Mumbai > Goa, plus hill station + activities - Jan 11 - Jan 26, 2019
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.