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
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. Fall 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.
To start planning your vacation to The Glenburn Tea Estate
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 favorite.
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 colors 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.
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.
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 colors 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Daniel Smith (Staff)
Glenburn Tea Estate is one of our absolute favorite retreats in India, and a continual favorite 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!
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.
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