Holumba Haven, Kalimpong
This is probably just the second time, after Raju’s Guesthouse in Gushaini, that we had decided to visit a place just to stay at the recommended lodging. Even though, Holumba Haven doesn’t really compare to the former, it still turned out to be a wonderful stay and completely enhanced our Kalimpong experience.
Spread over 2 acres of land, Holumba Haven consists of several quaint cottages sprinkled within a nursery that specializes in orchids. Unfortunately, it wasn’t flowering season when we were there but the property’s lush green, almost tropical, foliage gave the place a fabulous feel. The dogs, cats and several poultry birds added to the farm-stay atmosphere of the guesthouse and we enjoyed this the most. Of the dogs, Lupen, the German Shepherd and a stray dog that had adopted Holumba as its home, were the most interesting. Though a little skittish, Lupen was a nice dog to hang out with and befriend.
The property consists of about 6 cottages, which are rented out to visitors. Apart from these there is a dining cottage, which is fabulously furnished and decorated with local stuff, and a couple of cottages where the family stays and runs the daily operations of the nursery and guesthouse. Our cottage, called Pine Wood cottage, consists of 2 double-rooms, each with an attached bath and hot-water geysers. Our room, though small, was beautifully decorated and was quite charming with a day-bed by the windows and wicker chairs to lounge in. The cottage is located at the back of the property, past chicken coops, guinea pig enclosures and greenhouses, amidst thick forest-like foliage. This short walk from the entrance to the cottage is fun and interesting … well, at least, during the day when it is easy to spot and dodge the bird poop scattered all over the place.
The couple, who runs Holumba, is quite friendly and easy to interact with. They run the place earnestly and seem to have a genuine passion for what they do. They have created a Kalimpong map and advice their guests on what to do or visit in and around town. The lady of the house also runs the kitchen, which serves up set meals based on prior order. We ate dinner one night with them and were served the meal in the lovely dining room. For Rs.300 per head, it was a wonderful meal of soup, salads, rice, rotis, dal, one veg dish and one non-veg dish and finally a dessert! It was a tasty and healthy spread.
Rating: 9 out of 10