Hotel Sunflower Darjeeling
Tucked at one corner of the Mall right next to the Mall road and at the entrance of a narrow alleyway, Hotel Sunflower offers 2-Star amenities. The hotel's offerings and room rates are actually on the higher side of the 2-star range. Sunflower hotel was established in the year 1974. The hotel and the rooms have been renovated in recent times. The hotel has three floors at the lower levels.
Although from outside the hotel does not look quite impressive, as you walk in through the main entrance and into the lobby, the finishing and the ambience inside are quite appealing. The interior is mostly wood finished. You can see extensive use of wood paneling including on the ceilings.
Hotel Sunflower Darjeeling
There are only two rooms at the reception level. All other rooms are in the lower levels. There are a total of 15 rooms in the hotel, out of which 2 are Imperial Executive Rooms, 2 Suites and 11 Double Deluxe Rooms. There is an impressive marbled stairway that leads down to the lower floors.
Reception and the Lobby area, Sunflower
The corridors at all the levels are broad and very impressive offering excellent views through the large window panes. The corridors also have sofas and a small lobby at the end where you can relax.
The Double Deluxe rooms are relatively small and compact. However, the rooms are cozy and wood paneled. There are large wooden cupboards in the rooms. The rooms have queen or twin beds. Other in-room amenities include TVs with satellite channels, free wi-fi internet access, room heaters etc.
Double Deluxe Room
In the double deluxe rooms, there are large sliding windows that open out to the common corridor. When you remove the curtains, you can get nice views of the valley through the large glass panes on the opposite wall of the corridor. However, privacy could be an issue because people walking on the corridor can see you and the room if the curtains are opened.
There are couple of nice cushioned chairs and a table placed near the window for you to enjoy the view. However, anybody walking across the corridor can see you if you remove the curtains.
Double Deluxe Room (another view)
Imperial Executive Rooms are the best ones. These relatively large rooms have their own windows with great views of the valley. There are only two such rooms in the hotel and they are located on the ground floor (i.e. at the reception level). There are no Mall facing rooms.
All the rooms in Sunflower hotel have nice views of the valley at the backside. Although you won't be able to see the Kanchenjunga snow peaks from any of the rooms, the view of the valley and the foothill are great nevertheless.
Imperial Executive Room
The bathrooms are quite nicely finished as well and have geysers and shower mixers. Hot water is available 24 hours subject to availability of main power supply. The hotel has its own generator that supports the lights and even the television sets.
Sunflower Hotel serves only pure vegetarian food and has an in-house vegetarian restaurant located at the reception level. The restaurant has been recently refurbished. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Restaurant, Hotel Sunflower Darjeeling
The window-side tables have wonderful views of the valley. The walls are half wood paneled. The ceiling has wooden beams. There are decorated pillars that add to the overall ambience of the dining room.
The restaurant is open to both in-house guests and outsiders. Indian vegetarian food prepared by the restaurant is quite nice (although some dishes might taste a little bland). I liked the breakfast though... Aloo Paratha (fried Indian bread stuffed with cooked potato) and pickles, accompanied with Darjeeling tea. The rates for the dishes are quite reasonable.
Other facilities in the hotel includes safety deposit lockers, laundry service, sightseeing, transport etc.
My overall opinion about hotel Sunflower in Darjeeling
The hotel's key advantage is its location. It's located at corner of the Mall and right next to the Mall road. All the great shops and restaurants are within easy walking distance.
The rooms are clean and comfortable. The polished wood finishing provides a cozy and classy touch.
Privacy in the Deluxe rooms could be an issue because the windows in the rooms open out to a common corridor... so you need to keep the curtains closed if you don't want people walking on the corridor to see insides of the room. However, closing the curtain would block the valley views that you get through the window panes on the corridor. There are no other windows in these rooms.
The service is reasonably good and prompt.
Try to avoid the deluxe rooms at the bottom floor (3 levels below the reception). Every time you want to go out or come to the restaurant, you will need to climb that many stairs to come up to the reception level.
The vegetarian food
The regular rates are on a bit higher side, but overall, a good value for money.
Rates provided by booking.com
Location and Contacts
From the Chowrasta Mall, just before the left Mall road begins, there is a narrow lane next to the Mall road on its left. Hotel Sunflower is located few steps into that lane. It's only yards away from Nathmull's Tea Store and Tibet Art.
5/C, Chowrasta Mall, Darjeeling 734101, India.
Phone: 0354/ 2253358; Cell: +91 9832061545
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