"How do I start to describe Glenburn? At the beginning, I guess.
The journey up from Bagdogra/Siliguri is a 4/5 hour drive, and, once you get to the hills, the road twists and turns, is two way only, and has enough slow traffic to make overtaking difficult/dangerous, but, except in the couple of places where the tar has broken up and washed away, it’s OK. The last bit, tho’, when you turn down off the road to Darjeeling and Ghum, is very slow and very bumpy, just as they admit on their website. We came down it in the dark, and it was only two days later when we went up it in the daylight that we could see why it was uncomfortable – it is very poor in places. BUT, please don’t let that put you off!
Glenburn is delightful. Set in a working tea estate, with its own tea “gardens” for acres and acres all around, the processing factory a short walk down the driveway, and workers villages dotted down and across the slopes, it is surrounded by green, green hills (or it was in Oct 2016). There are tracks and paths and a road or two through the estate, and down to the river, so walking is lovely. The accommodation is essentially split in two. The original estate manager’s bungalow has a long wide veranda on the front, a lovely “old fashioned” communal dining room, with one big dining table (and maybe 12 chairs round it), a lounge and 4 bedrooms, all with staff areas behind. Then the newer bungalow, set a little lower down the point, has 4 big bedrooms, a sitting room, another couple of verandas and another set of kitchens on one level, with the Spa rooms below. We had the Singalila Suite in the new bungalow. It was big, with very large ensuite bathroom, with walk-in shower, 4 poster bed (with a comfortable, new mattress), teak floors, french doors on one side and a lovely little bay window area to sit and drink our morning “bed tea”, looking out to the west towards the Himalayas – sadly, in the 6 nights we were there (in early October) the clouds never lifted enough for us to see Kanchenjunga, but that was our fault for going so soon after the monsoon.
The meals were excellent. Breakfasts were served on the lower bungalow’s terrace, and were fruit, juices, toast, and eggs any way you’d like, plus a daily “special”. The lunches we had were certainly “special” – one day we walked down to the river-side, along to Sikkim and then had lunch of soup, quiches, bread and salads, on the lawn by the “fishing bungalow”, and then walked back-up (that was hot!). Another day we walked up towards the main road and had lunch of carrot soup, tuna sandwiches and salad served to us at a picnic table and chairs set up on the empty roadside, looking at the spectacular views. Diners were generally communal in main bungalow, but on two nights we asked to dine on our own, and were happily served on one or other of the terraces. Diners were varied “curries”, one night Tibetan, another South Indian, for example, but one night it was a “roast”.
We stayed 6 nights, so five days, at the start of out trip, and had lots to do. A day trip out to Darjeeling for the Darjeeling/Ghum toy train, and a visit to St Paul’s School, walks around the estate, down to the river and Sikkim, and a tour of the tea factory were all fun – though the walking can be pretty steep if you choose for it to be.
We loved it all, but above all, the staff were terrific; the local staff were happy, smiling, and keen to do well, and the managers, Fay and Will, were just super – efficient, kind, friendly and very well suited to their roles.
Finally, was the bumpy ride down to the Estate worth it? Without a doubt."
"Hotel Tugu is a peaceful oasis in busy Bali. The hotel is uniquely furnished, more like a museum really. The staff extraordinarily friendly. The rooms, grounds, everything is very clean and well kept. You have a choice of western, traditional Indonesian or the amazing ""power bowl"" breakfast. I also took advantage of the spa services at the hotel - pricey, but not disappointing. This was our first trip to Bali and stop 1 of 4 on the island. We heard but didn't quite understand the beaches aren't clean nor are the streets walkable any great distance. Canggu is no exception to either. However, we were pleased with the selection of eateries walkable from the hotel - we enjoyed Old Man's, Fika, Betelnut. We didn't miss the beach with the hotel's beautiful, refreshing pool. If you are looking for a peaceful or romantic get-away with unique appointments and an exceptional staff with great attention to detail, I highly recommend Hotel Tugu.
Stayed March 2017, traveled with family"