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Sunday, 27 December 2009

Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling, India - Page 3

Written by Christina Kay Bolton
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Glenburn Tea Estate is one of the most special and unique places in India. The former quarters of a British tea estate owner has been meticulously restored in grand style and its lounges, verandahs, gardens and rooms are the perfect place to relax after traveling around India. At Glenburn, the hospitality is genuine and your every need is taken care of.

Visiting the village school at 9 am for the school assembly is a fun pre-breakfast activity. The kids are so cute – they do exercises and sing songs before they file off to their classrooms. Sanjay’s wife, Neilu is in charge of Glenburn’s welfare projects, so she’ll show you around the classrooms as well. Glenburn has helped out the school for the past couple years by paying teachers salaries and buying books. Since they’ve gotten involved many parents have taken their kids out of private schools and put them back in this government school, so the enrollment has gone from 30 kids to 100. Still, it looks pretty dilapidated and some classrooms don’t have dividers between them, so you wonder how two teachers can both manage to teach their groups without a huge amount of distraction.

I loved my time at Glenburn – the only thing I didn’t like was the siren that went off in the early morning each day. Glenburn Tea Estate, Simbong Butterfly Room, Kanchenjunga Suite, Neena Pradhan, Husna-Tara Prakesh, Glenburn Camp, Darjeeling tea, tea tour, travel Darjeeling, Darjeeling unique accomodationThe first day I didn’t know what it was and woke up alarmed. Later, when I asked about it I learned that was how the tea workers were awakened, then another later signaled it was time to start work. There are 1,000 workers on the estate, so it is definitely an authentic working tea estate. But if you are a light sleeper you should bring earplugs. Also, there are no televisions in the rooms – which I loved – but may be a drawback for some people. To me it lent to the timeless feel of the place and made it much more peaceful. There are also only bathtubs (with hand showers) in the washrooms which had the same effect. It was relaxing taking a bath every day in the clawfoot tub – something I really enjoy, but don’t usually have the time for at home.

Glenburn is a unique family-run experience in India and is definitely worth the flight into Siliguri to visit. Be sure to stay at least three or four nights, as no matter how many days you book, I’m sure you’ll want to linger. I was planning to leave in the morning after breakfast on my last day, but wanted to stay longer, so I left in the afternoon after lunch and soaked in the peace of sitting on the verandah for a few hours. Leaving late is a common occurrence, as I noticed the two women who’d left the day before me also changed their plans and left later. Glenburn Tea Estate, Simbong Butterfly Room, Kanchenjunga Suite, Neena Pradhan, Husna-Tara Prakesh, Glenburn Camp, Darjeeling tea, tea tour, travel Darjeeling, Darjeeling unique accomodationNeena says that in fact almost everyone does it unless they have a flight to catch, so do yourself a favor: come to Glenburn and stay long enough to really enjoy it.

 

 

 

 

Details:

http://www.glenburnteaestate.com/

Singles, 12,000 Rupees (about $250), doubles 18,000 Rs (about $380) including airport transfers, all meals, activities, etc.

©Christina Kay Bolton

All Photos ©Nathalie Boscq

 

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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