Client Testimonials

Rajasthan Tour Packages

India tours reviews by the guests who visited India with Superb India Tours (a unit of Optima Travels). We believe that our guests' reviews prod us to improvise and help you to take care of subtle aspects related to holidaying and vacationing in India.


Guest: Victor Acosta (October '2013)

Hello Anshumali,
First of all thanks for the follow-up to get my feedback. Ana is in NYC right now so she will probably not be able to send an e-mail with her feedback but I have spoken with her and my mail also summarizes her comments.

First of all we would like to thank you for being such a professional person and for the way you handle your company. Since the beginning you were flexible with our specific requirements. You were extremely patient with the changes we had to make to the itinerary to make it fit with my other plans and were never upset that I kept changing things. I appreciate the fast answers and the suggestions and adjustments.

At the end we had an itinerary that was not perfect due to our own restrictions but that was tailored to our needs. Everything thanks to you.

Ana (and myself) loved the fact that you surprised us with an upgrade in our hotel class without us expecting it. It was a very welcomed surprise that made our trip even better. We enjoyed the hotels in India and I can honestly say that they were excellent. We especially enjoyed the legacy hotel in Jaipur as it was a different experience.

All the persons that were with us (our driver, the guides, the hotel staff) were friendly and willing to make our stay better. We complied with the schedule without issues and in every moment we felt safe and cared for. You have great people working with you. Please tell them that we appreciate everything they did for us. The sights in India were breathtaking. It is really a beautiful country that has a lot to offer. It is a pity that we could only be there for such a short time and just for the highlights of North India. We hope that we can plan a return trip and know more of such a beautiful country with such friendly people.

And we would like to express our gratitude and satisfaction in BOLD –
WHENEVER WE MAKE ANOTHER TOUR OF INDIA IT WILL BE OPTIMA TRAVELS AS OUR INDIA TOUR FACILITATOR. WE RECOMMEND EVERYBODY HIGHLY ABOUT OPTIMA TRAVELS TO SELECT FOR INDIA TOUR.

Thanks again for everything!
Ana and Víctor



Guest: Suman Patel & family (July'2013)
Nationality: U.S.A.

Hello Anshumali,
Namaskar.
Regarding the trip, our experience overall was quite positive. We had a good time and we enjoyed our tour. I would certainly recommend you to any friends who might be interested in a similar tour in India.

The guides were satisfactory everywhere. We particularly liked the guide at Fatekpur Sukri. We felt the guide at Jaipur was also quite good and deserves commendation as well. The other guides were fine, but these two stood out.

Ravi, our driver was very good and we were quite satisfied with him. He was very accommodating and provided excellent service throughout the trip.

Your representatives who greeted us at each city were also fine. The representative who was supposed to greet us on arrival at Udaipur did not show up. This did not cause any problems, but I thought you should know that he did not greet us. He did call us to find out what time we planned to start the tour the next day – and then turned up and took up all responsibilities very nicely.

The hotels were fine overall. The hotel in Pushkar (Pushkar Palace) was clearly not "5*" but a very nice heritage hotel. I clearly agree that it is the best hotel in Pushkar. The service was fine there.

Best regards,
Suman



Guest: Ms. Debbie Atmadjaja & family (January'2013)
Nationality: Indonesia

Hi Anshumali!
Thank you for wanting our feedback!
1. Your calling us every morning was really helpful. It showed that you cared and you wanted to make sure that everything was going well.
2. The itinerary included various activities that one would not experience in one single journey. It had a camel ride in a desert, an elephant ride to a palace, a stay at the beach, boat rides on a river, cultural shows, sound and light shows, stay in desert in tents, rickshaw ride, horse cart ride etc. Very good experience.
3. You were extremely helpful when we had accidentally taken the wrong luggage in Mumbai. For that, we're very grateful.
4. Very professionally managed tour with great hotels, very good drivers and knowledgeable guides.
5. Varanasi guide was an excellent and very knowledgeable guide but out of the group of five persons, he was friendly to everybody but less amicable to me.
The whole tour was pretty much perfect. Thank you very much. I'm also recommending your agency to friends here interested in traveling in India.

Thank you and have a nice day/night!
Debbie



Noelle Buton (February' 2013)
Nationality: France

Hi Anshumali!
Sorry for late reply. Yes we reached France after 15 days in India. The Taj Mahal tour that you organized was perfect. Hotel was truly luxury. The driver very nice and very good in his driving!!!! The guide was good and we did a very good tour.

Thank you for everything and we will recommend you among our friends.

Sincerely,
Noëlle Buton



Mr. Luciano & Ms.Elena (January'2013)
Nationality: Italy

Hi Anshumali!
First sorry for the delay of our reply, then thanks for the references of books you sent us! We were waiting for them! Our travel in India was great, we learned a lot, and enjoyed your heritages and food. We also faced our prejudice (good or bad) about Indian culture.

We are very happy and we will come again in the future (when the money allows!)

We wish you all the best for you and your family.

Namaste,
Luciano and Elena



Mr. Paul Amorvain. (January'2013)
Nationality: France

Dear Mr Anshumali
We are back in France and I wish to inform you that we will keep a wonderfull souvenir of this travel in India.

The journey was well organised and timely optimized, never in a hurry but also with no waste time.

The hotels have all been of good standard, the driver and the guides were perfect. We really enjoyed this stay in your country and have already recommended Optima Travels to some of our friends.

Again Thank You

Best regards.
Paul Amoravain

Guests: Magda, Carlos, Irma Bedolla

Country: Mexico
Hello dear Anshumali,

Hope you are fine. We really enjoy our trip to India, and we appreciate all your attentions and here we are our comments:

In Delhi,
The guide was ok, he explain us very good at the qutab Minar, but we didn´t saw all the monuments included in the tour, takes so long to go from one place to another and at the end we were all tired. Also I suggest that the Deli tour include the visit to Akshardam temple, because it is the very best place in Delhi and I asked for it. The Restaurant where we had lunch was very good, we liked it very much.

In Agra, the restaurant wasn't that good. The places were great and the guide explain us very good and was very willing to help us, and his suggestions were very good. The hotel was good, comfortable and the breakfast good. We enjoyed a lot. But guide try us to shop.

Fathepur was also very interesting and the guide explain very well, but my brother and sisters didn´t understand his accent very well. He was very kind.

Jaipur, The guide was ok, the places were very interesting, and we finished very early, and the hotel was very nice but a bit. The breakfast was very good.

We loved Chockhi dhany, was an excellent experience, and the cultural show was excellent!!! Great recommendation.

The driver was very kind, very willing to help us and explain the Indian way of life and culture. His English is perfect, so we can clearly understand him and the car was very nice and comfortable.

I pointed the very few opportunity areas, but the bottom line is that we enjoyed the trip and we are very pleased with your services.

Thanks a lot, we hope to return some day to India, and of course look for your services again.

Best regards,
Magda, Carlos, Irma Bedolla

Guest Name: Gustavo Riestra

Country: Mexico

Took 4* Golden Triangle Tour (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur) from Optima Travels. All was very good. Very good hotels, driver very skilled and polite, guides very knowledgeable and luxury car. Everything got as per commitment. I recommend everyone to opt for Optima Travels. Very punctual, honest and committed company.

Thanks

G.R.

Guest Name: Ana Lucia Harare & Andres Alberto Holaris

Country: Panama

Hello!!!!

We had just arrived home! Everything good. Very, very good. During the week I will write you with detailed comments. But everything fantastic. We are very happy! Very good hotels. Driver very nice. Guides informative, caring. Jaisalmer, Varanasi and Kathmandu cultural program fantastic. Next year we visit South India. Our photographs are attached.

Rgds & Bye.

Ana Lucia

Guest Name: Luise Agassi, YM Michot & Yahya Michot

Country: Belgium

Dear Anshumali,

Thank you for the Golden Triangle India Tour. We are back at the hotel in Delhi, after a fantastic tour in Jaipur and Agra. Thank you very much for the organization. To end our visit of Agra, yesterday evening, watching the Taj from Mehtab Bagh was the icing on the cake and we are very thankful for this opportunity.

Please, thank again our driver, who was perfect (10/10) during the whole week.

Y.M.M.

Guest: Ms.Variginia Yulia and her family.

Nationality: Austria

Hi Optima Travels

We would like to thank you for organizing our trip to India! We had a great time!

Every aspect of the tour was according to the program and we enjoyed the upgrade to the 4*hotel kindly provided by you.

We had the best driver ever, who was always on time and insured that our trip ran smoothly.

Thank you once again.

Julie

Guest: Dr.Nathalie Busso & Family

Nationality: Switzerland

Dear Mr Tiwari,

First of all I have to apologize for the delay in replying to you, but when I came back, I have been sick and then I had to go to a lot of meetings and reply to hundreds of mails. Now almost one week after our arrival in Switzerland I feel better.

The tour we made was excellent. The hotels, driver, car and guides were excellent. Totally, very interesting vacation and your country is really a great amazing country. I think we will be back again next year.

I also want to tell you that one of my close collegue and friend is planning to go to India next autumn with his wife. I gave him your mail, so he will write you in the next days about his trip.

I will write you more about Patnem and the huts when I will have more time.

Thank you for your continuous support during our trip

Kind Regards

Nathalie Busso
Dr Nathalie Busso, PhD

Guest : Andrew Shepherd

My partner Koji found Optima on-line: we were impressed with what they could offer and the price (especially when compared to tours on offer through local - New Zealand - travel agents). In fact we were a little wary: it almost seemed too good to be true.

Right from the beginning, Mr Anshumali (our main Optima contact) offered us great service: tailoring an itinerary to match our wish list; giving advice and answering all our questions via regular Skype calls with Koji; booking internal Indian flights on our behalf.

As Japanese and New Zealand citizens, Koji and I were both able to utilise the Visa on Arrival service in New Delhi. Once through the gate, we were met by two Optima representatives -including the ever helpful Mr Anshumali himself - who set the friendly and informative tone that was to continue throughout our experience of India.

Each guide seemed to become our new favourite; sharing special places with us and proving knowledgeable, friendly, and flexible to our wishes. I myself am currently completing study in Tourism and Tour Guiding, and I was impressed at the guides' ability to make a wide variety of new and culturally diverse experiences accessible and enjoyable. We were taken to villages, homes and schools; shown family photos; invited several guides and drivers - especially the wonderful Maken-gi (sorry if I haven't gotten his name right) - to share meals with us: all of which personalised our trip and made our experience of India even more special.

We had been given a choice of accommodation in each city we visited: overall we were very happy with the choices that were made. I was particularly impressed that at each new destination, we received a follow-up call from Optima to ensure that everything was satisfactory: it was. I felt that we were listened to, and that our few, minor criticisms were acted on immediately.

I loved our trip to India, despite the fact we tried to pack far too much in our limited time there. I found it to be surprising, colourful, vast, diverse and fascinating. I came home wanting to return and spend much more time in most of the places we visited, in addition to exploring other parts of this fascinating country. I will definitely utilise the services of Optima Travels on my return.

Andrew Shepherd

Guest Name: Mr. & Mrs. Linde
Country: Germany

Excuse my late answer because I was still on vacation. Our feedback concerning Optima Travels company is:
All was perfect, driver very credible, car comfortable and good organization.
I would every time recommend your company- Optima Travels.

Thanks and best regards

Rudolf Linde

Guest Name: Mr. Gordon & Ms. Mona
Country: Canada

We enjoyed the trip very very much, and I write all the good and the bad experiences, but how much we enjoyed our trip far outweighs any negative experiences.

We planned the trip very last minute, and we are very happy about how quickly you planned everything for us. Given the very short notice, I think you did an awesome job! When we started our sight-seeing trip in Delhi, Gordon started feeling relaxed that we are in good hands. I will certainly recommend Optima to any of my friends/ colleagues traveling to India.

We walked around the neighborhood of the hotel on Sunday morning before our sight-seeing trip in Delhi. I had heard many people who visited India for the first time say that they were struck by many strong smells in India, and I realized how true this was! Some smells were good and some were not so good. It could have been foggy, but the air felt like smog, yet all smells seemed accentuated in the air! Gordon would sometimes ask , "what is it I smell?", and I would answer, "Guavas" or "pakoras" ; sometimes it was the stench of urine as we walked past some quieter corner of a street; We walked past a small park where young men were playing cricket and other people were doing exercises; We walked through commercial and residential neighborhoods, and Gordon was taking it all in, every second he was noticing how very different life is in India.

Luckily, all those fears that were before arrival in India vanished when we started the sight-seeing trip. Mr. Naresh, was an awesome guide with good knowledge and a gentleman. He helped us with our dilemma when we forgot to change currency at the airport, and having arrived on a Sunday, we were worried about finding a currency exchange open. Mr Naresh solved the problem efficiently and put us at ease.

The cycle rickshaw ride in old Delhi was incredible. From barbers offering a shave on the roadside, to vegetable vendors and the maze of electrical distribution wiring from electricity poles, the ride was a thousand times better than any drama seen in a theatre, for this was real life.

Almost through the entire trip Gordon couldn't get over the unregulated the flow of traffic with constant honking, seeing families of three or four on two-wheelers, auto rickshaws with loads of school children.

We had Mr. Tanvir as our guide for the Agra part of the trip. We enjoyed the Agra trip, and the Jaypee palace though was not a ritzy hotel, had an old-world charm to it, and was our favourite hotel on the trip. I had been to the Taj in 1976, but I was very happy to see the Taj again, and admire the architecture and beauty of the monument with Gordon. We would love to go back to Agra again someday.

The intercity driving was just as interesting for Gordon as the itinerary sight-seeing. Going through semi-urban and rural places, seeing people huddled together on whatever transport they could ride, everybody going somewhere, so different from the people you see in Canada, there were many times he would have liked to stop in a small town we were driving through. He kept saying that it was a pity that we couldn't rent our own car and drive at a pace we would like to, stop and look at something he found interesting. Our driver Shivaji did stop or slow down whenever he knew that Gordon wanted to take a picture.

Our guide at Fatehpur Sikri, Mr. (?)... I forget his name at this moment, though I have it written down) was an excellent guide, and we very much enjoyed the sites we visited at Fatehpur Sikri.

Ranthambore was rather disappointing. There were way too many tourist vehicles in the safari, the vehicles were too noisy, and the people in the vehicles were not quiet even when the vehicle stopped for a possible sighting. I remember going on wild life reserve trips with my family in the forests in Nagarhole, Bandhipur, etc., and compared to those, Ranthambore was very commercial and pales in comparison. Gordon did not want to go to afternoon safari. The hotel (Ranthambore Regency) was very good, another old-world charm, with the best naan we've ever eaten! We walked around Ranthambore and found the town very littered with plastic bags and plastic disposable cups. It was sad to see how ignorant people are to the environmental impact of tossing out so much plastic into the environment.

We enjoyed the sight-seeing in Jaipur very much, though Gordon couldn't bring himself to ride the elephant at the Amber fort; when he saw how many tourists were queued up to ride the elephants, he said, " I cannot bring myself to humiliate this elegant creature like that. If you don't mind, lets walk up to the fort". The drum beats/ music at the fort was something Gordon liked very much! Our guide did a good job of showing us around. I especially liked the glass palace!

Both Gordon and I have been very fortunate to have had Shivaji for driving us around. We felt very safe with him! Please convey our regards to him.

Thank you once again for all the arrangements.
Best Regards from Gordon and Mona

Guest Name: Mr. Abdul Khan & Mrs. Shaistha Khan
Country: South Africa

We wish to place on record the following.

Our sincere thanks goes out to you and your team for making our visit and stay to India, a most memorable one indeed! We arrived in India in Mumbai on the night of 25th December 2011, and was met promptly by a representative of Optima Travels and whisked away to our hotel. There we were met with a friendly and very helpful front desk who had our bookings ready and knew that we had come off a long haul flight and didn't waste any time in getting us comfy into our room.

The next day we went from Mumbai to Delhi, where Mr. Tivari himself, braved the coldest night in Delhi and came to the airport to welcome us, this was outstanding and really appreciated. We were dealing with each other for the preceding 10 or so months and to put a face to the mails was very comforting.

The next days that followed thereafter was only pleasurable memories, as we went from town to town, with his very careful driver in a practically new SUV, and we didn't have to worry about a thing. The hotel accommodation was exactly to our liking, clean, neat, plenty of bedding and hot water during India's cold winter. All hotels provided us with heaters when we needed them, and if we required additional blankets, these were provided timeously as well.

Every city we visited, Optima Travels had a representative as they call them, or a tour guide as known in other parts of the world, the tour guide was in readiness and waiting. They all had an excellent command of the English language and were fully equipped with all the information of their surroundings and were extremely informative.

The rest of the tour was the most memorable.with visits to the forts, the religious places and ofcourse to culminate at the one and only, Taj Mahal. The entire itinerary was laid out so well indeed, a very professional way and it took us through the entire mogul era, from start to finish and we really enjoyed every moment of it.

To anyone who wants to book a trip and is unsure about which travel guide services to use, please use Optima Travels and if you need to discuss any of the above with me, kindly send me a mail to abdul@katanga.co.za and I will furnish you with any information you require on Optima Travel and will speak honestly and candidly to make certain that money spent, is not in vain! You will certainly enjoy your trip in the hands of Mr. Tivari and his team.

Please add this to your websites!
Shukraan Allah!

Abdul Khan

Guest : Mr. Abdul Khan South Africa

Abdul Khan: Namaste Mr Tiwari, Meri tabiyat thik hai. Ap ki tabiyat kaisi hai? Glad to inform you that my bag eventually arrived here yesterday. Apparently it went through to London, UK.....dunno how that happened but just glad that i managed to get it back unharmed. U bet....there was so much memorabilia in there especially from Kwaja Mohineedin Chisti from Ajmer, i was so disapointed wen i didnt see my bag, and to have it surface here a whole week later was really a God send.

I cudn't thank you enough for the way in which you set out the itinerary. It was exactly how we actually wanted it, a few temples, a few islamic and lots of exotic sights! I must add, extremely professionally done, would use your services any other time we are back in India and you can count on it as well, because we definitley will be back!

The hotels were stunning, exceptionally clean and neat, service was excellent at all the hotels...even the one in Jaipur was lovely indeed.

For so long, we heard from many other people who have been to India about various negative issues...and as i told Shaistha when i cam back to SA, let anyone now tell me anything negative about our home country, they'll have ot bear the brunt of my pride of our home country and have ears for all the positive that i will have for them!

Abdul Khan & family.

Guest : Koji Miyazaki

It was really good to find Optima Travels on-line, while preparing our trip to India. First contact was by email: they followed up straight away on my suggestion to talk on Skype, which made things so much easier and quickly made a closer relationship.

The itinerary that was made straight away was impressive: our trip wasn't standard, as we wanted to enter India in New Delhi but leave via Mumbai. They made it suit where we wanted to go.

Buying anything on-line can make you nervous. On first arrival in New Delhi, it was really nice to meet Mr Anshumali face to face. It made me feel comfortable and relaxed; all uncertainty had gone. Where paying up front would have been too worrying, paying the balance on arrival showed trust on Optima's part and made me feel somewhat safer.

During our trip I felt taken care of: with Mr Anshumali calling every couple of days, asking how happy we are, whether things were running smoothly etc. It was good.

The friendliness and professional manner of each tour guide - how knowledgeable they were - made things easier and enjoyable. India was unlike anything I had experienced before: I did not know what to expect. Optima Travels made things easier, making sure things were comfortable for us.

I would definitely recommend to anyone to travel with Optima for their first time visiting to India: in fact we have already recommended them to friends.

I had an amazing experience of India and I definitely want to return - in the near future, hopefully. And continue the relationship with Optima Travels.

Koji Miyazaki

Guest: Adam York and Asami York Country: Japan

Hi Anshumali,

As promised here is the feedback from our holiday, you can post this on your feedback page on your website, or show it to your bosses.

You guys did a great job, well done.

Thank you for all your time and effort, we had a very memorable holiday.

My wife and I recently booked a 17day 5star deluxe holiday in India, through Optima travels. I had looked at various providers both western and Indian, and I found Optima to be the most pro-active, and helpful. The tour and route advice they gave us was excellent. There was no wasted time at any destination, but there was also enough time to feel that we were not rushed and had time to relax as well as see all the sites.

We wanted to experience a true 5star deluxe experience in India, and were keen to stay at as many Oberoi hotels we could fit into our budget. Optima travels were able to secure us a great rate and able to provide many alternatives for the other destinations where we chose only a 5star experience.

We were met by guide, driver and usually an Optima representative from the very 1st pick up at the airport right through to the final drop off back at the airport. We really felt they were with us the whole way. We had one issue which they resolved very agreeably and quickly. I didnt like our guide in Agra, and he was changed with no fuss at all. It was important to me, and certainly enhanced our time in Agra, a very important stop for all India tours.

I would whole-heartedly recommend Optima travels as a company to use when travelling in India, when we return they will be most first call. Cheers

Adam and Asami York.

Guest: Ashok Savjani and Laxmi Savjani Country: United Kingdom

Hello Optima Travels,

As discussed on our departure from India I would like to thank you for arranging the tour and hospitality that you had shown during our stay. We certainly enjoyed our holiday and as mentioned to you earlier that the service and hotels were of the standard that you had mentioned on your itenary, and specially your driver "Sarvjeet" was extremely kind and sincere.

Once again I would like to thank you for everything and I will certainly recommend your name to friends and whenever I will come back I will get in touch with you. Regards

Ashok & Laxmi Savjani

Guest: Erzsébet and István Cselotei Country: Hungary

Dear Anshumali,

We love India. This was the fourth time I went there. Every one of my family members have some ties to India, be it yoga, food, culture, work or religion. Our recent trip was a fantastic experience again. We could accomplish what we wanted to see and also, we have arrived home safely. We want to thank you for your help in getting our visa. Without your involvement we could not have achieved receiving it. We are wishing you strength, good health, and happiness in your family. Among our friends we are going to talk highly of your helpfulness and humanity.

Best regards,

Erzsebet and István Cselotei from Hungary

Guest:Mr. & Ms. Hans Acha-Orbea Country: Switzerland

Dear colaborators of Optima Travels,

We had a great time in India. After a slow start (the first day), the rest of the travel was perfect. We discovered India and have so many impressions that we need some time to digest. Thanks for the perfect organization with drivers and guides always in place and time and their competence. We are back and give you more detailed comments after recovery.

Hans

Guest: Jerry Henderson Country: U.S.A.

Anshumali, how are you this day? I hope this email finds you well. I will try and give you a sense for how things worked on my trip and how I felt about it. Please forgive me that I do not recall many names of either people or hotels, but I do remember locations so hopefully you can figure this out by association.

I found all the drivers to be skilled and competent in their task. They all showed concern for my well being and enjoyment and handled themselves well. They were all different personally and I enjoyed that variety. The Delhi driver was friendly and took an interest in me as a person. It was a long day and we had much time together outside of the time with the guide. He took care of me and stepped outside his strict role as driver to do so. The driver I was with from Jaipur through my time at Agra was very professional in his demeanor. He was friendly and courteous and it was obvious that he took his job seriously and with pride. It was a career for him, not just a money making job. I was picked up by a driver in Jhansi who was very different from that. He was much more casual but I felt comfortable with him and enjoyed our time together. The driver in Varanasi had a very good sense of humor. He was lighthearted and fun. Very easy to be around. I liked all my drivers, but those four are the ones who stood out.

The guides varied as well; some showing one about as a friend would, others having more of a fact giving style and bit more remote. The only one I was a bit put off with, and that the result of a single incident, was my guide in Delhi. He did a good job of showing me around and informing me, but he put me in a position at lunch that I was not comfortable with. I had asked you prior to my arrival what my responsibilities would be toward my drivers and guides and was told that a tip would be in order but that was it. I had prepared my wallet with that in mind. The guide took me to a very nice restaurant and the food was very good. We sat down together and ordered our respective dishes. After the nice meal, he excused himself to go out for a cigarette. While gone, the bill came and it became obvious he was not returning. This was not a problem for me until I looked at the bill and saw that it was 2400 INR. I had only 2000 INR in my wallet as I thought that would be enough for the day. I was very embarrassed not to have enough to pay the bill. The waiter was very gracious and allowed me to go to the car where I had a credit card in my backpack. I came back and paid the bill. I had expected that lunch would be about 500 and 1000 if I paid for two. He ended up getting 1500 rupees from me between lunch and tip which was more than I had intended.

Most of the guides were very much what I expected: professional and informative and I was pleased with them, some more than others. The young representative that met me in Varanasi was an unexpected joy. He was very enthusiastic and put me well at ease. He had a pleasing manner and was excited to tell me about and show me his city. He was not my guide, but volunteered that he would pick me up in the afternoon and take me down to the Ganges. I eagerly accepted. We took a pedicab or rickshaw and moved through the streets. When we got to a certain spot, we went on foot for quite awhile through the maze of alleyways of old Varanasi, and then spent the late afternoon and early evening wondering the ghats and watching the goings on. It was an experience I would never have gotten with a guide and I appreciated it very much. On the opposite side, the guide in Varanasi knew his material, but was a bit distant. I was almost given the impression that he had something else he would rather be doing and was anxious to get this over with.

All of the accommodations worked well for me. You gave me what I had asked for in a nice variety. Some were very Western in style and patronage, some were much more Indian in style and patronage. I found the Western tourist hotels more comfortable, but appreciated and enjoyed the experience of the hotels patronized primarily by Indians. I think my favorite hotel was the Shahpura House, or something like that, in Jaipur. It had a wonderful old world style and feel. The design and architecture were very much the type I really love and the service was very good. I went to the front desk to inform them of a small problem with the drain in my A/C and they had it fixed almost before I could return to the room.

I did have a few problems as you well know. The Air India deal was an annoyance and unexpected expense, but you took care of it for me and I did appreciate that even though getting you the money proved more than I expected. There were strikes in Nepal, but the representatives there did a fine job in working around that. One thing you cannot do anything about but which was an annoyance were the two overnight train trips. The trips were fine, but both left at 22:00 hours. Even though in both instances the drivers did what they could to fill time, in Delhi I waited four hours on the tracks for the train and in Udaipur I waited six hours. It would have been nice to have something to do during that time.

It was a nice mix of experiences from the safari in Ranthambhore to the flight over the Himalayas. I saw many things of interest to me. I even ended up buying a few things, although I do not care for shopping. Thank you for putting together a holiday that not only gave me great enjoyment, but was exceptionally carefree.

Jerry

Guest: Nikos and Venetia Country: Greece

Dear Anshumali,

We are back to work and normal life. We had a wonderful time in India. We must admit that mainly was due to your excellent organized tour and the good choice of the hotels. Some friends of us are planning to visit India very soon. When they take their final decision I will get them in contact with you. I have attached the photos as I had promised!

As far as the anthropological impressions, Venetia is in charge of giving you a report!!!

Best regards

Nikos/ Venetia

Guest: Peter Country: Germany

Dear Anshumali,

Sorry for not giving you an earlier update/feedback. After our Rajasthan tour we continued our trip to Sri Lanka. And then we enjoyed Christmas in Germany together with our families. Once again I would like to thank you for your efforts and the nice arrangement you made for us. Please let me give you a detailed feedback regarding the
individual stages of our journey:

Jaipur: All cultural sights were great, guide was very good, Hotel K.K. Royal was as per expectations, Chokhi Dhani was a nice food experience, rest was like a human zoo - not our favourite

Udaipur: Short but good stay, had to change the room in Hotel Lake Pichola - new room was better but below expectations

Ranakpur: This temple was really worth a visit.

Jodhpur: Hotel Polo Heritage was as per expectations, great fort. Jaisalmer : our favourite city!, great palace and fort, nice city around fort with good havelis, Hotel Rang Mahal was a very good pick!

Bikaner: short visit, the fort is ok - but nothing new after 4 other forts, camel research center was good, Hotel was selection was very good. Bikaner could have been deleted from travel schedule.

Jaipur: Hotel Dera Rawatsar is really a nice one with good food.

Driver: Sunder made our trip really very comfortable. Very good driving skills and knowledgable guide.

All in all we enjoyed our Rajasthan tour a lot and wish you a very happy new year!

Regards

Peter

Guest: Savitri Samy Country: Singapore

Hi Mr Anshumali,

We arrived in Singapore a week ago but took awhile to settle in thus now then able to write to you. Me and my friends indeed had a very pleasant and memorable trip. Thank you for making this happen, we truly appreciate every effort of yours and your team to make this a magical trip. We enjoyed every minute throughout the whole tour. Special thanks to Harish and Sajeet the driver who took lots of effort in making our tour comfortable. Even tough we did encounter some miscommunication on the boathouse issue, Harish was quick to rectify and manage to arrange it in no time. My sincere apologise in regards to the boathouse. Me and my friends assumed the boathouse was included in the itinerary, we should have clarified with you.

Overall i should say we all enjoyed the trip and appreciate all the assistance given by you and your team. I willl be making another trip next year to Varanasi and Kerala again, looking forward to work with you regarding these trips. Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to you on behalf of my friends too.

Savithri

Guest: Stefen Aspinal Country: United Kingdom

Dear Anshumali,

First of all, thank you all so much for making our holiday a truly memorable experience. We had a wonderful time meeting all our expectations of your wonderful country. A special thank you should go to our driver Makhan Singh. From our first meeting to the day he dropped us off at the airport, nothing was ever too much for him. He was always on time, very courteous (always opening the car door for my wife) and did everything he could to make our holiday enjoyable. We cannot speak highly enough of his service and would recommend him wholeheartedly. He is a credit to your company.

My thoughts on each day are as follows;

Day 1 and 2
The Shangri-La Hotel was excellent, good staff, good food and good service, a very good choice indeed. The tour of Delhi was very informative and the guide knowledgeable in all areas. We did feel a little rushed at times but generally he was very good. One point from the itinerary for today was that we were schedule to have a complimentary lunch which we could not enjoy.

Day 3
A long but enjoyable drive to Agra. We had a great time at the Taj Mahal and the Old Fort and thought the show we went to in the evening telling the story of the Taj was superb. The guide was also superb; he certainly knew everything about the history of the area and can be highly recommended. The Jaypee Palace was definitely 5* and was the best we stayed in. We had an excellent meal in the hotel and thoroughly enjoyed our short but memorable stay there.

Day 4
An even longer drive today from Agra to Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri. Personally we were not too impressed by the Fatehpur Sikri visit. The guide was OK but we felt extremely harassed by the many hawkers there who would just not leave us alone. I wanted to learn about the history of the place but sometimes found it hard listening to the guide with people always around you trying to sell their jewellery, wooden elephants and postcards. I do understand that they are only trying to make a living, but even after we had bought a couple of things they would just not leave you alone. I think we both felt that we could have missed the visit and gone straight to Jaipur to relax a little before going out for the evening.

Day 5
We both felt this was the best day of the trip. I will mention at this point that our guide today was brilliant; without doubt the best one we had. He and Makhan could not do enough for us. Extremely knowledgeable at all the places we visited, particularly the Amber Fort. The elephant ride was probably the highlight of the tour, well it certainly was for my wife (my personal favorite was the Taj Mahal, absolutely breath-taking). The complimentary dinner at the Chokhi Dhani was very nice, thank you Optima. The hotel Alsisar Haveli was very good; we had an enjoyable stay there. The air conditioning did not work properly (although thanks to your intervention it did work better the second night), pipes leaking in the shower and water taps from the 70's that moved every time you used them as they were not fixed properly to the basin. The courtyard area, pool and the dining area were fine though and overall we did enjoy our stay there.

Day 6
After a long drive back to Delhi, Makhan dropped us off at the airport and we flew home that evening.

The points I have made are of course my own personal feelings as requested. As I mentioned at the beginning, overall the tour was fantastic and the memories will stay with us for ever. Makhan was absolutely brilliant and we would not hesitate to use your company should we ever come back to India and we will certainly recommend you to our friends.

Best wishes to all at Optima and thanks once again.

Steve

Guest: Susywati Mulyono Country: Indonesia

Dear Mr. Anshumali,

Greeting from Jaipur.

Yesterday the tour started at 8:30. Our first stop was Hawa Mahal. We stopped by for a few minutes just to take some pictures (On our way back to the hotel, we passed by it and found it's even much prettier at night).

We headed to Amber Fort next. A huge, beautiful palace. It's amazing how people at that time were able to invent such a complicated system to collect water, keep it in tanks, heat and distribute it to their beautiful bathrooms for their Turkish bath.
What a life.... Amber Fort has suprisingly countless rooms and stairs heading to upper/lower part of it. I think it must have been fun playing hide and seek there. It also has a tunnel (a secret way out for the royal family to escape. We also visited the City Palace, Jantar Mantar, pass by The Jal Mahal, and have a quick look at the collections in The Albert Hall Museum.

Anyway, we had a great time here in India. Jaipur and Agra are not as clean and organized as Delhi, but every city has it's own charm I guess.
Please don't trouble yourself seeing us in Delhi today. You've been such a great help. We are in good hands (Satish has been very helpful).

Lots of thanks and warmest regards,



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