Cheap Holiday Homes in Darjeeling
I know that the cheap hotels that I have recommended under Top Budget Hotels
may not exactly appear to be very cheap to some, and certainly not the cheapest. That is because of the quality factor for which they are the best in their category (of course in my own assessment).
But many viewers have come back and inquired about still cheaper accommodations like typical budget holiday homes which can be more affordable. And that question has triggered me to explore further and write this article.
In the following section you will know about my findings about the Holiday Homes in Darjeeling that are really cheap (Rs. 500 - 700 per night per room). It can't really get any cheaper than this. Because I'm talking about such accommodations that may not be the best in their category, but quite decent and worth considering for persons in lower and even average income group. In fact they are better than some of the typical budget hotels that run on lease and charge far higher tariffs. Additionally these holiday homes are quite safe for families.
But note that although the name sounds like they are houses (or homes...) like self catering or self cooking type units, but most are not so. Some organizations like staff welfare associations of banks have actually taken up few rooms in some budget hotels in Darjeeling and call them Holiday Homes.
The organization takes these rooms on lease from the hotel owner for a period, renews the lease if it runs well, and takes booking directly from the staff, their relatives & friends and often from the public. In some of them, you will be able to avail canteen or mess facilities for cheap food, but you can't cook yourself (except in very few, which have facility for a common kitchen).
Holiday Home at Hotel Sagarika, Darjeeling
State Bank of India (SBI) Staff Recreation Club (Howrah Branch) in collaboration with a hotel group company (HolidayHomeIndia) have opened a small holiday home accommodation at Hotel Sagarika. These accommodations can be equally availed by its staff as well as the general public.
Hotel Sagarika is actually quite centrally located at Laden La Road and right opposite to the SBI Bank Darjeeling Branch. It's only a minute walk from the Gandhi Road Police Point (Chowmatha) down the Laden La road. This four storey hotel by itself offers 25 rooms in budget category and runs independently with much higher tariff (close to Rs. 2,000 per night).
Only 3 rooms have been taken on lease from the hotel for the purpose of the SBI Holiday Home. However, do not confuse this with the SBI Officers Guest House which is located adjacent to the hotel on the right and is accessible to SBI officers only.
So how are the rooms in the Holiday Home? There are two triple bedded rooms and one double bedded room, all having attached baths with geysers (note that the geysers can be used for hot water only during limited hours in the morning like in any other budget hotel in Darjeeling). All rooms have color TVs, floor carpets, generator backup etc. Room heater is not provided, but can be arranged at extra charge. Canteen facility is available.
One of the triple bedded rooms and the double bedded room have nice view of Kanchenjunga. The other triple bedded room has view of the other side of the valley. The Mall (chowrasta) is quite close by and an at easy walking distance (of about 5 minutes leisure walk). There are plenty of restaurants and shops around. So the location is quite central and convenient.
Tariff is Rs. 700/- per night for the two rooms with Kanchenjunga views, and Rs. 600/- per night for the other one. Refundable caution money of Rs. 100/- per room is taken.
How to Book?
The best way to book the Holiday Home is by visiting directly the Administrative Office of SBI Recreation Club Howrah located at 106, Kiran Ch. Singh Road, Shibpore, Howrah - 2 (Opposite Aloka Cinema); Phone: 9433165328
Alternatively you can go down to the office of Holidayhomeindia located at 3A, Pollock Street, Shop No. 27, 1st Floor, Keshoji Chambers, Kolkata - 1 (Near Tea Board); Phone: 9830947352, 8420424111, 9830788403.
If you can't go in person, then call them up to provisionally book a room. Rooms will be confirmed after you make a deposit of the full amount at any branch of SBI in account no. 31011854019 favoring SBI Staff Recreation Club, A.O. Howrah A/c - Holiday Home, Ganges Garden Complex Branch, or at any branches of Axis Bank in C/A No. 436010200015996 favoring Holidayhomeindia in Barrackpore Branch. Note that there is a nominal bank fee applicable in this case.
Holiday Home at Crystal Hotel, Darjeeling
There is another small holiday home which has come up in a similar arrangement as the above (i.e. between SBI Staff Recreation Club Howrah and Holidayhomeindia). This one is located at Hotel Crystal and has 6 rooms.
Hotel Crystal like Sagarika is also centrally located on H D Lama Road and very close to the Gandhi Road Police Chowk and opposite Hotel Capital and Hotel Mansarovar. But here the rooms do not offer any Kanchenjungha views and are even cheaper than the other Holiday Home.
There are two triple bedded rooms and the four double bedded rooms all with attached toilets. Two out of the six have Indian style toilets while the other four have western style. The rooms have standard amenities like color TV, floor carpet etc, limited hot water supply etc. Canteen facility is available. The Mall is only 3-4 minutes leisure walk. This holiday home too is very centrally located and quite convenient with plenty of shops and restaurants around.
Tariff is Rs. 400/- per night for the double bedded rooms, and Rs. 450/- per night for the triple bedded rooms. Refundable caution money of Rs. 100/- per room is taken.
Update 2013: The holiday home at hotel Crystal has closed down.
Other Holiday Homes in Darjeeling
1) Canara Bank Staff Recreation Club, Rooms are in:
Hotel Anandale located near Darjeeling railway station. There are 2, 4 and 5 bedded rooms with attached bath, and kitchen facility for self cooking/catering. If you plan to cook, you pay for gas and all raw materials which you need to organize yourself. Phone: 033-22427105; Email: [email protected]
Hotel Anandam, 1/1 T.N. Road, Darjeeling (5-6 minute walk from the Mall). They have seven 3-bedded rooms with attached bathrooms and Kanchenjunga views. The hotel has in-house restaurant serving Bengali food (food quality is average).
2) Bank of Baroda Employees Association (WB) Holiday Home, Rooms are in Hotel Little Pleasure Hut, 3 rooms with 4 persons in each, attached bathroom, Phone: 033-22106388
3) Punjab National Bank Workers Welfare Society Holiday Home, rooms in Hotel Chiten on T N Road near Chowrasta Mall, two rooms with capacity of 5 and 3 respectively, with attached bath. Phone: 033-22202233 /3920
4) Syndicate Bank Staff Recreation Club Holiday Home, rooms are in Hotel Sun Star, T N Road. 4 rooms that can accommodate 4 each with attached bath. Phone: 033-22486055
5) UBI Friends Holiday Home, rooms in Hotel Crown, Coochbehar Road, walking distance from Mall. 2 rooms (capacity 3 and 1) with attached bath. Phone: 033-25395421; Mobile: 09830059018
Indrajit Seal (December 2016)
As I am looking for a good hotel at Darjeeling at a lower price, Hotel Sagarika holiday home from your website drew my attention. But after looking for the above-mentioned hotel I could not gather enough information about the condition of the holiday home. I would like to know whether the holiday home is well maintained or not and whether it is a good place to lodge in with my family. If you kindly give the above-mentioned information it will be of great help. Thank You.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2016
Hello, not sure what your expectations are, at that price (of. Rs. 600 for two) you will get a room which is basic and livable. However, the maintenance of the SBI Staff Welfare holiday-home rooms are done by Sagarika hotel. Like most rooms in the hotel, do not expect great maintenance or cleanliness. After all it's a low order budget hotel.
Blankets and bed linens may even have stains, and the rooms become quite smelly particularly in monsoon and winter. Location is good (easy walk to mall), but the entrance is quite bad. Service is quite poor too. Food is average. You must book months in advance as rooms in Sagarika holiday-home are very limited. It's meant for low budget travelers with low expectations. SBI staff are given preference. Many do go with families.
Although the tariff of the hotel's own standard rooms (in basement) is Rs. 1500/- per night, during off season you can bargain that down to even Rs. 800/-.
Shampa (September 2013)
Hello, Since you have explored Darjeeling thought you could probably provide some info on bank holidays homes. As we would be travelling in a group of 10 adults and 4 children, we are looking for a good, clean family place to stay in Darjeeling where we could possibly cook if required. Could you please advise which ones would be great value for money as well as a good option to stay location wise as you might have encountered them while exploring Darjeeling. Waiting for your reply. Thanks a lot
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2013
Most holiday homes in Darjeeling are operated out of small hotels and meant for low budget travellers. Some are meant only for the company/bank staff while others are run by staff welfare associations which are also open to public. I have also seen that in several cases the holiday homes have closed down. They al operate by leasing rooms from the hotels and do not have their own properties. So they close down when they can't sustain. Some of them again spring up during the high tourist season. More over you won't get similar amenities and service what you otherwise get directly from the hotel itself. And you can not cook in these but can avail the canteen/food services of the hotel. There are limited rooms in most and for a group of your size, you may not get adequate accommodations there unless you book well in advance.