14 independent reviews for Kerala tailor made vacation, 11 days

Reviews for Kerala tailor made vacation, 11 days

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review 13 Mar 2020

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Highlights: Our driver Santhosh who was super helpful, protective and informative. When we asked for things to be changed he did it willingly and effectively. For example in Munnar we wanted to go walking rather than schlep round a museum and he arranged it all perfectly, though it should be noted that the local guide was late and not where he said he would be. Vissalam in Chettinad was superb, all the staff and in particular the deputy manager who took us on the tour of the area was superb. Windermere estate was also very special. The foodie tour in Madurai was excellent. The Spice Garden in Thekkady was also superb food, room and staff as was the bamboo rafting ( see further below in suggestions).

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't try to cram too much in; the hotels and homestays are very special so it is worth actually spending more time enjoying them. Pack travel sick pills for the munnar road and to get lots of 100 rupee notes for tips and to bring pens for children.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The CGH hotel chain and Dewalokam both operate in a way that is beneficial to the environment and to local people

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Absolutely superb (bar Swamimalai); a perfect 50th birthday present

review 2 Feb 2020

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

All good but Munnar and the Houseboat were particularly good

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Less time in Kochi and more time in Munnar. Use the drivers knowledge to the maximum. It took us a while to realise that he could organise small purchases at superb prices and really do whatever we needed.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Not especially. The CGH Earth hotels make a point of reducing environmental impacts so that was good but we were actually on the exact some tour that many other people were on who had not booked with responsible travel in mind.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent

review 1 Feb 2020

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

House boat and talayer tea bungalo

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

2 days per location is great . Include a tour into jungle in Kumily

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I hope so We met lots of lovely people Stayed in remote places we could not not have done this without a driver / v good knowledge . A lot packed into 2 weeks

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fabulous

review 31 Jan 2020

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The whole experience of being in kerala.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Research your destinations and decide what you like doing.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, only dealt with local people and, apart from our last night at an airport hotel, only stayed in locally owned accommodation. Environmental impact not great as we flew there and travelled around by car.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

wonderful vacation. Trip of a lifetime.

review 28 Jan 2020

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Wow - staying in dewalokam and the stunning service there!! Houseboat day trip - I avoided night on board - lovely stay at Emerald Isle - super hospitality - starting off at secret garden / magical - fabulous stay in pepper trails - and lovely vintage hospitality at Ayesha manzil!!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be assured the operator looks after you from start to finish!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - we were deeply interested in the Hindu festivals and the people were very happy for us to participate!! Bridging the cultural divide!!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

5 star all the way

review 22 Jan 2020

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Meeting and discussions with local guides

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Donít be reluctant to ask for other things you might want to do or see while you are India. Everyone was so willing to add things in for us. We visited a school, the cinema and local festivals, flower markets which were not originally part of our trip.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We stayed at home stays which were owned by local people and the guides were local to the areas we visited.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fantastic

review 24 Nov 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Every element was good. It was all memorable.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

The food is great. Eat Indian all meals!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The hotel chain is very eco friendly and the locals are very aware of climate change. All hotels and home stays employ local staff and ours was organic.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent. Very good introduction to India.

review 2 Oct 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

All of it from start to finish especially the Farm Stay at Dewalokam and the Houseboat.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take less clothes, ladies to take long loose trousers or leggings. Take plenty of insect repellent. We went early in the tourist season and benefited therefore in a less crowded environment

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes in visits to villages and local tours with local guides.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Brilliant. Managed by the agent perfectly. Had full confidence in the arrangements in the UK and in India

review 13 Sep 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

All of it

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Book with this company to be well looked after

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Wonderful experience

review 3 Feb 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We booked a last minute trip to Kerala to celebrate my 60th birthday and contacted Responsible Travel who put us in touch with Sanjay from the tour operator. The whole service from Sanjay and Responsible Travel was excellent from start to finish. Sanjay took on board all we wanted to experience and within 48 hours had put together exactly what we were looking for. We stayed in some fabulous hotels, rode an elephant, visited tea and spice plantations and cruised the backwaters all in 10 days! There was not one outstanding moment as the whole trip was outstanding from start to finish.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Book and go!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

On the ground, Sanjay used a local travel company, Dravidian Trails, so all our guides and our driver were local people. We visited small plantations, and spent money in local shops. At Spice Village, one of their menus ingredients all come from within 50 miles.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent.

Read the operator's response here:

We are glad you had a wonderful time in Kerala and are so glad that you have take time to post a review. It's a wonderful state and has so much to offer a Responsible Traveler who is looking for an authentic experience. We don't actively encourage Elephant tourism and it does seem that on your trip this got added which whilst I know you enjoyed the experience it's one that we would not promote. We look forward to welcoming you back to India in the future

review 12 Nov 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We loved Dewalokam and wished we could have stayed longer. It is beautiful and we enjoyed the tour of the farm and the other activities. We loved the idea that everything was home grown. The accommodation was simple, bright, spacious and spotless. The food was awesome and the choice amazing and we enjoyed eating communally with the other guests. My husband loved the river swimming.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

We could not fault the superb organisation and excellent advice from Sanjay Oberoi at the tour operator. His local agent in India, were also excellent.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes particularly the trips we had to the village and the local school at Dewalokam.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent we had an amazing and most memorable time.

review 25 Oct 2018

Sanjay organised our trip to Kerala, India. He listened to our requests for experiences, different options for accommodation and made very useful suggestions to shape our itinerary. We were very happy with the car and driver supplied. All the guides were professional and extremely good at their job. The accommodation was boutique and heritage as requested and included a marvellous homestay and a 2 day houseboat trip on the Kerala backwaters. We had been to India before and we thought that Kerala is very different to other parts of India we haver explored. We absolutely loved our vacation and we are now planning a trip to Sri Lanka and we hope to have Sanjay prepare the itinerary for that trip as well

review 5 Oct 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Amazing people who went out of their way to make our vacation special. We had a wonderful driver, Mr Jomy, who took special care of us. Every hotel was attentive and welcoming. The crew of our Backwater boat were a great bunch and the wildlife was spectacular!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

GO TO KERALA. The international news has devastated their local tourist industry with large scale cancellations following the flood and the people rely on tourism for their livelihood. Everything is safe and open and beautiful SO GO!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes definitely- see above, Everyone we came into contact with was local and they were so grateful that we had come despite flood effecting rumours (which were erroneous)

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent , and more!

review 25 Jan 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Experiencing the rich variety and beauty of Kerala

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Give yourself enough time in each place to really experience it and do some walking - don't travel too quickly!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - by staying in homestays we felt the money went into the hands of local people rather than big coimpanies

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was great - smoothly organised, relaxed and enjoyable but we experienced much of the rich variety and beauty of Kerala

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