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welltraveledbrit Oct 22nd, 2004 10:46 AM

How many Fodorites are heading to India soon?
I'm heading to India in November(24 Nov-23 Dec). I've wanted to go for ages but our excuse for this extra trip (we were in Brazil in August)is to visit friends in Delhi. I've noticed there seem to be quite a number of people asking about many Fodorites are heading there soon and where are you going?

In making our hotel bookings in Rajasthan (Bundi, Udaipur, Rohetgarh, Deogarh, Jaiselmer, Jaipur and Shekawati)it seemed it was very busy and several hoteliers told me this year looks much busier than last.

I'm curious to know when and where you're going (I wish we had time for Kerala)and why you're picking India this year?

Dori Oct 22nd, 2004 12:26 PM

I'm planning to go the end of March. I chose India because I've been fortunate enough to do a lot of europe, usa, mexico and caribbean and it was just time to do something different. I'll be doing the golden triangle. By the way, have you received any vaccinations?

Craig Oct 22nd, 2004 12:53 PM

India has become a much more popular destination due to better infrastructure and an influx of luxury hotels. We are doing the very basic "Golden Triangle" tour - Agra, Jaipur, Ranthambore and Delhi in February. My travel agent has informed me that I was lucky to book early as hotel rates have skyrocketed from last year. We picked India because we are "ready" - in recent years we have done Bali, Thailand, Turkey and Kenya.

obenr Oct 22nd, 2004 01:00 PM

Craig, I am assuming your travel agent is Durjay. May I ask you when you booked your trip with him. I have been working with him since February this year and just recently got confirmed in Rajvilas and Udaivilas. He is also telling me that he has to charge the new prices. I am quite disappointed since we were working with him since February so I wanted to know if he is just pulling my leg (I hope not!). Was just curious.

welltraveledbrit Oct 22nd, 2004 01:38 PM

The question of changing pricing is interesting...we're not staying at any of the Oberoi Vilas properties but if you go for 3 nights there's waa package rate on website...though this still may be more than through a local agent.

We've opted for the family run heritage properties and some of them have increased their pricing significantly from last year.

In several cases it seems to be a question of increasing numbers of tourists and good publicity. For example Deogarh which has had alot of write ups in European and Japanese magazines is very busy and has switched from pricing in Rupees and dollars to pricing in Euros which has made for a significant increase...particularly for US based travelers.

However, that being said the fact is that alot of the family run heritage properties appear to be a bargain by US or European standards.

We haven't got our vaccintations yet but it's the next thing on my list as I did get our visas at the Indian consulate in SF last week.

snapple Oct 22nd, 2004 01:47 PM

we are going to india as well in nov for a couple of weeks....
delhi, kerala and the maldives.

Craig Oct 22nd, 2004 01:48 PM

Hmmm...sorry to hear that obenr. Yes my TA is Durjay. I've been trying to finalize things this week (deposits etc.) but its been difficult because he apparently had a server problem and was being besieged with SPAM - could not sort the good stuff from the bad. We got our pricing about 6 months ago and were confirmed back then for our hotels - Amarvilas, Rajvilas, Sher Bagh and Imperial (we already knew our flight info so dates were firm) - Compass Tours has a policy that once you are "confirmed", pricing does not change so I did not expect him to reneg on the deal and he did not. Quite honestly I saw the price increase coming (articles in the NY Times travel section etc.) and acted accordingly - India is right now a "hot" tourist destination. I should point out that Durjay is providing us with a full time driver plus a tour guide at several destinations.

obenr Oct 22nd, 2004 03:23 PM

thanks for responding Craig. Durjay also gave us a quote maybe in March and but confirmed the hotel reservations just last week. so maybe that's the difference. it's a difference of a bout $400 which is quite a lot since we are only going to be in jaipur and udaipur for a total of 4 days (he is also providing driver and car with guide). anyway, we are excited about the trip nevertheless. we have a CRAZY honeymoon itenerary. we start in the Maldives, then Colombo (1 night) then Udaipur, Jaipur, Kerala and finally, South Africa! All in 17 days!!! We chose India specifically because like the rest who have posted, we have been lucky to visit SE Asia,US, Carribean, Australia and Europe a lot so we wanted a "different" destination. We can't wait!!!

Lyndie Oct 22nd, 2004 03:48 PM

Hi wtb-we're independent travellers and we are off on Dec 1 to Koh Samui, Krabi & maybe another island if we have time then India Dec 18 for 2 weeks. We will vist Delhi, Agra, Jaipur & Udaipur. We decided on a unrushed trip and will spend Xmas at JasVilas in Jaipur. Lily (at JV) has been exceedingly patient with me as I've chopped & changed dates etc. Her prices have not risen since we first talked about staying with her in June. We've visited China, Vietnam (twice), Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Turkey, Greece, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Fiji, Argentina, Peru & Chile since Mar 2003 so thought India was as good a choice as any! The weather in Dec is apparently good. We had Hep B, Typhoid and Meningicoccal vaccines. We already had several vaccines for Africa & Sth America so just needed "top-ups". Have a most delightful holiday!

snapple Oct 22nd, 2004 05:35 PM

obenr -- sounds like an absolutely fascinating honeymoon. where will you be staying in the maldives?

obenr Oct 22nd, 2004 09:14 PM

hi snapple! we are staying at the Soneva Gili in the Maldives for 4 days, Colombo House in Colombo (just for the day), Udaivilas, Rajvilas, Malabar House and houseboat with Tourindia in Kerala and finally Ulusaba and Londolozi Safari Lodge in South Africa! Quite exhausting just thinking about it! We are still aiming to add Dubai (One and Only Resort in Jumeira Beach) but my fiancee is having a hard time pulling off an additional 4 days!

Rajhelp50 Oct 23rd, 2004 06:38 AM

Prices in Rajasthan have risen dramatically over last year, but most family hotels, and they are excellent value, have kept their prices steady.

bluide Oct 29th, 2004 06:31 AM

I'm looking into doing the Golden Triangle as well. Has anyone who has used Durjay recently returned from their trip?

Craig Oct 29th, 2004 07:19 AM

If you enter the words "Durjay Compass" in the "Search This Forum" box and click on "find", you will bring up a couple of reports from posters earlier this year - I do not believe either of the posters are checking into this forum any more.

bluide Oct 29th, 2004 08:04 AM

Thanks Craig. When are you going to India? Seems like you have been very happy with Durjay and his pricing? Did you check around with others?

Craig Oct 29th, 2004 08:27 AM

Bluide - We are going to India in February 2005. We started planning last March. I picked the names of three Indian TA's off this board and sent via e-mail a request to each for hotel pricing on my specific dates that included tax and breakfast. Compass Tours was the lowest of the three. We have since added a driver, tour guides, and rail tickets at prices that I believe to be competitive.

bluide Oct 29th, 2004 08:52 AM

Craig, maybe we will see you there. We are going in February as well and then to the Maldives. I have e-mailed Durjay and his pricing has definitely been the lowest by far. I am also using an agent here in the states but so far the pricing has been significantly higher (about $800-$1000 higher for the 5 nights with same hotels). I'm trying to see if both trips offer the same room quality and excursions, etc. and if there will be any add-ons once Durjay gets back to me. He only sent me an initial quote. Although the quote did seem firm for the hotels/guides, etc., I need to confirm that.

Craig Oct 29th, 2004 09:02 AM

Bluide - I hope you are being very specific with anyone you contact for pricing about the type of room - e.g. "non-smoking superior deluxe room with terrace". This information is best taken from the hotels' own websites as terms such as "deluxe room" can mean many things. I am pretty sure that you won't get a good deal from your TA in the States.

bluide Oct 29th, 2004 04:01 PM

Thanks..Yep..I have checked that. I saw on one of your posts that you are staying in a historical room at Rambagh (this could be an old post, and you might have changed plans), but wondering what you know in terms of quality between a luxury room or historical suite. Right now my pricing is in the superior room (the least expensive) and I will upgrade, but I'm not sure to what level. Anybody have any suggestions on this?

Craig Oct 29th, 2004 05:10 PM

Sorry Bluide, never considered the Rambagh so can't advise you on this. I'm sure other posters will weigh in.

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