West Bengal


Photo of West Bengal

About West Bengal

Far less frequented than other states in India West Bengal is home to the former capital of the country, Calcutta, and the largest concentration of Bengal tigers in the world. The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in West Bengal is wide ranging: from tea plantations to tiger reserves there are plenty to choose from.

From the dramatic tea laden hill stations of Darjeeling and Kalimpong to the bustling streets of Calcutta and the sonorous mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, West Bengal has a diverse topography for travellers to explore.


A truly divergent city Kolkata is an homage to India itself. Whilst it has seen some of the worst poverty in the country, today it is a centre for arts and education.

Gentrified Kolkatan society still orbits around the old boating clubs and golf courses and there is some imposing colonial architecture to be seen. The Victoria Memorial in particular, lying along the Hooghley River is a monument to the British presence here.

It's a great city to sample some of the best of the country’s cuisine and to experience both modern and ancient India.


A charmingly antiquated way to see Darjeeling is aboard the ‘Toy Train’, one of the few hill station train lines still in use. Get out of town and away from it all as you journey deeper into the pastoral country.

Producing the ‘champagne of tea’ a visit to the plantations to sample the region’s crop is a must.

Darjeeling overlooks the majestic Khangchendzonga peak in the distance; this is Himalayan territory after all. Budding mountaineers will appreciate the variety of hiking and trekking options whilst less enthusiastic ramblers might opt for a sunrise visit to Tiger Hill. Far less exertive.


Famed for its ubiquitous nurseries is Kalimpong. Particularly in the spring months it is resplendent underneath a carpet of orchids. The ideal retreat for some uninterrupted respite during your trip.

The Buddhist temples surrounding Darjeeling and Kalimpong are an interesting visit for their ornate wall paintings and to learn more about this fascinating religion.

Sundarbans Tiger Reserve

If wildlife interests you and you can’t leave India without spotting yourself a tiger or two then the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve is your best chance. Boating through the dense mangrove forests you may also come across the odd crocodile, leopard and even flying foxes.

The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in West Bengal covers all of the above desintations: from tea plantations to tiger reserves there really is something for everyone.

The Best Places to stay in West Bengal

For a boutique stay

  • A true reflection of modern Kolkata, the beating heart of India’s educated and artistic crowd, The Corner Courtyard is a fun, colourful, modern meet antique boutique hotel in the heart of town.

For budget

  • Nestled upon a quiet hilltop in Kalimpong, Holumba Haven provides excellent value for money. Set amidst a thriving botanical garden it showcases 200 different species of orchid for which the region is famous.

For luxury

  • For all out luxury during your stay in Kolkata there is no better place than The Oberoi Grand. Many a world leader and head of state has spent the night within its historic walls.
  • Providing an indulgent stay on a working tea estate Glenburn Tea Estate is without question the most luxurious hotel in Darjeeling.

For heritage

You are spoilt for choice for heritage hotels in West Bengal but our top options would have to be:

  • Kolkata’s Fairlawn Hotel and Darjeeling’s Windamere Hotel are like portals back in time.
  • The idiosyncratic Cochrane Place provides a stay in the residence of the former Scottish barrister Percy Cochrane.
  • Or if you are looking for history meats indulgence then The Elgin, Darjeeling and The Elgin Silver Oaks boast period décor and all the amenities of a resort.

For wildlife

  • Accommodation in the Sundarbans is limited and the Sundarbans Wildlife Camp is without a doubt the best in the area. Individual cottages include private terraces for which to do some wildlife spotting of your own.

For complete relaxation

  • With every amenity you could wish for, a spa, gym, two restaurants and much more the Mayfair Darjeeling is ideal. Simply relax and let them take care of you.
  • The Himalayan Hotel boasts manicured gardens for which to retreat from the hustle and bustle of town.

Both idyllic stays.

For an eco stay

  • A forward thinking tea estate Makaibari Homestay was the first to employ female workers and organic and fair-trade practices.

Still not sure which to book? From character to browse through our list of the best places to stay in West Bengal to start to plan your trip. Or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.


Monthly Weather in West Bengal

Best Hotels in West Bengal

  • Holumba Haven Kalimpong 16 rooms from £15

    Garden  -  2 acres of Botanical gardens with over 200 orchid species
    Sights nearby  -  Temples and Mandirs in Kalimpong town
    Views  -  Stunning views to Mount Kanchenjunga
    Restaurant  -  Home cooked by family
    RestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews

    A delightful guesthouse in the town of Kalimpong. Welcoming hosts, delectable home-cooked meals and cosy cottages set in a beautiful botanical garden. A home from home in the foothills of the Himalayas. See More

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  • Dekeling Hotel Darjeeling 19 rooms from £30

    Restaurant  -  There are 2: The Dekevas restaurant serving Tibetan and Chinese Cuisine & the Lunar Restaurant serving North & South Cuisine
    Sights nearby  -  The hotel has a tour desk to help you make the most of your time
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.

    Excellently located in the heart of Darjeeling’s tourist district with wonderful views of the town and the Kanchenjunga mountain range. This is a lovely hotel with a friendly, warm feel. The rooms are spacious & comfortable, with wood panelling, large windows & soft armchairs. Simple and cosy. See More

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  • The Himalayan Hotel Darjeeling, West Bengal 16 rooms from £34

    Restaurant  -  The cuisine is Indian & European with Tibetan and Local Gorkha dishes on request
    Local markets  -  Walking distance to the town centre
    Views  -  Great views from hotel

    A wonderfully spacious & peaceful hotel, its expansive gardens & delightful views provide a retreat from the bustle. Set up in the 1920s, it has a longstanding and well-deserved reputation; all the great historical names of the region stayed here. Old-fashioned but bursting with old world charm. See More

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  • Fairlawn Hotel Kolkata from £37

    Restaurant  -  Serving full english breakfast, afternoon tea and an extensive la carte menu until 10pm
    Sights nearby  -  Near all the major tourist spots
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Full of character

    This delightful family owned hotel is brilliantly located in the heart of Kolkata. It is one of the few places in the centre that has truly managed to retain its colonial charm and ambiance. Inside it provides space and comfort, lovely decor and just the right amount of quirkiness. See More

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  • Cochrane Place Karsiyang, West Bengal 31 rooms from £37

    Sights nearby  -  Ghoom Monastry, Shiv Mandir, Ambootia Tea Factory
    Views  -  Amazing views over the surrounding countryside
    Spa  -  Ayurvedic treatments and Himalayan facials
    Outstanding location  -  Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas
    SpaRestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    A wildly eccentric hotel in a stunning location in the village of Kurseong, in the West Bengal hills. Amazing views, characterful rooms and an excellent location – just up the road from Makaibari Tea Estate. See More

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  • The Corner Courtyard Kolkata (Hazra) 7 rooms from £42

    Restaurant  -  Multi-cuisine restaurant specialising in local delacacies such as fresh bekti
    Sights nearby  -  Close to Victoria Memorial, Maidan, Park Street
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Air conditioningRestaurant

    A quirky but hip boutique hideaway in the centre of Kolkata, with a top-notch fine-dining restaurant that’s as much a favourite with locals as guests. Bursting with charm, style and character. See More

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  • The Elgin Silver Oaks Kalimpong, West Bengal 25 rooms from £80

    Restaurant  -  The Silver Dining room offers European and Asian set menus. A wood panelled, chanderlied room full of old-world charm
    Sights nearby  -  Including Mangal Dham Temple, Kalimpong arts and crafts centre, Neora Valley National Park
    Views  -  Most rooms overlook the breathaking Himalayas and the Teesta river valley
    Back to Nature

    This lavish former home of a magnate has been delightfully converted into a hotel oozing with luxury. The rooms are expansive & elegant; Burmese teak floors, period furniture & art but with modern comfort. It also boasts 2 restaurants, a tea lounge & a garden with magnificent views of the Himalayas. See More

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  • The Elgin Darjeeling 25 rooms from £91

    Romantic  -  The Honeymoon Package: 4 day tour of the Himalayas. Jam-packed with great activites, beautiful sights, and romantic extras
    Restaurant  -  The Orchid Dining Room offers a selection of European and Asian set menus. A wood panelled room full of old world charm
    Spa  -  Offers massages and beauty treatment. Incluing aromatherapy, Swedish, Indian Head and Shoulder Massage and facials.
    Great walks  -  A perfect base for exploring the spectacular mountain scenery, pine forests and ancient monasteries

    This glorious former summer residence of a Maharajah is superbly located in the heart of Darjeeling, a stroll from the bars & cafes and with spectacular views of the mountains and pine forests. It has been wonderfully restored to its original grandeur. The rooms are elegant & beautifully furnished. See More

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  • Taj Bengal Kolkata (West Bengal) 229 rooms from £119

    Local exploring  -  In a historic part of town, walking distance from many of its sights
    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance from The National Library and the Victoria & Albert Memorial
    Sailing  -  A sunset boat trip on the Hooghly River
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Classic hotel embodying all of the Taj chain's luxury and style. Cream rooms with colour pops. Boasting several excellent dining options from Indian dishes at Sonargaon to afternoon tea at The Promenade Lounge - plus Chinese and Mediterranean in between. There is an inviting outdoor pool plus a spa. See More

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  • The Lalit Great Eastern Kolkata (West Bengal) 229 rooms from £119

    City Style  -  One of the oldest and most stylish hotels in town
    Foodies  -  Home to some of Calcutta's most iconic eateries
    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance from Raj Bhawan and St. John's Church
    Sailing  -  A sunset boat cruise on the Hooghly River is a must
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Enjoying something of a facelift in recent years The Lalit Great Eastern now boasts chic, modern interiors. It is however still home to 'The Great Eastern Bakery and Wilson's pub: some of the local's favourite establishments. A spa, pool and gym make this a five star stay. See More

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  • Mayfair Darjeeling Darjeeling 44 rooms from £120

    Back to Nature  -  The surrounding countryside is world famous for its beauty
    Views  -  See the beautiful snow-capped Kanchenjunga
    Kids Club  -  Fully staffed.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews

    It is clear that a lot of passion and a great deal of thought have gone into ensuring the ultimate satisfaction of guests at this beautiful heritage hotel. It boasts 2 restaurants, a bar, gym, spa, pool, games room, the list goes on. The rooms are spacious, tasteful and charming. See More

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  • Windamere Hotel Darjeeling, West Bengal 41 rooms from £122

    Restaurant  -  Choice of Indian or Internation cuisine in the candlelit dining room.
    Sights nearby  -  Located on Darjeeling's historic Observatory Hill
    Views  -  Great views of the Himalayas and over Darjeeling

    Quirky and colonial: step back into the days of the British Raj. The Windamere offers a nostalgic stay in the heart of Darjeeling. The place oozes history with white gloved waiters adding to the atmosphere. A must visit for those who a love a slice of days gone by! See More

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  • Tumsong Tea Retreat Darjeeling (West Bengal) 4 rooms from £130

    Country Escape  -  Quintessential Darjeeling stay on your very own tea estate
    Birdwatching  -  A the peace and tranquility makes this a perfect spot for twitching
    Great walks  -  There are plenty of great walks directly from the property
    Sights nearby  -  Take the toy train to Darjeeling

    Located on its own tea estate this homely property provides a classic stay in Darjeeling. With manicured lawns, quaint decor rooms feature antique furnishings and mountains or garden views. Delicious home-cooked meals are included in the price plus there are plenty of on-site and nearby activities. See More

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  • The Oberoi Grand Kolkata 209 rooms from £176

    City Style  -  The ultimate stay in Calcutta. Why do things by halves?
    Sights nearby  -  Kolkata has many historical landmarks. From the Victoria Memorial to Tagore House, The Indian Museum to Mother Teresa's memorial
    Restaurant  -  As many as 4 options.a chic French bistro, award-winning Thai, a stylish colonial style bar with live jazz & a pool cafe
    Swimming Pool  -  Stunning 18m pool. The centrepiece of the wonderful quadrant garden, surrounded by palm trees
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViews

    A beautiful, luxury hotel built in the 1880s. It is easy to see why it was the choice of leading historical figures. Even now it hosts grand functions for Heads of State. Elegant, lavish rooms, a lobby known for its 200 year old handmade piano and iconic chandelier, spa, pool, gym. Indulge yourself. See More

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  • Glenburn Tea Estate Darjeeling 8 rooms from £305

    Views  -  Breathtaking views to the Himalayas and Kanchenjunga
    Birdwatching  -  The ideal spot for seeing over 100 different species
    Great walks  -  Superb walking straight from the door
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Kiwi Collection

    A working tea plantation retreat with spotless service and delicious food. Eight beautiful suites - each individually designed and all with magnificent views of the Himalayas and Kachenjunga. The perfect destination for a luxurious back to nature experience & complete getaway-from-it-all relaxation. See More

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