Kurseong Tourist Lodge
Category: Mid Range
This is a nice mid-range hotel run by the West Bengal Tourist Development Corporation (WBTDC). It's located on NH-110 (Hill Cart road) which goes all the way up to Darjeeling and is about 1km ahead of the Kurseong railway station or the Kurseong main market area. Although it has been now renamed to 'Roudrachaya Tourism Property', it is still fondly known and referred as Kurseong Tourist Lodge by the locals and tourists.
The lodge is very popular with the parents whose children study at the schools in Kurseong but come from different parts of India... at the beginning or end of summer/winter holidays, the lodge gets fully booked months in advance by guardians who come to Kurseong to pick up or drop off their wards. The lodge is quite popular with tourists as well and remains in heavy demand during the high season.
The reception is at the ground level and the rooms are laid out in two floors below the reception level. The reception is staffed by state government employees. I have been seeing some staff here since ages. In fact a person in the reception is there for over 22 years. Update June 2022: The old staff of the lodge has been replaced by young staff members who are lot more active and attentive to the requirements of the guests. The entire staffing of the lodge seems to have been outsourced, except for a few in the kitchen and the bar.
There is a nice large lobby right next to the reception with great views through its windows. This is a nice place where you can relax for a while after your meals. Earlier, there were small wooden models of Toy Train at the reception which were offered on sale. It was a nice souvenir to buy. However, it is no longer available now. But of you ask at the reception, they can guide you from where you can still buy these tiny toy train models.
Toy Train Models for sale, Kurseong Tourist Lodge
There is an open car parking next to the lodge. There are essentially two types of rooms in the lodge - ones with balconies and the others without. All rooms face the mountains. While views from some rooms are obstructed by trees, few rooms have great views of the Kanchenjunga snow peaks from windows or balconies.
Our room without balcony
There are about 20 rooms in the lodge. Rooms are fairly well furnished and fully wood-paneled giving a warm and comfortable feeling. Each room has a queen bed, wooden cupboard, a dressing table, LCD TV with cable channels, intercom, attached bathroom with shower & geyzer etc. They offer bottles of packaged water daily (2 for double occupancy, 1 for single). Bathroom toiletries including towels, toothpaste and tooth brush are also provided. They also provide an electric kettle in all rooms and along with cups and tea/coffee pouches.
Bathroom at Kurseong Tourist Lodge
Some rooms have private balcony, otherwise all are essentially the same with similar furnishing. The rooms with private balconies are at the far right end while the others are below the reception. In both sections there are stairways leading down to the rooms below. The balcony rooms are little more expensive though.
Our room with balcony
Although the balconies are private, fairly large and offer excellent views including the mountains, greenery and that of Kanchenjunga peaks, the balconies of the adjacent rooms are separated only by low grilled partitions. As a result, if guests from the adjacent room is sitting on their balcony, you can see each other and can even chat with each other easily, or even handshake. But, I guess, that is okay. Chairs are provided at the balcony.
However, one problem with all the rooms is... inadequate noise proofing. So, if there are noisy guests in your adjacent rooms or they put on loud music on TV, you will have problems sleeping at night. In fact from your own bed, you can hear guests talking in the adjacent rooms.
Once I woke up at night and almost jumped out of my bed thinking someone was talking into my ears... they were actually my neighbors who perhaps decided to spend a sleepless night.
There is wi-fi available in the lodge and the towers are strong enough even in the rooms. I was pleasantly surprised with the internet speed as well. You need to get your password from the reception. The mobile signal strength (both Vodafone VI and Airtel) are adequate and you can also access the net over the mobile phone.
The lodge has a large in-house multi-cuisine restaurant. The window-side tables offer lovely views of the mountains as well as Kanchenjung peaks on a clear day. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Outside guests are also welcome, and therefore it does get crowded particularly during the lunch time.
It is one of the few restaurants in Kurseong which is known to serve great quality food at a reasonable price. So, many tourists who visit Kurseong on a day trip from Darjeeling or elsewhere, plan to take their lunch here.
Restaurant, Kurseong Tourist Lodge
In breakfast you will get toast, butter/jam, eggs to order, alternatively, puri sabji etc, accompanied with fruits such as bananas, and of course aromatic Darjeeling tea which is sourced from Makaibari Tea Estate
located close by. Breakfast is complimentary for in-house guests and included in the rates. In lunch and dinner you get Chinese and Indian food. In Chinese do try out the Chicken Wings... delicious.
Our Chinese dinner: Egg fried rice, chicken wings and chili chicken
In dinner, you need to order your food latest by 8:30pm. You can also use room service and order food in the rooms. For dinner, they provide the food in hot cases so that it remains warm for a while. One of the best dishes which this lodge and the restaurant is known for are the momos (steamed or fried dumplings with chicken or vegetable fillings). Locals from far flung places such as the tea gardens come here to take away momos. I have tried both steamed and fried momos at Kurseong Tourist Lodge many times over the years... steamed chicken momos remain as my favorites, although the steamed veggie momos are also great.
There was a time when the lodge had a separate momo corner next to the restaurant. It's a small place with few tables and chairs where you could have freshly made momos. Here they also served other snack items, cold drinks and bottled water. If you were lucky, sitting here, you could watch the toy train pass by right in front of you. They now make the momos only in the restaurant kitchen and the momo corner has been converted into a liquor off-shop from where one can now buy bottles of liquor. However, the sitting area still exists.
Chefs making momos at erstwhile momo corner
Right next to the erstwhile Momo Corner, there is a nice in-house garden which has many flowering plantation. There are covered passages around the garden where you can walk around and see the flowers in bloom.
There is also a bar right adjacent to the restaurant which is quite well stocked. The bar room is quite spacious and has window-side tables which are the first to get filled up. Dinesh is the man in charge and is the only one managing the entire bar services. While you can order snacks in the bar room, you can not take your dinner there, neither can you carry your drinks to the adjacent family dining room (i.e. the restaurant).
Bar room at Kurseong Tourist Lodge
If you want to know more about the restaurant and the bar at Kurseong Tourist Lodge, as well as several other places in the town that offer great food and drinks, go through Great Restaurants, Cafes & Bars in Kurseong
How to Reach
From NJP or Bagdogra you can reach the Kurseong Tourist Lodge in about 1.5 hours by private taxi. There are also shared jeeps/taxis between NJP/Siliguri and Kurseong which come up to the taxi stand. The lodge is about 10-12 minute walk from the taxi stand.
Darjeeling is about 1 hr 15 minutes from the lodge by car. Shared jeeps are also available between Darjeeling and Kurseong and they all pass by the lodge.
How to Book the lodge
You can book online through tourism department's (WBTDCL) website or visit one of their offices. The WBTDC Kolkata office is at BBD Bag near the Mini Bus Stand.
Address: 3/2 B.B.D. Bag (East), Kolkata - 700001
Phone: 033 - 22436440, 22488271;
Nilabja Chakraborty (September 2020)
Hello Raj. Could you provide with some more details about the two types of rooms (Rs.1600 And Rs.1800) available In Kurseong Tourist Lodge and the differences between them? Also, it would be of great help if you provide the cab fare from Darjeeling to Kurseong Tourist Lodge for 4 people.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) September 2020
Hello, the rooms with higher rates have private balconies and little better views. There is practically no other difference between the two categories. The fare for a small taxi between Darjeeling and Kurseong would be around Rs. 1,500.