Kimkim Trip Reviews for India

Reviews from actual kimkim travelers. We publish all reviews.
4.5
(39 reviews)
Read 39 verified reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim.

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Spiti trip, India - Aug 1 - Aug 14, 2019

Traveler: Jonathan G. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

The trip was fantastic and very well planned. Choephell, our guide, was incredibly knowledgeable and attentive and thoughtful. The food on our trek was surprising and delicious; Maila is a truly amazing camp chef. One of the days of scheduled hiking was too long, almost more than we could handle, but we’d been warned about a long day and it was necessary because we had a shorter time than usual to do the trek. I guess the lesson is to make sure to ask questions and be clear in communication when planning. In any case, we definitely felt well taken care of.

Priya Dikshit profile photo
Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Jonathan,

Thank you for your review. We also cannot thank you enough for mentioning our services favorably. In fact, we too enjoyed the contact that we made with you. You were so understanding and easy going.

I hope that our paths would cross again in the future. We shall look forward to that with great anticipation.

Warm regards
Priya

Ladakh& varanasi, India - Jul 5 - Jul 18, 2019

Traveler: Vanessa I. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

- Organization and preparation was really excellent
- The trek was amazing and our guide very helpful and had a very broad culture on Buddhism
- Our driver (Ladakh) was excellent also, super kind , drove well and also very helpful
- The home stays were overall good, we were almost always alone with the families since not too many tourists so could enjoy cocking with them an choosing our rooms. The bathrooms were very irregular, some excellent and clean other really less. Not a big deal but... read more

- Organization and preparation was really excellent
- The trek was amazing and our guide very helpful and had a very broad culture on Buddhism
- Our driver (Ladakh) was excellent also, super kind , drove well and also very helpful
- The home stays were overall good, we were almost always alone with the families since not too many tourists so could enjoy cocking with them an choosing our rooms. The bathrooms were very irregular, some excellent and clean other really less. Not a big deal but worst to mention. Food was fresh and good, totally veg though which we were not expecting.
- Good surprise was that we did not need to carry our backpacks during the treks except for water and some basic stuff. I did not ask before but it would be important to let people know in advance, would not have bought so techy brand new backpacks
- Very disappointed with Singge Palace. First room we had was in the annex and very basic, second was nicer but we had a mouse in it. We claimed with management and they did not even bother to apologize. Buffet was good though. Overall people were not kind nor helpful specially at reception
- For all the Delhi connections, drives, Manish, keeping our bags,,, was really flawless (except the guy who asked me how recognize me but we already talked about it and by the way he ended being super nice)
I definitely would recommend the agency !

Priya Dikshit profile photo
Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Vanessa,
Thank you so much for your kind feedback. Though we get excellent reviews from other clients for the same hotel - Singge Palace, who recently traveled with us, but I apologies for the inconvenience you had during the stay there. I will surely bring this issue to the hotel.

I am glad that overall you had a nice trip and I hope to see you again in India near future !!

South india adventure, India - Jul 2 - Jul 11, 2019

Traveler: Leah T. - Local specialist: Jay Kajaria

My India trip was everything I hoped it would be and more! So grateful to the KimKim team, especially Jay and my driver Kierin; Kierin was so much fun and taught me the most as we drove from location to location exploring beautiful exotic places in South India like Munnar, Alleppy, and Kochi. My guides were all knowledgeable, friendly, and professional: special thanks to Glen (Kochi), Junis (Munnar) and Shreedevi (incredible hostess at hotel UDS in Trivandrum) - these wonderful people, among... read more

My India trip was everything I hoped it would be and more! So grateful to the KimKim team, especially Jay and my driver Kierin; Kierin was so much fun and taught me the most as we drove from location to location exploring beautiful exotic places in South India like Munnar, Alleppy, and Kochi. My guides were all knowledgeable, friendly, and professional: special thanks to Glen (Kochi), Junis (Munnar) and Shreedevi (incredible hostess at hotel UDS in Trivandrum) - these wonderful people, among others, made my experience extra special. My goal in India was to really immerse myself in the culture, try new foods, see wildlife, and interact with local people - coming from a large metro city in California, I also wanted to get off the beaten path a bit and unplug - KimKim made the whole thing seamless and fulfilled my desire to go a bit beyond regular “tourist” type experiences - the most memorable moment, perhaps, was waking up at The Leaf in Munnar and listening to the birds while I drank my coffee and talked to a family visiting from Saudi Arabia. I will also never forget the seeing the tea plantations and the mountains in Munnar; the best smelling place in the world! Alleppy houseboating was also incredible; I had a meal I’ll probably never top! When it was time to say goodbye to Kierin, I realized I had truly made a friend, and will always remember our conversations and the laughs we shared - so thank you AGAIN KimKim for finding me the perfect road companion and for setting up my dream travel in India! I will be back and I will use KimKim again, no doubt.

Jay Kajaria profile photo
Jay Kajaria, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Leah

Greetings!

We thank you for sharing the trip feedback. We are so glad to know that you liked the services of guides and driver during the trip and enjoyed the host of authentic local experiences that Kerala had to offer.

It was truly our pleasure to serve you in India. We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future.

Jacqui

Places most travelers miss (but shouldn't) in india, India - May 29 - Jun 19, 2019

Traveler: Jacqui O. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

We’ve just finished our Indian Odyssey, all superbly organised by Priya from kimkim. Three perfectly coordinated weeks of travel adventure & Priya was with us all the way. It felt like she was constantly in the background ensuring everything ran smoothly, that we were happy & liaising with our driver & hotels to ensure we had the best of times. Priya put together a fantastic mix of travel, adventure, activities, & relaxation using a mix of hotels; some super luxury, some more basic, some... read more

We’ve just finished our Indian Odyssey, all superbly organised by Priya from kimkim. Three perfectly coordinated weeks of travel adventure & Priya was with us all the way. It felt like she was constantly in the background ensuring everything ran smoothly, that we were happy & liaising with our driver & hotels to ensure we had the best of times. Priya put together a fantastic mix of travel, adventure, activities, & relaxation using a mix of hotels; some super luxury, some more basic, some historical, some querky but all really good. We couldn’t be happier. For the full 3 weeks we knew Priya was working in the background for our enjoyment. She called us every few days for a chat & report on how we felt the trip was going. We thought this was really good and it gave us confidence in what we were doing. She made the whole planning of the trip easy. Prompt and polite and always on hand with solutions and suggestions during the planning stage. She asked a few questions as to what we enjoy doing and magically produced a great itinerary. The local agent she used to represent kimkim, Active India was fabulous and every member of that team punctual, professional & polite. Puran, our driver was superb, he kept us safe, got us everywhere without any issue and totally focussed on our comfort and enjoyment. Totally reliable - there every step of the way. If we did a train journey an Active India rep magically appeared at our seat at destination to assist with bags & getting to the car, they took us to checkin counters at airports - all making the trip totally stress free.
We highly recommend Priya from KimKim to plan your Indian trip & need to extend a big thank you to the whole team for enduring our trip was so fantastic.

Priya Dikshit profile photo
Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Jacqui,
Thank you for your appreciation and the time you took out for feedback !

We value your thoughts and it was a real pleasure helping you through the itinerary and tour. In addition I am grateful to you for recommending us to others.
We would surely love to see you in India again.

Thanks
Priya

Tour of north india and rajasthan, India - Mar 2 - Mar 14, 2019

Traveler: Julie S. - Local specialist: Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar

We gave the places we would like to visit and the time frame to the KimKim team who assigned us to Gaurav their Indian specialist and after a few tweaks we had the most amazing experience over the 13 days of our visit to India. Our driver Sadari was with us for 10 days and handled the chaotic roads, streets and highways like a real professional. We felt safe with him and he always Made sure we were dropped off picked up at easy accessible sites. Our guides on the tours were professional... read more

We gave the places we would like to visit and the time frame to the KimKim team who assigned us to Gaurav their Indian specialist and after a few tweaks we had the most amazing experience over the 13 days of our visit to India. Our driver Sadari was with us for 10 days and handled the chaotic roads, streets and highways like a real professional. We felt safe with him and he always Made sure we were dropped off picked up at easy accessible sites. Our guides on the tours were professional knowledgeable and passionate in their work. Every day when we thought nothing could beat the day before ... it did. From airport pick ups to accommodation to drivers to guides to the experiences we had I cannot recommend The KimKim team highly enough. Thank you Gaurav for this experience

Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar profile photo
Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you for the review and for all the photos Julie :) We enjoyed hosting you too. Do visit again to another part of India. There is so much more to see.

Naresh

Trip to india, India - Feb 25 - Mar 5, 2019

Traveler: Naresh C. - Local specialist: Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar

The trip consisted of visiting Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. This part of India requires a separate permit due to the sensitive nature of the area.
Gaurav was able to negotiate the minefield of bureaucracy needed to obtain the permits for our party.

The travel arrangements were adequate - given the limited availability of tourist vehicles in India. The accomodation was also adequate - given the limited availability ( or even non-existent ) 3*, 4* and 5* hotels in Arunachal. Travelling in... read more

The trip consisted of visiting Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. This part of India requires a separate permit due to the sensitive nature of the area.
Gaurav was able to negotiate the minefield of bureaucracy needed to obtain the permits for our party.

The travel arrangements were adequate - given the limited availability of tourist vehicles in India. The accomodation was also adequate - given the limited availability ( or even non-existent ) 3*, 4* and 5* hotels in Arunachal. Travelling in India is always unpredictable, given that the infrastructure is still being upgraded. Travelling over Sela pas was made difficult bt the 'freak' weather on the day. However, it was educational.

The driver (Porag) coped well given the difficult road network and heavy snow fall.

All in all it was a good trip and we learnt a lot.

Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar profile photo
Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Naresh, glad that you and whole family enjoyed the trip. I do agree that Arunachal is still one of the most rugged places with limited options in hotels and road conditions. But we are hopeful that within few years the infrastructure will improve. Do visit India again. There are diverse places and experiences in terms of culture with good infrastructure.

Denise

India's golden triangle, India - Feb 18 - Feb 28, 2019

Traveler: Denise D. - Local specialist: Ashvin Dev Tyagi

We had a fabulous trip to India with a fantastic driver Vikram. However our whole experience has been marred by our guides need to feed us to the lions at every opportunity. We felt like they thought we were walking ATMs to be fleeced at every opportunity. Our first day we were talking to a store, our guide told us he just wanted to show us something. Then we were led to the slaughter. My husband works in the Middle East and is used to bartering but this was an all out attack that left us... read more

We had a fabulous trip to India with a fantastic driver Vikram. However our whole experience has been marred by our guides need to feed us to the lions at every opportunity. We felt like they thought we were walking ATMs to be fleeced at every opportunity. Our first day we were talking to a store, our guide told us he just wanted to show us something. Then we were led to the slaughter. My husband works in the Middle East and is used to bartering but this was an all out attack that left us feeling abused. We bought a pashmina we neither needed or wanted just to get out. After this we made it clear we did not want to shop, we don’t need stuff we travel for the experience not the tat. Another guide took us to a palace and even though we had specifically said we did not want to shop we ended up sitting infront of an artist where both the guide and artist embarrassed us into paying £100 for a picture but were quite disappointed that we didn’t buy the £450 they started with. We were made to feel mean and tight by both of them. The fact that we could neither afford or wanted the picture meant nothing to them. If this is how your guides operate I would be reluctant to use them again.

Third eye tour of india for the yoga group, India - Feb 12 - Feb 24, 2019

Traveler: Jessica L. - Local specialist: Angela Manrique

Overall, our trip was fantastic. Our local guide, Jagdish Thakur was absolutely wonderful in every way. He was knowledgeable, professional, and compassionate.

I felt that communication with Angela could have been better. There were some issues with pricing that took a phone call to iron out. She also was unclear on the registration process to see the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. It cost us a couple of hours of unnecessary waiting in a line (in the rain.) There was also a lack of communication... read more

Overall, our trip was fantastic. Our local guide, Jagdish Thakur was absolutely wonderful in every way. He was knowledgeable, professional, and compassionate.

I felt that communication with Angela could have been better. There were some issues with pricing that took a phone call to iron out. She also was unclear on the registration process to see the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. It cost us a couple of hours of unnecessary waiting in a line (in the rain.) There was also a lack of communication with Jagdish prior to the trip.

It seems that the advertised itinerary was at times simply impossible to complete in the amount of time allotted. This was a yoga retreat, and we were unable to do yoga for the first week due to the schedule, and the hotels where we stayed. Seems this could have been better planned. (?)

As I said, despite these issues, everyone still had a FANTASTIC trip. Thanks so much!

Jessica Lohrey

Angela Manrique profile photo
Angela Manrique, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you, Jessica, for the pictures and the feedback.
I would like just to comment on some of the points mentioned by you. The communication has been very active for 10 months as I was always replaying to your messages and emails to be able to answer any question. However, as you mentioned, when the pricing issue arose, we solve it immediately with two calls and as you know KimKim and Open Eyes covered the misunderstanding amount, from our side it was great to be able to clarify this.... read more

Thank you, Jessica, for the pictures and the feedback.
I would like just to comment on some of the points mentioned by you. The communication has been very active for 10 months as I was always replaying to your messages and emails to be able to answer any question. However, as you mentioned, when the pricing issue arose, we solve it immediately with two calls and as you know KimKim and Open Eyes covered the misunderstanding amount, from our side it was great to be able to clarify this. Regarding the registration process for the Dalai Lama teachings, just to say that we were following all the indication regarding the official Website of the event where they mentioned that registration was necessary. However, as it was a local event, there is always a possibility of rules changes, we are glad that you were able to see his Holiness Dalai Lama. Finally, regarding the itinerary, we have agreed this route with you since the beginning of the conversation and we even mentioned transfer times and possible hours to do Yoga, also provide places to practice Yoga in every city or Hotel. However, we understand that it can be difficult to fit in the classes when people are tired due to traveling hours or if the weather is not comfortable. But we are still happy with the final result and if you want something more relax, we can always offer our wellness retreats, please visit the Link. http://www.wellnessretreatsindia.com/

Best,

Angela

Wineries in nashik, India - Feb 23 - Feb 25, 2019

Traveler: Doug W. - Local specialist: Jay Kajaria

The trip was amazing, more than I could have hoped for. I was able to meet with winemakers and winery owners. The guide assigned to my trip was extremely knowledgeable and was able to answer all of my questions.

Everyone showed up on time, and schedules were flexible enough to meet our needs. No problems, no "hitches", no hassle.

Very well done!

Southern india , India - Feb 4 - Feb 15, 2019

Traveler: Jean L. - Local specialist: Preeti A Bhide

This is a response from Bernard and Jean as a couple.

In rating your services, we are making a direct comparison to the last time we were in India on a small tour in 2014 as well as a private tour in Portugal in 2017.

We found the contact with Preeti to be sporadic with twice having to contact kimkim because Preeti was not responding to emails. We suggest that kimkim should have a "follow through" strategy if staff/contractors are sick or on leave. All emails should be responded to... read more

This is a response from Bernard and Jean as a couple.

In rating your services, we are making a direct comparison to the last time we were in India on a small tour in 2014 as well as a private tour in Portugal in 2017.

We found the contact with Preeti to be sporadic with twice having to contact kimkim because Preeti was not responding to emails. We suggest that kimkim should have a "follow through" strategy if staff/contractors are sick or on leave. All emails should be responded to within 24 hours.

The only time we had good response from Preeti was when payment was requested.

Accomodation, before and at the end of the tour, was not finalised until very late despite a number of requests for this to happen. As a result of this we booked our own private accommodation at the beginning and end of the tour which was infinitely better in character than was provided by the tour.

On previous tours we have been provided with an itinerary well beforehand by email as well as a paper copy on joining the tour. This was not offered or provided. We had to scroll through many emails to look for itinerary.

We were very pleased with our guide Arun. He was informative, knowledgable and well organised. He ensured that we were safely taken to our destinations re:accommodation, tourist sites etc. We would highly recommend him to any future tour groups.

Our driver Shaqa was also very good - he was polite, patient and got us safely around South India.
The vehicle provided was excellent and reliable. It was cleaned everyday and water bottles were provided on a daily basis.

A separate guide in Goa, Avi (sp), "shouted" at us. The only time he lowered his voice was in a church. He was however well informed and had a rich knowledge of the area.

We were disappointed by the accommodation provided. The hotels selected were all characterless boxes which could have been from anywhere in the world. It appeared that little thought was given to showing Indian authenticity and pride. On a private tour such as this we had an expectation that the accommodation would be chosen that reflected the character of the area.

Magic and realism in rajasthan - 13 days, India - Feb 1 - Feb 19, 2019

Traveler: Jean M. - Local specialist: Angela Manrique

Amit, our guide throughout the trip was an exceptional young professional on so many levels. His personality and patient disposition were indispensable in creating a relaxed and fun experience. He is very knowledgeable in the 4 major religions of India and his command of dates and facts rivals a PhD in Eastern religion. A good teacher communicates by sharing stories and Amit explained wars (political and religious), customs, cultures, gods and goddesses and historical people like he was... read more

Amit, our guide throughout the trip was an exceptional young professional on so many levels. His personality and patient disposition were indispensable in creating a relaxed and fun experience. He is very knowledgeable in the 4 major religions of India and his command of dates and facts rivals a PhD in Eastern religion. A good teacher communicates by sharing stories and Amit explained wars (political and religious), customs, cultures, gods and goddesses and historical people like he was intimately involved with each one and sharing the history of his country as if reading a novel or watching a movie. Vividly, animatedly, and with humor. We were lucky to have had him all to ourselves!. He was also a fun person and highlighted his stories with personal tales of his life in India.

DalGeet Ji was an incredibly skilled driver. His knowing the roads all over Rajisthan, especially when construction and some political demonstrations lead to road blocks, made the trip so much more reliable and safe. Again, we were very lucky to have had him. He got along with Amit so well.

Highlights for me were: (1) the night in the Thar desert with the best meal of the trip cooked by Soda and Abdul over the open fire, (2) praying in the Sikh temple and then visiting the kitchen , (3) The sound and light water show in Delhi, (3) the colors of the markets, men and women's attire, (4) the graciousness of everyone in letting us photograph them, and (5) the elegant little hotels that each had cultural character, beauty and /or historical significance.

Angela Manrique profile photo
Angela Manrique, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Jean,

Thanks for this great feedback and for the beautiful pictures. We were really happy to be part of this amazing experience. Thank again for trusting Open Eyes for your trip to India!

Best,

Angela

Southern india , India - Feb 4 - Feb 15, 2019

Traveler: Marina K. - Local specialist: Preeti A Bhide

Our guide (Arun Panicker) deserves full marks. He is a classic CCC person (Cool, Calm and Collected) with a deep knowledge of everything Indian (history, culture, social issues, etc) and an excellent concise and precise information approach.
We all did some background reading about South India, so for me the "unexpected" was the most interesting (e.g. the room of thousands columns in the Meenakshi Amman Temple Complex - a fairy ordinary rectangular structure on the outside and an incredible... read more

Our guide (Arun Panicker) deserves full marks. He is a classic CCC person (Cool, Calm and Collected) with a deep knowledge of everything Indian (history, culture, social issues, etc) and an excellent concise and precise information approach.
We all did some background reading about South India, so for me the "unexpected" was the most interesting (e.g. the room of thousands columns in the Meenakshi Amman Temple Complex - a fairy ordinary rectangular structure on the outside and an incredible jewel inside; the Sri Aurobindo Ashram - historically apparently a failure but still very impressive; the wide and very green streets of Chennai, etc).
Pondicherry's French quarters were quaint and charming; Goa was over touristy...
The houseboat on Kerala's tranquil backwaters was delightful and the boat ride through the narrow channels felt timeless - the women were doing the washing by the shores, the men were fishing for dinner, the kingfishers were flying above...
The spice plantation was a wonderful learning experience and in the little town of Trichy I finally found Tourmaline in silver setting!

Southern india , India - Feb 4 - Feb 15, 2019

Traveler: John & Rosemarie G. - Local specialist: Preeti A Bhide

After some initial communication difficulties, Preeti’s responsiveness and the kimkim mail system greatly facilitated the trip experience. She did very well given that we were widely dispersed geographically and somewhat unsure of exactly what we wanted to do. In the end though, the whole trip came together really well.

Preeti excelled herself with the choice of guide, Arun Panicker. His maturity, experience and responsiveness were absolutely perfect for the ages of our group. And on top... read more

After some initial communication difficulties, Preeti’s responsiveness and the kimkim mail system greatly facilitated the trip experience. She did very well given that we were widely dispersed geographically and somewhat unsure of exactly what we wanted to do. In the end though, the whole trip came together really well.

Preeti excelled herself with the choice of guide, Arun Panicker. His maturity, experience and responsiveness were absolutely perfect for the ages of our group. And on top of all that, his excellent command of English and knowledge of all aspects of India made the trip highly educational and much more enjoyable than just a temple visit focused experience that it might have been under a different type of guide or tour leader.

South india trip, India - Jan 17 - Feb 2, 2019

Traveler: Usha K. - Local specialist: Jay Kajaria

Our Driver Manoj,
The guide in Coimbetore Prkash,
City foods guide Sounder,
Sundar in Trichy,
They were great and courteous, knowledgable and eager to show us things around.
Prakash in coimbatore specially was a superb fine young man.
Hats off to the whole team!

Jay Kajaria profile photo
Jay Kajaria, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Usha

We thank you for sharing the feedback.

We are so glad to know that you enjoyed our services during the trip. We shall communicate your satisfaction to all the guides and driver assigned for your trip. They will be delighted to hear your feedback.

It was truly a pleasure to serve you in India. Team Bespoke looks forward to welcoming you again in the near future.

Have a wonderful year ahead.

India tourist and food tour, India - Jan 8 - Jan 22, 2019

Traveler: Thomas H. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

Well to sum up our trip it definitely met the "Incredible India" tour. We found the whole trip to be wonderful. A few items could have been better but both my wife and I believe we truly got immersed into India, history, culture, cities, countryside and most importantly the wonderful people of India.

We were met at the Mumbai Airport at 3AM in the morning by a guide and driver who took us to a money exchange person at that time of the night and got a better rate than the airport exchanges.... read more

Well to sum up our trip it definitely met the "Incredible India" tour. We found the whole trip to be wonderful. A few items could have been better but both my wife and I believe we truly got immersed into India, history, culture, cities, countryside and most importantly the wonderful people of India.

We were met at the Mumbai Airport at 3AM in the morning by a guide and driver who took us to a money exchange person at that time of the night and got a better rate than the airport exchanges. We were driven directly to Hotel Godwin and got checked in with NO problems. We received our documents and vouchers for our whole trip. Hotel Godwin proved to be a very nice hotel at a great location near the India Gate in Mumbai. Since we got in so late we took the day off and just wandered around the area with no problems. Breakfasts were very good at the hotel but the restaurant in the evening (Cloud 9) was just so-so, not bad - not good.
Our tours were nicely timed typically our pickup was about 15 to 20 minutes after the agreed on time but considering the traffic we were not displeased. Elephant Island was very interesting and our guide was informative. The great thing was our guides were conversant in English and they were with us to make sure we got to the right spots, offered tips on how and what to do and gave us a very great analysis of what we were looking at. Victoria Train Station was fun and interesting as was the outdoor laundry amazing place. Bollywood was OK fun to learn about the filming process, the dancers were just students in a tiny stage versus a real Bollywood performance. Watching a 3 hour Bollywood movie got boring very fast as we did not understand Hindi, just an hour of so would have been plenty. I was nice to visit a movie theater and sample the snacks. The Dabbawallas were very interesting and it was great to learn how they perform their services. Fun little train ride and to buy tickets. Another outdoor laundry and we were driven to the airport with plenty of time to spare so we have no last minute hassles. Good Mumbai visit.
We were picked up at Delhi Airport and deposited at the Taj Princess Hotel. Hotel was good also breakfast was OK and the location was nice allowing us to wander the street. Old Delhi was a very good visit, riding in Rickshaw, visiting temples and mosques etc. Amazing place with animals in the streets and crowded bustling area. We were a little disappointed we did not get to sample "street food" as we were warned the water and oil used in the cooking process might not be the best for us. Probably good advice but it sure smelled good (we love Indian food of all sorts) The Gandhi memorial was nice but the real great thing was the Gandhi house with the little museum, learned a lot and it was very nicely done without hurrying us along. The New Delhi was very nice wide roads and modern government buildings. The annual independence day was coming up so we got to see preparations for the parade and a few groups practicing. The Qutab Minar and the Humayun Tomb was great and our guide very informative. The visit to the Delhi slums was interesting and we got to provide some bags to chips to the children again something you need to see. This tour was to a "newer" slum as the Indian government is trying to rebuild the area providing better housing. Our guide Samar in Delhi was very good providing us with a lot of information.

Our driver for much of our northern India tour was Ravinder Tiwani and he was excellent getting us thru unbelievable traffic without any mishaps. Our drive to Jaipur took us thru countryside. He took us to the Hotel Suryaa Villa which was a nice hotel good breakfast. My wife was not too happy with her dinner but I kind of liked my dinner at the hotel. The Pink City tour was great and the Amber Fort with the elephant ride was very good. We asked for some extra time to allow my wife to walk the Jaipur markets and our guide made sure we had the time we asked. Our tour of the Jai Singh II Observatory is not to be missed (I actually thought of cancelling it BUT am SO glad we did not cancel) I was very impressed. The Maharajah Palace tour was good as well. Our poor driver worked a long day as we did the evening Indian cooking class we love Indian food and learned so new tricks to making a great Indian dinner. Fun and Yummy at the Harsoli Haveli with Beena as our host.

Now on to Ranthambore a long drive but again we got to see the countryside stopping at the Om Rudra Priya Resort - what a great room huge. Disappointed at no wifi in rooms and one evening no hot water but a very nice place. We wandered out and took a tuk-tuk ride into town to wander around. Our tiger safari was wonderful. We made a mistake and did not have a blanket with us in the morning so we were extremely cold riding to the reserve BUT we had the great luck of seeing a tiger in the open and got great pictures of the tiger and the herds of deer, antelope, crocodiles, monkeys, birds etc. Wow was this fun!!! Breakfast was very good and our evening dinner was nothing short of excellent - do not miss the pre-fix dinner too much food but incredible veggies and a little butter chicken. We were so surprised and happy exactly what we were looking for.

On to Agra with a stop at the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. We had been told to see the Bird Santuary from an Indian ex-pat here in the US but I was kind of skeptical about seeing birds. Once again I was totally wrong what a great stop our guide was Krishna was excellent. We learned a lot and got to spend some time walking the park with him. He was an enthusiastic Indian tourist supporter and made our visit great. Also he found a few Indian Rock Pythons for us to view.
Our hotel in Agra was the Howard Plaza The Fern. A very nice modern hotel with a great breakfast. Our tours of Agra were also very good with of course the Taj Mahal being the star. Our guide suggested a few tour modifications since the Taj in winter is hidden in early morning fog so we took his suggestion and visited the Red Fort first - as interesting as the Taj in my opinion. We saw the exterior of the Taj and then early the next morning we visited the interior. Our guide was great. He allowed us time to explore the town on our own where we walked and rode tuk-tuks. Fun to visit the local market place but watch out for the open sewers.

Our driver got us back to Delhi with plenty of time to spare to catch our flight to Varanasi. As usual we were met at the airport and escorted to our hotel the Temple on the Ganges. Although the location was very good on the Ghat Assi it was certainly the worst hotel of our stay. Our room was not cleaned although we were there three nights we just asked for fresh towels. The bathroom was tiny so when you showered the whole place was wet. Small room and the breakfast was so-so. I ate dinner there one night and it too was OK but nothing special. Varanasi is a very special place not to be missed. Our guide did a great job getting us to the right places and explaining the city with its temples, Hindu and Buddhist, Ghats in the morning and at night. At the end of our temple tour they dropped us off to allow us to wander the streets and Ghats. We spent a lot of time watching the cremations and walking the streets. We finally took a tuk-tuk ride back to our hotel but then stopped at a restaurant called Diyva near our hotel. Again we ended up with a spectacular vegetarian dinner so good I asked our waiter to write down the names of what we ordered so we could try to make some of these items at home. Lots of open sewers, animals of all sorts wandering the street, traffic and blowing horns but we got the full immersion into India. We were driven to the airport with plenty of time to get our flight back to Delhi. Once back in Delhi we were met at the airport to be transferred to the International Terminal for our flight out of India.

Spectacular trip which we will never forget. By and large the hotels were good with amazing wifi access except for Ranthanbore. Our Varanasi hotel left a bit to be desired. I think the location of all of the hotels were located in almost perfect spots to allow us to walk the streets. We had no problems in the streets and never felt unsafe. There was enough English speaking available for us to get around and purchase what we wanted. We were very pleased with the drivers and guides across the board. Having our "own" driver and guide made the trip extra special as we could make minor changes along the way. We recommend Kimkim and Active India if you want a tour tailored to your specific requests.

Priya Dikshit profile photo
Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Thomas,
Thank you for your appreciation and the time you took out for feedback !

We value your thoughts and it was a real pleasure helping you through the itinerary and tour. In addition I am grateful to you for recommending us to others.
We would surely love to see you in India again.

Thanks
Priya

Pauline

Best of rajasthan tour - 10 days, India - Jan 6 - Jan 26, 2019

Traveler: Pauline R. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

All our guides were informative, polite and eager to make our experience memorable. However, each guide was also eager to take us to a particular shop, each saying there was no pressure to buy.
Both our drivers, Vinod and Thaslim were most accommodating, and Thaslim often suggested places we could look at, or that we might find interesting. This added to our experience. We appreciated Vinod's driving skills, which were exceptional but unfortunately we also found it a little difficult to... read more

All our guides were informative, polite and eager to make our experience memorable. However, each guide was also eager to take us to a particular shop, each saying there was no pressure to buy.
Both our drivers, Vinod and Thaslim were most accommodating, and Thaslim often suggested places we could look at, or that we might find interesting. This added to our experience. We appreciated Vinod's driving skills, which were exceptional but unfortunately we also found it a little difficult to communicate with him to his lack of English and our lack of Hindi. The guide which met us at Cochin airport was very informative and spent the time talking through the itinerary - we really appreciated this and would have like this to happen in Delhi.
Transitions from place to place and guide to guide was flawless and very well managed.
It would be hard to write about the most memorable place as every place we went was fantastic. Each of our family members liked something different. My husband particularly enjoyed the Ranthambore National Park, spotting 2 tigers and 2 leopards, as well as the boat ride on the Ganges. I loved the Mehrangarh Fort.
We were a little bit sad that our organiser had written on our form that we were to visit places that weren't actually open on the days we were there. Such as Cochin - Mattancherry Palace and the Jewish Synagogue. Also in Jaipur the bazaars weren't open as it was a festival. The tea museum was also closed. Checking the timetables against opening times and special days etc is not difficult. Unfortunately when you arrive somewhere and are told that it is closed can be disappointing especially if you have been looking forward to it for a very long time.
All hotels were good, whilst some were fabulous. Unfortunately our first impression of India was not good with our stay at the Taj Princess - we arrived late evening and was put into a room which was not nice - it was dirty and the bed was very soft and uncomfortable. We asked to be moved and the staff were happy to do this. Unfortunately this room, whilst looking better, had electrical sockets hanging off the walls and the toilet seat was not attached. At this point both my husband and I were very apprehensive about our choice to go to India for our holiday of a liftetime - this was not a good first impression and we would recommend that you do not use this hotel anymore (I also feared for our safety). However, the food and people were wonderful. We had an issue with some chocolate that we had bought for our grandchildren was stolen at Clouds Valley Hotel - we reported this and the chocolate was replaced but we weren't really happy with how it was handled.
Whilst a lot of this sounds negative. I have written about the hotels as feedback so that you can do something to improve this and perhaps consider their selection in the future.
I would thoroughly recommend Active India to everybody and have already done so to a family member. We loved our time in India and will start saving to come back in the next couple of years. Thank you.

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Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Pauline,
Thank you for your appreciation and the time you took out for feedback !

We value your thoughts and it was a real pleasure helping you through the itinerary and tour. In addition I am grateful to you for recommending us to others.
We would surely love to see you in India again.

Thanks
Priya

Mike

Best of rajasthan tour - 10 days, India - Jan 6 - Jan 26, 2019

Traveler: Mike R. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

Great trip all in all.

Priya Dikshit profile photo
Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Mike,
Thank you for your appreciation and the time you took out for feedback !

We value your thoughts and it was a real pleasure helping you through the itinerary and tour.

We would surely love to see you in India again.

Thanks
Priya

Mumbai > goa, plus hill station + activities, India - Jan 11 - Jan 26, 2019

Traveler: Paul C. - Local specialist: Jay Kajaria

A few attempts needed to convey that we did not want city/corporate style hotels. The stand out accommodation was Ahilya By the Sea, which we sourced ourselves.

Guides were good (other than Elephanta) - drivers were excellent. Trips were broadly ok but nothing we could not have organised ourselves. However, more thought needs to be put into making a tour special. The itinerary pretty standard, was disjointed and needed rearranging. Whilst we were able to do this, on one occasion it required... read more

A few attempts needed to convey that we did not want city/corporate style hotels. The stand out accommodation was Ahilya By the Sea, which we sourced ourselves.

Guides were good (other than Elephanta) - drivers were excellent. Trips were broadly ok but nothing we could not have organised ourselves. However, more thought needs to be put into making a tour special. The itinerary pretty standard, was disjointed and needed rearranging. Whilst we were able to do this, on one occasion it required a guide to travel by road overnight from Mumbai to Nasik (!). Otherwise, we would have been having a wine tasting straight after breakfast (!). Not sure why a local guide would not be available.

Major issue on our last day in that a dolphin tour was substituted with a fishing trip and an afternoon on a beach without any communication. In fact, in was only when we were on the beach (not to our taste at all) that we were told that we were not on a dolphin trip. Whilst I understand the reasons for the John's Tours trip being cancelled, alternative dolphin spotting trips are promoted via Trip Advisor, including one at Coco Beach (where we were staying!). What a waste of a day....

The offer of dinner hardly compensated and to add insult to injury, Kim Kim refused to pay the drinks bill (just INR 1550!). In context, we paid over $9,000 for this trip.

Going over old ground again, shortly after we paid the balance for the trip, our preferred hotel was changed for the first 3 nights in Mumbai. We remonstrated at the time without success but Kim Kim somehow construed that we were happy with the replacement hotel option and decided to change our final night in Mumbai (2 weeks later) to that hotel also. Whilst the replacement hotel was good, it was not our choice (which was Abode - a 'must visit' in a number of guide books).

All this is of course covered in your T&C's but it does not lead me to conclude that Kim Kim is a quality operation and I would not recommend. Quite the reverse in fact.

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Jay Kajaria, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Paul

We thank you for sharing your feedback.

We are so glad to know that you enjoyed the guides in India.

Please find answers to your concerns raised below which were already discussed before:

1. Guide in Nashik - Please note that Nashik is a remote location and is an upcoming destination of India. Hence, top guides need to be sourced from nearby city of Mumbai. This is the case with many smaller cities where the guides are sourced from nearby cities to maintain quality of... read more

Dear Paul

We thank you for sharing your feedback.

We are so glad to know that you enjoyed the guides in India.

Please find answers to your concerns raised below which were already discussed before:

1. Guide in Nashik - Please note that Nashik is a remote location and is an upcoming destination of India. Hence, top guides need to be sourced from nearby city of Mumbai. This is the case with many smaller cities where the guides are sourced from nearby cities to maintain quality of services.

2. Itinerary - Please note that all our itineraries are skeleton itineraries. The sequence of places that you see can be changed by guide or guest based on mutual discussion. We are not an escorted tour company where you go from one place to there as per time. We are a bespoke tour company offering flexibility to guests. But, having said that all the places were covered with ease as per itinerary.

3. Fishing Trip - Please note that our local team informed us that John Boat trip (that was included) to be not a good travel provider recently (you can see the trip advisor reviews) and some of the past reviews of other guests were also not good (concerning safety). Hence this was changed for the guest benefit. But, we agree that this should have been discussed (the change of vendor) with the guest which the guide did not do. We apologised for this and offered a free dinner to guest the next day.

4. Regarding Abode hotel - Please note that during first part of the stay the hotel changed our reservation as they got a group booking and hence we offered alternate accommodation in consultation with guest. The hotel was changed accordingly. While this change was being made, we thought that the guest would be okay with the same hotel towards the end of the trip so we released the booking for last night. But, as the guest was not okay with this we upgraded the hotel to Taj Mahal Palace which is 2.5 times more expensive and home to VVIPs. Hence, we went out of our way to compensate for the inconvenience. In Abode hotel too we got a base category room which the guest did not prefer. The guest preferred Taj Mahal Palace over Abode.

5. Drinks not compensated - Please note that the hard drinks are never included in Dinner in India and the sub-continent (I guess in many parts of Europe). We never committed to offer drinks. We have clearly this mentioned in our terms and conditions. http://www.bespokeindiaholidays.com/terms-and-conditions/

Hope the above is fine. Team Bespoke looks forward to welcoming you again

Dream india, India - Jan 14 - Jan 24, 2019

Traveler: Jayne L. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

First, our driver Ravi Kumar was excellent. A very kind man, attentive to our needs and a very good driver in India traffic. Most memorable was the Jain temple and of course Agra Taj Mahal, but many of the other sites were also amazing. We had a lot of fun and made great memories. The tour was well organized and Ravi was always very punctual for our outings. The choice of hotels were adequate, of course a few were 5 star and extremely modern and comfortable. All of our city guides were knowledgeable and performed nicely.

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Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Jayne,
Thank you for your appreciation and the time you took out for feedback ! We value your thoughts and it was a real pleasure helping you through the itinerary and tour.

Look forward to meeting you again in India and serve your travel needs in our country.

Thanks
Priya

Mumbai and hyderabad, India - Dec 20 - Dec 30, 2018

Traveler: Lauren M. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

Priya quickly understood what we wanted and arranged everything very well. She was also flexible with some changes we made, and was gracious.
All of our drivers showed up and were very courteous. The hotels were very good, no complaints there.
The best tour was to the Elephanta Caves. The guide was a local, very knowledgeable and sweet.
The weak part was that one day in Mumbai was overloaded. The guide for the day was late in the AM. We had to beg for lunch after the Elephanta Caves, which... read more

Priya quickly understood what we wanted and arranged everything very well. She was also flexible with some changes we made, and was gracious.
All of our drivers showed up and were very courteous. The hotels were very good, no complaints there.
The best tour was to the Elephanta Caves. The guide was a local, very knowledgeable and sweet.
The weak part was that one day in Mumbai was overloaded. The guide for the day was late in the AM. We had to beg for lunch after the Elephanta Caves, which we ate in the car on the way to the "Bollywood tour." Looking back, we should have had a longer tour on day before and less on that day. Also the Bollywood tour, as it was called, was inadequate. It was a dusty old set and there was no demonstration of a shoot-out as described. The dancers were good (just three) but we had no interest in the karaoke. The tour guide there was nice enough, but the place was practically empty and it took over an hour to get there from our hotel. We didn't watch the whole Bollywood movie because it was so late by that time. I would not recommend that studio tour, and especially not during Christmas vacation when hardly anyone is working there.
We liked going to the Hanging Gardens. That day the guide was going to take us somewhere far away, I can't remember where, but we were tired of traveling in cars so we said no. I think overall in Mumbai attention must be paid to the travel factor. It's not something I had thought to ask about.

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Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Lauren,
Thank you so much for your valuable time kind words!
I am Glad to hear that overall you had a nice trip in India, I am sorry to hear about your experience regarding the Bollywood tour, but we will take care of this in future. Would like to see you again in India soon.

Thanks
Priya

Third eye tour of india - 14 days, India - Dec 27 - Jan 6, 2019

Traveler: Jason P. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

Thank you very much for arranging my trip to Kerala in India.
Over all the experience was very good and I had an enjoyable time.
My driver was very nice and keen to please, his English was sufficient.
I thought The Brunton Boat Yard was very good as were the staff.
The Flamingo Marari was also very nice, loud speakers broadcasting a religious festival made sleeping a little tricky! The hotel was also not exactly on the beach which was a little disappointing but not disastrous.
The boat house... read more

Thank you very much for arranging my trip to Kerala in India.
Over all the experience was very good and I had an enjoyable time.
My driver was very nice and keen to please, his English was sufficient.
I thought The Brunton Boat Yard was very good as were the staff.
The Flamingo Marari was also very nice, loud speakers broadcasting a religious festival made sleeping a little tricky! The hotel was also not exactly on the beach which was a little disappointing but not disastrous.
The boat house was fine for what it was.
Cardamom County was very good and the entertainment on NYE was also good, they tried hard to make it special.
Rivulet Resort I did not like, I the room was basic and a little run down, I found the restaurant staff awkward and not particularly friendly, there was no atmosphere, the hotel did not have a swimming pool which I expected.
The guide in Thekkady was good as was the guide in Fort Cochin. The guide in Munnar was not that good.
With kind regards
Jason

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Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Jason,
Thank you so much for your wonderful review. I am glad that you had a memorable time during your stay in Kerala, and you are happy with the services provided by our guide and apologies for the inconveniences caused to you at Rivulet Resort- Munnar. We look forward to serve you in future.

Thanks
Priya

India's golden triangle: a local perspective - 5 days, India - Nov 17 - Nov 26, 2018

Traveler: david c. - Local specialist: Angela Manrique

My Mother and I spent around 10 days touring the Rajasthan area of India. We had a fantastic time.
Angela was able to customize our trip to fit the needs.. For instance we wanted to stay at higher end hotels, skip some attractions to see others, and slow down the pace a bit. She was patient with us as we had a lot of back and forth before settling on a final itinerary.
The driver we had was amazing and ensured our safety through out our trip. Our guides were thoughtful and were experts in... read more

My Mother and I spent around 10 days touring the Rajasthan area of India. We had a fantastic time.
Angela was able to customize our trip to fit the needs.. For instance we wanted to stay at higher end hotels, skip some attractions to see others, and slow down the pace a bit. She was patient with us as we had a lot of back and forth before settling on a final itinerary.
The driver we had was amazing and ensured our safety through out our trip. Our guides were thoughtful and were experts in guiding us though Indian history. We never felt pressured or unsafe during our entire time.
I’d highly recommend booking with Angela via KimKim.

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Angela Manrique, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you David for choosing us to visit this amazing country, I am very happy that you and your mother enjoy this experince.

5 days in india, India - Nov 29 - Dec 3, 2018

Traveler: Joel L. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

Very professional, a great itinerary and we had an excellent time.

Priya Dikshit profile photo
Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Joel,
Many Thanks for your feedback and kind words, I am glad that you had a nice time in India and really wish to see you in India again:)

Thanks
Priya

Greg

Best of rajasthan tour - 10 days, India - Nov 8 - Nov 22, 2018

Traveler: Greg M. - Local specialist: Bhupendra Singh

The trip was coordinated by Active India, which is your contact in India. It would have been good to understand this upfront. Bhupendra was an employee, who left AI part way through my planning process, but I wasn't told this upfront. I ended up dealing with three different agents with AI. In addition to that, AI doesn't provide any drivers or any guides outside of Delhi. They contract out for the drivers and hire local agents in each city, who then hire independent guides. Most of that went... read more

The trip was coordinated by Active India, which is your contact in India. It would have been good to understand this upfront. Bhupendra was an employee, who left AI part way through my planning process, but I wasn't told this upfront. I ended up dealing with three different agents with AI. In addition to that, AI doesn't provide any drivers or any guides outside of Delhi. They contract out for the drivers and hire local agents in each city, who then hire independent guides. Most of that went pretty smoothly, although in the final location, the guide questioned whether my trip included the payment into the sites. He was good about it, but that illustrates the challenges with the dissemination of the actual services so far down the chain. Again, it just would have been good to know that upfront, so that I could be prepared for how everything was to unfold. Overall though, the guides were very professional and I really liked our driver Prakash. They all did an excellent job looking after us.

India 2018, India - Oct 4 - Oct 23, 2018

Traveler: Luke J. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

Overall we had a fantastic time and the help Priya provided was great. We changed our minds a few times and Priya was more than happy to accommodate which we appreciate. A few of the hotels were slightly out of date but that was our only gripe. Driver Gopal was amazing, and all guides provided were good fun and very interesting. Thanks again.

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Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Luke,
Thank you very much for your review, we are so glad that you enjoyed your time with us. I will passit on your comments about the Driver and Guides our team.

Thanks
Priya

Southern india, India - Sep 1 - Sep 23, 2018

Traveler: Ralph W. - Local specialist: Jay Kajaria

The whole trip throughout South India was very well organised and executed by the Kim Kim team.
Unfortunately, one incident near the end of the trip ruined my final memories and has caused me to cancel future plans to visit North India.
On the last day in Kerala, the driver (Tency) who had been with me constantly since Chennai stopped the vehicle in a deserted industrial area and demanded, in a most threatening way, that I give him the tip (gratuity) immediately.
This behaviour was so 'out... read more

The whole trip throughout South India was very well organised and executed by the Kim Kim team.
Unfortunately, one incident near the end of the trip ruined my final memories and has caused me to cancel future plans to visit North India.
On the last day in Kerala, the driver (Tency) who had been with me constantly since Chennai stopped the vehicle in a deserted industrial area and demanded, in a most threatening way, that I give him the tip (gratuity) immediately.
This behaviour was so 'out of character', that I was most disturbed and, in fact, frightened for my life.
This incident has caused me to review (cancel) my intended trip to North India with Kim Kim.
Ralph Watkins

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Jay Kajaria, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Mr Ralph Watkins

We thank you for submitting a feedback on Kimkim.

We are glad to know that you had a fantastic trip overall.

We regret the inconvenience caused regarding the alleged tipping incident. We have done a deep probe in the matter. We called the driver in our office and inquired about this. The driver is with us for last 10 years without any guest complaints .Regarding this complaint, driver has agreed that he had stopped the car on the way to hotel for asking about trip... read more

Dear Mr Ralph Watkins

We thank you for submitting a feedback on Kimkim.

We are glad to know that you had a fantastic trip overall.

We regret the inconvenience caused regarding the alleged tipping incident. We have done a deep probe in the matter. We called the driver in our office and inquired about this. The driver is with us for last 10 years without any guest complaints .Regarding this complaint, driver has agreed that he had stopped the car on the way to hotel for asking about trip feedback. It appears that this made the guest to feel scared. He did not ask for tip but only a feedback that the guest is asked for at the end of the trip. Our trip personnel will never pressurise for tips. Also, when my colleague spoke with the guest at the end of the trip, the guest expressed his happiness with the services and said that he shall work with us in the future as well. In fact, my colleague Suhel spoke with guest many times during the trip and always the guest gave a positive feedback.

We sincerely apologise for this circumstances leading to the guest disappointment. We will make sure that the guest is asked for feedback once they reach hotel and not on the way.

Thanking you for your patience and support in this matter.

Trip to india, India - Oct 1 - Oct 13, 2018

Traveler: Bev R. - Local specialist: Angela Manrique

We were in Delhi and Agra for 6 days. We appreciate having good hotels. We appreciate having all the transportation provided, such as transfers from the airport to the hotel. We most appreciate being about to custom design a tour that was exactly what we wanted rather than having to fit into someone else's agenda.
We love the transportation with the women cab drivers. They are excellent! They inspire confidence. I applaud their bravery.
I enjoyed meeting Anna. She was great!

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Angela Manrique, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much for this amazing feedback Bev, this encourage us to keep working on our taylor made tours, it was a pleasure meeting you and your husband, Great pictures!!

Terje

Trip to india, India - Oct 7 - Oct 12, 2018

Traveler: Terje R. - Local specialist: Bhupendra Singh

Very good experience. Bhupendra followed up all my wishes regarding the trip. I'm impressed of the scheduie we ended up with in such a limited travel period. Perfect! He also added the spice course in an indian home - that was one of the highlights of the tour. To experience real life is something I would have wanted for all "exotic" trips, but never would have asked for as part of a tour..

Only one thing that was really bad about this correspondance. I would have preferred to send normal... read more

Very good experience. Bhupendra followed up all my wishes regarding the trip. I'm impressed of the scheduie we ended up with in such a limited travel period. Perfect! He also added the spice course in an indian home - that was one of the highlights of the tour. To experience real life is something I would have wanted for all "exotic" trips, but never would have asked for as part of a tour..

Only one thing that was really bad about this correspondance. I would have preferred to send normal emails. With on site web messages, I had to go to kimkim.com every time and log in. I even had to type my complete email address every time. It does not remember me, and don't allow me to paste a copied email address. Seems as cookies are deleted. At least, make sure that the site remember me.

Stephen

India side trip, India - Sep 26 - Oct 4, 2018

Traveler: Stephen S. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

Priya was very responsive to my questions and guidance. 2 days before we plan to book the trip the floods hit Kerala and we had to significantly change the whole schedule. Priya was very creative and responsive. My wife and I were very pleased with the tour. we were dependent on her recommendations to guide our experience

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Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you so much for your kind words, Stephen. We really appreciate you taking the time out to share your experience with us. We count ourselves lucky for customers like you. We look forward to working with you again in the future.

Chris

India's golden triangle: a local perspective - 5 days, India - Oct 1 - Oct 8, 2018

Traveler: Chris H. - Local specialist: Angela Manrique

Overall the planning and booking of the trip was great. I really appreciated how fast the trip came together since I started planning this trip about a week in advance of the start date.

That said, I wish there had been faster communication. It seemed to take about a day to get a response. I sense that if I had been able to jump on a call at some point we could have locked down the tour much more quickly.

Angela Manrique profile photo
Angela Manrique, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your feedback, we are definitely taking your suggestion into account and for future last minute request, we will definitely make a call to speedup the booking process.

Best,

Angela

Janet

Buddha tour, India - Jul 13 - Jul 25, 2018

Traveler: Janet M. - Local specialist: Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar

Guarav is amazing. He listened to what we wanted and put together a trip that was exactly what we asked for and much more. When any problems arose, he immediately responded and took care of them. He was always available to us. We loved listening to the monks chanting at the Dalai Lama's temple in Dharamshala. We enjoyed the beauty of sunrise over the Ganges in Varanasi. We explored the temples in Bodhgaya and the ruins in Sarnath. It was all the more interesting to hear Guarav speak of his life and the daily lives of the people we saw in this part of India. It was a fascinating adventure.

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Gaurav Bhan Bhatnagar, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hey Janet. It was amazing to meet, and we still miss both the lovely young ladies. Come back soon for some other part of India :)

Kaja

Golden triangle - india , India - Apr 27 - Apr 30, 2018

Traveler: Kaja T. - Local specialist: Bhupendra Singh

We had an amazing trip which was organised with such care and attention to detail, in exceeded our expectations! Our driver, all guides and support during the trip were excellent. Everyone was there to ensure we had a lovely time and the trip was running smoothly from logistical point of view. True 5*, VIP experience I can't recommend enough!

Bhupendra Singh profile photo
Bhupendra Singh, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Kaja,

Thanks for sharing your feedback.
We are happy to have organised your trip.
Looking forward to welcoming you again in India!

India 2018, India - Jun 15 - Jun 24, 2018

Traveler: Barbara F. - Local specialist: Bhupendra Singh

Booking the trip was fine, but once I got there I did not receive the services that I booked. So many important details were left out of the itinerary. I wish I could talk about my guide, but I wasn't given one. I was given a non English speaking driver. I can't talk about memorable experiences because I didn't get to enjoy any villages to meet local people and had no one to translate for me. The local tour company couldn't believe I wasn't given a local guide. This was the WORST TOUR... read more

Booking the trip was fine, but once I got there I did not receive the services that I booked. So many important details were left out of the itinerary. I wish I could talk about my guide, but I wasn't given one. I was given a non English speaking driver. I can't talk about memorable experiences because I didn't get to enjoy any villages to meet local people and had no one to translate for me. The local tour company couldn't believe I wasn't given a local guide. This was the WORST TOUR I have ever taken. It would have been way better and less expensive to book my own driver. I even paid my entrance fees which were suppose to be included. I would like to see a breakdown of how the $1900 is dollars was spent. In my opinion, I did not receive the services that I paid for. This should be an embarrassment to your company @

Bhupendra Singh profile photo
Bhupendra Singh, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Barbara,

We value your feedback and it was a pleasure meeting you last night in Delhi.
I am extremely sorry that you did appreciate the trip. The guide was included as it could not have fit in your budget. During our conversation before finalising the trip, you had mentioned that you love travelling alone and you have been doing since last many years. Therefore, I did not include the guide. As far as cost is concerned, I assure you that price quoted was apt. If you just visit the... read more

Dear Barbara,

We value your feedback and it was a pleasure meeting you last night in Delhi.
I am extremely sorry that you did appreciate the trip. The guide was included as it could not have fit in your budget. During our conversation before finalising the trip, you had mentioned that you love travelling alone and you have been doing since last many years. Therefore, I did not include the guide. As far as cost is concerned, I assure you that price quoted was apt. If you just visit the website of hotel/camp, you would see, 60% of your budget is covered by booking accommodation.
Thereafter, you had a comfortable Car - Creta along with Chauffeur. Generally, in Ladakh, everyone provides Sumo which does not have enough comfort.
Despite the fact that you did not have the guide, our representative in Leh (04days)had met you every day and even we sent our representative in Pangong Tso Lake to take you around. Even we followed up telephonically at the various occasion to enquire if you needed anything else. I can assure you that no local company would have done what we generally do.
Our motive has always been to make all our guest happy and make their trip to India as a memorable experience. We will work on your precious feedback and will ensure that in future, no such incident occurs.
I am sure that you would give me another chance to make your travel arrangement in the northeast part of India.

Experience sights and culture, India - Apr 4 - Apr 25, 2018

Traveler: julie w. - Local specialist: Bhupendra Singh

Bhupendra organised a wonderful and very memorable trip. I would recommend Kimkim to anyone organising a trip. India is a thriving, colourful, interesting place to visit. The people are friendly and helpful. There were 4 of us travelling and we had our own drivers for the whole trip. They were local to the area we travelled in and had a good knowledge of the towns we went to. They were able to make recommendations about what each town was best known for, that is jewellery, textiles etc. They... read more

Bhupendra organised a wonderful and very memorable trip. I would recommend Kimkim to anyone organising a trip. India is a thriving, colourful, interesting place to visit. The people are friendly and helpful. There were 4 of us travelling and we had our own drivers for the whole trip. They were local to the area we travelled in and had a good knowledge of the towns we went to. They were able to make recommendations about what each town was best known for, that is jewellery, textiles etc. They also made sure we had bottled water every day. They were great. Our guides were local to each town we visited so had a very good knowledge of the history, the culture, local markets and bazaars and could recommend restaurants if we wanted to go to one. Would recommend going to Kerala. We stayed at the Fragrant Nature Hotel in Munnar, stunning views, great service, very well appointed rooms. We went to the spice and tea plantations in Munnar and had a wonderful hot oil massage there. Would also recommend the Houseboats in Allepey and the walk around the Jewish quarter. Would also recommend the Kathakali traditional Indian dance.
In Jaipur we went to the Harsoli Haveli Heritage Hotel run by a local family and did a cooking class. Thoroughly enjoyed. Would also recommend the hot air balloon ride, Fort Amer, The Solar Observatory. Other places we visited and would recommend are Pushkar, Jodhpur, Udiapur- The Taj Lake Palace: not cheap but worth staying there, Ranthambhore- went to the National park to see tigers, leopards and other wildlife, Agra-Taj Mahal and Varanasi- the spiritual place of Hinduism. All worth visiting. Enjoyed the trip so much talking about going back to visit other areas of India.

Bhupendra Singh profile photo
Bhupendra Singh, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Julie,

Thank you very much for sharing the feedback and it was a great moment meeting you in Delhi and exchanging the views about the trip.

Hope to see you again in India!

Ivan

India , India - Mar 31 - Apr 18, 2018

Traveler: Ivan T. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

Everything was excellent, from the drivers to the guides to the welcoming reps at every place. Especially wanted to thank Mr. Sahil Singh in Amnitsar for his excellent services as a guide. He was patient and knowledgeable of the places and culture of his city. Made every effort to make us feel welcomed and comfortable. Every guide and driver was good, but Mr. Sahil went the extra mile. As a whole this was an excellent trip to an amazing destination. Every place was very special, and it is... read more

Everything was excellent, from the drivers to the guides to the welcoming reps at every place. Especially wanted to thank Mr. Sahil Singh in Amnitsar for his excellent services as a guide. He was patient and knowledgeable of the places and culture of his city. Made every effort to make us feel welcomed and comfortable. Every guide and driver was good, but Mr. Sahil went the extra mile. As a whole this was an excellent trip to an amazing destination. Every place was very special, and it is very difficult to select the most memorable. If I had to mention a few, I would select The Golden Temple, Udaipur, Agra Fort, Jaipur, and obviously the Taj.

Priya Dikshit profile photo
Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Ivan,
Thank you so much for your feedback and your kind words.
It was a pleasure to design this programme for you and your friends. I am glad to know that you had a very good time in India and thank you for sharing this with us.

I wish you for your other amazing journeys around the world, I would be happy to see you in India again:)

Priya

Major landmarks, safari, and mysore wedding visit, India - Feb 12 - Feb 23, 2018

Traveler: Ronnie B. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

I was quite exacting in my trip planning and Bhupendra was with me all the way in the planning process. I asked for something specific and he made it happen and was checking in with me along the way. The places I went and the places I stayed were as expected, and I always had at least one person responsible for my well being at all times. I can't ask for much more than that.

That being said, know what you're getting into with a trip to India. Guides tend to have a bit of a routine with the... read more

I was quite exacting in my trip planning and Bhupendra was with me all the way in the planning process. I asked for something specific and he made it happen and was checking in with me along the way. The places I went and the places I stayed were as expected, and I always had at least one person responsible for my well being at all times. I can't ask for much more than that.

That being said, know what you're getting into with a trip to India. Guides tend to have a bit of a routine with the tourists. Including showing you the designated landmark of the day, but also taking you to the shops and restaurants where they have an "arrangement" with the owners. Or riding in their friend's rickshaw. These are not bad places, but it's difficult to get anything you might call authentic when you are doing this. Unfortunately I got the impression that I was either going to be in the standard segregated tourist experience or that I was going to be really far off the beaten trail, perhaps to the point of feeling uncomfortable or unsafe. With no possibility for anything in the middle. The tipping culture is also very unsubtle and in your face. This is just the reality of tourism there right now.

I had the most relaxing time outside the big cities. On safari looking for tigers was so pleasant in February. As was looking for birds in Bharatpur; that was one of my favorites and both my guide and driver went walking with me.

As an aside for kimkim, I was given no indication whatsoever as to when my payments for my trip were due. Accepting payment is about 50% of its purpose so I'd expect better. I also was conversing with someone different from my assigned "local specialist" 100% of the time. So perhaps make the assignment for a company instead of a person.

Overall this was an intense, exciting, overwhelming, exhausting experience. I got what I wanted and I suggest you be sure what you want before planning your trip.

Priya Dikshit profile photo
Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Ronnie,
Thank you so much for putting your trip experience in words, I am glad that you are happy with our services, we have kept all your suggestions and really looking forward to see you in India once again.
Regards
Priya/Bhupendra

Short trip in south india, India - Jan 8 - Feb 23, 2018

Traveler: Laure L. - Local specialist: Angela Manrique

Our trip to India was amazing! Everyone was very happy about everything, from accommodation, to transportation, guides, and activities.
Prashant was a really good guide in Goa and easy to get along with. Especially when everyone loves nature, as we hiked for a bit. The 2 others guides in goa were great as well (I unfortunately can’t remember their exact names.. :/ )
In Kerala, our driver Dileep was really great. He drove (frankly!) but carefully. And brought us to any places we wanted to... read more

Our trip to India was amazing! Everyone was very happy about everything, from accommodation, to transportation, guides, and activities.
Prashant was a really good guide in Goa and easy to get along with. Especially when everyone loves nature, as we hiked for a bit. The 2 others guides in goa were great as well (I unfortunately can’t remember their exact names.. :/ )
In Kerala, our driver Dileep was really great. He drove (frankly!) but carefully. And brought us to any places we wanted to go to, from temples sightseeing to shopping and eating in local places. He was very flexible with schedule and always was trying to please us. Thumbs up!
There was just a little confusion and misunderstanding in some part of the itinerary for the Kerala houseboat. But it all turned out well at the end.

Overall, it was a great trip and it seems impossible to choose a favorite place.

Thanks!

Tiger safari, India - Nov 5 - Nov 9, 2017

Traveler: Marsha M. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

All of our guides were amazing! Our Delhi guide was excellent! He spent a great deal of time waiting with us for late trains and delayed flights! The person who overlooked our stay in Ranthambore was very continentious and checked on us daily! Our safari guide was great too!
The hotel was not the greatest! The staff, except in reception were awesome and so friendly! Hotel needs some updating! Wi go only in lobby, no hairdryers or irons! Did see a tiger 🐅 due to great guide. They all spoke good English!
Thank you! We would use Kim Kim again!!

Priya Dikshit profile photo
Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Christina,
thanks so much for your review! I'm glad to read that you had lovely time in India.
Hope to have you in India back soon...there are a lot other regions you could explore! Would love if you can post some pictures of your trip.

Priya

South india, India - Oct 18 - Oct 22, 2017

Traveler: Mary Kay S. - Local specialist: Priya Dikshit

We loved Elephant Pass yoga retreat! The yoga, people, food were incredible. Wonderful adventure. Samon was excellent tour guide in Kerala/Cochin. He was always on time, spoke English well and took us to a beautiful shop. We met many kind people on the houseboat. Everything was perfect, making for a great first impression of India. Thank you.

Priya Dikshit profile photo
Priya Dikshit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you very much for your feedback.
I was sure that you would love this experience. Moreover, we had ensured that you have an experienced guide.
Hoping to see you again!