Watch our video to see why our specialists love Rajasthan...
Watch our video to see the highlights of India...
We have a selection of guidebooks to some of our most popular countries in Asia. Written by our specialists, they detail destination information, a wildlife guide, some suggested itineraries and plenty more to inspire your holiday. Fill in the form below and if you live in UK, your guidebook will arrive by post within the next couple of days. For those who live abroad, we will send this via a PDF to your email.
The Golden Triangle is a great starting point for anyone visiting India for the first time. The journey is made up of three of the most visited cities in north India – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, offering a fantastic combination of history and culture.
Only after stepping foot in India will you realise that Indian cuisine, as you know it, just doesn’t exist. To paint both the delicate and punchy flavours of India with the same broad brushstroke overlooks the smorgasbord of dishes on offer from north to south. Tried and tested recipes balance coriander, cumin and cardamom with almost scientific precision, guaranteeing a culinary experience you will never forget.
Enjoy a sneak peek into daily life in India by staying at a haveli or in a homestay. If only for a few nights, you will be shoehorned into a family, enjoying traditional Indian hospitality, sampling home cooked food and exploring the path less travelled. Staying at one of these unique lodgings will give you an incredible insight into real India, and you will be welcomed with open arms by hosts whose wealth of local knowledge knows no bounds. Coming in all shapes and sizes, from plantation bungalows to historic houses, majestic forts and charming cottages, a short stay in one of these unique properties allows you to immerse yourself in India rather than simply visit it.
India is a magical country which welcomes travellers with a chaotic and colourful assault on the senses. Never is this more prominent than during one of the many festivals. Below we have listed the dates for the major festivals in India in 2017. Speak to one of our specialists about incorporating one of these into a tailor-made itinerary.
With millions of passengers on the move every day, travelling on some 71,000 miles of track, India's intricate network of railways are the arteries of the country, connecting its bustling cities with its sleepy villages and everywhere in between. The sprawling rail network reaches the nooks and crannies of India which are otherwise impossible to find. Amongst the country's miles of train tracks are some of the most picturesque rail journeys in the world, most notable of which are its famed toy trains. Whilst perhaps not the most efficient way of getting from A to B, the experience is an absolute must to add to your India itinerary.
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Best for: Culture History, Honeymoon, Family
Hidden away among the lanes of old Jaipur, Samode Haveli is a characterful former merchant-nobleman’s house, and now a well located heritage hotel offering an escape from the busy streets and a taste of Indian aristocratic life at the height of the Raj.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Built across many levels, the former royal apartments of Samode Haveli are now 30 deluxe rooms and suites which have private courtyards and balconies looking out upon a charming pool and gardens. Each room has its own character and is finished with beautiful antique fixtures and fittings, with sparkling white marble offset by tasteful colour schemes, rich mosaics and painted arches. Old family portraits and artefacts take you back more than 150 years and offer a small taste of the original owner’s sumptuous aristocratic lifestyle. Contemporary amenities are not forgotten, however, and include a well-stocked mini-bar, coffee and tea makers and satellite TV, while lavish en-suite bathrooms offer a range of organic toiletries.
There are a number of courtyards that lead to stunning gardens containing a swimming pool surrounded by large day beds. You can relax around the pool, unwind in the Jacuzzi or pamper yourself with traditional Ayurvedic treatments in the hotel’s luxury spa. The former dining hall that serves as a restaurant is bedecked with colourful hand-painted murals, and offers a choice of Rajasthani or international cuisine, or you can enjoy a more intimate meal by the pool. The Verandah Lounge is a perfect spot to sit back and enjoy afternoon tea and cocktails.
In the evenings entertainment is put on, which ranges from puppet shows and Rajasthani music to traditional dance performances. Samode Haveli is an excellent base from which to explore the streets of Jaipur. The hotel is very peaceful, and it is hard to believe that such a haven of tranquillity can exist in this ceaselessly busy walled city with its gorgeous palaces, temples and gardens.
When to go
December to March is the perfect time to visit Rajasthan and the North when rainfall is minimal and temperatures are pleasant during the day. It can get cold at night, so make sure to pack a few extra layers when visiting at this time. Summer starts mid-March and can get very hot getting into May and June. The monsoon period follows directly after from July to September, where humidity is high and the region receives the majority of its rainfall, although still very minimal amounts. The months of October and November after the monsoon season are also a great time to visit the region as it experiences warm and dry weather during the day with cooler temperatures at night.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Things to do
Jaipur Musical Demonstration
An instrumental and vocal performance at an Indian music learning centre.
Block Printing workshop
A late afternoon trip to Sanganer, the global centre of block printing, to take part in a workshop. You will make your own print which you can take home as a souvenir.
Cycling Tour of Jaipur Countryside and Picnic Lunch
A cycling tour of the countryside of Jaipur with the opportunity to meet and feed an elephant before heading off for a safari.
Evening Cooking Class
A wonderful experience to learn how to cook typical Rajasthani cuisine in a friendly local home. Your visit can also include a trip to the local market to purchase ingredients.
See a Bollywood movie at the iconic Rajmandir Cinema
Catch a Bollywood film at the Rajmandir Cinema in Jaipur – one of India’s oldest, most luxurious and iconic movie theatres; it is a true symbol of popular culture in the city.
Visit a Blue Pottery Workshop
Jaipur is famous worldwide for its beautiful blue pottery. This afternoon trip takes you to a blue pottery centre to learn about its history and how it is made.
Sunset Kite Flying with Local Professional
This is a truly unique experience to spend some time with a local kite flying expert, learning about the history and traditions of the sport and how to do it successfully.
Jaipur City Tour
Explore Jaipur, visiting the historic City Palace, the Jantar Mantar and the Hawa Mahal. The tour ends with a visit to the bazaars of the old city – a taste of vibrant and authentic Rajasthan.
Explore Amber Fort
Explore Jaipur’s spectacular Amber Fort, visiting the Palace of Mirrors and The Hall of Public Audience. Discover its cobbled streets, gateways and enormous ramparts and transport yourself to 16th century Jaipur.
Walk the Bazaars of Old Jaipur
Getting lost in any Indian Bazaar is one of our favourite things, and Jaipur's Old Town has a fantastic ones! A region famous for jewellery, gift lovers should head straight for the bangle and ring makers where expert craftsmen will be at work.
Miniature Painting workshop
A tour that takes you to visit a miniature painting artists and learn some of the techniques they use.
Meena Tribal Walk
Enjoy a guided walk to visit the settlement of the Meena Tribe and ascend the Aravalli hills on a historic path, enjoying breathtaking views of the Amber fort and surrounding landscape.
Street Food tour of Jaipiur
A tour of Jaipur’s street food hotspots. Your guide will lead you to various stalls and tell you about the history of each dish and how it is prepared.
Fatehpur Sikri, Agra
Visit the magnificent deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri and discover the history of the Mughal Empire.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Delhi, Agra, Jaipur
This week-long Golden Triangle itinerary is a great introduction to India’s glittering royal history and culture, including the iconic Taj Mahal, the magnificent forts and palaces of Jaipur and India’s bustling capital city of Delhi.
Delhi, Agra, Ramathra, Ranthambore National Park, Jaipur
This itinerary offers all the iconic experiences of India’s classic Golden Triangle route coupled with game drives in Ranthambore National Park, one the best places to spot the majestic Bengal tiger in its natural habitat.