Thursday, 25 January 2018

Escape To The Hills With Mayfair Resort Darjeeling (Part 1)

Hello Chicas,

If you follow me on Instagram you must be knowing about my recent escape to the hills along with my travel bud Jyotika. If I had to choose between mountains and beaches, it will always be mountains for me. Mountains just feel so much closer to heaven to me. A couple of months back I was invited by the Mayfair Resorts to review their property in Darjeeling and Gangtok. I was super excited about the trip although it was going to be my 5th visit. That's the thing about Darjeeling, every time you visit this place it feels new and its something which I always connect to, probably because of the good old memories of the trips I have had with my family here in childhood. This time I decide to avoid doing the touristy things and soak in the beauty of picturesque hills. In this post I'll be talking about my trip to Darjeeling and my experience at the Mayfair Darjeeling Hotel; the Gangtok travel post shall be up next week.

Reaching Darjeeling

Commonly known as the "Queen of Hills", Darjeeling is a small hill station situated in West Bengal, around 620 kms from Calcutta and is particularly famous throughout the world for its production of tea. You can either catch a flight to Bagdogra, the nearest airport to Darjeeling or take a train to New Jalapaiguri station and get a taxi or a shared jeep if you're travelling on a budget. You can also catch the toy train  which leaves NJP station in the morning (around 9 am) and takes about 7 hours to reach Darjeeling.  

Our flight was scheduled at 1 pm however it got delayed for a couple of hours due to some technical emergency. We made the most out of the spare hours in the airport by capturing my airport look. I wore a pair of snap button track pants with plaid bomber jacket which kept me cozy without having to compromise on my style quotient. After almost an hour we landed at the Bagdogra airport and booked a taxi for INR 1600 to Darjeeling. There are a plenty of taxis available outside the airport, you just have to haggle hard to strike a good deal. Our journey from Bagdogra to Darjeeling was a pleasant one. The road was wide and smooth, with beautiful tea gardens and forests on both sides as long as we were on the plains. However, once we started to climb up the hill, the road became narrow, meandering and treacherous. The journey from Bagdogra airport to Darjeeling is approximately 80 kilometers and took us around 3.5 hours to reach our final destination.

Flight delay got me like..

I left my heart up there.

Airport Look

Over the mountains and through the woods..

My experience at the Mayfair Resort Darjeeling

The Mayfair hotel Darjeeling is a wonderful heritage property which used to be the summerhouse of Maharaja of Nazargunj. Located right opposite to the Governor house this beautiful property has 44 rooms, cottages and family suites offering wonderful view of the mountains and the lovely garden. Being one of the premier properties of Darjeeling, Mayfair offers all the modern amenities that you can expect.  

We arrived at the hotel around 7 pm and were greeted by the staff with a sachet after which they served us Darjeeling tea. The property from the outside looked magnificent and was done in bright red and yellow colors. The resort landscape was nicely done with a mix of a small temple and  a vibrant garden with statues and gnomes. That old world charm is maintained through the clever use of Victorian clocks, wooden flooring & paneling. The furniture, decor and everything else is modern, well maintained and yet blends in with the heritage tag superbly. We were allotted a Deluxe room which had a wonderful view of the mountains. The room was quite spacious and had beautiful wood-work, the walls were done in red and yellow colors with a dash of floral furnishing which exuded vintage vibe. The best part was the fireplace which kept us warm in the freezing weather. The attention to detail is like nothing I've ever seen. The staffs were so attentive, without being intrusive & attended to our every need efficiently. I was actually delighted by the efficiency of their room service. 

The restaurants at the Mayfair hotel included Mangolia, a multi-cuisine dining hall; Tiffany, a charming intimate restaurant serving delicious staple meals and Douglas Bar, an old fashioned English bar. We had our meals at Mangolia which served Indian, continental and Oriental food. I personally loved the breakfast and lunch buffet which has so many options to choose from. There’s a small gym across from the restaurant and a game room next to that. The hotel also has a huge library where we spent our evenings reading about the tea estates by the fire place. 

The serene environment, beautiful interior, delicious cuisine and warm hospitality were few of the things I loved about the Mayfair hotel and I would highly recommend you all to pay a visit to this marvelous property. The charges for the Deluxe room is INR 10,000 approximately.

Way to the resort..
Can't get over the beautiful view from our room

The sprawling property adorned by beautiful garden

Light & Shadow play outside our Deluxe Suite

Quaint corners like this!!

Good old English Breakfast!

Ruffle Play

Outside the magnificent dining hall, Mangolia 

Such pretty corners!!

Forever zoned out!!

The multi-cusine dining hall, Mangolia

Old world charm!!

Can it get any more vintage-y?

Just browsing through the enormous number of books

Always ready to pose..

Soaking in the grandeur of this place..

Can you guess what I'm reading?

Beautiful monuments at every corner..

Breakfast scenes

Winter Bloom

Morning sunrise view from the hotel

Not so touristy things we did in Darjeeling

Since it wasn't our first visit to Darjeeling, we decided to avoid doing the touristy things and instead relax and soak in the beauty of the place. On the second day we decided to take a walk towards the Chowrasta area which is 5 minutes away from the hotel. We took a morning walk around 7 in the morning and was surprised to see the number of people who came up for a morning run in the freezing cold. Post lunch, we visited the St. Andrew's Church, an old Anglican Church built in 1843. At first sight, it looked like an old abandoned building to me. But it was not. The ambience inside was really warm and peaceful. One of the most prominent figures inside was that of Lt. General Lloyd who is known as the "Discoverer" of Darjeeling. We explored the Chowrasta area, the heart and soul of Darjeeling town which is filled with cute cafes and local shops. The Darjeeling Mall, Chowrasta is a meeting and recreational point for locals and tourists alike. The hustle and bustle is undeniable with shops and restaurants lining the street and benches along the periphery offering great view of the hills. One cannot miss the iconic cafe cum restaurant Glenary's when you're in Darjeeling. This 100 year old restaurant Glenary's serves the most sumptuous meal with a splendid view of the Tiger hills. It is a prominent landmark of Darjeeling and existing since the British colonial days. I particularly love their chicken sausages and cream rolls. We ended our meal at Glenary's with some cappuccino while enjoying the spectacular sunset from the rooftop.

A quick morning walk because why not?

Darjeeling Chowrasta

Just touristy things!

Picture ready outside St. Andrew's Church

So many memories attached to this iconic place.. 

Jim Jam tarts anyone?

Sunset view from Glenary's

Hope you all enjoyed reading the post and going through the pictures. You can check out more details of the Mayfair Hotel here.

Much Love
Ritika x

Picture Courtesy Jyotika Baijal

Outfit Details

Rust Top & Snap Button Pants: Shop Sassie (B.K. Market)
Green Pleated Top, Bomber Jacket & Windshield Jacket: Max Fashion
Red Dress: Forever 21
Cabby Hat & Thigh High Boots: Forever 21

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