Southern 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 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.