Travel

Take Your Pick From The Best DarjeelingTea Estate Bungalows And Homestay

This International Tea Day, we bring you a list of the best bungalows and homestay among the tea estates of Darjeeling and Dooars in West Bengal

Darjeeling tea was the first Indian product to get the Geographical Indication Tag
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Many of the popular tea estates in the Darjeeling hills and Dooars are opening up their planters' bungalows for tourism. Besides, there are also homestays and luxury hotels which are coming up in the villages within the sprawling tea estates. Here is a selection of bugalows and homestay opportunites which can be added to your Darjeeling travel bucket list. 

Glenburn Tea Estate

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. They have other acitivities too, details which are available on their website

Baradighi Bungalow

Tucked inside serene Dooars (the foothills of the eastern Himalayas), about 45km from Siliguri, this charming tea estate is one of the best kept secrets of the region. Surrounded by hills and rivers, it is ideal for those who are looking for a revitalising holiday.  The elegant rooms, in this luxury heritage bungalow built in 1891, exude an old world charm through some of the well preserved furniture and other artefacts but not wanting in any kind of luxurious amenities. A part of the surrounding tea gardens border the Gorumara National Park.

Makaibari Homestay

If strictly responsible tourism is your cup of tea, then do check with the Makaibari Homestay programme floated by the eponymoustea estate which takes pride in being the first tea estate to go completely organic (by adopting permaculture). The provision of running simple but clean homestays has been designed to provide additional income to the women tea pluckers who are engaged in the seasonal occupation. The programme is run by an independent self-help group. 

Singtom Resort
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.

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.

Goomtee
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.

Tumsong Tea Retreat

Located in Ghum, about 30km from Darjeeling by road, Tumsong Tea Retreat  offers accommodation in a century old bungalow reminiscent of the colonial architecture. By virtue of its location, th resort offers a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, birding, riverside picnic and camping and of course the customary plantation walk.

Chamong Chiabari Mountain Retreat

Perched at 4,800 feet, surrounded by tea gardens, this mountain resort is just the place to unwind and recharge your mind and body among the scenic Himalayas. This premium resort is located about 40 minutes from Mirik and half an hour from Ghoom. Enjoy stunning views of the mountains from the rooms.

Taj Chia Kutir Resort & Spa

Tucked inside the sprawling Makaibari Tea Estate (founded in 1859), this uber luxury resort offers a clear sigh of Mt Kanchenjunga (on a clear day of course) as well as sweeping views of the gardens. Being located in Kuseong, the resort offers plenty of activities such as forest treks, adventure among the hills, tea treks and more.
 

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