Hi Shaan, Menno & AleksandraThank you for organizing our Rajasthan tour. In almost two weeks, we travelled from Delhi to Udaipur via Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Pushkar, Khimsar and Deogarh. We enjoyed the trip very much. It was an unforgettable experience. We saw a great deal of things. Especially Taj Mahal and Mehrangarh Fort were quite impressive. The tour was perfectly arranged and everything occurred on time. We had a car and a driver at our disposal all the time. It was nice to travel with Arvind. We highly appreciate his driving skills and the way he managed to cope with chaotic Indian traffic. We stayed at many good hotels. We liked most Jagat Niwas in Udaipur and Taj Resorts in Agra for their perfect location and proximity to many sights.
Hi Shaan, Ruby in background When I noticed that we were the 1st Asian group that Shaan is handling, I was quite hesitated for the reasons being 1) Does he know how to handle Asian tourist, we have differences in demand. 2) will he overcharged us. 3) Does his subordinates know how to handle Asian tourist. As a service orientated industry personnel myself, his prompt, informative replies & patient impressed me much that I have chosen his agency to handle Our Rajasthan trip during January 2011. Adding a home stay as part of the accommodation is interesting. The range of hotels were good especially at Udaipur, we were much impressed with the Jagat Niwas heritage hotel, from small lanes, small entrance but BIG surprise! The vehicle was materialized as promised. The driver was responsible, helpful & co-operative too. Requests & comments during the journey that we made were solved quite instantly. Overall we had a good time during the 16 days. I do not know whether we had the lowest rate & best deal but I do believe that what you pay is what you get! Anyway it fits our budget too. Our coming soon trip down the months will be his responsibility again...
Thank you for the photos. We would like to thank you for organising a wonderful tour for us. The extra attention and service you gave us was fantastic Your choice of hotels was excellent. We liked them all. We had a lovely room at Udiapur with a view of the lake, a romantic hotel at Jodhpur, the Paradys Hotel in the fort was a little rustic but its position was great, a magnificent hotel at Ochra, the Radeson was a surprise and Cynthia enjoyed the pool, the rooms in Sikkim were enormous, etc. I had read on the Internet about the bad drivers in India, but after traveling with your drivers, I am of the opinion that they must be the best in the world. I know of no South African who could cope with your driving conditions. Some of the road surfaces were dreadful, but India seems to be slowly rectifying this. In about five years, they should have a good main road system. We were surprised because the layout was different to South African trains. Here we have a passage with one row of compartments, each with wooden doors. In India there is a middle passage. On one side is four berth compartments, on the other side of the passage is a row of lower and upper bunks with a linen curtain,. Our sleeping allocation was an upper bunk in a two-berth compartment and another upper bunk on the other side of the passage. We thought that we were getting a two-berth compartment. Cynthia was so upset that she tried to upgrade to first class, but was told that there was no first class. The bottom-bunk holder swopped with Cynthia. So she could sleep on the lower bunk. I just climbed to my top bunk and went to sleep, but Cynthia had a restless night.Second-class overnight is not a good option for some elderly female travelers. We liked the camel ride and sunset, the elephant ride, and watching the sunrise at Darjeeling. We were amazed to see the turnout for the sunrise. It seemed as if the whole town was there. Prices for eats and refreshments were different at your hotels compared with higher-class tourist hotels. At our hotel in Udiapur we were paying about 100 Rupees for a Kingfisher beer; we went to eat at a tourist hotel restaurant and paid 360 Rupees for the same beer. Please let us know if there is any help you require in promoting your tourist business. We have just finished organising a concert, and have another coming up in 12 days, with a party for about 500 elderly people. We are quite busy until 2 December, after that it is quieter.
Shaan, Congratulations and thanks to you for your Golden Triangle Tour! It well satisfied our beginners’ curiosity for the wonders of India. We thank you for your guidance and trust in us, as we didn’t know where to turn with the myriad of possibilities online. Thank you for your courtesy in your ever prompt email responses. The following commentary is from our personal experience, for your reference. Money: it would have been nice to be notified that the exchange rate is best online. The tourists could have Indian Rupees in hand on arrival, instead of playing suckers to the worst rate at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. A few extra hundred Rupees do make a difference. Small denomination Rupees make tipping easy. We’re used to self-help in the U.S. but in India helpers rush up and mostly demand to be tipped. Otherwise have a lot of $1 bills ready. The only person complaining of the currency was the elephant boy in Agra. (By the way, elephants don’t go uphill anymore, maybe a blessing in disguise). Hotels: - a. Palace Heights Hotel in New Delhi: wonderful despite tight quarters, only somewhat hard our promised twin beds didn’t materialize. Construction necessitated ingress/ egress through piles of rubbles, hopefully that’s history by Commonwealth Games this Fall. The attached Zaffron Restaurant is convenient, delightful, with superb service. b. Grand Imperial in Agra and Shapura House in Jaipur: some local flavor, clean/ comfortable with A.C., rooftop dining option, well-maintained grounds. c. Mandawa Haveli: almost not livable, no A.C., cramped, rundown with junky floor rugs, bathroom full of mosquitoes. I did chose this myself, but your judgment was essential since you had seen it I hadn’t, and online reviews were mixed. This is the only place I strongly recommend be dropped. Itinerary: We skipped lunch everyday so that we were able to finish the scheduled itinerary early, to rest until cooler temperatures at dinner. Delhi was most fun due to its variety of attractions. We found Sikandra and Fatepur Sikri on the way to/from Agra too similar to each other and others and opted to skip. Jaipur was also wonderfully different. Mandawa was another story: it’s so far out – 5 hrs from either Jaipur or Delhi, and so rundown, I believe only die-hards can appreciate it. Now having seen it, I would have chosen it only if much easier to reach because the roads were clogged and with not much to see. Mandawa was not worth the grand effort. Season: - Online weather info can only be taken with a grain of salt, March was too hot and best be avoided. We were lucky the car’s A.C. broke down in your headquarters Jaipur such that a different car could be substituted. A.C. maintenance cannot be overlooked, especially with constant use. Please thank our driver Narendra profusely for keeping our safety as priority. He didn't have an itinerary though, I gave him mine brought from home.
My wife and I enjoyed our recent (April, 2011) tour of India very much, thanks to the careful planning, and meticulous execution, of our guide, Mr. Shaan Saxena - proprietor of Premium India Tour. Shaan is a sincere, reliable, and service-oriented young man of 34 years of age with a wonderful family, all residing in the historic city of Jaipur - which was one of the highlights of our tour of India. Due to Shaan's efforts, and those of our driver Hyma, our trip to India was safe, relaxed, enjoyable, and complete to our specification with a focus on India's culture, history, and the day-to-day reality faced by the citizens of India residing in those cities which we had the pleasure of visiting.