We reached Mayfair Gangtok tired after a long day at Namchi and Temi Tea Estate. All we could think of was eating a quick dinner and hitting the bed. As we entered the hotel around twilight, our eyes suddenly went wide. We found ourselves standing in a courtyard with a revolving globe fountain in the middle, surrounded by heritage building, painted walls. There was a Buddha with a stretched arm holding a lotus on the left and a Shivalinga on the right. Have we come to the right place?
Luxury Mayfair Gangtok
The staff guided us to the reception and after a swift check-in we were taken to our room. We could not have reached our room without help. Let me re-create the steps – we get out reception, take a few steps and walk through a long corridor which has Balinese art pieces all over it.
We enter a lift that takes us one floor up and we take a flight of stairs to be surrounded by a jungle-like environment with all possible animals surrounding the place. There is even a jungle cafe in here. We get out of Cafe and walk a few steps passing by an ancient Nag temple. And we reach the villa that has our room. We take another flight of stairs along the walls that are covered with vintage photographs and finally reach our room. There were a few alternate routes to reach the room that we would discover the next morning.
It is when we opened the window to sit on the balcony that we realized that the property is on the slant of a hill. We could see and hear the priest doing evening puja at Shiva temple. We could see the native wooden architecture of Sikkim. Later we learned that the property was the ancestral home of the ex-chief minister of Sikkim Sh Nar Bahadur Bhandari.
Mayfair Gangtok is a luxury five-star deluxe property, so all the facilities that you expect from a luxury hotel are all there. Rooms are spacious and so are bathrooms. Food is good. What stood out for me was their focus on art and the aesthetic décor of the hotel. The place is organized like an array of Villas and that kind of reminded me of Villas in Goa. There is also an angle of divine presence through various displays. Let me give you a photo walk of the art at the property.
Replica of Pashupatinath Linga
A four-faced Chaturmukhlinga – an exact replica of the one at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu is the core of the temple at the hotel property. It is a living temple where every morning and evening the puja takes place and as a guest, you are welcome to participate. You have to take off your shoes near the temple just like you would do at any Shiva temple. I loved waking up to chants and closing the day with them.
In fact, you do not get to see the Shivalingas in Kathmandu, so this was a good opportunity for me to see it properly.
Buddha paintings at Mayfair Gangtok
Buddha is all-pervasive at the hotel property. There are some huge paintings on the walls of their restaurant and coffee shop area. I loved the orange-hued paintings showing both the Buddha and his devotees.
Look at this woman with folded hands among the ubiquitous prayer flags – so peaceful and so representative of the local ethos.
Buddha in Mahaparinirvana state or the sleeping state just before he left his body spreads across the length of the coffee shop.
Odisha Stone Sculptures
Mayfair Hotel is an Odisha-based group and you see a bit of Odisha in the stone sculptures scattered across the property. There is Ganesha as soon you enter the driveway, there is Radha resting on Krishna’s shoulder who is playing flute for her and there is Buddha lost in his meditation.
There are various animals like elephants and lions flanking the various doors like doorkeepers or Dwarapalas.
Stone sculptures bring in the very Indian ethos to space.
Garuda at the entrance
At a sharp bend in the Ranipool area of Gangtok, on one side you see a huge board announcing the Luxury Hotel and on the other hand a colorful Garuda with folded hands. Garuda is a common symbol used in Sikkim – something that is rarely seen outside the state. I wonder if the mythical Garuda has a Sikkim connection.
Driftwood art pieces
Pieces of driftwood are natural art. It is wood that has drifted along rivers, lakes, oceans and has taken curious shapes. There are people who collect driftwood. I was happy to see a few pieces of driftwood that were aesthetically placed at various places in the hotel premises.
Library at Mayfair Gangtok
I love the spaces that have books as an integral part of them. Library at the hotel is breathtakingly beautiful and inviting. For me, it was the loveliest spot in the whole property. Even if you are not much of a book reader you would love to sit back and flip the pages of many coffee table books on Sikkim or the colorful magazines here.
Apart from this, there is a recreation of the jungle around their Jungle Cafe.
For more details check out their website.
More travel blog posts to explore.