Saturday, January 26, 2013


Thank you for our recent holiday, we enjoyed every minute.  Everyone on the ground was so helpful – I can’t praise them enough.  We really didn’t want to come back.  I’ve recommended you to lots of people. 
Carmen Martinez

Gary - thank you for being so efficient and quick.  I can't believe how much cheaper you were compared by my other quote for exactly the same holiday.
Mr Neave

We had a great time and feel as though we experienced an enormous amount in such a short time without it feeling too much like a whirlwind. That’s thanks to you for all of your organisation and advice!  We will be recommending you to anyone we know who is thinking about a trip to India and will probably go back ourselves and be braver next time! 
Dee Bull

When we booked this 'Kerala on a Budget' we expected rooms and en-suite might be rather basic.  How wrong we were.  We felt very spoilt - the home stays so hospitable, food amazing.  Since we have returned we have recommended your company and will continue to do so.
Anne Price  We ask our customers to score (out of five) hospitality, comfort, cleanliness and food for each place they stay plus scores for us, our agent, the airline etc. Mr and Mrs Price gave the top score of 5 for almost every aspect of their holiday.  Where a 5 was not scored a 4 was given. We are delighted to see such high scores for a 'budget' holidayWalton's Homestay, Dewalokam, Royal Mist and the Houseboat all scored straight fives.

Our holiday was absolutely amazing, we all enjoyed every second.  Our thanks to Kerala Connections and especially to Gary, whose help and advice was first class.  Dick said if he was asked to do the same holiday again, he would be more than happy to do it, his case is on stand-by!
Linda (and Dick) Grinham

A wonderful, relaxing holiday.  Our driver did a brilliant job of looking after us and arranging activities day-by-day and making suggestions for eating places.  The agent looked after us superbly.  Tissa's Inn was very professional and a lovely start to the holiday, the rooms at Wildernest were wonderful; the food at Olive Brook was fantastic; we had great service at Hindustan Beach Retreat.
Mr and Mrs Johnson

We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday.  We loved the two nights on the houseboatTissa's Inn was a very good choice due to location and service.
Marian and Charles Heathcote

All in all we are very positive about our experience.  We bonded with our diver who was great.  For us the best bits of the holiday were walking in Munnar and Thekkady.  The Periyar experience was great and it was fascinating to see a bit of the 'real India' on your village walks.  Thanks a lot.
Brendan Blair and Vivienne Leandro

We enjoyed the holiday immensely - and really didn't want to come home at all!  The whole trip went smoothly, with lovely accommodation everywhere and lovely people.  The homestays were all run by really friendly people, our two nights on the houseboat were absolutely wonderful, with exceptionally good food.  Coconut Lagoon of course lived up to its reputation.  Thanks very much for all your help and advice.
Wendy George

All most satisfactory.  Pepper County tops - charming host.  Drivers excellent.  We had a wonderful holiday and the advice we were given was always very helpful and well informed.
John Turner

Every aspect of our holiday was outstanding and the trekking section with Kalypso was a really good experience.  Thank you for putting together such a great itinerary!  Please say thank you to Gary for all his help and assistance with the travel arrangements.   
Charlie Marriott

Thank you for a great holiday.  We are already thinking that maybe the year after next we might have saved up enough to take a look at Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu, returning to Dewalokam on the way home - we'll be in touch…
Mr and Mrs Leavey

Many thanks for ornanising a great holiday for us.  Pranavam, Hornbill Camp and Chera Rocks were the highlights of our trip, but we thoroughly enjoyed our other stays, especially Nelpura.
Kate Goodacre

Everything ran as smoothly as possible, all drivers were courteous, safe and timely.  No problems at all. We all agreed it was the most amazing holiday - totally surpassed our expectations.
Norma Harman

This had to be the most carefree holiday I have every had, everything perfectly organised - so absolutely no worries.  A good selection of different types of accommodation, incredibly friendly and warm people, good drivers and comfortable transport - and last but not least THE most delicious food!
Kath Rhee

All accommodation very comfortable, good excellent, everyone friendly and welcoming.  Brilliant holiday!  Thank you so much.
Liz Rhee

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and hope to return - thank you for all your assistance with arranging it.  We will certainly recommend you.
Mark Beaven and family

We had an amazing holiday.  I have given your name to quite a few friends.  Many thanks.
Judith Nickols

An absolutely fantastic holiday.  All arrangements worked well - the agent was faultless.  We loved every minute.  Casa Del Fauno is a stunning place.  The CGH Earth hotels are all superb with very well trained staff.
Mr and Mrs Naughten

Aanavilasam was probably the best accommodation from the perspective of hospitality, food, comfort etc. We loved the National Park and the guide you booked for us was clearly a bird expert and made us feel that you were catering directly to our needs.  The planning was relaxed and easy over the phone - we felt heard. It was quite expensive but once we were there we did not have to spend very much - no hidden extras.
Jenny Weinstein

Fantastic trip and a great holiday company to book through.
Nicola Turner and John Oldfield

You have a remarkable ability to understand what we really wanted out of this trip. The information advice and feedback provided was all excellent.  It was a 100% enjoyable experience.
John Tams-Gray  Booked through Responsible Travel - full feedback may be found on that site:

A really enjoyable and interesting trip  Lovely luxury houseboat; Orange County really lovely with superb cottages (couldn't fault it); Aakriti Homestay a real highlight of our holiday.  Altogether we all had a wonderful time so thanks very much for all the organisation.  If we visit India again we'll be in touch. 
Briony Streeten  (travelling in a group of 8 people)

Excellent agent. Appreciated Mr Jyothi calling to check everything OK.  We'd certainly ask for Jess to be our driver on another visit.  Also the car was very comfortable. Pleased with all aspects of our trip.  Looking forward to putting another trip together for next year.
Mr and Mrs Moore

A great holiday and all the arrangements worked perfectly.  Excellent to be provided with a birdbook and a 'local' mobile phone.  All drivers were on time and safe.  Shibu was particularly good with excellent English.  It appeared that the aim of all the homestays was to feed us, and the food was excellent.
Mr and Mrs Prosser

Apart from the two day strike which no-one could control, everything was faultless.  Pick ups on time, no last minute hitches and all very friendly and helpful.  Our driver Sunil was a joy to be with and steered us safely through the traffic.  Homestays were a great way to stay, meet the locals and experience the local food.  Great holiday and no health problems.
Peter Lewis

This was a fantastic introduction to Kerala. We enjoyed everything and will treasure many memories.  Thank you Gary, for arranging it. We shall definitely be going again now you have given us a taste of Kerala.
Judith Riches

This tour worked like clockwork.  Mr Kumar was very professional and our driver RK was wonderful, polite, helpful and cheerful. Everyone we met was friendly and helpful.  We enjoyed every minute.
Brenda Cary and Geoffrey Nattrass  

We loved the holiday and will certainly use your company again.  We could have stayed at Serenity for ever!
Jacky Still  Mr and Mrs Still found us through Responsible Travel and their feedback to that company can be found on their website -

We would just like to say we had a fantastic holiday.  It was made very special by many people - in particular our driver Manu who could not do enough to help and please us.
David and Avril Brampton

Our holiday was brilliant from the moment we landed.  Manu, our driver, was superb and everything ran smoothly.  We stayed in great and varied accommodation - no tummy bugs - in part due to Manu's care in knowing where to stop for lunches and comfort stops.  This was a superbly organised holiday and we will recomend your company to others.
Mr and Mrs Harvey 

We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. The agent was extremely helpful and turned up early every time.  Accommodation and staff  were exceptional. We didn't want to come home!!! 
Mr and Mrs Phillips

We returned from India on Tuesday and we just want to say a huge thank you to everyone at Kerala Connections and at Companion Holidays.  It's hard to find the right words to describe what was a truly wonderful holiday.  We also recognise the amount of hard work which must have been going on in the background to ensure everything went so smoothly while we were there. Mr Kumar was extremely helpful and courteous and both our drivers, Anil and RK, were invaluable sources of reliability, advice and good humour!  Throughout the holiday, the food has been absolutely delicious. We didn't have any tummy upsets that could be attributed to anything we'd either eaten or drunk. Rajakkad is stunning on every level! It is the most deeply tranquil place we have ever visited and the manager is a wonderfully dignified, courteous host whose warmth and hospitality put us completely at our ease.  India can be quiet a challenging place for westerners who want to go off the beaten track, but with the support of the drivers, Mr Kumar and the people with whom we stayed we were able to take that experience and feel secure.  We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Kerala Connections to our friends and once again, thank you for all the hard work undertaken by yourselves and Companion Holidays.
Mr and Mrs Manifold

To come out of Cochin airport and easily locate our driver set the tone for all the pick-ups and transfers - excellent.  The vehicles used throughout were always immaculate and very comfortable. Kerala Connections was ‘painted’ on the side of most vehicles.   (It was interesting one day as we pulled out of a hotel car park (having stopped for coffee) another, equally smart, Kerala Connections vehicle pulled in!  
Mr and Mrs Paul 

Thank you for all of your organisation of the holiday, everything went off without a hitch and I am quite happy to recommend you to others. From past experience I know that what you think you have arranged independently isn’t necessarily what happens!  We really enjoyed the holiday, everything was very well organised, the drivers seemed to know what all the other guests were doing, (even if they didn’t!) and went very smoothly.
Diana Collyer

All the arrangements were 'spot on', staff reliable, no disappointments.  We would definitely recommend Kerala Connections.  The documentation was incredibly helpful and thorough.  The detailed itinerary and tipping advice was frequently referred to.  We had a really great holiday and as this was my husband's first experience of India the fact that everything went like clockwork was a real bonus.  It was good to have comfortable cars.  I cannot fault the arrangements.  You organised a very efficient and memorable holiday for us.  Thanks.
Mai Spencer

This was a very special experience for us both. The local agent is absolutely superb, went over and beyond their duties.  Thank you for making this such a memorable trip.
Arshdeep Singh 

We just wanted to add that on our recent trip our driver Anil was a complete star - he was courteous and helpful at all times. He really looked after us and we couldn't have asked for more. We hope that you will pass on our sincere appreciation to his employer.
Paul Ainsworth 

The agent provided an excellent service with pick-ups and booking an extra trip (houseboat) and Sunil was a great driver. We had a great time, it was one of the best holidays that we've had.  Many thanks for making all the arrangements.
Ann Bartholomew

Our Kerala Connections holiday went very smoothly so thank you very much indeed for everything. Excellent, we would happily stay in all of the hotels again. Tissa's Inn was exceptional  Excellent facilities and friendly helpful staff.  Thanks for arranging a great holiday for us Gary.
The Rosenbaum family

We were extremely pleased with the whole holiday, it exceeded our expectations.  The hospitality we received at all of the homestays was wonderful.  The organisation by the local agents was impressive.  We are definitely planning to go back.
Mr and Mrs Reynard

Holiday went very smoothly.  In 40 years of travelling this was one of the best organised holidays I ever taken.  Your team in India is very good.    
Charles Slingsby

Very attentive local agent in Cochin.  I very much appreciated both my driver and the agent seeing me onto the train in Cochin and on arrival in Calicut the agent was immediately present - so absolutely satisfied.
Francoise Hayes

Mr Kumar could not have been more helpful.  He liaised with us very well, kept us informed and arranged extra excursions at our request - a very well organised operation.  Spice Village is a wonderful hotel.
Mr and Mrs Smith 

Overall a wonderful holiday. We would like to pay particular tribute to Shibu - professional, friendly, knowledgeable, reliable and a very good driver.
Jane Collis and David Joyner

Having stayed at three CGH Earth hotels last year, this year staying at two hotels run by other concerns, it is clear that CGH get it just right - they win on quality, staff relations, food and overall holiday experience. Fragrant Nature was a revelation - when we reached this isolated spot we wondered what on earth we were going to do with ourselves, but in the end we made our own entertainments with the help of trips round the lake on the hotel boat.
Jennifer Wickham and Michael Marshall (the CGH Earth Hotel they stayed at on this holiday was Marari Beach Resort)

The local agent was very efficient and helpful.  Kept me fully informed of proceedings, and explained fully, when they varied from itinerary.  Our driver was superb, great fun and very helpful.  All in all we had a delightful holiday, and really no critisisms. Kerala truly is "Gods own Country".  Many thanks - we hope to travel with you again.
Gerald Challis and Shirley Law

Everything went fantastically well. We would particularly pick out Dewalokam and the Houseboat as highlights - the hospitality at the first and the food prepared on the second were amazing! There was nothing really wrong with the places I've only given a 4 to but there has to be a comparison. Our driver for the 8 days was very helpful and easy to get on with. He was always punctual, obliging and considerate.  The car was immaculate.  Similarly the driver who picked us up from the houseboat who stayed with us until he dropped us at the airport was equally as good. We would thoroughly recommend Dewalokam to all those with an interest in nature and sustainable tourism.
Peter and Liz Rigby

The holiday went like clockwork and didn’t miss a beat.  This was a great way to "taste" Kerala and although we are great travellers, this was one of our best experiences.  Well done!
Mr and Mrs Preece

We had a fantastic time and would have no hesitation in recommending KC and Companion Holidays to anyone.  Everything ran like clockwork and our driver, Sabu, was great.
Kathryn and Huw Jenkins

I am a person who needs to keep busy even on a holiday, so Kerala can seem a bit light on sightseeing and interesting things to do. Seems to me that it best suits folk who want to switch off quite a lot for the time they are there!!  I had 4 nights independent of you and regretted this; also I may have been too late to find the best homestays.  Dewalokam was a very great pleasure for the time I was there. Thanks for directing me to it. Many thanks for your help.
Chris Fox

Had a great time, thank you.  The food was generally excellent and this was a highlight of the trip.
Mr and Mrs Burnside

Excellent holiday, above expectations.  The houseboat was fabulous.
Helen Dalton

Gary,  It really was the holiday of a lifetime, it couldn't have been more special, everything was so well organised and went so smoothly, it was amazing. There is absolutely nothing that you could improve, it was perfect, the level of customer care, the depth of information provided and the efficiency of the booking made the whole experience incredibly easy and very relaxing. My only regret is not booking the flights through Kerala Connections, but that was our fault! I cannot express just how incredible the holiday/honeymoon was for us, we have so many happy memories and so many wonderful photos, as well as meeting so many lovely people along the way. If only every holiday could be like this. The people we met were so friendly and kind (we absolutely loved Casa del Fauna), the accommodation was beautiful wherever we stayed and the food was absolutely amazing! We will definitely be going back.  Thank you so much for organising such an enjoyable, happy and memorable trip, we couldn't have asked for better service and I have been telling everyone all about it ever since and how everyone should use KC if they go to southern India. I think next time we'd like to spend longer there and go to Mysore, amongst other places and see Rajasthan. Bennett and Krishna (our drivers) were absolutely lovely - as well as Mr Kumar, we loved them all!
Once again thank you to you all for such an incredible trip.  
Henrietta Martin

We were very happy that we booked through Kerala Connections (also known as India Connections), whose contact in Kerala did a marvellous job of keeping in touch with us at every stage, and made sure we could get in touch if we needed to (we didn't). Kerala Connections gave us sensible advice on what we could expect, so that we could make an informed choice, and when our travel pack arrived, it contained the most comprehensive information on everything from getting an Indian visa to tipping. They even arranged to have a couple of bird books delivered to us before our trip with them began, so that our days on the houseboat were made even more memorable by our attempts at identifying the myriad of birds we saw.
Lakes and Lagoons Houseboat - was run so professionally by Suresh and his team. Our room was spotless, the living accommodation at the front of the boat was comfortable and spacious, the food amazing (we were offered and enjoyed all manner of Keralan dishes) and plentiful, the staff genuinely friendly and helpful.
Carnoustie Resort - was a dream; our own wonderful villa, more delicious food, the friendliest staff everywhere, excellent yoga teacher, spa treatments, bikes to borrow so that we could visit the local village, a fabulous pool and perfect beach.
It was a wonderful holiday, and we would love to go back.
Next time we would arrange our whole trip with Kerala Connections, instead of booking some of it ourselves.
Frances Smart.  Booked through Responsible Travel – for the full report go to

Just a quick email to say a huge thank you to you and the Kerala Connection's team.  We had an outstanding time in India - and loved every minute!  The trip was seamlessly organised and our driver Anil was excellent (please pass our thanks on to him and Companion Holidays).  Mr Kumar kindly met us when we first arrived at our hotel in Cochin and provided us with all the necessary details, as well as our phone.  The holiday seriously exceeded all our many thanks to you!  The accommodation in its various forms was brilliant, the food absolutely superb and all the different activities made for a truly memorable experience (and honeymoon)!!  We fell in love with the organic farmstay - Dekowolam - could have stayed there for a week.  Sinta & her family were great!  All the homestay hosts were fantastically hospitable so please do send our thanks to Mr & Mrs Koshy and Mr Chako and his family at Nelpura also.  It was a great adventure - and it felt like we were away for 2 months not 2 that just highlights that we were completely enthralled by it all and would definitely go back...may be the North next time!!  In fact, we've raved about it so much I think that my Mum and Dad along with their friends might be contacting you soon! 
Jodie and James Bell

Diana, delighted to 'meet' you. Your name is a constant in Kerala, as is Gary's of course. We had a marvellous time and cannot praise your company enough. All the places we stayed had praise for you as tour operators. Everyone speaks very highly of you and are so impressed with your professionalism.  From now on, we too will be singing your praises and plan to take time in the new year to use trip advisor to do just that ( with separate entries for all the places we stayed). 
I am sure we will be speaking to Gary sometime soon about our next holiday to North India, but would like to put it on record that his help with the itinerary made the holiday really special, he helped us to get the balance right (unlike our company last year, where, although we enjoyed ourselves, we needed 6 weeks rest when we got back!!!)
Happy New Year and thanks again.   
Margaret and Trish

Hi Gary,  Just wanted to say what a fantastic time we had.  Everything worked well and we even had a brand new car to travel around with.  I loved it but then I knew I would!  My partner totally changed his mind about India and even wanted to stay on an extra week.  
Jennifer Moss

Many thanks for all your hard work regarding adding our friends to our trip to Kerala. They are very impressed with your efficiency and speed - so well done!  We are really looking forward to returning to Kerala.  Since our trip there we have been all over the world and it's still up there in the top three.
Briony Streeten - travelled with Kerala Connections a few years back and returning with a group of friends

It was a fabulous holiday, and all went very well indeed.  We'll be back!  Thank you for arranging it all so well for us!
Mrs Smart


John & Kath Leavey said...

We had the most wonderful holiday. Having all the travel and transfer arrangements work so well made it easy for us to relax and enjoy this beautiful part of India. With only one exception, all the hosts went out of their way to make us welcome and ensure we had every option to explore each area we stayed in. We've been home for three weeks now, but the holiday is still very much with us. Thank you!

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