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“Mayfair Hotel: Recommended, in spite of little frustrations”
Review of Mayfair Darjeeling

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Mayfair Darjeeling
Ranked #2 of 97 Hotels in Darjeeling
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Mayfair Hotel: Recommended, in spite of little frustrations”
Reviewed December 26, 2011

The Mayfair Hotel is one of the best and most comfortable hotels in Darjeeling, among a small handful of alternatives. The super deluxe double rooms have high, wood beam ceilings, rich wood wall panelling and good reading light. They are comfortably appointed and the layout is functional and also aesthetically pleasing. With an entrance vestibule and washroom connecting to it, our accommodation feels more like an apartment than a hotel room. My husband and I have equal space to lay open our suitcases in a wardrobe and ample shelf space to spread out our things for settling into a long stay. The fireplace is a real bonus for us since we're visiting Darjeeling at the end of November. It's chilly at 7000 feet and the fireplace makes the room cosy while we tuck into complementary tea and snacks watching TV.

The exterior spaces are also lovely with plenty of chairs, tables and couches to enjoy the warm afternoon sun with a glass of wine and have some privacy from other quests as well. Appointed with potted flowers everywhere, the warm ceramic patio tiles, white pillars, and wooden railings are a throw back to a gentler era.

So for accommodation and ambiance, I'm enthusiastic about the Mayfair.

However, don't expect much from this hotel by way of tourism support. I expect that the Mayfair typically serves tour groups who already have their agenda together. For independent travelers like us, however, we were surprised at the lack of support.

We approach the concierge. "We would like to order train tickets to take us to Siliguri when we leave." The whole notion of train travel in these parts is as iconic as tea plantations.

"I'm sorry sir, we can't arrange train tickets. We can show you where the ticket office is in town."

One of the things we fast discovered we didn't like to do in Darjeeling was to walk into town. The roadways are narrow, there's no sidewalk, honking jeeps blast through the crowds kicking up dust and scattering stones. The prospect of walking even one hundred metres to the railway office was not appealing.

"However we can you get tickets for you on the sightseeing toy train. It's a two hour excursion around the hills."

We agree and we're told we'll get a call when the arrangements have been made.
As promised, when we're out sightseeing, the driver receives a call on his cell phone indicating we had seats on the 10:40 train the next morning. Great.

Once at the hotel, my husband goes to collect the tickets.

"I'm sorry sir, I don't have the tickets. They are at the station. But you can pay me here"

"Well then give me a receipt so I will be able to show people at the station that they belong to me."

"I can't do that sir."

"Then I will pay at the station. Can you guarantee they will be there?" It's a key question because one needs to order these tickets for the two-hour ride 48 hours in advance during high season. It sells out quickly.

"OK. You can pay at the station. They are 240 rupees each but the agent charges 110 rupee commission for pick up."

"Then the agent can deliver the tickets to this hotel since I am paying nearly fifty percent mark-up. Why wouldn't he deliver them if he's charging to do so"

"I'll call and see what I can do."

In the end, we are promised delivery of the tickets by 9 am the next morning. We're cutting it close but since we haven't paid, if the tickets don't show, then we lose nothing.

It shouldn't have to be this hard to get service at a hotel costing $150 per night, which is high end in this town (with a couple of exceptions for plantation-based hotels).

In fact, it shouldn't be hard to check in either, but it was equally challenging.

We are shown to our room which we've booked a few days in advance. We are expecting a super deluxe that shows well on the internet. The attendants deposit our luggage in a room over the parking lot, beside the diesel generator. It looks nothing like the internet pictures. It's cramped; there's no fireplace. We don't waste a moment to return to reception.

The attendant is serving an Indian couple, apologizing that they have no more room for them. Dan interrupts with: "Tell them they can have our room." The attendant smiles. "No, I'm serious, the room you gave us is totally unacceptable. They can have it."

I've not seen any living creature move fast in these parts of India until this moment. A back room agent appears out of nowhere and takes us aside and instantly comes up with a new room. It's lovely and just like the pictures. Only the bathrobes are missing, which are supplied after another quick call.

The next surprise was finding out that the room did not have WiFi as promoted on the internet site. Another phone call; another attendant is sent to our room. I expect we've been flagged by now as the difficult ones.

"I'm sorry sir but you need to buy an internet card, priced by the hour."

"How is that possible since the website indicates it part of the amenities of the room?"

Since my husband and I had been planning on doing a few days work here, in the comfort of an upscale hotel, lack of internet made for another one of those frustrating moments. And with no internet, I couldn't prove that their website was misleading.

Another trip to the front desk and by now the office knows us. The concierge puts aside papers on her desk instantly, sighs, and offers us a seat.

"We'd like you to pull up your website and I will point out to you that you are advertizing something you are not delivering."

Our request is immediately granted. It's a definite plus for this place that people are so responsive, calm, and agreeable.

I pull up the page and it lists several features of the room: sofa, internet access, television, bathrobes, spa services, fireplace, among other things.

"You see sir, what it means is that you can have these things for a fee. Internet access is available in the room for a fee. For example the list also includes spa services and of course these are for an extra fee, they are not free in the room."

"If that's the case, then I must also assume your are charging us a fee for the fireplace, or for sitting on the sofa in the room, or for watching the television. These things are also on the list. Is that so?"

"Of course not sir."

"Then your website is misleading."

"I will make a note for my manager."

In the end we are offered use of the floor manager's office after 5 pm for internet access.

Should it be this hard?

On balance, I still recommend Mayfair. I've come to expect that things go wrong in West Bengal. Power failures are daily, noisy generators kick in, phone numbers are often wrong, the internet crashes. The Mayfair is operating in this environment and I know that similar annoyances occur at other hotels.

Out of curiosity, we checked out Mayfair's competing hotel, The Elgin, in order to compare the room amenities. While the reservations desk indicated that one of the features of its rooms was in-room internet access, we would only learn upon personal inspection, that there was an additional charge for such access. Lesson learned: don't make any assumptions. Ask precisely what's included "without additional charge".

Room Tip: If you don't like your room, insist that they change it.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank maturetravelerBLOG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2011

Undoubtedly the best place to stay in darjleeng. we had stayed with friends and the hotel staff went out of their way to accommodate our demands like arranging bonfire at short notice, extending dinner and breakfast timings and arranging for the transport. Considering we had 2 year old kid as well in our company, the staff really helped us in taking care of him while we all can have our meals without any botheration. The rooms are clean and comfortable with great view of the hills. The downtown is at the walking distance.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Prateeti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gurgaon, Haryana, India
1 review
Reviewed December 17, 2011

We stayed in the hotel from 12 to 15 Dec 2011. Hotel building ia an excellent piece of art. Rooms are very cozy. It was great to stay there. Food was of superb quality ( both Indian and continental). Staff was very helpful. There was no delay in the service on call. We also celebrated our marriage anniversary in the hotel. It was a memorable trip I will never forget and will like to stay again in Mayfair...

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank psen_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2011

Property is ok...food is just ok....ROOMS are good...
i guess best place to stay in darjeeling...
Never take taxi from hotel...go out and negotiate...
whenever goes for a package deal go into extreme details...they will not fulfill their committments and no one will be bothered to respond.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank nitinmandelia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level Contributor
247 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2011

The Mayfair has an excellent location (just short walk to mountain lookout and not far from downtown) and the villas have a great view. Don’t expect to have a view from the regular room, however; most views look out onto a bleak hillside.

On the other hand, views from the bar, restaurant and patio areas are fantastic. The décor of the hotel is renovated heritage, but is very attractive. It is unfortunate, however, that they chose to refinish the floors in composite plastic flooring rather than real wood. There is also a nicely decorated library/reading room with some very interesting books. Videos are available for rent.

The gym is small and exposed to other guests. The spa is even smaller and not worth trying.

The staff are very, very helpful and service was excellent. The food in both dining areas, both a la carte and buffet, was very good as well.

The rooms have a full bathroom and it is very clean. Each room also has an electric (faux) fireplace as well as a regular electric heater that heat up the room quite well on cold nights. The beds are quite comfortable and there is also a little sitting area. There are lots of plugs for recharging electronics and computers.

At time of writing, wifi was not available in the rooms except by purchasing a card. Staff warned, however, that it may or may not work because of weather conditions. Don’t risk it. They are hoping to have this problem fixed soon.

When we arrived they put us in the room over the parking lot and entrance and we noticed that there was no view other than of the parking area, it was noisy, it was right next to a staff office and a stairway used regularly by staff, and a diesel generator was right outside the door. Do not accept this room – ask to be moved immediately. It is very noisy from the cars and their drivers and there is a lot of noise and smell from the backup diesel generator. The power goes off regularly so the generator is running quite often.

All in all, this is one of the better hotels in Darjeeling, but it is rather expensive.

Room Tip: Try to get a room on an upper level where you might have a view. Do not accept a room near the parki...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DanoCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2011

I have taken a Group to Mayfair resort for a residential conference and during the stay i found the staff to be very cooperative and professional. Very good food with an amazing product Mayfair is indeed a wo9nderful to host events as well for a relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Padmanabhan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
39 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2011

We stayed as a family in the.

Positives:
Nice lobby outside all rooms
Cosy rooms with a fireplace
Well maintained bathrooms
Good views from the window
Tenzing room (study) is unique and an experience. Nice flowers all around and good facilities (tea room, children's room).
Staff is good, but reconfirm your booking 1-2 days before arriving
Comfortable beds

Negatives:
Food in the buffet is just ok for the money, not that fresh
Furnishings a bit worn out, but still good considering the amount of carpeting and wood used
Bit expensive, but ask for a discount and you might get some

Overall a pleasant experience

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a window, tea garden views from all windows
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rajesh0agrawal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bj8four, Manager at Mayfair Darjeeling, responded to this review, December 2, 2011
Dear Mr. Rajesh,

Thank you for your review of our hotel. We are happy to note that your overall experience was good with us and have also taken note of your feedback on the other aspects. We'd love to see you at Mayfair Darjeeling again and wish you a happy upcoming festive season.

Regards,

The Management at Mayfair Darjeeling
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mayfair Darjeeling

Property: Mayfair Darjeeling
Address: | Opposite Governor House, Darjeeling 734101, India
Location: India > West Bengal > Darjeeling District > Darjeeling
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Darjeeling
#1 Family Hotel in Darjeeling
#1 Luxury Hotel in Darjeeling
#4 Romantic Hotel in Darjeeling
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mayfair Darjeeling 4*
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
MAYFAIR Darjeeling - located in the lap of Mother Nature, is a star category deluxe heritage hotel that was once the summerhouse of Maharaja of Nazargunj. Located at prime location (opposite Governor's House) in Darjeeling, MAYFAIR Darjeeling is known for world-class facilities, state-of-the-art services, superb amenities, and a home like surrounding that pleases ever tourist. With 43 well-decorated and fully furnished rooms,the leading luxury hotel in Darjeeling provide you accommodation with the motive of "Stay with Us, Stay with Nature". Being over a century old, it still maintains the charm of the old world while having modern amenities and a young and vibrant staff. Warm fires in each room, spectacular sunsets, the stellar Spa, an exclusive Tea boutique and extensive dining options are just some of the reasons guests come back here time and again. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mayfair Darjeeling Hotel Darjeeling
Mayfair Hotel Darjeeling

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