I traveled to Darjeeling with a friend and we pre-booked our stay with Shangri-La Regency about a month before going. We were told in Kolkata that we didn't need to pre-book as there are a lot of hotels to choose from up there and it is low season so there would definitely be room for a lot cheaper than what we paid.
However despite paying a little extra (still very good value if you convert it back to Australian dollars), my friend and I were thankful that we had pre-booked this hotel. When we arrived at NJP station we did not have to search for a good value taxi or jeep or haggle because we'd definitely be ripped off. Rather we were greeted by our driver with a name card and taken to our taxi, which was a very nice jeep and was very roomy for 2 people for the 3 hour journey up the hill.
When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by friendly staff who took our luggage up to the top floor for us (we stayed in the attic room), and we settled in. We bought the package which included transfers to and from the train station via taxi, 3 nights accommodation, breakfast each morning, lunch or dinner daily, and a sightseeing tour to tiger hill, a temple and batasia loop. This was a good choice because for the sightseeing tour we got a private taxi up to the hill and the driver waited for us until we finished. You definitely want this if you don't want to be in the cold for too long, because Darjeeling is freezing and you don't want to be locating a taxi stand at 4am in the morning.
All the meals that were included were fit for a king. There was a choice of Chinese dishes and Indian dishes, and each meal included so much that it was impossible to finish.
The rooms were comfortable and there was always running hot water. The electricity would sometimes go off but the hotel has generators so at least some lights will work (as opposed to some other hotels which don't have generators and if the electricity goes out - which it always does in Darjeeling - then you will be left in the dark). There was a heater in our room and at night we had hot water bottles brought to our rooms. There were many channels on the tv and we enjoyed watching a lot of American movies and tv shows.
Overall our stay was VERY enjoyable, the staff were very professional and friendly and always greeted us with a smile. Communication was no problem because they had excellent english. They are quick to reply to emails. The only downside was that the advertised wifi did not work the whole time we were there. However there is a very good internet cafe just across the road with very fast internet and big flat screen monitors.
Location is good - it is not right on the main street so it isn't noisy but because the main area in Darjeeling is so small it's only about a 5 minute walk to the main street.
This place is probably not for people who are on a very tight budget, but if you are willing to pay just a little more you won't regret it because of the service, the convenience and the professionalism of this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With the views of the Kanchenjunga from the rooftop lounge, reputation for friendly staff and quality accommodation Shangrila Regency represents good value for money. All the rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Rates are for two people sharing and include breakfast. We have our own high quality cars that can be booked in advance to pick you up from the airport/station as well as for tours and onward travel. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Shangrila Regency Hotel Darjeeling
- Regency Hotel Darjeeling
- Regency Hotel Shangrila