Southern India Family Holiday
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Our guide Tony made the trip for us. He was knowledgeable, friendly and flexible ; quite exceptional in his commitment to making our holiday a memorable one. He was able to provide valuable insights into Indian culture as well as having a good understanding of the needs, concerns and hopes of British families. I believe safety is also paramount for families and our driver, Shaji was an exemplary driver, calm and friendly and both he and Tony worked well as team.
[Least enjoyed] I would suggest missing out the visit to Gureveyar to cut down on the considerable driving time throughout the trip. Although it was great to see the elephant sanctuary, our visit to the elephants later in the tour was so comprehensive that I think the trip would be no poorer. Given that non-Hindus cannot visit the temple at Gureveyar the elephants were the only reason to visit. On reflection a direct journey from Kochi to Munnar would be preferable and the extra day could be added to the beach at the end of the holiday.
Crucial to us booking the holiday was the access to swimming pools at some of the hotels. Only one of the hotels we stayed in had a pool and that was unclean with frogs etc. Tony was able to find swimming facilities at two locations otherwise this would have been very disappointing. I think a reliable and suitable guide with an ability to communciate effectively with children and adults is essential for the success of a family holiday. I would heartily recommend Tony for any of your family tours in India.
He was exceptional!
Mrs S - Travelled in August 2012
Observing Indian life; meeting locals; staying on a houseboat; wildlife.
[Least enjoyed] Excessive travelling.
The trip to the first elephant camp could have been ommitted as it was a very long journey and elephants were seen elsewhere as part of the itenerary. An extra night on the houseboat or beach would have been good for families.
Travelling with a child we had asked about swimming opportunities and told there would be pools at certain hotels, however different hotels were used without a pool which was disappointing for the children after long hot journeys.
our group leader Tony was exceptional, he had endless energy and humour and was great with the children. He regularly went out of his way to find things for us e.g. local swimming opportunities and ensured everthing was well organised and ran smoothly.
Mrs H - Travelled in August 2012
Our Tour Guide Tony Gomez was excellent. Words can't really do him justice - he was knowledgeable, efficient, kind to the children, and really went the extra mile, for example sourcing hotels with swimming pools for the kids to use on free afternoons and producing a personalised birthday cake for my son unprompted. Other highlights were the elephant ride/wash, walking in Periyar National Park, the houseboat and the time spent at the end of the trip on the beach at Kovalam.
[Least enjoyed] Eravikulum National Park which consisted of a bus ride then a walk along a short (2 km max) paved road rather than the anticipated trek.
We would have liked to see more of the temple(s) in Madurai as we only seemed to see one very small section of it.
[Comments on accomodation] One of the hotels (Periyar?) had a swimming pool that was completely green, clearly the water hadn't been changed for months. So much so that in the evening we saw frogs swimming in it
See previous comments - he really was absolutely outstanding
Mrs C - Travelled in August 2012