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.
Darjeeling, Himalaya and the North, India
Best for: Culture History
The Windamere Hotel is a Raj-era heritage hotel located on Darjeeling’s Observatory Hill. It is a wonderfully atmospheric retreat from which to enjoy the fresh Himalayan climate and scenery.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
The Windamere Hotel, built in the 1930s, is a heritage hotel situated on Observatory Hill, in Darjeeling, India. Once a boarding house for British tea planters, the well-tended grounds are spacious with lots of pleasant seating areas. Well known to sophisticated travellers the world over, this quaint, rambling relic is famous for its unique ambience and charm. Split across two wings, the Windamere and the Snuggery, the comfortable rooms, fireplaces and hot-water bottles offer just the right measures of comfort and fustiness, and you’ll feel rather like you are staying at a rich aunt’s house. For those wanting to get away from it all, the Snuggery features a villa and cottage set away from the main hotel.
The food served at the Windamere Hotel features continental and Indian cuisine. The continental cuisine is a throwback to the old Raj with classics such as a classic roast beef Sunday lunch and jam roly-poly pudding. The restaurant also serves fine wines and Darjeeling’s famous tea.
The Windamere Hotel is a fantastic location from which to enjoy Darjeeling’s natural beauty. A dawn visit to Tiger Hill to see the first rays of the sun striking Mount Kanchenjunga will live a long time in the memory. Trekking and visits to the city’s historical monuments are also fantastic opportunities. Guests can also relax at the hotel or enjoy treatments at the Itati spa -a spa using Itati healing concept which regulates the flow of energy within the human body, relaxing physical and mental stress.
When to go
The region is best visited in the winter months of November to February when there is minimal humidity, temperatures are mild and the weather is drier. Primarily during December and January, the city of Calcutta experiences early morning mists making for spectacular views. Starting in March summers get very hot and humid continuing to June, making this a less comfortable time to visit. Towards the end of the summer it tends to be quite wet due to the oncoming monsoon. Between the month of July and October, the monsoon rains bring the majority of the annual rainfall in the region and August is perhaps the wettest month of all with flooding common during this time.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Things to do
Evening prayers in Dali Gompa
A tour around the Dali Monastery, one of the biggest in Darjeeling. You will explore the library and take part in evening prayers in the beautiful prayer room.
Darjeeling walking tour
An extensive walking tour of Darjeeling, where you will see a huge number of things, from the Mahakal Dara to Royal Bengal tigers! You will enjoy breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea in local areas.
Toy Train Ride
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, affectionately called the ‘Toy Train’, is a wonderful experience that gets you closer to the Himalayas.
Darjeeling Guided Tour
Enjoy watching the sunrise on Observatory Hill followed by a guided walking tour of Darjeeling, visiting the zoological park, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, the Tibetan refugee centre and then Bhutia Busty Monastery.
Tiger Hill hike
A hike to Tiger Hill offers stunning views of the colossal Mount Kanchenjunga, as well as many other snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas.
Kumartuli’s Potter Community
A visit to the Kumartuli potter community is a fascinating tour where you can witness the incredible skill with which clay model of gods and animals are created and painted.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Calcutta, Kalimpong, Gangtok, Darjeeling
Discover the delights of India’s most beguiling far-flung region, from India’s vibrant cultural hub of Calcutta to the striking Himalayan scenery that surrounds the hill stations and Buddhist monasteries that dot India’s northeast.