India tour operator recommended

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Nov 13th, 2007, 05:22 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
India tour operator recommended

My niece and I spent a little more than two weeks using the services of Castle and King--and they delivered EVERYTHING they promised and MORE. Their contacts in each city were personable and professional. We had a car (relatively new and well maintained) and driver (who was with us for essentially the whole trip--very friendly and helpful, but spoke little English) and a different guide in each city (each of whom was very knowledgeable and fluent in English). We were met at airports and hotels, by company representatives, precisely as arranged--even when our train was delayed for six hours until 3:00 in the morning, our driver was right there at the platform. At trains, the guide would not leave us until the train had arrived. The hotels were as stated per contract or upgraded. The local agents were all very flexible with making last minute additions to our itinerary. (We "added" a guide for a night visit to the Ganges in Varanasi and on the last day my niece needed a guide for shopping in Jaipur.--I would recommend a guide any time you venture more than a block or two from your hotel--not so much for safety, but India can be quite chaotic.) I would not hesitate to utilize their services again. Arvind did a great job!

The country is amazing! Everything you have heard about the great poverty and uncleanliness is true---but the incredible warmth and serenity of the people, the diversity of the country, the tastes and smells of the food, and the beauty of the cultural sites far more than compensate for any small troubles. We experienced no illness--as it seems so many travelers do. The only thing that I CAN NOT recommend for foreign visitors is train travel. Trains were very late, and even though we were travelling in the highest available class, we spotted a rat or two in our cabin. The other thing is that on "travel" days the agents seem to think that all you want to do is travel and rest. Make sure you have activites included for those days. Because my niece is just out of law school, we were on a tight budget, so we used 3 star hotels--mind you, not international 3 stars–but they were adequate/modest, all clean--Bissau Palace in Jaipur was the best, and beginning the trip at Master Paying Guest House in Delhi (not booked through Arvind) was a good way to be "gently" introduced to India.
JMarkK is offline  
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Nov 13th, 2007, 07:12 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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glad it all worked out for you...i used them also and except for a problem with my credit card payment, they delivered....did you by any chance have anoop as your driver....we did and he was better than fabulous???
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Nov 13th, 2007, 09:24 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Disagree on the train. I found it an amazing experience!

but I was in the upper level class and if I had seen a rat I would have lost my MIND!!!
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Nov 20th, 2007, 06:06 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 122
Hello JMarkK,
Three of us are leaving on Dec. 2nd for India. We are using Castle and King. I have some qustions for you about them and the services they offered.
Can you please send me your e-mail address so I can ask you some more questions.
Thanks
producerkoof
[email protected]
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Nov 20th, 2007, 06:31 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,376
Sorry you had a bad experience on the trains. We loved them in India!
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