 2 nights at the Windamere in early October. It is all very dated, but in an attractive way, and the landscaping in the gardens, the food, the setting and the service make it a very enjoyable experience. Its setting just below one of the main temples and above the vehicle-free mall means it is just out of the main hubbub of Darjeeling which frankly I thought was a pretty dire place - lovely people, amazing views, but horribly, horribly polluted with both rubbish and traffic fumes. I've travelled a LOT and the TOWN of Darj has got to be in the bottom 10% of places I have been based on the town itself. Back to the Windamere - we had Little Peppers which had a cute, 40s style sitting room. The bed was very comfortable - we slept well. Bathroom was fine but the bath outflow wasn't properly connected so went over the floor - oops forgot to tell them this when we checked out. Afternoon tea, judging by the negative comments from some of the 'day trippers' is obviously much better if you are staying there, or perhaps expectations were too high. Again, it was all a bit like "granny used to make" but the service was sweet, the sitting rooms were cosy and surrounded by interesting old pictures and letters. Breakfast and dinner were good, though the G&T tasted a bit weird. Don't rate it against conventional hotels - it's best regarded as a very interesting experience - and our fellow guests were good company.

Room Tip: Little Peppers was great for us.
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank FSHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2011

After reading up on the apparently 'wonderful' colonial charm of the Hotel Windamere we decided to visit for Afternoon/High Tea. We arrived at 4pm, very hungry, expecting a feast of cakes and sandwiches (plus tea of course). We were initially told be the very stern lady on reception to sit outside and wait (we were not even shown into the sitting room so have no idea what the hotel looks like from the inside) 30 minutes later without a word a tray containing a scabby looking tea pot containing weak tea was 'plonked' in front of us. Im no tea expert but to be brutally honest it was rubbish - basically PG Tips but done badly. Next we were served a basket with stale tiny sandwiches the size of my thumbnail (cucumber and gone off cheese) which we didnt touch plus a stale cake which looked disgusting and some shop bought cheap biscuits. We were also given a tiny scone each with what looked like cheap squirty 'fake' cream on the side (not the clotted cream I was expecting!). All this was served to us without any word or a smile from the waitress who also dumped a handful of cheap looking napkins on the table (surely at this price they can make the effort and use cloth napkins instead?)
In a nutshell we paid 375 each for nothing. I would NOT recommend going here for high tea - head to Glenarys instead or have a wonderful cup of coffee at Sonams kitchen.
I was expecting a grand sitting room - instead we got to sit on paint chipped, uncomfortable seats outside in the cold. I was also expecting a silver tiered platter with tasty sandwiches and home made cakes. If I had served that myself I would have been embarrassed.
Go have a look at the Windamere as the views are lovely but dont pay for any services as its a massive rip off.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank moomin1802
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2011

While staying elsewhere we ate a wonderful 5 course roast beef and Yorkshire pudding dinner in a lovely dining room with a coal fire. We were allowed as many servings as we liked (3!) and after that we were asked if we wanted the Indian food. It looked delicious but we were fit to burst by that time. We also had the privilege of meeting Ms. Clarke and I wish I had had more time to speak with her. After dinner we retired to the bar, which is filled with ephemera related to the history of the hotel and Darjeeling, as well as photo albums. A wonderful jewel from the Raj era.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank J B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2011

‘The Windamere Hotel’ is a place that one has to worry about nothing. It was in the month of May 2011, (6th-15th) we booked a suite named ‘Little Pepper suite” just adjacent to hotel main house called the ADA VILLA’.
The Suite was tastefully adorn with vintage furniture, curtains, carpets, wooden flooring and most importantly a fire place lit every evening using coal as fuel. The toilet had antique claw tubs with hot water available at all times.
All meals were included, with high tea and the server for the high tea was dressed in an Authentic Maid Waitress Uniform White Head Piece Cap Hat ‘ I liked the special Windamere tea flavour.
The waiters dressed in their Tibetan attire, served you at your table, in a manner where food (the menu of the day) was placed on hand carried trays, from where you make your pick, and the tray was brought at our table, as many time the helpings. I would not call this style of the British Raj era, but its just pampering that one longs for during the unwinding stint & after a long period of hard work The Hotel Windamere is located on the observatory hill of Darjeeling, a quiet atmosphere yet just a few minutes walk from Chowrasta an impressive place to hang out. I was fortunate on one clear visibility day, a chance to view at a far distance, the snowy mountain peak, and even enjoy the enchanting early morning sunrise.
The Windamere Hotel is good for couples of all age group. A great place to rekindle intimacy. Great getaway place to relax and breathe the freshness of the air, good food, lots & variety of flowers to admire, books & DVD’s are too available on demand. Lots of space to move around and squat as the hotel has many wings spread out.
We liked the soft music in the dinning and the candle lit dinners. The front office/Reservation team was extremely helpful, warm and made us feel like at home. We stayed for 10days and if there were any special meal request, the Kitchen would oblige. The day we went for a toy train ride, we anticipated that we would return late for lunch, hence informed in advance and late lunch was indeed served. The housekeeping too did a good job. The Windamere Hotel’ is unique, and has a class of its own.

Room Tip: For older couples a room in the main Villa would be ideal.
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GoaViva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2011

Everything was prompt, neat and English manner. Nothing could go wrong over there. The views were excellent. It was a real value for money. But it is for a person with a better sense of etiquette and propriety.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank sdgadv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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