The Dawn Breaks...
The Dawn Breaks... by kg.abhi

Darjeeling India – Best Guesthouses and Hotels

Darjeeling is gorgeous place in northeastern part of India and a part of West Bengal. Spread over the hills and surrounded by valleys full of tea plantations of the famous Darjeeling tea, the town is a tourist Mecca. The Himalayas, the third highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga, and splendid views lure visitors from all over the world to come here in hordes.

Catering to the growing numbers of visitors, the hotel scene in Darjeeling offers a variety of options in all the price ranges though the majority of rooms fall into budget and mid-range category. There is a large choice of properties just along the main road and thus easily accessible by car. The downside of this convenient location is constant noise and traffic, so we personally prefer walking a bit away from the centre to quieter locations – it could be a hard job though if you have much luggage or kids in tow.

If you prefer booking in advance, do check the map to get an idea of how much walking you will need to do to get up and down. Enjoy Darjeeling, have a nice cup of tea and breathe the Himalayan atmosphere.

Budget

Darjeeling is a backpacker’s dream as there are sooooo many options when it comes to the budget accommodation. It usually comes in a form of homestays or hotels where you get a simple room with nothing more than a bed and an attached bathroom. Towels, soap and toilet paper are normally provided and you can expect some additional toiletries such as a tooth paste, a toothbrush and a comb in some places, too, but this is more common for hotels with higher rates. Budget hotels in Darjeeling mostly have WiFi; breakfast is rarely included into the room rates.

The choice of budget hotels is huge in Darjeeling, so we would recommend to check at least several options before you make your decision. The best area to start your research is nearby the railway station where many really cheap hotels are clustered. Room rates are around INR 500 but do not expect anything else than just a bed.

Another cheap area is the vicinity of the Clock Tower and along the streets up the hill. Be ready to do a lot of walking if you settle there as the terrain is hilly.

Hotel Broadway sits on Gandhi Road just behind the Clock Tower so the location is super convenient – very close to the centre plus not too high up the hill, hurray. It is a one-storey building housing well maintained rooms with nice design and wooden decorations. The staff are extremely welcoming and helpful. There is a restaurant, a banquet hall and a conference facility and WiFi works well here. Another pro is that thanks to the location the hotel is easy to find what is not always the case with other options. Everything is within a walking distance – so what more do you want? There is a choice of different rooms with the cheapest ones offered at about INR 1,500 during the high season.

Hotel Aliment is one of the most popular digs in Darjeeling. It is located on Dr Zakir Hussain Road, bit up the hill along a narrow street just above the Clock Tower. The rooms are quite simple, but there is a really good restaurant which dishes out delicious food, Another perk is the on-site library well known throughout Darjeeling. Non-guests are also welcome to visit the library and borrow or exchange books. Though the hotel sits up the hill, it is still accessible by car but be ready to navigate extremely narrow lanes and spend some time stuck in traffic. Note that there are not many places to eat in the immediate vicinity to the hotel – only a couple of momo and fried noodle stalls but there is an ATM just few meters from Aliment. The reception can help you with day trips and excursions – we went to the Tiger Hill with them. The family owning the hotel is very friendly. The high season room rate is approximately INR 1,700.

Himalayan Brook on Prabhunananda Road is a new comer to the Darjeeling hotel scene and stands out from the bunch thanks to the charming rooftop deck. The owner is very helpful and accommodating and the hotel provides all the basic facilities you may need. The price starts at INR 1,700 per room.

Closer to the centre check Hotel Seven Seas. The rooms are nothing special though well decorated and nice in general but the main selling point is the view over the Kanchenjunga mountain. The staff are very well behaved and the room rates start from INR 1,400.

A five-storey hotel off Lama Road, Hotel North Star houses 36 rooms, all with modern design. Breakfast is included into the room rates and is quite substantial. The hotel is located in tahe small lane always packed with parked cars so it may be tricky to get there by car. The rates start at INR 1,200.

Mid-range

Mid-range hotels in Darjeeling provide more amenities and are better maintained. Breakfast is usually included into the room rate. There are many options to choose from practically in all the areas of Darjeeling.

Hotel Sweet Home on Ladenla Road is a beautiful property with 27 rooms and free continental breakfast. Rooms are clean, nicely decorated and colourful; the location is central and thus very convenient. There is air-conditioning (though you probably won’t need it too often) and WiFi in all the rooms. The rates start at around INR 4,200 per room.

Hotel Sonar Bangla on Robertson Road is if not huge than at least quite big with its 44 rooms, a conference room and an on-site restaurant. It often accommodates package tours but a daily newspaper, WiFi and free breakfast included in the price compensate. It is also very close to the centre and boasts nice views from many rooms. Ah! The most pleasant thing about it is that all these perks come at INR 2,500 per room – what is a solid deal.

Top end

Although top end accommodation options are not Darjeeling’s strong point, you still can find some high-end places, both hotels and resorts, where you can get the combination of great ambiance, services and luxury to enjoy the nature and great views.

Right in the centre, on Gandhi Road, look for an imposing Hotel Sinclairs. It has 46 rooms, a restaurant, bar and business centre. There is also a room with slot games, a conference room and a storeroom plus a beautiful garden. Breakfast, WiFi and free parking come as a standard and are included into the price which starts from INR 5,200.

Another luxurious choice is CHAS Sian Resort and Spa on AJC Bose Road. Its 41 room are equipped with all the modern amenities, there is an on-site restaurant, a kids club, a business centre, a fitness and spa centre. A nice garden and a playground make it a good choice for families. WiFi and parking are free and you can choose half-board and full board options. Prices start at INR 10,300 per night.