Amartya Mukherjee (September 2021)
Hi Raj, I am thinking of staying in Hotel Himalayan Retreat in Darjeeling. Is it a good hotel with the basic amenities? Is it close to the mall? Would you suggest staying here?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2021
Hi, it's an 'okay' type budget hotel... nothing great. Being a Jagjeet group of hotels (whose original hotel is in Mirik, and that's a nice hotel), you can expect some minimum standards maintained though. Rooms have basic modern amenities, food choices aren't great. The hotel is located on a narrow lane... the mall is about a 5-minute uphill walk. For its price, there are better value-for-money hotels.
Amartya Mukherjee (September 2021)
Hi Raj, I am confused between Mount Conifer Suites and Spa, Hotel Sunflower and Hotel Himalayan Retreat. Can you please recommend the best with respect to location, views and amenities.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2021
Hi, Sunflower is a notch above the other two when it comes to the category of hotels. From a location perspective, Sunflower Hotel is best located... it's tucked in one corner of the Mall itself and at the entrance to an alleyway that leads to the Bhutia Market. However, this hotel serves only vegetarian food (the food quality is quite good though). Non-vegetarians can walk down to numerous eateries only a stone's throw away. Rooms are little small and most rooms have windows opening out to the common corridor which in turn has large glass panes on its opposite wall. So in order to get the valley views, one needs to remove the window curtains and see through the panes of the corridor... that's okay but then privacy could be an issue because people walking on the corridor can then see the insides of the rooms. You can only get valley views from the rooms, but not of Kanchenjunga... however, as you come out of the hotel, you are literally standing on the Mall... walk down to the Mall Road (east) only yards away and you can get one of the best views of Kanchenjunga. You can go through my review of Sunflower hotel here.
Mount Conifer is a relatively new budget hotel and rooms are nicely done up. However, it's located on a very narrow lane (off Laden La road) with buildings on all sides. Rooms practically have no views. The Mall is a 7-8 minutes uphill walk from the hotel. The Rink Mall (a shopping mall) is located very close to it on Laden La Road. I have already shared my views earlier about Hotel Himalayan Retreat. Regards,
Divya Bhatia (August 2021)
Thank you so much for all the inputs, very helpful. Is Muscatel hotel (Darjeeling) safe for solo female traveller and is the location fine from mall road? or do you suggest some place else.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2021
Muscatel Himalayan Resort is a new budget hotel... opened in early 2021. From a location and safety perspective, there is no issue as such. The only thing is, it's located on top of a narrow alleyway and requires a steep climb of about 40-50 yards from the main road. However, the rooms are cozy, wood finished and have wooden furniture.
There is no view from this hotel other than from the suite room on the top floor and from the roof-top viewing deck. The Mall is about a 10-minute walk. Food could be an issue both in terms of price and taste. Staff behavior is good. I have heard that recently some maintenance issues related to electricals and bathroom fittings have started emerging.... but that can happen in small hotels. Overall a nice budget hotel.
You can also look into Hotel Revolver... located around the same place on Gandhi Road. It's been owned by a local couple since 2010 and is nicely maintained. They have their own vehicles for pickups/drops and tours... offered at very reasonable rates. They only take direct bookings and not through any booking agency. You can check my own experience here.
Madhurima (July 2021)
We are planning to visit Darjeeling in November 1st week. Looking for budget hotels but something near the Mall, as my mother has knee problem, she can't use a staircase...or too much walk from a hotel is not possible. Our preference is Revolver or Hotel Mahakal. So please tell me how far they are from the mall.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2021
The walk to the mall from Hotel Revolver takes about 12-15 minutes at a normal speed (it also involves an uphill walk on Nehru Road)... this would be difficult to negotiate for a person with knee problems, plus all rooms are upstairs and one needs to climb an external staircase.
Hotel Mahakal is located centrally but on a very congested road (Robertson Road). Here too the rooms are upstairs and one needs to climb the stairs. The mall is about a 6-7 minute walk (mostly uphill along Nehru road). This hotel is popular with Bengalis because of the Bengali food it serves.
Unless the view from the room is important, you can look into Hotel Alice Villa... the car can reach right up to the hotel's door-front, there are ground floor rooms as well, the mall is only 2-3 minute uphill walk through the Bhutia Market.
Saugato (October 2020)
Hi Raj, Thanks for those valuable information. It really makes our job easy when we plan to travel to Darjeeling. We are a couple and have a plan to visit Darjeeling during Durga Puja 2020. We will be staying for 3 nights but little confused about choosing our Hotel. Please suggest which hotel will be good among 1) Alice Villa 2) Golden Heights Enclave - Got Delux room under 2000 per night through Goibibo 3) Sanghri La Regency 4) Hotel Capital 5) Dip Palace etc.
Our requirement - Near by Mall Road, Dinner in Hotel, Good quality stay within budget and good polite service. If we get a good view room, that will be great. Need your suggestion
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2020
Hi, The first two are good choices. Alice Villa is a good budget hotel (book a room in the heritage wing) and it's very near to the mall. However, there is no Kanchenjunga view from the rooms. Few rooms in Golden Heights Enclave have views, but cheap rates through online agencies will almost invariably land you into the worst rooms in that category... that's the unsaid rule. You should also look into Meghbalika Tourism Property (erstwhile Darjeeling Tourist Lodge) of WBTDCL... either the main building or annex building rooms.
PS. Check with the hotels if they have all clearances to operate when you visit, few of them including Golden Heights was identified as a Covid cluster a few days back.
Rohit Ranjan (January 2020)
Hi Raj, Greetings :) Can you please provide your valuable inputs on the below queries:
1. Regarding the stay in Darjeeling - Chowrasta or Mall road, which one do you suggest will be apt for a family. I am coming with a 6 months young kid so looking for a place from where I need not to walk much. Can you please share the preferable budget hotels. 2. Can you please suggest any vehicle Service for a Day tour to Tiger Hill + 5/7 Point day tour. Thanks!!
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2020
Hi, Mall area is not accessible to taxis. The only exception is Darjeeling Tourist Lodge (now Meghbalika Tourism Complex) where taxis can go up to the lodge and the reception staff can organize day tours by private taxi as well as drops to NJP/Bagdogra. There are several other budget hotels near Mall that are convenient and near taxi stand... you can look into Fairmont Hotel, Broadway etc. Shangri La Hotel is very close to Mall but requires a little uphill walk along Nehru Road. You can contact Ashmita or any other tour operator mentioned in my list of tour operators.
Abhishek Chakraborty (July 2016)
Hi Raj, Thank you very much for your exceptionally helpful reviews and guides on Darjeeling. It will be so nice of you if you could help with following queries on budget hotels of Darjeeling.
1) While most of the hotels have a check-in time of 12PM or post 12 PM (e.g Revolver says they have check-in time 1PM), how they treat the tourists who arrive by 10-11 AM? (If I get down NJP by overnight train
around 6-6.30 AM, I think I will eventually arrive Darjeeling by 10.30 AM).
2) If I book a hotel (directly) in advance by paying 1/2 nights charge, and later by any chance have to cancel the trip, do they generally cater to any refund request of the advance paid? especially, for peak seasons like November?
3) Any review on Hotel Anandam (a low budget hotel Near Mall, 1/1 T.N Road) please? They claim to have Kanchenjunga view rooms as well. And checked that Canara Bank and UBI runs their holiday home in this hotel, also.
4) The cheap hotels and holiday homes, given their low rentals, do not have any water scarcity problem right? in peak seasons like November? I mean, hopefully they provide running tap water round the clock? Thanks in advance,
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2016
Hi, if you reach early, hotels would usually offer you a room if available. Otherwise you need to wait. Refund depends entirely on a hotel's cancellation policy. If you cancel shorter than a week before your arrival, usually there is no refund. Suggest you carefully read or ask for the cancellation policy of the hotel.
Regret that Anandam is not in my target list of hotels. Heard that it's quite average. But at such low rates, you can't expect for more. All hotels have to buy water from same source. So during high season (particularly in summer), guests at cheap hotels are likely to suffer most. However in November, water consumption is low in general. So it should not be a problem.
Vibhor Singh (June 2015)
Dear Raj, Truly it is interesting to find such valuable information through a single channel. I plan to visit Darjeeling in the month of October (23-25). I enquired many budget hotels and all revert their tariff above 3000 INR, which is quite above my budget. I have budget of 2000 (inclusive of all taxes).please suggest me some hotels in my budget. Also I want to know, is west Bengal tourist lodge annexe building a good option to stay in Darjeeling.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2015
October is a peak time and hotel rates would also be at the peak. Annex of Tourist Lodge isn't bad, but maintenance is an issue. They have however recently replaced the bathroom fittings including taps, shower mixers etc. You can try Alice Villa, Revolver Hotel or Highlanders Inn in your budget.
Madhumita Bhattacharya (February 2015)
First of all I would like to tell you that your website is very much informative and because of this website slowly slowly I have gained my interest towards Darjeeling. So me and my husband with our 4 years old twins have decided to visit Darjeeling first time on mid of coming April. After marriage and becoming parents this is our first family holiday trip, so both of us are so excited but tensed too. We are looking for a low budget hotel with necessary facilities in convenient good location. Kindly suggest some hotels within Rs.1500 to 2000 range. We are in great dilemma which hotel we should choose to stay with our small kids.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2015
Mid-April is in high season and all good hotels (budget or luxury) go full months in advance. So book immediately. Here are some suggested hotels for your budget:
1) Hotel Revolver: On Gandhi road and conveniently located. Nice and clean, and at a 10 minute walking distance to the mall. Only 5 rooms. Try to take the room named John - great view of Kanchenjunga. Taxi can come within yards of the hotel.
2) Hotel Highlander's Inn: On Mall road, has excellent views from most rooms. Few minutes walk from nearest Taxi stand. The mall is about 5-6 minutes walk. The area (I.e. the Mall road) however gets quite lonely at night. No shops or restaurants close by, need to walk for about 6-7 minutes.
3) Alice Villa: Conveniently located with lots of shops and restaurants around. Mall is only 2-3 minutes walk. But no Kanchenjunga views from rooms. Taxi can come right up to the hotel.
You will find detailed reviews and contact information of the above hotels from my site. Good luck!
Ankit Agarwal (December 2014)
Hello Raj Sir, I will be visiting Darjeeling in 1st week of January 2015 (4th Jan-7th Jan). As i will be visiting for the first time along with my parents and little sister, I would require your advise regarding the stay in Darjeeling for 4 days. I need a good and cheap hotel within Rs 1000 per day with hot water facility and Indian vegetarian food. Please do help me as you are the only person who can provide me true guidance regarding the place. Please do reply. Thank You.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2014
You can go for the large four bedded room in the annex building of Darjeeling Tourist Lodge (Rs. 1,200 per night). You can book online through WBTDC site. The inhouse restaurant also serves veg food although limited. You can always take food outside.
Kausik Bhattacharjee (July 2014)
Could you kindly suggest me a hotel in Darjeeling – family accommodation with Tariff around Rs 1500/Day (Oct’14), which has atleast some views, at a minimal distance from Town centre requiring minimal uphill walking as there’s a 3.5 year old kid with us, maintaining atleast a modest level of Cleanliness, and either has an in-house restaurant or a couple of restaurants nearby. Will be highly benefited if I receive a prompt reply, as the hotel booking needs to be done immediately.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2014
I doubt you will get any hotel at your budget in such time and meeting all your requirements. You can try Highlander Inn located on Mall road. This is a small budget hotel run by lady staff. Great views and they offer food. Another very nice budget hotel is Revolver who keep their rates fixed through out the year.... but only five rooms and no views as such from most rooms.
Moi Kurry (June 2014)
Hi Raj: Grateful greetings. Thank you so much for your beautiful site and all your hard work in keeping us Darjeeling travellers always empowered by your guidance/instructions. Wanted to give sincere Gratitude to you. If possible, requesting your kind guidance: Using your site , wife & are trying to finalize our palnned 30 day trip starting July 22- Aug 21st. It would be our 1st visit To Darjeeling. We realize it will be the rainy season but both of us have always wanted to visit Darjeeling. This would be like our honeymoon [newly weds and new graduates from University] and we will be joining our 1st job after this vacation. Can you point us to a budget hotel for our 30 day stay ? Our requirements are simple: clean room, WiFi, walking distance to eateries. What kind of hotel costs for a "decent" budget hotel with our requirements? Thank you in advance. Await your guidance and suggestions. Sincere Gratitude--Moi
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2014
Hi Moi, You can consider Hotel Revolver ... clean and has wi fi. Current rate is Rs. 1200 per day. For 30 days, you can ask for home stay option and they offer discounted rate. Go through the Revolver's review in my website and write to Vikas Pradhan, the owner. Although his wife manages the hotel, they have recently had a baby and Vikas himself is now looking after the hotel. You can take my reference. He knows me well.
Another option is Andy's Guest House on Zakir Hussain Road (near Mall) ... Clean and nice, and run by the owner lady Mrs. Matilda Gurung. But no wifi. She allows only foreigners in her guest house. Great views from the upstairs rooms. The rate is Rs. 700 per day and fixed. Regards,
Jitendra (May 2014)
Hi, I checked your site, I can't find hotel room in my budget. Only Hotel Mount Meridian Darjeeling is in my budget which has room available. Can u please let me know if Hotel Mount Meridian is ok for stay, we are 4 adults only and want to stay 4 days in DJ. Pls advise me. Thank you in advance and waiting for ur reply.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) May 2014
It's an average hotel. Location wise okay. Vegetarian food.
Rajib Maitra (April 2014)
I will be going to darjeeling on 22nd of May and will there upto 26th of May, 2014. We are 5 people including 2 child. We want to stay in a budget hotel with 4 bedded room. Which hotel should I choose? It should not very far from Mall. Please suggest.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2014
You can try the Annex building of Darjeeling Tourist Lodge of WBTDC which has a nice 4-bedded room (no. 24, upstairs). But doubt you will get it now. It's probably too late to get anything good now in such peak season.
Padmavathi T (April 2014)
Sir, Thanks a lot for your information on the web. We are visiting Gangtok and Darjeeling from 24th April to 1st May. We need a low budget accommodation (below Rs.1000/- for our 7 days stay. I tried SBI and other holiday homes but could not get. Can you please suggest me an alternative. We are nearing 60 yrs. We can get along with basic facilities if the neatness is maintained.
Our return journey is 1st May at 1300 hrs. (Flight). Can I get shared taxi/jeep to reach Airport by 1100 hrs. (Actually at what time is the shared vehicles start their day ) when enquired an agent said that I should take taxi which costs Rs.3500/- from Gangtok which is not economical for me.
Sir, kindly advise as you are only person we find to help us in this regard. Local agent has cheated me and hence forced to start the journey alone (self & husband). Your reply will help us a lot. Regards
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) April 2014
You are visiting in a high season. Getting a good budget hotel below Rs. 1000/- a night is near impossible. In fact all standard hotels would be full by now in proper Darjeeling and Gangtok. I would advise you make a slightly different plan that can fit into your budget in such high season. Plan for a place like Kurseong where you can get homestays. Rooms are basic but clean with western toilets. You will get home made food. You can also make easy day trips to Darjeeling (1.5 hours) and Kalimpong (2.5 hours) from there. You will get shared Jeeps for both places and several other places. You can do local sightseeing in Kurseong on one day, and take tea garden tour on another day.
Home stay options in Kurseong includes:
Singell Homestay (it overlooks the Singell Tea Estate).
Contact: Aruna Pradhan (98320 57237)
Makaibari Home Stay, At Makaibari Tea Estate.
Contact Nayan Lama (9832447774)
You won't likely get any shared Jeep right up to Bagdogra airport. You will get one up to Siliguri and from there take a reserved taxi to the airport (will take around Rs. 300/-)
Asish Kr. Das (July 2013)
My son is getting married during end-Nov 2013. I wish to present a Darjeeling Holiday to the newly wed couple. But I am budget person, my limit is, say, 1000/- per day per room. I want (a) Mt. K view Room, (b) Attached batch, (c) Heating arrangement, (d) 24 hours hot & cold water supply, (e) close to Mall, (e) accessible by taxi etc. I reckon month of December would be off season for Darjeeling. Can you please recommend me a place with their contact number etc.? Thanks & Regards
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) July 2013
December 24th onwards till 1st week of January is high tourist season in Darjeeling. You won't get any decent hotel at that rate. In fact with all your requirements, there is virtually no hotel which can match that rate even during off season. Note that no budget hotel in Darjeeling offers 24 hours hot & cold water (except for one or two like Hotel Revolver who provide instant geysers in the bathrooms).
One option is that you can go through all the accommodations under "Budget Hotels" in my website menu option, short list the suitable ones and check out directly with the hotels about their December off-season rates. Another option is to try the Holiday Home run by SBI staff welfare association (very limited accommodations though). Regards.
Jignesh Upadhyay (June 2013)
Dear Sir, I would like to know if there are any holiday homes of government run organisations that offer rooms to general public as well. If yes then request you to provide names of such hotels. I have heard that hotel Sagarika and hotel Crystal which have holiday homes of SBI offer rooms to general public as well. But I am not sure if it is correct, and since you know that area very well, please guide me about it. I heard they give it at a rent of Rs 500 - Rs 600 per day, this is very low and if true I can save lot of money. I am planning to visit Darjeeling in November 2013.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), June 2013
There are no government run holiday homes in Darjeeling other than the WBTDC Tourist Lodge. What you are referring to are couple of small holiday homes that are run by the SBI Staff Recreational Club (Howrah) in association with Holidayhomeindia hotel group. It has nothing to do with the bank or government. Yes they are quite cheap but the rooms are also quite limited. You must book early. Visit Cheap Holiday Homes in Darjeeling for more details.
Sujata Dey (June 2013)
Would the private hotels be offering discounts at this time (June)- does one have to negotiate or do they have their fixed seasonal pricing? Just as a precaution -details of any good medical practitioner and hospital.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), June 2013
You have to ask for highest discounts possible. I doubt any hotel would offer any discounts before 3rd week of June until the school summer vacations are over. Ask the hotel about their arrangement for on call doctor service. Most standard hotels provide that. Otherwise walk down to Frank Ross Chemist Shop on Nehru Road. They can help.
Bryan Fleck (October 2012)
Raj.. I figured I would be paying full price during the holiday. By chance, have you heard anything about Bird's Eye Guest House? I haven't been able to find too much information about it online, but my girlfriend who is Korean found some recommendations on a Korean blog. I read through your budget accommodation section - lots of great information there!
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com), October 2012
Bryan, I know where Bird's Eye Guest House is. I haven't explored it yet. It's quite a walk from chowrasta mall. There are several such small guest houses in Darjeeling. Andy's Guesthouse is one of the more well known ones. It's on the same road (Zakir Hussain Rd) but much closer to the Mall (less than 5 minutes walk). Regards
Thank you very much for the informative site. I am visiting Darjeeling in November and wanted to know if Jubilee Complex is a good budget choice (I am accompanied by wife and 4 year old kid). Thank you in advance. Regards,
Hi, I won't recommend it for families. It's too far down and below the station, and not convenient to come to places like the Mall. Try to find some other hotel on Gandhi Road.