This is a corner of India where the sun has, most resolutely, not set on the Empire. Stepping into the Windamere is like entering a 1940s time warp. The rooms, clad in white-gloss tongue and groove, vary in size and comfort, but retain their pre-WWII furniture and floral fabrics, as well as proper enamelled tubs in the bathrooms – and cosy coal fires.
After a relaxing game of scrabble on the sun deck, retire to the dining hall (another fabulous period piece) for a boarding-school dinner of roast beef and rolly polly pudding, served by uniformed maids in white gloves.
The hotel’s Tibetan owned and run these days, but for a predominantly British clientele – many of whom grew up or were educated in Darjeeling. Standards of maintenance are, admittedly, not what they would have been back in the days of the Raj (the plumbing can be hit and miss, and some of the furnishings are on their last legs) but the atmosphere is priceless.