Friday, January 03, 2014


Another Season of Top Scores
We are very pleased to report that yet again our customers are ‘more than satisfied’ with our service.  80% of last season’s customers supplied us with feedback and of these 95% gave us the top score (excellent).  The rest gave us the second score (good).  Not a single customer ranked us as ‘satisfactory or below’.  I don’t suppose there are many tour operators who can make such claims.  We are very grateful to our local agents, our drivers and all our suppliers who all help to make our customers holidays ‘excellent’.  Many thanks to them and all our customers who take the time to give us their feedback.  

Gary was really, really helpful.  I was going to book with another tour operator - but decided to book with you as Gary was so helpful.
Ben Swift 

You are so good at your job – you know our minds better than we know them ourselves.  The only way to go to India is to go with Kerala Connections. 
Leela Grant (a regular customer of ours)

Overall our trip was wonderful.  The arrangements were efficient and well judged.  The choice of hotels was varied and all were good.  The driver (Anil) was a delight and added to the overall trip.  Connections were always there in the background and kept in touch.  The change of itinerary (due to a land slide) was handled quickly and well.  We were delighted and will be asking ou to fix another trip in the next 18 months – east side next time. 
Phil and Jessica Harrison

We had a really wonderful time.  Our drivers were all fantastic, Punnamada, Secret Garden and the Leela Palace were my favourite places.  Thank you so much for planning it all for us, I will certainly recommend you to anyone else that is thinking of going to India.   
Kate Hawkins

Wonderful holiday.  Would not change a thing.  Your local agents are very caring.  Jyothi rang to make sure we were OK as the train was delayed.  Jess our driver was lovely. 
Barbara Cassidy

We received the travel information today and can confirm that we already have our visas - VHS were excellent and your recommendation appreciated. Happy with the seats as well and comfortable with Emirates from previous experience.  I’ve had a quick look at the info which seems clear enough... I will  come back to you with any queries. You appear to have covered everything though.
Malcolm Roberts

Just back last night - we had a really really good time and all went perfectly.  Must say your organisation was absolutely spot on.  Wonderful and varied and unusual places you selected for us to stay.  What lovely people we met and how friendly they were to us.  We only spoke to one English person (Francis Fry at Rajakkad) and not until our 14th day!  I will write out a diary on what we did and how we found things and let you have a copy.  Meanwhile we will sing your praises to all!!
Many thanks again.
Ewen Kellas

The following is communication from regular customers of ours.
Hi Gary - we have been through a few holiday destinations but have come back to India!  We can’t get enough of the place!  We have put together the following itinerary and would appreciate your comments before giving us a quote.
Gary then responded and we received this:
Gary, what a fabulous reply!  What information. You really are the best travel agent ever!  Many thanks.  We will be in touch.  From your fan club!
Trish, Margaret and Kate

Our last holiday with you was perfect.  We were considering going to Burma next year but could not get the tour operator to come up with a suitable and interesting itinerary. So we have decided to go back to India as you understand what we want. 
Alex Wolfe-Warman

We have travelled a lot and used many different Travel Agents/Tour Operators.  Without question you were the best - both your operation in the UK and in India.  You dotted every i and crossed every t.  We also very much appreciated all the help you gave us with the Indian Visa.  
Gill Lowe
Gill had already given us feedback - but contacted us again requesting more brochures to give to friends.  Thank you Gill for recommending us.

We had a fantastic holiday which went like clockwork.  Thanks for alerting the CGH Earth hotels to our anniversary - we had a cake in every one!  We enjoyed all the hotels and the service was excellent throughout.  Coconut Lagoon - lovely helpful staff and nice food. Manager made us feel very welcome.  Spice Village - again great staff and food.  Felt more upmarket than last time - bungalows very nicely furnished, new bathrooms.  Rajakkad Estate - stunning house and location.   Munnar - loved the ride to Munnar, fabulous scenery, although the town is a bit limited the hotel (Windermere) was very comfortable and staff charming.  Beach Symphony - again all very good. Loved the food and service. Pool very stylish and beach was very clean by Indian standards.  Eighth Bastion - thought that it was very stylish.  Food more modern with European twist! Fort Cochin definitely more trendy than when we first visited.  We love the energy and exuberance of India  - this time amplified by being there at a general election - just brilliant.  Thanks for your faultless organisation and also to Companion Holidays for looking after us.  Anil (our driver) was a star as always and really looked after us - we were lucky to have him. We recommend you to anyone we meet who is planning a South India trip.
Jayne Hawley and Paul Ainsworth

Diana - thank you so much for your wonderful service.  It has made booking a special holiday very easy and we much appreciate your expertise and laid back approach to everything.
Marion and Nick Jenkins

Many thanks from all four of us for all your help and the detailed work on the holiday.  We are so looking forward to it.
And later...
Thanks again for everything.  The great service continues - we are still very impressed!
Helen Steele

Firstly, I'm sorry I never got around to writing a report on our wonderful trip to Kerala at the beginning of the year. Suffice to say, it was definitely the best trip we've undretaken, all thanks to your hard work. I gather Brett gave special thanks for Ali at Chera Rocks and the lovely driver Shibu, both heartily seconded by me.  So, mentioning Chera Rocks takes me on to why I'm writing. That place is quite simply paradise and we want to go back at the same time this year.
Lucinda Martin

Wonderful time.  Thank you for a memorable trip, Gary.  Ajanta and Ellora were particular highlights - extraordinary sites which appear to be visited by few Europeans - they are well worth the journey.
Mr and Mrs Pleming

I cannot sufficiently stress our appreciation of the efforts made by everyone to ensure we had a truly wonderful holiday.  The variety and range of what you organised was superb and the efficiency of your Indian counterparts was beyond reproach.  Everyone was so very friendly and we always felt totally safe.   We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will not hesitate to recommend your services.
Mr Campbell-Walter and Mrs Barbara Golding

Just a line to thank you for our recent holiday in Southern India.  This was our third trip with Kerala Connections, and for the third time all the arrangements worked perfectly, all the hotels were fine, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We had amishap when I fell over and hit my head, necessitating a hospital visit to be checked over. (The result was fine and did not disrupt our holiday.)  However, we cannot praise our driver RK highly enough.  He took us to the hospital, stayed with us, kept us informed, helped me through the system and was generally invaluable.  He was an excellent driver too!  Also a pleasant, friendly and knowledgeable man and we would welcome him as a driver if we visit India in the future.  I'd be grateful if you could let your agents in India know.
Roger Barton and Richard Jones

A wonderful holiday/experience. I have recommended Kerala Connections & the magic of Kerala to so many friends, you should be overwhelmed!!  Mr Kumar, throughout our stay was friendly and efficient and there when we needed him. The car was comfortable and the driver good. We strongly recommend Teak House, Mr & Mrs Elias are delightful -  a great start to our visit.  We particularly loved our stay at Aanavilasam and the lovely Pirkko Paxton.  The backwaters were wonderful and I suggest it was WELL WORTH having the upgrade to a luxury rice boat. The crew, boat, food were impeccable – it was such fun!  Five out of five for a superb holiday!
Elspeth Gibson

Les 3 Elephants – our room one of the most basic rooms I have ever stayed in India.  Planter’s Retreat – our first experience of a homestay and we really loved it. Glenora - felt that the room should have been checked each day, owner delightful, wonderful walks. Ocean Hues - This must be one of the most idyllic spots on earth.  We loved it.  Neeleshwar Hermitage - probably one of the best hotels we have stayed in.  The attention to detail was amazing.  Although expensive even by British standards  the food and ambience were perfect for us. Copper Folia - typical mediocre business hotel and noisy.  These are our personal reflections.  We had superb moments which far outweighed the few times that weren't so good.  We take the rough with the smooth and we had yet again a wonderful holiday.  This was our 5th holiday with yu and we thank you so much for helping to make them all such positive and enjoyable experiences.
Dr and Mrs Anderson

My apologies for not contacting you sooner to report on our holiday.  You will be pleased to hear that it was a big success in every way.  We had a really lovely time.  Your organisation was perfect and everything ran like clockwork.   We are recommending your services to everyone!   So thank you very much indeed for planning and booking our lovely holiday
Gill Lowe

Joy and I got back on Monday night after a superb break in Kerala.  Over seven days you took us to 3 quite different locations, all well worth the visit. Both the choice of locations and their order in the itinerary were spot on.  The Companion Holidays drivers were excellent – helpful, prompt, polite and friendly.  Mayas Beach House is a well-designed and equipped little complex in a lovely setting.  We rate Coconut Lagoon as one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in.  Teak House is tastefully furnished and very well equipped.  The family were most welcoming.  We found the KC handbook invaluable. The only addition I could suggest is that you point out that the security processes at Mumbai airport are lengthy and sufficient time must be allowed. Please do not take this as a complaint, but as comment which you may, or may not, find useful.  We loved it, and now have a very high opinion of Kerala Connections in general and Gary Tree in particular. We would certainly use you again and shall recommend you to all our friends. 
Mr and Mrs Neave

We have just returned from fabulous time in India, memorable and extremely enjoyable! Have put questionnaire in the post for you and happy to provide further details about any comments.  Overall a wonderful, memorable holiday - fab! We would have no hesitation about travelling with your company again. We are considering India 2016 including Hampi and Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh so please keep us posted about your itineraries which may be relevant.
Karen Chancellor

The holiday/adventure has been great with many highs and thankfully very few lows.  Rajakkad was fabulous and worthy of mention, and we would be very happy recommending them, Maison Perumel (thank you for recommending it), Ideal River View and Visalam. Again we have thoroughly enjoyed our trip, with many memorable experiences. We are already thinking of where next in India.
Pam and Slawek Czuprynski  

Another very good trip.  Staying in really nice homestays is difficult to beat. 
Mark and Wendy Bostock

We stayed at 8 residences and 7 were excellent.  Shenbaga we didn’t like and can’t think why people rave about it. Lalitha Mahal – just the same and we still love it.   Orange County – Kabini was a great place.  We really enjoyed our stay at Coconut Lagoon, our dear friends at Philip Kutty gave us a great welcome and Courtyard by Marriott was totally the right move for the final night before the flight.  Many thanks – we just had the best holiday.  Everything you have done for us has been first class and we will obviously continue to recommend you to others.
Heather Coulson

Emirates performance and duty of care were poor.  We lost one night of our holiday due to a missed connection and we almost missed the return to UK due to delays.  We are writing to Emirates.  In other aspects our holiday was well managed and very enjoyable.
Mr and Mrs Smith

A thoroughly enjoyable, interesting and insightful trip.  Much enjoyed and well organised.  We loved the area.  The family at Aakriti are utterly charming hospitable and knowledgeable. 
Mr and Mrs Allfrey

Brilliant holiday.  RK was a first class driver and the houseboat team was brilliant.  We give Kerala Connections 10 out of 5!
Mr and Mrs Quirk

The enclosed questionnaire reflects our entire satisfaction with the holiday from beginning to end.  As this was a part of the world that had not figured on our “bucket list” we were very dependent on the advice of Kerala Connections on how we could put together an itinerary that would meet all our needs.  In the event it turned out to be perfect – a blend of warm beaches, cool hill stations, restful backwaters and a very full catalogue of animals and plants along the way.  Your advice on what to expect and what not to expect was particularly helpful and it was reassuring to know that we were in safe and capable hands.  In short it was a lovely and memorable experience for which we thank you.
John and Tricia Parker

Our driver (Siji) was very helpful on arrival at Cochin Airport and also in the process of getting five of us on the train with eight pieces of luggage!  Kaav Safari Lodge was faultless.  The Connemara tea plantation was better than the Tea Museum at Munnar.
Mr and Mrs Thomas

The agent was very good and our driver Siji was fantastic.  He went out of his way to make things easy for us and the vehicle was always spotless.  He was a good driver and a good companion as well.  We all became very fond of him.  We had a fantastic holiday – thank you.
Mr and Mrs Bloxsome

We had a wonderful time.  Your booklet with information on each place we stayed was great and the tipping information was invaluable.  The agent was very helpful and pleasant. Anil, our driver, was brilliant.  He loved the time we spent wandering around hills looking for grandparents bungalows, armed only with a photo or a birth certificate!   He was thrilled to see himself in the newspaper when we were interviewed in Munnar having found the church Mark's grandparents were married in.  
Mary Gomme

A wonderful holiday in Kerala.   It far exceeded our expectations.   Thank you so much for organising it – we couldn’t believe it everything went so smoothly.   As you know, we had certain reservations about India being a third world country, but there was nothing third world about it.   The weather was fabulous, the food delicious, and the people wonderful.   We heard horror stories about the mosquitos but everywhere was net proofed or there were plug in repellents.   The two drivers were wonderful:  so reliable and knowledgeable.   You were right about the houseboat (I shall never listen to the odd dissenting voice on Trip Advisor again).  Teak House was very comfortable and Mr and Mrs Sunil Elias were very charming and couldn’t do enough for us.   Royal Mist was a dream homestay – Anil and his wife Jeeva were such lovely people and such fun, making us feel very much at home.   The highlight for me was the first evening, sitting on the veranda in the dark, sipping an ice-cold Kingfisher, and feeling so relaxed and then eating the most delicious chicken curry.   Jeeva’s food was absolutely delicious.   I have never had such tasty pancakes and honey for breakfast!   All the while, Mohan, our driver, was very attentive, courteous, and communicated very well, absolutely top man!  Spice Village was excellent and the food delicious.   The staff were fantastic and very helpful.  Coconut Lagoon - wonderful restaurant staff, delicious food, accommodating Chef who gave me some recipes.   After initially finding it strange, especially at night, we liked the outdoor bathroom.   There was something liberating about showering at 6am in the open with the accompanying birdsong.  The Houseboat was lovely.  The chef cooked delicious Karimeen for lunch and we understood what Rick Stein was eulogising about.   We were on the houseboat for our Anniversary and it was particularly romantic.   Travancore Heritage – the standard heritage bungalow was completely unsatisfactory (very dark, noisy AC and fridge) so we were moved to a better room.  On reflection I think Marari Beach Resort would have been a better option for us.  We were very satisfied with the local agent, Companion Holidays, and the driver gave us some ideas for our next trip to Kerala.  As you can see, my mind and my heart are still there!  Thank you, Gary, for organising such a successful holiday.   It satisfied on so many levels.   My husband, Roger, and I are very satisfied with the service we have received from Kerala Connections.   I will be filling out the questionnaire and returning it, but I wanted to let you know how it went and to thank you. 
Belinda Smith

Ramesh (our driver) - was brilliant!   Extremely helpful and courteous was on hand when we need him and kept in contact throughout.  Palm Tree Heritage was fabulous.  The restaurant was more expensive than others, but food was exceptional and location was perfect - quiet and away from the main strip.  The owner (Bebu) works tirelessly to please.  Thanks again for all your help with the booking – a truly professional service.
Debra and Dean Larkins

Thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip, thanks to your usual superb organisation and that of your colleagues in Kerala. Our driver Jess was excellent and catered for our interests extremely well.  Dewalokam - FANTASTIC. Definitely the place to start a holiday in Kerala, like staying with old friends.  Sinta, her husband and all their staff made us so welcome. The accommodation and food were excellent and I was thoroughly spoiled with cooking advice. Plenty of interesting things to do on and around the farm. We had been thinking about maybe trying another country for our holiday next year, but will now likely be returning to Kerala if only to have a longer stay at Dewalokam.  Windermere, Munnar - Somewhere different. Very comfortable, with friendly staff. Limited food choices. A bit quiet for our taste.  Spice Village - on balance a most comfortable and enjoyable stay.  A definite place for a return visit.  Coconut Lagoon - beautiful location with impressive accommodation.  Lovely pool, very helpful staff, excellent food, interesting activities on site.
Thanks for all your efforts towards giving us another memorable holiday.
Jim Chapple 

We had a wonderful trip and much of this was down to impeccable organisation by Kerala Connections and Companion Holidays.  For us the highlight was Plantation Retreat at Aananvilasam. We would happily have stayed longer. Pirkko was a wonderful hostess and we met Salim which was a treat.  If we were asked to give Kerala Connections an overall score it would be 9.99 out of 10.
Michael and Penelope Gaine

Hi Gary We arrived back from our wonderful trip to India on Sunday and, although I will complete the questionnaire, I feel I should email with a bit more feedback and, most of all, to thank you for planning and making possible such a fantastic tour.  The itinerary was brilliant, everything worked perfectly, and every single day was packed with interest.  It’s hard to pick out the highlights, but we'd like in particular to mention the following: Gitanjali Farm was a great start to our holiday, so relaxing and welcoming, and delicious food.  Orange County was excellent in every way.  Fringe Ford is an amazing place - we loved waking up in the middle of the forest and listening to the birds.  We loved the houseboat - a great way to relax at the end of the holiday, and much better than sitting on a beach (we thought).  Finally, and most important of all, we would like to tell you how much we appreciated our driver, Sanjeevan.  At the beginning of our trip he said that his aim was to treat his customers as if they were his own family.  This wasn't just words - he did exactly that.  We could not have been looked after better.  His driving was excellent - we never felt even slightly nervous, and whatever happened he remained calm and cheerful, We enjoyed his explanations of local customs, politics, agriculture and so on - and his five minute condensed version of the Ramayana! We feel very lucky to have had his knowledge and his pleasant company for the three weeks - it made such a difference to our holiday.
Hope this is useful and not too long winded.  We had a wonderful time, and will certainly recommend Kerala Connections to friends.
Bron and David

Jess was brilliant - prompt, safe and full of interesting and information.  Nothing was too much trouble.  Thank you for your help.  Having a reliable driver added to our holiday enjoyment.
The Dodds Family

We had such an amazing holiday! It opened new doors to us having a child with us. Delight Homestay: was  entirely delightful. It was comfortable and in such a very good position for freelance sightseeing. Marari Beach Resort: provided the longed for swim in the sea. The beach in front of the hotel was absolutely pristine and very beautiful. Lakes & Lagoons Houseboat: As always very enjoyable, friendly crew, good food. Mannaas Veedu: So glad you suggested we went there. Periyar Villa: another excellent suggestion, this very palatial homestay was very comfortable. Dewalokam: This was our third visit so what more can we say.  We love this place and Sinta, Jose, Tara and Paul: it really is heaven on earth. Companion Holidays: Once again Mr Kumar and his team did us proud. Everything was wonderfully organised without a hitch. We were so pleased that on our first full day he arranged for us to visit a Temple Festival. 11 brightly decorated elephants, lots of colour and excited crowds, music and very loud fireworks. We could not have hoped for a better introduction to India for Natasha.  Finally many thanks to you Trevor and Kerala Connections for working with us and creating a splendid itinerary. You really do listen to what we want to do and have no hesitation in recommending you to others and hope to use you again in the future. Your support during the Visa saga was particularly appreciated.
The Bettle Family (Mr and Mrs Bettle have travelled with us many times – but this was the first time they have travelled with their granddaughter Natasha)

Excellent service from the local agent.  Mr Daniel checked we had arrived in India OK despite being independent for the first few days.  Manu (our driver) did an excellent job.  Overall – excellent, as always, from brooking through to completion of holiday. 
Mrs Alcock

Trevor, before I return the feedback form I would like to thank you for arranging a thoroughly absorbing and successful holiday. We were looked after most diligently during the 3 weeks, kept fully occupied and the attention to detail throughout was faultless. With special thanks to you, Kerala Connections and Companion Holidays including the guides and Sigi (driver).
John Kingsley

The holiday was great, just as good as ever.  Marari Beach Resort now give you a basket of fruit every day, which is a very nice touch.  I am still praising you to the hilt at every opportunity.  
Marian Rudd

I just want to thank you for organising seamlessly a wonderful holiday.  All the places we stayed at were lovely.  Bennett was great fun, informative and could'nt have been a better driver. 
Madeleine David 

At last I have a moment to sit down and send you a line to tell you about our lovely holiday in Kerala.  Every time we arrived at our new destination we said 'How do you think Diana knew that this is perfect for us?!' so you see we were very satisfied. Biju drove very carefully with consideration for us all the time.  Our first stop at Tapovan was a glorious situation with very comfortable sleeping accommodation and in the middle of a rubber plantation. Any visitor from the UK would be very happy here.  We were looked after by the charming Manager/Owner who described how rubber was extracted from the trees and took endless trouble to make sure we had plenty of meals.  Bird Watching was a delight - Simon was delighted with the new species he saw.  Our next stop was at the Paradisa Plantation and the long ride was well worth it.  The food and service here was particularly good and the people charming. We met the owner on the second day who impressed us. I think you know him, Diana? .  We would have liked longer in the reserve as there were many interesting birds and a few animals to see.  Again we had a very good guide.  We then drove to Alleppey to the house boat and spent two days on it with three charming crew.  I had already been on one on another holiday you had arranged, but for Simon it was his first time and he was delighted.  Being delivered to the jetty of Coconut Lagoon was exciting and our two days there were wonderful.  The amenities were perfect and again we made us of the guides.  I had a marvellous massage too.  We arrived at Teak House eventually as it is fairly remotely located and were made very welcome by the Elias family.  The accommodation was spacious and comfortable and Sunil took us out bird watching to marshland where the birds were plentiful in the evening.  He shared his photography passion with us and we were so interested to know more about Indian life. All in all it was a wonderful worry free holiday with everybody arriving on time and Mr Kumar keeping in touch.  Please thank him.    
Alice Everard

Driver Anil - great to be met by a friendly face! Anil is such a careful and considerate driver and with a good sense of humour.  Orange County, Coorg – very comfortable, welcoming, friendly, clean, good eco policy. This chain is excellent.  Tranquil, Wayanad – wonderful to be back here – great hospitality from family and staff, who welcomed us back like old friends.  Orange County, Kabini - here, too, we were welcomed back and conversations were picked up from 2 years ago – that’s a really good sign.  Golden Chariot Train - this was the perfect way to see the wonderful ancient sites of Karnataka that we had long wanted to visit. The train was not as luxurious as The Maharajas’ Express but was as comfortable.  Staff, food, hospitality, organisation were excellent.  Fantastic  holiday except for the appalling hotel in Goa. 
Leela Grant 
We have taken up the complaint about the Goa hotel with the group and will not be recommending it until the issues have been resolved.
Filling in the questionnaire does not seem adequate for our wonderful holiday.  It really did go swimmingly!  Mr. Kumar the local agent was very helpful, any slight problems or change of plans and he acted immediately, even when I left my camera charger (despite a sweep of the room) at Coconut Lagoon.  It appeared at Teak House.
All the accommodation was Excellent (5) it was good to stay in different types of accommodation and some we liked more than others.  Malabar House, Cochin - certainly was the best food and a lovely atmosphere.  Olive Brook, Munnar - beautiful gardens high up in the hills, very peaceful and quiet, the owners very helpful.  Heritage, Madurai - large 5 star hotel with vast villa and bathroom and good size plunge pool.  Spice Village, Periyar - lovely pool.  Hotel shop very good, not overpriced. Also impressed with the gardens.  We enjoyed the Kalaripayattu martial Art display.  Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom - room very good, we were happy sitting on the veranda watching the world go by.  We both had a massage here just about perfect.  Houseboat - lovely mattress on the front of the boat and everything at a slow calm pace.  Teak House, Olanad - beautiful house, grounds, views, pool.  They have three rooms, so 6 guests at a time.  The wife did the cooking, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  This is the first year they have been on the books as a homestay. We were very happy with all our stays.  And very happy with Bennett Joy he was a fund of information and a very good driver.  Certainly 10 out of 10 to Diana for our tour.  We did recommend you to others we met. 
Margie Gardner 

Very impressed with the service.  Mr Kumar and Companion Holidays looked after us very well.  Bennett was an exceptional driver - lots of patience, always on time, smart, spotless car.  Took great care of with lots of suggestions for sightseeing.  We had a very nice room at Olive Brook which had gorgeous gardens, good company.  We enjoyed a very good walk with knowledgeable young man.  Spice Village was a wonderful resort!   Didn't think it could get better - but it did at Coconut Lagoon!  Lovely relaxed ambience.  Teak House was a beautiful tranquil place - unsurpassed hospitality - Sunil and family made us so welcome.  It was the highlight of the tour -there were tears in my eyes as I left, it was so lovely. 
Janine Page

You were incredibly helpful and really tailored the holiday to suit us.  We really appreciated it.  Thank You.
Sarah Powley

The variety of places we stayed at was excellent - they were all so different that in 12 days we felt like experienced so much - so many new experiences.  Each accommodation had something original and special about it.  Overall what I will remember about this holiday was the hospitality and genuine friendliness of the people, the casual relaxed nature of welcoming us - a personal touch that you get much less in other places nowadays.  Thanks for a great holiday!
Claire Wilson and Laila Tata

Rajasthan, and particularly Delhi, took us right out of our "comfort zone", so it was particularly restful to arrive in Kerala under your aegis. Your organisation went like clockwork.  Everyone was very pleasant and helpful.  And it got better and better.  Your information was very helpful, especially on the subject of tips.  Sinta at Dewalokam and Neema (Bungalow) said you were the best operators that they deal with, both in efficiency and pleasantness of drivers you use.  Thank you for all your help and advice.  I shall certainly recommend you to others.
Nicola Rexton

I have posted you the appreciation form, which you should receive in a day or two.  However I feel I want to add more of a personal nature.  First of all I must tell you that this was the best visit to India of our eight, and we were particularly delighted by Bel Home and Dewalokam, each of them outstanding in different ways.
Bel Home - we found the owners delightful and they went out of their way to make our stay special.  The gardens were a dream too, so we rated the stay highly. The lack of a shower did not put us off at fact it was quite fun!
Dewalokam was a revelation, although I knew it would be good from the client’s comments seen on-line.  The food was the best we had had in India and the organised activities were most interesting.  We couldn’t recommend this too highly. 
Mrs Barbara Marsh

Our driver Prakesh was excellent and made a most significant contribution to the enjoyment of the holiday.  A very charming man, very helpful and a fantastic driver.  Our holiday was overall excellent and thoroughly enjoyed.
Mr and Mrs Hook

Thank you for all your assistance with our honeymoon.  We spent 3 weeks in India had a wonderful time.  Please be assured that we would have no hesitation in recommending your company to our friends and family if they ever wish to visit India. 
Aanavilasam is a wonderful place and as such sets a very high standard against which to score the other stays – I am so glad that you recommended this for our visit. 
Bennett was attentive and helpful throughout.  Please make sure that your local partners know just how lucky we feel to have had him looking after us during our trip.
Andy and Sarah Hall

Splendid holiday, wonderful time and everything worked extremely well.  Your paperwork was invaluable and very comprehensive.
Janine Page

We enjoyed our trip enormously and are still dreaming about it! The organisation (local agent) was excellent with very helpful guides.  We greatly appreciated Shibu as a driver/companion throughout.  He was courteous, knowledgeable and reliable with fine driving.  The car was comfortable and always spotless.  Nelpura Homestay and the village exceeded all expectations.  The Bangala (Chettinad) was the best overall experience. 
Mary Ibbett and Stephen Orr

Everything ran like clockwork.  All accommodation was overall very good to excellent and certainly lived up to expectations.  Fringe Ford was the highlight of the trip.  We thoroughly enjoyed all the places we went to, especially the Backwaters and Wayanad.  Our least favourite was Munnar which felt very busy and quite commercialised.
Bob Stow and Caroline Stacey

The travel documents are very comprehensive – everything is absolutely crystal clear. 
Mr Campwell Walter

The holiday was really enjoyable. Everything about it was great.  Exactly what we wanted.  We are grateful to you for listening to us as we got exactly what we wanted.  Rainforest was an amazing place and the houseboat was fantastic with lovely crew and great food.
Alex Wolfe-Warman

We received your info yesterday and after a quick look at it all, it would appear to leave no stone unturned!
Mary Gomme

Really happy with the holiday and all the arrangements.  The Bungalow was a great start, Dewalokam was awsome and Nelpura was another highlight. Loved the houseboat and we could not fault Marari Beach Resort which was a really nice end to the trip.  A really lovely holiday.
Darren Harvey

Gary - thank you soooo much for organising it! We are literally in our element - it is paradise here.We couldn't have wished for a better place. We just wished we had booked the whole 5 days with you.  I will recommend you to people though as honestly we are so happy.
Gina Gina (with friend Lisa) was in Goa when she first contacted us and wanted to join friends in Kerala for a few days at very short notice.  We (together with our local agent) managed to do as she asked so that they could join their friends on houseboat - so we were pleased to see they were soooo happy.

Your documentation is outstandingly good.  The Tour Information booklet particularly – we have never had such a thing from another tour operator.  All very impressive and much appreciated. 
Mr Melville

The agent was very attentive and helpful.  We would like to express our appreciation for our driver Anil.  He was brilliant throughout - deserves high praise. 
David and Mary Hall

Our trip would not have been the same without Bennet Joy (our driver).  Not only was he a cautious driver, he was always looking out for us.  He was always willing to stop if we wanted to take a picture, have a coconut or coffee and knew where all the clean WCs were. Bennet was friendly, funny, knowledgeable and very professional.  Having him with us for 2.5 weeks was a true pleasure.  It made the trip that much more special.
Mr/s Hanna and Mr/s Dowell, Canada

Dewalokam was the perfect place to re-orientate myself after a long journey.  Jose and Sinta were wonderful hosts.  I enjoyed the yoga and wonderful massages. Thank you so much for organising such an interesting trip for me - I have given your name to many of those I encountered who asked me how I managed to find out about homestays.  A big thank you to everyone who looked after me - I felt really safe at all times but not unadventurous!
Susan Jonas Susan travelled on her own (having previously accompanied her husband on a Kerala Connections holiday) before attending a WI conference in Chennai.

The local driver was knowledgeable and well organised.  The travel and hotels went without a hitch.
Kevin Harvey

All in all a very good holiday.  We thought Hampi was magical and Badami quite amazing.  Our comments are really for your information and not complaints.  Overall score - 5 (out of 5).
Shirley Law

All our venues (and driver) spoke very highly of Kerala Connections and its UK based staff.  Compliments indeed.  Many thanks to you all for a great holiday.
Barry Barnes

Just to let you know that we got back safely last night from a truly amazing holiday with Kerala Connections. The whole trip was fantastic, you did a great job with our itinerary, which was busy throughout but left us with some great days for relaxing too. There were so many highlights, too many to mention them all but for me I think I would say Dewalokam, the views across the tea plantations, the early morning trekking in Periyar and the peacefulness of Coconut Lagoon and the houseboat were certainly among mine. It was such an experience to share with our kids.
We were treated like royalty in every accommodation we stayed in and we were even upgraded to a pool villa in Marari Beach which was a very special end to our holiday.
Mr Kumar did a great job organising our transport etc and checked in with us a few times to make sure we were happy - his drivers were both very polite and helpful with our trips and excursions.All in all it was a fab holiday - thank you for your attention to detail and planning which made it all run so smoothly.
Mary Moffat


Alison and David Bettle said...

Our 3rd holiday with Kerala Connections and their Indian partner Companion holidays. Once again a wonderfully organised and brilliant itinerary. All the drivers were superb but particular thanks to Mohan who was with us for 4 days. This time we took our grandaughter Natasha for her first visit to Indian which she enjoyed so much and a real eyeopener for us travelling with a child. Everyone went that extra mile to make the holiday rememorable. Lots of activities with elephants including in the wild at Periyar, washing elephants in the river at Pathanamthitta, having a shower from elephant at Periyar and attending a Temple festival with 11 brightl;y decorated elephants at Kochi. Thank to everyone. We will always recommend you for Southern Indian holidays.

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