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Reviewed 1 November 2022

Great location
We appreciate your input.we lived the hotel
Pleasant and clean rooms,
All of the people are incredibly helpful and generous with their time and advice.
Thank you prabinas and nishant bhumika and neha
Keep on doing what you do, special and unique Ganesh

Thank you

Date of stay: November 2022
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank Sohanakek
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 12 October 2022

We are a family of three, two adults and a 9 year old. While planning a trip to Kolkata for the Durga Puja, we thought Darjeeling and particularly Singtom would-be a good place to goto. But, we were skeptical as the weather predictions said it could rain. Fortunately, it didn't rain much and hence we had a great holiday.

Esp coming to Singtom, they arranged a car transport for us. It was a comfortable journey. Once we arrived there, we were lucky to meet Mr Mohan ji and Anirudh, the owners of the estate. We got a great tour of the estate and got to share a lot of stories. At lunch time, we preferred the 360 point picnic, it was arranged inside the Tea estate at a point that is elevated and on a clear day, gives view of the peaks Kanchenjunga et al. The staff took our food preferences and prepared a lip smacking meal for us. And the best part was the lunch at the 360 point in full seclusion. Post lunch, we returned back to the Estate and walked around. It was great to read some books and listen to music. The estate is a classical Victorian mansion/ bunglow. And depending on which one, one books, the interior, decor and room dimensions change. Each of the 4-5 rooms are tastefully decorated. We had all meals at the estate while we were there and the food was awesome. The next morning we were again fortunate to get the glimpse of the Mt Kanchenjunga. We bid farewell to the staff post breakfast and left Singtom.

Date of stay: September 2022
Thank kal1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 10 October 2022

Before our first Darjeeling visit, we were cautioned by friends that the town was not the quiet place that it used to be. Then, we discovered something further afield. The Kolkata-based Chirimar family that owns the Singtom Tea Estate, which is spread over several hundred acres, has lovingly refurbished the large house at the heart of the Estate where the Europeans who planted the tea bushes (most of the bushes are 200 years old) once lived. Around 800 mostly Nepali workers actively work the tea gardens and factory even today. They are not migrants, but original inhabitants, many of them educated in English in the schools that Darjeeling is known for. And a handful of these wonderful estate workers or their family members serve the property in turns, in a pleasing and hospitable way that made one suite of the mansion a home-away-from-home for our family as we stayed three nights at the end of September 2022.

Singtom Tea Estate is a place to immerse in calm and silence with simple vegetarian food crafted by the local women who do their best to customise the menu and serve guests most graciously. You can ask for as much free tea as you like through the daytime, or make it yourself with the in-room electric kettle and unlimited tea leaf packets (it's a tea garden, after all!) For our bigger foodie moments, we did our eating in Darjeeling town along with sight-seeing: the estate's excellent 4WD Tata Hexa was our morning hired taxi to town, and we called it again for our evening return. Note: For the catering and the vehicle services, be aware that one is in a homestead, not a hotel: it is a courtesy to inform any requirements a few hours early, and the staff, under the ever-present Mr. Nirmal, will do everything they can to be flexible.

Singtom Tea Estate is a great place from which to enjoy the stars in the sky, the star-like twinkling lights of Darjeeling (without the mayhem of Chowk Bazaar), and the glint off the top of Kanchenjunga – none of which you may see, though, if clouds are in the way! Since, in the right months, one can see Kanchenjunga from Singtom Tea Estate itself, we chose not to go all the way to Ghoom (with a 3am start) and Tiger Hill.

The Singtom Tea Estate staff can certainly take you to Tiger Hill for its unique clear-dawn view, but if Tiger Hill and the ‘points’ tours are your short itinerary, then staying in Darjeeling town may be more efficient for you. (Windamere, for example, offers a quiet, colonial hotel setting in town.) The lovely mansion at Singtom Tea Estate is not a resort of a hotel kind (no buffet breakfasts), nor a place for Zoom calls (there is no broadband, though mobile coverage is wider than you may expect). However, using the vehicle rates advertised on Singtom Tea Estate’s website, one can craft one’s own experiences – a combo of town as well as estate, as we did during our three nights’ stay. For example, we were not keen on tea factory or tea tasting, having experienced them in Ooty. But as engineers, my wife and I were intrigued by the presence of mini hydel plants in the area, such as Sidrapong (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidrapong_Hydroelectric_Power_Station). On our request, our gracious guide (Adarsh, also responsible for tea collection in a Division of the Estate) drove us through beautiful tea gardens down to the Balwabas river, Balwabas Bridge (Google Maps goo.gl/maps/umuKUzircJimac6v7) and another power plant. This rapid river eventually joins the Teesta. If we wanted to carry lunch with us, that would have been provided. If we wanted to trek down rather than drive, we would have been given directions and the freedom to do so. Or alternatively, we could go upslope, a much shorter distance, to the Ellenbrock 360 view sight-seeing point (Google Maps goo.gl/maps/nmEa1yNiktDFBoGE7). With all these drives or treks, ‘beautiful’ is the word that comes to mind again and again.

As far as I know, no other tea estate manor offers the balance of cost and comfort that Singtom Tea Estate offers. When we stayed, the newly-polished wooden décor and flooring were shiny-clean and the accommodation cosy: nicely done-up rooms, beds with duvets and electric bed-warmers, toilets with electric geyser, towels and soap etc, room electric heaters (Bajaj Majesty oil-filled radiators), hair dryer and electric kettle – all guest needs have been thought of. There is a plush common room with a warm fireplace and the only TV in the building, and a dining room that also has a shared ironing board in a corner. Meals and snacks can also be served under the canopies in the well-manicured garden.

The charges for food and transport may seem high, but private taxi anywhere in Darjeeling and the hills is costly: the local alterative is shared jeeps (available at the mansion’s gate, too, but daily commuters get priority).

On Google Maps, this is where the narrow and steep, tarred road, with 30- to 40- degree slopes and sharp hairpin bends from Singtom Tea Estate meets Lebong Cart Road in Darjeeling town, at Manidipa More, close to Singmari taxi stand and St. Joseph’s School, North Point: Google Maps goo.gl/maps/rqCq4Y9MAndkE9vR9 (altitude 6,560 feet).

And this is the location of the entrance gate to the Singtom Tea Estate house compound: Google Maps goo.gl/maps/htR89LHzgqy5SdEu6 (altitude 4,590 feet).

So the Singtom Tea Estate resort house is almost 2000 feet lower in altitude than Darjeeling town, and therefore a bit warmer as well (it never snows here, even on the rare occasions that it snows in Darjeeling). The 3.5km road distance to town takes 20 minutes, or 30 minutes if one or two vehicles cause a rare blockage.

If one wants to enjoy the journey and not just the destinations and ‘points’, then Singtom Tea Estate is a place offering much natural beauty! Yes, the guests’ overall budget will need to be slightly higher than with good hotels in town. During our stay, we got full attention as other guests were few. With commercialisation through ongoing construction of an annexe building and more rooms, I hope that the Singtom Tea Estate resort house will continue a high standard of personal hospitality and customised experiences!

Footnote: Singtom Tea Estate is part of a wider area called ‘Singtam Tea Garden’, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singtam_Tea_Garden, which should not be confused with a separate town near Gangtok called Singtam! Many of the South-East Asian sounding names in Bengal and Sikkim are of Lepcha ruling class origin. As you can probably sense, these parts of India are under-explored, and their history under-published!

Date of stay: September 2022
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Som T
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 12 September 2022

We stayed in Singtom Tea Estate & Resort for 3 nights in September first week. Everything - location, old bunglow, long walks in the estate, the trek - was good.
EXCEPT, the exorbitant food bill that came while checking out. Rates were not mentioned in the menu or anywhere else. Menu had some weird statement like limiting number of items ordered per room, so we thought the charges would be per room. But it was Rs. 700/person for breakfast and Rs. 800/person for lunch/dinner (tax not included). Menu was limited and also since we are not heavy eaters, we ordered very few items per meal. So breakfast of 6 pancake-sized uthappams and a fruit plate cost Rs. 1400. And dinner of 1 tomato soup, 2 bananas, and 1 plate boiled vegetables cost Rs. 1600. Same for dinner of 2 plates of momos and 1 fruit plate. Lunch was the heaviest we ate - rice, dal, 2 types of veg, and green salad - Rs 1600. (Note that the remoteness of the property made it impossible to eat elsewhere.) Also, if you stay for more than a day, you will have to repeat the items everyday.
Thus the otherwise enjoyable stay ended with a bitter taste. Glad we didn't go for the 360 degree picnic they offer, which would have cost Rs. 3000. We just walked up to the 360 degree point on our own; nothing very exciting.
Premium for heritage properties is accepted. But this is just exorbitant, with no advance information.
Service was good in general, though not exemplary. Had to to ask thrice to get the hand towel changed.

Room tip: Figure out a way to reduce food cost. Rooms on the right do not have view.
Date of stay: September 2022
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Unnyque
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 21 August 2022

World's oldest tea estate resort it is and ratings are too good everywhere but I just returned from two nights stay at this place and one word which is apt for their behavior is "chindigiri"! Why? Here are the details from my experience if you are keen to read on:
1. We moved into mountain view king suit room only to find out that there was lizard in the toilet. Since this was in the middle of tea estate we just asked to remove that and settled in.
2. After a long trip on the road we were resting then I spotted a mice.
3. I thought of now reporting it to the owner/operations head Mr. Aniruddha and he assured to get this looked into. We were moved into another room (only two of those in that category). That room toilet gets flooded while taking bath - no proper water outlet.
4. We did see an opening in that room toilet too which was big enough to let the mice in from outside.
5. Food looks beautiful and hygienic but most dishes (like south indian ones) are neither properly cooked nor tasty.
6. Rooms don't have TVs - which is probably ok as they tell you this in advance while booking but the living room one is also not operating.
7. Wifi - which I believe is fourth basic amenity in today's era - is not working almost 20 out of 24 hours.
8. You will get some indoor stuff like chess, books etc but there is no other facility (nothing like badminton, TT or anything else).
9. Don't go by any review like foreigners or NRIs stay there - we were the only family staying there for three days in that resort which was scary when almost all the staff except the main door security guard left around 10pm.

If you report these issues to owner, I don't think there is going to be any solution as they are operating this with chindigiri with no maintenence and minimal staff.

Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled with family
3  Thank dkrishna001
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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