Holiday review by Mr. John Middleton
Name: Mr. John Middleton
Date of trip: 09/03/2014
Number of people: 2
No matter what level of expectation you may have set yourself nothing can prepare for the impact of seeing the Taj Mahal for that very first time.It was absolutely breathtaking and stunningly beautiful.
Sighting a tiger for the first time as it emerged from the bamboo thicket was so mesmerizing that I almost forgot to take the photograph!
Despite having had all the information that we needed in respect of the timetable of events within our holiday we had not really appreciated the vast distances that would have to be covered, particularly by car as we moved from one venue to the next. This we occassionally found quite tiring and should have probably built a couple more 'rest days' into the schedule.
It would be remiss not to praise Paul for all the support and guidance he gave when putting this package together for us. I know there were several occassions when we wanted to change things around and make minor adjustments to the accommodation and flights. Paul was always extremely obliging and nothing was too much trouble.
I must tell you how impressed we were with the
overall attention we received from your ground handlers in India right from the outset on our arrival in Delhi.A guy by the
name of Raj was our contact and he proved to be very helpful,courteous and a
real gentleman.He straight away put our minds at rest over any
worries that we might have had.We met up with him again when it was time to fly
out from Delhi on our way to Samode and if it wasn't for his confidence and
efficiency in guiding us through the minefield of Delhi airport I think we
would still be there now! He definitely falls into the ''Excellent''
category.The other person who must be mentioned for excellent service is the
young man in Mumbai.His
name is Sunny and the attention we received from him was exceptional.He
was very personable and oused confidence.
During our travels between lodges the vehicles used were very comfortable but we have rather mixed feelings about the
drivers.What all of them seemed to lack was the ability to converse in English
and this proved very difficult and somewhat uncomfortable particularly on the
long five/six hour journeys.The majority of the drivers also see their
objective as one of getting us to our destination as quickly as possible
without much thought being given to the quality of the roads and the comfort of
their passengers.With regard to the services that we received
from the guides on the whole, this was good with an apparent high level of
knowledge of their subject. However,the guide that we had for our morning
tour of Delhi did not fulfill our wishes.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Both Samode and Singinawa are employing local villagers to meet the needs of tourism and whilst we are not aware what income this might generate for the individuals we hope that both they and their families are benefiting from this. Having had the opportunity at both venues to see a short film by Shekar Dattatri entiitled 'The Truth About Tigers' we are very doubtful that our holiday will have had a beneficial impact on preserving the tiger. The film reveals the vast problems there are with the continual killing of these animals for the smuggling of body parts and also the problems there are with the difficulties of local communities and the tiger co-existing. The resolve of these issues lies very much at the door of the Indian Government and it is far from convincing that they will save the tiger.
The places you stayed
Highly recommend this hotel as an ideal place to stay after our long overnight flight. From the moment we stepped out of the car the staff were very welcoming and extemely polite and courteous.
Highly recommend and an good base for visiting the Taj Mahal.As we arrived we were given a traditional Indian welcome in beautiful surroundings. The service was impeccable and food of a high standard. We were fortunate to have a room on the fifth floor which gave us a wonderful view of the Taj.
A very grand looking hotel but lacking any real character. Functional and close to the airport .The restaurant provided a buffet service but was very busy with a limited selection of food. Staff were generally efficient.
This lodge certainly lived up to it's deluxe rating and did,without doubt,provide us with the ultimate experience when combining luxurious accomodation with a perfect safari adventure. The attention to detail was faultless and all of the staff were attentive without being intrusive,always polite and helpful. The chalets were beautifully appointed and provided us with the ultimate in comfort. The game drives were always well prepared with a lot of thought being given to where the best opportunities might be to spot tigers.Every drive was preceeded with a briefing from Vijay,our naturalist,explaining,with the help of a map,our plans for the day. This created an additional dimension to the whole safari experience and proved to be successful since we had four sightings out of six outings. Vijay was a very personable young man whose boundless knowledge inspired us to take great interest in all the wildlife in the park. Do not miss this wonderful Samode experience.
In view of it's deluxe rating this lodge fell short of our expectations both in the standard of accomodation and the service provided.