Glenburn is a heavenly little plantation retreat that lies on a hillock above the banks of the River Rungeet, high in the Himalayas, overlooked by the mighty Kanchenjunga mountain range.
Started by a Scottish tea company in 1859, Glenburn then passed into the hands of one of India’s pioneering tea planting families – The Prakashes, One of India's pioneering tea-planting families, we have, over the years, come to be known as the “Chaiwala family“ - which literally means “tea planters“.
The story of the Chaiwala family began over a hundred years ago, and is closely entwined with that of tea plantations in India. Today, the third and fourth generation Prakash family carry almost a century of tea knowledge in their inheritance, and we invite you to experience this legacy at Glenburn.
The “tea estate” experience was inspired by the vineyards of Europe and other parts of the world, where visitors observe the wine-making process, taste the wine and shop for wine, local crafts and produce. We found the whole experience educational and very interesting, and were inspired to open our own tea estate for tourists who may be interested in knowing about how a tea leaf makes it to their tea cup.
On her very first visit to Glenburn, Husna-Tara Prakash decided this was the spot for such an experience. It was simply the most heavenly place. In addition to the “tea experience” we could also offer the guests a “walking” experience, and Glenburn remains one of the few destinations in India where you can walk all day and return to luxury at night. We grow our own fresh herbs, spices and many fruit and vegetables, making the experience a “foodie” one as well, with an emphasis on using local ingredients to create mouth watering, unique menus.
The initial idea took about a year to materialise. On a chance encounter, Bronwyn Latif – an interior designer based in Delhi - found herself at Glenburn and fell in love with the place, too. Before we knew it, we had fallen right into a complete restoration of the main bungalow of the estate. Our aim was to restore it to its original grandeur. Layers and layers of paint and plywood covered the beauty of the house, as if each manager’s wife wanted to contribute in some way to its splendour. We would not have got very far without Bronwyn's amazing energy and passion as far as restoration and innovative ideas go.
In 2002 The Burra Bungalow was lovingly restored, whilst retaining the style of a colonial planters' bungalow. With 1000 acres of private forest, and two rivers running through the estate, is a wonderfully peaceful place to stay and offers a unique holiday experience.
In 2008 we added 4 more rooms at Glenburn as part of The Water Lily Bungalow. Perched on the edge of the hill in front of The Burra Bungalow, all rooms have stunning views, including Darjeeling Town up on one hill and, of course the Kanchenjunga Range straight ahead. We have sourced antique furniture for all the rooms, as well as some old Burma teak for the flooring. Restored old cast iron window frames with arched skylights shape the 9 foot high windows in each room. The small balconies just outside each of these large windows are perfect for enjoying the magnificent views all around.
This project would never have been possible without the hard work and resourcefulness of our Glenburn Tea Estate Manager and his team of local workers who transported everything to this very remote site with amazing results.
Guests are accommodated in one of our two bungalows, each comprising four suites and common areas, gardens, verandahs and terraces accessible to all our guests.
The Burra Bungalow -home to generations of planters, remains the focal point of Glenburn hospitality, with its sweeping Main Verandah, cozy Living Room (with fireplace and library) and grand Dining Room where our candle-lit sit-down dinners are held. The four bedrooms have been charmingly decorated, each following a different theme, and are comfortable and spacious, yet cosy. Each of the suites, as their names suggest, offer a unique experience for our guests. Some have single rooms attached to the main suite allowing comfortable accommodation for a third (or fourth) sharing the suite, and each of them open on to the main verandah, with private entrances to the gardens behind the main bungalow. Two of the suites have fireplaces and three of the bathrooms have free standing bathtubs while all four bathrooms have a lovely walk-in rain shower. There are views of the mountains from the Front Verandah, but not directly from any of the rooms.
The Water Lily Bungalow, with four more suites and a stunning location on the edge of the Glenburn spur comprises a Living Room, smaller Dining Room, two verandahs and garden areas laid out on two levels, and connected to The Burra Bungalow by a stone staircase. It also houses a large recreation and meeting room, as well as our Massage and Steam Room. All four bedrooms have direct views of the mountains, with antique furniture, private balconies, bay windows/or sitouts. The bathrooms have antique free-standing bathtubs, each with a view, walk-in rain showers and old fashioned washstands with Venetian mirrors.
- Rs. 43,210 per room for 2 persons sharing on double or twin occupancy
- Rs. 25,350 per room for 1 person on single occupancy
- Rs. 10,320 per extra (third) adult, sharing room
- Rs. 3,090 per child sharing parents’ room (3 to 15 years)
- No charge for children below 3 years
One could also combine Glenburn holiday with extensions to Nepal or Bhutan, please send your request for the same. We would organize it for your absolutely tailor made.