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“Delightful Stay in Darjeeling!”
Review of Snow Lion HomeStay

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Snow Lion HomeStay
Ranked #18 of 99 Hotels in Darjeeling
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 14, 2014

My stay at Snow Lion HomeStay was wonderful! The room was affordable, comfortable and spacious and the bed was very comfortable. Everything was clean and I appreciated the hot water. They offered a space heater for only 200Rs a night which made the room very cozy in the cold climate. The staff were great and very accommodating. The hotel is in a good location ... easy to get to shops and restaurants but far enough away that its quiet. Would highly recommend this hotel and will happily stay there again on my next visit.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank lyow4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phuntsok G, Owner at Snow Lion HomeStay, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2014

TashiDelek!!!
Thank you very much for taking time out to post your your valuable feedback.
We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us during your vacation in Darjeeling.
We strive to treat all our guests with warmth, personalized service & hospitality. We are constantly trying to better ourselves on all aspects.
I, on behalf of the entire Snowlion Homestay family thank you for choosing to stay with us and cherish the memories of your visit to this part of the world.
TashiDelek!!!
Gailly.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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91 - 97 of 194 reviews

Reviewed March 12, 2014

I went there with my 2 friends last week. We were staying from 5-7 March 2014. The room was very clean. Staffs were really supportive, very polite and down to earth. Extra mattress was provided for 600 rupees. Only 1 issue we faced that the hotel does not provide room heater along with the room. You have to pay extra 200 bucks for the same every night. Rest is good.

Room Tip: Check the room before check-in. This will help. Rooms on 2nd floor are better.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Aseem S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phuntsok G, Owner at Snow Lion HomeStay, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2014

TashiDelek!!!
Thank you very much for taking time out to post your your valuable feedback.
We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us during your vacation in Darjeeling!
The heater we provided you is an Italian radiator which is far more effective than a conventional heater but consumes 3 times the electricity so the Rs.200 charge is very nominal. Ofcourse, hot-water bottles are complimentary!!!!
We strive to treat all our guests with warmth, personalized service & hospitality. We are constantly trying to better ourselves on all aspects.
I, on behalf of the entire Snowlion Homestay family thank you for choosing to stay with us and cherish the memories of your visit to this part of the world.
TashiDelek!!!
Gailly.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

I chose Snow Lion based on what I had read on the Internet. It sounded like a cozy, homey place to stay, rather than some of the other more formal hotels. It is run by several generations of a Tibetan family.

I visited Darjeeling many times as a child and as an adult. It’s probably my favorite place in the world and I had saved this visit as the finale for my 2-week trip to India. It is a magical and mystical place nestled in the Himalayan foothills where Tibetan prayer flags carry messages aloft and your spirit truly touches the sky.

Positive things: It is centrally located. Family members keep the Inn exceedingly clean – polished banisters and stairs - everything is immaculate. The grandparents who served breakfast were gracious, while the younger siblings smiled and were always courteous. Beds and bedding are plush. There are lots of colorful hand-woven Tibetan rugs on the floors and chairs throughout the Inn. Wi-fi is available. Almost everything else was a negative.

The room for my daughter and I overlooked the main street. There was supposed to be a view but there wasn’t. Due to excessive noise from the road, I requested another room. This was not a problem, but the window looked out at a building a few feet away. It was dark but quiet.

The eating area on the third floor is beautiful, the only place with a view. I had read that the complimentary breakfast was incredible. However, breakfast only consisted of cold eggs and cold toast. Other hotels where we stayed served a variety of continental and local dishes. Coffee was OK. There are no other meals available. I would recommend choosing a hotel with an in-house restaurant for those times when you’re just too tired to go out to eat.

The main problem was the manager. She provided a driver whose command of English was extremely limited. He either spoke not at all or only answered ‘yes’ to our questions. We were driven to places in which we had no interest and missed those we really wanted to visit – Ghoom Monastery and the old Hotel Mount Everest, a landmark where I had stayed several times that is now closed. I had asked to visit a tea plantation. The driver pulled over on a steep road, pointed over the edge, and said, "Tea." No tour - nothing. The manager said she would give us another driver, but didn't. To be fair, he was an excellent driver over roads that can best be described as treacherous.

I had researched several eating places to try. However, they were straight down neighboring roads, and I do mean down, which meant long uphill walks back to the Inn. At age 70, I had already walked extensively during our entire trip and have medical conditions that make it hard to climb hills. I asked the manager if I could hire her driver or a taxi to take us to nearby destinations and restaurants.

She refused, saying we needed to walk wherever we wanted to go. She said the main road was one-way and that where I wanted to go was the wrong way. She would not listen to my explanation that it was possible to go around a loop in the road to get to where we wanted to go. Anyway, my daughter and I ended up eating at nearby restaurants where we could walk to that were terrible and we missed seeing several sites I wanted to share with my daughter.

The manager also demanded payment in full for our visit, claiming our agency had not paid them. I explained I had already paid the hotel charges to the agency, but she was adamant that we could not leave without paying. It was quite tense and ugly, but finally resolved.

The experience of staying at the Snow Lion Homestay left a really sour taste. I certainly would not recommend Snow Lion Homestay to anyone.

Room Tip: If you value a quiet setting, ask for a room that does not overlook the noisy busy street below.
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Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
2  Thank M Kay H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phuntsok G, Owner at Snow Lion HomeStay, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2014

TashiDelek! Thank you for your review. It seems that the agency you booked through did not clarify the details with you properly. I had clearly told them before accepting the booking that the rooms with the mountain view were already booked. Our breakfast room is a common area & the KanchenJunga ranges are visible on a clear day!

As for the tours, the agency requested a guide along with the driver so I had quoted the local guide charges to them. The agency then said no guide was required. Our drivers are very experienced, courteous and honest hill folk who do their duty diligently but have limited knowledge of English. As you say that his driving was excellent on the treacherous roads of the hills, that criteria is of utmost importance as we are responsible for the well-being & safety all of our guests.

We are a family managed place so & so strive to treat all our guests with warmth, personalized service & hospitality. We are constantly trying to better ourselves on all aspects.
A simple request for anything will always be promptly handled!
TashiDelek!
Gailly.

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Reviewed March 2, 2014

All previous reviews are justified.....I had stayed in this homestay from 27th Feb to 1st Mar 14. Approchable to almost all important area of Darjeeling. Excellent people to take care of your requirements. Mr Gailly and team were wonderful. Each and every activity was full of homely touch.

The interior of the Dining area was awesome having combination of antique as well as modern masterpieces. Loved the way they have put the older memories of Darjeeling at the staircase.

Rooms were spacious and toilets were clean. Room service was very much alert and prompt. They have a good terrace from which you can see the mountain range.

Pros: Nice location, clean place, nice staff, Homely atmosphere, good breakfast.

Cons : The facade of the building is not visible from distant place. A small & nice neon glow hoarding over the porch /canopy will enhance its view.

Room Tip: choose a room at 1st floor. It is easy for children and elderly people
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank architectsom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phuntsok G, Owner at Snow Lion HomeStay, responded to this reviewResponded March 5, 2014

Losar TashiDelek!!! Happy Male Wood Horse year!!!
Thank you very much for taking time out to post you’re your helpful feedback. I have made a note of your valuable suggestions!
We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us during your vacation in Darjeeling. We strive to treat all our guests with warmth, personalized service & hospitality. We are constantly trying to better ourselves on all aspects.
I, on behalf of the entire Snowlion Homestay family thank you for choosing to stay with us and cherish the memories of your visit to this part of the world.
TashiDelek!!!
Gailly.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014

A warm welcome awaitedme. The car collecting me from Bagdogra was on time and in good condition with a v Rey helpful driver who took me the scenic route as requested. He was happy to stop for photo opportunities. Darjeeling was colder than I had expected after Kolkata. Staff could not have been more helpful got me room heater, hot water bottles arrived within 10 minutes and everyone was so friendly . Trips to tiger hill, Sikkim etc were efficiently organised with good driver Jacky who was most accommodating in stopping for photos, chai , breakfast etc. he was a safe skilful driver and I always felt safe. I stayed an extra 4 days because they made me feel a part of the family. A great place to stay.

Room Tip: Try and get room facing mountains as high as possible. Great views from the roof where family are ha...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
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2  Thank afolker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phuntsok G, Owner at Snow Lion HomeStay, responded to this reviewResponded March 2, 2014

Losar TashiDelek!!! Happy Male Wood Horse year!!!
Thank you very much for taking time out to post you’re your helpful feedback.
We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us during your vacation in Darjeeling. We strive to treat all our guests with warmth, personalized service & hospitality. We are constantly trying to better ourselves on all aspects.
I, on behalf of the entire Snowlion Homestay family thank you for choosing to stay with us and cherish the memories of your visit to this part of the world.
TashiDelek!!!
Gailly.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

Everyone was very accommodation at Snow Lion. The breakfast is great and you get lots of hot water bottles. The heater is an extra 200RS per night (which we didn't know until the very end that we were being charged for it - which wasn't the best as we had no problem paying but would have rather known up front) There is hot water and the rooms are tidy. Breakfast is very nice and there is wifi throughout. There were a few power outages but there was a generator during those times. We were 3 people in a double room so we were charged an extra 600RS per night. The staff was great overall!!

Room Tip: I guess some rooms have a good view but ours did not which didn't really matter bc it was foggy...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank jenlmbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phuntsok G, Owner at Snow Lion HomeStay, responded to this reviewResponded January 2, 2014

TashiDelek & Happy New Year 2014!!!
Thank you very much for taking time out to post you’re your valuable feedback.
We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us during your vacation in Darjeeling.
We strive to treat all our guests with warmth, personalized service & hospitality. We are constantly trying to better ourselves on all aspects.
I, on behalf of the entire Snowlion Homestay family thank you for choosing to stay with us and cherish the memories of your visit to this part of the world.
TashiDelek!!!
Gailly.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

The Snowlion is a wonderful, modern, homely hotel run with an excellent friendly service. The staff are exceptionally helpful, the rooms are a good size, comfortable and well decorated. Slight warning if travelling to Darjeeling during Winter, the Snowlion (like everywhere in Darjeeling) shall be cold, even with the rs.200 heaters so bring wolly socks and hats - your be fine!

I really enjoyed my stay at the snowlion, their excellence award is utterly deserved. I have not given the hotel a 5 out of 5 because my bed did have bed bugs, once reported Snowlion quickly replaced all bedding and there was no further bed bug incidence. Slight mark down for this, as I would of hoped all rooms would of been inspected before arrival.

Great hotel, happily stay again on my next visit to Darjeeling

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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Thank smg201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phuntsok G, Owner at Snow Lion HomeStay, responded to this reviewResponded December 28, 2013

TashiDelek! Thank you very much for your valuable feedback!

We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us during your vacation in Darjeeling. We strive to treat all our guests with warmth, personalized service & hospitality. We are constantly trying to better ourselves on all aspects.

We have encased the bed mattresses with a proactive cover. Housekeeping is done everyday & bathrooms are sanitised after every check-out.
I, on behalf of the entire Snowlion Homestay family thank you for choosing to stay with us and cherish the memories of your visit to Darjeeling!
TashiDelek!
Gailly.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Snow Lion HomeStay

Address: 27A Gandhi Road | Opposite Bethany primary school, Darjeeling 734101, India
Location: India > West Bengal > Darjeeling District > Darjeeling
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
#6 Best Value Hotel in Darjeeling
Price Range: $22 - $49 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Snow Lion HomeStay 1.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of Darjeeling, close to the Mall's shopping and entertainment, is "Snowlion Homestay." The hotel is owned & managed by a Tibetan family. Located on Gandhi Road, which is a continuation of the Mall Road, it provides an ideal base for the many local tourist attractions, whilst being in a central, upmarket area of the town. All our rooms have en suite (attached) bathroom with showers, hot & cold running water (24hrs), W.C, in-house telephone and remote control television with Cable TV (37 channels including BBC, Star TV, Zee, ESPN etc). We provide room heaters and hot water bottles at no additional cost during the winter season. WI-FI is freely accessible in the lounge. We would be happy to arrange for a taxi to collect you at BGD airport or NJP station. We have pick-up from BGD airport or NJP station and travel to Darjeeling (one way). If you choose to use us to be dropped back to the Airport or Station at the end of your stay, we will arrange it. The drive up to Darjeeling is 3hrs and is in any event very scenic. Often tourists choose to use a slightly longer (and even more scenic) route via Mirik Lake. This latter route is approximately 4 hrs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Snow Lion Homestay Darjeeling
Snow Lion Homestay Hotel Darjeeling

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