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Guest Blog: India, tailor made

Optical illusions at the Taj Mahal

Robert and Lynda are incredibly faithful clients for whom we have arranged many holidays over 30 years. They provide the ideas, we suggest the itineraries. It works.

Their most recent idea was India, at which point we hand over to Robert…

"Having travelled in South Africa on Rovos Rail in March, we had the bug to try another luxury train. We thought about the Maharaja Express (because it included a Taj Mahal visit), and asked Abbotts for guidance.

Sophie was magnificent, contacting Nikhil at Western & Oriental, and producing an amazing amount of valuable advice.

Between them, they devised a tailor-made itinerary starting with 3 nights in a suite at The Imperial, New Delhi. From there we moved on to the Maharaja Express in a junior suite. The train was truly magnificent with only 18 passengers and 50 staff. We were well and truly spoiled.

The Brunton Boatyard, Cochin, India

From the train, we moved onto Cochin, Kerala and The Brunton Boatyard (pictured above). Its a colonial style building looking as if it had been around for centuries, but in fact it's not even 20 years old. There were two suites in the hotel, and Nikhil advised to take the one farthest away from the local ferry. He was right.

Room 29 was exactly as described - never have we experienced such a wonderful suite. Spacious is not good enough to describe it: large hallway, kitchen, separate toilet and bathroom, huge bedroom and a lounge larger and more comfortable than home.

The guides at the hotel – and all those throughout the trip – were so good, so knowledgeable, and interesting. We have never experienced such high quality, and our compliments go out to all of them.

On our last day, I unfortunately became ill and was rushed to hospital. Unbelievably, a concierge from The Brunton Boatyard accompanied me, staying all night so he could translate if needed. Our guide, Adham, was with us too.

Eventually I got a diagnosis – gallstones – and was advised to get home.

Sophie at Abbotts quickly rearranged flights with assistance and we got home after a very comfortable journey with Emirates.

Lynda, who was apprehensive about a trip to India, was in tears when we left. We had such a wonderful, well-organised trip and if anyone wants to visit India please use Abbotts Travel. You will not be disappointed.

Robert and Lynda

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