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

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The Elgin Mount Pandim, Pelling: a royal retreat in the Himalayas

The spectacular views have attracted guests from His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Hollywood stars such as Richard Gere …

By Mr. B.R. Oberoi
Founder and Managing Director of Elgin Hotels

Our hotel is only 448 kilometres away from the Himalayan mountains as the crow flies with nothing else around save for the Pemayangtse Monastery next door which is over 300 years old. During the coronation of the Chogyal (Sikkim King), the head lamas coronated the king at this monastery which is now sacred to the Sikkimese people.

It’s a very special location. We’re on a hilltop with spectacular 360-degree views of the Himalayan range that’s especially beautiful at sunset. It’s one of the best mountain views in the entire belt, a divine and serene setting blessed with towering peaks and dense surrounding forest. It may be the reason why we’ve been voted among the 10 best resort hotels in India.

Mount Pandim at Pelling was once the retreat for the royal family of Sikkim. It’s dressed in Sikkimese style by regional artists with locally sourced dark wood, furniture and carpets. We took a lot of time to do the interiors. Anyone who visits our hotel agrees it’s a very special place. The list of celebrity guests goes on; His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Royal Princess of Thailand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, royals from Bhutan, ambassadors of different countries as well as several Hollywood stars including Richard Gere who my wife and I were particularly excited about.

The environment is ideal for hiking. I would recommend the trek from Yuksom to Dzongri, a walk which takes you on a high-altitude trail through forests of rhododendron, over a stunning river and to spectacular viewpoints of the giant Himalayan peaks. The landscape is a haven for birds, wild pandas and deer not to mention the mountain dwelling black bears. In April, when the flowers are out, you can see a variety of multi-coloured butterflies.

When you’re not outside, we have an inviting spa while all our rooms have an extraordinary view of the mountains and the forests. You could sit for hours admiring the flora, fauna and the stillness. We’re famous for our high tea consisting of finger sandwiches, homemade cakes, pastries and pancakes as well as other treats which you could enjoy on the lawn should you wish. We serve a variety of cuisine, but the signature dish has to be the Sikkimese Gya Thuk (a flavourful Sikkimese soup) consisting of different vegetables, cheese, beef and pork. It’s everyone’s favourite.

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Alfred & Mr. B.R. Oberoi

Popularly known as 'Diamond', Mr Oberoi was inspired by his late uncle, Mr M.S. Oberoi, the founding chairman of The Oberoi Group when he pioneered Elgin Hotels and Resorts, a brand that has come to represent fine luxury heritage hotels in the Himalayas. It is his firm belief that people are the most valuable assets in any organisation. Under his leadership, Elgin Hotels and Resorts have received numerous awards and worldwide recognition.