Magnolia Residency DarjeelingCategory: Budget
This is a small Bed & Breakfast lodging with only 13 rooms and located on a the narrow stretch of Zakir Hussain Road which originates from the Mall. Although the hotel is located in a relatively congested area, the location is quite convenient. The Mall (Chowrasta) is only couple of minutes walk and all the stores & eateries are within close walking distance.
The hotel is run by a Nepali family. Actually the owner's nephew Naveen Pradhan is the manager and looks after the day to day operation ... a charming very well mannered young person. You will mostly find him at the reception. There are few steps from the road level to reach up to the reception which is actually the ground floor of the hotel.
The hotel has its own in-house kitchen for offering breakfast to its guests. They try to provide local home cooked indigenous food while keeping it simple and clean.
But if guests demand they also provide some continental breakfast. The breakfast usually includes traditional Nepali, Tibetan and Continental food.
Magnolia Residency Darjeeling
They also try and cater their own creations such as seasonal fruit juices, freshly baked fruit tart, wide range of phalays, milk puri for children, pasta with cream and seasonal fruits etc. They prefer to give slow cooked food and usually avoid fast foods.
Breakfast at Rooftop Terrace
The reception desk is small and uncluttered. There is a restaurant in the ground floor and opposite to the reception - Sonam's Kitchen
which is run by a lady named Sonam. She started out of a small garage space at the opposite side of the road which is still there and managed mostly by her husband Puran.
Sonam prepares the food herself which is mainly soups, pastas, bread & eggs, few other continental dishes and Nepali items. Breakfast is quite nice here and can compete with the best.
Reception and Entrance to Sonam's Kitchen on the right
The rooms are small but quite clean and carpeted. Some rooms have colorful walls which have mural like wall paintings. The rooms are spread across three floors. The upper floor corner rooms are the best and have nice views of the mountains. They are the costlier ones as well. There are several category of rooms starting from Standard, Premium, Deluxe to Executive (standard rooms being the cheapest).
A Deluxe Room
All rooms have LCD TV, Wi-Fi internet access etc. Standard rooms do not have geysers while the higher category rooms have that facility. But even in standard rooms, the staff will get you hot water in the morning. The toilets are of western style. Bathrooms in the higher category rooms have shower mixers, however the water pressure can be an in issue at times.
One of the great features of the hotel is its nice cute roof top terrace. Other than a lovely statue on a fountain in the corner, the tiled terrace offers great views of the mountains and snow peaks on clear days. A great place to relax and have a cup of tea.
The hotel offers other standard facilities like doctor on call service, laundry service etc. They will also organize sightseeing tours and transfers at reasonable prices. The hotel has inverter as its power back up so that you have lights all the time. However the geysers wont work during power cuts which is quite common in Darjeeling.
Naveen Pradhan - The Manager
My Overall Opinion
1) The location is very convenient and the Mall is only at 2-minute walking distance. Most tourists like to stay close to the mall to be near the hub of all activities. There is also an Adventure Tour Operator opposite to the hotel.
2) The narrow road can be quite noisy at times. Standard rooms and the ones in the lower floors with windows opening out to the road can be affected. But if you keep the windows closed or take rooms in the upper floors, this is usually not a problem.
3) Food at the restaurant below is very good, but it can get a bit monotonous if you are looking for typical Indian or Chinese cuisine. But lot many eateries are close by.
3) Rooms are clean, staff are friendly and management is very cooperative.
4) Cars won't usually come up to this point and will drop you at Gorkha Bhawan. From there it's about 5-6 minutes walk as you cross the Mall.
5) Overall a good value for money when you consider location and stay comfort.
Rates provided by booking.com
Location and Contacts
Located on Dr. Zakir Hussain Road (2 minutes from Mall).
Phone: +91-354-2252532 / +91-94341 21654 / +91-94342 32886
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