Holiday review by Mrs Julie Ryan

Name: Mrs Julie Ryan

Date of trip: 26/03/2015

Number of people: 2

We had a wonderful stay at Maranat Mana. Praveen and his wife told us so much about their culture and traditions. The Vegan diet was so different and we even learnt to eat with our right hand, which was a bit of a challenge but caused much amusement!

  • The roof terrace at Colonels Retreat


  • Colonels Retreat bedroom


  • The entrance to Colonels Retreat


  • Colonels Retreat pictures


  • Chambal Safari Lodge outdoor dining


  • Imli Serai bedroom at Chambal Safari Lodge


  • Rear sitout at Chambal Safari Lodge


  • Indian skimmers near Chambal Safari Lodge


  • Swimming pool at Samode Palace, Rajasthan, India © Samode Palace

    Swimming pool at Samode Palace, Rajasthan, India

  • Samode Haveli


  • Elegant lounge at Samode Haveli


  • Dining in the courtyard at Samode Haveli


  • The pool at Samode Haveli


  • Terrace view at Fort House Hotel


  • The courtyard garden at Fort House Hotel


  • Fishing nets by the shore in Cochin


  • Veranda at Fort House Hotel


  • Kerala Houseboat


  • Piloting the houseboat in the Kerala backwaters


  • Watch passing traffic from your Kerala houseboat


  • See shrines and temples as you cruise the Kerala backwaters


  • Tranquil Resort main lodge


  • View and a house dog at Tranquil Resort


  • Tranquil Resort candlelit dinner


  • Deluxe room at Tranquil Resort


Ironing with a coconut heated flat iron in the Cochin outdoor 'Laundry' much to the amusement of the workers and elderly lady whose job it was. It is incredibly heavy!

Tribes Overall:

Varied and a real opportunity to engage with the local community. Extremely well organised and friendly attentive guides and drivers overall.


The guides were excellent, especially the guide in Delhi
and Mumbai. Our driver in the North was amazing and all guides and drivers in
the North were very punctual. It was little more haphazard in the south but
overall excellent.

Social & Environmental Responsibility:

In terms of social responsibility we felt that we learnt a great deal about the culture, our trip helped us to be 'responsible tourists'

Although we were shocked by the poverty in some locations, which we could do little about. Discussing politics with Indians was enlightening, as were cows in the middle of the motor way and twenty people in a tuk tuk!!

The places you stayed

The roof terrace at Colonels Retreat

Colonels Retreat


Simple but very friendly and whilst limited in choice, the dinner on the terrace was very cheap and a pleasant location.
Our only criticism was the packed breakfast which was inedible!

Chambal Safari Lodge outdoor dining

Chambal Safari Lodge


Good to stay somewhere with Indian families as well.

Swimming pool at Samode Palace, Rajasthan, India © Samode Palace

Samode Palace


A real touch of luxury. the food was excellent but perhaps little more sensitive to western tastes, fusion food.

Samode Haveli

Samode Haveli


The menu was a bit limited in the evening and clearly accommodated a range of tourists who may not have wished to eat Indian food. Lunch time snacks were dull and western!

The grounds and pool were lovely!

Terrace view at Fort House Hotel

Fort House Hotel


Incredibly helpful staff and a delightful menu. We would have liked to stay an extra night in Cochin.

Kerala Houseboat

Kerala Houseboat


A lovely trip, nice crew and good food. A day trip would have been fine as the boat moored up for the evening just after five opposite the starting point near a track with motorbikes and houses. It was not the tranquil location that we had expected.

Tranquil Resort main lodge

Tranquil Resort


It is exactly what it says, tranquil. We did two of the walks, including one marked as difficult, clearly they have not been up Scottish mountains!! The scent of the coffee flowers and the sound of birdsong was balm after a busy period of travel.
Again the food was excellent and it was nice to have a gin and tonic after several days of abstinence.