We just returned from a two week trip to India organised by Mr Hari Mangal (a trusted DE on this forum) from Crabtree India Travels and couldn’t have been any happier. This was our first time in India and our first time using the services of a travel company. The communication with Hari was excellent right from the start, he provided some excellent suggestions for an itinerary which suited our interests and was happy to include any additional requests we had. Crabtree then took care of booking all our hotels, an excellent English speaking driver and guides at every stop. They also arranged several excursions/safaris from our hotels so we could experience a whole range of activities.
We started in New Delhi and stayed at the Lalit hotel in Connaught Place. The hotel gave us an upgraded room which got the trip off to a great start and the guide Crabtree arranged for us in Delhi was friendly and knowledgeable. From there we flew to the beautiful city of Udaipur and were again very happy with the Lalit Laxmi Villas hotel that was recommended for us. Watching bag pipers as the sun set over the lake whilst drinking a marsala tea was a wonderful way to spend an evening. Next stop was the Mana hotel in Ranakpur so we could take a safari to see leopards in the wild! The Mana is a very modern hotel with a great pool – perfect for relaxing after some travel.
We next travelled to Deogarh and stayed in a wonderful heritage property, the Deogarh Mahal, where we really were treated like royalty. As with all our hotels the service and staff were incredible. From here we took a WWII era jeep ride into the country side to watch the sunset over a reservoir with a nice cup of tea, and also took a train ride through some wonderful scenery. I was given advice on the best spot to sit on the train by the local Prince!
Another heritage property, Fort Barli, continued the trend of fantastic service and great food. We were given another upgrade to the Royal Suite which was one of the nicest rooms we have ever stayed in.
In Jaipur we stayed at the Grand Uniara hotel which was a lovely blend of modern and heritage. The food was again fantastic, my wife is vegetarian and I am not, but we never struggled to find great meals for each of us in any of the hotels or lunchtime stops en route.
One of the highlights of the trip was the visit to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Crabtree very kindly arranged a Taj view room at the Four Points so as soon as we arrived we rushed to the window and were excited to see the Taj Mahal. When we visited at sunrise the next morning it really did take our breath away, it lives up to all the hype for sure.
From Agra we then came back to Delhi, stopping at Wildlife SOS Elephant sanctuary on the way. This is a great way to see these wonderful animals and to be able to interact with them. I would definitely recommend a stop here.
All in all it was an absolutely wonderful trip which was arranged without flaw by Crabtree – we really couldn’t be happier with their excellent service and will most certainly use them again if/when we return to this beautiful country.