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Canceled Rajasthan trip - trouble with Devigarh

Canceled Rajasthan trip - trouble with Devigarh

Apr 12th, 2006, 06:22 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 11
Canceled Rajasthan trip - trouble with Devigarh

Hi fellow travelers,
I am hoping that this info will be useful to other folks planning a trip to Rajasthan in India.

I recently spent months planning a trip to Rajasthan (starting from the US), which because of a sudden medical emergency we had to cancel at the very last minute (one week prior to travel). I wanted to share the good & the bad about our cancellation experience.

First the good: I worked with a travel agent in India (based in Goa) who was absolutely fabulous. I loved working with him and he made the trip-planning easy and fun. He was thorough and took care of all the details for me. We planned to go to Udaipur, stay at the Devigarh Hotel & Fort(just north of Udaipur), drive to Jodhpur via the Jain temples (Ranakpur), stay at the Taj Hari Mahal hotel in Jodhpur, and then go to Jaisalmer staying at the Fort Rajwada and the Manvar Desert Camp/Hotel. The trip was to be a total of 7 days. We were to leave mid-December 2005. I pre-paid for the trip in its entirety (flights, car, hotel, guides).

Now the bad: When it became clear that it would be impossible for us to travel, I immediately called the travel agent in India. I faxed him the doctor's note showing that it was impossible for us to travel. He was able to work out the cancellations for me for most everything *except* for the Devigarh Resort. All the flights were cancelled without too much hassle, as were the car/driver, and the other hotels, but Devigarh refused to honor the cancellation. They insisted we pay for the two nights of accommodation even though we could not come!

Despite many weeks (stretching to months) of attempts to get the Devigarh to understand that we couldn't make it and that it was a situation outside of our control, they still required payment. The travel agent refunded all my money except for the Devigarh.

I was really unhappy with Devigarh. I couldn't understand why such an upscale hotel/resort would not return our money when all the other hotels did -- including those from mid-range to high-end.

Anyway, I wanted to share this experience with my fellow Fodors travelers. I hope that our unfortunate experience may be of use to others.

anitag99 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2006, 11:21 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,510
This sound like a case for the Omsbudman at Travel (?) magazine. With one week notice in Dec, I'm sure they were able to re-rent your room.
lcuy is offline  
Apr 12th, 2006, 02:02 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 99
This must be very frustrating indeed. On the positive side, since you liked the Goa travel agent so well, would you be willing to post his name and contact information?
tanuki is offline  
Apr 12th, 2006, 02:38 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 711
A good reason to get trip cancellation insurance.

We traveled at exactly the same time you were suppose to and we were told that over the Christmas period that the hotels were packed, there would be cancellation penalties and our agent stressed that we should get trip cancellation insurance. Fortunately, we didn't need to use it.

Sorry you had to cancel. I hope your medical emergency has subsided and you reschedule--India is wonderful. If you've soured on Devigarh, you could stay at the Udaivilas in Udaipur which is great. I was also at the Devigarh and it is pretty spectacular as well.

However, it does sound like you had a great agent who went out of his/her way to assist you. You should share the company and contact name.
BostonHarbor is offline  
Apr 12th, 2006, 07:35 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,943
i think you should tell us the name of your agent in goa.....fodorites might like to use such an accomodating agent....??

i would find out who owns that lux hotel and i would contact the CEO...

i would also contact major travel magazines like travel and leisure....write a letter the the editor....

won't you credit card company help you as well??

i see no reason to pay for more than one nite max....
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 07:23 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 11
Thanks for everyone's responses. I will consider some of your suggestions (contact travel mag, ombudsman, find out the name of the CEO of the hotel, etc) -- maybe something can still be done!

Since a few people asked, the name of the travel agency we used from Goa was India Invites. They have a web site at www.indiainvites.com . The travel agent (Mr. Prashant Maurya) was extremely helpful and was very willing to accommodate all sorts of ideas that I had for the trip and insure that the trip would be what I wanted. He did provide me with a US-based reference (unsolicited) who also had high praise for him.

(And yes, the medical emergency has resolved itself just fine!)

Thanks again for your suggestions.
anitag99 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2006, 12:09 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 11
Hi all,
I'm replying to my own post after having another conversation with my travel agent.

He says that at peak periods, one can expect a stiff non-refundable clause at hotels. Some hotels apparently are really strict with this, eg, Oberoi.

Apparently there is another twist with the Devigarh booking. Although Devigarh hasn't refunded the money, they are willing to adjust the monies towards other future bookings of other travelers with my agent. My agent assures me that if they aren't able to do this in the near future, they will work out a refund !

Anyway, just wanted to let you all know.

Thanks again for your kind replies.

anitag99 is offline  
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