India is my next and final stop on this little six-country Asia tour I’ve enjoyed.
And I’ve decided to travel the country in style. No hostels or backpacker living for me. I’m going all out with beautiful hotels, the best places to eat in each place and even private tour guides.
My three-week India itinerary goes a little like this…
Delhi (3 nights + 3 night Golden Triangle tour) – Kochi (2) – Thekkady (2) –
Alleppey (2) – Varkala (2) – Goa (4) – Mumbai (3)
I’ve teamed up with the awesome boutique resort and hotel company Tripzuki who know all about the best and most unique places to stay in India. You can trust them not to put you up in some back end windowless room!
“We have a young team of writers, photographers and researchers that are drawn from what is the first Indian generation to really travel, and we know India better than anybody else.” – Deepti from Tripzuki
I’ll be staying at the ‘part boutique hotel, part art space and hang-out’, The Rose Hotel in Hauz Khas in Delhi. Described as a ‘cool French curio’ The Rose is in a cool location and carefully filled with antiques to set off the cool minimalistic décor. Pretty sure I’m going to love it here.
“We try to be the polar opposite of sites like Agoda and Booking.com; they’re like the McDonalds of hotel booking, we’re like your friendly corner deli (but with a lowest rates guarantee!).” – Deepti from Tripzuki
In Kerala I’m meeting up with two of my best friends and we’re staying at the Marari Beach Resort in Alleppey. I’m looking forward to the thatched cottages, the yoga and the massage along with ‘awesome food, excellent staff and boutique charm’.
“The properties have to look and feel good, this is a real rarity in India where a lot of hotels’ interiors are stuck in 2000, 1990, 1980 or even further back. Seriously, it’s shocking at times! Kitsch is OK, but dated is not.” – Deepti from Tripzuki
And in Goa we’re booked into the eco-friendly Yab Yum Huts for some morning yoga and beautiful beach action. The sanctuary-like huts line the beach in North Goa and the food is apparently one of the best things about it. Can’t wait to prove the positive reviews right!
Tours and activities
I’ve not got long in Delhi and I want to see as much as possible without being stressed or feeling rushed, so I’ve decided to take advantage of the Tripzuki tour planning service. I’ve paid £32 for a driver for the day to take me on an awesome one-day tour, as recommended by one of the Tripzuki writers Deepti. I’ve got quite a few things I want to see, and a few things I need to eat. I figured doing it in style with a private driver was the best way to get in as much as possible for the time I have. And it’ll be a good and safe introduction to India on my first day there.
A few days later and I’m going on a Golden Triangle tour with Delhi Tourism. For three days they’re taking me around in a group to see…
Agra – Sikandra – Taj Mahal – Agra Fort – Fatehpur Sikri Jaipur –
Hawa Mahal – Amer Fort – City Palace – Jantar Mantar
As well as hopefully being one of the safest it was also one of the cheapest at 5361 rupees / £58, including two nights’ accommodation.
And then I’ll fly to Kochi to meet with my friends and with their eager Lonely Planet guidebook buying and work time research they can be my guides.
In keeping with the whole stylish vibe of the trip I’ve got lounge access at Delhi Airport courtesy of Holiday Extras. Free food, alcoholic drinks and Wi-Fi. This is going to be so good!
My travel when I’m by myself is sorted – in the form of the tours and private chauffeurs I listed above – when I’m with my friends we can easily get taxis between us. We have booked onto some trains though – from Kerala to Goa and Goa to Mumbai. Unfortunately this is where the travelling India in style could fall down as we were unable to book into the upper class carriages. From what I’ve heard from other travellers, these two trips in second class are going to be quite the adventure!
I’m really looking forward to India. It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to travel to for a long time, especially since reading Shantaram. I’m so glad the three of us have made it happen.