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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Mayfair Gangtok: hedonism in the hills

One of the most special things is our proximity to the Rumtek monastery, the largest and most famous in Sikkim…

By Ravi Mohapatra
Senior Vice President of Business Development at Mayfair Hotels & Resorts

Mayfair Gangtok is one of the oldest properties belonging to the politician and hotelier, Dilip Ray. The block he lived in is now called the Heritage block crafted with many local designs. There’s plenty of surrounding greenery with every type of bamboo imaginable. You name it and it grows here.

You’re especially aware of the surrounding nature at night when the floral aromas hit you on an evening walk. Hummingbirds dart around the garden, bees collect nectar and butterflies flock all around. We’re in the lower regions of Sikkim so the weather is wonderfully temperate but one of the most special things is our proximity to the Rumtek monastery, the largest and most famous in Sikkim. Our guides can take you to see how the local Bhutia and Lepcha tribes live in villages made of these ingenious thatched-roof stone houses made without a single nail.

We have 68 rooms but the five huge villas are the most sought-after with a barbecue area, dedicated butler service and your very own heated swimming pool. If you don’t have your own pool you can head to the spa with therapy rooms overlooking the forest. I would recommend one of our couples’ treatments that start with a body scrub before a soothing massage and a soak in the huge Jacuzzi with a glass of wine. We’re also family friendly with badminton, basketball as well as other activities for children.

In the Jungle Café, you’ll find Sikkimese food such as thukpa (Tibetan-style noodles) and momo dumplings. We use many organic vegetables like mushrooms, radishes and squash peel that produces a sort of chutney. The best dish is trout which we get fresh here, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed. Before an evening in the casino perhaps, I suggest you head to the Rumtek Lounge for Tongba, a local drink made from fermented millet served in bamboo containers. It’s delicious. Or if you want to relax, kick back with a cherry brandy in the library.

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Alfred & Ravi Mohapatra

With experience at various hospitality ventures such as Sterling Resorts and Club Mahindra, Ravi worked for many years at the Mayfair group where he is presently today overseeing operations including the renovation and expansion of Mayfair, Gangtok. He is the author of two books and a script named, ‘The Story of Tea,’ a docu-drama that won 11 European film awards and the 2021 Dada Saheb Phalke Award.