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Holiday review by Robyn Hughes

Name: Robyn Hughes
Date of trip: 20/12/2013
Number of people: 2
Country: India

Overall level of Satisfaction

 
Tribes Overall: "Professional service and advice from Tribes resulting in a trip that exceeded our expectations. India was everything we had read about and seen, and more. An infusion of sensory wonder and delight. "
 
Tribes Service: "We did our trip at short notice, and our Tribes consultant was terrific, meeting all our requests, and then some. "
 
Guides: "Overall excellent. Our driver JEET, was a very safe driver, very polite and courteous and the vehicle was always clean and reliable. After one hairy night drive, we advised him we did not want to be at our night destinations later than 5pm. We travelled in Dec and so dark earlier than usual. The guides were fonts of information, sometimes too much to the detriment of being able to just wander and absorb at own leisure. But always prompt and courteous. We learned too that if we told them as soon as we met with them that we were not "shoppers" we got to see more of the real India. "
 
Social & Environmental Responsibility: "Absolutely, as our first trip to India it certainly gave us an insight into the India we have read about. We realise now that in future my husband and I would prefer to spend more time with locals and artisans than treading with many others through passages of another palace/temple. We had a very educational and greatly enjoyable afternoon with a family of Bishnoi who shared their food and tea with us together with the story of their life. Even though no shared language, we managed have to say it was a highlight of the day. This was followed by sightings of the rare black buck."

Accommodation

 
The Claridges
Excellent service, very warm welcome and nothing too much trouble for the staff. Room very comfortable and good room sizes. In-house Indian restaurant most enjoyable, and always a good sign when frequented by locals. For another dining treat, try the Italian restaurant - it was a cool night when we were there and inside a log fire was burning away, and outside the trickle of ponds and water. Very romantic.
 
Amarvilas
This is THE place to stay if visiting the Taj Mahal. Our room, as all of them do at Amarvilas, had a great view of the Taj Mahal, and it was so convenient to be so close. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and we were treated to flowers, special turndown service including rose petals in bath and at dinner a special anniversary cake. I have a severe food allergy and Head Chef made it his business to cook personally for me. My husband was totally impressed. Bar staff were very friendly, efficient and genuine with their service. Cannot recommend this hotel highly enough.
 
Jai Mahal
Another excellent choice of hotel to stay. Large grounds so you do not feel closed in if you choose to stay close instead of venturing out. We were here for Christmas Eve celebrations which were tastefully done. Guest Services were excellent, and again we received special treatment for my food allergy.
 
Samode Palace
A true gem! And great place for a stopover to relax after days of hectic traffic and sightseeing. We had two days here, and received an upgrade to a very large suite, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Service impeccable and our private tour of The Palace Rooms with a complimentary champagne was delightful. Walking into Samode village was a highlight too, to be able to speak with the locals and laugh with them too was a treat. I even bought a baby goat (kid) but left it with the breeders. We enjoyed an afternoon at the neighbouring Samode Bagh which was once the hunting grounds for the Maharajahs. Hard to believe that it once had roaming animals in abundance, what a sight it must have been. If you get the chance, take the camel ride from Samode Palace to Samode Bagh as it takes you on the back roads, and you get some wonderful glimpses of Indian village life. And the children as so friendly. Spa services were good, but service room lacked some of the finesse of larger places (candles, gentle soothing music and proper massage couch)
 
Ajit Bhawan
Another great hotel, but sharing an outdoor area with 3 other rooms not fantastic unless all occupants of all villas are nite owls. Having said this, rooms were large, lovely and staff great. Terrific outdoor areas to relax after hectic days out. Hotel recommended eating down the road from the hotel at On the Rocks - great experience and good food.

Our Memories

"35th Wedding anniversary at the Taj Mahal on a very cool foggy morning was fantastic and ethereal. With no other people in sight - priceless. "
"The colour of Rajasthan - will never forget the numerous sites and far better than a box of Lakelands!"

customer rating

5/5 from 94 reviews

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facts and information

Time: GMT +5½ hours

Flight time: Flight time from London to Delhi is 8 hours 30 minutes and to Mumbai is about 8 hours.

Language: The official language is Hindi, which about 30% of the population speaks. English is very widely spoken and is used for official and commercial purposes.

Visas: Required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.

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Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499

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