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Darjeeling Unlimited: Of tea gardens and Tajness

The Taj Chia Kutir Resort & Spa lets you live in the lap of luxury at Makaibari Tea Estate, the world’s first tea factory.
Taj, Darjeeling, India. tea estate
Location, location, location! Image: Courtesy IHCL.

Darjeeling, with its delicious views of the Himalayas, the mighty Kangchenjunga up close, as well as heritage homes and darling old-world feel, is one of India’s most picturesque hill stations. But you can trust the Taj group to suss out the best locations even in such a location! The Taj Chia Kutir Resort & Spa, is spread over 22 acres in the historic tea estate of Makaibari in Kurseong, said to be the world’s first ever tea factory that dates back to 1859. Overlooking some of Darjeeling’s lushest tea gardens, it makes for the most mist-enrobed, romantic getaway imaginable.

Taj, Darjeeling, India. tea estate
Inviting four-poster beds and the mystique of misty mountains make for a cosy stay. Image: Courtesy IHCL.

The resort design is a rich tapestry inspired by the multi-layered terrace farms of the tea estates that weaves in elements of local bamboo, timber and stones. Many of the plush 72 rooms and plantation suites have beautiful balconies where you can unwind over a cup of — what else — Darjeeling tea, preferably a Makaibari second flush!

The all-day diner called The Chia Veranda also has a vantage point from where you can enjoy these stunning valley vistas of Darjeeling as you enjoy world cuisine. At Sonargaon, the fine dining restaurant, you can sample cuisines of the northwest frontier, Punjab and Bengal. You can even savour an elaborate high tea and tea tasting session with the Tea Sommelier at their charming Makaibari Tea Lounge.

Taj, Darjeeling, India. tea estate
Lobbies, restaurants, suites, that va-va-voom view is everywhere! Image: Courtesy IHCL.

Signature therapies and treatments at Jiva, the Taj spa brand that’s deeply rooted in Indian traditions even as it adheres to international standards of service and hygiene. Once it’s safe, this spa, the indoor heated pool and the state-of-the-art gym will open for use and be an important part of the certain wow factor the Taj’s service team calls ‘Tajness’.

Taj, Darjeeling, India. tea estate
The Taj Chia Kutir offers delight on many levels, pun intended. Image: Courtesy IHCL.

Apart from the in-hotel amenities that you can enjoy, the team at Taj Chia Kutir is excited about a lot of immersive destination experiences that can be curated for you too. These include, plucking and tasting tea at the Makaibari Tea Estate, nature trails with naturalists in the hills that surround Darjeeling, and access to handpicked sights if you’re in touristy mode.

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