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“Feel the Colonial Era ...”
Review of Windamere Hotel

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Windamere Hotel
Ranked #6 of 97 Hotels in Darjeeling
Certificate of Excellence
Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
55 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Feel the Colonial Era ...”
Reviewed 13 December 2010

We stayed at hotel windamere for 2 days.... It is one of the best heritage hotels in Darjeeling. this ia a very old hotel, the building was bult druing the britis Raj era. The location is picturisque Observatory hill. The hotel has many wings, the oldest is the main very old house. there are no TV, other modern ameneties. It feels like time has gone back by 100 years. in case you can live without having a touch with the modern world, there is another wing called Observatory House with TV and phone. There is also a special cottage for honeymooners. The rooms were elegently decorated and the services was truely appealing. Dont forget to have the special darjellng tea in the morning.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PeeNPee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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319 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2010

After my Secondary School Certificate exam, I went to Darjeeling with my family. My Dad promised to show the house where he was born in Jalpaiguri, but we couldn't make our trip to Jalpaiguri, unfortunately; since we were too tired of travelling by train from Kolkata (Calcutta). At first, we stayed at the Sinclairs in Darjeeling, but ther was nothing great in Sinclairs, except the food and the TV. When we moved to Windamere, we loved the place. Windamere had a nice playground including a see-saw, a slide, and a swing. There is a library and a music room. The food is also excellent. The only drawback of that visit was that I had an upset stomach.

Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank AnikaR1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2010

We visited Darjeeling last year during the summer months. We stayed at the historic Windamere Hotel. On one side was the beaty og Darjeeling while on the other side the was the traditional magnificence of the hotel. We were filled wtith awe.

Evenings are a bit cold but thanks to the instant lighting of the fireplace by the staff, there is no question od discomfort. We really enjoyed our stay there and would recommend other people to avail the services too.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank praveen70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walnut Creek, California
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2010

Staying at the Windamere was one of the highlights of my recent trip to India and Bhutan. Elizabeth Clarke, proprietess of the hotel, is committed body and soul to making her guests as satisfied as is humanly possible, beginning with a warm and welcoming greeting for all guests at every delicious meal which involves TWO main courses: European AND Indian.. The rooms are comfortable with charming printed floral decor and someone appears in the evening to light a coal fire in the room as the temperature dips in the Himalayan Hill Station. The staff is exceptionally helpful and some have been working there for over twenty years. This is a real treat in the midst of the intensity that is travel in India.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank elainedunlap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walnut Creek
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2010

We thought Windamere was a bit out of touch with us and a tad overrated. Other guests seem to be more appreciated. We saw a British couple being bid farewell by the entire staff. We, on the other hand got lost in the shuffle. Our room had raggedy carpet and the very old wool blankets smelled like...mothballs maybe? This would have been perfectly suitable for a less expensive hotel. We woke up to an unobstructed view of the parking lot..yet, it didn't seem like other rooms with better views were full. I called for bottled water to come to my room and after a half hour wait, I called again and the receptionist seemed confused. Five minutes later, I open my door in my pajamas to find two puzzled men with numerous water bottles in their hands. I took one. After they left, my friend and I went into and unstoppable fit of laughter.
Sorry Windamere....we didn't feel the love.

Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank MarianWalnutCreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ejclarke, Executive Director:Operations at Windamere Hotel, responded to this review, 22 January 2010
Thank you for the opportunity to write a response to Ms. Marian of Walnut Creek.
I will respond to what I feel is an unfair review ("fair" would mean that we truly appreciate constructive feedback and will instantly correct what obviously needs to be looked at).

1. The guest mentions the "British couple" - who were waved off by the hotel team: this couple is actually Australian and this was their 17th visit at Christmas time; also, we do our very best to see everyone off - it is part of our "thank you" to the guests. We believe that they are part of our hotel family (for the duration)
2. Our Indian and Persian carpets are inspected daily and in this case, we could not find any evidence of a "raggedy state" in the room this guest stayed in. In fact, we do not show such carpets in any of our rooms, so this is rather strange.
3. "very old woollen blankets which may have smelled of moth balls" - our blankets are extremely clean and well cared for and this must be the first time since we opened in 1939 that such a complaint has been made (obviously we no longer have the same blankets!)
4. regarding the complaint of "no view" - just the carpark". The guest must have requested standard accommodation (or maybe we were fully booked up elsewhere...we were busy at that time) - her accommodated was in the picturesque 'Annandale House' - lovely English style house, with gardens and a white picket fence - overlooking a very small car park and a shrubbery. Our hotel is the only property on what is a sacred hill and it has some of the best views in the area. A minute or so away is the world renowned 'Mount Kanchenjunga' which is truly spectacular. Looking out from this "carpark" is the whole vista of the famous Himalayan range.
5. I believe that Ms. Marian is American from California, so she may not know of the term that is used in the UK, the EU and India - that is, "hot water bottle". The latter is a rubber encased "bag" which, with its cotton cover, is placed in the bed to warm the feet. "Water" is known as "mineral water" in our region, maybe she didn't ask directly for "drinking water", but a "water bottle". This is an understandable confusion and we completely sympathise with the guest, but once we realised what had happened, we immediately sent our House Manager to offer 4 bottles of drinking water, complimentary to the room. The group decided just to take two.

We are sorry about all of this confusion and do hope that they will return to our hotel sometime in the future. This review is most unusual for our property, but we always respect and honour the "right to post a review" and most certainly applaud this site for allowing travellers the privilege to do so. we also believe in responding either to apologise for a past disappointment or to explain what obviously was a misunderstanding in this case.

Happy New Year Ms. Marian and your group of friends!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2009

This is a heritage hotel in an atmospheric town - and the two complement each other with a sense of history. The rooms are pretty good although the fittings can be from an age gone by. The hot water is very hot....The service and food in the restaurant is good and the evening piano player tinkles away for you. Gin & tonic is available to complete the Raj experience.
The hotel is on top of Observatory Hill and so the views of the hills and tea estates are good.

  • Liked — The history and the town
  • Disliked — Shortage of tonic water!!
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank nom001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kolkata
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2009

Windamere Hotel is a beautiful hotel. It reminds me of the old times when there was British were here. You can enjoy the lexury and the comfort. Well said about the place "its one of the three jewels of the raj". I really liked the "villa".

Stayed April 2009
Helpful?
3 Thank maxpayne99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Windamere Hotel

Property: Windamere Hotel
Address: Observatory Hill, Darjeeling 734101, India
Region: India > West Bengal > Darjeeling District > Darjeeling
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Darjeeling
#3 Luxury Hotel in Darjeeling
#5 Family Hotel in Darjeeling
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Windamere Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are one of the oldest (and prize winning) Colonial Hotels in India - with reviews from the Asia Pacific National Geographic Magazine and The Sunday Times of London. We offer truly authentic and original suites from the colonial tea planter days, with absolutely FULL BOARD (4 MEALS PER DAY). Our hotel is world renowned, with many famous film stars and other celebrities finding a path to our door. Truly a "destination and not just another hotel". It is like being invited as a private guest and asked to stay and relax for a few days. We are aptly described as "one of the last Colonial Homes in the World". We have both Colonial Suites & Cottages, as well as standard and superior accommodation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Windamere Hotel Darjeeling

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