Attention: Roccco

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Mar 13th, 2004, 12:54 PM
  #1
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Attention: Roccco

Hi, seems you are more active on this forum than on the asia one but I have a question that you may have missed regarding India:
how did you find out about www.realrajasthan.com? I will shortly be working on an early 2005 India trip and am interested in your feedback as to how much you are saving versus reserving the hotels etc. individually. It seems like a really good website but I would want to have some assurance that the company is reliable - also once you decide on your itinerary, how much of a deposit do they require?



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Mar 13th, 2004, 03:23 PM
  #2
 
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Craig,

I believe that one is always better off designing their own itinerary and then submitting it to tour operators for quotes than in selecting a pre-arranged itinerary.

Regarding www.realrajasthan.com, I really haven't done anything with that operator, other than compare prices of some hotels against others. It is an excellent site in that so much information is readily available and it puts many hotels side by side for comparison sake.

I am working with a pretty good tour operator named "Erco Travels" and they have given me excellent rates and always provided prompt responses to my communications. Their website is www.ercotravels.com

I will post one itinerary that they worked up for me, although I will probably ultimately skip Bharatpur to spend either a fourth night in Jaipur or a fourth night in Delhi. But, anyway, have a look at this itinerary and what I believe is a fabulous price (but keep in mind that this is for a group of four since I am taking my wife's parents along):

10 Jan'05 : Arrive Delhi - Agra (200 Kms / 4 Hrs)Met on arrival and drive to Agra. Enroute visit Sikandra - Tomb of Emperor Akbar. Arrive and check-in at Hotel. Day at leisure. O/night

11 Jan'05 : Agra, Breakfast at Hotel and visit Taj Mahal - Built by Shahejahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Also visit Agra Fort. Afternoon at leisure. O/night Hotel.

12 Jan'05 : Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Bharatpur (60 Kms), Breakfast at Hotel and drive to Bharatpur bird sanctury enroute visiting Fatehpur sikri. Afternoon visit sanctury. O/night Hotel.

13 Jan'05 : Bharatpur - Ranthambore ( 280 Kms/6-7 Hrs), Breakfast at Hotel and drive to Ranthambore. Arrive and check-in at Hotel. Afternoon at leisure. O/night Hotel.

14 Jan'05 : Ranthambore Morning/Evening Park Safari's. O/night Hotel.

15 Jan'05 : Ranthambore - Jaipur (170 Kms / 3-4 Hrs) Breakfast at Hotel and drive to Jaipur. Arrive and check-in at Hotel. Day at leisure.Evening visit to Chokhi Dhani - an ethnic village theame restaurant. Enjoy the Folk Dances and Rajasthani Cusine.O/night O/night

16 Jan'05 : Jaipur, Morning visit Amber fort and enjoy the Elephant ride upto fort. Afternoon city tour and visit City Palace, Observatory and Hawa Mahal. O/night

17 Jan'05 : Jaipur, Day free at leisure. O/night

18 Jan'05 : Jaipur - Delhi (265 Kms / 5-6 Hrs) >Breakfast at Hotel and drive back to Delhi. Arrive and check-in at Hotel. Day at leisure. O/night

19 Jan'05 : Delhi, Breakfast at Hotel and visit Old Delhi - Here visit Jamma Mosque, Rajghat and drive past Red Fort. Afternoon at leisure. O/night

20 Jan'05 : Delhi,Breakfast at Hotel and visit New Delhi - Here visit India Gate, Parliament /President House, Humayun's Tomb and Qutab Tower. Afternoon at leisure. O/night

21 Jan'05 : Delhi Departure, Breakfast at Hotel and transfer to Airport in time to connect flight for onward destination


Cost of Land arrangements - USD 1769 Net Per Person (Minimum 04 Person travelling togeather)

Cost includes
- Accommodation on Twin sharing basis
- Daily Breakfast
- All Transfer/Tours using Airconditioned Toyota Qualis
- Local English Speaking Guide for sightseeing at Delhi/Agra/Jaipur
- Park safaris at Ranthambore National Park
- Elephant ride at Amber Fort
- Dinner at Chokhi Dhani,Jaipur

Cost does not include
- Monuments Entrances and payable extra @ USD 50 Net Per Person
- Tips,Porterage,Drinks,Mineral water,Lunch/Dinner, Camera fee or any other e xpanses of personal nature

Hotels/Rooms Envisaged
- Agra - Amar Vilas (Superior Dlx room with Terrace)
- Bharatpur - Laxmi Vilas Palace (Heritage)
- Ranthambore - Ta Lodge (Junior Suite)
- Jaipur - Samode Haveli (Sheesh Mahal Suite)
- Delhi - Imperial (Imperial Room

---------------------------------------

Craig, I have also priced this out using the very finest accomodations, meaning Raj Vilas in Jaipur and Vanya Vilas in Ranthambhore and the price was still, in my eyes, pretty reasonable (possibly $600 pp more). Since I am used to paying big money on African safaris, even a $2,500 pp trip for 11-12 nights at some pretty incredible places, with a car and driver throughout seems like an incredible bargain.

I will probably put in a request with www.realrajasthan.com for a price, but so far I am very happy with Erco Travels.

Another thing for you to consider if you have frequent flier miles at your disposal is trying out www.awardplanner.com. For one time trip planning, they will charge only $39.95 and will work very hard at finding you frequent flier seats. I signed up for another option for $99.95 that makes unlimited trip planning valid for one year. Ultimately, Award Planner found me round trip Business Class seats from London-Johannesburg-Lusaka (Zambia) for my upcoming Zambian safari. I doubt I would have been able to do this on my own, so it was the best $99.95 that I have spent.

Award Planner is currently looking for seats for me from LAX - Delhi, which is about a long a flight as can be imagined, with a likely stopover in either Dubai if travelling eastbound or in Singapore, Taipei or Hong Kong if travelling westbound.

Lastly, just allow me to reiterate that you should design your own custom itinerary and send it out to different tour operators for price quotes. 95% of the time, the prices will come in lower than the pre-arranged itineraries and you will not get stuck visiting places that you otherwise would not bother visiting.

Good luck.
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Mar 13th, 2004, 03:30 PM
  #3
 
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One last observation...most of the rooms that are quoted in my quotation from Erco Travels are suites, at my request. For standard rooms, I believe that the price would come down significantly, if you do not require a suite. I think this same $1,769 USD per person package could possibly go all the way down to $1,150 USD per person for an 11 night package, including the car and driver throughout.
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Mar 14th, 2004, 05:07 AM
  #4
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Thanks for your response, Roccco. I do intend to submit a customized itinerary and, following your advice, will try a couple of these tour operators.
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Mar 18th, 2004, 04:38 PM
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Sir, you can find more information about Rajasthan @ www.hotelsrajasthan.com or www.hotelsjaipur.com or at hotelsudaipur.net

Thanks
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