Sajnekhali Hotel: Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge

Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge
Photograph: Snehashis Dey

Lt Col Vinod Z Sharma from Kolkata writes to Kolahal Travel Guide:
Date of Visit:    January 19, 2015

We enjoyed our trip to Sajnekhali. We went their by our own transport.
We just stayed over at the Tourist Lodge for a night stay only.

The room and bathroom at Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge were clean and nicely done up. We did not have food there but general feeling is that it is OK.
The Lodge staff members were polite and courteous.

Photo Album - Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge

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Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge, Tariff

Non–A/c Std. Double bedded 1600
Double Suite 2600
Extra Person Charge:
An extra person can stay in a double-bed room in every WBTDC lodge.
The extra person charge is 20% of room tariff without a cot.
The extra person charge is 30% of room tariff with a cot.
The extra person charge is taxable at the same rate as the room tariff.
The extra person charge is payable at the time of check-in/check-out.
Room tax is paid at the same time.
Your WBTDC booking document will not contain any information about the extra person.
Bank Account Information (for advance payment)
Hakimpara Branch, Siliguri
Branch Code: 7245
IFS Code: SBIN0007245
Name of the Account: WIND OZ
Type of Account: Current
Account Number: 32272244053
Siliguri Office Address
43 Sarat Bose Road , Hakimpara Siliguri – 734 001,
Dist.-Darjeeling,WB, India

Our Siliguri office is authorized by WBTDC to book rooms in any lodge.
Booking Procedure
Step 1. Send us a reservation request.
Step 2. We will send you an e-mail with availability information.
Step 3. Call our Siliguri office and confirm. Or send us a confirmation by e-mail
Step 4. Deposit tariff amount to the bank account given above.

Tax: Room tax should be paid at the lodge at the time of check in.
WBTDC requires us to collect the entire tariff amount at the time of booking.
Step 5. Send us the following information by e-mail:
  1. Full Name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Full address (City, State, Pin Code)
  4. Mobile No
  5. ID proof no (Voter ID/PAN Card/Driving Licence/Adhar Card - any one).
Step 6. We will send you WBTDC booking documents. Govt photo id is needed for check-in in any hotel in Bengal.

WBTDC Tourist Lodges

Digha Bakkhali Sajnekhali
Santiniketan Jaldapara Darjeeling
Kalimpong Hill Top (Kalimpong) Kurseong
Malbazar Mainak (Siliguri) Teesta (Jalpaiguri)
Udayachal (Salt Lake) Maithan Murti

SAVI writes:

There are limited options of stay near the Sunderbans National Park and most of them are resorts, which have package deals that include transport from and to Kolkata, full board and boat cruises around the mangroves. However, from reading reviews and seeing pictures online, we realized that the resort’s guests are taken in one large boat around the national park. We feared that this would be noisy and not as nice as having a boat to ourselves. So we chose to stay at West Bengal Tourism’s Tourist Lodge, which is located on the island of Sajenkhali and is the only one within the boundaries of the National Park. Here, we could arrange for our own private boat cruise, which cost us around Rs.3000 (including boatman’s fee, permit fee and Guide fee).

To book the Tourist Lodge we visited the West Bengal Toursim Office in Kolkata (junction of Hemant Basu Sarani Rd and RN Mukherjee Rd, BBD Bagh. Phone: 91 33 22437260) and got it done in person. A phone call, if it had been received, would have worked too.

The lodge is old and has about 28 rooms stacked one beside the other along a long wooden deck on the upper floor of a 2-storied wooden structure. When we got there some construction work was underway and it looked like rooms were either been added or updated on the ground floor. Our double-room was small but comfortable with an attached, western-style bathroom. The only troubling factor of the room was that its walls are quite thin so if you are stuck there during a busy period, falling or staying asleep could be a problem. Luckily, there were no creepy-crawly problems, except for pesky monkeys who lived on the trees surrounding the property.

The lodge has a dining room where all the meals are served. Our room rate (Rs. 1000 per night) included breakfast and dinner, which was super-reasonable. For breakfast, on both days, we were served omelets with oily puris and a vegetable dish, along with tea/coffee. For dinner there were rotis, rice, a vegetable dish, dal, papad and a chicken-dish – quite nice! They packed us a lunch of super-oily Parathas and pickle for the boat cruise and this along with the bottles of mineral water we ordered, understandably cost us extra.

Sajnkekhali’s Tourist Lodge is not a great place to stay but the only non-resort option available close to the national park. It’s conveniently located as the office for getting permits is on the same island. And the Lodge’s manager is quite friendly and efficient when it comes to booking boat cruises, planning the day or ordering food. I wish the tourism dept did more to renovate or update the place and make it more comfortable. They could also setup buses from Kolkata and ferry rides from Godkhali for visitors to avail of; using the local transport system to get there, though interesting and cheap, is long and tedious.

Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge: Bed Room. Photograph: W.B.T.D.C.

Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge: Guest rooms lined along a wooden deck.
Photograph: Snehashis Dey

Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge: Restaurant.
Photograph: Snehashis Dey

Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge: A pond inside the compound.
Photograph: Snehashis Dey

A view of the jungle beyond the Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge boundary fence.
Photograph: Snehashis Dey

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