Mayfair Hotel, DarjeelingCategory: 4 Star
Some know this property as a grand heritage hotel, some call it a boutique hotel and some think it's no less than a palace. The fact is, it's a combination of all when it comes to the ambience and the property itself. However there are several other things that a hotel comprises of, and that's where it can improve.
This property was originally a summerhouse of Raja Prithi Chand Lal Chaudhuri of Nazargunj in the early 1900s. Nazargunj is part of the state of Bihar (Purnea region). His family actively participated in horse racing at the Lebong race course of Darjeeling.
The property is now owned and administered by the Mayfair Hotels & Resorts group. The hotel is located opposite to Raj Bhawan (Governor's House) on the Mall Road (West). This is a premium location in Darjeeling, the chowrasta mall is only 3-4 minute walk from the main entrance.
However from the main entrance of the hotel on Mall road, it's quite some walk down to the reception and then several flights of stairs to climb to your room. The hotel has realized that this is a big problem for people with mobility issues and is in the process of installing elevators in the main building.
Mayfair Hotel, Darjeeling
Photo Source: Mayfair
As expected in a grand heritage property, much of it including lounge, library, dining room and the guest rooms feature extensive use of carved wood furnishings and wood panels. The rooms and the exterior of the hotel are painted with mild pastel yellow that go excellent with the furniture and create a very charming and elegant feel all around.
There are rooms including family rooms, cottages, and suites. All are quite spacious and reflect vintage ambience with authentic woodwork. You will enjoy in-room sofas and fireplaces, as well as bathtubs in the attached bathrooms. The hotel aim to combine the charm of both heritage and modern amenities.
Photo Source: Mayfair
Until recently the hotel was charging heavily for WiFi which is offered free in most hotels all around the world including budget hotels. Having learned that guests were frowning on this, they have now made basic internet available free every where. Being only basic, do not expect great speed or consistency.
Are there any great views from the rooms of Mayfair? Well the property is located on Mall road west, which means that it faces the valley. While several rooms have good valley views, most would overlook the tinned houses ahead. Kanchenjunga view is not available from any room, and in fact from most part of the property. If there is one disadvantage with this property, this is it.
However the view of sunset from the property is awesome. And the Viewing Point on Mall road (east) is an easy walk from the property from where you can get lovely view of Kanchenjunga as well. I would recommend to take a stroll early in the morning and walk down to the view point at Hotel Retreat (only 3-4 minute walk) and watch the sunrise - the play of colors on Kanchenjunga snow peaks is a memory you won't easily forget. You won't need to go all the way to Tiger Hill to watch the sunrise.
The Magnolia restaurant serves Indian and western food. The food is average and would mostly suite north Indian taste. There is also a buffet dining room - the food here is quite average compared to the rates charged by the hotel. Dinner closes early.
Watch out for the alcoholic drinks at the bar. The cocktails with imported spirits can break your pocket. The bar lounge has great valley views and a good place to watch the sunset as you sip a sundowner. There is a table with leather sofas right next to the large window. Try to go early and sit there.
Overall the service is friendly and the staff are courteous. However sometimes they are not efficient.
The library is comprehensive and very impressive in decor and ambience. You will find lots of books, pictures and other artifacts of Tenzing Norgay, the first Indian to climb Everest. The Gym has all the basic equipment including couple of treadmills. The games room has a table tennis board, pool table, carom and other board games. There is also a kid's room with some toys but most kids won't be impressed with the collection of toys, they need to do better here. There is also a video room to watch movies. They have a good collection of English and Hindi movies.
The property has a spa. However unlike most other hotels of its category, not even the steam room is free. The spa offers steam room and sauna, as well as several kinds of massages including foot reflexology, Swedish massage etc. Other offerings of the spa includes facial, manicure/pedicure etc.
There is also a well equipped and furnished banquet cum meeting room (1,250 sq. ft) which is ideal for a business meeting, conference or a private function.
Rates provided by booking.com
Location and Contacts
The Mall Road, Opposite Governor House
West Bengal, Darjeeling 734101, India
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