Review by: Janice & Joy

Countries Visited:
Holiday Type:
5 07/03/2016

Overall Impressions

This trip was extremely well organised and provided a great opportunity for culture, history and wildlife. We always felt safe and our guides and drivers were highly professional, ensuring we saw and experienced an amazing array of sights. Every detail was well executed, from airport transfers to sight seeing excursions, not one hiccup. All our contacts on the ground had excellent English, were flexible and well versed in the history and culture of India making for an extremely enjoyable holiday.

Countries Visited

India 5

India is a place of diversity, colour, sound and culture with wonderful people and history. It is also a place that welcomes tourism and has an amazingly high level of security, particularly at airports and hotels which I found both surprising and comforting. The roads are crazy with no apparent rules but it all seems to work and makes for amazing sights on the road trips, families on bikes, trucks and cars full to overflowing, cows, camels, goats and in some places even elephant, all of which just adds to experience. Everybody we came into contact with was helpful and friendly and we always felt comfortable and safe. The climate in Feb/Mar was ideal, no rain and nice temperatures during the day made it good for sight seeing and our trip had a diverse range of activity which provided the opportunity to see both city and regional areas. this trip has given me a desire to return and see other parts of the country.

Accommodation Visited

The Imperial Hotel 5

We got upgraded to a suite which was very nice. The hotel is excellent and the staff attentive. The grounds and hotel are immaculate, a quite oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the noise and chaos outside the gate. Security is excellent, making it a safe haven.

Oberoi Amarvilas 5

My only regret was only having one night at this hotel, it was spectacular, particularly with the opportunity to see the Taj Mahal from the balcony of your room. The hotel is pure opulence, from the interior to the manicured grounds. The staff are attentive and nothing is too much trouble. They provide a golf cart to drop you at the gates of the Taj Mahal and then pick you up to take you back to the hotel. The meals we had were also great, we ate at both the poolside and the restaurant and the service and quality were excellent, with an extensive menu providing for all tastes.

Hotel Rajmahal 5

This place was once a palace and it is quite amazing, if somewhat eclectic in decor. We were upgraded to a suite which was huge and very comfortable. The public areas were opulent with interesting family history on display. The staff were very attentive and helpful during our stay and surprisingly laundry was included as part of the package.

Baghvan Pench Jungle Lodge 5

The camp is quite small and very close to the gates of the national park which is a huge advantage for game drives. The rooms are well appointed with an outdoor sitting area and a seperate bathroom you reach from an undercover walkway. The staff were great making sure everything went smoothly, with wake up calls and coffee prior to drives, packed breakfast for the long morning game drives and lovely lunches and dinners in the camp, very similar to the African Safari camps I have stayed in. The cuisine was mostly Indian but the chef was very obliging and provided western meals on request, which were tasty and very enjoyable as was the Indian cuisine which was served quite mild. Our vehicle was relatively new and seated six very comfortably, unlike some we saw in the park which were much smaller and had greater numbers of people in them. The park is huge with different terrain, vegetation and wildlife and I went in the hope of seeing a tiger but unfortunately they were a little elusive for us, although there had been sightings prior to our arrival. Not seeing the tiger didn't really matter because the scenery was lovely and there was opportunity to see other native wildlife. All in all this was a lovely camp, with attentive and professional staff and very experienced naturalists that obviously loved sharing knowledge and information about the wildlife. The climate in February was comfortable for game drives, requiring a warm jacket in the mornings, warming up to around 30c as the day progressed. Thoroughly enjoyed my stay here and would love a return visit some time in the future.

&Beyond Banjaar Tola Lodge 5

I think I give this place a 6 out 5, because of the staff, they were very friendly and personable and our naturalist Nara had a great sense of humour making all our drives not only interesting but fun. The vehicles seated six, although we were the only two in ours, and seemed much larger than most of the others in the park. The morning drives started with a wake up call with coffee/tea placed in a butler type pantry and breakfast was provided on the drive. The camp was lovely with huge luxury tents that had a deck overlooking the river. The food was excellent, with the chef going out of his way to cook western meals for my travelling companion, checking her likes and dislikes then excelling at cooking her a seperate western meal for lunch and dinner. He discovered we both loved chocolate and made several amazing chocolate desserts for us. The Indian cuisine was also cooked to suit my taste buds, not too hot but very tasty. We were exceedingly lucky on our game drives, seeing tigers on two seperate occasions. The first sighting a large male in a water hole and the second a male and a female in a large clearing, which was absolutely amazing as we watched them for quite some time. The park is closed on Wednesday afternoon so Nara arranged a village visit which again was very interesting and informative. The staff here were great at making our stay an experience we will never forget.

Glenburn Tea Estate & Boutique Hotel 5

This hotel is more like a guest house and a very nice one at that. Faye and William were very friendly and ensured all our needs were met. Breakfast and lunch are served in the lovely gardens overlooking the natural beauty that surrounds, providing an opportunity to marvel at the Himalayas and K2 on a clear day. Dinner is a lovely experience with a seating plan that provides the guests an opportunity to meet fellow travelers to talk about their experience and each night there is a different regional theme to the meals. The tour of the plantation was very interesting, giving me a new appreciation for what it takes to make tea. This hotel is in the mountains and as such the journey there was long and on very rough roads but the drivers are excellent, knowing every bend. The destination makes it worth the journey.

Trident Gurgaon 5

we were only at this hotel for a few hours prior to our departure for our long trip home so didn't have the opportunity to utilise all that was an offer, not even the beds. What was obvious was the professionalism of the staff and the reasonably close proximity to the airport. The room we were in was lovely and well appointed, providing butler service and fresh complimentary fruit and juice. The pool looked amazing as did all the public areas, would have been nice to have more time to explore.

Staff Review 5

This is the third trip I have organised through Jamie so that is an indication of how pleased I have been with his service. Jamie does an exceptional job and bringing together amazing itineraries that deliver all you could wish for. I have done two trips to Africa and now this one to India and each and every time my trip has been beyond expectations. Every detail is thought through and everything goes without a hitch. I have been so impressed with Jamie that I recommend him to people that might be travelling to the destinations he covers.