One of the tea estates closest to Darjeeling town, Singtom was established in 1852. The bungalow, built around 1862, has retained its Victorian charm with modern facilities added in an unobtrusive manner. They serve only vegetarian food. They offer a lot of tea-related activities, including separate tea plucking, tea factory and tea tasting tours. You may also go trekking in the hill side with a picnic hamper.
An hour’s drive from Darjeeling, the Glenburn Tea Estate and Boutique Hotel will transport you to the charming days when life moved on the slow lane. The Burra Bungalow is a restored planter’s bungalow with sweeping views of the Kanchenjunga and the tea gardens from the front verandah. The Water Lily Bungalow is located on the edge of the Glenburn spur. Do not miss the tea tour, where you may walk through the tea gardens to reach the factory, collecting nuggets of tea trivia from your guide. No problem if you cannot make it on foot. You can drive past with brief halts at several points of interest. The tea tour ends with a tea tasting experience.
One of the most famous tea estates of Darjeeling, the Goomtee Tea Estate is located on the Hill Cart Road and easily accessible from Kurseong, eight km away. Once the family home of Henry Montgomery Lennox, it later served as the bungalow for the Indian directors, and now opened to the discerning traveller. The over 100-year old bungalow offers an excellent view of the surrounding countryside. Here too you can avail a tea tour.
Ging Tea House
Another tea estate bungalow located close to Darjeeling town and nestling in the Lebong valley is Ging Tea House. It is about half an hour’s drive away from Darjeeling and said to be one of the first tea planter’s bungalows to come up here. Accommodation is available in the restored mid-19th century bungalow which sits in the middle of a picturesque garden with a view of the surrounding snow peaks.
Located in Ghum, about 30km from Darjeeling by road, Tumsong Chiabari offers accommodation in a century old bungalow reminiscent of the colonial architecture. By virtue of its location, Tumsong Chiabari offers a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, birding, riverside picnic and camping and of course the customary plantation walk.