Dec-Jan Itinerary Comments

Sep 29th, 2005, 11:25 PM
  #1  
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Dec-Jan Itinerary Comments

Good Afternoon,
My wife, son (10) and myself are off to India for a month this Dec/Jan and would like any comments, both positive or negative on my proposed tour and hotel choicesbr /> 23rd Dec Mumbai ITC Sheraton Grand Central Hotel 5 nights
28th Depart Mumbai on The Deccan Oddessy train tour 7 nights
4th Fly to Delhi Sheraton Hotel Delhi 1 night
5th Evening Overnight train to Pathankot
6th Meet up with car and driver (4X4) 3Nights McLeod Ganj Chonor House
9th Travel to Manali 3 nights at Span Resort
12th Travel to Shimla 3 nights Cecil Oberoi
15th Shimla-Solan by Toy Train Return to Delhi by car Sheraton Hotel 3 nights
16th Jan Agra by train Meet up with Car and Driver day tour Agra. return to Delhi
18th return to Australia

Are we trying to squuze in too much?? Hotel choices?? In fact all comment gratefully accepted!!
Thanks
Russella
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Sep 30th, 2005, 07:19 AM
  #2  
 
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The Grand Central Sheraton is a brand new hotel, is luxurious etc, but its location is quite bad. Given that you are spending 5 nights in Mumbai, I would strong urge you to change your hotel there to one of these (in the descending order of preference): The Oberoi, Intercontinental Marine Drive, Taj Mahal Hotel, Hilton Towers. That will put you in the heart of the city. The other choice is a hotel in the suburbs and there your choice could be: JW Marriott, Taj Land's End.


agtoau is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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Also - as an Aussie visiting India, aren't you going to see Greg Chappell ?

You may want to consider staying at Amarvilas in Agra. The 'vilas' properties of the Oberoi Group offer quite an experience.

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Sep 30th, 2005, 11:44 AM
  #4  
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Agtoau,
Thanks for your feedback. I was aware that the Sheraton was situated at Lower Parel and about 30 mins?? from Colaba. However, due to my Starwood Hotel membership I have been able to use points to stay there at no cost. If the area is as bad as you say I would certainly pay to stay at the Oberio etc. Does the location outweigh the cost benifit??
Thanks
Russella
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Sep 30th, 2005, 12:50 PM
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Russella,

If you are getting Grand Central Sheraton for free it becomes a tempting choice. Lower Parel is an industrial area, earlier the site of mills, with quite unappetising environs. That area is now being targeted for an overhaul with development for corporate and commercial use, but all these modern plans are at least 5-7 years away. If your budget allows, I would certainly recommend any of the hotels I cited earlier (you could save the Starwood Points for Delhi's Maurya Sheraton, for instance). As it is, Mumbai can present a harsh interface to India (if this is your first time there) and the pleasant ambience of Marines Lines, Nariman Point and Colaba will make a big difference to your stay and perception. Besides, Oberoi & Taj have some superb restaurants and many others are in their immediate neighbourhood.

Note that there is also the Grand Maratha Sheraton near the international airport. But since you have 5 days in Mumbai, there is no point staying there.
agtoau is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 12:56 PM
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Russella,

See -

http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ic/1/en/hd/bomhb

http://www.oberoimumbai.com

For some reviews, go to -

http://www.tripadvisor.com and type in "Mumbai India" ins the Search for Hotels field.

agtoau is offline  
Sep 30th, 2005, 01:05 PM
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Russella,

Sorry about these multiple postings, but I forgot to add: I think you need to finetune your itinerary. There are several Western visitors here (I'm Indian, living in California) who are experts at planning an India trip. I hope you hear from them.
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Sep 30th, 2005, 05:30 PM
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Agtoua,
Took your adivse and have booked at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. I think you reinfiorced my gut feel anyway!!! Tried the Oberoi but because they won't let 3 in a room (10 year old son) they wanted me to pay for 2 rooms which just blew the cost out of the water. We have a night back in Mumbai on the way home so will give the Sheraton a try for that night.
Thanks
Russella
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Sep 30th, 2005, 06:35 PM
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Russella,

I think you will enjoy the Taj Mahal hotel. It also has some very good restaurants. Don't forget to take a meal at the Kandahar restaurant at the Oberoi.

On your way out, the best option is the Grand Maratha Sheraton (not the Grand Central Sheraton) since it is a 3-minutes car ride to the international airport (the hotel provides free rides). There are also two outstanding restaurants at the Grand Maratha: Dum Pukht and Dakshin, respectively.


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Sep 30th, 2005, 06:38 PM
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Russella,

I am surprised the Oberoi wouldn't let 3 to a room. Three of us once stayed there - my wife and I, and my father - in the same room. I think you should email the hotel directly and ask for a quote instead of trying to book through the website. They are much more flexible that way.
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Oct 2nd, 2005, 11:11 PM
  #11  
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Agtoau,
I have been checking out the Oberoi site and you are quite correct. Children under 12 stay with the parents free of charge. I have contacted my travel agent to sort it out. However, in my research I have seen that the Hilton is there as well. Is it the same hotel as the Oberoi?? It would appear so?? or are there 2 towers, 1 Oberoi 1 Hilton?? Perhaps you could enlighten me. It is quite confusing.
Thanks
Russella
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Oct 3rd, 2005, 12:05 AM
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Russella,

The Hilton and The Oberoi Mumbai are TWO DIFFERENT hotels although they are located side-by-side. The Hilton bought "Oberoi Towers" from the Oberoi Group last year and renamed it Hilton Towers. Next to it is The Oberoi, Mumbai, and that is the one you should be looking at, not the Hilton Towers.


agtoau is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 11:49 PM
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Agtoau,
Thanks. I see if you stay at either you can use the facility's of the other. Any comments on the rest of my trip??
regards
Russella
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Oct 4th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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Russella,

My frequent visits to India are more like someone going "home" rather than as a tourist, hence my perspective will be somewhat different. Perhaps someone like Cicerone, Craig and others on this forum will have suggestions for you that are based on their experience as visitors. I will make one remark: looks like you are taking a slightly off-beat track. Most of the visitors tehse days do the Taj Mahal-Delhi-Rajasthan circuit, which I see you have taken pains to avoid. Manali etc are, of course, excellent places to go to.

Finally: when you arrive in Mumbai, be prepared for somewhat of a shock (I am assuming that you have never been to India). It is a place of tremendous contrast and a whole range of life's phenomenon: the good, the noble, the sublime to the ignoble and dirty. Keep and open mind and you will have the time of your life.

And oh - whichever hotel you choose to stay in in Mumbai & Delhi, make sure that you have the hotel car pick you up from the airport.

agtoau is offline  
Oct 4th, 2005, 11:22 AM
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Agtoau,
I have been to India a few times starting in the early 80's, backpacking etc. I visited the main spots then, Varanasi, Rajahstan, Agra, Darjeerling etc. However my last trip was with my wife about 10 years ago so I assume that a lot has changed. We have always been a bit fascinated by India and wanted to take our son along, but, wanted him to old enough to enjoy and appreciate the vast cultural differences from Australia. Also this time around I will be doing it a bit more up market than in the early days!! Hence the train trip etc.
Thanks
Russella
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Oct 4th, 2005, 05:04 PM
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COmments :

In case your last night in MUmbai is merely a transit halt type situation as Agtoau said check out the Sheraton Grand maratha, much nearer the domestic and international airport. Indeed, 5 mins from international airport so more convenient for you than going to Parel and back

I second Agtoau's comments re Agra. First of all, you are missing sunrise at the Taj which is a great time of day and probably the least crowded you will see it. Secondly, I always advise people to plan 2 trips to the Taj - it looks very different in different light and is a highlight of most trips so you should give it enough time. Amar Vilas is an experience and well worth the money but not sure they will alllow 3 to a room either. You could check out Mughal Sheraton, you may even be able to use your points here. I would delete 1 night from Mumbai and add it to Agra.

McLeod Ganj is an awesome choice, sure you will love it. Not so sure re Span Resort, Manali tho - I find the area very touristy. Why don't you choose something else from www.heritagehotels.com or www.neemranahotels.com?

Apart from finding Agra too rushed I think your pace is OK.
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Oct 6th, 2005, 03:05 PM
  #17  
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Thanks for your help.
Russella
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