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Low season prices in Rajasthan start in April...How HOT is it???

Low season prices in Rajasthan start in April...How HOT is it???

Jul 23rd, 2004, 07:02 PM
  #1  
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Low season prices in Rajasthan start in April...How HOT is it???

Because I would like to stay at some pretty swanky places, I am quite interested in the low season prices that start as early as April 01st for some places, and on April 16th at other places.

The prices nearly drop in half for places like Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, Devi Garh near Udaipur, and the Swai Madhopur Lodge in Ranthambhore.

I am no stranger to low season...low season pricing has allowed me to visit Southern Africa for 3 consecutive years and stay at some of the very best places available. However, low season in Southern Africa means chilly nights and mornings, perfect daytime temperatures and a lot of greenery.

Low season in India, on the other hand, means extreme heat. Living in Pasadena, California, I can handle a certain amount of heat, but I don't know just how uncomfortable it will be. With a private car/driver, I hope to do early morning/early evening sightseeing, and be in the airconditioned comfort of my room or poolside during the warmer parts of the days.

If I am able to save 30% on the overall ground package, does it seem worth it to visit Rajasthan in early to mid April???

Thanks.
Roccco is offline  
Jul 24th, 2004, 05:37 AM
  #2  
 
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I think it will be pretty hot then. My wife is from Raj. and I recall my in-laws complaining about the heat in March, let alone April. I do recall seeing a temp. in Udaipur of 117 in May last yr. as posted thru a CNN weather search. It is a risk IMHO.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 24th, 2004, 08:18 AM
  #3  
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jacketwatch,

Thanks! I had no idea it would get so hot by April...I was expecting temps in the 90's, but 117 degrees?! That will ruin a vacation.
Roccco is offline  
Jul 24th, 2004, 08:28 AM
  #4  
 
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HI there. Yes, during low season in INDIA prices drop significantly, starting beginning -mid April, and oftern running to the end of September..However, it is low season because of the extreme heat, monsoon, etc, etc. that said, if you time it right and you do not mind a little heat or downpour, you can certainley find great deals at some of the best proerties in INDIA!. however, April will be very hot, as the heat is really building up before the monsoons. i would say hovvering in the high 90's-low 100', can say exact, plus regional variations. however, i do know plenty of peole who still travel during this period to avail themselves of the great deals, plus many INDIANS travel in the sumer months too for their school vacations. Anyways, if you plan to spend alot of time in the hotels, living it up in the spas or resturants, and traveling a lot by ac car with driver, u can manage..JUST NEED to plan your sightseeings for early mornings, and maybe shopping outings for late afternoons..feel free to drop me a line. [email protected]
Bonita is offline  
Jul 24th, 2004, 09:03 AM
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117 was the exception. Nonetheless April will be pretty hot. Bonita hit it on the head. I suppose it depends on how well you can tolerate heat and how you pace yourself, drink enough, etc. I'd just skip it if I were you. Nocember is much better. Cheers, Larry
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 24th, 2004, 10:24 AM
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In the end, it is a trade-off. HIGH season in Rajasthan is oct-march. Then U will find much higher prices, much more tourists, big tour groups, and much better weather..LOW season,(april-Sept) less tourists, lower prices, and very hot and or rainy weathe. good luck [email protected]
Bonita is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 12:39 AM
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Rocco, in my experience in being in Delhi in April, temps are generally over 95 every day, and often over 100. I have been there when it was 115. I imagine in the deserts of Rajasthan this would be even hotter and there is no shade anyway. I only go in the spring and summer on business, not pleasure, and get to stay inside airconditioning all day, but in breif forays outside between hotel, court, and restuarants, it is VERY hot outside. You could easily get heatsroke in a few hours. I believe you will have your in-laws with you on this trip. I would not expose them to this type of heat.
Cicerone is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 06:27 AM
  #8  
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Cicerone,

Well, you don't know my in-laws!

Actually, it will just be my wife and I, but she is very sun sensitive, and I don't care much either for 95+ degree temps. (My in-laws were on my just completed trip to Italy after which my wife and I went alone on an 11 night Zambian safari. Because they had to do Italy, that actually led to the postponement of India for a year but at least allowed me to return unexpectedly to Zambia).

This trip must happen in February. While it will be more expensive, even the very best hotels, in upgraded rooms, is less expensive than I have been paying for Africa, and even less than I paid for Chile in December, 2002. India is a bargain compared to other places right now.

Here's what my itinerary looks like:

Delhi - 3 nts at Imperial Hotel
Agra - 1 nt at Amar Vilas
Bharatpur - 1 nt at Laxmi Vilas Palace
Jaipur - 3 nts at Samode Haveli
Ranthambhore - 3 nts at Udai Vilas
Bundi - 2 nts at Haveli Brij Bhushanji. (I want to visit Bundi which is highly regarded but below the radar for most tourists)
Bijaipur (40 kms. from Chittorgargh and on the way to Udaipur) - 1 night at Castle Bijaipur.
Udaipur - 2 nts at Devi Garh (this is actually 30 kms outside of Udaipur and looks like a very exclusive resort)
Udaipur - 2 nts at Lake Palace Hotel

There may be too much time in Udaipur, and I may want to just spend 3 nights at Devi Garh. After being around crowds of people for so many consecutive days, it may be nice to be in a more remote setting, other than a day tour of Udaipur.

Let me know if you see anything that I could improve upon. I will definitely be staying away from India anytime after early March.

Thanks.

Roccco is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 09:01 AM
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hi there. Glad to hear you will be going in FEbuary! There are a few hotel changes you might consider in your choices!
1.Udaipur-Udai Villas over lake Palace
2.Rathambore-I assume you meant the Vanya Villas(luxury Tent).Sawai Madhopur lodge(Taj RUN) would be an alternative.
3.JAIPUR** I do not personally reccomend Samode HAVELI. it is not in the same caliber/class of the other HOTELS you are using! the rooms are okay, and the lay-out is somewhat convoluted. there have been some complaints on this proerty..however, for soemthing differnt u may like it, as it is a small place, and yes, has character....other options, more upscale, wOULD suggest either Rambagh Palace, JAI Mahal Palace or most lux of the lot, Raj Villas! okay, take care, bonita..
Bonita is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 09:05 AM
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I was in Jaipur in May a few years back. It hit 47'C in the afternoon, whilst we were visiting some ancient ruler's lunar observatory - not very pleasant.

We were stopping at the famed Samode Palace which consisted of the very old fashioned air conditioning i.e. fan in the window - which brought the night time temperatures down to just about awful, whereas it was horrific without the aircon. (at one stage we were going to go and take it in turn to lie in a bath of cold water to try and cool down)

Many of the older hotels / palaces have more primitive airconditioning than the modern ones.
Walter_Walltotti is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 10:32 AM
  #11  
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Bonita,

Thanks for the words of advice. I want this to be a dreamlike custom tour so I tend to agree with you about the choice of hotels. Therefore, I am now considering the following:

New Delhi - 3 nts at Imperial Hotel in Heritage Suite.

Agra - 1 nt. at Amar Vilas in luxury room with balcony (taj mahal view).

Bharatpur - 1 nt. at Laxmi Vilas Palace in best possible room.

Jaipur - 3 nts. at Raj Vilas in luxury tented room.

Ranthambhore - 3 nts. at Udai Vilas.

Bundi - 2 nts. at Haveli Braj Bhushanjee in luxury suite with palace view.

Udaipur - 3 nts at Udaivilas in Deluxe Room w/ semiprivate pool.

Both Udai Vilas, Vanya Vilas and Raj Vilas look heavenly and while I did have the best possibe rooms at the other places, as a whole the accomodations were not on the same level with the Oberoi hotels/resorts.

Thanks and let me know if you see anything that can be improved upon. I want only the best and most beautiful possible places.
Roccco is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 10:23 PM
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Rocco - I see I have managed to catch you on the Asia forum as well!

On the whole, I am glad you have switched to February - much better temperatures than in April. I can only envy you for the choice of hotels you have - all brilliant Oberoi properties in Rajasthan and Agra. Amar Vilas and Udai Vilas must be amongst the most luxurious properties in the world.

While in Delhi, there is lots you can do

Architecture / Heritage sites - must sees include the Qutb Minar, Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb.

Food - you must go to the restaurants in the Welcomgroup Maurya Sheraton (Bukhara and Dum Pukht) - these are the best restaurants in the country, esp Bukhara.

Shopping - THE place for souveniers from your India trip is the Handloom and Cottage Industries showroom at Janpath. Govt. run and authentic stuff, good prices - save your shopping for the end, if you are flying out from Delhi.


freddy123 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2004, 01:10 AM
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Your itinerary looks much better at this point. In Jaipur it is a personal matter as to whether to stay at the Rambagh for the history, gardens, views and location or at the Rajvillas for more luxury. I would choose the Rambagh in that case, but I have a soft spot for the history and glamour of the Jaipur royal family and esp the former Maharani Ayesha Devi anyway, so maybe that is my prejudice. I do think the Rajvilas is a bit out of town for sightseeing.

In Udaipur, it is also a toss up for me with regard to the Lake Palace which is so romantic and even more so in its current shabby chic state; again a personal choice. If you go with the Udaivilas, make sure you have a lake view, or you will be missing a large part of the charm of the area, IMO.

As I have mentioned before, I would spend two nights in Agra and skip Barataphur. I don?t think you will find the hotel in Barataphur to be anywhere in the same league as the others, plus unless you are very much into bird watching, you will not find a lot to interest you in Barataphur. (Plus you will get bird watching in Ranthambore as well.) Remember that in India the terms "deluxe" and "luxury" have virtually no meaning, you have to look at operators. With regard to the Haveli Braj Bhushanjee and the Laxmi Vilas Palace, I think you may be disappointed. Neither of these hotels are operated by Oberoi or Taj, neither are members of Leading Hotels of the World, Small Luxury Hotels, or Design Hotels, which membership is generally an indication of the quality of a hotel. (All the Oberoi "vila" hotels you are staying in are members of Leading Hotels of the World and Small Luxury Hotels, and the Rambagh and the Lake Palace are members of Leading.) I you want to see Bundi, you may have no other choice, but you do have the choice to skip Barataphur which I would recommend you do. Spend another night in Agra and really relax for a day at the spa if you want.
Cicerone is offline  
Jul 27th, 2004, 05:35 AM
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You are obviously flying Concorde class and have chosen the best - except that the best is not good enough for your expectations in some of the towns. Agreeing with Cicerone, I would say,

The Concorde does not touch down at Bharatpur and Bundi so look at the alternatives -

An extra night at Agra
Kotah instead of Bundi.
It's only 35 KM away from Bundi and the Umed Bhawan Palace is a distinct improvement over the Bundi Haveli. Let's call Kotah an emergency touchdown as nothing in this region can really compare to the other hotels you have chosen!
Rajhelp50 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2004, 06:14 AM
  #15  
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Cicerone and Rajhelp,

Thanks for the further advice.

Regarding Kota, I believe I have read mostly negative things about Kota, while I have read only positive things about Bundi. Perhaps I should shorten it to only one night in Bundi, as an extreme emergency touchdown in the Concorde!

I guess if I just leave Agra a little earlier in the morning that Bharatput is not a necessity, as I can just be driven from Agra straight to Jaipur. So how about this:

New Delhi - 3 nights (Imperial Hotel)
Agra - 2 nights (Amar Vilas)
Jaipur - 3 nights (Raj Vilas)
Ranthambhore - 3 nights (Vanya Vilas)
Bundi - 1 night (Haveli Bruj Bhushanje)
Udaipur - 3 nights (Udai Vilas)

It would be nice to keep the itinerary down to 15 nights total, as my wife and I start getting homesick around then, and as business owners and parents to 10 dogs we should really limit the length of our trips.

So, gone is an extra night in Bundi. Gone is the one night in Bharatpur.

Added is one night in Agra.

I will be sure to request a lake-view room at Udai Vilas.

Thanks...now comes the difficult task of choosing a quality operator. While some of them are talking a very good game, if the itineraries are all equal, I will have a hard time justifying more than a few hundred dollars extra to the best talking operator over another operator. With itineraries and even vehicles being equal, the only difference is the price of the guide and the service from the headquarters. I guess I will feel comfortable spending an extra $500 maximum in the event that one stands out over another.
Roccco is offline  
Jul 27th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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If this is going to be your only trip to India, it is worthwhile extending your stay by 2/3 days and stepping outside your circumferance of concentration. Perhaps a trip to Goa or Kerala or Chennai will give you a wholly new perspective and flavour. Somewhat akin to going to Switzerland, spending the bulk of your time in the Berner Oberland, and then taking in a whiff of Lugano.

Cicerone: The Oberois are phasing out of the Leading Hotels of the World group. They (Oberois) believe that the LHW have been diluting their standards, and hence are not renewing their membership. Note that Four Seasons, Amanresorts etc are also not part of the LHW tribe.
agtoau is offline  
Jul 27th, 2004, 09:35 AM
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Rocco-I live in Pasadena,too! Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Jul 27th, 2004, 10:00 AM
  #18  
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agtoau,

From what I have read about India in my guidebooks, this will be my first of many trips to India, God willing. I am still pretty young so even if I were to visit only once every 10 years, I still have many returns to India planned.

I would love to see Goa and many other parts of India, but this upcoming trip will not allow it due to scheduling constraints. Goa, Kerala and Chennai will all be on the "To Do" list for next time around.

Guenmai...thanks!
Roccco is offline  
Jul 27th, 2004, 10:09 PM
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I went to Rajasthan in Feb and the weather was good indeed. I stayed at the Raj Vilas, the Lake Palace and the Swai Madhopur Lodge. I like swanky places too and the Raj Vilas is one of the best hotels I had ever stayed at. Service was beyond the call of duty (I came down with a flu and they did everything they possibly could to make me feel at home), the rooms are fantastic, and if your wife likes pampering, the spa is great. Although a bit pricy but I recommend renting a car from their hotel and ask the driver to tour you around. It was well worth it since traffic is so chaotic in that town. The driver showed me everything local and he spoke English very well. When we ran out of things to see, he took me to visit his family of 40. There he showed me what a local's life is. A field of growing foods, a buffalo for milk, their new family dog all in a very well kept home showing his pride and love for his family. Compare to the western world, they don't have much but the well kept home can easily put many of the homes in this end of the world to shame. It defines what real happiness means.

The Palace Hotel was wonderful. People usually look at it from the shore and admire its beauty. However, I think looking back at the shore from the hotel, the down to earth naturally beautyiful view was even more spectacular especially at sunset. As the Palace dimmed, the shoreline glowed in a warm sandy pink color. The amenities were a bit old but the place has so much charm. Food was good too.

Swai Madhopur was great, but if you don't like the cold, please make sure you bring and dress in layers. Many layers. Night and day temperatures were very extreme when I was there.

Lastly, I would recommend not to stay in Delhi for three days unless you think you need to get over jetlag. I stayed at the Oberoi and was nice.

I would also suggest to add Alora and/or Ajanta for their natural beauty and surreal historical significance.

Have a safe and wonderful trip!
baywood is offline  
Aug 8th, 2004, 04:32 AM
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Think of changing Vanya Vilas in ranthambore to Sher Bagh, www.sherbagh.com, the only property on the perihpery of the game reserve. This year residents of Sher Bagh got to see tigers through the fence! It is a very small, tented acco - the most authentic safari experience you can have in Ranthambore. You are having a good flavour of Vilas properties in Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur so may enjoy something diff. Mail me for travel agent recos on [email protected]
hobbes is offline  

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