Windamere, Darjeeling

What is it about this 40-room place, dating back to the 1800’s and the times of the British Raj Tea Planters, that makes it so appealing? All of our “houses on Observatory Hill” were formerly British Raj Boarding Houses for Bachelor Planters away from home. The rooms are exactly the same as they were back then, with roaring coal fires; hot water bottles in the beds; huge closets (that housed everything that the Tea Planter would ever have needed for his stay) and, best of all, a personal and warm service from the staff that is second to none. These old colonial houses are nestled in wonderfully blooming gardens, peeking out from behind picket fences and climbing roses. They are the only houses on Observatory Hill (the hill is an ancient “holy shrine”, with the Pundits and Monks offering blessings at the temple above); this elevation affords the guest a panoramic view of the mountains.. The food is legendary, with both Continental and Indian menus. The Continental cuisine still has remnants of the old Raj with such dishes as ‘Roly Poly Pudding’, ‘authentically prepared porridge for breakfast’ and ‘cheese & onion pie’. You can wash this down with our lovely wines and finish up with a cup of steaming Darjeeling Tea or freshly ground coffee. During dinner, the dining room is transformed into a candlelit affair, with soft music floating around in the ether. White-gloved waiters seem to glide in and around the tables and soft conversations are flowing.

The overall experience is helped along by our ‘Well Being Centre” which offers full body therapeutic massage and other such de-stressing modalities. You know, people actually do something strange in the sitting room, parlour and bar – they talk to each other – to total strangers! Firm friendships come from this and last for a lifetime. From all parts of the world, all paths lead home and meet here.