Guest Speaks

Jennie & Andrew Smith , U.K 

Hi Vishal

Sorry to have been so long in getting back to you with our feedback on our trip – there is so much to do when we get home!

Let me try to follow your format: 

1. Places

As we chose where to go we cannot complain about where we went. However, we felt it was a well balanced trip which we deliberately split into three parts.

--  Rajasthan worked well – we visited the places we wanted to and saw a good selection of palaces and forts.

--  Kanaha was excellent – very well organised in that there was a good chance of seeing a tiger, which, of course, we did.

--  Satpura was what we wanted but not the monsoon!. We wanted to go on walking safaris which we were able to do and the fact that all the animals were sheltering from the weather was not the fault of the park. However, the park was only partially open when we were there because the roads had not dried out sufficiently to allow vehicles to use them. We were in fact the only people in the park one day!. This is probably not the park to see tigers but we might have been lucky with a bear or leopard had the weather been better. In hindsight we went too early in the season.

--  If anything, we found the Kerala backwater to be too rushed – we arrived late (late plane) and had to leave very early in the morning.

-- Bangaram was amazing – way better than we expected. Very peaceful and relaxing and just what was needed at the end of a hectic trip

2.  Accommodation                                                                                               

-- Hotel Samode Haveli – Jaipur.  A very good hotel with very good service, staff etc. We enjoyed this hotel very much

-- Rohet Wilderness Camp – Jodhpur.  This was a highlight of the trip. An amazing but very luxurious place with excellent service and very friendly staff. We spent some time in the affiliated hotel in town – freshened up, used the pool etc - which was good but definitely nothing near as good as the camp. The village safari was a bit of a waste of time but at least we did see a couple of villages!

-- Fateh Prakesh Palace – We had a lovely room (upgraded) but the hotel is too big and spread out, very impersonal, the food was poor. OK for one night

-- Tuli International – Nagpur. We had a huge suite which we didn’t use as we arrive in the evening and left early. The bathroom was in need of some attention as the bathwater came up over the floor when the bath was emptied!. It was noisy (maintenance being carried out at night?) but friendly and helpful.

-- Shergarh Camp – Kanha. This was excellent – it would be difficult to find fault with it or its organisation. Very good food and comfortable accommodation with attentive service.

-- Narmada Jackson – Jabalpur. This hotel was OK  but not the best of the trip. The room was comfortable but the ‘external’ dining room and bar were again OK but not special.

-- Forsyth’s Lodge – Satpura.  A comfortable place with good food and accommodation and helpful manager and staff. However, it wasn’t quite finished (some bungalows were not ready) and frankly, it still needed some more time to get the camp running smoothly. The roof leaked in our bungalow – admittedly the rain was very heavy - but it was newly built!. It is complicated to get into the park in that it is necessary to make a 10 minute walk across rough muddy ground to get to a boat to take you across the river! We really enjoyed it but as much as anything because of the walking safaris. Next time you send clients they will, I am sure, have sorted out their teething problems and it will be working well. However, I strongly recommend that the transfer is made in a 4X4 as there is a good half  hour of very muddy, rough and uneven track from the lodge to the tarmac road and we only got out because the manager and eight staff  went in front in their jeep and push our car every time it got stuck!.

-- Taj Lands End – Mumbai. What can we say other than ultimate luxury and badly needed to dry out after Satpura. A veritable oasis

-- Kerala Houseboat. Very basic but with a great crew and excellent food. The fact it rained didn’t help.

-- Bangaram Island Resort. Again, very luxurious and relaxing. The staff made everything easy and the food was great and varied. The bungalows were good and comfortable and  it would be difficult to find a better place to finish the trip.

-- Uppal’s Orchard – Delhi. A very nice comfortable hotel and very convenient for the airport. The Service was slow at breakfast and their charges for extras is extortionate (charging for water and even Rps 100 for printing our boarding passes on two sheets of paper!).  Their receptionist had no authority to waive the charges which she even agreed were unreasonable. It rather soured our stay there.


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