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“Go before it changes”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Windamere Hotel

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Windamere Hotel
Ranked #6 of 95 Hotels in Darjeeling
Certificate of Excellence
London, UK
Level Contributor
22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Go before it changes”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2009

This hotel really is in a time warp. Go before it fades. The beds were super comfy. We had hot water from our own hot water boiler and as much tea and cake as we wanted.

Despite comments in guide books we thoroughly enjoyed all the food.

Great staff - they advised us that a trip to Tiger Hill was only replicating the view from the hotel, but would need us getting out of bed at 4:30am.

Flicking through the photo albums it looks like the hotel was last furnished in the 1950s. This is apparent in the slightly dishevelled furniture, so go before it is modernised by some global hotel franchise and its charm is destroyed

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank HolidayNotes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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311 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    20
    10
    8
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oakville
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2009

I simply loved t his hotel. I had been advised by an Indian based tour company to book at another hotel in the town, but I had read such wonderful reviews in the international newspapers and travel magazines, that I decided to book directly from their website. I loved the food; the feeling of being with "family" and the way we were all introduced to each other. I also liked the way their Front Office advised us on local trips. The food was wonderfu and I really appreciated that I could eat a very good continental cuisine (I have a delicate stomach!).

I found their Well Being Centre very welcome for people who had arrived like myself thoroughly stressed out.

All round a wonderful stay - it was my birthday during the week we were there - I was surprised how their staff found this out - they gave me a birthday to remember.

Thank you Windamere!

  • Liked — It took me back to bygone days. Cosy, clean and very "embracing". Lovely all round!
  • Disliked — nothing that I can think of
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Zorona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2009

I stayed in the Windamere 20 years ago and it hasn't changed a bit which is entirely its charm. The staff are all very attentive without hovering around. Our room in the original building (a Heritage room) was very comfy and cosy with coal fires and hot water bottles. Afternoon tea by the fire and a snug bar where we played scrabble were real highlights. The dinning room served great food for breakfast (especially the fresh muffins), lunch and dinner. Portions were very generous, the menu cards show a choice of British or Indian but in practice you get one after the other. We didn't complain!

We met the owner on one day who was a charming host and very interesting to talk to about the history of Darjeeling.

  • Liked — Going back to a more civilised era
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Fishpop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoover, AL
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2009

Wow. Had a great time. The hotel is in an ideal location. Close to fantastic sights (observation points to see Karkanchanga), Monkeys in the driveway, Temples just a stones throw (uphill), shopping and people/bars a block away. I thought it would be cold in December, but it was only chilly, and warmed up on sunny days very nicely. We arrived late and the fire was going and hot water bottle was warming the bed. Met a Scottish gentleman who joined us for dinner. Wonderful company, wonderful scenery, wonderful old hotel. Great service. Plan to stay at least 5 days. We stayed 3 and it was not long enough.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tori0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
462 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 326 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2008

This was a charming hotel in the heart of Darjeeling. The service was pretty poor, though. There didn't appear to be a lot of staff - one waiter seemed to do everything. The waiter was very friendly, but the rest of the staff were almost surly, especially one of the women at the front desk. The rooms have fireplaces, which keep them very cozy in the cold weather. When my fireplace didn't work, it took quite some time to get the staff to come and move me to a new room. The room was very comfortable except the towels were old and worn and the bed was hard. But, its hard to find a bed in India that isn't hard. I enjoyed the afternoon tea in the common rooms and the meals were pretty good. The packed lunch they gave us was average.

  • Liked — Historical charm.
  • Disliked — Poor service.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank trvladdict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ithaca, NY
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2008

This is a very old-fashioned hotel, with lots of colonial remnants: teatime with scones and cream, hot breakfast every morning, a menu that could have existed in 1920, although the food is delicious. We stayed in one of the cottages (called Little Peppers), they built a fire in our bedroom every evening and we had a lovely and quiet stay, even though the hotel is a few steps from the Chowrastha. The town of Darjeeling has seen better days, but the hotel's property is so well-tended and the paths around it so lovely, you can spend hours wandering without encountering crowds or noise. For a look at the hotel in the 1960s, see the Satyajit Ray film, Kanchenjunga, which was filmed there.

  • Liked — It was very charmingly old-fashioned.
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank family-traveler256
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
154 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 213 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2008

My favourite hotel on our tour of North India - wonderful discrete service from the very hospitable staff. Our room in Observatory House was huge - loved the open fire which was lit on request every evening. The bed was the most comfortable one we had in India. Great location in the town just off the main square and close to everything. The food was slightly eccentric being an odd mix of British and Indian but I think that was part of the charm. Highlight was taking 'afternoon tea' in the chinzy sittingroom. Loved the old colonial feel of the place and would recommend this as a destination in itself.
Darjeeling was a revelation after being in the heat and chaos of Kolkata - the setting with Kanchenzonga and the Himalayan ridge in the background was absolutely stunning. Worth taking the early morning trip to Tiger Hill to see the sun rise over the Himalayas.

  • Liked — The old colonial charm
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ElleGolightly
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
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
#3 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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