Holiday review by Ms. Fiona Mariota Leslie
Name: Ms. Fiona Mariota Leslie
Date of trip: 11/02/2020
Number of people: 2
Dinner at The Rambagh Palace on Valentines night - they pulled out the stops especially when they heard I'd been there 36 years ago. The amazing viewings of tigers on every Game Drive at Klem Villas. Going to the fruit and veg market in Jaipur .... the buzz and colours - amazing! Roof top viewing of the Taj Mahal.
Paul Cook organised our holiday at very short notice, despite this he managed to put together a wonderful trip. He really seemed to understand our needs and preferences.
Paul was brilliant - even got a special zipped wallet to put all the papers in and also a printed out copy of the itinerary which made my life so much easier.
Our guides were really excellent, knowledgeable and responsible. When Trump interfered with our sunset visit to the Taj which mean't we were in a traffic jam (due to road closures and practise runs for his visit) and missed getting in time we were taken to our guide's friends house where we went out on to the roof top for a viewing of the Taj!
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Khem Villas and Ramathra Fort grew most of their vegetables for their menus. At the Fort the ethos was not to give the local villagers money but instead to support their school with donations.
The places you stayed
This hotel would not have been our first choice. There were weddings evening of our 3 night stay there. This mean't music and a lot of busyness until 10pm, no swimming as the pool was cordoned off, the grounds completely taken over with tents etc for the wedding. That said the staff were unspeakably helpful and the breakfast and one evening meal we had there was delicious. The room was very small and nothing special and did not have a terrace as suggested in the itinerary. Samode Havelli would have been our choice if it had not been already booked out.
Ranthambore National Park
This really is a gem of a place - we stayed in one of the two cottages which was luxurious with plenty of space and comfort. I had wanted to be in a tent but was cleverly advised by Paul that we might be a bit cold at this time of year. Food was delicious - almost too much! Game drives were a highlight of our trip - guides exemplary at finding tigers but when it came to seeing them it was a bit of a bun fight with little respect for the animals .... and all the shoulting! Try getting really hot and swimming in the plunge pool - so refreshing. Wonderful massage too.
Beautiful surroundings and felt like we were definitely off the beaten track. The first night we were there we were up-graded to the most wonderful suite, had a massage outside on the bed on a top rampart. Udit and the rest of his family could not have been more welcoming and took us a lovely wilderness tour. The food was cooked by locals although rather simple was delicious. The wild rose soap in the bathroom smells out of this world.
Handy for the Taj Mahal, rather a busy and full on hotel. Helpful staff. Highly recommend eating outside for dinner as the other restaurant lacks any kind of atmosphere. Delicious daiquiris!
Great pre-organised yoga class in the grounds of the hotel.