Hotel Windamere - Darjeeling
Hidden Heritage, High in Hills
Referred to as a jewel of Raj, Windamere Hotel, Darjeeling is one of the most well known hotels among foreign travelers. Started as lodging for English and Scottish tea planters in 19th century, it was converted into a hotel only during the time of Second world war. Withstanding the test of time, Windamere hotel has not only remained functional, it has retained its olden day charm and elegance, and has become a dream destination for travelers to Darjeeling. The intimidating views of the snow clad mountains of the great Himalayas is what keeps tourists attracted to this heritage hotel. Everyday that is spend in Windamere, the morning starts by witnessing the sun rising on the horizon, coloring the giants with their golden rays. Every room is decorated in a way to give the guests the feel of yesteryears. During the first ever national award ceremony for hotels, the Windamere hotel was awarded for its excellent achievements as a heritage hotel. Windamere sees most rush coming in during its Christmas celebration which starts from 18th December till 1st January. Every year, performers from famous West End Theater of London come here to entertain the guests. Not only Indians, it is famous among the foreign travelers as well.
Accommodation in Windamere Hotel is unlike in any other hotels or resorts. The hotel accommodation is divided into two wings, Windamere and Little Windamere. The division here is not based on the luxuries that are provided, but on the the solitude of the cottage. The Windamere wing is preferred by people who like not to be disturbed by anyone during their stay or by people who wish to relive the ages gone by. The rooms are decorated to give an ambiance of the Darjeeling during the British era. There are no TVs or telephones in the main house called Ada Villa. Telephone facility can be provided on request, but that too in the Annexe. Then there is other group of people who like to have even more privacy, not for the above reason though. The newly wed couples most of the times book for Tinker Belle's cottage which is also called as Honeymoon cottage. These cottages are at a slight distance away, located above the Ada Villa. The Little Windamere wing however has all such modern facilities and have telephones and televisions. Although the setting of the room keeps you in touch with past and royalty.
Windamere hotel has its own set of performing artists who bring alive the evenings which are sometimes chilly. They perform 'The Songs and Dances of Hills' or put forth a stunning and soothing Ghazal performances. They are generally performed in the open area of the hotel called Bearpark Parlour. There is a library as well for the members that stocks books related to travel and facility for slide and video viewing. The Itati Institute which is a centre for well being of mind and body offers space for rejuventaion.
For business traveler, if they could help themselves from not not getting distracted by the enchanting beauty of Darjeeling, there is no better place to hold meetings and conferences. Windamere hotel provides splendid business facilities. There are 5 conference halls, The Centre's Fred Pinn Room, The Henry Carpenter Room, The Pinnell Board Room, The Director's Lounge, and the Hill Charm meeting room seating 40, 20 , 10, 16 and 60 people respectively. All these rooms have hi tech projection equipment and Internet facility
In Windamere Hotel you get the best starts to a day that you could wish for. Sipping on a glass of freshly picked tea, and that too Darjeeling Tea, is not something that happens everyday, though you would wish it was so. The restaurants in the hotel serve food that have a distinct western aroma to them.
Windamere Hotel is situated on the Observatory Hill, overlooking Chowrasta. Bagdogra is the nearest airport from where a 3 hr drive is needed to reach the hotel. From New Jalpaiguri, one can catch the famous toy train, a world heritage site to Darjeeling. Darjeeling Railway station is just half a kilometer away from the hotel.
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