Rants & Raves
Discounted Kerala Tours
Trip to Kerala
03 Nights / 04 Days
Calicut - Calicut - Vithiri - Malanpuzha
Kerela Backwater Tour
08 Nights / 09 Days
Cochin - Munnar - Thekkady - Kumarakom
To enjoy the culinery delight of Kerala
YEAR: - 2004
||Customized Tour Of
we both enjoyed ourselves very much and would have No hesitation
recommending you to anyone. The choice of hotels and the locations we
visited were exactly to our requirements. The contacts were always made and
the Representatives of a very high caliber. We will no doubt return in the
future. The highlights were the houseboats and the net fishermen on samudra
beach. The standard of driving in India is not what we expect in the UK and
a larger vehicle would have been appreciated perhaps this could have been
offered as an extra cost. To show the level of service we received Mr.
Faizels wife the representative in Cochin arrange for glasses I purchased in
Cochin to be delivered to the house boat - very efficient I was impressed.
Thank you for organizing a memorable tour
YEAR: - 2004
||Best of Kerala
Thanks for your email; we had a wonderful time so I am more than happy to
answer your questions. We found the tour was very well set up; the
communication with Durjay at the outset was excellent and really impressed
us that you were the sort of travel agent that we wanted to tour with.
Negative Comments: - The evening that we spent in Munnar was a little
wasted, the views on the drive were spectacular but the hotel itself wasn't
particularly good, was in a bad location and we had to travel a distance to
have dinner. Positive comments: - (of which there are many!) Being greeted
at the airport and being looked after by Mr. Nathan all the way down to
Trivandrum was wonderful, we were very tired after the journey and we felt
that with Mr. Nathan there we were in safe hands. Our drivers were all
wonderful, knowledgeable and reliable; I would thoroughly recommend Compass
sheerly because of the drivers! The itinerary was well thought-out and
structured; we felt that it was excellent value for money. In summary, yes I
would not hesitate to recommend Compass for travel in India.
YEAR: - 2003
||Dr & Mrs. Pulver
Highlights W/ Art and Culture Tour Of India.
Rather than fill out your Guest Feedback Form, I thought it would be easier
to just write a letter thanking you for our trip. In a word - it was superb.
Phyllis and I feel that it was, if not the best, certainly one of the best
vacations we have ever taken, and we have traveled all over the world. Your
itinerary was wonderful, as were all of the arrangements. Contrary to my
expectations and usual experiences, nothing ever went wrong. Your local tour
people and guides were efficient, always available, thoughtful and eager to
please. All in all, the trip was fascinating and great fun.
Following are a few comments on the specifics you asked for in your guest
ITINERARY : The itinerary was busy, just as we had requested. I
think on the next trip we would do it very much the same, except for one or
two free afternoons in a big city to let us get a little shopping done on
our own. The Indian merchants pressure approach tends put us off, and we did
most our purchases when we were on our own, going mainly to the government
stores. We estimate we have seen about half of the World Heritage sites in
India, and now we want to see the other half, so you can expect us to
contact you about them in another couple of years. The weather incidentally,
was just what we expected, a little warm but nice in the south, and cool
(not cold) in the north. One thing, which we were not prepared for, was the
Fog in the north, which interfered a little bit with sightseeing. One of our
guides told us that it comes every year from about December 15 to January
15, and recommended visiting from January 15 to March 15. The problem with
that, of course, is that it begins to get warm in the south. May be the last
half of January is the best time.
HOTELS : The hotels were all excellent. One thing I learned was to
ask for quiet rooms. On Christmas Eve, we were right over the dance area,
which made sleeping difficult until midnight. From then on, I asked for and
always got, quiet rooms. The only minor disagreement. I had was in Udaipur,
where we arrived early, had breakfast the day we arrived, and then left
before breakfast on the day that we left. I tried to argue that we should
not have been charged for breakfast, because we had a total of two
breakfasts and had stayed two nights, but they wouldn't go for it. Strictly
speaking, I guess they are right, since the deal is room and breakfast the
following day. I'm enclosing the invoices for that in case you want to try
to get them to refund the price of the breakfast. However, we're talking
about only $22, so don't make an issue of it.
TRANSPORT : Always excellent. The Jet Airways flights were on time
and comfortable. The cars were usually Ambassadors, which were just right
for the two of us with the guide and the driver. How they managed to cram
our four suitcases into that little trunk is beyond me, but they all did.
Even the 11-hour drive fro Khajuraho to Varanasi (made necessary because
they had to cancel the flight because of the Fog) was interesting.
GUIDES : The attitude of the guides was all-wonderful, except for
our very first guide in Delhi, whose heart really wasn't in it. Fluency with
English varied considerably, although even the guides who couldn't really
carry on an English conversation knew enough English to be able to tell us
everything we needed to know about what we were seeing. They all accepted
gracefully that we were not going to be shopping at the places they
recommended, although we could see with two or three of them that it was
disappointing. Our best guide by far was Raj in Varanasi. His English was
great, his knowledge and attitude was wonderful, and he explained up front
that he and the other guides got a 30-40% commission on the shopping areas,
but he really understood that we weren't going to be buying very much. Your
representatives were all great. Two of the outstanding were Naka in Delhi
(you know him, of course!) and Jay in Varanasi. My only problem was figuring
out whether it was appropriate to tip them. In the end, I decided that,
appropriate or not. In the end, I decided that, appropriate or not, I was
going to do so, and that seemed to work. Re tipping, you might advise your
guests that they should stock up with a huge supply of 10 rupee notes when
they convert their currency. It was more or less difficult to get change for
100 rupee notes from our hotels, some of who just didn't seem to have them.
DRIVERS : All seemed excellent.
PRICE : Hard to be exact, because I didn't compare this specific
itinerary with others, but my impression is that it was excellent, and that
the same itinerary would have a cost at least twice as much if I had done it
with an American travel agency.
OVERALL : As I have said. this was one of those rare travel
experiences where there was nothing to complain about, and everything was
not just adequate, but outstanding. I'm sending Susan a copy of this so that
she knows how good you are, and we will be in touch with you in the future
for our next trip to India.
Thanks very much for making it all possible.
Sydney E. Pulver, MD