Holiday review by Michael, Judith & Lucy O’Connor
Name: Michael, Judith & Lucy O'Connor
Date of trip: 17/01/2019
Number of people: 2
Seeing the tigers at Bandhavgarh was amazing and we wish we could have seen some at Kanha. It was also very exciting to track and hear the tiger ' roar' & "growling " in Bandhavgarh even when we did not see them . We also saw 2 sloth bear cubs at Bandhavgarh which are very rare sightings. We enjoyed see many different bird species in both reserves. Bandhavgarh was especially beautiful and interesting. We would go back to Bandhavargh and also stay again at Samode , which was a really wonderful experience , excellent high quality food and service, great accommodation and extremely warm and engaging managers, naturalists and staff. We also really enjoyed the drives between Jabalpur airport and Bandhavargh , Bandhavargh and Kanha and finally Kanha back to Jabalpur as we drove through some great scenery but more interestingly many little villages and towns.
Although I am rating this as good , there were issues. The accommodation as Singinawa was not satisfactory and whilst it dis not spoil the overall holiday , it was an issue.
Paul was always extremely helpful and always very responsive, But there were issues with the air tickets about flight numbers etc when we first booked and also when we were reached India. I was not clear what we had paid for. I have written to Paul specifically about this.
The places you stayed
Only one night and part of the day, but very good.
A really wonderful experience and Lodge, we found it hard to leave !
Excellent naturalists, managers and staff, made us feel very welcome and looked after. The food was of very high quality and excellent .The cottages were excellent . The only issue was getting back to the lodge after the morning safari and having breakfast at about 11,30am ( there was coffee and a small snack on the morning drive but quite late in the drive ) and then being offered lunch about 1pm before the afternoon drive at 2.30. We never had lunch !
Singinawa was disappointing in view of its Deluxe grading. The naturalists ( very good) and the managers were very warm, very engaging and very very helpful, and Ji , the manager was particularly helpful in getting Lucy to be seen by a local dentist, which we really appreciated.
As a group of individuals we got on very well with the naturalists and managers which was good. Kriti , the assistant manager and her husband , Pranad, who was our naturalist were very engaging .warm and helpful. The Art Gallery is excellent and interesting and on the day of the rain, Kriti provided one to one Art tuition from a local Goad artist for my wife and also a cooking demonstration for me on another day , for which we are very appreciative.
But someone needs to pay more attention to the state of the cottages and quality control their service , the state of the cottages, was poor , grubby and felt a bit neglected. I would not have booked it if I had known what it was like. The cottages need updating & a good clean every day ! The mini bar fridge stopped working after a day , I reported it but it was not fixed, some if the plug points did not work and even though it was cold only one small radiator was provided until we asked for another.The Tribes website says there is an open fire ...! not so...
The Lodge just felt in also in need of a good make-over.
The food was good on the whole , sometimes very good but a bit weird in the way they served some of it , such as spaghetti and other european food on the same plate as Indian food ! but they did stop that after we made it clear we wanted Indian food !!! as I think others may have also done. They always kept serving us whereas Indian guests seemed to be offered a buffet self service !!! On one of the colder . wetter days we were given dinner in the large dining room which was a large fire place. they didn't light a fire but instead had a small electric radiator for the whole room. We felt there was an element of penny pinching at times. When we hit with a storm as our 2nd drive started, the rainwear was completely useless ( & seemed cheap ) and the blankets felt grubby on the drives. Although the weather was unexpected , they should be prepared for such events .