We found Windsongs on the internet before we left for India. It looked and sounded interesting, so we contacted them and ended up prebooking the room. The rate was $60 per night for one of the 2 rooms, a bit expensive for India, but although Windsongs has only 2 rooms and a small chalet, it is 5 star quality.
We left Darjeeling and after the long ride arrived in Kalimpong hot and tired. It took a short while for the taxi driver to locate the place but we eventually ended up at the end of the driveway. Windsongs is on mile 8 on the main road into Kalimpong.
We found the lobby and met Subhadra, the owner, registered, and were shown to our room. We entered and OMG! It is clean, in fact it is immaculate, well appointed, the furniture is top quality, it is maintained, something unusual in the far east, it’s quiet, even though it is adjacent to the main road to Kalimpong and we could not hear any road noise.
The view is to die for, perched on the side of the mountain slope the view is oriented down a long valley overlooking the Teesta River and on a clear morning you can see Mount Kanchenjunga. We thought we had died and gone to heaven.
The older fellow that works as bellhop, server and just about everything else is great. He does not speak much English and we do not speak much Bengali or Hindi so our communication was minimal, but he worked tirelessly and seemed to be totally self motivated.
Subhadra was the perfect host, extremely polite, friendly and truly interested in us and our travels. She is a wealth of information on ‘what to do in Kalimpong’ and everyday things, like how to get around. Subhadra will have dinner made for you if you order it a day in advance. All the ingredients used are fresh and organic, straight from their own nursery and the meal is made to your specifications. We had an Indian dinner that was just great.
Windsongs only drawback is that it is slightly far from town, but then again most of the tourist things are not in the town itself. This is not an issue for those with a sense of adventure. The solution is to jump in a shared cab on the adjacent road and it will zip you into town for 10Rs ($0.25). There are plenty of taxis near the town center that will take you to places like the Dr. Graham’s School.
If you need a break from the intense pace of India, book a few days at the Windsongs. Even if you are just passing through and get the chance, stay there, you’ll love it and think you are in heaven.
Fresh Bite Restaurant
A nondescript stair leads to the second floor and a not too visually appealing restaurant with a handful of tables. We got seated in an alcove that had a nice cross breeze on a very hot day; that was relief in itself. The menu was pretty standard for an Indian restaurant with some American type food to round it out. The staff was very nice and took our order quite quickly. The food was cooked as we waited, always good in places with sketchy refrigeration. Rice and Chili Chicken arrived at the table hot. The meal was tasty and we ate for about 300Rs ($6.00), which was about what we spent at lunch for most of our trip to India.
King Thai Restaurant
Upstairs in the mall adjacent to the shared taxi drop off. It was hard to find. The place is rather ordinary but is decorated to the Thai theme. The overall cleanliness was only OK but the tabletops were very clean. The waiter was very attentive and catered to our needs. We ordered honey chicken, rice and vegetables. The food came to the table piping hot and was very good. The price was average.