Monday, March 28, 2011


For the 2011 season we received completed questionnaires from 80% of our customers.  To the question - How would you score your overall level of satisfaction with us as your tour operator?  91% gave us a score of 5 (excellent) and 9% gave us a score of 4 (good).  To the question – Would you recommend us to other people?  Everyone who returned the questionnaire said YES. 

We had an absolutely brilliant holiday. Thank you so much for all of the arrangements. Everything was as good as we could have hoped for and Mr Kumar and our driver Anil were very helpful and supportive - could not have been more so. We loved South India and Kerala in particular. So thank you all once again. It was really good. I cannot give you a high enough recommendation. It was all excellent. Alan Bloss December 2011

All agents and guides were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Our first driver (Shibu) was marvellous. Please note - the whole holiday was wonderful, far surpassing our expectations. Arrangements were slick, efficient and effective. All we had to do was sit back and enjoy. Thank you so much. Mr and Mrs Morris December 2011

Hi Gary, Back in the cold of the UK and Kerela seems a long way off now. I just thought that I should say a big thankyou for organising our magical holiday. It couldn't have been any better. The agenda and the organisation were wonderful. Our Driver Mahon was incredible and probably made the holiday as everything ran so smoothly. He was always there,on time and smiling and full of help and suggestions. We will definitely recommend you and your company. Many Thanks. Ann Henrit December 2011

Just a very quick email to thank you and everyone concerned with making our holiday in Kerala(+) such a wonderful and memorable experience. I will contact you further but Christmas, Birthdays and New Year in France leaves me with limited time until end of January to communicate fully (all positive) before then. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Many thanks. Tony & Carol Anderson November 2011

Will definitely use K.C. again. Everything ran like clockwork. You just sit back and enjoy the experience. Very good help in putting the trip together initially. Looking forward to my next trip to India. Jill Hallett November 2011.

Hi Diana, Just back from Kerala having had the most wonderful time. I will post on the feedback form but wanted to thank you straight away. Regards, Kathy Morris and Bill November 2011

We got back on Sunday after a really amazing time in Kerala - thanks for your efforts and full marks to the guys on the ground, everything went as planned. Ian Childs - November 2011 (Ian booked through Responsible Travel)

Very good service from start to end of holiday. Our driver JR was excellent - English excellent, very knowledgable and friendly but not intrusive. A small mistake on the houseboat drop off - very quickly resolved to our total satisfaction. We loved the holiday, which was all that we had expected. The organisation of the whole experience was very easy for us - no problems at all. Level of accommodation was first class. Thank you very much. Jane Hollingdale November 2011

We have received the travel documents, but have as yet not had the time to read through them. All looks great at first glance and I’m sure that everything is in order as your company has provided us with nothing but fantastically efficient service so far. Kind Regards, Sabina (travelling in December)

I would certainly recommend Kerala Connections. From the start Gary and Diana were very personable and used their knowledge of Kerala to suggest suitable places and hotels in line with our requirements. It was exactly the approach we were looking for and our honeymoon definitely felt tailored. Furthermore, the guys on the ground (local rep, drivers etc) were also brilliant to us, good humoured and knowledgeable. Mr Kumar was extremely helpful and courteous to us. He met us at Malabar House where we stayed first to explain the holiday and travelling in between hotels/places. We felt confident that he would have been able to solve any issues, if we had any! We really enjoyed ourselves! Rudaridh Brown-Hovelt honeymoon October 2011

Dear Gary,
I just wanted to thank you for organising our recent holiday in Kerala. My daughter and I really enjoyed our experience. It was all due to your help. The hotels were great and the staff all so helpful. I loved the no tipping until the end. It saved so much embarrassment. The houseboat was good fun and the food excellent. Kerala is fascinating and the drivers were on time, polite and very informative. Many thanks. Dinah and Niki Roberton travelled in September 2011

An amazing holiday. Places fantastic, everything ran like clockwork. Kayaking great and our driver wonderful. Julia Kirkland travelled in August 2011 with her husband and three sons. She booked through and a more detailed report can be found on that site.

A very enjoyable holiday, really good accommodation and food. The range of activities was excellent and suitable for all members of the family. Would definitely recommend Kerala Connections, as it was recommended to us. Janet Dean travelled in August 2011.

We had a wonderful holiday. Everything worked well and we were happy with the trip. We absolutely loved Dewalokam - the hospitality, place, food, Jose and Sinta and the kids and would like to have spent more time there. Will be contacting you again to book for next summer - maybe North Kerala and Tamil Nadu (but definitely ending at Dewalokam). Will also be recommending to friends. Deborah Stoate travelled in August 2011.

Thanks for the in depth information on India, it has been very interesting reading and very useful. Catherine Jadav travelling in September 2011.

Excellent holiday, many thanks for all your help. We had a great time and Kerala is charming. 10 out of 10. Sarah & Charles Puxley, April 2011

Excellent responses to booking queries - very well organised, everything happened as and when it was supposed to. Information provided was very helpful!! We had a wonderful holiday - thank you for all your work! Jane Sanders, April 2011

Diana, just to report we had an absolutely fantastic time in Kerala. All the bookings you made for us were great and we received very good service from Mr Kumar and our drivers. We certainly plan to return and may consider a trip to Tamil Nadu too. One thing we found especially useful were your very comprehensive notes, particularly in regard to tipping guidance. We would be very happy to recommend you to any future clients. Very many thanks for devising such a great trip. Patsy Ainger, April 2011

Very impressed with Kerala Connections and very grateful for their assistance throughout. Chris Wright, journalist travelling on assignment in March 2011.

The organisation of the holiday was flawless and made for a most enjoyable holiday which we will long remember. Thanks to you all for your help and advice. Mr and Mrs Simpson, February 2011

Taj by Vivanta, Kumarakom – Excellent room, good facilities and food, lovely views across lake. Houseboat – You made a good call recommending the boat with AC in bedroom and dining room, as it proved to be a sanctuary in the evening. Royal Mist, near Munnar. I can only re-iterate the positive reviews accumulated on Trip Advisor. We have travelled extensively and we’ve never come across such a genuinely friendly family, very humble and doing absolutely everything they can to listen to their guests and improve wherever they can. All in all, we had a wonderful holiday, full of the colour & contradictions India has to offer, but without seeing the worst of its social problems, a kind of India-Lite, which for our first visit was just fine. We wish you and Kerala Connections every success & can confirm we were more than happy with your co-ordination of our trip. Mike Ness travelled in February 2011

We had a wonderful time, everything went very smoothly. Our driver Shibu was excellent and we would recommend you to others. Alison Pote & Paul Coad, February 2011

We had a truly wonderful honeymoon - your help and expertise were second to none and we cannot fault our experience. Our needs and budget were always taken into account, and we greatly appreciated our time away - we felt 'away from everything' but always knew there was someone on the phone if needed. Thank you for a memorable and exciting time away. Lisa and Neil Landricombe, January 2011

Impressions? Terrific holiday! Would we go again? Without doubt. Would we recommend KC? Certainly. Andrew Weir, January 2011.

A big thanks to you and all at your company for organising such a memorable trip. I can honestly say it was the best holiday experience we have ever had. Stephen Hawkins, November 2010.

This was a fantastic experience where we had the opportunity to get well off the beaten track and meet the local people. Food was great and very plentiful with wonderful choice. Great to be able to go into the kitchens and see it at first hand. The places we stayed in where stunning (in the main). Driver was great - with good sense of humour. Brilliant - Thank You. Kate Hawkins, November 2010.

We have had a wonderful holiday organised by Kerala Connections. The organisation beforehand and coordination whilst we were in India was exceptional. All accommodation was as described. We will highly recommend Kerala Connections to anybody planning to go on holiday to this wonderful part of the world. Many, many thanks for everything. The Crisp Family, April 2011.

Overall the entire holiday was EXCELLENT & we continue to recommend your company. Many thanks, we LOVE Kerala! Tissa's Inn is our favourite hotel. Mr & Mrs Woolmer, February 2011.

Thanks so much for all you did to make our holiday such a success. I’ve mentioned how great you were to all sorts of people, so I’m hoping it will pay off for you! Everything worked perfectly – the arrangements were impeccable. Thank you so much. Jill Field travelled in March 2011

You have done a great job from first to last, and we are delighted with your service and excellent suggestions to tailor-make our holiday. Matthew Seal & Julie Bruton-Seal, March 2011

This holiday was a wonderful experience. Everyday brough new and amazing experiences. This was all enhanced by our outstanding driver. He had a vast knowledge of the history, geography and the flora and fauna of all the areas we visited, in addition to his ultra safe driving skills. We were also very impressed with the various guides assigned to us during our visit. It is hard to select a favourite experience, though staying by Vembanad Lake in Punnamada Resort, was "breathtaking". We hope one day to return to Southern India, we will have no hesitation in using the services of Kerala Connections. Gary and Eileen Thomas travelled in March 2011

We had a wonderful time in India and would like to thank you for planning such a great trip for us. There were so many highlights that I don't even know where to begin! Surprisingly, it was a very relaxing holiday as we were so well looked after and there were no hassles whatsoever. Our drivers and guides were polite, professional and very accommodating and there was a good variety of hotels. There was a lot of variety in what we did and saw and we still had time to just relax. Alina & Richard Strandberg [Canada], February 2011.

We had a great time, and could not fault your company on giving us a lovely holiday. Thank you. Stephen & Sandra Dawson, February 2011.

We all had a wonderful holiday and returned to the UK thinking that we had been away for weeks. Everybody was so kind and friendly. There are too many names to thank individually. Mr Francis at Tissa's Inn was wonderful. Mr & Mrs Apps, February 2011

We had a stunning holiday and it was very well organised. Manu our driver was brilliant and he ‘made’ our holiday. We enjoyed the bullock cart ride and were thrilled to see six wild elephants in Munnar. The accommodation surpassed my expectations. I had visited the south of India before with a group, however, this holiday ‘topped’ it in almost every way. It will be long remembered. Jenny Tatton, March 2011

I have not completed your questionnaire but I would echo everything that my travelling companion, Jenny Tatton, said on hers. I would also reiterate what an excellent driver and guide Manu proved to be, he really made our holiday. Nothing was too much trouble for him. The whole holiday worked like clockwork, and I have recommended Kerala Connections to all my friends. I think we shall be back some day, even if to a different area. With very many thanks. Kate Bailey , March 2011

Just back from a most fantastic “Kerala Experience”. Mr & Mrs Anderson, February 2011

The tour was wonderful, thank you so much for arranging such a magnificent itinerary and accommodation. Our local guides were excellent, especially Wilson, our driver, who took us to local places of interest not included in our itinerary. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he was very knowledgeable. We have already recommended you to our friends and look forward to travelling with you again, Once again 'Thank You'. Derek & Veronica Close, January 2011

It was a truly wonderful holiday. All arrangements were excellent and ran as smooth as silk. We would STRONGLY recommend Kerala Connections to anyone wishing to visit this beautiful country. Thank you. Mrs Culligan, March 2011

It was a thrilling holiday. All the hotels although very different, were excellent. Dr & Mrs Merill, January 2011

Dune resort was bliss. Dakshina Chitra is great and should possibly be on everyone's itinerary. Linda Boyd, February 2011

Thank you very much for all the arrangements on our behalves. We had a very enjoyable time. Mr Kumar [Companion Holidays] was very attentive and provided an excellent service. Mr Martin Weston, February 2011

Dear Gary - Thank you so much for organising a lovely trip. Everything organised very well indeed. Lovely trip [on the houseboat], wonderful thing to do. Denise Gabriel, February 2011

Gary, thanks so much to you and Diana for all your work in helping us put this once-in-a-lifetime trip together...well done! We can't possibly provide, on this form, a detailed accounting of how thoroughly pleased we have been with the professional service and kind treatment we have received from everyone of the staff we have had the pleasure of associating with, both in setting up our travel plans and in the direct tour services. We could not have been more pleased with the level of care to detail that has been exercised throughout our 7 weeks in S. India. Your agency deserves much Kudos for the partnerships you have developed with Companion Holidays and all of the hotels and homestays. We can't conclude without a special note about our amazing driver, Bennett Joy! This professional, skilled, kind and funny man made the difference for all of us between a straight forward touring/sightseeing holiday and the culturally interactive, joyous, safe experiential journey it has been. He took care of our every need, often before we knew we needed it. He took a deep interest in all of our interests, never disappointed our expectations, and absolutely went out of his way to ensure our tour was top notch. He did all this while driving long distances and sleeping in his "Hotel Chevrolet", without ever being a tiny bit grumpy or losing his infectious smile and sense of humour...a true professional in every sense who obviously enjoys his work and his relationship with your agency. Lucky indeed are your clients who have "RAGARAGA” (as we called him) as their driver as he is much more than a driver!! The Waters Party [Canada], February 2011

I would recommend Kerala Connections to anyone wanting a holiday in Kerala and we would definitely use you again if we go back. Thank you for a fabulous holiday. Pippa Landsberger, February 2011

We had a fantastic time – thanks so much for arranging such a great holiday. We loved Shamrock most of all the places we stayed. The staff were really great and willing to help in a spider emergency. It took 3 men and a 9 foot length of drainpipe to solve the problem! The food was outstanding – the best we tasted the whole trip. Victoria and Frances Wilson, February 2011

Everything went like clockwork according to the itinerary. I would score this company at 110% for attention to detail and helpfulness on our 1st visit to Kerala. John and Judith Alderson February 2011 Thank you Gary for arranging such an excellent week for us. Great week. Highlights: houseboat & bullock cart ride which was not uncomfortable and we loved. Martin and Ann Coales, February 2011

Dear Gary we have just returned from what the four of us agree was the best holiday we have ever had. Truly outstanding. Kerala is breathtakingly beautiful and the food was amazing. We sort of expected both of these. However, we were unprepared for how friendly the people were and the truly superb places we stayed in. It far exceeded our expectations. It’s really impossible to exaggerate how delighted we were. Every single place we stayed in was truly superb. I think we each had our favourite place (mine was Phillipkutty’s farm, Bea and I think Heather's was Aanavilasam and Jasmin's A Beach Symphony) but all agreed that there wasn’t one we couldn’t have spent longer at and all get a 5* from all of us! We had two wonderful birthdays out there with three cakes between us; all given by hotels etc and presented with what seemed like genuine kindness and pleasure. I spent my 50th with the wonderful Nimmy and Paul and will write to them to thank them again. The arrangements worked faultlessly and our drivers were really lovely, knowledgeable and couldn’t do enough to help. I realise I’m gushing and will make sure appreciation is shown on tripadvisor but I also wanted to thank you for your help in putting together a brilliant tour. We will certainly go again and I want to go next to Tamil Nadu to see some of the temples. Perhaps next year, but if not then definitely the year after. All the best and much appreciation. Simon Lovestone travelled with his wife Heather and daughters Jasmin and Bea in February 2011

The local agent was very helpful to ensure that our programme was explained to us - other than that we did not see him or have further contact with him - which is the sign I suppose of a good holiday! The drivers were both very informative, aware of our needs and added greatly to the enjoyment of the trip. A very enjoyable holiday / experience. Each venue is unique and offered different experiences in terms of accommodation, food and things to see and do. A great holiday with many experiences to reflect upon. It is an area we would like to come back to in the future and would certainly be looking to your good selves to arrange the trip. Mr and Mrs Howe, February 2011

A wonderful trip! Your general information was "spot on" and prepared us well. Lovely people and good hotels. The best part was the houseboat on the backwaters. Thank you! Mr and Mrs O'Brien, January 2011

All the drivers and transfers were spot on. We didn't have a minute's anxiety. Mr Kumar was extremely helpful and knowledgeable and our driver was terrific. At Coconut Lagoon there was nothing to fault and the food, especially the dinner buffet, was superb. The houseboat was wonderful and the staff charming. Paula Drummond and Sally March, February 2011

A holiday of a lifetime, enhanced by our wonderful driver. Excellent accommodation throughout and an imaginative range of areas to visit. Lovely and friendly people in beautiful countryside. Thank you for organising a fantastic holiday! Keith Darlington, February 2011

Thanks so much for taking this trouble for us. I have been very impressed with your service, and have already recommended you to some friends! Jill Field travelling in March 2011

We greatly enjoyed our holiday. We were very happy with the itinerary you had put together for us - it was spot on, just what we wanted. The hosts at the homestays were really hospitable, welcoming and attentive and we learnt a lot about life in India through our conversations with them. Also excellent vegetarian food. Suzy and Richard Challis, January 2011

We had a brilliant holiday, everything worked well and we thought that you had got the balance of the trip exactly right. Mr & Mrs Holliday, January/February 2011

Dear Diana, Unfortunately I have mislaid your questionnaire, so will just write to you instead. The holiday, with your planning and that of Mr Kumar, was wonderful. I cannot thank you both enough - you really were a wonderful find. I have incidentally given your name to two more people in my locality and also one I met in India, who lives in Germany. I really hope something comes of all the people I tell about you and your company. The Radisson resort (Mahabalipuram) was wonderful, although I still prefer Marari Beach. I really am sold on that resort and hope to return there next year. Marian Rudd, January 2011

Dear Diana - Just wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful trip to India – many thanks for your excellent organisation on our behalf. I will complete the questionnaire, but can’t promise when, as new grandchild due very soon so life very busy with family! I have just recommended you to another friend who is hoping to visit India soon. All good wishes and thanks again, Jenifer Davies, January 2011

We had an absolutely wonderful holiday. Almost the best holiday we have ever had. We thought Kerala was beautiful and we have been to many other places but found the people delightful – just wonderful. We felt welcomed and just seemed to fit in. Stephanie and Rick Green, January 2011

A Brilliant Trip - Thank you. We were well looked after at all times. Particular thanks to our driver Kannan - he was fantastic. He didn't let us miss any opportunity and had the enjoyment of our trip as his first thought at all times - and all with a smile. D & J Minchin Travelled January 2011

The agent was excellent. Coconut Lagoon was very special. A great holiday! Thanks to all at Kerala Connections!! Mr and Mrs McGregor, January 2011

Overall the holiday was well balanced - adventure and relaxation combined to make the holiday superb. We were both very satisfied with our holiday. Any comment we could make would be nothing more than petty. Our compliments to all involved - thank you. Secret Garden (Cochin), Arakkal Homestay, Emerald Isle and Raheem Residency (all in the backwater area) are all 'highly recommended'. The staff of Companion Holidays and Kalypso Adventures were extremely friendly and helpful. Graham & Denise Rigate, January 2011

We have just returned from a wonderful 12 day holiday and wish to tell you that it was a great success. You can be sure that we would come back to you again if we were to return to India. As a regular contributor to Trip Advisor, I shall certainly mention Kerala Connections. Mr & Mrs Marsh, January 2011

We had the most fantastic holiday and would like to thank you and your team for the excellent organisation of the tour. Everything worked like clockwork. Marari Beach was absolutely wonderful in terms of setting and accommodation. We really enjoyed the houseboat. Tissa's Inn was an absolute joy! It is a delightful small hotel and Francis (the GM) was exceptional. Overall we had a thoroughly wonderful time and would definitely like to return. Doreen Richards and Mandy Craig, January 2011

Trevor - thought you might like to know, in case other travellers ask, that we found the on-line visa application for VFS very straight forward and the tracking system they have in place is good. I sent an e-mail to ask how long ours would be and had an answer very quickly. Very clear instructions too. Mary O'Donnell travelling to Kerala in January 2011

Thank you so much for helping us with this holiday. This is the third holiday we have taken with you - and you make it so easy. Maggie Dobson travelling in February 2011

Diana - This is just to confirm that we received the documentation yesterday. Everything looks to be in excellent order and I am returning the booking form, as requested. Thank you very much for arranging everything for us so quickly and efficiently. Vivienne Collett travelling in January 2011

We have received your documents and I must say that it is all extremely well presented, I am most impressed. Helen Simmonds travelling to Tamil Nadu and Kerala in January 2011

Many thanks for the most comprehensive information we have ever had from a travel company. It has made us even more keen to go back to India for our sixth visit. The details of the hotels and homestays are very useful, and we particularly liked the walking tour map of Fort Cochin which we will certainly do. Mr & Mrs Marsh Travelling to Karnataka & Kerala – January 2011

Thank you for letting me know that our payment has been received and once again thank you for all your help. Kerala Connections are a true professional company and it has been a pleasure doing business with you and we hope to put more business your way. Kind regards Claire Brunlea Travel, Burnley

I obtained a quote from another company – but I am booking with you as you were far more helpful and your price was better too. Alison Bennett Travelling to Kerala in January 2011 Excellent documents - the best we've ever had from a travel company. Sometimes you wonder if they have actually been there; other times you are sent a booklet that covers the whole world! It is so comforting to book with someone who clearly knows the area we want to visit. Caroline Egglestone travelling to Kerala in February 2011


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for a wonderful holiday. It was just the right mix of adventure and luxury and we thoroughly enjoyed all the places we stayed at. All the drivers we had were fabulous and everything worked like clockwork in terms of pick up times etc. What we also liked was how well all your drivers spoke of you and how highly your company is regarded by everyone we stayed with and by your drivers! From the Old Harbor Hotel, to Nelpura, Aanavilasam and Purity, every part of our trip was absolutely delightful. We have recommended you to everyone we know who is traveling to India, and we will certainly choose to travel with you again. Fay Leong and Jeff Malone, traveling to Kerala with Carol and Simon in December 2011

Carol Jordan said...

Kerala Connections makes travel in Southern India an unforgettable experience. You can tell the quality of this organization by the way the drivers and on site people in India speak so highly of the company they work for in the UK. There is a reason why most have been with Kerala Connections for many years. The drivers are amazing – Jess who was with us for three days was a star. The quality and comfort of the vehicles is high. Everything ran like clockwork, on schedule and on time. Gary is the most efficient and organized travel operator. He made being a New Zealander living in Shanghai and booking through a UK travel company a breeze. It was a winning combination of personalized service and Internet convenience. We have already recommended Kerala connections to friends and would have no hesitation using them again.

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