Auks farm is in the Soreng Hill area. This hill has mostly Buddhist households. Our stay coincided with Buddha Purnima, so we were treated to a colorful procession, and chants echoing in the hills (ps: for us it was just that one day. However, if you're looking for silence in the hills, do check in advance for marriage/ festival season).
The accommodation is tastefully done up. We had booked the whole place. There's an isolated cabin with a balcony. Ask for it, if a private balcony view is important for you.
The dining room, has a collection of books, and a sound system.
Non-veg is the core competence of the Auks Farm kitchen. If you're veg, have a chat in advance, so that you have a sense of the meals that will be prepared during your stay.
We missed doing a bonfire. And that's to do with the unpredictable weather in the hills. On the other hand we had a few hours of a splendid view of the Himalayas. The view from Auks Farm is unique as you view the Himalayas above, alongwith the meandering Teesta (Valley) below.
The charm is to stay at Auks farm and do activities around the farm. Though, Kalimpong is close (c. 1.5h), and Darjeeling is (2.5h) - but account for long traffic snarls in Darjeeling.
Strongly recommend the walk to the Monasteries. It's a good quality road, that has local houses and schools, giving a peek into the local culture.
Never thought of staying in a farm in India. Auks Farm was an unexpected experience!! The hosts are good and caring. We were served by home made dishes with veggies from the farm, every bite was fresh, healthy and delicious.
The farm is surrounded by mountains and the view is spectacular though sometimes power failure. We enjoyed the sunrise every quiet morning. It's a place where you can stay, doing nothing and just relax with the sounds of nature.
It's a pity that we didn't have enough time to do the Shared Kitchen. Hope this could be done when we come to Auks Farm again.
Sushmita & Ashish, thanks very much for accompaning us on our shopping and bringing us to the Monastery and fishing. We enjoyed every moment we stayed in Auks Farm.
I am a regular homestay and farmstay traveler. And among all the one's that have hosted me, Auks Farm was undoubtedly the best. If you're looking for a review to decide, then the TLDR part is this - if you're looking for a quiet getaway in the hills of North Bengal, in a semirural setting but don't want to give up on the niceties of food and cleanliness and have the urge to meet great people, THEN BOOK AUKS FARM. IT'S BRILLIANT AND THE HOSTS ARE THE NICEST FOLKS YOU'LL EVER MEET.
Now the longer version. I landed up in Auks Farm with my wife right the day after our reception. We both love mountains, have a weakness for homestays or farmstays and shirk away from the hotels. We selected Auks Farm and Soreng for this and one major reason - after the maddening marriage thing we needed a break from it all. Given that we were short on time, Auks Farm and a few other places were on the list, all in North Bengal.
The reason we hit on and stuck with Auks Farm was that from the very first contact, Sushmita, our lovely host was extremely open and helpful. She was charming to talk to, easy to deal with and knowledgeable about all the weird questions a new groom asks!
And then we reached the property. It's tuck on a hill slope smack opposite Kalimpong.
It's a big farm with 4 accommodations - cottages of varying construction. One bamboo hut, a mud hut, a newly built (and may I say very lovingly constructed) wooden hut and a brick mortar one. All of them are small and cozy but big enough to accommodate families. And they do not lack any of the things you are used to - the bathrooms are modern and very clean, the beds are super nice, the decor is simple but tasteful, the furniture ample. Check the pics if you are in a rush. The total accommodation is limited to 16 max and that's by choice. Too much of a crowd would actually take a lot away from the hospitality that we found so endearing!
And the hospitality. Sushmita and her family are the owner's of the place. It's her brother, his wife and their mum who stay on the farm along with Sushmita. They are the loveliest and nicest hosts I've met in a long time. You could easily chat with them over a bonfire and a drink for hours on end and just have the best time. They cook all the food on their own and from produces from the farm itself.
And oh the food ! Imagine mouth watering pork, home made garlic bread, tossed chicken, freshly made pasta dinner or even the rice-dal-chicken lunch. The food was lip smacking and the lovely dining room was a place to just lol around. We were even served a barbeque of some of the most succulent pork ribs on our second evening. Sad that we were too busy eating and forget taking pics. They were served with so much care and good love that we were overwhelmed.
To end it all, even if I was a cynical critic of homestays, I don't I would find a single out of place at Auks Farm. The place, the people, the food, the hills - IT WAS A STAY WORTH REMEMBERING.
We will be back.
Keep em ribs ready Sushmita!
Excellent hospitality and delicious recipes have actually surged the comfort during our stay in Auks Farm . In the midst of serene nature we have nurtured our originality. The cottages in the Farm are nicely built to offer all the basis amenities and the surrounding flora adds beauty by all means. Anyone can re-discover himself while his stay in Auks Farm.
Love to visit again!!!
We (a family of 6) stayed here in December 2016. I had planned a trip to Sikkim/West Bengal and was looking for off-beat local homestays when I cam across this option. Nothing I saw or read on TripAdvisor or the Auks Farm website prepared me for the actual beauty of the place. Set apart from the usual touristy towns, Ashish, Bijaya and Sushmita offer a unique experience of a rural homestay. Sushmita was extremely friendly when I contacted her about the booking and sent me pictures and suggested various options among the cottages. She was very prompt to reply to emails and messages. Ashish arranged the pick-up from the airport.
The farm is a small family-run unit. You can read about the history of the farm and their mission on their website. We went there with no agenda - just wanting to relax for three days - and that is exactly what we did!
The cottages are all very clean and nicely furnished, each in its own style, showcasing local handicrafts and handlooms. Ashish and Bijaya provide delicious home-cooked food, mostly sourced from their own farm. A rambling walk through the woods, a picnic lunch (lovingly packed by Bijaya!), a visit to the local church on Christmas day to watch the village band perform, mornings spent in the verandah drinking tea and watching the sun rise, taking my toddler to throw food for the fishes in the pond and one lovely evening with a bonfire and local fruit wine - just chatting with Ashish and Bijaya - these are some of the things we did.
For those expecting five-star comforts - please do not come here. This is not a large commercial establishment and there are glitches like frequent power failures. But what stands out is the natural beauty and tranquility of the place and the fact that the hosts are doing their best to make their guests comfortable while conserving the ecosystem. Sushmita, Ashish and Bijaya (and Aunty!) - thank you for a memorable holiday!