Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, West Bengal

This heavenly little plantation retreat lies above the banks of the River Rungeet, deep in the foothills of the Himalaya and is overlooked by the mighty Mount Kanchenjunga. Just an hour from Darjeeling and across the river from Sikkim, it has the most idyllic location in the heart of a thriving tea estate.

Home to generations of tea planters, it remains today a working tea estate and is replete with a school, a hospital and a lovely village scrambling its way down the hill. The bungalow has been lovingly and exquisitely restored with devotion, care and commitment, whilst retaining the style and atmosphere of a colonial planter’s bungalow.

The 4 bedrooms in the original bungalow, which has a leafy verandah, snug sitting room and stylish dining room, have been charmingly decorated with different themes. They are spacious, time-honoured, warm and cosy with a sitting room or ante-room. The 4 bedrooms in the Water Lily Bungalow, which has terraces, an elegant sitting room and a massage room, have views from heaven and are stunning – fresh, light, large and beautifully furnished with local floral themes. They are traditional yet have contemporary twists and are deliciously comfortable and private. Various terraces and gorgeous gardens provide lovely spaces for dining al fresco, chatting around a camp fire and relaxing in a glorious mountain environment.

Apart from being a walker’s dream and with a perfect climate, Glenburn is the ideal base for visiting Darjeeling or resting up in style after a walk in Sikkim. Sitting on the lovely, flower filled verandah, gazing across the gardens to Kanchenjunga is a special, timeless experience. There is plenty to do by way of private tours of the tea estate and an abundance of mountain activities – walking down to the river, fishing, enjoying unparalleled picnics (a treat in store as they do them like nowhere else here), or visiting the village and school.

Where else in the Himalaya can you walk on different routes each day and return to such luxury at night? The staff is divine – local and catering to one’s every need. Meals take place in different places, often al fresco, and one feasts on the most delicious, fresh food – a perfect balance of Indian, Oriental and Western. Dinner tends to be eaten together, creating a lovely, ‘house party’ atmosphere but guests may choose to dine on their own if they wish.

This blissfully peaceful Himalayan gem offers a superb mountain, wilderness and tea experience and is also a perfect start or end to a beautiful overland journey to/from Bhutan!

Eco / environmental / responsible tourism policy

Glenburn grows its own tea! In addition they grow most of their own herbs and vegetables and they source local products wherever possible. Their menus are deisgned to use as much local and homegrown produce as possible with no 'flown in' exotic vegetables. They reuse paper where possible and avoid plastic. They are working on installing solar power. We run environmental awareness programmes through the local schools to educate the local population in how to reduce litter, and keep the environment clean.

The Glenburn Welfare Trust supports 3 main causes with help from guest donations and company sponsorship. The trust is behind 2 local Primary Schools and after school reading libraries, Music & Dance Academy and the Estate Hospital. They are also sponsoring 6 local children to attend a local private school. Glenburn guests often get fully involved in the program and regularly enjoy attending the morning school assembly as well as helping in afternoon library sessions, and teaching during the school day.

All Glenburn staff (including chefs, english speaking guides, drivers) are from all of Glenburn's own 8 villages. This has allowed the hotel to become a huge boost for the local economy and a great matter of pride to the local populace.

Party Moments

This cosy little plantation bungalow is another gem to take in its entirety, sitting in the foothills of the Himalaya. Good for a longer celebration due to the access. Various areas (both inside and outside) in which to hold special dinners / events on different days, and with possible but lesser ‘overflow’ rooms. Limited local entertainment possible.

reservations

For reservations please contact your tour operator, your local travel agent,
or the hotel.

must do

Take a full day tea tour with a ‘picnic’ from heaven.

Access

By air to Indore from Bhopal, Delhi or Bombay, followed by a 2 - 3 hour drive. Alternatively drive from Mandu, Dhar, Mhow or Omkareshwar.

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