Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012


Hi Gary.  Just wanted to let you know we had the most amazing time in Kerala. Thank you so much for all your help in organising everything. It ran like clock work.  I have already recommended the itinerary to two more people. Hope you get some well-deserved bookings from my word of mouth.
Sue Ainger and family.  Booked through Responsible Travel and their review can be found at http://www.responsibletravel.com/review/reviewlist.asp?id=5800

Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know what a fabulous holiday we had....thank you.  Everything went so very smoothly, and we had some extraordinary and memorable experiences. Visa application. What a nightmare. Your notes on how to tackle the web application were invaluable.  Rainforest. Fabulous! Everything about the very boutiquey hotel and the treehouse was spot on (and it has the loveliest infinity pool over looking the falls).  Manayath Heritage. Delightful. A wonderful warm welcome from Thomas and his family. And an absolutely extraordinary view over the plains of Tamil Nada. Wonderful home made, and often home sourced, food. Houseboat on the Backwaters. Wow! That's what we said when we saw the barge we were going to travel aboard, and what we said for the entire time aboard, and are still saying! Just wow! A truly superior barge, beautiful, and very traditional (though we know only 3 years old!). Great crew.  Scrumptious food, in particular our traditional meal eaten from a banana leaf with our fingers, all the fresh fish and the crayfish/lobster/giant prawn?!? Staggeringly beautiful scenery and possibly the most relaxing couple of days we have ever had on holiday. An exquisite experience.  Marari Beach Resort, a perfect, relaxing, polished resort, providing everything we required, and more. Our driver - Krishnan! He was so perfect. Always there when we needed him, always invisible when we didn't. Listened to what we wanted and delivered. Not pushy in any way, and didn't take us anywhere we didn't want to go. 
Gary we can't thank you enough for arranging the holiday of a lifetime. A terrific tourist's soft introduction to India.Thank you. 
The Jenkins Family.  Booked through Responsible Travel and their review can be found at http://www.responsibletravel.com/review/reviewlist.asp?id=3199 

Diana, you are a consummate professional - you make it look so easy!  We would like to go ahead with the tour you describe.
Helen Simmonds - booking her third holiday with Kerala Connections

A superb experience. Sights, sounds, smells, people....a little overwhelming occasionally; but the backwater cruise in particularly was a wonderful getaway.  Kerala Connections organised everything wonderfully, and we can't recommend them more highly. 
Anne Jenkins   Booked through Responsible Travel and the full review can be found on that site.

We had a wonderful holiday.  Kerala is a great place to visit.  We were so impressed with the warmth and friendliness of all the people we met and really enjoyed the food.  Kerala Connections provide an excellent service and the trip had been planned and booked very carefully with attention to detail. Your visa advice notes were invaluable!  We will not hesitate to recommend you to anyone interested in this sort of holiday.  Brilliant - thank you.
Claire Barber

A stress free experience from the moment I had a timely response to my email enquiry to final booking. Gary was very patient as we discussed the pro and cons of many different accommodations and tweaks to the itinerary. The level of attention to detail was superb both in the UK and in India. This meant that we could enjoy a totally worry free first and definitely not last visit to India.  
Tracy Roofe 

Our holiday was wonderful - possibly the best holiday we have ever had.  It was certainly the best organised holiday we have ever experienced.
Simon Day

Many thanks for all your help - both Stuart and myself totally assured of your professionalism.  It is a very long time since we booked a holiday through a tour operator (we normally arrange it all ourselves) - so you should be honoured.  Selecting Kerala Connections for this special holiday was a gut instinct - and I am very happy we chose you - you have been amazingly helpful.   
Pat Davies

Thank you for the efficient organisation of our holiday in Kerala. We had a wonderful time and everything went very smoothly.  We had a memorable holiday, just wished it could have been longer. We would have no hesitation in using your company again and recommending you to friends.  
Ros Scott

Dear Trevor, This is just to thank you and Kerala Connections for a truly wonderful holiday. It got the balance just right between an introduction to South India and nostalgia, and exactly met our particular requirements. We will be recommending Kerala Connections most warmly to anyone who is interested. Most importantly what we really want to do is to commend Mr Kumar, and even more our driver, Krishnan. Mr Kumar was on top of everything, and put himself out to be helpful. Krishnan is a quite exceptional person, and outstanding in every respect one that could want for a driver and more. 
John Clibborn 

Hi Gary - a big thanks to you and Kumar for a superbly organised and wonderfully relaxing homestay trip to Kerala.  The service was excellent from the moment we first contacted you.  Superbly organised, wonderfully relaxing tour of Kerala, enjoying the great hospitality of the local people.  Anil, our driver was always punctual, had a great sense of humour and contributed enormously to our enjoyment. Dewalokam was a wonderful introduction to Kerala and lovely hospitality.  The family at Pepper County gave us a lovely welcome and couldn't do enough for us but still wanted to know how they could improve!!!  Emerald Isle offered great heritage accommodation, excellent al fresco dining and more great hospitality. The houseboat was the highlight of a trip full of highlights. All the other places we visited were also excellent. We are so glad that we used mainly homestays - they were all of excellent quality and we feel that we really got to know the hosts by living as part of their family.  We have absolutely no complaints apart from maybe just one... what a pity you don't arrange holidays in places outside India.  We'd certainly use you again.   
Dave and Jenny Hilditch  Booked through Responsible Travel and their review can be found at http://www.responsibletravel.com/review/reviewlist.asp?id=5812

Dear Gary,  This is just to say that we have now returned from our trip to India and I wanted to thank you for a fantastic service. Not only were you extremely prompt and helpful in making the bookings and the hotels that you arranged for us very well matched what we had been hoping for, but the service that we were given in India was first class. Both Mr Kumar and Mr Daniel were assiduous in checking that our programme worked liked clockwork and our two drivers could not have been more efficient, careful drivers and unobtrusive company and were punctilious about timings and double checking every last detail of arrangements.  So a very big thank you to everyone involved. I sincerely hope we will be able to use Kerala Connections services again. Rereading that, it sounds like I was put up to it, but I mean every word! 
Thanks so much,  Phillida Purvis

Thank you for a wonderful trip.  Everything went so smoothly and we loved it all.  Your hotel choices were perfect, and we definitely benefited from your expertise and knowledge of the area.  Thank you for recommending we stay at Coconut Lagoon - and for 3 nights.  Wow!  We are pleased we spent 3 nights on the houseboat - 1.5 days of watching the backwater life was still not enough.  We loved it and the boat was really comfortable.  Thank you - it was the hassle free, comfortable, beautiful, memorable trip we were after - fab honeymoon destination - so relaxing.   
Sarah Beard 

We have been most impressed with the organisation and coordination of Kerala Connections - probably the best tour operator we have experienced.  With staying in homestays we have learnt a great deal about India and its culture - far mor than our previous India visits when we have been in hotels.  We should like to single out two people for a special mention - Sanil our driver - outstanding in every way.  Matthew the cook on the houseboat who prepared food to die for.  Dewalokam set the standard - it was a little piece of heaven.  The hostess a Mannaas Veedu was also most attentive.
Anne Allen and Herbert Jones

This was the most relaxing holiday we have ever had.  Location people, food, attention to detail - all excellent.  Thank you.
Brian Summers - booked through Responsible Travel - see feedback on that site - http://www.responsibletravel.com/review/reviewlist.asp?id=5812

A really fantastic holiday.  Helpful and professional service provided from start to end.  It's difficult to pick out any single highlight so please thank all involved in making it such a memorable holiday.  All services provided by the local agent were top rate.  Mr Kumar was very helpful and efficient and all the drivers were excellent.  Mr Daniel has every right to be proud of his company.  We intend to return to India and will defiantly be using your company.  
Mary Sherwood

Dear Gary, I just wanted to email you to say how much Graham and I enjoyed our holiday in Kerala.  We really did have a wonderful time. Everyone we met from Companion Holidays were professional, polite, punctual and good company!  The food at all our homestays/hotels etc was delicious. We met some wonderful people, saw real diversity of country and managed to see some wild animals!  It really was one of the best holidays I have ever had. Thank you so much for putting our slightly 'intensive' plans for our itinerary into action and choosing some super places for us to stay.  After what was a very stressful few days prior to us being issued with our visas (thankfully!) the holiday was the perfect way to relax. Just great.  
Marie Ryan and Graham Potts

Perhaps the most magical moment was waking up in the houseboat on the Kerala backwaters to see, way across a paddy field, an elephant trudging along the road amid the usual chaotic cacophony of cars, lorries, tuk-tuks, bikes, motorbikes and unaccountably still living pedestrians.  The holiday was marvelous - we will return.   
Melinda Letts.  Melinda booked through Responsible Travel for her full review go to their site.   http://www.responsibletravel.com/review/reviewlist.asp?id=3263 

Gary - just wanted to express my thanks for all your help which led me to have a wonderful holiday!  Secret Garden was just wonderful - just the right location for me - close but not too close to everything going on.  All the drivers/guides in Cochin were very attentive too.  Dewalokam was equally wonderful and Jost and family were superb hosts.  I was glad that I opted for the twin centre and have given both establishments good reviews on Trip Advisor.  Thanks again and will definitely recommend your company to friends/colleagues.   
Linda Black

Dear Trevor, We had a brilliant holiday, with lots of wonderful (and mad) things happening.  Your partner Companion Holidays provided excellent and professional support and service throughout. Mr Jyothi Kumar kept in touch with us by phone and through our Driver. Sanil Kumar was superb throughout, very witty, providing us with much information and advice. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he often transported us to activities outside of the programme. He also respected our private/personal time, although we knew we could always call on him if needed.
Indeco Hotel, Mahabalipuram. We chose this place from the internet - for us it was ideal.  
Tanjore Hi: this hotel had only been open for a few weeks. Although the whole place did have ‘the only just completed feeling’ it was really comfortable. The bedroom and bathroom were excellent and the modern air conditioning extremely quiet. All the staff were friendly and tried very hard to make us feel welcome. The rooftop restaurant was lovely with good quality food. 
Chettinadu Mansion:  The Mansion was superb, and the walk or bullock cart ride to the swimming pool a very unusual attraction.  
Kadambavanam, Madurai: This was our second visit here, having been their first guests 2 years ago. It was good to see how much progress the Ganapathy and Chitra’s project had been made. The Modern Restaurant, bar and banqueting area has wonderful foods and the Hotel side of the business is now physically separated from the cultural side. The place retains it’s rather quirky Hindu nature and on the final evening there was a cultural evening in the auditorium with dancing and traditional very amusing entertainment. 
Elephant Valley: This was a place very much to our taste.  Beautiful location, nice fresh cooler air after the humidity of Madurai. We really felt at one with nature, with wonderful sounds and smells. The wonderful, organically grown food provided excellent set or buffet meals in the lovely open aired restraint. Comfortable and unusual rooms and cottages spread all over this large site, many quite a walk from the centre of things. 
Dewalokam: Another 2nd visit and as we have described on trip adviser this is a Heavenly Paradise. It was lovely to see Jose, Sinta, Tara and Paul and all of their staff again, we received such a warm welcome. So peaceful and restful, the river rafting and the walk amongst the fruit bats are just a few of the highlights.  
Houseboat: Glad we decided to go for 2 nights this time. The crew looked after us so well with once again excellent food. 
Nelpura: Disembarking the houseboat and then 20 minutes by canoe to the delightful Nelpura residence provided a perfect last few days before flying home.  
We hope the above comments are useful. We certainly had great variety in the places we stayed, all very much to our taste so thank your for listening and meeting our needs. We will be back!!
Alison and David Bettle

We had a great holiday and experience and are glad we chose to come to Kerala.  Our driver Shibu was reliable and friendly and drove safely.  Overall it was a great experience and we would definitely recommend Kerala as a place to visit.   
Maresa Pitt and Richard Haynes

Dear Gary, Thanks to you we had a perfect holiday in Kerala. I will endorse the compliment my brother Dr Rameet Singh paid to your organisation and your represantatives in Kerala. The arrangements worked perfectly and therefore obviously without a hitch. The accommodation at all the various venues was perfect. Both Pirkko (Aanavisalam) and Olga (Marari Villas) were a delight to meet. Also it was worth investing more for a premium class boat in the back waters. We hope to go back one day and enjoy this part of India. In the meantime any body who shows an interest in Kerala will not go remiss to seek your help.  
Dr Manmeet Singh

We had a wonderful time and this was a great introduction to India for us. Sue and Richard Armitage

We had an absolutely wonderful holiday in Kerala. From the moment we arrived at the airport and saw our name displayed at the front of a queue of a million (!) greeters we were able to relax and felt we were in safe hands.  We cannot quite believe how smoothly each transition to and from each destination was. Only once did we have to wait ( a whole 10 minutes!) for a car to arrive to take us from the houseboat on to Arakal Heritage but even then we were fully informed.  The efficiency and diligence of the whole experience from our first enquiry through to the end of our holiday was outstanding. Many thanks to Kerala Connections and Companion Holidays for making our holiday so enjoyable. Highlights for us, if we had to choose, were Royal Mist in Munnar, everything was fantastic from such a warm welcome, an incredibly clean room to delicious food, I wish we had stayed longer.  The Lakes and Lagoons houseboat was amazing, all the crew were wonderful and the food was incredible. How the chef produced such delights in that tiny kitchen was astounding.  We have now discovered what a magical place Kerala is and should we ever have the opportunity to return we wouldn't hesitate in using Kerala Connections again and will certainly recommend you to anybody willing to listen.  Should you need any additional feedback I'd be happy to type for hours!
Alison Golden

We have just enjoyed a holiday in Kerala organised by yourselves and it was excellent in every respect, so I have been recommending you to all my interested friends.  The services by the local agent - Mr Kumar and the driver - was excellent.  I hope we may travel to India again with your company.   
Judith and Stephen Bavister

Holiday superb. Everything ran like clockwork. I'm sure we'll be back at some point.
 John and Jan Williams

The variety of locations and accommodations made for a very interesting geographical/botanical/gastronomical/social holiday/experience. It exceeded our expectations in all aspects.  
Mr D H Thompson

Trevor, returned last night from our second fabulous holiday with you.  Two very exciting and active weeks in Tamil Nadu and the final week in restful Kerala.  Everything went according to plan and again your partner in India was superb.  Sanil our driver throughout, a great character giving wonderful support, help and information, getting us safely through the often horrendous Indian traffic.   
Alison and David Bettle.

This was the most enjoyable holiday we have ever had. The CGH Earth hotels are exceptional in every way and their staff took endless trouble to ensure a really good stay. This was our first visit to India. We will always remember the genuine kindliness of all the Indians we met.  
Mr and Mrs Melville

I would like to say a big thank you to Kerala Connections because we feel that your tour was organised superbly. Everyone that we encountered was helpful, informative and friendly.  The accommodation was excellent throughout, as was the food.  As you know we stayed at an eclectic mix of properties and I would certainly recommend all of them to anyone.  Please pass our thanks to everyone.  We are already thinking about returning to India.  
David Mellin

The holiday was fantastic, everything worked out better than we anticipated.  Kerala Connections really listened to everything that we wanted and put together a great package for us. Seeing real Theyyam in a north Kerala village with no other westerners for miles and arriving in the Wayanad hills on the one day in the year that the coffee plants flower and to be enveloped by their amazing scent was perhaps the most memorable parts of our holiday. Harivihar (Calicut) is perfect, owner and staff so helpful and friendly, could have stayed there for two weeks!  Pranavam also perfect - Remi the owner/cook is one of the nicest people I have ever met.  The Muddy Boots guides (particularly Ram) were excellent. Chera Rocks Beach House was also perfect - could have stayed there longer. We loved being in such an untouristy part of Kerala.  Gary Tree's attention to detail is great and gave us a superb holiday.  Thank you again - our holiday was better than expected.    
Rosemary Richardson - booked through Responsible Travel and full review may be found on that site.

I think the scores* reflect what we feel about this trip.  The support given by the team in India was 'seamless'. The additional trips, performances, treks etc perfectly suited our needs and more than satisfied our expectations. We would like to thank Gary and the team in the UK at Kerala Connections.  We will seriously consider returning to Kerala as soon as possible.
Brian and Angela Stewart  
* We ask customers to give scores out of 5 for various aspect of their holiday - these customers gave the top score of 5 to almost every question for each of their seven accommodation options.

Gary - thank you for organising a fantastic itinerary.  We had a wonderful holiday in Kerala.  A friendly and helpful welcome from Mr Kumar on arrival.  We had total confidence at all times in Anil (our driver) who was delightful.  As you can see from our scoring we hugely enjoyed our holiday from start to finish - and couldn't recommend Kerala Connections more highly to our friends.
Patrick Chapman

I have an excellent holiday in Kerala.  As always Brunton Boatyard is a most delightful place to stay and Haritha Farm was great fun. Thanks again for all your help.
Carol Groves

We had a fantastic time at Barefoot, Havelock. One of the most beautiful places we have ever visited. Thank you for recommending it.  I'll be in touch again,  Probably in a couple of years!  
Tracy Ketcher

Thanks for the great time we had in Kerala.  I could not have done this trip without my daughter Lucy, who looked after me throughout.  It was also clear that my wife was justified in not coming with me - she would have found the heat, the traffic and such things as the rafting at Periyar totally out of the question.  But Lucy and I just had the time of our lives.  We have racked our brains to find matters of complaint but without success.  The organisation by Kerala Connections was first-class, and the experience was simply the holiday of a lifetime.  Many thanks for a faultless operation.   
Bernard Marder.

I wanted to say however, that our trip was very good indeed, and certainly exceeded all of our expectations. This of course did not happen of its own accord and is testament to the effort you and your colleagues have put in. Everything worked perfectly, and the accommodation was just right too, albeit that every place was different.  We achieved what we set out for with regard to my family history. That mainly happened on the second day. The rest of the time we were looking for ‘icing on the cake’, but never really achieved it – but never mind, we were still having a great time.  I am certainly now very happy that we chose the right company for our trip, and indeed have made the comment to others we met on tour that Kerala Connections under sell themselves, if anything. Normally I am left feeling a certain amount of disappointment with holidays, but I am pleased to say that you bucked this view.  So, many thanks for doing all this for us. I am more than willing to provide feedback to any of your future customers if you wish.   
David Taylor  David travelled with his father on a mission to trace his great grandmother.  They were worried about going and then not finding anything and we, of course, could not give them any guarantees.  So we are delighted that they had many questions answered and even found the grave.  

Everything we wanted and more.  Everyone was really helpful and nothing was too much trouble.  Mr Kumar was very efficient, helpful and friendly and special mention to Abdul our very capable driver.  An excellent service from start to finish - I will gladly recommend Kerala Connections to my friends.  Thank you.  
Ruth Frost.

Mr Kumar kept in touch to make sure everything was alright, which was particularly helpful in view of the strike.  We loved A Beach Symphony for its location, wonderful food and attentiveness of the staff.  We particularly enjoyed Secret Garden.  The homestays Royal Mist and Pepper County were really special and to be recommended.
Bronwen Vinson.

All accommodation, organisation and itinerary were first class.  Siji the driver was helpful punctual and a very good driver.  Secret Garden was a great start to our holiday;  Nelpura is a wonderful homestay; Anil and Jeeva were so welcoming at Royal Mist; Marari Villas is a heavenly spot and Rupert and Olga have created a wonderful oasis of calm.  The service from Kerala Connections was very efficient.  The itinerary they devised for us was exactly what we had asked for, the accommodations were excellent and all the arrangements for transfers worked without hitches.  It was one of the most relaxed touring holidays that we have ever done, Kerala exceeded our expectations.   
Pat and Rex Harland - more detailed information about their individual accommodation choices can be found on Trip Advisor.  Mr and Mrs Harland travelled through Responsible Travel and their comments about the holiday may be found on that site too.

Mr Kumar was very helpful and efficient and made excellent alternative arrangements during the strike.  It was a fantastic holiday and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  
Mr and Mrs Burrows.

We had a fabulous time - Surya Samudra was amazing - I would have no qualms recommending it.  We would return at the drop of a hat.  Wonderful holiday we are very sad to be home.   
Jane Stanbury.  Jane writes for an on-line magazine called An Executive Review of Business Travel - to see more from her go to www.aerbt.co.uk and look in the ON TOUR section (see Fort Kochin)

The local agent was excellent.  Everything worked like clockwork (most unusual for India!!) and the drivers were all very friendly, punctual and helpful.  Mr Daniel and his family were very kind to us on our last night and their hospitality was wonderful.  The Kalypso trek was fantastic.  Reghu and Mutu, our guides, were brilliant hosts and great company.  The food was fantastic. The houseboat was a real highlight - the food was wonderful and the crew were very attentive.  We had a fantastic time and would not hesitate to recommend you to our friends.  Thank you for a fabulous trip.   
Dave and Helena Milbourn.

A fantastic holiday.  Christopher Reyne

Our holiday was fantastic in so many ways.  Food was excellent throughout – no tummy bugs! Kerala Connections very helpful with all parts of the holiday booking, patient and everything went very smoothly – we appreciated having everything arranged as we don’t normally do this.  It took a lot of angst out of the travelling and once we had made the decision to use you everything was absolutely fine.   
Louise Metcalfe

We were extremely satisfied with our holiday - the organisation was excellent.   
Mr and Mrs Adams

Shibu was a great driver with a sense of humour.  Although we did not see him, Mr Kumar was, as usual, efficient and helpful. Chera Rocks was idyllic with great food and service.  We loved Fringe Ford - we had a great time there and will return.  Ayisha Manzil is a very well run homestay and good at finding Theyyam. Olappamanna Mana was a beguilling and memorable homestay.  Fascinating glimpse into a different world, with some of the best food we have tasted in India. Hornbill Camp has knowledgeable guides - we are now infinitely better informed about the birds of India and can even recognise a few.  It has a  superb location. Dewalokam deserves the praise it has gathered.  A wonderful trip - many thanks, Gary.   
Eve Pleming

One the whole we were very happy with our holiday and think your company is very efficient.  Everything went to plan and when there were little hic-ups they were dealt with quickly and with a smile.  In retrospect (never having been to India before) we should have stayed at each destination for more than two nights so as to get to see and know a bit more about each place.  But that's all part of travelling and learning.  Our drivers were very good, and so were the rice barge crew.  The food was magnificent everywhere.  We are recommending your company to our friends.   
Ann Kelly

We loved our holiday and can't wait to go back to Kerala, and maybe Tamil Nadu next time.  All very well organised.  We had a wonderful, safe, competent and very pleasant driver - Mohan.  Manayath Heritage - lovely people.  Beautiful situation.  We loved the place. Mannaas Veedu - the food is wonderful.  Alex very helpful.  Elegant and delightful.  We loved this homestay.  Dewalokam - Amazing place.  Wonderful hospitality. Super food.  Gorgeous place, don't miss it.   
Caroline Sigrist

I just wanted to let you know all the arrangements were spot on and ran like clockwork. Companion Holidays always contacted us to keep us informed as to collection times etc. We were very impressed. The drivers were very helpful and courteous and we enjoyed meeting them. We enjoyed our holiday very much. The best experience was with Jose and Sinta at Dewaklam and we would have liked to stay longer there. It was also nice to meet your other clients staying there at the same time.  Periyar was a bit disappointing, though Wildernest was good and the chaps who run it are very professional and very geared up to the European visitors.
Martha Allguen

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.   
Carol Jordan

Kerala is indeed God's own country!  Your website attracted us.  Gary was extremely well informed, prompt and honest.  A memorable holiday - exceeded expectations.  Very varied and just what we wanted.   The choice of hotels was a delightful mixture.   
Mr Sethi

Excellent holiday - helped enormously by the advice and experience at the planning stage. Success was in the detail! We appreciate all the work you put into make such a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.
Jackie Whitehouse

We had a superb time at Dhole's Den. We felt like we were staying with a group of friends. I think for older, quieter people they may find it a tad boisterous but we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Nichola Green.

We were really impressed by Kerala Connections knowledge and service and have already recommended you to others.  We got the impression that your company is held in high regard by the hotels, homestays etc that you use.  The facilities were superb at Dewalokam Retreat.  The hosts ate with us and the food was excellent.   
Mr and Mrs Hodges

The flight delay was the only minor blip! We had a fantastic trip with so many highlights - too many to mention, but the trek was brilliant. All the arrangements worked perfectly - so thank you very much for a brilliant trip! We thanked them at the time, but if you could also pass on our thanks again to Mr and Mrs Daniel and their daughter for their very kind hospitality on our last night - they were very generous to us. Thanks again, Gary, for a great trip.   
Dave Milbourn

A truly wonderful holiday. Every homestay was lovely in its own individual way.  All the arrangements went incredibly smoothly, it was a very well organised holiday and the local agent was extremely helpful and conscientious.  The drivers were all good if sometimes a little difficult to communicate with. Thank you for all your advice and good organisation.  We hope to return one day and will certainly recommend you to any friends /family who want an Indian adventure!   
June Harris and John Cook

Gary - we have been back for a week from another fantistic trip to Kerala and Tamil Nadu.  Thanks for all your help.  Coconut Lagoon was amazing.  We happened to mention we had been before so were treated like royalty.  When we left the General Manager and about eight staff came to see us off.  Our second trip with Kerala Connections and still as excellent.   
Roger and Amilia Burrage

Gary - back now from an excellent holiday.  Everything went to plan and we thoroughly enjoyed each location.  Thank you for arranging everything. Dewalokam was the highlight for us - the food, company, relaxed atmosphere were just perfect.  We will certainly recommend Kerala as a destination and Kerala Connections to organise a holiday to our friends and I am sure we will be back in a few years time to explore different areas.   
Tricia Lawrence

 Fantastic experience.  Keep up the high standards.  We had a great time at Aanavisalam and Pirko was charming. Dewalokaom was amazing.  Really enjoyed the stay. Wonderful family and staff.  So attentive and charming.  Lovely location.
John Rendall

We found your price for this holiday several hundred pounds cheaper than the bigger operators that we enquired of.  We had a wonderful time - all the accommodation excelled.  Special praise to the staff at Coconut Lagoon who went out of their way to be helpful and welcoming.  Mr Kumar was very efficient - all went perfectly.  We would hope to book with your company again in the future.   
Michael Marshall

Hi Gary. It was amazing!  Thank you.  Backwater trip was relaxing, well organised and a good break from Cochin intensity.  Guide's English accent difficult to understand so I didn't get any info.  I had a really wonderful time and felt very looked after.  I made a great decision to use you.  You completely understood my needs!  Not easy.  I will recommend and book again with you.  
Katie McCrum

We have just received all the travel documents from you and I must say we have never seen such great paperwork for a holiday.  
Mr Bernard Marder travelling in February 2012

Hello Gary. I have to say that we had a brilliant time. Quite the holiday of a lifetime. All the arrangements were spot on, including the service from local representatives, our drivers, guides etc. The hotel in Cochin was perfectly located, and our trips up to Munnar and on the rice barges quite memorable. Finishing up at Marari Beach was not a disappointment - it was the perfect chillout second week. The hotel staff there and everywhere were a delight and so eager to please - and just the most terrific food.   
Malcolm Williams

Hello Diana, We want to thank you for making all the arrangements. Your recommendations for our travelling and accommodation were right on the button. You couldn’t have answered our brief, better! All your drivers were very knowledgeable, kind and considerate. They certainly had some challenging journeys to navigate, especially the up and down to Ooty which was mostly in the dark. And we enjoyed each of our main stays… Tranquil was probably the highlight and is definitely on the wish list for a return visit. Victor and his family were great fun and extremely generous hosts. They were especially kind in arranging visits to the tea plantations where my Grandparents had lived and worked in the 20’s. A very emotional day as you can imagine! As you predicted, we did have a bit of an exciting time making our connection back onto the BA flight but in fact, the Duty Manager at Cochin Airport sorted things by transferring us onto a Jet Airways flight via Chennai and we made it with a few minutes to spare. All in all, a great trip and hopefully we will be in touch in about a year to plan the next one!
Many thanks and all the very best, Su and David Bishop

Hi Diana, I just wanted to say a very 'big thank-you' for organising our recent trip to Kerala.  We had the most amazing time and have fallen in love Kerala.  All the arrangements were spot on, the accommodation and the drivers were fantastic.  RK - the driver we had for 6 days was excellent.  He was extremely informative, polite, helpful and more than accommodating.  We would love to go back and do a different part of Indian including Kerala and when that opportunity arise, we will certainly be in touch with you again. Once again, many thanks for all your help, advice and for organising a wonderful holiday for us.   
Kim and Graham Stansfield

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Kerala especially the homestays.  Hospitality in all places was wonderful. We wondered if four nights at Nelpura might be too long but the family made our stay most enjoyable and we really enjoyed the village / backwater life. We will use your services again for future trips.  Roslyn McHardy.

I am writing to very highly commend Gary Tree to you. We have finalised a booking with your company and our decision was based in large part on the way Gary handled the whole thing. He was very responsive, efficient, courteous and knowledgeable, all the things you'd want to find in an excellent tour operator. What's more, given the way Gary has conducted the business, we have every confidence things will go well when we reach India, and that confidence is a good basis for a good holiday. Make sure you keep him - he's a good 'un!  
Charlie Watson, travelling in March 2012

An unforgettable and incredibly well organized trip thanks to Kerala Connections. Everything worked as planned, excellent drivers, especially Jess, and guides, the absolute best was Thomas in Aurangabad. Thank you, Diana and Kerala Connections. We certainly will recommend you to all our family and friends.  I would really like to stress again how much we enjoyed this trip and how pleased we have been with your organization. We certainly plan to travel with Kerala Connections again.   
Magrit Meyer from Canada

We really enjoyed our trip – no hitches and more restful than our usual Indian holidays.   
Liz Brough

Gary Tree handled our holiday with great care and attention.  The help with the Visa and tipping advice was very useful.  The itinerary ran like like clockwork.  The transfers were always ready and waiting.  We particularly injoyed our stay on the houseboat with Deepunow, Paul and Anthony.  They made our stay one we shall never forget.  The food was excellent and our every need cared for.  We will definitely return to India again in the future and stay even longer on the houseboat.  Our thanks to both Gary Tree and Mr. Kumar for their flawless attention to detail.  We will have no hesitation in recommending Kerala Connections to anyone thinking of travelling to India.   
Mr and Mrs Thompson.

All the drivers were excellent.  The whole holiday was a wonderful experience.   
Brenda Preston

I'm very pleased that my sister (who used you about 10 years ago) recommended you to us.  If I return to Southern India again I would have no hesitation in using your services again.   
Mike Berry

In spite of the holiday being cut short due to illness I cannot recommend Select/Kerala Connections too highly. The information provided before the holiday was comprehensive and most helpful. The five days of holiday we did have were terrific and I'm sure the remainder would have been the same. I hope we will be able to return to India one day and we will only use your company.   
Pippa Landsberger

8 comments:

Simon and Liz Day said...

Our first trip to India and it was fantastic. The planning and info given to us before hand was very helpful and our main driver Sunil, was excellent and very helpful.All the guides we came across spoke very highly of your company and have been with it for many years which speaks volumes. The hotels you suggested were just right for us and was hard to find anything wrong with them! We felt safe and looked after the whole trip. The Maldives made a wonderful end to a memorable holiday. We will certainly recommend you to our friends. Thanks.

David and Judith Adams said...

Just returned from our fantastic holiday in Kerala and Maldives. You did a great job with our holiday everything ran like clockwork. Superb service from everyone, great taxi driver (Arci) Especially liked the Aanavilasam Luxury Plantation House, Pirkko Paxton looked after us so well, one of the nicest places we have ever stayed in. Her hospitality was wonderful. Will certainly use you again when travelling in India or Maldives. Meeru Island Resort was as beautiful as before, hope to return again soon.
Many thanks again, will recommend you to all our friends.

David and Judith Adams

Kathy & Adrian Shipway said...

We can only concur with all the above comments. The trip went like clockwork, without a single hitch. But what really made the journey so enjoyable was the helpfulness of the driver. Tasked with getting us from A to B, he took on so much more; bird-spotting, photography, getting us to local festivals, recommending temple sites off the beaten track, arranging very competent & knowledgeable guides, even re-uniting a wallet with its owner after we had found it in the sea at Rameswaram! He was considerate & solicitous of our safety but, once he'd got used to our desire to see local life, chose clean, inexpensive restaurants for us to eat in. Whoever travels with Bennet will be very lucky indeed! The recommended accommodation was a well-balanced mixture of modern & heritage rooms. Thank you for a memorable 5 weeks in South India.

LH and CH said...

Travelled to Kerala in Feb/March and had a wonderful trip. The driver Raj was a gem. Tissa's Inn was a wonderful experience. The Raheem Residency surpassed our expectations with it friendly staff, beatiful bedrooms and a majic restaurant. Windemere in Munnar well worth the trip. Greenwood was a little iffy and Molly's could do with a lift.
The trecks, wildlife spotting were a dream.
Flights were a little trying and the bag hauling through Heathrow should have been avoided by customer care by KC.
Overall would like to go again and certainly with Kerala Connections.

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