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Our driver and guide (Anton and Anton) were great and we highly recommend them for future tours.
The only things I would note that may be improved on:
1. Train tickets were not booked in advance by odyssey. We had some difficulties in obtaining train tickets for the Kandy-Nuwara Eliya leg and our guides were not transparent with us (told us was due to train delay rather than lack of availability of seats)
2. Cinnamon lodge in Sigiriya was not on par with the other 5 star hotels, for example the bathroom was quite mouldy and the bed was two different sized single beds pushed together.
3. Issue with checkout from Cinnamon hotel – they informed the company had not paid for our 2 night stay at the last minute. This caused a moderate delay in travel on our last day.
Overall we had a fantastic time in Sri Lanka.
The wheelchair and the wheelchair driver for Helmut was very helpful, so Helmut could go with us everywhere. It was not always easy to go with the wheelchair.
We were only 11 Guests in the train. The last evening in the train we had a special dinner and got a Saree as a present. Always when I see the dress at home I think on the fantastic trip. All the private tour guides, were very friendly and helpful.
Mumbai and Delhi was also fantastic. The dance performance was wonderful. The normal life in India is so different. The culture, the life in the city and countryside. The Indian people are open and always with a smile on her face. It is amazing.
Once again i want to say thank you to Queenie from the company Odyssey Tours. She did a great job. In a short time I got an answer of my questins. Queenie is very flexible when I want to change anything else. I am so satisfied with her and her company. I hope I can meet her on my next tour through China with my girlfriend. Sylvia from Austria.
match the dates we were available. A web search turned up Odyssey tours, which offered customized, personal tours.
I was concerned about the cost, but was pleasantly surprised that the price was competitive with the group tours being offered. As a U.S. resident, I was initially concerned with working with a Chinese company for a tour to India, but was quickly put at ease by my Odyssey rep., Lynn Liu, who was able to answer all my questions. Also, she promptly responded to any changes I wanted made to my itinerary. She also recommended changes based on my requests鈥攕uch as providing a larger car, pointing out India's visas requirements, and arranging for our driver to be available on our (additional and on our own) final day.
Odyssey continued to contact us throughout the trip to make sure all our needs were being met. When we mentioned that we were not happy that WIFI was not included at our Delhi hotel, Odyssey arranged for free WIFI to be available when we returned to the same hotel for the final two days of our trip. What an outstanding experience! Odyssey's reps. were there every step of the way鈥攆rom meeting us at the airport at 3 a.m. (Mr. Rathore), getting us to all our hotels on the trip, arranging check-in (Mr. xxx in Delhi, Mr. Hitesh in Agra and Mr. Pratap in Jaipur), introducing us to our local guides in each city, and, finally, ensuring that our departure at the airport went smoothly (Mr. Jitendra).
Our tours in each city were very interesting and informative and were enhanced by having our own personal guide (Mr. Sood in Delhi, Mr. Sharma in Agra, and Mr. Shekhawat in Jaipur) as opposed to one guide for a group of 20+ people. The flexability of a personalized tour allowed us to adjust starting times of our tours, or change our itinerary鈥攕uch as stopping when we needed a break or wanted to do some shopping. (This would not have been possible with a group tour.) This made our experience much more memorable. They even recommended restaurants where we could get dinner!
I also want to commend our driver, Mr. Devinder Singh, whose service was above and beyond throughout our trip. From ensuring that there was cold water and snacks always waiting for us whenever we got in the
car to providing insight into life in India during our long car rides between cities. Mr. Singh also showed us around Delhi on our final day, with several interesting stops including a visit to a Sikh temple and Ghandi Srmiti.
Overall, I want to say 鈥渢hank you鈥?to Odyssey tours for a job well done and for giving us a most memorable vacation. We are planning several more trips throughout Asia over the next few years, and I plan to make Odyssey my first stop when I begin planning for those trips.
Can't thank Queenie, Odyssey rep, enough for "holding our hands" through numerous pre trip changes and making the trip a reality.
An Odyssey Tour rep met us in every location from Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udapair, (and yes, Maldives) and finally, Mumbai. Felt safe and cared for. and much thanks to our Odyssey driver, Girgarg "Giddy" for the best 8 days of professional driving. Dodging "sacred cows' can be quite daunting.
Odyssey helped us select the Oberoi hotel in five cities; this is not a 5 star hotel, but a 7!! Personalized, culinary delight and spectacular accommodations; never experienced anything like it. Thank you Odyssey!
Chicago, May 2018
I would like to pay tribute to a few of the star players. Firstly, our travel consultant, Catherine Wang, was so thorough and completely competent from the very beginning of the booking which began over nine months ago. Nothing was ever too much trouble for Catherine and she always replied to my numerous questions and amendments very speedily (so much so that I wondered when she would ever have had a day off work or got any sleep as she seemed to be able to answer me at any hour of the day). Her attention to detail was faultless and because of this, everything went according to plan each day. All local India Odyssey staff on the ground were also very attentive and were always checking to make sure we were OK. On one occasion, I was not well and Catherine and her team were once again very concerned and would have gone out of their way to assist if I had have required any help (which thankfully wasn鈥檛 required). Our last night was on a houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala. We had not mentioned it to anyone but it happened to be my wife鈥檚 birthday. The restaurant staff of the hotel in which we were staying the previous night (Spice Village, Periyar) presented her with a beautifully made birthday cake and sang 鈥淗appy Birthday鈥?to her at breakfast. Unfortunately, at this time of the morning we couldn鈥檛 really do it justice but it was a very thoughtful gesture. When we checked out of the hotel, our driver (Giri) was standing at the car with a huge bunch of roses and on check in to the houseboat, there was another surprize with a gift of wine. All of these were very much appreciated.
Two other star players on our journey were our drivers, Rawat and Giri. Rawat looked after us for about 5/6 days when we visited Delhi, Agra and Jaipur and Giri for a similar amount of time while we visited Cochin, Munnar, Periyar and Alleppey. Both these gentlemen were exceptional in the way they looked after us. They were always very polite and courteous, provided interesting and educated conversation during sometimes long road trips, their driving skills were excellent (always felt very safe while they were driving), their vehicles were kept immaculately clean and they made sure we always had plenty of snacks and refreshments in the back of the car. They are both a credit to their respective employers and we hold very fond memories of them both. All of our guides were similarly very good also, particularly Sunni (Sankalp) in Agra.
Thank you, Catherine and the entire India Odyssey team for a memorable Indian adventure.
Few months back, we were scouring the internet for travel agencies, trying to figure out and pick the perfect itinerary that would line up with our budget. Fortunately, we came across India Odyssey Tours I must mention it was the only company that was the most responsive.
Queenie Yang was our travel consultant and she made our booking process seamless. Although we went through several itineraries, made several amendments before reaching the final one, she has been really patient with our concerns and accommodating to our preference. Regardless of whether she was away from work or it was a holiday, we always heard back from her within a day.
We had no difficulty finding the representatives at the airport, they were all on time. Unfortunately, for some reason, most of our domestic flights were delayed, but we received a warm welcome from the representatives and the drivers at each destination and we're thankful for their patience.
Richard, our driver in Goa was excellent. He was reliable, friendly and really kind. We'd one half-day trip; for the rest of that day we were gonna be on our own, but Richard gave us some helpful suggestions about the activities we could do and we decided to go for a boat tour – despite that this wasn't part of our itinerary, he went above his normal working schedule and gave us a complimentary ride to the beach.
All of the guides were great, but our guide from Agra was particularly amazing, he was really nice and he also gave us ample time to take pictures at the Taj Mahal.
Overall, it was an amazing experience. We really appreciated Queenie as well as the local manager following up with us to ensure that we were well-taken care of.
If you're looking for a personalized tour with a reasonable price, we highly recommend my Odyssey tours and our travel consultant, Queenie Yang. We will definitely choose them to plan and book our next trip.
As travellers that normally book, organise and manage our own itineraries this is the first time we have used a tour company. But we were both a little daunted at the challenges all that might entail for a trip to India in the heat of April. My wife was particularly concerned about our personal safety arrangements given the horror stories we are fed in our home country. What also appealed to us was having our own tailored itinerary and a driver that stayed with us throughout the whole trip. We did not want to be bundled up in a large group.
From the very first contact we had with Odyssey tours, we found them to be highly responsive to all our questions and requests. We changed our plans numerous times before settling on our final itinerary and each time we were treated with the up most courtesy and efficiency. Our emails were all answered promptly.
Our hotels were of good quality, the car comfortable and Mr Thakur the driver made us feel safe and at ease from the moment we were picked up from the airport to the moment we were dropped off to head home.
We were well looked after, each day the car was stocked with fruit and snacks for us to enjoy and there was never a shortage of cold bottled water to drink. The guides that joined us each day and Mr Thakur gave advice on how to navigate the hawkers at the tourist spots and when we were required to tip and what tips were appropriate. We were offered the chance to shop and visit craft shops, which we often declined, and we never felt pressured to have to go.
All of the guides in each of the cities we visited were courteous, respectful and extremely knowledgeable about the history of the places we explored. The guides looked out for our comfort and safety, managing entry ticket purchase to all the sites we visited and often personalising the experience by offering to take photos. The guides were very personable and couldn鈥檛 have been more helpful.
In short, we were very impressed with Odyssey tours and thank them for a wonderful experience. We would definitely use them again.
Joan Qin was very helpful and responded quickly with suggestions for our itinerary
The drivers and guides were fantastic, hotels booked were good standard and the restaurants for lunch also great
This year we are going to India, and when I saw odyssey also operated in India I didn't hesitate to contact them,
It was really nice to have Joan assisting us again. Booking these type of holidays cost a lot of time, researching areas, booking hotels and flights etc. Odyssey does all the hard work for you, and makes sure you get the trip you want
It really will be one I remember for my whole life. I was a single traveller, so lots of my friends and family were concerned that I would travel on my own, but Odyssey provided excellent service, and I always felt looked after and safe.
There was only one small issue around transfer times for one flight, these were totally resolved after I raised awareness to my local rep – they stepped in and provided an extra half day of touring- the issue was resolved very quickly. As a result, I feel that I was taken very good care of- which increases my satisfaction with the service provided.
I was very well taken care of. The tour ran smoothly, the guides were very knowledgable and clear. The drivers were all excellent and very safe.
I had one particular driver for most of the week, his name was Mr. Raspal Singh. He drove me in Delhi, to Agra, to Ranthambore and Jaipur- he was excellent, a very safe driver, very attentive, I had his number should I need any help day or night, he was always friendly and ready with my bottled water. His care and attention to detail really stood out, I can only commend the company on the standard of care provided through Raspal.
I would like to thank you again for what was a fantastic adventure. Since returning, I have been more than happy to recommend Odyssey to everyone! I look forward to using the company again soon, I feel I need to explore more of southern India!!!
A special thank you to my tour organiser – who was always on hand, phoned to check I was content during the week, and followed up quickly on any question or concern – Mavis – thank you for such a wonderful experience and your excellent customer service.
The bottom line is that we are very happy to recommend Odyssey for your travels and in particular Catherine Wang as your consultant.
The tent was very roomy and sleeping bags and blankets and even hot water bottles were provided. while the synthetic sleeping bags were good at lower altitudes, at 4200m, I was wearing all of my clothes as well, so if you have your own down sleeping bag I would take that.
After the trek we visited temples, and through our guides people skills, were granted access to places that non of the other tourists were getting to see. Also managed to get us a front row position as the king walked past at the Paro festival, and took us backstage to see the costumes. We also had a front row position to watch the festival.
All in all, one of the best trips I have been on, and would highly recommend Odyssey.
All the arrangements, such as being met at the airport and the guides turning up on time went according to plan. The drivers were superb, though a couple of them didn't speak a word of English apart from understanding we wanted the air-con up or down, but that was fine.
The hotels were clean with hot running water and reasonable showers. Only one hotel was a big disappointment – not the hotel itself but the street on which it was situated. However when we came home we sent Mavis photos of the street and Odyssey Tours are no longer using this hotel.
The trip involved a great deal of sitting in a car but then India is a big place and as I said the drivers were superb.
We wanted to see India warts and all and do the trip as cheaply as possible, at the same time not having to worry about how to get places and find our hotels. Odyssey Tours fulfilled this side of things perfectly and if this is the sort of trip you want then I would certainly recommend them.
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