The Glenburn Tea Estate

Darjeeling, Calcutta and northeast India, India

At a Glance

  • One of the most charming boutique properties in India with views over tea plantations and beautiful gardens

  • Colonial bungalows offering spectacular views (weather permitting)

  • A lot of included activities such as hikes, visits to Darjeeling & tours of the tea estate

  • Wonderful staff offering friendly service

  • A very social hotel with an atmosphere of conviviality

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Darjeeling has a moderate climate with five distinct seasons throughout the year. The best season to visit Darjeeling is from September through till June. Summer usually begins in April until June, mild with maximum temperature never rising above 25°C. The monsoon rains arrive in July and last until August, often accompanied with intense torrential rain which can cause roadblocks. Autumn begins in September until November, accompanied with intermittent showers. The winter months are usually from December to January with a cool climate, so ensure you bring layers.

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Insider's View

Spend a night in the Glenburn Lodge at the bottom of the estate for one of the most romantic experiences in India.

Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to The Glenburn Tea Estate or take a look at our itineraries to Calcutta and northeast India

Description

Glenburn Tea Estate is a beautifully restored 150 year old colonial tea plantation house that is brimming with charm and style. It is overlooked by Mount Kanchenjunga and close to Darjeeling, offering treks through tea plantations and local villages.

If you are looking for that picture-perfect colonial plantation house, overlooking rolling tea plantations with the snow-capped Himalayas beyond, then Glenburn Tea Estate is what you are after. There is nothing quite like sitting on the peaceful verandah, tea in hand, and looking out over the views. You can use it as a base to explore the Raj era hill station of Darjeeling, or take walks in through the working tea estate, or just sit back and enjoy the surroundings. It is easily one of the prettiest boutique hotels in India and is a true Scott Dunn favourite.

Glenburn Tea Estate was originally started by a Scottish tea company in 1859 and passed into one of India's prominent tea planting families, the Prakashes. The estate was lovingly restored in 2002 and since then has been widely regarded as one of the very best luxury boutique hotels in India, with guests returning year after year.

There are two bungalows, the first being the 150-year old Burra Bungalow which contains four rooms which open out onto the verandah. Guests all eat together, ensuring a fantastic convivial atmosphere at night, and there is a lovely colonial style sitting room. The rooms and suites have all been lovingly furnished, blending old and new in equal measure. They often interweave a collection of homely and rich pastel colours with antique furniture. The second bungalow is the Waterlily Bungalow, again offering four bedrooms. If you want, there is also the Glenburn Lodge which is a simple log cabin at the bottom of the estate overlooking the river.

The convivial nature of Glenburn comes to the fore with its dining. Breakfast and lunch are served on the verandah or in the gardens. Expect to tuck into G&Ts in the garden before all guests head into the dining room for a candle-lit meal (although private dining is possible). The vegetables are grown on the estate and the offering ranges from continental, oriental and Indian.

By day you can take a range of day-walks or day-trips to Sikkim, Kalimpong or Darjeeling. There are opportunities to raft the nearby river, head off fishing, birdwatching or just taking a picnic. There is actually a great deal to do, but in reality, just sitting on the verandah reading a book and looking at the views can simply soak up the hours in abject happiness! We recommend staying here for 3 or 4 nights as it's quite a journey to get to the remote bungalow and it also offers a fantastic and relaxing place to unwind for a few days.

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Accommodation

Glenburn Tea Estate offers four bedrooms in the ’Burra Bungalow’ - The Kanchenjunga Suite, The Planter’s Suite, The Rose Suite, The Butterfly Room, and the Water Lily Bungalow offers four more suites. The latter features a living room, dining room, two verandahs, garden areas and the massage and steam room. All eight bedrooms have views of the mountains, with antique furniture, private balconies and bay windows/or sitouts. All rooms except the Planter's Suite have old-fashioned bath-tubs, walk in-rain showers and hand-embroidered bed linen.

Kanchenjunga Suite

The Kanjenjunga Suite has a King and a Queen size bed and a single bed in an next door ‘dressing’ room. Beautifully decorated in pale blues and whites and with a large window overlooking the mountains and Kanchenjunga.

The Planter's Suite

The Planter’s Suite is located in the Burra Bungalow and has a King size four-poster bed and a single bed in an next door dressing room. Its theme takes you back to time of the East India Company, with decorations including old maps and prints. This then leads through to a small, octagonal sitting room which, in turn leads out into the garden. The room is decorated in warm beiges, browns and cream. It also has its own fireplace.

The Rose Suite

The Rose Suite is located in the Burra Bungalow and has 2 beds in the main bedroom, along with a further single bed in an adjoining dressing room. There is also a very pretty sitting room where a fourth bed could be put. The whole suite is decorate in pale greens, pinks and rose fabrics and is very light and airy.

The Simbong Butterfly Room

The Butterfly Room is located in the Burra Bungalow and is a pretty room yet smaller room, decorated in rich pastel colours and has one four-poster bed. The bedroom leads through to a small sitting room which leads out into the private sit-out and garden. The Butterfly room has its own fireplace as well.

The Camellia Suite

The Camellia Suite is located in the Waterlily Bungalow contains two antique single beds, but can be transformed into a double room upon request. The private balcony has views over Kanchenjuga.

The Rangeet Suite

The Rangeet Suite is located into the Waterlily Bungalow has a lovely sit-out area with a day bed and has a small private balcony and allows you to step into the garden beyond

The Rung Dung Suite

The Rung Dung Suite is located in the Waterlily Bungalow and has superb views. It has a four-poster bed and antique furniture making it slightly more colonial themed. There is a spacious sit-out and has two balconies.

The Singalila Suite

The Singalilia Suite is located in the Waterlily Bungalow and has two small private balconies, with an antique four-poster bed.

Childcare

Ideal for families who want to escape to a retreat in the mountains but with plenty to do. Children are welcome but, being a small and peaceful place, guests are asked to be aware that noise carries here! Children may be accommodated in their parents’ bedroom. There is a baby-sitting service available.

Facilities

Table d’hôte menus are offered for all meals. Breakfast and lunch are served either in the bright and sunny morning room at one end of the front verandah or in the garden or at the garden pavilion. Dinner is usually served as a sit-down, candlelit meal the dining room, along with your hosts and any other guests in residence. Private dining can be arranged. Continental, Oriental and Indian cuisine is served. Room service is available. The delicious, fresh vegetables are all grown on the estate. Some of the best food to be had in India. Picnics and barbecues can be arranged on request. All meals, soft drinks, beer, mineral water are included. NO money changing facility is available but it can be arranged in Darjeeling, E-mail facilities are available. A selection of board games. A library with a good collection of books and magazines. A small shop selling Glenburn honey, jams, tea and toiletries.

Activities

Complimentary activities include board games, birdwatching, fishing, swimming in the river, undisturbed walks in the surrounding tea estate, tours of the tea estate and tea factory, and trekking and excursions to Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim. Local Massages are charged at an additional cost.

Reviews

5

Kate Hall (Staff)

I'd wanted to visit Glenburn for years so my expectations were high to say the least, however it did not dissapoint. Glenburn is without a doubt one of the most charming, sophisticated and magical little properties I've ever had the pleasure of staying in. With gorgeous and girly suites, wonderful food, and fantastic walks through Darjeeling I just couldn't fault it. I loved the private picnic by the river, the visit to the local school, learning all about how to make tea at the factory and just lounging around the gardens, drinking tea and wine. The only downside is the bumpy journey to get there - but boy is it worth it. It is one of a kind.

5

Daniel Smith (Staff)

Glenburn Tea Estate is one of our absolute favourite retreats in India, and a continual favourite of all Scott Dunn guests we send there. The best time to catch the amazing views are from mid October to December, but there is much to keep you occupied throughout the year. For those who love our bed tea concept in our chalets, Glenburn offer the same thing, and the food they serve is exceptional. Make sure you spend long enough at Glenburn, and three days is an absolute minimum.

In short, one of the best places to stay in India, if not Asia!

Holiday Ideas

  • Authentic North East India

    Calcutta, Kohima, Kaziranga, Singritan near Darjeeling & Delhi

    from £5600 pp inc flights & transfers for 12 nights

    • Experience the amazing Hornbill Festival in Nagaland in north-east India which takes place in December
    • Visit Kaziranga National Park, one of India's most interesting National Parks
    • Should you want to travel in a similar itinerary during another time of the year we can adapt the schedule
  • Highlights of Sikkim and Bhutan

    Calcutta, Sikkim, Singritan near Darjeeling, Thimphu, Punakha & Paro

    from £10300 pp inc flights & transfers for 15 nights

    • An ideal winter adventure, as the best visibility is November through to February
    • Ideal for walkers of all levels of fitness
    • The terrain is undulating and the routes tailored to you

Location & directions

Darjeeling, Calcutta and northeast India, India

The Glenburn Tea Estate is in the Kanchenjunga Himalayan foothills. It's located along the border between the states of Sikkim and West Bengal, an hour's drive from Darjeeling.

How to get there

Fly into Badogra which connects with Calcutta and Guwahati in under an hour, and Delhi in two hours. Please note, on alternate days the Delhi flight stops in Guwahati. From Bagdogra airport, The Glenburn Tea Estate is a 3-hour drive following the River Teesta. 

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Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday to The Glenburn Tea Estate or take a look at our itineraries to Calcutta and northeast India

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