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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 Kalimpong: a Hollywood hideaway

We’ve had a roster of celebrities including Cindy Crawford and Brad Pitt…

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

The first person to own Mayfair Kalimpong was David Macdonald, a trade officer for the British who helped the 13th Dalai escape Tibet in 1910. Since then, we’ve had a roster of celebrities including Richard Gere, Cindy Crawford, Prince Philip and Brad Pitt.

We’ve retained the building’s heritage in all its glory and renovated what was necessary. We extended the lawn so you have a 360-degree view of the Kanchenjunga mountains which shimmer in the early morning rays. As the day goes on, they change to a hue of sparkling white which seems to match the crispy air. It really captures the imagination.

We’ve always used ethnic craft throughout our design incorporating timber as well as bamboo panels plastered in mud, a local architectural style called ikra. We have also focused on horticulture, something that Kalimpong is famous for. Around our nursery you’ll find hanging succulents, blooming orchids and 100-year old bauhinia trees brought by merchants from Hong Kong. The chamelia trees are particularly beautiful when in bloom and around which the old royals of Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim used to dance when celebrating Christmas and the New Year.

We have three wings but the Heritage block is certainly the most historical. I’d describe the design as maximalist English with antique Chippendale beds, old paintings and beautiful rugs. From some of the rooms you can smell the scent of fresh mint wafting from the farm.

When you’re not sightseeing, trekking through the mountains or cycling, you can relax in the outdoor heated swimming pool and spa. Tiffany restaurant feels opulent with high ceilings and lovely views while Mamma Mia showcases local food such as kewa datshi a hearty and flavourful potato and cheese dish. We also serve the best chicken cutlets in the country! Eat in the restaurant, on the lawn overlooking the mountains or in our secluded glass dome where we serve private dinners. It’s anything and everything you want it to be.

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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.