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Darjeeling Tourist Lodge

Category: 2-Star & Budget Rooms 
 
The Tourist Lodge in Darjeeling is a West Bengal state government run hotel and provides 2 star amenities in its main building as well as economy rooms in the Annex building. From Mall road and opposite to the Gorkha Ranga Mancha building there is a steep bifurcation on the right which leads to the tourist lodge at the end. From the Mall, it's about 5 to 6 minutes walk. As you enter through the large iron gate into the lodge premises, the first impression is that it's a fairly large property compared to the other hotels in its category. There is a large open space in front along with a car park. 
 
The main building has 15 rooms. I have reviewed rooms in the Annex Building in a separate section below. As you enter the main building, there is a small reception area right in front with a small reception counter. There is a corridor on the left that leads to the rooms at the ground floor. A stairway leads to the upper floor rooms. What I liked about the stairway is at every landing, there is a sofa seating arrangement with wonderful view of the valley through the large windows. This is an ideal place to have a cup of tea and enjoy the views. 
 
Darjeeling Tourist Lodge 
Darjeeling Tourist Lodge 
 
There are two types of rooms in the main building - Standard double rooms that are smaller in size but large enough for a comfortable stay. And there are large double rooms. Out of the large rooms, there are few that are mighty large and have separate dressing area with dressing table, large wall mirrors, sofa sets and such. 
 
 
 
If take a large double room, then go for a real big one (for example room no. 15) as there is no difference in rates between different types of large rooms. However all rooms including the standard rooms have a wonderful covered private balcony at the back side. There are comfy chairs and tables placed there. The covered balconies have windows opening out to fantastic views of the valley and mountain range. 
 
Standard Double Room in main  building 
 
 
Large Room (No. 11) in main building 
 
 
From the balcony of the standard rooms you can the see the Phuk Chiring Tea estate. From some of the larger room balconies you can get a lovely view of the Lebong Race Course. On a clear day, you can have great views of the snow peaks including the Kanchenjunga from almost all the rooms (from the balconies). 
 
Large room (#15) with dressing area 
 
 
The rate for single occupancy is 25% lesser than double occupancy. All the rooms have wall LCD TVs. The large rooms have Sony LCD TVs. The rooms have phones connected to EPABX system. They also provide room heaters during winter time. The bathrooms are really large and have geysers for hot and cold water. 
 
Bathroom of room #15 
 
 
There is a lovely lush green lawn at the backside of the hotel. This garden can be seen from the balconies of the rooms. Although the lawn is used for private functions, anybody can otherwise go down to the lawn and enjoy the scenic views all around. You can clearly see the entire Eastern Himalayan range from the lawn. There is a small hut at one end of the lawn which is used to set up a bar or bar-b-que. On another side of the lawn there is a nice fountain where the water streams fall through the rocks. 
 
Backside Lawn & View of Kanchenjunga 
 
 
In the ground floor of the main building there is an in-house restaurant which serves Indian and Chinese dishes (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian). The restaurant is large and has several tables. 
 
Dining Room (Restaurant) 
 
 
There is also a bar lounge in the ground floor next to the reception area.  
 
Bar lounge 
 
 
On the first floor, the lodge also has a conference room with conferencing facilities. The check in and check out time is 12 noon. 
 
 
 
Annex Building - Darjeeling Tourist Lodge, Budget Option 
The tourist lodge provides an economy option for budget travelers as well. The annex building is located right adjacent to the main building and offers 15 rooms that are much cheaper than the rooms in the main building. There are two floors in the building. A concrete stairway from outside leads to the lower floor and then an inside stairway to the upper floor rooms. 
 
Annex Room (#26) 
 
 
The rooms here, although a bit smaller than ones in the main building, are quite okay. All the basic amenities are available including TV (ordinary ones though), hot & cold water in the attached bathrooms, wooden floors, cupboards etc. 
 
Annex 4-bedded room (#24) 
 
 
However one of the key shortfalls here is the view. The rooms in the lower floor have no views at all. The windows open out to the backside of staff quarters. So you will be better off keeping the windows closed. The ones at the upper floor have some views though but the views are mostly blocked by trees. If you get the corner room (#24 which is a 4 bedded room) or the one next to it (#25, a double bedded room), you will still get some views through the trees. 
 
Batroom of Annex Room #24 
 
 
You can anyway go down to the backside lawn and get great views of the snow peaks. Rooms are fairly clean and staffs clean the rooms everyday if you leave the key behind at the reception. Overall a good value for money. 
 
Although the taps, shower mixers, hand showers etc have all been recently changed, the water pressure in the annex bathrooms is often a problem. You can hardly use the showers due to low water pressure. And it takes a while to understand how you will finally get the hot water out from the taps although the geyser has fully warmed up the water. It requires some special skill but possible :) 
 
 
 
Overall Opinion 
Here is my overall opinion about the Darjeeling Tourist Lodge 
  • Among the 2-star & budget accommodations in Darjeeling, the tourist lodge is one of the best when you consider the location, rooms and amenities. 
  • The location is excellent and only 5-6 minutes from the Chowrasta Mall. However, this part of the Bhanu Sarani or Mall road where the hotel is located, is quite steep. So some elderly people may find it a bit difficult to walk back to the hotel from the Mall area. 
  • The hotel is great for families. It has lot of open space in front and a lovely garden in the back side for children to play around. The lawn has lovely views of Kanchenjunga and the mountain range. 
  • The in-house restaurant is okay, nothing great. I thought the food preparations are a bit bland. But tolerable. They make north Indian and Chinese dishes. 
  • Tariff now includes breakfast both in main and annex rooms. And in breakfast you have choice of bread, butter, jam, egg (single), tea etc or puri, sabji, tea. But only two thin slices if bread which may not be enough for most. 
  • The private balconies in the main building's larger rooms are special and offer some of the best views of the mountain range, valley and tea estates. 
  • Most of the staff have been working here since many years. For example, one of my favorite waiters Balakrishna has been working here since 1998. Being a state government owned hotel, the service can be quite slow at times and the waiters may sometimes look dispassionate. Sometimes you may also find few of them a little rude. They don't mean to be so, but that's how they appear to be. Probably the age and the routine monotonous work is showing in their expressions. But some of the young ones are exceptionally good. 
  • Don't be surprised if you hear at the reception that the bar is closed because the person who operates the bar hasn't turned up and but key is kept in his possession. 
  •  
    Location 
    From the Chowrasta Mall take the left part of the Mall Road (also known as Bhanu Bhakta Sarani). Walk up to the Gorkha Ranga Manha (the large building with a sphere on top) which is about 5 minutes from the Mall. On the right you will see an uphill road which goes by the side of St. Andrew's Church and then the Darjeeling Gymkhana Club. There are signs of the tourist lodge along the road. At the end of the road (about 1 minute from Ranga Mancha), you will see the main gate of the lodge. 
     
    Address: 
    Darjeeling Tourist Lodge, Bhanu Sarani, Darjeeling 734101, India. 
     
    How to Book Darjeeling Tourist Lodge 
    Note that Darjeeling Tourist Lodge is run and administered by West Bengal Tourism Department (WBTDC). You can book online through WBTDC's official website. Once you visit their website (www.westbengaltourism.gov.in), you will get an option for Online Booking of WBTDC Tourist Lodge for rooms in both main and annex buildings. 
     
    Otherwise visit a WBTDC office. Their office in Kolkata is at BBD Bag near the mini bus stand. Address: 3/2 B.B.D. Bag (East), Kolkata - 700001 
    Phone: 033 - 22436440, 22488271;  
    Email: tourismcentre.kol@westbengaltourism.gov.in 
     
    Related Articles 
     
    1) Check out Darjeeling Top 2 Star Hotels to know about the other great mid priced hotels. 
     
     
    Visitors' Reviews/Comments 
     
    Amarjyoti Kar (May 2014) 
    We found Darjeeling Tourist Lodge very clean, secured and quiet. It is best if you are planning with your family and also the back side garden is very nice specially for kids. But the bad part is room service, which needs to improve as well as the breakfast - only two slices of bread. 
     
    Sagnik Majumder (April 2014) 
    I have booked 2 rooms on Annex building. Do they offer complimentary breakfast (i.e. Continental Plan) within the tariff? 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2014 
    Yes they do ... toast, omlette, bread, butter/jam, tea or puri/sabji/tea etc. But only two slices of thin bread which may not be enough for most. Breakfast however is the same for rooms in both main and Annex buildings. 
     
    Abhijit Roy (November 2013) 
    Dear Raj, As I have planned for Darjeeling in next January I want to book standard double bed room in the main building of the tourist lodge. As I will book through website I am not getting information about the floor. Which floor will be best for view? And one more thing as I have 2 years old daughter can hotel provide 24 hrs water supply in January and also room heater? And above all am I taking risk by going there in January with my little daughter. Please help me as I think you will be the best person to answer these silly questions perhaps. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2013 
    Hi, The ground floor has restaurant, lounge, bar etc. They will give a room in the upper floor. Room heater is provided, but that may not be adequate for all. So take adequate winter protections. Being a government run lodge, they may not provide extra services like additional room heater etc. It can be biting cold out there and quite demanding out of a 2 years old. If you must go in Jan, choose a hotel with electrical bed heating systems like The Villa Everest. That hotel also has great views from the rooms although it's a bit of a walk to the Mall (about 12-15 minutes). 
     
    Nivedita Seal (May 2013) 
    Dear Raj, I need a little help from you once again. Will you please give me the information about the tariff of Darjeeling Tourist Lodge (main building). Do they give off season discount? In the first week of December will we be able to get the discount ? Thanks 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com, May 2013) 
    You can go to the WBTDC website (mentioned in the above section), go through the booking option and you will get the rates. They will show actual rates (even discounted) depending on the date you choose. 
     
    Saurav Ganguli (May 2013) 
    Dear Raj, Does Darjeeling Tourist Lodge accommodate extra person in standard double bedded (main) room? Since we are a family of 3 persons only, hence it will be quite good if an extra person is allowed. Please guide me about the tariff required for the extra person ( if you have any idea) :) Thanks & Regards 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com, May 2013) 
    They allow extra bed. For tariff call them up or go down to the local WBTDC office. 
     
    Parna Sarker (April 2013) 
    We checked in into Darjeeling Tourist Lodge and found it very clean, secured and quiet. Best staying option for family. No problem if your aged family members are with you. your car can go till the front of the hotel. The road is well maintained. it is not steep and fairly walk-able. There is an ample space to park your vehicle. We got room allotted in the Annex building and trust me it is as good as the rooms are in the main building. Only the view from room's on the 1st floor window open towards the quarter of the sub staffs but 2nd floor rooms don't have this problem. 24 hrs water supply (hot & cold) available. room service is average though they clean the rooms everyday. 
     
    Sourav Chowdhury (April 2013) 
    Hi, I have already booked in Annex Bldg in the tourist lodge since there was no other option and I stuck with WBTDC lodge, but after going through your review I became disappointed. Won't I get any Himalayan range view from the room of Annex Bldg? Again, please update me about the fooding facility. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com, April 2013) 
    Hi, There is no view from most rooms in Annex building. But you can go out to the backside lawn and get all the views. The rooms are smaller compared to the ones in main building (although not really small) and have lesser amenities. You pay far less for the Annex rooms, so obviously you can't expect much here. There is no problem with food. 
     
    Prakash Das (March 2013) 
    Hi there. I am planning to book my stay in Darjeeling in coming April at the annex building of the tourist lodge. Can you please inform about the facilities, services and quality of rooms at the annex building of Darjeeling tourist lodge. Why the price difference is so huge in the main building and the annex building. Is there any option to view the photo of the rooms of annex building. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com, March 2013) 
    Annex building rooms are inferior and therefore the difference in price. In Darjeeling, Annex hotel/building means economy option with low level services. Book rooms in the main building if you are visiting with your family. 
     
    Sakti Chaudhuri (March 2013) 
    As I am planning to visit Darjeeling with my mother, she got problem with her walking .... so pls. tell me how can reach from jeep stand to WBTDC Lodge if I don't opt to walk .... what is the distance exactly. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com, March 2013) 
    You can take a taxi from the jeep stand for a drop to the lodge. From the chowk bazaar (lower Bazaar) jeep stand, it would be some 30-35 minutes uphill walk to the lodge. Even for a normal person, it could be quite tiring, and with luggage it is not doable. 
     
    Barbara Craven (February 2013) 
    Hello Travel Writer, I've done some travel writing myself, years ago. Fun job. Regarding Darjeeling Tourist Lodge: 1. Can foreigners stay there? 2. Are there a quite a few families with children who stay there? I am looking for a quiet resting place while on a 3 month trip, and kids yelling is not restful. 3. Can a car drive right up to the door? 4. Are there options to get back up the hill from the mall? I'm 64. Thanks, 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com, February 2013) 
    Hello, Yes foreigners can certainly stay at Darjeeling Tourist Lodge. During high season, expect lot many families with kids (some of them can be really noisy). Virtually no hotel would be spared unless you choose one of the top end ones like Windamere. Car can drop you right up to the entrance and also pick you up when you leave. But from the Mall, the only option is to walk, and it's a bit of uphill walk although not very difficult. So if you take it easy and slow, you shouldn't have much problems. Actually there is one more option .. a little weird though ..you can take a pony ride from the mall and reach the hotel in 3-4minutes :) Agree... travel writing is fun!! ... Much better when I compare it with my earlier professional day job:) Regards, 
     
    Deep (February 2013) 
    Hi Raj, I am trying to book Darjeeling tourist lodge (Main Building) for 4 days in May. I know I can book it from WBTDC website but website dont give you any option to choose any rooms. I tried to contact their BBD Bag office over phone, but no luck. As I dont stay in Kolkata so dont have an opportunity to go to BBD Bag office and talk to these guys face to face. Any idea how do these guys allocate rooms. Am I on their mercy on what is available when I and up there. Any suggestions will be higly appreciated. Thank You  
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com, February 2013) 
    The rooms are allocated as per the type (price category) you choose. All rooms in the same category are similar in amenities, views etc. So you need not worry. 
     
    Shiny (January 2013) 
    Can you please review or give some more information about wbtdc Darjeeling tourist lodge annex building. how far is it from the main building. Thanks in advance.  
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) 
    The annex building of the tourist lodge is right next to the main hotel building and in the same compound. 
     
    Dipanjan (September 2012) 
    Hi Raj, Finally I have booked my stay at darjeeling tourist lodge. Rs 1800 per night with view and garden looks likr a steal to me considering what others are charging. Hopefully it will be a memorable first trip. 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) 
    Dipanjan, Yes, Darjeeling tourists lodge is a good choice. Large rooms with balconies and view of the Lebong race course at a distance below. I love them. The only issue may be the service ... government employed staff working since years ... Some of them are nice though. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
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