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“SMELLY TOILET - TERRIBLE STAY... Staff has a PHD in Saying "NO"”

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The Elgin, Darjeeling
Ranked #4 of 97 Hotels in Darjeeling
Certificate of Excellence
Ranchi, India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“SMELLY TOILET - TERRIBLE STAY... Staff has a PHD in Saying "NO"”
Reviewed June 7, 2010

The day we got there 23rd May 2010, was a bandh due the ongoing Gorkhaland tension in and around Darjeeling. I strongly recommend ALL TRAVELLERS TO check before going to Darjeeling for Bandhs, these are very severe and NOTHING IS OPEN....
I had specifically asked 2 days before and 1 day before arriving at Darjeeling, if everything was peaceful and if there was a bandh. I was told, everything is open and peaceful. However, the day I arrived, I was told the next is also a bandh and everything will open the day after. Which it did, but promptly shut again due to a "Joloos", March by protesters.. So we were pretty much home bound for 3 days and nites.

The time we checked in - OUR ROOM was pretty much ready, went to the bath room, AND IT STANK OF URINE. There was URINE ALL OVER THE CAMMODE and floor, clearly it hadn't been cleaned. The room too was not clean, with dust and black dirt spots all over the carpet. Windows probably have never been cleaned.
Went down to have some tea, asked for snacks, they had RUN OUT OF CHICKEN, however the pakoras were fresh and tasty - gave me a bad stomach though.
Food is only served in teh DINING HALL, and you have to pay for your stay along with all meals - mandatory. In the buffet - choice is very limited - they kept running out of the food, but wouldn't refill the dishes. THEY RAN OUT OF FOOD, inspite of being not fully occupied.
THE STAFF IS VERY PROFICIENT AT SAYING "NO", first answer to ANYTHING IS NO, NO, NO, NO. They even ran out of cold beer, and mineral water the following days.

BOTTOM LINE - Although th hotel has great character, and old world colonial charm, with relics of the British Raj. And old furniture, very British country side architecture. Beautiful facade and great views of Darjeeling hill - IT LACKS BASIC AMMENITIES TO MAKE GUEST STAY COMFORTABLE. The TOILET STANK TILL THE LAST DAY.
THEY ARE SUPER UNDERSTAFFED, Probably have 3 - 4 Bearers (who were very sweet and prompt with the limited choices), and 2 OLD and VERY LAZY HOUSE KEEPING STAFF for about 25 - 30 rooms and the hotel. There is no way they can keep it clean..
Poor, front office staff who are ONLY TAUGHT TO SAY NO TO GUESTS FOR EVERYTHING.
MY RECOMMENDATION - DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY AND STAY AT ELGIN Darjeeling. Mayfair is much better...

Karan Kumar
Jamshedpur

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank karan_kumar123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Kolkata (Calcutta), India
Level Contributor
72 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2010

The Elgin Darjeeling is very pleasant. It is beautifully decorated, most of the staff have been around for years and know how to serve, and its location is quite central (5 min walk to the Mall).

However, for a property of its standing in the erstwhile Queen of Hill Stations, the food is so-so, there are no views worth mentioning and the twin beds are seriously narrow.

It is very pleasant to sit out in the garden, though, and look down on the town.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
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3 Thank RSAG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
50 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2010

This property was a major breath of relief from the first and disastrous night at the Dekeling (see review).

This one is a quaint hotel, flagship of the Elgin chain, tucked away on a mini-ridge, shielded from the hubbub of Darjeeling. We got a large one bedroom suite in this restored hotel, was quite comfortable, with a wood-burning fireplace which was awesome. Room included board, and meals were decent, dinners being the best part, breakfast was below average. Room service tea was awesome.

Experience was good enough for us to choose the other Elgin hotels on our tour through the northwest of india, continuing on to Gangtok and Pelling, for which you can get a group discount. The rates are negotiable, during off-season, with low occupancy.

The hotel can arrange for tours and taxis to be rented, but i would go direct and find someone in the marketplace which is a few minutes walk.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Atul1998
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chennai
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2010

Although the public areas appear to be well-kept (apart from the dining room which smelt damp and stale), the bedrooms leave a lot to be desired. Our room smelt musty and stale throughout our stay. We had to ask for refills for the shampoo, shower gel and tissues too. The crockery and cutlery in the dining room was dirty and the waiters uniforms (which were white) were filthy too. There was no tourist literature or useful info available from reception, and when we asked for an idea of where the local restaurants were, we were given a reluctant and useless instruction. This is also the only hotel I have ever stayed where there was no-one available for checkout. The night guard had to rifle through some papers at reception to tally our bill!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank marypoppinsChennai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jamshedpur
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed May 3, 2010

if u think k darjling is a must visit place then i will say this hotel is a must visit place in darjling.... we had spent our last leisure here last dec oh...
what 2 say abt its facilities and services...we wr so assured abt evrything here...
it was a very good vacation wid a good atmosphere... IN A GREAT HOTEL..
sukriya....

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank pinkpuja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Usk, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2010

Visually, this hotel ticks all the boxes, with its country house decor and furnishings; open fires in the public rooms, well-maintained gardens, but it doesn't really live up to appearances. My impression is that the hotel is pretty much run as a club for its managers and their cronies, and the fact that the manager's dogs run unchecked through the public rooms, jumping up at guests and on to furniture, does nothing to negate that impression.

I can't fault the staff for willingness; service is very sweet, but ineffectual. The chap who mans the bar also has the responsibility to maintain the open fires, so he was missing in action for 45 minutes whilst we waited for a beer before dinner. Sorties to the bar, reception and the restaurant to plead for a drink were met with smiles and nods - but no drink.

We handed in some laundry on our first afternoon – to get it back the next day, we had to pay double. When it finally turned up at 21:00 the following evening, it wasn’t dry and my shirt had been substituted for a fellow birder’s T-shirt.

Buffets - lunch and dinner - were good, seemingly alternating between Indian and continental offerings, with the Indian buffet understandably much nicer. One evening, when our group (of 8) were clearly the only diners we were served from a very limited menu which comprised a pasta bake, deep fried filled pancake, quiche and vegetables – definitely not up to the hotel’s usual standard.

Our room was okay; but nothing special. Tea and coffee supplies, toiletries were never replenished, tooth mugs weren’t washed, glasses from the bar were left. The sheets on our twin beds were seriously skimpy; on our second night I got into bed and discovered that top & bottom sheets ended at my knees!

Darjeeling has frequent problems with power and water - twice during our 2 day visit in March due to a widespread power outage, the hotel was operating on emergency generator, which resulted in no hot water in the bedrooms. Even when mains power is on, only 35 litres are heated at a time – not really enough for 2 people to shower with a 20 minute wait for the water to heat up again.

Although reception seemed quite offended when we double-checked that we could pay our bill by credit card (necessary given the cost of beer and wine – and laundry!), in the event none of us could; the telephone signal wasn’t up to the job.

Overall, a very disappointing stay.

  • Stayed March 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Leafwarbler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mainz
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2010

On arrival in Darjeeling in January, it was cold. Walking down the path towards the hotel was already inviting. When we entered it was warm and friendly, as was our welcome. The staff is exceptional and we were given a choice of rooms. We chose one with an open fire place, but all the rooms we saw were cosy. In the dining room a similar atmosphere was apparent. The food and service were excellent, although we agreed that the Indian food was superior. It is worth taking full board. As the hotel is above the town, there are picturesque views of the surrounding countryside. Evenings are relaxing in the lounge and wi-fi internet is free. We would go back in the future.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PinkPantherKhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Elgin, Darjeeling

Property: The Elgin, Darjeeling
Address: 18 HD Lama Road, 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) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Darjeeling
#2 Spa Hotel in Darjeeling
#6 Family Hotel in Darjeeling
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Elgin, Darjeeling 4*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Elgin is the oldest heritage hotel in Darjeeling , built in 1887 it was the summer residence of the Maharajah (King) of Cooch Behar. The property was then leased and run by succession of British families the last being Madame Nancy Oakley . It was then acquired by Mr K.C Oberoi of the Oberoi family of Hoteliers fame in 1969 and has been run and managed by the Elgin Hotels & Resorts Chain to this day . The Elgin brand which now owns and operates 4 Heritage Hotels & Resorts in the region of Darjeeling & Sikkim is headed by its Managing Director Mr B.R Oberoi fondly known as Diamond Oberoi . ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elgin Darjeeling Hotel Darjeeling
Elgin Hotel Darjeeling

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