“Two colonial-style planter’s bungalows set in the heart of a 1,600-acre working tea estate, an hour's drive from Darjeeling”
The main house is a restored tea planter’s bungalow with 4 attractive suites and a romantic veranda offering exquisite views out to the Himalayas. Tucked below the hill is an additional bungalow with another 4 stunning suites and a cosy sitting room with a log fire. There's pampering service, delicious food and a choice of hikes from an hour to a day. Learn how tea is made, cross the hanging bridge into Sikkim, spot birds and butterflies, roam the estate in a 4x4, or sit and sketch the stunning landscapes. Head off to the stilted lodge, set on a private river, for lamplit dinners, stargazing or trout fishing. Whether you’re alone, with a lover or in a group of friends and family, you’ll find privacy and inspiration here; we liked Glenburn so much we went back twice on the same trip!
- Your host Jenni will attend to every whim: a steaming hot pot of Darjeeling ‘bed tea’ is produced each morning, and a cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade is magicked up on a day hike
- There are breathtaking views, capped by the Kanchenjunga range
- The food is tasty and inventive: from jackfruit kofta curry and rose-petal salad to green tea ice cream and homemade chocolate brownies
- There are lots of places to relax: in front of a roaring fire in the afternoons, among fireflies on the large veranda in the evenings, or sitting by the river at Glenburn Lodge
- Glenburn is remote, and flight times in and out of the nearest airport, Bagdogra, mean it isn’t worth coming unless you can stay for at least 3 nights
- Midges can be a problem down by the river
- It's not cheap, but prices include a car and driver on call for you every day, as well as activities and food, so you'll barely need your wallet once you arrive!
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Guesthouse
- All meals included
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
Of the 4 suites in the restored Burra Bungalow, our favourite is the Planter’s Suite, a colonial-style room with a fabulous four-poster Spanish mahogany bed, old maps and prints on the walls and Toile de Jouy furnishings. It’s perfect for lovers, who can enjoy their own open fire and a private veranda looking out across the Simbong Valley to Sikkim. There’s also a little annexe with an extra bed, ideal for a child.
The feminine green and pink Rose Suite has a double bed, garden views and a conservatory with access to the main veranda. A third space offers complete privacy for a third person. Families will suit the blue and white Kanchenjunga Suite, from which you’ll be able to see the Kanchenjunga mountain range. Parents can bag the canopied kingsize bed; children can argue over the queensize bed and the adjoining room with a fourth bed and windows covering the length of 2 walls. The pretty Simbong Butterfly Room is the smallest room, with a double bed, wooden furniture painted with flowers, birds and bees, a private sitting area and a garden.
All rooms in this bungalow have private bathrooms with traditional bathtubs, showers and toiletries made from tea oil. The only exception is the Planter’s Suite which has a walk-in shower and no bathtub.
A short walk through the gardens and almost out of sight from Burra Bungalow you'll find Water Lily Bungalow, which also has marvellous views across the valley. Its 4 romantic and spacious suites each have bay window sitting areas, a private balcony and mountain views. The Camelia Suite has twin single beds (which can be made up as a double); the Rung Dung Suite, Rangeet Suite and Singalila Suite have ornate kingsize beds. The Rung Dung Suite and Rangeet Suite also have additional areas which are ideal for children.
In all rooms in the Water Lilly Bungalow you'll find Snoozer mattresses, electric blankets, overhead fans, hairdryers, bathrobes and hand-embroidered bed linen from West Bengal and Rajasthan, featuring lilly or camellia bud motifs. The bathrooms all have freestanding clawfoot bathtubs, electric towel rails and walk-in rain showers, with hot water supplied by 100-litre electric geysers.
If you fancy something a bit more rustic one night, you can camp out by the River Rungeet at Glenburn Lodge, which has 2 rooms, private bathrooms and a full team of staff, and is lit only by kerosene lamps. More cottages down here are planned.
- Cots Available
- Electric blankets
- Extra beds
- Internet access
All meals, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are included in your nightly rate. Allow yourself to be surprised by the inventive range of food on offer. Continental breakfasts feature homemade breads, marmalades and even Marmite for homesick Brits; lunches are inspired picnics using salads, herbs and vegetables from Glenburn’s organic garden wherever possible.
For dinner, try the signature salad with home-grown rocket, basil, flat-leaf parsley, watercress and nasturtium flowers; or enjoy Indian curries and Nepali dishes such as nettle soup or fern Frond Sabji (with ferns picked fresh from the estate forests). South East Asian and European dishes get a look-in too, from Thai rose petal salads and glass noodles to the quiches and delicious chicken sandwiches given as part of a complimentary picnic en route from the airport.
Breakfast and lunch can be taken in the sunny morning room, in the front garden, on the terrace, or as a picnic during a walk or outing. For supper, everyone eats communally around a large wooden table in the dining room, but you can dine in private looking out over the mountains if you so wish. Those staying in the Water Lily Bungalow can eat alfresco on its open-air terrace during the warmer spring or autumn months.
Snacks on offer include tea leaf pakoras and Tibetan momos (steamed dumplings) accompanied by tomato and garlic chutney. And don't forget the home-grown, zero-air-miles Darjeeling tea, served in the afternoon with homemade chocolate brownies.
- All meals included
- Communal dining
- Organic produce
- Vegetarian menu
- Take The Glenburn Tea Tour around the estate and tea factory to see how the tea is made (it's grown 9 months of the year and is harvested in 4 different 'flushes')
- Explore the estate, which includes tea gardens, 8 tea picker villages, the Lamha Haata orange orchard, the convent and the Cluny Sister’s Church and School
- Visit Glenburn Campsite by the river for a picnic, a game of croquet or beach cricket or a swim. You can also go fishing for wild Himalayan trout and mahseer (bring equipment if you're a serious fisher as the rods provided are fairly basic), or stay overnight at Glenburn Lodge
- Go walking (on your own or with a guide) to spot birds, butterflies, flowers and medicinal plants (binoculars are provided) and see local life. You can select from a range of shorter walks or day-long hikes, including walks following the River Rungeet to Manjitar Village in Sikkim, along the rocky river bed of the River Rung Dung to Shikari Dura Village, or into Darjeeling Town
- Take a Jeep to visit the nearby towns of Darjeeling (where you can take a ride on the Darjeeling Hill Railway), Kalimpong or Mirik, or out to the impressive bronze Buddha statue on the opposite hill to Glenburn; paragliding can be combined with a half-day trip to Kalimpong
- Practice yoga, Tai Chi or meditation, or arrange to have yoga classes with a teacher from Darjeeling; yoga mats can be provided on request
- Enjoy a foot soak using fresh mint and camomile on the veranda, have reflexology or a head massage, or indulge in a full body massage using green tea oil
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
Children of all ages are welcome and those under 3 stay free. Older kids will love the outdoor activities, especially down by the river. Most suites have single rooms which are ideal for children. Cots, extra beds and babysitting are available on request.
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking