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Destination to lust for

Swaati Chaudhury | Kolkata |

Inspired by the vineyards of European countryside, here’s a luxury heritage tea bungalow to watch out for where prospective travellers can let their hair down and savour the famed Darjeeling cuppa along with personalised hospitality.

It’s Glenburn Tea Estate and Boutique Hotel nestling on the banks of river Rangeet in the Eastern Himalayas overlooking the majestic Kanchenjunga in Darjeeling Hills.

Dating back hundreds of years, Glenburn has been the creation of a Scottish tea company in 1859 and it's been more than a century that the tea plantation estate is managed by the country’s pioneering tea plantation family of Prakashes.

It sprawls over 1,000 acres of forest land with two rivers flowing through and is a destination to lust for.

Sharing the details of the tea plantation estate, HusnaTara Prakash, proprietress, Glenburn Tea Estate and Boutique Hotel, explained, “For tourists looking ahead to know the journey of the Darjeeling cuppa, we have opened our tea estate and is quite similar to vineyards in Europe where travellers get to watch the wine-making process, taste and purchase the wine. The tea estate experience is quite educational and informative. Apart from providing a memorable tea experience, we also offer walking experience enabling them to walk the whole day and retire to luxury at night. It prides in being one of the few tea estates in the country to provide a walking experience.”

The well-known tea estate has undergone a huge restoration work including the Burra Bungalow keeping with the trend of the colonial planters’ bungalow. The journey to Glenburn Tea Estate from Bagdogra Airport is an arduous one.

Prakash said, “We bring all our guests right from the airport by chauffeur-driven cars with personalised service and a grand picnic is held on the way to the hotel. We have added four more rooms in our Water Lily Bungalow and all our rooms provide breathtaking views of the bewitching Kanchenjunga and the hill resort of Darjeeling. Our rooms are replete with antique furniture crafted from Burma wood.”

As far as expansion of the hospitality group goes, Prakash said, “We are coming up with a novel boutique hotel- the Penthouse in the hub of Kolkata that will provide a blend of luxury and intimacy. We do not have any such plans for expansion of our tea estate. We receive more global tourists than domestic visitors into our hotel but the footfall was a bit lower than normal last year. With an increasing number of tourists heading to Eastern zone, we are hoping for a sound growth in tourist arrivals in the ongoing period. Things appear bright with the West Bengal government determined to hard sell the state as a promising tourist destination.”

The Confederation of Indian Industry with its signature creation, Destination East is striving to entice tourists into the eastern states of India.