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“A bygone age”
Review of Windamere Hotel

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Windamere Hotel
Ranked #7 of 98 Hotels in Darjeeling
Certificate of Excellence
Nottingham, England
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A bygone age”
Reviewed December 12, 2012

My wife & I stayed with friends at this delightful old colonial hotel as part of a tour arranged by the Indian based travel company 'Legend and Palaces'. It's very much from a bygone age which is its appeal. It has a lovely high position on Observatory Hill which gives views over Darjeeling and the distant Kanchenjunga. Rooms are spacious and comfortable with a cosy coal fire in the evening. The staff are very friendly and the chef provides plenty of varied and tasty food. The bar and lounge areas are comfortable and take you back to the Raj and a bygone era.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank David017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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324 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
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English first
Texas
Level 6 Contributor
296 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012

This is probably the most quaint hotel you could find. This is a privately owned hotel and not part of a chain operation. The hotel located on top of Observatory Hill in Darjeeling is a compound of buildings that date back to the era of the Raj. The hotel, in its early days was sort of a boarding house for Englishmen working on the areas tea plantations. Today, there are standard hotel rooms and bungalows suites. I stayed in one of the small suites (Little Pepper). The sitting area was comfortable and full of natural light, the bedroom was comfortable (each night the bed was turned down and a hot water bottle placed at the foot), heat provided by a small fireplace that was tended each evening. The bathroom appeared old-fashioned, but everything worked properly. There is a claw-foot bath tub with modern plumbing and adequate hot water. All meals and afternoon tea are included in the price. Afternoon tea is served in one of the libraries. A server dressed in period maid costume offers guests an array of tea sandwiches, crumpets and various sweets. Meals are served in the main dinning room. There are two choices...a standard western type meal and an Indian meal (usually veg); you are encouraged to try both menus.
The views from the hotel are spectacular or so the photos show. I was there in late November, a time of clouds and mist. It is also very chilly this time of the year.
The town of Darjeeling is within easy walking distance. Cabs are plentiful if you want to visit the several important temples in the area. One thing not to miss is the steam engine train. The train station provides a schedule, but it is best to book a trip through the hotel at least a day in advance.
Darjeeling is the land of tea, so do not miss out trying the various varieties of teas at the local tea shops...the largest is Nathmull's. I guarantee you will learn things about tea that I am sure you never considered.

Room Tip: When ready to book a room call and speak to the booking agent; they can help with the selection.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mantamoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
216 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012 via mobile

Awesome colonial hotel - just as it was decades ago. Even the music is from colonial times. Great 5 course meals and afternoon tea. However, staff in restaurant not very friendly. Didn't smile. Also they bring out each course as soon as you finish the last crumb of the previous course. They stare at you while you eat waiting for this moment. They light a fireplace in your room and put hot water bottles in the bed when your not there which is cute, but creepy too since they don't warn you. We liked it but it might disturb some people. The bar was nice and so was the tea room. Scenery and location excellent. Hot water not enough to fill bath tub half way!! Disaster!! Probably overpriced but we thought it was worth the experience. Very cool hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012
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Helpful?
Thank Maria N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chichester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2012

I should start by saying that we had unseasonably warm weather for the time of the year but in any event everything at the windamere was lovely from the staggering views to the log fires in the rooms and the food and service. Windamere is not a modern chain hotel so don't go if you want stainless steel rooms, for example there is no tv. It is sold on the basis of it's period feel and thats what makes it work. The rooms are comfortable and the food and service is excellent. I have seen adverse comments that it is cold and faded. It certainly wasn't cold and if it is faded its because it is supposed to be. We loved every minute.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank lizclare1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2012

I stayed in October, just as it was getting cold outside. Every night a worker would come into my room, light my room's fire and put a red rubber water bottle in my sheets. Both kept me warm throughout the night. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all included in my stay along with afternoon tea. The hotel was clean and airy with a great view of the hills. The meals change by the day and were delicious. The owner is delightful and will invite you into her home to watch a film about the hotel's history and provides you with snacks. She always wants to spark up a conversation. My only complaint about the meals was during dinner one night there was a spider the size of a softball on one wall in the dining room and it was as fast as a race-car. The following day during breakfast, there was a cockroach in our toast basket. Normally, bugs would be a "no can do," but in the hills it is almost unavoidable, so I didn't mind as much.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank getatmeindia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2012

Was very disappointed with afternoon tea here.

Giving that we were paying for the experience, we were shut away in a side room with other 'day visitors' whilst the hotel guests were allowed to enjoy the main lounge rooms.

I was hoping for a more special experience, and whilst the tea was nice, the environment was disappointing.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
6 Thank JonEdsThreads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elizabeth C, Owner at Windamere Hotel, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
I am saddened by this posting as it is very well known that we are a private hotel. It should also be noted that the writer was not a Windamere resident guest. However, we welcome outside guests and they visit every day. Ours is not a huge property, so it is also well known that our outside guests sit in our 'Bearpark's Parlour' - a lovely room, with a fire and traditional setting. The room was built in the late 1880's and is much admired for its decor and ambience. In fact, our famous Christmas & New Year entertainment is performed right here. If the person writing this comment had been a resident guest, they would surely have objected to not being able to sit in their own rooms.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Rochelle, New York
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2012

The Windamere in Darjeeling is a throwback to an old style hotel-3 meals a day-hot water bottles placed in your bed-a fire glowing in your own fireplace-a warm inviting dining room. Monkeys scurry on the rooftops in the morning-a beautiful view. We loved the charm and location. We stayed in the "bungalows." The manager greeted us warmly and had a special lecture with drinks on the history of the hotel which was very interesting. We saw native dancing by an outdoor fire. This is a very special place.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank RITA E B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Windamere Hotel

Property: Windamere Hotel
Address: Observatory Hill, Darjeeling 734101, India
Location: India > West Bengal > Darjeeling District > Darjeeling
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Darjeeling
#4 Luxury Hotel in Darjeeling
#5 Family Hotel in Darjeeling
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Windamere Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are one of the oldest (and prize winning) Colonial Hotels in India - with reviews from the Asia Pacific National Geographic Magazine and The Sunday Times of London. We offer truly authentic and original suites from the colonial tea planter days, with absolutely FULL BOARD (4 MEALS PER DAY). Our hotel is world renowned, with many famous film stars and other celebrities finding a path to our door. Truly a "destination and not just another hotel". It is like being invited as a private guest and asked to stay and relax for a few days. We are aptly described as "one of the last Colonial Homes in the World". We have both Colonial Suites & Cottages, as well as standard and superior accommodation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Windamere Hotel Darjeeling

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