Abhimanyu Singh (March 2021)
Dear sir, thank you for your unmatched support and valuable suggestions. I have shortlisted hotel Retreat, Hermitage and Cedar inn. can you please suggest me which one to choose. we are going for honeymoon trip. Also let me know can we book from sites like makemytrip and cleartrip....is it safe. I have heard that in these places hotels only accepts direct booking. Pleas guide. regards
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2021
Hello, Cedar Inn is of a higher category and certainly offers better amenities compared to the other two. However, it is in a little remote location. The other two are on Mall road (perhaps the best location). All three are otherwise good and offer great views. You can book through an online agency, but in order to get the best rooms, talk to the hotel and book directly.
Bitan Basu (February 2021)
Hi Raj, hope you are doing well. I have been following your site for years and have been a regular visitor to North Bengal. This time I am at a fix, hence I think I need your help ! I am getting married in March and wish to visit an offbeat place (in the third week of March) either in North Bengal or Sikkim. Also, it would be great if the place has a mid range to upscale hotel. Both me and my fiancé want to have a relaxing trip without much travelling to do. I know this is a very confusing set of criteria, but I would be really grateful if you can help me out here.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2021
Hi, an offbeat place with mid-range/upscale hotels is a little self-contradictory expectation, because a real offbeat place is unlikely to have luxury class infrastructure and hotels.
One possibility is to stay in a tea garden away from the touristy crowd and enjoy nature combined with luxury. While I have discussed several tea garden resorts of Darjeeling on my website (most of these are upscale bungalows or retreats), you can go through the discussion forum about which is the top value for money tea resort.
You can also consider Cherry Resort (mid-range) in Temi Tea Garden of Sikkim. I have written about my experience in Temi Tea Garden and Cherry Resort in the links below:
Located within the Baikunthapur forest area, an excellent value for money and affordable mid-range option is Saraswatipur Tea Resort (only about 1-hour drive from NJP)... google it.
Abhimanyu Singh (January 2021)
Dear Sir, Thank you so much for your valuable suggestions. As per your suggestions we have planned our visit. Even we have booked our homestays as suggested by you in Tabakoshi and Lepchajagat. Can you please let me know some good hotel in Darjeeling city in a budget of 2k-3k per night. Thank you in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2021
Hello, Darjeeling Tourist Lodge (now known as Meghbalika Tourism Property) of WBTDCL can fit into your budget... take a standard room in the main building... they have nice Kanchenjunga view. Hermitage and The Retreat on Mall road are even better options, but they would be costlier. If you book well in advance, they can offer good discounts. Suggest you go through the following link for all hotels with great mountain views: Great view hotels in Darjeeling.
Mainak Ganguly (November 2020)
What would be your input if we compare sinclairs mountain view rooms with the retreat mountain view rooms. If we just need to have two three days of pleasant stay, with mountain view and romantic dinner.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2020
The Retreat on Mall road certainly has better views, but Sinclairs is a better hotel although perched in an odd location at the end of a steep uphill road that veers off from Gandhi road. But cars can reach up to the doorstep of Sinclairs, while Retreat being in a pedestrian zone, will require some walk. For a dining experience, Sinclairs offers a far better dining ambience... it also has a well done up lounge with a cute bar.
All said, The Retreat wins mainly for its location (which is right below the main viewpoint of Darjeeling on Mall road), for taking romantic walks on the Mall road and its proximity to the Chowrasta Mall (town square), while Sinclairs wins overall as a better quality hotel with nice views and in-house ambience & amenities.
Subhamay Chatterjee (September 2020)
Dear Sir, I would like to go to Darjeeling in the month of February 2021 with my wife for Honeymoon. I want to stay at a hotel (budget, mid-range, or 3 star catagory) with great view from private balcony and near Chowrasta mall. Could you please suggest/help me for the same, it will be much appreciated. I am eagerly waiting for your suggestion. Thank you in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2020
Hello, you can consider either Hotel Retreat or Hotel Hermitage, both of which are located on Mall road and at a walking distance from the Mall, yet secluded from the touristy crowd. Both hotels have rooms with wonderful views of Kanchenjunga range and the valley. In Hotel Retreat, try to book one of the two Executive Rooms (call them up)... both these rooms have a glass-covered balcony with lovely views. In Hermitage, all rooms have large window panes and great views. Service and food are good at both these hotels. Hermitage is a little farther away from the Mall and located right next to the Governor's House.
Both these hotels fall under Mid-Range/3-Star category. Note that Mall and the Mall road are in Pedestrian-only zones and you need to walk a little from the taxi stand. You should ask the taxi to drop you near Bhanu Bhawan (also known as Gorkha Ranga Manch). It's a shorter walk from there. Hotels, send their staff to carry your luggage.
Ankit (February 2020)
Hi Raj, this is the first time, I am visiting Darjeeling hill station. I am getting married in March and will visit there by middle of March. I have booked Summit Swiss Heritage Hotel & Spa, Ghandhi Road. Can you suggest if this would be a good hotel to stay. Regards
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2020
Hi, it's a good hotel and at a walking distance from the Town Center (Mall). I like the rooms on the upper floor of the main building, they have good views and are nicely done up. Lawn-side cottages are semi-attached and the bedrooms being at the backside, do not get good sunlight, although the cottages have balconies.
Vivek Menon (March 2019)
I would like to know your suggestion for a good hotel for honeymooners. I would want a room with a view. I am confused between Sinclairs, Summit Swiss Heritage and Cedar Inn. Looking forward to your response.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2019
Cedar Inn is the best out of the three hotels you mentioned although the location is a little remote. I guess you would anyway like to stay away from the crowded area during your honeymoon.
Amey Bangle (December 2016)
Hello Mr Raj, I am planning a Honeymoon Tour from 15th to 21st Feb 2016 for Darjeeling and Sikkim. I went through your complete website and also purchased your e-book which is very very informative. After a lot of research, I have planned a following itinerary. Since it will be a freezing period, please guide us if there are any changes required (Also guide if we can use normal Taxis from Stand for transfers and tours or we must go through tour operators??) -
Day 1: Wed - Reaching Bagdogra airport @1.00 PM and transfer to Darjeeling Via Mirik. (Is it advisable to book prepaid/bargained taxi outside airport? As I want to also cover Jorpokhri, Simana & Pashupati Market to buy cheap jackets n coats) (planning to book Central Nirvana Room 401)
Day 2: Thur- Early morning 3-Point Tour to Tiger Hill, Ghoom Monastery, War Memorial & Batasia Loop. Back to Hotel. Post Breakfast proceeding to Toy Train Ride, Rope way, Tea Estate Visit to lower station (kindly guide if these will be operational?)
Day 3: Fri - Post Breakfast walk upto Observatory Hill, Mahakal Temple ? Then proceed to 7 Point/Mixed Point tour (Please guide which tour will be better?)
Day 4 ? Sat - Early morning transfer to gangtok ? Check-in (Central Ninamma- Exe. Club Room High floor Stadium side). Submit documents to hotel staff for Nathula pass permit. Visit MG Marg, Lal Bazar for shopping etc.
Day 5: Sun - Full day excursion to Tsomgo Lake (Yak riding, Chinese Market), Baba Mandir & Nathula Pass. (Is it advisable to visit Old Silk Route on return journey by paying a little extra??)
Day 6: Mon - Full day 10 Point Tour and evening for leisure.
Day 7: Tue - Transfer from Gangtok to Bagdogra Airport for boarding flight at 4.30 PM
Your valuable inputs will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2016
Hello, from the airport always take a pre-paid taxi to be safe. Also tell them your plan to go via Mirik and stop at Pashupati because there will be extra charges for these. In Darjeeling or Gangtok you can use normal taxis for transfers and tours, but remember that the condition of these taxis are not often good. Also if you book one in advance, the driver may not show up if he gets another customer at higher bargain, so in that sense they can be unreliable. It's better to get one through a tour operator and pay a bit higher price.
Remember, you are visiting at the peak winter time when it's going to be biting cold out there. So take full winter precautions. Ropeway, Toy Train etc should be operational. You can choose either of 7-point or mix-point tour, or even customize. Route to Nathula is likely to be closed around that time, so have a plan-b. Your itinerary is otherwise okay.
Arnab Das (March 2016)
Hi Raj, I have planned a 5 days honeymoon tour to Darjeeling. After visiting your site I have planned to stay 3 nights at Darjeeling and 2 nights at any off beat places. I have selected abhiraj homestay at tinchuley and pakhiran
homestay at lepchajagat. Both can be booked on May 14 and 15. But I have to select any one of them. Since it it's May I could not book view facing room at revolver. I have booked room ringo for 11,12 and 13. Now I am very confused which place to choose. My wife wants a calm scenic off beat place with excellent mountain view. Please help me out. I am counting on you. Thank you in advance.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) March 2016
For honeymoon, you should be looking at a hotel on Mall road (east) in Darjeeling. They all have great views of the snow peaks with quiet locality and within few minutes walk from the Mall. But you should be ready to spend a bit more, after all it's your honeymoon. I have discussed several of such hotels here. But if you must consider a low budget option like a homestay (as you have done in all places), you can look into Samir's Homestay. Between Tinchuley and Lepchajagat, my personal preference would be Tinchuley.
Sourav Modak (December 2013)
It is really fascinating to know so many things and info about Darjeeling from your website. I have gone through many many pages on your website but didn't come across what I wanted most right now. I am planning to go to Darjeeling for my honeymoon trip in Feb-March 2014. How would it be if I club Lava with Lepchajagat? I intend to stay there for 7-8 nights in total. In that case, logistically speaking, where should I go first, so that from there it's convenient to go to the other place? Will these places be of same kind? I want peace and tranquility but at the same time I don't wish to get bored. Can I stay in Ghoom for that matter? You seem to be an encyclopedia of Darjeeling, so I just want your suggestion before finalizing my tour itinerary. You can suggest any other place if you think so. P.S.: I will go to NJP from Kolkata by train and am likely to fly out from Bagdogra. Is it okay, or I should do just the opposite? Regards
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2013
Hi, Lepchajagat is close to Darjeeling (some 45 minutes) and Lava is close to Kalimpong (about 2 hours). You will know about Lepchajagat from here. You can plan to stay there for 2 nights.
Instead of Lava, you can also consider Loleygaon which is about 2.5 hours from Kalimpong (note that Kalimpong itself is about 2.5 hours from Darjeeling). But both Lava and Loleygaon are places for nature lovers, and you won't find many other sources of entertainment there. I like the Canopy Walk in Loleygaon and the nice landscaped eco garden. On the other hand from Lava you can plan for the 3-4 hours trek to Rishyap - another secluded hamlet having virtually nothing but nature & views. Lava monastery is also very nice. From Lava you can visit Neora Valley National Park as well. If you decide to stay in Lava, stay at the WBFDC forest lodge.
Since both Lava and Loleygaon are close to Kalimpong, you should plan a stay at Kalimpong for few nights as well. Stay at Dello Hill GTA Lodge in Kalimpong - vast landscaped garden, restaurant with bar, view points, wonderful view of the peaks, horse riding .... it's a place by itself. So if I were to choose between all these places, here would be my plan ... 2 nights Lepcha Jagat, 3 nights Dello Hill, 2-3 nights in Lava/Loleygaon. Flying out of Bagdogra is okay.
Dr Krishan Sharma (December 2013)
Hi Sir, It was really nice to see the website. I am planning for my honeymoon in Darjeeling from December 13 to December 18. I'm thinking of going to Gangtok first and then Darjeeling. I have booked my to and fro tickets. As it is said to be off season. So would it be good to go there? I have planned to go to Summit Hotels in Darjeeling and Gangtok. As this hotel is giving discount and seems good in pics. Please help me for hotel selection and where to go for sightseeing as couple. Sir please reply the same as this is special memorable tour for me. Thanking you
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) December 2013
Hi, Summit hotels are usually located a bit away from the town centers and this can be a plus point for honeymooners like you. But sometimes it can be a bit inconvenient too being too far from all activities. By overall standards, they are okay ( I would rate them 6.5 - 7 on a scale of 10), although some hotels in the group are superior compared to the others.
In Darjeeling, The Summit Grace is located in Jalapahar on top of a hill and about 30 minutes of uphill walk from the Chowrasta Mall. It's a relatively new hotel. Plus points are the great views of Kanchenjunga snow peaks from the rooms (balconies), nice friendly staff, good food etc. Negative points are small size of the rooms, distance from town center, sometimes they are unable to provide room heaters or light up the fireplace (so check this out with the staff, it would be very cold out there in December). Although I understand the off season discounts offered in rate, Cedar Inn would be a better choice in Darjeeling which is also located in the same area. Cedar Inn also offers free shuttle services to town center for their guests. The rooms are nice and have great views with bay windows. So you get best of both worlds - views & ambience, as well as transportation to bridge the inconvenience of staying far from the center.
In Gangtok, Summit Norling hotel is about 6kms away. Taxis would demand about Rs. 250/300 to reach you to MG Marg (the town center). The hotel is otherwise good and offers nice ambience and views.
Suma Sinha (November 2013)
Dear Raj, A very warm greetings first. I am a resident of Guwahati and would like to spend my first wedding anniversary in Darjeeling. I have gone through your website and found it very useful. I wanted to go for a hotel which has the best view of Kanchenjunga mountain and the finest service. Along with that I am also keen to know which hotel provides the best services for newly weds with a modern interior. I have gone through Cedar Inn and found it interesting. Please let me know of some good deals. I would be grateful if I am helped in this context.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2013
Hi Suma, Cedar Inn is nice ... a bit isolated on higher elevation, rooms have bay windows (which I personally like a lot), good amenities, great views and nice green ambience around. Mall is a bit far, but the hotel provides shuttle services to the Mall. Overall it's a good hotel with good friendly service.