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INDIA

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Western & Oriental Registered in England 8687765 VAT No. 203 9167 24 All information correct at time of going to print. All rights reserved 2015.

INDIA

Western & Oriental is part of ITC Luxury Travel Group Limited.


ITC Luxury Travel Group Limited THE COLLECTION

Pioneers of responsible travel, Rainbow Tours specialises in tailor-made holidays to Africa, Madagascar and Latin America, taking you to world famous sights as well as hidden corners right at the heart of local cultures. Their well-travelled team arranges safaris, custom-made trips for couples, family holidays, honeymoons and expert-led groups, as well as relaxing beach breaks.

Regent Holidays has been pioneering travel experiences to a wide range of unique and off-the-beaten-track destinations since 1970. From St Petersburg city breaks and group tours in the Balkans, to Silk Road train journeys and tailor-made Burma holidays, our Travel Specialists travel extensively so that they can offer expert advice to help you plan your alternative holiday.

www.rainbowtours.co.uk

www.regentholidays.co.uk

A pioneer in luxury travel, ITC has spent over 40 years creating bespoke holidays of a lifetime for our valued clients. As one of the UK’s longest-established independent, luxury tour operators we offer a genuine passion for travel, extraordinary local knowledge, a pedantic approach to fine details and an inspired workforce who sincerely love what they do.

www.itcluxurytravel.co.uk

Founded in 1983, Villa Select is known for its unique and discerning selection of carefully hand-picked villas across Europe, the Caribbean and Thailand. From traditional, rustic countryside retreats to contemporary, centrally-located luxury villas, Villa Select provides a friendly and professional service from the moment you book right through to the service you receive in resort.

www.villaselect.com


WE’VE BEEN CREATING AMAZING TRAVEL EXPERIENCES FOR OVER 20 YEARS And when we say creating, we don’t mean simply booking a few hotels and flights, or cobbling together a package deal. We mean genuinely creating unique trips that match every individual wish or whim of our clients to give them memories that last a lifetime. We don’t rest at finding them the perfect hotel or the most authentic cowboy experience in the USA’s wild west. We want everything to be exactly right. We’ve been able to do that for so long thanks to our team of destination experts. Actually, ‘experts’ is too vague a term for people who live and breathe these incredible destinations. These people have spent years falling in love with travel before turning their passion into their profession. Which means your travel experience will be put together by someone who knows every nook, every cranny and every five star restaurant, remote beachside shack or temple tour that will make your trip something special. We’ve scoured the world for interesting angles on some of the most dramatic, beautiful and exotic places you’re ever likely to visit. From the wild horses of the mid West to a tall ship sailing voyage around the Far East, from the graceful tigers of India to a beautiful sunset in the Caribbean, our travel experiences have it all. Whether you want to shop till you drop or relax as you’ve never relaxed before W&O travel experts know the best possible way to indulge you, your family, or your friends. In short, we guarantee you a W&Onderful experience.


CONTENTS India

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India’s Gateways

9

Delhi

10

Calcutta

11

Mumbai

12

Cochin

Northern India & Rajasthan

13

14

Agra

16

Jaipur

17

Udaipur

18

Jodhpur

19

Jaisalmer

20

Varanasi

21

Rural India Himalayas & Foothills

28

Dharamsala

29

Amritsar

Shimla & Darjeeling

31

Leh & Srinagar

32

30

Wildlife

34

Safari Lodges & Camps

40

Southern India

44

Kerala & Madurai

47

Hyderabad

48

Mysore & Munnar

49

Iconic India

50

Rivers & Backwaters

56

60

Luxury on Wheels Adventures For The Family

68

Fairs & Festivals

72

Food & Culinary

78

Bazaars & Shopping

80

82

Indian Journeys Palaces, Lodges & Retreats

92

Beyond India

126

Nepal

128

Bhutan

132

Sri Lanka

134

Maldives

Middle East

136

Thailand

137

140

Booking Conditions

2

22

135


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WHAT’S YOUR KIND OF W&ONDERFUL? If India is what you’ve set your heart on, then you’ve already chosen somewhere pretty amazing. But at Western and Oriental we want to improve on amazing by making sure your experience is unique to you. We’ll help you create a holiday that is your kind of W&Onderful. We’ll find you a luxurious holiday that suits you down to the ground (or up to the palace). Or arrange a backwater cruise that’s truly out of this world. Or direct you to a National Park where you’ll discover the secret heart of this beautiful country. Whatever it takes to make your trip special is what we’re here for.

A MADE TO MEASURE EXPERIENCE

REASSURINGLY SECURE

India has so much to offer it can be hard

We want you to enjoy every aspect of

to know where to start, or stop. So when

your holiday, even before you go. As

you talk to our experts you’ll find they’re

members of ABTA and ATOL, you have

full of ideas that help you create an

the reassurance that your holiday is

experience that indulges every ambition

financially protected.

or desire. EXPERTS WHO LOVE INDIA We don’t believe you should be limited

Everything we suggest or recommend

by rigid itineraries or schedules. You

is based on the real experiences of our

tell us what you want and we’ll tell you

India experts. Our team have visited

when, where and how to make that a

every hotel and National Park we

reality, whether that’s a safari through

feature. They’ve travelled across deserts,

a tiger reserve, or camping under the

through jungles, up mountains and up

canopy of stars in luxury.

rivers to find you highlights above and beyond the ordinary.

If there’s something particular you want to see or do, such as see more

What our experts bring to each

wildlife, explore more culture, or visit

destination apart from a fountain of

more restaurants, we can arrange pretty

knowledge is a passion for India. They

much anything. If you want to mix and

love this extraordinary nation of colour

match experiences, cities or even other

and want you to share the pleasure

countries, then we can do that too.

they’ve found here. We don’t think you’ll find that too hard to do!

THE ONLY LIMIT IS YOUR IMAGINATION.

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INDIA INDIA BLAZES WITH COLOUR, LIGHTS AND LIFE. TO SAY IT’S DIVERSE IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. FROM THE WORLD’S TALLEST MOUNTAIN RANGE IN THE NORTH TO THE VERDANT LAKES AND PRISTINE BEACHES OF THE SOUTH, EACH REGION HAS SOMETHING SPECIAL TO EXPERIENCE. WHEN TO GO

A DIFFERENT REGION FOR

The best time to visit most of India is

A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE

during the cool, dry season, between

Cities in India can be bit of a shock

October and March when weather is

to the system. It’s not a bad thing. The

generally warm, dry and sunny. The

roads are crammed with rickshaws,

north, Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Rajasthan

lorries and the odd stray cow, as well as

and Madhya Pradesh often offer clear

people. Markets appear to be around

blue skies, and temperatures in Central

every corner, with fabrics, spices and

India remain fairly comfortable. It can be

handcrafts of every colour.

fairly cold and foggy in the Himalaya in December and January, the trekking

But if you want some peace and

season reaching its peak in August

relaxation, slip away from the bustle

and September. The heat of the south

and find India’s natural beauty. Enjoy the

becomes less stifling in May and June,

sublime bliss of the snow-capped peaks

and follows with the monsoon so aim to

of the Himalayas and the jungles famed

be in Tamil Nadu and Kerala between

for their majestic residents, tigers.

December and March. THE GUEST IS GOD GETTING THERE

Many things make India special –

Getting to India is simple with direct UK

its colours, culture, religion, food,

flights to major gateways and regular

shopping and natural beauty. But one

connecting flights to smaller cities.

thing stands out above them all – its welcoming people.

Time Zone: GMT +5.5hrs Whatever their faith, they all share the Flight time from the UK:

same ideal – ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’.

8h 20m Delhi

It means ‘the guest is God’ and in

8h 50m Mumbai

this case, the guest is you. From the hotel staff to the train attendants, you’ll experience the smiles and warmth of the Indian people.

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INDIA’S GATEWAYS

WHEN THE COUNTRY GEOGRAPHICALLY COVERS OVER 3 MILLION SQUARE KILOMETRES, AND WITHIN IT LAY CULTURES AND LANDSCAPES THAT RANGE AS DIVERSELY AS SEVERAL COUNTRIES MIGHT, ONE SINGLE AIRPORT OR CITY COULD NOT SERVICE INDIA ALONE. CHOOSE TO BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY IN NORTHERN DELHI, COLONIAL CALCUTTA, SPRAWLING MUMBAI OR START IN THE SOUTH WHERE HISTORY MEETS COSMOPOLITAN IN COCHIN.


GATEWAYS TO INDIA

DELHI Most cities in India are old, but only a few, like Delhi, are truly old. Although it wasn’t always the capital, you can find remnants of many dynasties around the busy streets. You can explore ancient ruins and mansions in Old Delhi, then cross into New Delhi to experience an ordered colonial town. There’s always something new to find – even locals are still discovering their own city. MAKE YOUR TRIP TO DELHI SPECIAL Whether it’s your first trip to Delhi or your fifteenth, you’ll always discover something new. Our Delhi by Night tour takes you through the historical city. It’s a completely different place once the sun goes down, and a perfect time to explore the food stalls and pubs. We can also help you create your own DIY tour. Explore Old Delhi on foot, traversing its bylanes and neighbourhoods with its knowledgeable citizens who make the walk a little more charming with their anecdotes.

WE RECOMMEND Stroll around Old Delhi with Masterji ki Haveli. Their Heritage walk can bring many untold stories of Old Delhi to life. Visit the Mughal gardens followed by a tour of Rashtrapati Bhavan. It’ll be open to the public between February and March Find the unvarnished truth of Delhi by booking on our selection of City Walks. Attend the free Thursday evening performances of Sufi devotional Qawwali music at the tomb of Nizamuddin Dargah. Experience Indian theatre to get a taste of Bollywood at Kingdom of Dreams.

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GATEWAYS TO INDIA

CALCUTTA When you think of colonial India, you think of Calcutta (or Kolkata). Its British-occupied past is still evident in the architecture (and in the love of cricket), but Calcutta has also become its own cultural giant. One of the largest metropolises in India, it can be a shock to your senses. But we can take you beyond the chaos and labyrinths of streets to the beauty at the heart of this former capital. THE SECRET SIDE OF CALCUTTA If you want inside connections and local insights into Calcutta culture, we can put you in touch with area expert and owner of Glenburn Estate, Husna-Tara Prakash. Whether you’re talking to street vendors, tasting the local teas or wandering around the town, she will share her passion and offer her connections to make your experience something special. Combine a stay in the old city with a trip deep into the tea plantations to get a real feel for this side of India.

WE RECOMMEND Put your feet up and watch life go by on a cruise along Hoogly river. Try the transport tour: travel on trams (the only system in operation from the time of the Raj), take a Tonga trip or ride in a Hindustan Ambassador – India’s version of an old UK Morris Oxford. Discover the opulent side of Calcutta at the Victoria Memorial Hall ‘the Taj of the Raj’ or visit Mother Teresa’s home for a more humble experience. Join in with the artisans at the potters market of Kumartuli. Watch them make life-like idols of the gods. Take a trip to the Marble Palace, a stunning nineteenth century home resplendent with Grecian pillars. Spend a little more time in the city so you can relax at Rajbari Bawali (due to open in the first quarter of 2016). It lends a completely new perspective to Calcutta and its surrounding area for a real and rural India experience.

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GATEWAYS TO INDIA

MUMBAI Home to Bollywood and bright lights, Mumbai brings glamour and glitter to India. Packed with grand colonial architecture, buzzing modern nightlife and fashionistas fresh from the movie set, it’s a hotbed of style. And we can help you see it all with our bespoke tours. The city of dreams is a world of dramatic contrasts and the same is true of its shopping. With huge shopping centres at one end and the ‘thieves’ market’ at the other, there are many different shopping experiences for you to enjoy. THE SECRET SIDE OF MUMBAI A city as well-explored as Mumbai doesn’t have many secrets to give up. That’s where we can help. Our experts know how to get under the city’s skin. So hitch a ride on a rickshaw with one of our guides and be taken on a journey through the heart and soul of Mumbai or take a helicopter for a panoramic view of the city.

WE RECOMMEND Walk around the Gateway of India and Colaba, then end up in the biggest fish market at Sassoon Docks. Eat like a local at the Irani Café and soak in the atmosphere and city’s different Café’ cultures. Dine at either Bombay Canteen or Britannia & Co to see what the place is really made of. Our favourite, Leopold Café, had a great mention in Gregory David Roberts’ Novel ‘Shantaram’ Spend a day touring the city on the Jewish tour and a heritage walk of Bombay. Slip away from the tourist hype and spend time in Ban Ganga for a special experience in the city that never sleeps. Witness and experience the ‘Ascot of the East’ by heading to Mahalaxmi Racecourse.

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GATEWAYS TO INDIA

COCHIN Kochi, or utilising its colonial name Cochin, is a bustling city found in the south west of India in ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala state. Some think of it as the Gateway to Kerala due to its strategic positioning between the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Strictly speaking Cochin is a small town but it seems to have outgrown its confines and now it is the generic term incorporating the many quaint neighbouring towns such as Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, and Ernakulam. GATEWAY TO KERALA With such an idyllic climate located close to the equator, the sea and the mountains, Cochin is without doubt the ideal springboard for exploring the stunning southern state of Kerala. Meander its old fishing towns complete with Chinese fishing nets, before exploring the sleepy backwaters and beautiful wild beaches or spend time at an old Coir factory witnessing age old techniques in weaving door mats.

WE RECOMMEND Visit the historical sites in Mattancherry/Fort Kochi – to include Jew Town, the Jewish synagogue, St. Francis church, Santa Cruz Basilica, Vasco House, Dutch Palace, Fort Kochi beach, Chinese fishing nets and watch the sunset. Take in an authentic Kathakali performance with its bright costumes, elaborate make up and intricate movements. Kerala Folklore Museum was created in old Keralan style derived from ancient temples and beautiful old houses collected by its owner, an antique dealer.

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NORTHERN INDIA & RAJASTHAN

STEEPED IN 5,000 YEARS OF HISTORY AND TRADITION, ‘INDIA’S HEARTLAND’ EMBRACES THE MODERN WHILST MAINTAINING ITS RICH HERITAGE. JOURNEY THROUGH THE VAST THAR DESERT AND THE ANCIENT ARAVALLI MOUNTAIN RANGE TO REACH THE MIGHTY GANGES RIVER. UNCOVER THE ANCIENT WONDERS OF HISTORIC FORTS, AND LET THE BEAUTY OF GRAND OLD PALACES AND WELCOMING FACES IN COLOURFUL DRESS CAPTIVATE YOU.


NORTHERN INDIA & RAJASTHAN

AGRA Be inspired by the greatest love story ever told. Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, the most beautiful building in the world – and a tale of undying love. But the Taj is only one chapter in Agra’s story. Uncover mysteries at Fatehpur Sikri, a dream city built from warm sandstone, then witness the majesty of the Mughal rule at Agra Fort. In Agra, even touring tombs and crumbling ruins is romantic. Slip away from the past and savour the present with a luxurious stay at one of our favourite hotels, Oberoi Amarvilas with all rooms overlooking the Taj Mahal. No honeymoon would be complete without a bit of indulgence. And by indulgence, we mean five star bliss and champagne at dawn beside the Taj Mahal. BEYOND TAJ MAHAL We highly recommend a visit to the Taj Mahal during sunrise to capture it in all its glory (except mid December to mid January when it can be foggy or misty). But don’t just stop at taking pictures. Yoga at Taj Khema against the backdrop of the Taj Mahal will help you become one with your inner self. End the day at the Taj Getaway’s skydeck in the evening. 16

WE RECOMMEND Wander through the Mehtab Bagh (Moonlight Garden) during sundown, and watch the last rays of the sun gild the dome of the Taj Mahal, bathing it in a warm orange glow Go on the Chambal Safari and cruise along the Ganges. You might spot some of the playful Ganges River Dolphins or some of the endemic birds or the native Gharial (with elongated snout).


NORTHERN INDIA & RAJASTHAN

WE RECOMMEND

JAIPUR

Feel like a Maharaja or Maharani and ascend the magnificent Amber Fort on a decorated elephant

While known as the Pink City, Jaipur should be famous for a much

Soar above the city on a hot air balloon for a pictureperfect panoramic view.

palaces and forts rising out from the organised chaos of modern life.

broader palette of colour. A shining example of Indian vibrancy, with We’ll help you discover the rich history of the Rajasthan capital – just try

See the lesser-known forts such as Jaigarh or Nahargarh Fort for breathtaking views, or the Abhaneri Step Wells to see unique architecture.

not to get lost in the bustle. The town itself is a stunning example of an old

Wander around the back streets and find ornate one-off ornaments made of marble or encrusted with jewels. Unique decorations for the home can be found here and nowhere else.

up and down the Amber Fort.

Rub shoulders with history. Have a drink at the Polo bar, followed by gold-plated dinner at Suvarna Mahal at Rambagh Palace (the former residence of the royal family of Jaipur).

regal city; expect dawdling camels, knowledgeable rickshaw drivers and even an elephant or two returning from a busy morning ferrying tourists

THE SECRET SIDE OF THE PINK CITY REVEALED If you want to get under the skin of the city and its locals, we can put you in touch with our Jaipur expert Durga Singh, who has accumulated a treasure trove of stories and inside knowledge about this colourful city.

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NORTHERN INDIA & RAJASTHAN

UDAIPUR Settings don’t come any more romantic than Udaipur. The city rests on many shimmering lakes including Lake Pichola, nestled among the lush hills of the Aravallis. Discover 500 years of history exploring palaces, temples, havelis and museums as they jostle together on streets winding like rivers through the old city. UNCOVER THE CITY OF LAKES We can show you all of Udaipur’s secrets, and the surrounding areas like Kumbhalgarh, Ranakpur and Mount Abu. See the sparkling lake from up high on board a helicopter for a special aerial tour of the area. Udaipur explodes with culture and colour during the festivities of Diwali or Holi. The festival sets the city ablaze with glittering lights decorating the streets.

WE RECOMMEND Live like a royal and explore the City of Dawn in a vintage car. No better way to feel the romance of the city than to hire a Gangaur Boat for private dining in middle of shimmering Lake Pichola. Uncover a special experience by taking a walking tour through the vegetable and fruit market. Let your senses take in the bright and vibrant stalls, with spices of every colour filling the streets with their earthy perfume.

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NORTHERN INDIA & RAJASTHAN

JODHPUR From top to bottom, Jodhpur is a wonder. Below the old city is a wash of blue, where almost every building has been treated to a lick of periwinkle paint. Travel into the midst of the blue buildings and you can find markets of every colour. It’s a shopping sensation. MARKETS GALORE A trip to Jodhpur wouldn’t be complete without a bit of retail therapy in the colourful markets around the city. Visit the Clock Market with its rich spices, handcrafted linens, then browse the Sajati Gate Market for traditional souvenirs. No trip would be complete without one purchase, just make sure you haggle. SECRET JODHPUR It’s about who you know in Jodhpur. You can treat yourself to a Tayeb Khan handcrafted Sari, just as long as you’ve got someone who can put you in touch with him. He doesn’t sell to the stores, so they’re really exclusive. Jodhpur is also home to the World Sacred Spirit festival.

WE RECOMMEND Mehrangarh Fort: One of the biggest forts in Rajasthan. Mehrangarh museum located inside the fort complex is a place not to be missed. Jodhpur is set within the mystical desert and you cannot leave without a Desert Safari; choose camelback, horseback or in Jeeps. Jaswant Thada, built by Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur State in 1899 is a stunning edifice made of sparkling white marble and are a fantastic historical lakeside memorial.

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NORTHERN INDIA & RAJASTHAN

JAISALMER The stunning fort of Jaisalmer emerges out of the sand dunes, a desert mystery in the heart of India. The sandstone buildings give the city its title of ‘Golden City’ rich in life, with teeming alleys and vibrant bazaars. Explore the fort and havelis by day, then join the camel safari at dusk. While the city itself is hard to get to, the journey is more than worth it. The living fort houses thousands of people within its walls. Handicraft shops, restaurants and hotels also fit inside the fort. Founded in 1156, the fort is a surprising jumble of eras.

WE RECOMMEND If you happen to be in Jaisalmer in January or February, you’ll experience the whirlwind of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival. Admire the stunning Jain Temples. You almost happen upon them when traversing the labyrinth of streets in the fort. There are seven temples, each covered in intricate carvings. Stay in luxury at the Serai and watch the sun set over the golden city beside the swimming pool.

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NORTHERN INDIA & RAJASTHAN

VARANASI Varanasi (or Benares) is ‘older than history, older than tradition’, as Mark Twain once wrote. Situated on the banks of the River Ganges, thousands come here to bathe in the sacred waters. The centre for Hindu pilgrimage and India’s holiest city it’s one of the oldest surviving cities in the world, outlasting Babylon and Thebes. The eternal home to Lord Shiva, Varanasi has an important place in Hinduism being recognised as one of its seven holy cities. People from all over India come to the Ganges’ shores to celebrate the circle of life, where the Ghats are the stage for naming ceremonies, baptisms and laying the dead to rest. This is without doubt one of the most vibrant, colourful, unapologetically hectic cities in India. ENGAGE & EMBRACE Mr Tripathi is a local Hindu priest, astrologer and historian who never tells the same story twice. Let him whisk you away on a walking tour where you will have the rare opportunity to meditate with a Sadhu (India’s wandering holy men) and learn how they live.

WE RECOMMEND The best way to witness the chaos and colour of the ghats, the steps that lead to the river, on the Ganges. We recommend you take a morning boat along the holy river. Watch the artists at work as they share the story of the ancient craft of Zardozi (sewing with gold string), which has been handed down from generation to generation. All beliefs are welcome at Varanasi. You can meditate with Buddhist monks at Sarnath. When the sun sets, hire a boat for a panoramic view of the evening prayers where thousands of terracotta lamps float down the river.

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RURAL INDIA

INDIA CAN BE A CULTURE SHOCK FOR SOME, BUT THERE ARE MANY PLACES IN THIS BEAUTIFUL NATION WHERE YOU CAN RELAX AND ENJOY THE LAID-BACK LIFESTYLE. FROM SECLUDED MANSIONS IN THE DESERT TO DREAMY HOUSEBOATS ALONG THE KERALA BACKWATERS, YOU CAN FIND YOUR ESCAPE FROM THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF MUMBAI AND DELHI.

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RURAL INDIA

Samode Palace Luxury Hotel

CHHATRA SAGAR

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SHAHPURA

ALWAR

Head for the luxurious tents perched on top

At the centre of the array of lakes, wetlands

Nestled in the arid landscape of the desert,

of the towering dam to camp in true style

and plush vegetation of Rajasthan lies the

Alwar is a beautiful mixture of Havelis

and comfort at Chhatra Sagar. Each tent

Shahpura Bagh, a pristine white mansion

and palaces – one of the oldest cities in

has uninterrupted views of the Rajasthan

that prides itself on providing a relaxing and

Rajasthan. A cenotaph stands as a reminder

wilderness from the flat surface on top of the

authentic yet luxurious home stay experience

of the maharajas’ rule and Alwar is also the

dam, overlooking the huge reservoir below.

for travellers visiting the region.

closest city to the Sariska tiger reserve.

The dam’s creator, Thakur Chhatra designed

Rajadhiraj Nahar Singh of Shahpura wanted

Explore the scattering of towers and ghats that

the reservoir, to be a spectacle of engineering

to provide water to his people in the early

surround the emerald green tank in the centre

and beauty, dreaming that it would be an oasis

1900’s and now Rajasthan shimmers with

of the fort. Stay at the luxurious Amanbagh,

in the desert. The camp provides a perfect

lakes in a testament to his work. Upon arriving

designed like a latter day haveli and set in the

viewpoint from which to enjoy the sunset

at the Shaphura Bagh, meet and interact with

stunning gardens of the former hunting lodge of

from the dam’s edge. Explore the temples,

your host to hear untold stories and experience

the local royalties. Indulge in a spa treatment

grasslands and villages of rural Rajasthan

genuine Rajasthani hospitality. Trace the

before experiencing rural and real Indian life

before returning to the dining tent to join the

region’s history by visiting the forts and learning

in the local villages where you can witness

party and enjoy a traditional home cooked

of the local legends, before discovering the

women making bread and churning the local

meal under a canopy of stars.

variety of birdlife that calls the lakes home.

dishes on open fires.


RURAL INDIA

SAMODE

MAHESHWAR

ORCHHA

Discover the glorious Samode Palace in the

There is an endless choice of spiritual places

More laid-back than the nearby Khajuraho,

Aravallis, whose lovingly restored ancestral

in India, but Maheshwar, far less intense

enjoy a relaxing visit to the historic village

buildings sit amid the hills in Rajasthan,

than Varanasi, is always a firm favourite.

Orchha and take in the stunning temples,

surrounded by an open rural landscape. The

Temples, pilgrims and ghats make up most of

forts and spectacular displays of Mughal

exquisite beauty of this royal residence makes

Maheshwar’s charm, but it’s the Ahilya Fort

architecture of the region. The pink and

for a magical stay in the home of the Raj.

that will take your breath away each time.

gold-domed Ram Raja Temple is stunning.

Alternatively stay in luxury at the Samode Bagh

The Fort once belonged to Queen Ahilya

Along the shores of the Betwa River, the

– a unique and immensely peaceful camp

Bai and has been restored lovingly and

beautiful chhatris watch over the shimmering

situated in incomparably beautiful Mughal

transformed into a beautiful hotel. Enjoy a real

waters and ornate spires tower from the

gardens close to Samode Palace. Samode

fort experience and spend time sitting next to

temples. Round off your day with a visit to

Bagh comprises a collection of comfortable

the sacred Narmada River. Watch the local

the night prayer ceremony at a local temple

tented rooms scattered around expansive

life of pilgrims and local villagers unfold at the

followed by a visit to the local market in the

gardens complete with pavilions and fountains,

ghats below from the comfort of your balcony

town centre. For adventurous visitors, the

lawns, flowerbeds and a pool. Unwind in the

or terrace of the Ahilya Fort. The fort is an ideal

surrounding countryside can be explored on

massage and steam area after returning from a

base to explore the deserted city, Mandu, and

foot or by bike, and rafting is available for a

hectic day’s sightseeing in nearby Jaipur.

the temple of Omkareshwar.

unique view of Orchha.

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RURAL INDIA

Devi Garh by Lebua

DEVI GARH

KUMARAKOM

Often when you’re asked to think of boutique

The Ranakpur temples appear to be more

Let the lazy currents carry you away from

hotels, you think of small, comfortable and

like a majestic, intricately carved palace

the hustle and bustle of India’s large cities,

creative hideaways. But at the luxurious

than the sites of pilgrimage for the Jain cult.

trading the rickshaw for a boat to float

Devi Garh in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan,

Built in the 15th Century, the temples are the

along the backwaters of Kumarakom. Travel

‘boutique’ means ‘regal’ and ‘hotel’ means

truly spectacular crowning glory of the small

through the lagoons and waterways, spot

‘sophisticated, romantic hilltop fort’.

village of Ranakpur in western India.

exotic birds roosting in the fertile isles.

With its origins as an 18th century hilltop fort

The palace is a true celebration of architecture

While there are bungalows and hotels around

in the countryside outside of Udaipur, the Devi

– marvel at the eighty domes and hundreds of

the resort, choose to spend your time aboard

Garh is the ideal location for a luxury escapist

columns decorating the sacred temple before

a houseboat to leisurely cruise through the

retreat. The once imposing fort structure has

exploring the white marble interior. Ranakpur

freshwater of Vembanad Lake, gliding past

been softened to create the perfect place to

is not far from Udaipur, so if you’re visiting the

palm trees with the tropical sun on your back

relax and spend your travels through Rajasthan

city of lakes, don’t miss out on the chance to

and getting your fill of fresh fish straight from the

feeling like a Maharaja. Spend a few days

explore these temples. Ranakpur is also easily

water. You’ll be in good company as the resort

walking through the villages in and around

combined with visits to Jodhpur and Udaipur or

has the royal seal of approval – Prince Charles

Delwara for a great insight into the rural lives

Jawai Leopard Camp and Udaipur.

enjoyed his 65th birthday at the Kumarakon

of the locals.

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RANAKPUR

Lake Resort.


RURAL INDIA

COORG

BADAMI

KARAIKUDI

Sink into the verdant bliss of Coorg, also

Famous for scenic beauty, its clifftop fort and

If you’re visiting the south of the country,

known as the Kodagu district. In the Western

its neatly carved 6th century cave temples,

Karaikudi is worth a few days of your time.

Ghats, it’s a popular choice for those wishing

Badami town is nestled in a ravine at the

Known for its pristine white palatial limestone

to escape the intense heat of the South in

foot of red sandstone outcrops around the

buildings and exquisite food, Karaikudi is

summer with its lush green landscapes and

Agastya Lake, and is a must-see if you’re

the biggest city in Sivaganga district and a

stretching coffee plantations.

passing through Karnataka.

heritage town in the Chettinad area.

Mild and mellow, Coorg is rich with abundant

Visit the truly spectacular, beautiful Badami Cave

Discover mansions decorated with tasteful

exotic wildlife and boasts stunning scenery.

Temples – a network of four caves that have

splashes of red and green and vibrant patterns

It’s also a centre for spice production, like

been lovingly carved out of the sandstone cliff

within the cool halls of the Karai Veedu or

cardamom and vanilla, and known for its

face, each adorned with intricate statues and

simply indulge in learning the skills of cooking

delicious coffee. While in Coorg, visit the

etchings dedicated to the gods, before heading

famous Chettinad cuisine. Visit the peaceful

Bylakuppe Coorg, which is the second largest

up the cliff opposite to explore the Badami Fort.

Karpagavinayagar Temple, delightfully hidden

Tibetan settlement in India or opt for a long day

Explore the surrounding areas on foot, or enjoy

far from the beaten track and unknown to the

excursion to Nagarahole National Park, to spot

the exciting climbing opportunities that the cliff-

crowds of India’s larger cities. The Chettinad

the tigers, Indian bison, elephants, wild dogs

dominated landscape provides, keeping your

Mansion and the impressive Raja’s palace of

and leopards that roam the protected grounds.

eyes open for resident grey langur monkeys.

Chettinad are also well worth a visit.

Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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HIMALAYAS & FOOTHILLS

BREATHTAKING MOUNTAINOUS PEAKS, SPARKLING BLUE GLACIAL RIVERS AND VERDANT FORESTS; THE BEAUTIFUL HIMALAYAS PROVIDE A PICTURESQUE BACKDROP TO A PEACEFUL AND SPIRITUALLY DIVERSE REGION. A PLACE FOR PILGRIMAGE AND ADVENTURE, DELVE INTO INDIA’S COLONIAL PAST AND EXPERIENCE THE TIBETAN WAY OF LIFE AT THE HOME OF THE DALAI LAMA.


HIMALAYAS & FOOTHILLS

DHARAMSALA The legacy of Tibetan culture lives on in Dharamsala. The 14th Dalai Lama has his residence at Mcleod Ganj, a town outside the city. Expect traditional Tibetan architecture with quaint villages for this region is home to the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet. Many Buddhists make the journey to see His Holiness, who stays in the town regularly. Even if you don’t meet the Dalai Lama, you can still enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this Buddhist pilgrimage. SEEING IS BELIEVING The scenery of the area is simply stunning. The Kangra Valley offers sweeping panoramas of rolling green hills, cascading waterfalls and dramatic dark, cloud-clad mountains simply ideal for hiking. A trek to Bhagsu Waterfall is a must. While the path to the waterfall is out-of-bounds, you can still catch breathtaking views at Bhagsu village.

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WE RECOMMEND Marvel at the largest Tibetan temple outside the original nation, Tsuglagkhang. It’s the Dalai Lama’s monastery where the monks living there will greet you. Learn all about Tibetan history at Tibet World. The organisation preserves their country’s legacy. And you can join in with meditation and yoga. Hinduism has a home here too at Kunal Pathari where people come to pray to the Goddess Kalpeshwari. Visit the temple and learn the intriguing story behind the skull of Sati. If you like hiking, then you should take the climb up to Triund Hill. At the top, the views will take you close to enlightenment. For those who enjoy the national sport visit the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium


HIMALAYAS & FOOTHILLS

AMRITSAR Home to Sikhism’s holiest shrine, the majestic Golden Temple, Amritsar is the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh religion. A great city of worship and pilgrimage, a visit to Amritsar is believed to cleanse the soul of the pilgrim. The gold plated Gurdwara sits majestically in its ‘holy pool of nectar’, a unique and wondrous sight that rivals that of the Taj Mahal. The surrounding city consists of busy alleyways full of friendly locals selling folk arts and exceptional cuisine. In addition to the city’s top attraction, there are a number of other sacred monuments, temples and shrines worth visiting. ALL THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD We recommend seeing the temple at night when it throws a golden reflection onto its shimmering waters (and there are far fewer people). Witness the nightly bedding ceremony of the sacred texts (Guru Granth Sahib).

WE RECOMMEND Experience the humbling philosophy of Langar at the Golden Temple, the largest open kitchen in the world. It serves 100,000 people every day for free, no matter their beliefs or background. Make sure you don’t miss the Wagah Border Ceremony. Two hours before sunset, the colourful military display takes over the town. Don’t worry, we’ll guarantee you a VIP view. If you arrive in April, make sure you witness the celebration of Baisakhi, a harvest festival. The thundering drums of Bhangra music get your feet moving.

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HIMALAYAS & FOOTHILLS

SHIMLA Set your spirits high in the Himachal capital of Shimla. The town sits upon its throne up in the northern Himalayas at over 7,000ft. Shimla fully deserves its title as Queen of the Hills. Churches, mountain railways, parks and museums make this mountain capital as supreme as the Raj who ruled it. MEET THE EXPERTS OF SHIMLA Seeing the sights is just part of the experience. We can put you in touch with those who know the region inside out, such as historian Raaja Bhasin, who helped produce the recent Indian TV drama – Indian Summer. He’ll tell you all about the legacy of the Raj. ALL ABOARD If you find the railways along the Himalayas as stunning as we do, then you’ll want to immerse yourself in the experience. A short ride between Shimla and Taradevi provides a taster of Himalayan railways where you start to savour the breathtaking scenery – and even meet the Station Superintendent.

DARJEELING Cresting the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, it’s fair to say that Darjeeling is steep. Roads climb up breathtaking scenery, where flowers and mountains mingle with Buddhist and Hindu temples. Wherever the land is flat enough, there’s a plantation growing the famous tea. However, as you’ll see, there’s far more to Darjeeling than tea. DISCOVER THE COLONIAL PAST OF INDIA ON THE TRACKS Victorians certainly loved their tea. So much so, they braved the mountains and built impossible railways into the Himalayas to boost their trade. We believe the best way to appreciate the engineering marvel of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is to ride it. There are two to three fully operational railways, including an 88km run from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. The whole network has been awarded UNESCO world heritage site status as it’s the first example of a hill passenger railway. It’s certainly a memorable ride, especially along the Batasia loop. 32


HIMALAYAS & FOOTHILLS

LEH Stay in the regal city of Leh. The Himalayan capital of the kingdom of Ladakh is a marvel in the mountains. The imposing Leh Palace looms over the old town, the lasting ruin of the Ladakhi kings. Explore the caravan trails of the Silk Route, white water raft past glaciers and gorges, get a blessing from a monk or search for rare Snow Leopards between February and April. CAMP IN STYLE AT CHAMBA CAMP Tents here aren’t nylon and poles, they’re luxurious units with en suite bathrooms and private butlers. Relax under the starfilled sky and enjoy the bliss that makes Ladakh so special. ABOVE THE CLOUDS Walk, mountain bike or ride an iconic Royal Enfield along the Great Indian Canyon. These roads in the clouds are some of the highest drivable roads in the world, fourth highest being our favourite for its scenic beauty and you can virtually have the whole road to yourself. For truly picturesque sites, travel up to Tso Moriri. This Lake is the highest in India and is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and fed by springs and snow melts.

SRINAGAR You’ll need more than a camera to capture the splendid beauty of Srinagar. Nestled in the shadow of snow-capped peaks, Srinagar is an idyllic town beside the glassy waters of the Dal Lake. The farmers’ market on the Dal Lake early in the morning is one of this city’s highlights. Once the mecca of art and craft, you can find Pashmina or Jamawar shawls, copper utensils and saffron. We recommend a private guide when you ride on the iconic Dal Lake. Our specialists can also arrange a craft tour or a meal with a local Kashmiri family with food prepared by the famous Waza (local chefs).

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WILDLIFE

IT SEEMS FITTING THAT THIS VAST COUNTRY IS HOME TO A RICH AND DIVERSE VARIETY OF NATIVE WILDLIFE. FROM INDIAN LIONS, SUN BEARS, AND CROCODILES, TO BISON, ANTELOPE, SNAKES AND ASIAN ELEPHANTS THE LIST STRETCHES ON, PROTECTED BY OVER 120 NATIONAL PARKS, BIO RESERVES AND AN ARRAY OF WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES. BUT FOR MOST IT’S THE MAJESTIC BENGAL TIGERS THAT STEAL THE SHOW.


JUNGLES & SAFARIS Discover the exotic side of wildlife in India. From snow-capped mountains, to the darkest depths of lush jungle and to the wide sweeping plains of the grasslands, animals rule the landscape. Travel to the hard-to-reach vistas. Safaris in India are special. Feel the excitement when you first glimpse a tiger prowling after her prey. You have the best chance to see one in India, which is home to over 70% of the world’s population of Royal Bengal Tigers. But there’s more to see than the majestic big cats. This is your chance to see bull elephants, grizzly Sloth Bear, singing Gibbons, majestic Great Indian Hornbill and elusive leopards in their native habitat, and the park is home to over 270 species of exotic wild birds. BEST TIME FOR A SAFARI IN INDIA Most of India’s best national parks are open between October and June. If you’re planning to visit India later in the year, be aware that often national parks are closed during July, August and September for breeding and monsoon season. Our destination experts know that it is important to make sure you plan enough time in each national park (we recommend a minimum of 3 to 4 nights) and only use exclusive jeeps for game safaris in most national parks or wildlife sanctuaries.

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WILDLIFE

RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK Make sure you pack a camera. Ranthambore is a photographer’s paradise. The stunning vistas take in ancient and natural history. From crumbling ruins to crouching tigers, there’s always something to snap. Ranthambore is one of the largest National Parks in Northern India located in the heart of Rajasthan. It is easily reached from the cities of Jaipur and Agra. We can arrange safaris to fit into your holiday – and at Ranthambore, and if you’re lucky, you stand a good chance of spotting your first majestic tiger in the park. The park also offers a plethora of other indigenous animals, including leopards, sloth bears and macaques to keep safari-dwellers clicking away should the illusive tiger stay hidden.

BANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK Want to see a tiger? At Bandhavgarh, you have a better chance to see one than anywhere else. While a small park with a higher tiger density than any other park, you’ll see just as much wildlife here as in some of the bigger parks. With a healthy population of leopards living in the forest, Bandhavgarh is a catch for big cat sightings. Visitors can choose from jeep and elephant safaris for a more authentic experience. The park’s topography ranges from steep ridges to undulating forest and open meadows which all assist in spotting the Royal Bengal Tigers. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wild boars, sambars, jackals and a wide variety of birds, including greylag geese, cuckoos and parakeets.

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WILDLIFE

PENCH NATIONAL PARK The setting that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book is just as

Situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh and covering almost 2,000sq

mesmerising in real life. Picturesque landscapes dominate this beautiful

km, Kanha is India’s largest national park and a place where you’re

park, where verdant, glossy jungle flora mingles with the array of

likely to spot leopards lounging in their natural habitat. Have the

wildlife. But keep your eyes peeled amongst the dense jungle of this

camera ready as you explore the jungle to spot everything from the

park, in the hope of spotting a real-life Sher Khan, as Pench is an

illusive barasingha jungle deer, tigers and wild dogs to hyena, jackal,

established tiger reserve.

porcupine and mongoose.

KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK

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KANHA NATIONAL PARK

KABINI NATIONAL PARK

Visit Kaziranga to visit the rhinos. The one-horned rhino roams the

Drift slowly and leisurely along the river and see the majesty of nature in

grasslands, now sadly endangered. But they are not the only species

action. The Kabini National Park is home to rich, abundant populations

that calls this World Heritage site home. As with many of India’s national

of wildlife, many easily spotted like the leopard families and Mugger

parks, Kaziranga is great for tiger sightings. Make sure you keep an eye

crocodiles. It’s one of our favourite places to visit when in Southern India

on the skies – there are many exotic birds to spot as well.

purely for its sheer diversity of ecology and topography.


WILDLIFE

JAWAI DAM

SATPURA NATIONAL PARK

Not all of India’s jungles are natural. Jawai Dam may be a concrete

Not being as well-known as the other national parks in India has worked

structure on the outside, but that’s not what makes it special. The nearby

to Satpura’s advantage. The absence of queues of vehicles crowding

village thrives alongside the leopards who also call the dam home. We

around one leopard means you can enjoy a safari without interruptions.

don’t think that any trip into India’s wild side is complete without seeing

The park is famous for both its leopard and Sloth bear populations. You

how the people and animals live together. Framed by hills with large

can explore the park in many ways, not just in a jeep. Travel by canoe,

boulders, Rajasthan’s second largest reservoir makes a perfect setting.

on foot or even on an elephant.

CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK

TADOBA NATIONAL PARK

Nepal has more to offer than mountains and temples. Deep in the

Newly reopened, this national park brings lush jungle scenes to life.

southern belt, there’s Chitwan National Park. It bursts with life, from its

With a magical array of flora and fauna you’ll have a chance to spot

rich population of tigers to the high number of elephants and rhinos

a tiger in the sweeping plains or rich forest. Tadoba is one of the few

roaming the lush forests. Its natural beauty has even captured the hearts

national parks which is open even during the monsoon season, so you

of UNESCO and it’s also one of the country’s world heritage sites.

can visit the park at any time in the year.

Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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SAFARI LODGES & CAMPS

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SAFARI LODGES & CAMPS

FLAME OF THE FOREST This intimate boutique safari lodge offers just four exclusive cottages set in over 10-acres of land in Kanha National Park. Home to one of India’s original tiger reserves, this national park boasts a variety of indigenous Indian wildlife. The lodge was set up by a husband and wife team who shared a passion to help conserve the local environment, hence Flame of The Forest was born.

including yoga sessions, culinary

the focal point of the resort were guests

Sitting close to the gate of the national park, the four

classes with the resort’s chef, a library

can come together and discuss their

luxury cottages are built utilising local materials and

and spa. Guests will also have the

day’s activities and sightings.

offer stunning views across the forests. The bathrooms

opportunity to visit a local village to

are modern with an alfresco bath.

witness what life is like in the jungles of India.

national park, however, the owners have also

The large communal dining area,

incorporated a variety of other activities for guests

serving regional and tasty cuisine is

Heading back to the heyday of the Raj, Sherbagh offers a luxury tented camp reflecting the style of a 1920s safari. Sitting in the vicinity of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, the camp’s 12 hand-stitched canvas tents offer a wonderful base to explore the surrounding area. The whole ethos is to take guests back to a simpler time; Edwardian design and classic safari furniture and fixings ooze with glamour of days gone by. Lanterns illuminate

Guided cycling tours for beginners and advanced cyclists are a fabulous way to

Most people visit the region purely to explore the

SHER BAGH

DON’T MISS

experience the wilderness.

DON’T MISS Try an exclusive game drive in a private jeep or head out on a horse or camel to explore the surrounding areas.

WE RECOMMEND For the ultimate in luxury, opt for the Royal Tented Suite, with a heated private plunge pool ideal for a swim in the midday sun.

the pathways and a campfire is lit every night; dinner is usually taken alfresco to add to the whole outdoors experience. Expect western picnic-style lunches and traditional Indian dinners cooked in clay ovens for the evening meal. The late night Library Bar is perfect for reminiscing traveller tales with your fellow guests. Following a long day on safari, guests are invited to relax poolside or in the Jungle Spa which offers a range of treatments under the canopy of an ancient Peepal tree. .

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SAFARI LODGES & CAMPS

BANJAAR TOLA A TAJ SAFARI LODGE With a tranquil setting on the banks of a gently flowing river, Banjaar Tola, a Taj Safari Lodge has the perfect location for nature-loving guests who want to discover the spectacular wildlife of Kanha – one of the best maintained national parks in India. Open only from mid October until June each year, Banjaar Tola was built to maximise conservation while still providing the ultimate in style and comfort. Each of the tented suites is contemporary and chic with earthy tones and modern amenities. Guests can linger in the lodge for coffee, take a dip in the refreshing pool, or head out on safari in search of tigers and barasinghas, a type of deer found only in India.

SAMODE SAFARI LODGE BANDHAVGARH With just 12 independent villas in a lush jungle setting, Samode Safari Lodge offers a taste of the Indian jungle in a distinctly luxurious setting. Nestled on the edge of the wondrous Bandhavgarh National Park, the lodge is on the doorstep of the largest concentration of tigers in India. With dark wooden beams, heavy wooden furniture and brightly coloured furnishings, Samode Safari Lodge is inspired by the colourful architecture of the region and has a distinctly Indian feel. Each of the private villas is spacious and tranquil, and the perfect place to relax after a long day on safari or soak under the stars in the unique open-air bath court. Dining is a daily surprise, with a different menu and a different venue each day.

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SAFARI LODGES & CAMPS

AMAN-I-KHAS Located just outside Ranthambore National Park with the rolling Aravali Mountains as a backdrop, sits Aman-i-Khas. Offering the romance and sophisticated ambience Aman hotels are renowned for, coupled with the raw natural beauty of the landscape, this tented resort is a top choice in the region. The 10 elaborate permanent tents take inspiration from the Mughal Empire, drawing on fine spacious living areas with separate

PARK VISITS

compartments for sleeping, bathing, dressing and dining. All come complete with a veranda to watch the world go by.

Join the resort staff as they journey into the national park in search of Bengal Tigers, leopards, jungle cats, hyenas, deer and antelope. It is

Following a thrilling day exploring the local area in search of the

a fantastic safari adventure regardless of whether the tigers come out

elusive Bengal Tiger, the traditional-style swimming pool beckons.

or not.

Relax poolside with a good book, borrowed from the resort’s

KHANDAR FORT

collection, or try your hand at one of the board games. The onsite spa offers a wealth of traditional Indian treatments designed to leave you in

Explore the magnificent Khandar Fort, one of Rajasthan’s most dramatic

a state of bliss.

ruins. Perched on a hill, 300 metres above the plains, it remained unconquered for generations. Spend an afternoon exploring the

The dining tent offers fantastic local cuisines utilising home-grown

remains before heading into the village of Khandar to experience daily

regional produce – western meals are available too.

life in the hills. Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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SOUTHERN INDIA

SOUTHERN INDIA IS THE PICTURE-PERFECT CHARACTERISATION OF THE VIBRANT COLOUR, EFFERVESCENT ENERGY AND SPIRITUAL, TEMPLESTUDDED COUNTRY THAT MANY IMAGINE INDIA TO BE. TRADE THE EXHAUSTING PACE OF BIG CITY LIFE FOR THE PALM-FRINGED BEACHES OF KERALA AND EXPLORE THE ANCIENT ARCHITECTURE OF MADURAI, THE COUNTRY’S OLDEST TEMPLE TOWN BEFORE HEADING FOR THE HILLS TO HIKE MUNNAR’S WESTERN GHATS’ ANSWER TO THE HIMALAYAS.


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SOUTHERN INDIA

KERALA For sun, sand and sea, venture south to the coastal state of Kerala. Discover a different side of India to the sensual onslaught of the northern cities. The pace of life slows, but never stops. You can relax at palmfringed beaches with the warm ocean lapping at your toes, then grab your culture fix at one of the towns. WE RECOMMEND While beaches make Kerala particularly inviting, there’s much more than sand and sea. Our favourite parts of Kerala are the backwaters. We arrange cruises through these sleepy waterways where you can watch life unfold around you. Kerala is home to Ayurveda ‘science of life’ – indulge and pamper yourself with massages and treatments in some of the best romantic backwater or beach resorts.

MADURAI Madurai is one of India’s oldest and the most famous temple town. The Meenakshi Amman temple is the city’s lifeline. It is home to the legendary goddess Meenakshi and an astounding number of demons and idols. It is considered to be South India’s architectural equivalent of the Taj Mahal. IT’S ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW IN MADURAI Whether it’s soul-searching, stories or superstitions you’re looking for, our specialist Leela is your lady. She will guide you around the flower and fruit market, show you the workings of the rice batter trade and shed some light on the superstitions around Ten Pillar Street and Tirumalai Nayakkar Palace. WE RECOMMEND Priests, accompanied by pipes and percussion instruments, perform prayer ceremonies. We recommend the evening ceremony where you can follow a celebratory parade as it makes its way to the chamber. The free kitchen serves traditional Tamil vegetarian food, which has a distinct aroma and flavour and is traditionally served on a banana leaf.

Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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SOUTHERN INDIA

HYDERABAD The metropolis of Hyderabad is really two cities – Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The modern end of town lures in many people, as it’s a business centre in India. Stunning mosques, ancient temples and modern skyscrapers all have a home in the large city. The old part, in particular, has an important place in Islam as the home of Mecca Masjid and a large number of Muslims. The city is an exciting fusion of colour and sound where visiting local bazaars or sitting and listening to the Sufi music are musts. HAVE A SPECIAL TOUR WITH THE FANTASTIC JONTY If anyone is worth knowing in Hyderabad, it’s Jonty. Her walking and personalised tour of Hyderabad is made all the more rewarding thanks to her passion and connections. Even if it’s simply learning of the lives of street vendors or tea tasting or getting an entry into one the famous weaving communities, Jonty will make your city stay wonderful.

WE RECOMMEND Find lots of exotic Bangles and Jewellery in Laad Bazaar. The market surrounds the iconic Charminar, a monument and mosque. Visit in the evening to see the jewels sparkle. Slice of the Colonial at Secundrabad Club and tales of the tragic love story of White Mughals at The Residency. If you are into music, listen to the sufi music at the many sufi dargahs. Discover the hidden treasure of the Paigah tombs. They’re not normally on the usual tourist trails. These marble tombs are examples of fine architecture, mosaic and tile work

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SOUTHERN INDIA

MYSORE The moment you see the red domes and decorative arches of the Mysore Palace, you know why Mysore is one of the top destinations in Southern India. But palaces aren’t all you’ll find in this former home of the Wodeyar dynasty. Famous for silks, sandalwood and incense, Mysore smells as sweet as it looks. And it definitely looks sweet at night when the Palace is lit by hundreds of little lights. THE SECRET SIDE OF MYSORE The young team at Mysore Walks are not just passionate about what they do, they’re very creative too. They know everyone and everything that there is to know, so they’ll make sure you have an authentic experience of Mysore. WE RECOMMEND Head into Mysore’s sandalwood oil factory for the best oil in the trade. Take your time to visit more sights within the Palace grounds, such as the Shweta Varahaswamy Temple. Hike up Chamundi Hill and admire Sri Chamundeswari Temple with its 40m high gateway. Devaraja Market is a feast for the senses, with spices, flowers and coloured powder for Bindi.

MUNNAR It may not be in the Himalayas, but Munnar’s mountainous slopes are just as stunning. Located inland in the state of Kerala and home to the largest tea plantation in South India, the rolling hills are covered in tea as far as the eye can see. Expect a few surprises along the way including a wild elephant or two roaming the lands. Around Windermere Estate, you can see how tea or coffee is cultivated and taste the goods at the hotel. WE RECOMMEND Explore the area at your own pace by bicycle. A great way to enjoy the spectacular scenery and rolling hills of Munnar; you must stop off to visit one of the many tea plantations.

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ICONIC INDIA

INDIA IS HOME TO SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ARCHITECTURE IN THE WORLD. THESE SPLENDOURS OF INDIA’S MAJESTIC PAST ARE HAVENS OF COMPARATIVE CALM AMIDST MODERN SPRAWLING CITIES AND SWARMS OF BUZZING RICKSHAWS. THEY EVOKE IMAGES OF A MAGNIFICENT AND LONG-FORGOTTEN WAY OF LIFE THAT YOU WILL TREASURE FOR YEARS TO COME.


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ICONIC INDIA

TAJ MAHAL Rising out of the dusty city of Agra, and sitting on the banks of the majestic River Yamuna sits the iconic Taj Mahal. One of the Seven Wonders of the World and representing an age-old story combining love and tragedy, this white marble edifice speaks of Shah Jahan’s lost wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Jahan swore to his dying wife that he would build a monument in her honour over her burial ground. Around 20 years of labour utilising the efforts of over 22,000 men later, the Taj Mahal was erected. Its white marble exterior, intricate carvings, precious gemstones and picturesque location make it one of the most famous sights in the whole of India. Visitors can meander the manicured gardens adorned with cascading fountains and perfectly shaped hedgerows or perhaps admire the River Yamuna from the elevated bankside position or watch the sunset turn the brilliant white into dusky shades of pink and orange. Inside the small tomb, visitors can see the place where Shah Jahan and his fallen wife Mumtaz Mahal lie.

HAMPI Return to the rich past of the Vijayanagar Empire at Hampi or the Angkor Wat of India. It was once one of the largest and richest cities in the world. Unearthly large boulders sit alongside stunning palaces, their ruins still as breathtakingly beautiful as they were in the 14th Century. Hampi translated means “champion” and you can see why it was crowned this name. Hampi’s ruins are special – where else can you find the past whispering from musical pillars of Vijaya Vitthala Temple. Its marvel of architecture and wondrous sculptures make it worthy of its status as a UNESCO Heritage site. Witness the majesty of the Chandramouleshwara Temple at a full moon. It’s one of our favourite secrets, especially as it’s a reward after a tiring journey. You have to take a boat to get to this island, and then pass through the valley of boulders.

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ICONIC INDIA

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ICONIC INDIA

KHAJURAHO You wouldn’t expect an ancient historical site to be erotic. But that’s just what the many temples at Khajuraho are. Sexually explicit figures adorn almost every inch of the ancient temples, reminding us exactly where the Kama Sutra came from. One temple has nearly 350 figures in total! Erotic forms aren’t all that Khajuraho has to offer visitors. The temples themselves are an incredible example of ancient Chandela architecture. Some temples date as far back as 900 AD.

AURANGABAD The city itself has monuments, but most people visit Aurangabad as a base to explore the ancient caves at Ajanta and Ellora. Both these sites have World Heritage status, and it’s clear why when you visit Ajanta’s 30 caves and Ellora’s temples hewn out of the rocky ground. Ellora’s famous feature, Kailasa Temple, is the world’s largest monolith. Both are remarkable feats of artistry, especially the monuments at Ajanta, some of which date back to the 2nd century BC. Ajanta Caves remain closed on Monday and Ellora Caves are closed on Tuesday.

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RIVERS & BACKWATERS

EXPERIENCE INDIA FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. RIDE THE RIVERS, SUCH AS THE SACRED GANGES, AND STOP OFF AT THE HISTORICAL SITES ALONG THE RIVER BANK. LIFE REVOLVES AROUND THE WATERSIDE, WHERE THE SPIRITS OF THE FALLEN ARE LAID TO REST AND FLOATING CANDLES ARE CAST OFF TO HONOUR THE GODS.


RIVERS & BACKWATERS

THE LOTUS HOUSEBOAT BACKWATERS OF KERALA

Lounge onboard the houseboat from heaven, the Lotus. The beautiful boat cruises through the twisting backwaters of Kerala, taking you through the lush jungles by the waterside. Stop off at the luxurious hotels where palm trees frame the beaches and join safaris that give you the chance to see the rich wildlife in the area. There is no other boat on the backwaters of Kerala that has the same exquisite calibre. Guests can escape the crowds down south – they get into smaller canals and can sail close to the banks so they can really see life unfolding beside them. Everyone should have the privilege of trying the Lotus at least once! We recommend you charter the Lotus for your sole use.

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RIVERS & BACKWATERS

ASSAM BENGAL NAVIGATION Long-distance cruises are what Assam Bengal Navigation are all about. The only difference is they explore the world’s greatest rivers rather than the ocean. Assam Bengal Navigation offer many different types of cruises, but they can be split into Brahmaputra cruises and Ganges cruises. Our favourite vessel is the latest boat, the Raj Mahal. BRAHMAPUTRA Experience the river in Assam from the water. See the river wildlife up close, then stop off and join a safari to see the wildlife in the surrounding area. You can visit tea plantations, then relax on islands nestled in the gentle currents. GANGES & HUGLI Cruise the Ganges and Hugli together or separately. Head up from Kolkata, stopping at the various villages and monuments along the way. See how the Ganges offers spiritual guidance to the people from your seat by the window. Join in with the river culture and time your trip so you can visit the Sonepur Cattle Fair.

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LUXURY ON WHEELS

TRAVELLING BY TRAIN IN INDIA IS MORE THAN A FORM OF TRANSPORT. IT’S PART OF THEIR WAY OF LIFE. FROM THE HIMALAYAN RAILWAYS TO THE DRAMATIC OPULENCE OF THE PALACE ON WHEELS, RAILWAYS IN INDIA ARE AS DIVERSE AS THE REST OF THIS INCREDIBLE COUNTRY. BUT THE LUXURY TRAINS ARE THE ONES THAT REALLY GRAB OUR ATTENTION. IF YOU WANT TO VISIT A MULTITUDE OF PLACES WHY NOT TRAVEL IN STYLE?


LUXURY ON WHEELS

MAHARAJAS’ EXPRESS Ride and dine in luxury aboard this glorious train. The Maharajas’ Express is the newest luxury train and it’s designed to take you back to an age of opulence. Feel like nobility as you take high tea in the dining car and stay in a private coach, or splash out and hire the Presidential Suite, which takes up a whole carriage. Enjoy gourmet dining in the two dining cars, where meals are served with crystal glasses and highly polished cutlery. In the evening, relax in the Rajah Club, the train’s lounge car. There’s a library to delve into, or you can join your fellow passengers in a game of cards with a glass of Scotch, like evenings of a bygone era. NOT JUST ABOUT THE TRAIN The Maharajas’ Express operates five fantastic tours through India between October and April. We can improvise and provide more flexibility even on these structured itineraries. We’ll even recommend a private chauffeur and guide during sightseeing and excursions so you can do things at your pace. We also recommend the junior suite, which has more space and two panoramic windows. the City Palace and the Crystal Gallery. In HERITAGE OF INDIA

Jodhpur, the Sun City of Rajasthan, visit the

Maharajas’ Express Heritage of India itinerary

vast Mehrangarh Fort and the Old Clock

offer insights into the rich heritage and culture

Tower before delving further into India’s history,

of India. This tour is perfect for history lovers;

continuing on to Bikaner to visit the Deshnok

you’ll get the chance to visit the beautiful

Temples and the striking Junagarh Fort. Later

palaces in Rajasthan and the Taj Mahal, as

explore the cultural treasures of Jaipur, from the

well as the caves at Ajanta.

iconic Amber Fort to the Royal Observatory and the Jai Mahal Palace, and then embark on

7 NIGHTS/8 DAYS

a safari in search of India’s royal tigers through

Mumbai – Ajanta – Udaipur – Jodhpur –

Ranthambore National Park. And finally,

Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra – Delhi

before you make your way to Delhi, no cultural journey through India would be complete

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Starting in Mumbai, the journey begins to

without stopping at Agra for a spectacular

reach the UNESCO World Heritage medieval

viewing of the majestic monument of eternal

caves of Ajanta and continues on to Udaipur

love, the Taj Mahal. Round off the trip with a

for a walking tour across the Old Bazaar,

champagne breakfast at Taj Khema.


LUXURY ON WHEELS TREASURES OF INDIA

INDIAN PANORAMA

Zip across the Golden Triangle on a whirlwind

Depart from Delhi to chug through the Indian

tour of India’s most famous traveller circuit.

countryside, on a route set to combine the

Perfect for visitors wanting a quick trip or just

sacred city of Varanasi and its holy bathing

a short section of the holiday aboard a train,

Ghats and UNESCO World Heritage

you’ll see the heart of India, from the colourful

monuments at Khajuraho with the majesty

bazaars and majestic forts of Rajasthan to

of the Taj Mahal, all the while offering a

tigers prowling in Ranthambore National Park

glimpse into an era of India’s rich cultural

and rich history and culture of Jaipur and Agra.

and architectural heritage. Gracious hospitality and sublime service come hand in

3 NIGHTS/4 DAYS

hand with lavish, tasteful interiors aboard this

Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi

luxury train.

Proving that when it comes to trips size isn’t

8 NIGHTS/7 DAYS

everything, this compact tour packs no fewer

Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore –

than five UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Gwalior – Orchha –

into its four day itinerary, along with insider

Khajuraho – Varanasi – Lucknow – Delhi

experiences and shopping detours in Agra and Jaipur. Hop aboard in Delhi to arrive in Agra,

Clamber aboard in Delhi to journey towards

home to one of the Seven Wonders of the

Jaipur. Once you’ve arrived in the Pink City

World, to visit the spectacular Taj Mahal and

you’ll discover the architectural treasure

explore Agra Fort and Mughal mausoleum,

trove of Jaipur, visiting the Amber Fort, the

Itmad-Ud-Daula. Combine culture with wildlife,

Royal Observatory and City Palace where

setting off in search of Bengal Tigers in

you have the opportunity to spend time with

Ranthambore National Park. The next stop will

elephants. Continue to meet more of India’s

have you exploring the Amber Fort, the Royal

iconic wildlife in Ranthambore National

Observatory and the City Palace complex of

Park for a game safari to spot tigers, before

Jaipur, with the chance to enjoy a round of

exploring the striking ghost town of Fatehpur

golf, a spa session or elephant polo before you

Sikri. Next you’ll discover the UNESCO

head back to Delhi.

World Heritage monuments of Khajuraho and journey to reach Varanasi; the holiest of India’s cities is renowned for its Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Here you’ll attend an evening Aarti ceremony on the banks of the River Ganges and enjoy a river cruise. Before you return to Delhi, a stop in Lucknow will take you to visit the grand Rumi Darwaza gateway and Bada Imambara building and

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LUXURY ON WHEELS

ROYAL RAJASTHAN ON WHEELS Oozing splendour, The Palace on Wheels collection do exotic rail journeys through India like no other and have welcomed the Royal Rajasthan to their luxurious family. Settle into a plush interior decked out in contemporary regal designs and trundle through the country in lavish comfort. During the tour you’ll get a full-bodied taste of Rajasthan’s mesmerizing landscapes and magnificent palaces, including India’s beloved icon, the Taj Mahal. Starting in Delhi, take a culture-packed path through Jodhpur to visit the Meharangarh Fort, spot tigers at Ranthambore National Park, see Udaipur’s lake palaces, explore Jaipur, Bharatpur and Chittaurgarh, and the oldest city in the world – Varanasi. BOARD ROYAL RAJASTHAN ON WHEELS

CHITTORGARH

The itinerary of this luxury train is always fixed,

Begin your holiday by arriving in Delhi, as

See the mesmerizing beauty of Chittorgarh

leaving Delhi on a Sunday and returning the

once you’ve explored the town, your journey

Fort, a treasure trove of history offering

next Sunday in the early morning. Through its

onboard Royal Rajasthan on Wheels starts

travellers an insight into the life of the great

eight days/seven night journey, the route covers

from Delhi Safdarjung Railway station.

Rajput rulers. The victory tower or Vijay

the cities of Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai

Stambh is one of the main attractions of the

Modhopur, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur

JODHPUR

fort. Gaumukh reservoir and the palace of

and Agra, starting and ending the trip in Delhi.

The first stop of the luxurious train is at

Queen Padmini are important spots to the

The train has three cabins per carriage and two

Jodhpur, the second largest city of Rajasthan.

south of the Rana Kumbha palace.

dining cars, from which to enjoy the splendour

The sightseeing plan for the day includes

and luxury that was once only reserved for

Meharangarh Fort, within which lies the

RANTHAMBORE

kings and queens and travel in royal comfort.

impressive Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phool

Located in the eastern part of Rajasthan,

Mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana. Visit

Sawai Modhupur’s claim to fame today is the

8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

Jaswant Thada, a group of royal cenotaphs

Ranthambore Fort and Ranthambore National

Delhi – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Chittorgarh –

made of white marble, followed by lunch at

Park. Visit the Amareshwar Mohadeo temple

Ranthambore – Jaipur – Khajuraho –

the Umaid Bhawan Hotel Palace.

and continue on to the national park to catch

Varanasi – Agra – Delhi

a glimpse of the majestic tigers roaming UDAIPUR

around in the open wilderness, and pay a

On the third day Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

visit to the imposing fort to explore the history

stops at the Lake City of Rajasthan, Udaipur.

of Rajasthan.

Herein, explore the two most beautiful, dreamlike marble palaces of Udaipur – Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) and Jag Mandir, which rise from the blue waters of Lake Pichhola. Your journey continues after lunch, rolling through the colourful countryside. 64


LUXURY ON WHEELS JAIPUR The next stop will see you discovering Jaipur, the Pink City of India. One of the most well planned cities of the world, in its time, Jaipur was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, in 1727 A.D. Set off to see the Hawa Mahal and the Amber Fort. While breakfast and dinner are served on the train, lunch is served at a 5 Star hotel palace, followed by a visit to City Palace Museum and Observatory. KHAJURAHO Situated in Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho buzzes with energy. Visit the 9th to 12th century Hindu and Jain temples of Khajuraho to see the work of the architectural masterminds of the time and some of the few remaining preserved sculptures depicting dance and music imagery. VARANASI Is more than 3,000 years old, Varanasi is the oldest city of the world and is famous for its temples and as the spiritual heartland of India. Visit Jyotirlinga Visvanatha, or Golden Temple, rebuilt in 1776 and dedicated to Shiva and explore the Ghats along the river – the most popular pilgrimage spot of Varanasi and centres of music and learning. AGRA Agra is one of the world’s most prominent tourist destinations, with two heritage monuments, the magnificent Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Agra is also famous for handicraft products, including leather work, brassware, carpets, jewellery, sari and embroidery work. DELHI Your trip aboard the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels comes to an end on the eighth day. The train provides early breakfast, after which you transfer to The Claridges Hotel for one last night in Delhi.

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LUXURY ON WHEELS

PALACE ON WHEELS The Palace on Wheels tour whisks you away on a journey in style, hopping between palaces while aboard a moving one. This enchanting train journey recaptures the romance and luxury of a bygone era of India’s former Maharajahs. Ornate ceilings, lavish saloons and stately dressed train attendants await you to make you feel like a Maharaja. Palace on Wheels has undergone a refurbishment and has four newly-fitted cabins per carriage, a well stocked bar and two dining carts, all complete with exquisite personalized service. 8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS Delhi – Jaipur – Chittaurgarh – Udaipur – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Bharatpur – Agra – Delhi DELHI Delhi is India’s capital and a major gateway to the country. Tour the bustling metropolis and Qutab Minar of contemporary New Delhi and in Old Delhi visit the Jama Masjid, the Mosque of Friday, Raj Ghat and the imposing Red Fort. JAIPUR Known as the Pink City, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and the old walled city was constructed from pink sandstone. Tour the Amber Fort, the Jantar Mantar Observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh, the exquisite complex of palaces, City Palace and the Hawa Mahal

JAISALMER

AGRA

Palace of Winds.

Spend a day sightseeing around Jaisalmer

Visit the Bharatphur National Bird Sanctuary,

in the Great Indian Desert and embark on a

the Red Fort and round off the journey with the

camel safari.

outstanding Taj Mahal at Agra.

UDAIPUR Set on the shores of Lake Pichola, tour Udaipur’s City Palace complex, Sahelion-ki-Bari

JODHPUR

Gardens and Jagdish Temple in the centre of

Visit the palaces in Jodhpur, including the

the old city.

Mehrangarh Fort. Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan, popular because of the variety of palaces, forts and temples located here and known as the Sun City because of the weather it enjoys all year round.

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LUXURY ON WHEELS

GOLDEN CHARIOT Golden Chariot now brings you the Southern Splendour. Among the latest additions to the luxury trains in India, this is a truly sumptuous journey spanning 8 days and linking some of South India’s greatest destinations across three states. Named after the famous world heritage site, the Stone Chariot in Hampi, this journey takes you from the garden city of Bangalore to timeless historical heritage sites and resplendent palaces, viewing stunning wildlife and relaxing on the golden beaches of Kochi. 8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS Bangalore – Chennai – Pondicherry – Tanjavur – Madurai – Kovalam – Kerala – Kochi – Bangalore BANGALORE Visit Bangalore’s ISKON Hindu Temple, before arriving at Yashwantpura Railway Station to board the luxury Golden Chariot Train. CHENNAI Discover the Santhome Cathedral built over the tomb of St Thomas, take an excursion to Mahabalipuram Beach and visit UNESCO listed 8th century, stone-cut Hindu temples.

MADURAI

KERALA

Madurai is famous for its silks, pearls and

Trade in the rails for a day to cruise through

PONDICHERRY

spices. Take on Sunrise Point at Kanyakumari,

the peaceful backwaters of Kerala and glide

Wander the pretty 19th century cobbled

the southernmost tip of Peninsular India and the

through Punnamada Lake on a traditional

streets of the Latin quarter, built by French

meeting place of three oceans – the Bay of

houseboat.

Colonial rulers and enjoy the sands at

Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. Visit

Pondicherry’s Promenade Beach.

the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, home to

KOCHI

an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the complex,

Spend a day in 16th Century Fort Kochi town

TANJAVUR

and learn about traditional Kerala architecture

where you can see Chinese fishing nets and

Discover UNESCO World Heritage

at Padmanabhapuram Wooden Palace.

explore a local spice market.

Brihadeshwara Temple complex. The main temple is carved out of a single granite rock,

KOVALAM

weighing around 80 tons and is faced by a

Head to the Arabian Sea coast to enjoy the

carved Sacred Bull statue.

view and pristine sands at the world famous Kovalam Beach.

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ADVENTURES FOR THE FAMILY

SHARE YOUR INDIA EXPERIENCE WITH THOSE CLOSEST TO YOU. OUR FAMILY HOLIDAYS INVOLVE SOMETHING FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES. WHETHER YOU WANT YOUR HOLIDAY FUELLED WITH EXCITEMENT AT THE RAPIDS OR WISH TO SEE INDIA’S WILDLIFE UP CLOSE WITH A SAFARI, WE CAN FIND THE IDEAL TRIP FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.


ADVENTURES FOR THE FAMILY

WHITE WATERS IN RISHIKESH Get your fix of adventure sports at Rishikesh. The frothing waters of the rapids await with an unforgettable ride. Forget the images of the idyllic Ganges with its floating candles, here the river is roaring and ready to thrill. But if you need a chance to wind down, head to the town. Rishikesh is known as the ‘Yoga capital of the world’, so enjoy a Zen feel following an exhilarating day.

GAME SAFARI IN NATIONAL PARKS India nurtures a wonderful relationship with elephants. These majestic creatures are revered as much as they are protected. Visit one of the many sanctuaries where you can help care for the elephants. You can even ride one. You don’t just have to visit a sanctuary, you can stay in one. Wake up with the view of elephants roaming in the wilderness, then jump straight into the experience with your family. DERA AMER, JAIPUR Just behind the hills of the Amer Fort, there’s Dera Amer, a camp that’s dedicated to the surrounding wildlife. You can stay in the heart of rural Rajasthan with many options for your elephant safari. Take the trip through the forests in a jeep or on a horse, whatever you’re comfortable with. Join in the hilarious fun of bathing elephants. Just be ready to get wet as they love spraying water all over the place. Once cleaned, you can paint them in the traditional patterns and colours. It’s a beautiful moment of bonding with these huge animals.

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ADVENTURES FOR THE FAMILY

WALKING TOURS THROUGH THE LANDSCAPE Head out on the road less travelled. Through the winding paths of the stunning rural villages of Almora, you can find breathtaking views across the mountains. These walks suit people with all fitness levels. WALKING THROUGH MOUNTAINS AT ALMORA When relaxing between your strolls through the hills and valleys of this beautiful region, stay in the converted village homes. They may look traditional on the outside, but they are beautifully decorated and have all the amenities you will ever need inside. From the village steps at Almora, you can easily reach some of the bigger towns. But if you prefer the more low-impact tourism feel of the region, then enjoy the unspoilt beauty of Nainital and Corbett National Park.

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FAIRS & FESTIVALS

IN INDIA, THERE’S ALWAYS A REASON TO CELEBRATE A FESTIVAL. YOU MAY THINK THAT INDIA IS COLOURFUL AND VIBRANT ENOUGH, BUT VISIT DURING A FESTIVAL AND THE TOWNS EXPLODE WITH LIFE. WHETHER YOU’RE CELEBRATING THE BIRTHDAY OF LORD KRISHNA OR THE HARVEST, INDIA WILL ALWAYS TREAT YOU TO A GOOD TIME.


THE IMPORTANCE OF FESTIVALS It was once thought in India that every day was a celebration. For example if Day One was ploughing, Day Two was planting and Three harvesting, each day would be a kind of celebration. Today, however it isn’t possible to be so frivolous with festivals so they have been condensed to only really big celebrations but these are done very well. The approach to life is to enjoy every aspect and these colourful festivals remind people, no matter how rich, or poor, male or female, that life is a gift and shouldn’t be taken so seriously, all of the time. Everyone is invited and made to feel welcome. So pick your dates and find out what festival is on when you are in town.

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FAIRS & FESTIVALS

HOLI Spring is welcomed in style during Holi. There isn’t a single spot in any town that’s not covered in coloured powder. Even the people are splashed from head-to-toe in paint. You’ll soon see why it’s called the festival of colour. Locals and tourists alike come out to the streets to celebrate this fun-filled festival. Holi has many different rituals. The celebrations start with bonfires in the centre of the city. Effigies of Holika are then burnt, symbolising the triumph of good over evil. The next day, the ashes are swept away for the play of colours. Everyone gets involved, splashing coloured water everywhere.

Holi takes place on 23rd March 2016, 13th March 2017 Our favourite places to witness the festival of colour are Jaipur, Udaipur or Jodhpur.

DIWALI If you’re in India during Diwali, no festival will ever seem the same again. The party takes over every city, town and village. Diwali celebrates the victory of light over darkness. When the sun sets, the world gets brighter with the thousands of candles, colourful lights, sparklers and fireworks that ignite every street. It’s a beautiful burst of light, peace and happiness. You’ll need a sweet tooth for Diwali. Everyone shares sweets with a real fervour. Families greet guests, showing off their lights and prize meals. And what better way to celebrate the return of Lord Rama and his wife Sita than with a five-day festival every year.

Diwali takes place on 30th October 2016 and 19th October 2017 Our favourite places to witness the festival of light are Jaipur, Varanasi, Amritsar, Delhi and Udaipur.

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FAIRS & FESTIVALS

PUSHKAR FAIR A favourite quirky fair for visitors and locals alike, the Pushkar Fair lures in many people as well as humps. Thousands of people descend to the banks of Pushkar Lake where the fair takes place. Of course, there’s more to the fair than just selling camels. This fair is a great opportunity to get your hands on some beautiful souvenirs and, more importantly, to touch or experience the soul of India in this very unique way. Competitions dominate the festival, with awards as hilarious as the one for the most people on the back of a camel or another for the biggest moustache. It’s not all about camels either as there’s also an exhibition cricket match between locals and tourists.

Pushkar Camel Fair takes place on 8th-15th November 2016 and 28th October-4th November 2017

HEMIS FESTIVAL Every year, people from all over the world come to Ladakh for the Hemis Festival. Colourful garbs and masked dancers celebrate the birthday of Lord Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. The festival itself takes place in Hemis Gompa, the largest Buddhist monastery in the world. The festival takes a special turn every twelve years when it’s the year of the monkey (the year of Lord Padmasambhava’s birth). The famous two storey high thangka, a colourful silk scroll, is brought out to honour the anniversary of Guru Rimpoche. As 2016 is the year of the monkey, you’ll get the chance to see the stunning silk thangka at the festival this year.

Hemis will take place on 14th-15th July 2016, 3rd-4th July 2017

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FAIRS & FESTIVALS

GANESH CHATURTHI The revered Lord Ganesh (known as god of wisdom, well being and prosperity) is honoured all over India, but it’s only when Ganesh Chaturthi comes around when the celebrations start. Traditionally these celebrations are held on the fourth day of the first fortnight in the month of Bhaadrapada in the Hindu calendar. The one to ten-day festival falls on Ganesh’s birthday. At the heart of the festival are the murti, idols of Ganesh, which are displayed in public and at home and immersed in a body of water, such as a lake or the sea on the last day where they dissolve. Mumbai and Pune are the best places to experience the true scale of the celebration and its spirits.

Ganesh Chaturthi takes place on 5th September 2016 and 25th August 2017

DURGA PUJA A celebration of the Mother Goddess and the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. This celebration takes place according to the lunar calendar and generally during the last five days of Navaratri and Dussehra. A week before the festival the goddess is invited to come to Earth. Generally families celebrate with huge elaborate statues of Goddess Durga placed in their homes with beautiful podiums erected throughout each city. To mark the end of the festival, these statues are brought to the streets and paraded, accompanied by dancing and music before being immersed in water. It’s a fun celebration paying tribute to the powerful female force.

Durga Puja takes place on 7th-11th October 2016 and 26th-30th September 2017

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FOOD & CULINARY INDIAN CUISINE IS ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS IN THE WORLD. FRAGRANT, SPICED AND SOMETIMES RED HOT, THE DELICIOUS TASTES OF INDIA ARE ESSENTIAL TO THE LOCAL WAY OF LIFE. EVERY REGION HAS ITS OWN CUISINE, SOME SO INTENSELY DISTINCT THEY COULD BE FROM A DIFFERENT COUNTRY. ONE THING STAYS THE SAME HOWEVER, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE JOURNEY, FROM BUYING THE INGREDIENTS, TO THE STOVE, NOT JUST THE FINAL DISH. HISTORY OF FOOD

NORTH INDIA

India’s Kitchen is a rich composite of

In the cities of North India, a new wave

many cultures, the result of endless

of fine dine restaurants have found their

foreign invasion and settlement. Food

place in the dining scene where flavours

and migration have always been linked,

from the frontiers mixed with international

new arrivals rely on recipes from the

dishes have proved extremely popular.

homeland to keep the bonds of family

In places such as Lucknow, age-old

tight and keep fresh the fading memories

traditions, similar to Persia are still the

of where they have come from. Then, as

main culinary influence so expect Mughal

they become acclimatised, the flavours

cooking techniques. Delhi and Mumbai

seep out of their homes and, without

offer exciting new-age dining mixed with

anyone noticing quite when it happened,

recipes passed down from generation to

the newcomers and their food have

generation.

become local. India’s Kitchen hasn’t just seen the blend of flavours and spices. It’s

SOUTH INDIA

been the stage for a mixture of cultures.

Heading further south and to Kerala,

India has a long history of invasion and

spices are abundant so expect dishes

with each new wave of people, new

utlising locally grown cardamom,

recipes seeped into the local cuisine.

clove, nutmeg, ginger and curry leaves.

With each mouthful, you can taste the

Wherever your trip takes you expect

rise and fall of eras. Today, experimental

authentic, bursting with flavour dishes.

flavours and textures have found a place in Indian cooking so from the dry curries and fish of Kerala to the Portugueseinfluenced Goa, a culinary trip around India is extremely enlightening and sure to change your palette irrevocably.

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BAZAARS & SHOPPING SPICES, SARIS AND SOUVENIRS – ALL THAT AND MORE ARE FOR SALE IN INDIA’S MANY BAZAARS AND SHOPS. IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE BUSY LOCAL MARKETS WHERE THE SMELLS AND COLOURS WILL ENTICE YOU, OR HEAD TO THE HIGH-END SHOPS WHERE DESIGNER BRANDS AND JEWELLERS FILL THE ELITE RANKS OF THE CITY HIGH STREETS. WE CAN SHOW YOU WHERE BEST TO SPEND – AND WHERE TO SAVE. DELHI AND MUMBAI

SPICES

If you are in the market for high end,

In the south, Kerala is a great place to

designer goods then nowhere does it

shop for spices. Head to Jew Town in

better than Mumbai. Head to the trendy

Mattancherry, which has retained its

Bandra suburb where modern shopping

importance as a centre for spice trade;

malls and multiplexes sideline the wide

buy ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric

roads, or nearing the Gateway of India,

and pepper.

Colaba is the region to get… anything you wish for great value prices. Delhi,

JEWELLERY

of course is hot on its heels, so for a

Hyderabad is the ideal port of call to

taste of real, chaotic India, spend some

pick up fine pearls – it has become

time in the hectic Chandni Chowk.

known as the ‘city of pearls’. Head

Expect hundreds of locals buying

to the bazaars where beautiful rings,

everyday goods, delicious streetfood and

necklaces and bracelets have utilised

tantalizing smells. Look out for the cows

this unique stone.

that just meander in the chaos. FABRICS RAJASTHAN

Head to Ahmedabad (Pethapur),

In Rajasthan, expect a more laid back

Varanasi (for block makers), Kolkata,

pace where artisans sell their wares.

and Hyderabad for traditional block

Expect pottery, textiles, wooden goods,

printed fabrics in cotton and silk.

leather items, paintings and so much more. In Jaipur, opt for a tuk tuk ride around the city in which you will be taken to famous pottery factories.

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INDIAN JOURNEYS

WE’VE EXPLORED INDIA ON YOUR BEHALF, FINDING EXCITING COMBINATIONS THAT MAKE THE BEST HOLIDAYS. FROM THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE IN THE NORTH TO THE STUNNING LAKES OF KERALA, YOU’LL FIND A JOURNEY PERFECT FOR YOU, WHETHER IT’S YOUR FIRST TIME TO INDIA OR ONE OF MANY.


INDIAN JOURNEYS

HERITAGE GOLDEN TRIANGLE Travel around India’s famous Golden Triangle on this private tour. On this route you’ll spend time exploring the three cities of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, each stunning and unique with their own special character. This journey is a perfect introduction to India for first time visitors and can easily be combined with a stay at the beach in Goa or head to the Himalayas. Starting at Delhi, you’ll dive deep into the historical sights, museums and many restaurants. You’ll even get the chance to learn some cooking and shop for spices at the Khari baoli. Next is Agra, home to the

AGRA

famous Taj Mahal. We go beyond the usual tour of the Taj with a

Tour a city bursting with history and make an early start to visit the

sunset view at the Mehtaab Bagh. Finally, slip into the pink city of Jaipur

iconic Taj Mahal for a stunning sunrise. Stop by the Mehtab Bagh for

where you can spend the rest of your rupees at the many bazaars.

a spectacular view at sunset, and spend your days exploring Agra’s famous Red Fort and Itmad-Ud-Daulah (or Baby Taj).

DELHI

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Spend a day sightseeing amongst the chaos in Delhi, journeying

JAIPUR

through the old architecture and new development of the city. Visit the

Explore a city erupting with colour, with buildings painted bright shades

Old Delhi spice markets and try your hand at whipping up traditional

of pink. Dodge the crowds by visiting the Amber Fort in the morning

Indian dishes with a local family, before visiting the Siri Fort, Hauz Khas

and head to the Sheesh Mahal Hall of Mirrors. Greet the chaos of the

Village and the Connaught Palace. The densely populated Chandni

old city head-on, rounding off a visit to the City Palace with a trip to the

Chowk market in old Delhi offers anything from spices and cloth to

sprawling, lively bazaars. Spend a day with the elephants at Dera Amer

curios and souvenirs

or embark on a heritage walk to discover the city’s vibrant history.


INDIAN JOURNEYS

KERALA JOURNEY Kerala is one of India’s most beautiful and tranquil states with an abundance of green jungles, palm-fringed beaches and rolling hills. Experience colourful Kathakali dances, head to the tea growing region and hill station of Munnar, spot rare wildlife at the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and then explore the beautiful backwaters on a rice barge or head for the beach. COCHIN Tour Cochin, visiting the Fort Cochin area and the Dutch Palace, known as Mattancherry Palace built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Cochin in 1555AD. You can also explore a Jewish Synagogue and St Francis Church built in the same era, and embark on a culinary experience sampling the regional sumptuous cuisine. KUMARAKOM Prepare for utter peace and relaxation. Spend time at leisure lying

KOVALAM

by the pool or explore the local village, before cruising the serene

Follow the coastal road, along secluded coves and rural fishing villages

backwaters on a private houseboat, watching rural countryside and

fringed with silvery sands and tall palm trees to reach Kovalam. Head

the banks of the rivers glide past. Kumarakom was India’s first

to the beautiful beaches to make the most of the glorious Indian weather,

destination to implement Responsible Tourism practices and is a model

golden sands and treat yourself to a massage just a stone’s throw from

for the development of people while sustaining eco-friendly tourism.

the shore.

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INDIAN JOURNEYS

HIGHLIGHTS OF NORTH INDIA With its rich heritage and diverse cultural influences, North India never fails to enchant its visitors. Travel a route that encompasses the sacred city of Varanasi before visiting the historic Mughal glories of Agra and Delhi, and the forts, palaces and shimmering lakes of Rajasthan. This tour combines visiting the iconic Taj Mahal with delving deeper into Northern India. Let the sounds of bells and chanting touch your soul in India’s sacred city of Varanasi from dawn till dusk – at sunset, witness the spectacular floating of the oil lamps and at sunrise, take a boat ride

AGRA

on the holy river Ganges. Get swept up in the romance and enjoy the

From here, visit the iconic Taj Mahal for a stunning sunrise, visit Agra’s

grandeur of Udaipur, the city of lakes and palaces.

famous Red Fort and Itmad-Ud-Daulah (or Baby Taj) and round off explorations with a spectacular sunset visit to Mehtaab Bagh.

DELHI

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Spend a day sightseeing in Delhi, enjoying the contrasts of old and

JAIPUR

new that collide in this vibrant city. Visit the Old Delhi spice markets

Visit the Amber Fort in the morning to wander the courtyards, halls and

and try your hand at whipping up traditional Indian dishes with a

Sheesh Mahal Hall of Mirrors without the crowds. Embrace the colour

local family, before visiting the Siri Fort, Hauz Khas Village and the

and chaos of the old city, heading to the City Palace and the sprawling,

Connaught Palace.

lively bazaars.

VARANASI

UDAIPUR

Stroll the banks of the river and dive into the hustle and bustle of

Known as the city of the lakes, Udaipur is one of the most romantic spots

India’s holiest city to visit Sarnath and witness hundreds of traditional

in India. Hop in a vintage car for a tour of the city and take to the waters

oil lamps being lit for the Aarti ceremony as the sun sets at the Sacred

for an evening boat ride on Lake Pichola. From here, you can also reach

Ghats of the Ganges.

Chittaurgarh and the Kumbhalgarh Fort.


INDIAN JOURNEYS

RAJASTHAN – THE LAND OF MAHARAJAS Explore the land of Maharajas and the Shekhawati region of northeastern Rajasthan. Far from the buzz of city life, experience rural Rajasthan – set off from the easternmost edges of the Thar Desert and through small sand-blown towns set between sprawling expanses of parched land and dunes, before journeying on to the Aravalli Hills and the majestic forts and palaces of Udaipur and Jaipur. DELHI

Wander the twisty lanes and visit the royal palace, several ornate Jain

Take on the sights and sounds of the modern day capital city of India

temples, shops bursting with silks and intricately carved sandstone Havelis.

with a full day’s private guided tour of Old & New Delhi, visiting the Jama Masjid Mosque and Red Fort, as well as Qutab Minar tower

MANVAR

and the Tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in New Delhi.

Deep in the desert lies the oasis of Manvar. From this village settlement, enjoy a Jeep safari to explore the neighbouring villages and set off for a

MANDAWA

camel ride to watch the golden sun set spectacularly over the sand dunes.

Set off by road to Mandawa in the Shekhawati region of North-Eastern Rajasthan to visit some of the town’s beautifully dilapidated Havelis

JODHPUR

(merchant houses) which are still adorned with stunning frescoes.

Begin with a visit to Mehrangarh Fort, situated 400 feet above the city, enclosed by imposing thick walls and discover the intricately carved

BIKANER

palaces and expansive courtyards within its walls. The museum here

Explore the desert region and visit Bikaner. Tour the sights of this frontier

is one of the best stocked in Rajasthan, containing artefacts from the

town and discover the vast, impressive architecture of Junagarh Fort.

region’s military history and battles at the fort.

JAISALMER

UDAIPUR

Nicknamed “The Golden City”, the town of Jaisalmer is set grandly on

Udaipur is often heralded the most romantic city in India. Visit the City

a sandstone ridge, crowned by the massive, breathtaking Jaisalmer Fort.

Palace, Jag Mandir, Saheliyon-ki-Bari and a local market before taking an evening boat ride on Lake Pichola. Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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INDIAN JOURNEYS

THE TAJ & TIGERS Combine the cultural magnificence of discovering the Golden Triangle with setting off in search of India’s famous big cat, the tiger. This is one of the most popular itineraries in India. Witness the extravagant architecture and man-made splendour in Agra and Jaipur, before visiting Ranthambore National Park, to spend time with the tigers in the most scenic national park in India. DELHI Discover the two extremes of India’s capital city exploring the hustle and bustle of Old Delhi, taking a guided tour through the bustling, energetic streets of New Delhi, visiting fortresses, bazaars, mausoleums and everything in between. AGRA Agra provides a perfect base from which to visit the extravagant, iconic Taj Mahal, a must-see for any itinerary that boasts the highlights of India. An early start is in order to catch the best views before the crowds descend.

JAIPUR Head out early to beat the late morning rush to visit the spectacular

RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK

Amber Fort and explore the town, stopping off in the many markets that

Known as one of the most naturally beautiful national parks in India,

are hidden throughout Jaipur.

Ranthambore is also home to a sizeable tiger population, amongst

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residents that include marsh crocodiles, hyenas, jungle cats and sloth

GURGAON

bears, and is one of the best parks for wildlife photographers. Enjoy

Spend a day in Gurgaon, home to many opportunities for therapy

morning and evening game drives in a private jeep.

– be that retail in the shopping outlets or indulgent spa treatments.


INDIAN JOURNEYS

IN SEARCH OF TIGERS & LEOPARDS Set off on safari for an unforgettable experience venturing into the Indian wilderness and a diverse natural habitat at Pench National Park and Satpura, in the hope of encountering not just the elusive tiger but leopards, sloth bears, many types of deer and a fantastic array of birdlife. Get up close to the park’s wildlife by embarking on morning and afternoon game drives. MUMBAI Gather your bearings and enjoy an orientation tour around exhilarating Mumbai, the vast sprawling city surges with energy and is home to slums and servants, filmmakers and millionaires and what seems like everyone else in India. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax in the comfort of the Sea Lounge at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, where the traditional Afternoon Tea is considered to be a city institution. PENCH

SATPURA

Fly to Nagpur, the closest city and airport to Pench National Park to

Located in the district of Madhya Pradesh, Satpura National Park

stay in a luxury tented wilderness camp at Jamtara that overlooks the

provides a unique central Indian highland ecosystem. Set off in style

forest near the park gates. Stay at Pench at Jamtara, one of the most

for a chance to spot the tigers or the elusive leopard in their natural

exclusive luxury tented camp experiences located very close to Jamtara

habitat, on foot, in a canoe or with an elephant. Morning and evening

Gate at Pench and a private cottage at the Reni Pani Lodge at Satpura

game drives carry you further into the heart of the wildlife reserve where

National Park, where you’ll enjoy a walking safari.

you may spot sambar, porcupine, bear or hornbills.

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INDIAN JOURNEYS

JOURNEY THROUGH EASTERN HIMALAYAS Venture off the beaten track to Calcutta, in the remote north-eastern highlands, for a glimpse of a corner of India least visited by tourists, where you’ll find the small, but stunning ‘Garden State’ of Sikkim, the fabled town of Darjeeling in the heart of the teagrowing country, tranquil Buddhist monasteries and undisturbed tribal settlements. All complete with a mighty Himalayan mountain range backdrop. PELLING CALCUTTA

Drive through beautiful countryside to reach the small hamlet of

Enjoy a full day guided tour of Calcutta, visiting the Botanical

Pelling and explore the awe-inspiring Pemayangste Monastery, the

Gardens, the Victoria Memorial, the India Museum and the Glenburn

second oldest of its kind in Sikkim, and the sacred Kheopalry Lake

Experience, and in between the dynamic new development and the

and Rabtense Ruins.

urban slums, all the colonial-era architecture that you would expect from the former capital of British India.

GANGTOK Meaning ‘High Hill’, Gangtok is a bustling, lively city whose

DARJEELING

population comprises a blend of Nepalese, Bhutanese and Tibetan.

It’s time to explore the colossal mountain ranges that dominate

The capital the Sikkim state, sits on a ridge overlooking the Ranipul

the region. The most spectacular views of the Himalayas can be

River at 5,500 ft, from which the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

found from the top of Tiger Hill; visit early to view the sunrise and

and the Rumtek Monastery are easily visited.

reflection on Kanchenjunga and Mt. Everest, followed by the famous

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toy train ride up to Ghoom Monastery. Head to the Himalayan

KALIMPONG

Mountaineering Institute, established after Tenzing Norgay and Sir

Visit the town’s three impressive Buddhist monasteries – Tharpa

Edmund Hillary’s successful ascent of Mount Everest and later explore

Choling Monastery, headed by the Dalai Lama, ancient Bhutanese

the Tibetan Refugee Centre.

Thongsha Gumpha, and Zong Dog Palri Fo Brang Monastery.


INDIAN JOURNEYS

THE HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS Journey through the Indian foothills of the Himalayas, combining stunning scenery with rich heritage and diverse culture. Enjoy breathtaking views of the snow-capped Himalayas, marvel at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holy city of the Sikhs. Visit the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and round off your journey in Shimla, the hill station which became the summer capital of the British Raj. AMRITSAR

unique town is home to many Tibetans. Visit Gompas, the Tibet Museum

Amritsar is the holiest city for the Sikhs. Visit the stunning Harmandir

and the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, before exploring the

Sahib, or Golden Temple – a shrine built from white marble, complete

Tibetan wood and metal craft, silk weaving and thangka paintings of the

with a copper gilt and gold leaf-covered dome, before heading on to

Norbulingka Institute.

the Jallianwala Bagh memorial, eventually reaching the Wagah Border to witness the elaborate flag ceremony at the border between India and

TARAGARH

Pakistan.

Situated by a forested estate and surrounded with the tea gardens of the Kangra valley, Taragarh is one of the most scenic and unexplored

PRAGPUR

areas of Himachal Pradesh. Perched at a height of 1,000 metres, spend

Head into the Kangra Valley and navigate the foothills to discover

the night at Taragarh Palace at the foot of the Dhauladhar Mountains,

Pragpur, a quaint village designated a heritage village in 1997.

enjoying splendid views of surrounding snow-capped peaks.

DHARAMSALA

SHIMLA

Located in the Kangra valley in the Dhauladhars Mountains, Dharamsala

Once you’ve seen the sights and sounds of Shimla, including the

is the current home of the Dalai Lama. When the Dalai Lama left

Viceregal Lodge designed by British Architect Henry Irwin, hop aboard

Tibet, the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru permitted him and

the Himalayan Queen for one of India’s most scenic train rides – even

his followers to establish a “government-in-exile” in Dharamsala, so the

declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS

AT WESTERN & ORIENTAL, WE HAVE AN EXTENSIVE ACCOMMODATION PORTFOLIO, SPANNING EVERY CORNER OF INDIA AND RANGING FROM SMALL, CHARMING BOUTIQUE RETREATS AND COMFORTABLE TENTED JUNGLE LODGES NESTLED IN THE HEART OF NATIONAL PARKS TO LAVISH, GRAND PALACES PERCHED HIGH ABOVE THE CLAMOUR OF COLOURFUL TOWNS AND BOASTING ASTOUNDING PANORAMIC VIEWS. WHATEVER YOU’RE LOOKING FOR FROM YOUR INDIA HOLIDAY, WE’LL FIND YOU SOMETHING W&ONDERFUL. Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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INDIA BY OBEROI

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS

THE OBEROI AMARVILAS AGRA A wide approach framed by indigenous trees and flaming torches entices you into the world of The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra. Set just 600 metres away from the Taj Mahal, every room affords views of the iconic white marble mausoleum, while the dĂŠcor pays homage to the legacies of the Mughal Empire. Hand-picked artworks adorn hallways which are tiled in intricatelydesigned marble and sandstone, and lit by spectacular chandeliers. Luxurious rooms and suites offer private balcony dining with uninterrupted Taj Mahal views, while the grounds boast beautifully-manicured, tiered lawns, cascading fountains, Mughal-style archways and sunlit courtyards. Fine international cuisine can be enjoyed at leisure in Bellevue restaurant. Authentic Indian delicacies in a demure setting, accompanied by live traditional music, can be experienced at Esphahan. The Oberoi Amarvilas is a haven of sophistication and tranquillity.

BALCONY DINING Enjoy a candlelit soiree for two on your private balcony, beside views of the Taj Mahal in silhouette. Savour a special menu designed by an Oberoi masterchef and served by your private butler against the backdrop of the world’s most famous icon of love.

WE RECOMMEND Opt for the luxurious Premier Room with a private balcony, perfect for admiring uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal.

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS PRIVATE LAKESIDE DINING Share a romantic lakeside supper with the one you love under an ornately carved dome. Savour a specially-curated menu designed by an Oberoi masterchef and served by your private butler, as the stars twinkle upon the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola.

WE RECOMMEND The Premier Lake View Room complete with a semi-private pool has incredible views over the stunning Lake Pichola, City Palace and Aravalli Mountain ranges.

THE OBEROI UDAIVILAS UDAIPUR The former hunting ground of the Maharaja of Mewar, The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur is set on the banks of tranquil Lake Pichola and offers magnificent views of the City Palace. Embraced by 50 acres of impeccably landscaped gardens, which include a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, the luxury resort’s layout of interconnected domes and walkways reflect the intricate system of lakes and canals that have earned Udaipur the moniker: The Venice of the East. Rooms and suites exude a regal ambience, with plush furnishings, sparkling marble bathrooms and views of gated gardens, ornate courtyards, or Lake Pichola and the City Palace. The superb restaurants offer indoor and alfresco dining, with lake and garden views. At the heart of the spa is a spectacular cascading fountain, from which branch therapy suites where you can relax and refresh with signature Oberoi therapies.

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS

THE OBEROI RAJVILAS JAIPUR Situated just twenty minutes from the heart of “The Pink City” of Jaipur, The Oberoi Rajvilas is a breathtaking, thirty-two-acre oasis of indigenous plant and birdlife, built around a perfectly preserved 18th century Shiva temple, where you can experience morning yoga and chanting with a Hindu priest. Interiors adorned with Mughal arches, gold leaf frescoes, high domed ceilings and crystal chandeliers pay homage to Jaipur’s ancient majesty. Rooms are arranged in small clusters that open onto courtyards with cascading fountains and flaming bougainvillea, while bathrooms offer luxurious sunken bathtubs and private courtyard views. Restaurants offer indoor and alfresco seating, and serve local, seasonal delicacies and fine international cuisine.

WE RECOMMEND An indulgent private cooking demonstration with the chef to learn some of the secrets that go into the sumptuous served meals.

TRAVEL LIKE ROYALTY Explore the stunning landscape of Jaipur with an elephant ride that culminates with a gourmet picnic at the magnificently restored Naila Fort (subject to availability).

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS DON’T MISS The talented chefs at the resort offer interactive cookery demonstrations, allowing you a unique opportunity to learn some of the age-old skills behind authentic Indian cooking.

WE RECOMMEND We particularly like the Premier Mountain View Rooms. The Deluxe Suite, with its large fireplace, offers a romantic and cosy atmosphere.

WILDFLOWER HALL, AN OBEROI RESORT Boasting an unrivalled hilltop position, at an altitude of 8,250 feet, and framed by 23 acres of fragrant cedar forest, Wildflower Hall, Shimla, was once the estate of Lord Kitchener. Each room and suite boasts incredible vistas of the hotel’s charming gardens, dramatic Shimla valley and rugged Himalayas, while incredible deep pink, or coffee-and-walnut-coloured marble bathrooms, teak floors and the Oberoi’s signature, 24-hour personal butler service evoke a rich, colonial ambience. Local Himachali delicacies and international cuisine can be enjoyed in the restaurant, attached glass conservatory, or alfresco terrace, which offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas and Shimla valley. Oberoi experiences range from invigorating day-long treks and white-water rafting, to indulgent spa therapies in private therapy suites located within the cedars.

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS

THE OBEROI VANYAVILAS RANTHAMBHORE Located in the heart of tiger country, in the beautiful state of Rajasthan, The Oberoi Vanyavilas offers an incredibly unique holiday experience. Just ten minutes from Ranthambhore National Park and Tiger Reserve, the resort sits amid 20-acres of immaculately-manicured gardens. The 25 spacious, air-conditioned, Luxury Tents are designed to reflect the majesty of ancient caravans that used to cross the Rajasthani desert. They boast rich, wooden floors, a spectacular bathroom with a clawfooted, standalone bathtub and a luxurious bedroom with a king size, four-poster bed. Enjoy an early morning yoga session on the lawns, or relax with a spa therapy followed by a cup of herbal tea beside private, lily pond views. The main restaurant serves fine international dishes, while the attached, torchlit, alfresco courtyard offers live, traditional music with your meal. Private dining in the mango orchard, at the hotel’s natural amphitheatre, or champagne at sunset at the top of the observation tower, should not be missed.

‘AN INCREDIBLY UNIQUE HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE’ TIGER COUNTRY Climb on board a private 4X4 and head off into the land of the Royal Bengal Tiger at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ranthambhore Fort.

TRAIL OF WELLBEING Start the morning with a guided walk around the gardens, followed by herbal tea with a yogacharya who will explain healthy yogic morning practices. Plant a sapling in the grounds, then visit the herb garden, where an Oberoi chef will cook you a special breakfast.

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ROOM WITH A VIEW

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS

THE ULTIMATE TRAVELLING CAMP Offering three luxury mobile camps in three diverse locations in India, The Ultimate Travelling Camp is for those who have a love of the great outdoors and seek adventure without compromising on luxury. The camps are located in Northern India and erected only when the season is right. The three camps are positioned in, Thiksey – the land of the Lamas, nestled into the dramatic landscape at Diskit (both in Ladakh) and in the exotic state of Nagaland – home to the Nagas. Each location has something magical to offer. The accommodation here is truly indulgent. All camps, no matter the location come complete with luxurious tents boasting an en suite bathroom and draped with the finest materials for all soft furnishings. For

LADAKH

supper, enjoy age-old family recipes served around a roaring fire.

The Chamba Camp at Thiksey creates truly memorable experiences – watch the sport of the Royals at Ladakh-Polo, raft down the River Indus, enjoy picnic lunches amid picturesque spots offering unforgettable views and much, much more before retiring to your luxurious tent. A total of 14 tents sit overlooking the Thiksey Monastery. NAGALAND Kohima Camp, Nagaland is set in the north-eastern corner of India and is bordered to the west by Assam; Myanmar in the east; Arunachal Pradesh in the north and Manipur in the south. This forms a part of what are known as the Seven Sisters, the seven states of north-east India, full of rolling hills and verdant rainforests, making this region extremely remote yet picturesque. The camp is only really open for two weeks at the end of November and beginning of December and offers a luxurious base to discover the region. NOTE: Kohima Camp, Nagaland is centred around the annual Hornbill Festival at Kohima from the 1st-10th December. DISKIT Nestled in the Nubra Valley, Chamba Camp, Diskit, is bordered by the jagged mountain peaks of the trans-Himalayas and invites you on a journey into the days of old. The region, untouched by today’s mass tourism offers insights into what life was like back in the days of the nomadic tribesmen, merchants and monks who wandered these sand dunes and dramatic landscapes during the era of the Silk Route. In the sleepy village age of Diskit, spend your days as active or relaxed as you wish. From hikes to exploring the village, this region offers it all in one authentic trip. Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS

VIVANTA BY TAJ MADIKERI As far as location goes, you’d be hard pushed to find somewhere more idyllic than Vivanta by Taj Madikeri. Set in 180 acres of lush rainforest, this hotel is dedicated to creating a relaxing yet invigorating environment. This private Eden is perched on a hillside overlooking treetops and providing a spectacular view of the local wildlife. The hotel is home to several villa categories

One of the main attractions to the resort

The food scene is vast and guests can

from the Superior Charm Room to the Luxury Bliss

is the 30,000sq. ft. wellness centre.

choose from alternative cuisine that offers

Villa with Balcony & Plunge Pool. Each villa offers

The Jiva Grande Spa boasts a plethora

a farm-to-table food story or indoor-

a light and airy feel yet enveloped within the jungle

of therapies and experiences designed

outdoor dining which treats every sense.

canopy. Balconies allow guests to relax and soak up

to create balance and harmony. Found

Each restaurant serves sumptuous local

the secrets of living in a rainforest – from the calls of

in the huge spa there is a Buddha

delights or western favourites. The bar

the wild at night to mesmerising sunrises as the mist

Garden, an outdoor amphitheatre, a

here is also world class and experienced

evaporates off of the treetops. The feel is rustic luxury

conservatory, natural springs, and a

mixologists can whip up some truly

and the aura is tranquil.

temperature-controlled indoor pool.

imaginative cocktails.

GLENBURN TEA ESTATE Deep in the famed Indian tea country of Darjeeling, overlooked by Mount Kanchenjunga and running alongside the Rungeet and Rung Dung rivers, sits the 150-year-old colonial plantation house of Glenburn Tea Estate. This idyllic working tea estate boasts exquisite views across rolling tea fields, quaint tea picker villages and private

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forest, with the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas

Glenburn boasts two bungalows, The Burra

Dining is a special experience; expect a

looming overhead. The entire feel is colonial elegance

Bungalow and The Water Lily Bungalow,

G&T in the elegant sitting room or by the

and nothing beats admiring the varied landscapes while

offering a total of eight suites that are all

bonfire, before joining your fellow guests

enjoying a cup of the region’s finest brew. Many visit the

unique in their views and décor, sumptuously

in the candlelit dining room or at a private

region to explore the Raj-era hill station of Darjeeling,

furnished fusing old world charm and

location of your choice. The cuisine ranges

which was popularised during the British rule. But you can

luxurious comforts with a meticulous eye for

from traditional and local Indian delights to

also explore the remarkable experiences that comprise this

detail. The endless verandas provide perfect

oriental and continental favourites, much of

1,600 acre private estate – hiking, birdwatching, fishing

spaces to read a book or enjoy a Green

it sourced from their organic kitchen garden.

and picnics – before returning to luxury at night.

Tea Oil reflexology session.


PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS

THE LEELA PALACE UDAIPUR Located on the shores of Lake Pichola, The Leela Palace Udaipur is graceful and elegant, and presents an unparalleled luxury offering evoking the mystique of days gone by. The architecture is inspired by a grand Maharaja’s palace where spacious rooms meet plush soft furnishings and artefacts created by local artisans. The dramatic location,

The large bathrooms come to completion

to old fashioned and colonial. The

perched on the side of the lake leaves guests with a picture

with shower and luxury bath products,

Dining Room serves sumptuous

perfect view of misty mornings, and sun-drenched and

while the beautiful suites represent Indian

international cuisine; The Sheesh Mahal

silhouetted dusks before silky, ink-blue nights.

regal living at its finest. Expect breathtaking

offers delectable Indian delights and for

views, huge bathrooms and a grandeur

an after-dinner tipple, enjoy a single malt

reminiscent of life at the king’s court.

in The Library Bar. For something extra-

There are 80 rooms and suites to choose from and each boasts extended views across the lake (the only hotel to offer

special, the hotel will happily arrange

this). All modern amenities are present including flatscreen

There are several restaurants for guests

a romantic lakeside private dining

TVs, iPod docking station and surround-sound systems.

to choose from ranging from fine dining

experience.

are five deluxe rooms, five garden suites and four

Ayurevdic medicine and therapies

Good home-cooked food is what

Vembanad Suites which are ideal for family stays.

are regional specialities and at Purity,

Kerala hotels seem to do well, and

Each of the rooms is spacious and comfortable, and

guests can choose from a range of

Purity is certainly no exception. Expect

decorated in light hues allowing a feeling of tranquillity

therapies designed to pamper your

homemade Keralan curries, and seafood

and peace. This hotel has an idyllic rural position.

senses and combine the ancient healing

freshly caught from the backwaters and

For those arriving in the region to explore the majestic

power of Ayurveda and yoga in an

the nearby seashore. There’s also a

backwaters filled with waterlogged rice paddies and

inspiring atmosphere. All treatments are

whole host of international dishes should

riverside villages, Purity is an ideal choice to relax

personalised and can be combined with

you require – the chef here encourages

before and after a river cruise.

a daily yoga class on the lakefront.

personal requests.

PURITY Located in the southern Indian region of Kerala, around 50km from Cochin sits this boutique luxury homestay. With an idyllic lakeside position, all rooms offer extended views out across Lake Vembanad. The hotel embodies true Keralan hospitality with wellappointed rooms each boasting a terrace or balcony, perfect to sit and watch rural Indian life float by. There

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PALACE HOTELS

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TAJ FALAKNUMA PALACE HYDERABAD Perched high above the City of Pearls, the Falaknuma Palace takes pride of place with a watchful eye over the colourful chaos that is the city below. Affording views across the Old Town and within earshot of the haunting call to prayer from the Mecca Mosque, this hotel is an aesthetically stunning retreat. Built originally in the late 18th century to home the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad before being passed to the seventh Nizam (then, the richest man in the world) this hotel embodies a grandeur reminiscent of the heyday of India. Boasting 18 different types of marble and lavish public rooms including a billiards room and library carrying over 5,000 books,

The signature Jiva Spa has an exemplary spa menu; the swimming pool

guests come here to get away from it all. The 60 lavishly decorated

offers a respite from the hot Indian sun while gentle wafts of jasmine

rooms all come with a butler, silk dressing gowns and scattered jasmine

linger. Chef cooks up typical Hyderabadi dishes reinventing the traditions

flowers – it’s these little gestures that stand a Taj hotel out from the crowd.

of a bygone era.

DON’T MISS A cookery demonstration followed by a private dining experience at 101 Dining Table. Hailed the world’s largest dining table, this is an extremely special evening. Please note – 101 Dining Table needs a minimum of 40 guests to operate. Supplements apply.

WE RECOMMEND To enjoy unrivalled views across the city, choose the Golconda Suite (an historical suite). Elegant and regal, this suite is by far our best choice.

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS WE RECOMMEND Choose the Historical Suites or above to really immerse yourself in the culture and character of the hotel. Some even offer balconies and terraces allowing you to admire the manicured gardens.

DON’T MISS To bring the palace to life and to listen to untold stories, head out on a palace tour culminating with a glass of champagne.

RAMBAGH PALACE Set amid 47 acres of lush manicured gardens, the prestigious Rambagh Palace is an institution in the pink city of Jaipur. Built in 1835, originally as a hunting lodge before being converted at the turn of the century into a palace, Rambagh was once the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur. It was made into India’s first palace hotel in the 50s and to this day remains one of the most opulent hotels in the country. The 78 palatial rooms are grand and utilise rich fabrics with silk drapes and furnishings reminiscent of the days of the Maharaja. The hotel has a colonial theme running throughout, with the Polo Bar serving delectable cocktails like the Jaipur Martini, and the Veranda Café offering a chic afternoon tea with canapés served while seated in the carriages of an old steam train-cum-bar. The hotel is situated in the city of Jaipur where many of the region’s attractions lie, from the walls of the old city (Pink City), to the Amber Fort and a walk up to see the monkeys at Monkey Temple which also offers exquisite vistas across the sprawling city. The Rambagh Palace reminds you of days gone by and is the perfect palatial home from which to explore the city.

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS

UMAID BHAWAN PALACE While exploring the ancient city of Jodhpur opt to stay at the impressive residence of the remaining Jodhpur royal family. Although you won’t find the Maharaja himself taking your booking and escorting you to your room, they do still reside in the palace. A wing of the palace has been taken over by Taj and turned into an elegant 64-room hotel. The palace, in its tawny and gold hues sits high above the desert city of Jodhpur. Its dÊcor is opulent and regal yet contemporary. It boasts 26-acres of well manicured gardens, a zodiac pool open 24-hours, a butler for each room and an array of vintage cars to chauffeur you around the stunning old city. Each of the rooms and suites features east-meets-west architecture with an art deco influence. The views look down to the gardens where peacocks roam and out across the city. It is a welcome respite away from the dusty city streets. Dining, as always with Taj hotels is a decadent experience. Choose from fine dining, casual lounges, one-of-a-kind romantic suppers and chic inroom candlelit dinners on the veranda.

UNWIND The signature Jiva Spa is set in a heritage building and offers an array of traditional Indian and western rituals. Unwind with a massage before hitting the wet area for a Jacuzzi.

BAZAARS The crazy, hectic bazaars of Jodhpur are well worth a visit. Head to the narrow lanes near the clock tower to see exquisite Rajasthani textiles, handicrafts and clay figurines.

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS DON’T MISS Take advantage of the lake and head out on a romantic dinner cruise on the hotel’s resident boat after indulging in a treatment from the hotel’s floating spa. A truly decadent experience.

TAJ LAKE PALACE UDAIPUR As the early morning mist clears on Lake Pichola, a white marble palace emerges – as if floating – with the backdrop of the ancient Aravalli Mountains that sit at the edge of the lake. This is the Taj Lake Palace, a former summer residence for the Maharaja of Udaipur. Deemed one of the most romantic and grand hotels in Rajasthan, this hotel offers a decadent and private break away from the busy streets of Udaipur. Its serene location coupled with extensive amenities means that once you arrive, you needn’t leave. Guests can escape with a private dinner by the Lily Pond, indulge in an exclusive meal by the lake in the 150-year-old Royal Barge, or take to another floating delight – the Jiva Spa. The 83-room hotel feels like a boutique resort and boasts first-rate service where nothing is ever too much trouble. The panoramas and serenity the lake provides give it an extremely unique setting where watching the Indian sun set with a cocktail or seeing dawn break at breakfast are equally special moments. 108


PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS

THE TAJ MAHAL PALACE In the city of Bollywood, the new epicentre of India, The Taj Mahal Palace is a well-established and respected institution in Mumbai. Set opposite the Gateway to India, the iconic hotel was built in 1903 and was the first five-star offering in India. This sprawling hotel, offering several wings, is a well-established and extremely well respected institution in the city of Mumbai. Locals believe it represents wealth, stature and sophistication and guests come back time and time again to visit the all-smiling cast of waiters, maids, bar

Each one of the 560 rooms, whether in the new or old quarters is

and lobby staff. This hotel may be big but the all-important details are

immaculately decked out in regal fabrics, large beds and modern

never lost.

conveniences. The majority afford views over to the Gateway of India as well. There are five restaurants to choose from ranging from Indian fine dining to excellent international cuisine, plus a beautiful courtyard swimming pool that is an oasis of tranquillity away from the hectic streets of Mumbai.

THE PALACE LOUNGE The Palace lounge is available exclusively for Palace Wing guests and is a decadent experience reminiscent of days gone by. Enjoy a chic afternoon tea surrounded by priceless artwork then as the lights go down indulge in an after-dinner tipple of fine whisky, brandy or cognac with light conversation accompanied by your fellow guests.

WE RECOMMEND Go back in time and opt for a room in the old Palace wing, ideally with a sea view for a stunning panorama. Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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CHARACTER HOTELS

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THE IMPERIAL

DELHI BY NIGHT Take to the busy streets of Delhi on a night tour. India Gate, an arch built in memory of fallen World War I soldiers, is 2km away from the hotel and is thoroughly impressive after nightfall. The light show at the Red Fort is also a striking sight and starts at around 7pm daily.

Dating back to 1931, The Imperial has a prestigious location near Connaught Place in the centre of Delhi. The beautifully restored building is a short walk from shopping, restaurants and bars, while the Red Fort and the busy market street Chandni Chowk are only a tuk tuk ride away. Each one of the 235 rooms features incredible vistas across the courtyard and down towards the manicured

RELAX POOLSIDE

gardens or the swimming pool. The hotel’s décor exudes

Delhi is one of the busiest cities in the world, so to relax away from the crowds spend an afternoon enjoying the serenity of the hotel pool.

colonial elegance with a hint of art deco and each of the public rooms is peppered with beautiful artwork and artefacts from around India. The hotel also offers a spa area complete with a comprehensive menu of treatments and if you fancy a spot of retail therapy then enjoy some time in the shopping arcade. There is an array of dining options too ranging from awardwinning South East Asian to delicious international dishes.

RAAS JODHPUR Steeped in the history of the 18th century, the RAAS Jodhpur sits in the shadows of the Mehrangarh Fort in the city’s charming old town. Uniting old with new, all encompassed in the famous red sandstone the city is famed for, this hotel offers 39 rooms including nine elegant suites. The new buildings are contemporary in style whereas the old quarters reignite the romance of yesteryear. Expect low slung king size beds, free-standing baths and rooms

international dishes with a Thai and

at sunset to enjoy the beautiful colours

decorated with Jhalis, handcrafts and other local delights,

Western focus.

of the city turning from sandstone red to a dusky purple-rose hue before

or ultra sleek black and white designs allowing views of the fort to pull focus. All equally sumptuous.

Once done exploring the streets of

disappearing into the moonlight.

Jodhpur, guests can relax poolside or The hotel offers two decadent dining choices. Darikhana, boasts magnificent vistas over to the fort and serves ancient Indian dishes using spices derived from a

in the decadent Ila Spa.

SUNDOWNERS AT SUNSET

DESERT DWELLER Take a tour into the deserts of Rajasthan, the mighty Ossani Desert. You can

200-year-old shop hidden in the streets of Old Delhi.

The rooftop bar here offers incredible

arrange this trip while at the hotel or

There is also Baradari, which offers a selection of

views over the fort. Be sure to head up

before your adventure begins.

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS

BRUNTON BOATYARD

SUNSET CRUISE Each day around 6.30pm, just as the sun is setting, the resort’s boat heads out on a cruise around the old harbour. Expect to see fishermen returning with their daily catch and a mesmerising sunset complete with dolphins.

Set in the heart of the historic and beautiful backwater town of Fort Cochin sits the boutique Brunton Boatyard. Nestled into the harbour and offering 26 rooms, this charming hotel oozes character. Each room (four deluxe suites, 22 rooms) embodies a colonial feel. Large living spaces with a four-poster bed,

ROOFTOP CULINARY DEMONSTRATION

a neutral colour palette accented with dark woods and unique artwork offer a feeling of tranquillity. Its seaside location allows guests to see the daily life of the local fishermen and most rooms offer views over to Vypeen Island. The whole resort has a feeling of space

Dining is an experience, and each restaurant offers

and colonial elegance, with its large reception area and

something very different. Fusion restaurant History

stunning grounds. The enormous harbourside swimming

takes you on a culinary journey through the history

pool is an ideal space to relax. Fort Cochin, as a whole

of the region with each dish reflecting one of the 30

has a very peaceful vibe where people come to slow

different communities living in Kochi. There’s also the

down. Brunton Boatyard has taken this ethos and made

Terrace Grill, and Armoury Bar which offers tall drinks

it its mantra.

and light snacks.

Head up to the terrace accompanied by one of the chefs as he takes you through the preparation and cooking of one his famous fusion dishes.

PALAIS DE MAHE Located in the French quarter of Pondicherry this heritage mansion offers 18 bedrooms across three floors. It is also the only hotel in the vicinity to offer a fully modern swimming pool. Taking its architectural cue from classical European heritage, this mansion is perfectly positioned to explore the old winding lanes and seafront pedestrian area of the town. Many of the cobblestone streets still retain the original French names, much of the architecture is

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SPICE TOWN

decidedly Gallic, and the town has an air of colonial

The dining scene offers a selection of

France spiced with the salt-laced fragrance of India’s

fusion fare, so expect traditional Indian

This town is famed for its markets, so

Coromandel coast. The hotel’s rooms are light, airy,

with a modern twist, and continental

head to M.G Road, Nehru Street or

coloured in neutral hues and boast original beams, arched

delights reinvented with fresh local

Mission Street for a collection of shops

doorways and high ceilings. The décor is uncomplicated

produce. Seafood will be the hero of

selling all kinds of wares. Nearby, the

chic with hints of originality in its furnishings. Throughout

many dishes, and there’s also a selection

Ganesha temple is also worth a visit.

the mansion, whether in its communal or private places,

of local and imported fine wines on offer.

For an authentic experience head to the

there is a feeling of grace and elegance – a space you

This characterful hotel is a wonderful base

Goubert Market for a whole manner of

want to spend time in.

in a charming town.

produce delighting every sense.


PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS

SVATMA Set on a quaint street in Tanjore, this hotel boasts old school charm indicative of the region’s art and culture. Comprising 38 individually styled rooms, this hotel is as much about the stay as it is about the experience. Drawing on traditional Tamilan techniques and materials, each room offers a delightful blend of authentic artefacts with all the mod cons one would expect from a luxury hotel. The décor is breezy whitewashed walls with dark wood beams and polished flooring. The art and

WE RECOMMEND

artefacts are a nod to the charms of ancient Tamil Nadu.

The facilities are aplenty in this resort

Most of the rooms are located in the new contemporary

and, with an emphasis on spirituality and

The spacious suites in the Heritage

building which has also been designed to blend in

relaxation, guests are invited to explore

House are simply bursting with charm

with its surroundings. The focal point of the resort is the

the many secluded corners, balconies

and character. Designed to epitomise

century-old main house. This heritage building was once

and lounges where time for reflection is

Tamil culture and spirituality, there are

a private residence and has been lovingly restored to its

encouraged. The spa area comprising

no standard rooms at Svatma and

former glory. Now it houses five rooms and two suites all

a gym, yoga centre, swimming pool

each room is entirely unique and filled

complete with a veranda, some offering views across the

and Jacuzzi is also an inviting space for

with curated antiques and artworks

well-manicured grounds.

devoted ‘me’ time.

reminiscent of ancient art forms.

mansions that characterise the region. Now, the hotel has

pearlescent glow. The floors are polished

Dining is a fine affair with a choice

been restored to its former elegance and offers guests

wood, along with dark wood furnishings

of three restaurants offering traditional

who value grandeur over glitter the chance to experience

and a fan on the ceiling. Air conditioning

regional fare and an imaginative use of

architecture that dates back half a century and more.

has been installed too of course, and the

South East Asian spices. Choose from The

modern bathroom suites feature original

Dining Hall, The Grill Restaurant or The

The hotel has a total of 15 rooms, all owning the same

tiles that keep them cool during the hotter

Poolside Café for all-day light bites. Guests

philosophy of changing very little in terms of the original

months. Each morning, smiling staff

are encouraged to explore the region

design. Guests can expect rooms bursting with character.

deftly sprinkle rice powder and colour

making use of the facilities from culinary

Walls are whitewashed using an ancient technique

on the floor to create wonderful kolam, a

classes to cultural evenings, and even

that utilises an exotic recipe of materials and leaves a

traditional art form.

bullock cart rides.

VISALAM KARAIKUDI Tucked deep in the heart of Southern India sits Chettinad, a town made up of grandeur and elegance, not mass tourism or industry. Visalam sits proud as a heritage hotel dedicated to igniting the glory of days gone by. This hotel was originally a mansion built by K.V.A.L.M. Ramnathan Chettiar, a leading businessman in the area. He ordered its construction as a present to be given to his daughter on her wedding day, and it is one of many

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SMALL & STYLISH

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SUJAN RAJMAHAL PALACE This palace – still owned by the Maharaja of Jaipur – has been lovingly restored into a luxury hotel. Keeping in tune with the city’s pink-hued architecture, the hotel is reminiscent of the English-Georgian era and dotted with elements of art deco. The boutique hotel has just 15 rooms, each with a unique style and story to tell. For example the Champa Room was the favourite resting place of H.H. The Late Maharaja

Guests are invited to dine in The

The swimming pool, amenities and the

Sawai Bhawani Singhji of Jaipur MVC.

Collonade, which is the original veranda.

highly qualified therapists will ensure

It is open 24 hours a day and serves

your spa experience is top notch.

There are four categories of room to choose from each

informal lunches, dinner and cocktails,

decadently decorated with plush fabrics and flamboyant

the perfect place to relax after a day of

This small and stylish hotel is perfectly

wallpaper. The rooms are named after their famous

exploring the exciting city of Jaipur.

placed to explore the bustling markets,

residents, and you can choose to sleep where both

ports and palaces of the Pink City of

Jackie Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II have slept. The

Select a treatment at the Sujan Spa and

Jaipur. Opt for a traditional tuk tuk or

grounds are well manicured with a neat pool surrounded

leave feeling invigorated and well rested.

arrange a guided tour with the hotel.

by balusters.

MIHIR GARH Located in the heart of the Thar Desert, this ‘fortress of the sun’ is a stunning masterpiece drawing on architectural influences from the local desert villages. Designed in its entirety by Sidhart Singh and his wife Rashmi, no detail has been overlooked. There are nine decadent suites to choose from all embodying a regal, handcrafted design. From the furniture and fittings to the hand-made floor, each suite has been uniquely crafted. Women from the local village handmade the authentic fireplaces and all exterior craftsmen were drafted in from the local villages to ensure complete harmony with the surrounding area. Built over two levels, each suite is around 1,700 sq ft. The ground floor suites offer a private plunge pool whereas the first floor suites offer a private Jacuzzi all engulfed by the stunning minaret building that offers incredible views

VILLAGE SAFARI The Village Safari is the hotel’s signature programme. Take a trip into the desert villages to marvel at the little mud houses, the impeccably dressed women and the bustling market. Guests will also be invited into the homes of the locals. SHIKAR DINNER Taking you back to the days of the Raj, when hunting (Shikar) was the chosen sport of the wealthy, and men would ride out into the desert at moonlight, at sundown, you will be taken into the desert to sit by a crackling bonfire as a chef cooks up an alfresco treat under the stars.

across the vast desert plains. Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS SUNDOWNERS ON THE SAND DUNES The hotel will arrange for you to head out at sundown to enjoy a cocktail as the magnificent red sun disappears into the golden deserts of Rajasthan. As the clear skies lose daylight and welcome the awe-inspiring starry night, head back to camp to dine alfresco.

HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF THE CITY Jaisalmer is famed for its busy streets, markets and forts. Take a tour into the city to witness daily life before retreating to the calm and tranquillity of the resort.

THE SERAI Set on 100 acres of desert in the heart of the Jaisalmer desert, where nomadic shepherds still wander, is The Serai. Drawing inspiration from the royal caravan sites of Rajputana, the retreat is the perfect base for exploring mystical Jaisalmer and its fabled golden fortress. The 21 luxury tents are designed to beautifully blend into the desert surroundings. The décor is traditional with an opulent touch. The 14 ‘Tented Suites’ offer a private veranda, drawing room, bedroom and large bathroom whereas the Royal Suite and Luxury Tents boast a private plunge pool too. The resort embodies a relaxing atmosphere away from the busy city of Jaisalmer. Guests can retreat to the traditional Indian step well with its placid pool or to the resort’s spa where organic products and ancient Indian treatments are offered within the walls of a peaceful garden. Choose to take your meals anywhere on site, or in the dining tent which has a new menu daily and serves local delicacies and tasty international cuisine made with fresh local ingredients. The real draw here is the views. The indigenous scrub of the desert stretches for miles and guests can get a glimpse of daily life for the shepherds and village folk.

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NADESAR PALACE Nestled on the banks of the mystic River Ganges on the edge of one of the oldest cities to date, sits the regal Nadesar Palace. No stranger to visiting dignitaries, this hotel was once used by the Maharaja Prabhu Narayan Singh to house visiting heads of states and royalty. The Taj group purchased the hotel and lovingly restored it to recreate the regal ambience of days gone by combined with the modern necessities a luxury hotel commands. It offers 10 rooms and suites all boasting large windows with extended views across the grounds including the fragrant mango orchid and jasmine fields. Each has a beautiful bathroom utilising the famed white Indian marble with facilities

The Jiva Spa is very special here. Offering custom-made healing baths,

including a free-standing bath tub.

aromatherapies and a range of holistic treatments, it is certainly a place to relax and unwind. The spacious dining room offers fine Indian delights mixed with international cuisine should you prefer a taste from home. In a busy city, Nadesar Palace is a welcome retreat away from the hordes of nearby Varanasi.

THE ROYAL BUGGY Take a ride around the beautiful palace grounds in the horse-drawn buggy used by the Maharaja of Varanasi himself. Visit the orchids and manicured gardens and inspect the native plant and birdlife.

ROMANCE OF THE GANGES Enjoy a boat ride on the holy River Ganges followed by a guided tour of the winding alleyways in the old quarter of Varanasi. Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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BEACH RESORTS

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PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS

CARNOUSTIE BEACH RESORT & AYURVEDA SPA

BACKWATER TOUR This resort is perfectly positioned to explore the famed backwaters of Kerala. Take to a houseboat, complete with your own chef, captain and first mate and spend an afternoon, a day or a few days meandering through the backwaters before returning to the resort for some beach time.

Located on the shores of the Arabian Sea on Marari Beach, this superb beach resort offers 40 thatched cottages with an idyllic spa. Perfect for a relaxed beach break, this idyllic Kerala resort is set in spacious landscaped and well-manicured

ACTIVITIES

gardens that eventually open up onto the vast expanse of

The hotel offers a range of activities from fishing on a traditional Keralan boat to sailing and bike rides in the local area.

golden beach. Each large villa blends harmoniously into the landscape and expertly fuses old with new. Traditional thatched roofs give way to extremely modern interiors. Expect all the modern conveniences with a pristine bathroom

The resort features two excellent restaurants,

Kerala is a wellness haven, and the

incorporating a sunken bath, rain shower and luxurious

serving sumptuous seafood or international

spa at Carnoustie Beach Resort doesn’t

products. Extra pampering in the form of personalised

fare, both encased in large Bamboo huts.

disappoint. Treat yourself to a range of

treatments is found at the Ayurveda Spa.

The resort’s bars are perfect for a tipple.

holistic treatments, naturopathy and yoga.

The interior décor is bright with dark wood floors – local

With such a huge emphasis on wellness

you through different traditional recipes

craftsmen have made all the furniture. Extra touches such as

the resort offers an excellent spa package.

making use of local ingredients and

iPod docking stations and hairdryers are also offered. The

Choose from an extensive treatment menu

spices.

bathrooms are modern with an alfresco walk-in shower.

plus daily yoga classes – all designed to

NEELESHWAR HERMITAGE Set on the northern shores of Kerala, in a magnificent palm grove, enjoy an authentic beachside stay in a luxurious resort. The architecture of the resort resembles that of an old traditional fishing village, each of the 18 individual huts utilising local materials and with an authentic thatched roof.

relax and revitalise. The entire resort’s feel is beachy and laid back. Most of the activity is centred around the beach restaurant

CYCLING Located right behind the resort is a series

COOKERY CLASSES

of winding pathways taking you through

Meenaski where tables in the sand give way to delicious

The cuisine in this region is extremely

the local area – it is ideal to explore

local cuisine. It is the perfect breakfast spot to watch

varied which makes for an excellent

using a pushbike. The resort will offer

dolphins play in the sea or for an evening sundowner.

cooking class. Join the chef as he talks

advice on where to go and what to see.

Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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BAREFOOT LUXURY ANDAMAN ISLAND Set in the heart of the Andaman Islands, this is India’s secret hideaway beach resort offering superb diving and pristine white-sand beaches lapped by gin-clear waters. The islands are located between India and Thailand and have a real earthy quality where the mantra is back to basics in luxurious accommodation. Barefoot and beachy, guests are invited to relax and unwind in this extraordinarily beautiful and untouched setting.

The entire resort sits on seven acres of

the colourful reef and wonders of the

lush grounds and each of the villas is

underwater world. With its own dive

There are four room categories to choose from including

made to blend into the island. There is

school on site, beginner divers can

the newer Andaman Villas and Nicobari Villas. These

a huge emphasis on eco-living and this

master the skills needed to be certified,

villas are the largest, the Andaman Villas are square

is evident in all aspects of the resort. The

while experienced divers can discover

with large windows ensuring they are incredibly light

vegetables are organically grown onsite

the pristine dive spots and enchanting

and breezy whereas the Nicobari Villas are stilted round

and the food is authentic Indian. Guests

marine life that make this region a

houses with amazing views and luxury amenities.

are encouraged to get out and explore

popular diving destination.

collection, this hotel offers 31 heritage cottages scattered

The spa has a huge emphasis on wellness

boasts excellent views from its clifftop

around the grounds. Guests are invited to relax poolside,

and there are many packages available

perch and offers fiery regional cuisine.

on the beach or on the veranda as the scent of jasmine

from Stress Rescue to Purification &

For cocktails and light bites Madira is the

plants infuse the region.

Detoxification, whatever you are looking

place to head. This is an ideal base from

for the spa’s dedicated therapist can help

which to explore the backwaters of Kerala.

NIRAAMAYA – SURYA SAMUDRA RETREAT KOVALAM Located on the shores of the Arabian Sea backed by lush greenery, the Niraamaya – Surya Samudra, Kovalam is the ideal beach break destination. Being the latest addition to the Relais & Chateaux

Each of the cottages is spacious with a rustic beach vibe.

and advise.

The décor is weathered wood mixed with contemporary

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WE RECOMMEND

chic; four-poster beds and sumptuous lounging areas

Guests can choose from three dining

Octagon or Banyan Tree accommodation.

ensure total privacy and an excellent base to retreat to

options; Café Samsara offers all-day

These rooms are much larger and offer

after discovering the delights of Kerala.

dining serving global cuisines; Essence

stunning vistas over the Arabian Sea.


PALACES, LODGES & RETREATS EXPLORE LOCAL VILLAGE LIFE

MARARI BEACH RESORT

The backwaters of Kerala are a fascinating place to explore local village life. Sit back on one of the houseboats and meander through the rivers, or simply head out in a taxi to see what life is like out here.

Located in a small fishing village near the bustling town of Alleppey, Marari Beach’s ethos is space and uninterrupted relaxation.

YOGA

Unwind on the hammock-lined beach, wander through

With a resident yoga master offering classes and advice, it is the perfect place to hone your technique and learn this ancient art.

the palm fringed stone paths, over quaint bridges and through whispering coconut groves on the 55-acre property. There are 62 rooms across three different room categories – Garden, Garden Pool and Deluxe Pool Villa. Each offers a breezy laid-back feel nurturing neutral hues and old-Keralan style bathrooms. Each villa

and shellfish, and just-picked produce

The resort also encourages experience

has a homely feel creating an inviting space to retreat

from the resort’s organic garden.

led dining in the organic garden and

to after a day of activities or exploration.

Chakara, the resort’s main restaurant,

barefoot on the sand at the beach grill.

provides a perfectly-lit place to try

For sundowners, beachside cocktails and

The dining scene comes in the form of tasty Indian

kachiyathu, a traditional buttermilk

post-swim refreshers, Palm Bar is the place

and continental cuisines, with a focus on fresh fish

and coconut-based dish.

to settle down and enjoy a tipple.

THE LEELA GOA

PANJIM

DECADENT IN-ROOM DINING

Take a tour of Goa’s capital city Panjim.

For that special celebration or just for

Start along the esplanade at the typically

some alone time, speak to the concierge

This iconic property offers a colonial taste of paradise.

colonial Secretariat building, previously

who will arrange an indulgent in-room

Set beachside and within 75 acres of lush tropical

known as the summer palace of Goa’s

dining experience. Alternatively, book

grounds, Leela Goa is the quintessential beach holiday.

16th century ruler the Adil Shah before

in for some pampering at the tranquil

meandering the streets marvelling at

spa where massages and treatments are

traditional buildings and statues.

tailored to your needs.

The property takes its architectural influence from the colonial Portuguese but expertly weaves in modern day India, leaving an exotic private resort on the shores of the Arabian Sea. The elegant accommodation overlooks the series of winding lagoons that make up the resort. There is a range of pools – club pool and a lagoon style plus an inviting beach to relax on. The spa has an extensive menu utilising traditional Ayurvedic therapies plus western treatments too. Foodies are extremely well covered with a plethora of restaurants serving anything from Italian to traditional Indian – each encourages guests to interact with the chefs to discuss new dishes and flavours.

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WELLNESS

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ANANDA IN THE HIMALAYAS Perfectly placed in the grounds of the Maharaja’s Palace Estate, and offering views of the mystic River Ganges and down to the holy city of Rishikesh, Ananda In The Himalayas offers a majestic stay in one of the world’s most picture perfect locations. Surrounded by the majestic Himalayan Mountains, this award-winning retreat embodies a regal yet understated luxury. Each of the 78 rooms and suites has views of the palace, river or city, and features antique fittings and furniture, four-poster beds and luxury spa products. Some even have a rooftop Jacuzzi with views of the manicured gardens below. treatments are also offered under the guidance of qualified ayervedic The spa delivers a treatment menu bursting with ancient Ayurvedic

doctors, therapists and nutritionists.

methods, local rituals and organic products designed to carefully balance the mind, spirit and body. Weight-loss, stress busting and cleansing

Ananda is known for its gourmet wellness cuisine. The menu changes daily, is based on ayervedic principles and is customised to each guest with a focus on natural, balanced and fresh foods.

HEALTHY COOKING Join the chef as he shares his insights into healthy cooking utilising local ingredients. You might even come away with a few recipes to wow dinner guests back home.

WE RECOMMEND For the ultimate experience, we recommend opting for a private villa or room with valley views for the most incredible panoramas.

Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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SHREYAS Located in over 35-acres of lush green manicured gardens lined with frangipani sits an oasis of tranquillity dedicated to wellness. Shreyas represents simple luxury in an elegant and secluded setting where guests can concentrate on the daily rituals of wellness and wellbeing. Each of the private suites and rooms has been designed to offer a welcoming and comfortable experience surrounded by nature. The architecture and interiors are a blend of traditional and modern with tiled roofs, antique doorways and stone pillars complete with all the mod cons you would expect from a high-end resort. educating. There is a meditation hall plus

The chefs here will inspire you with dishes

The retreat offers a range of packages to suit from

several huts, an amphitheatre, yoga hall,

created from their travels through India,

yoga to just relaxation. Whether you need advice on

library, jogging trails plus an infinity pool

Mexico and the Orient. The menus can be

nutrition or physical wellbeing, the staff of experts are

complete with Jacuzzi and steam room for

tailored for each individual depending on

always on hand to guide you while encouraging and

guests to enjoy.

what you are looking to achieve.

Therapists will be on hand throughout to ensure any

For extracurricular activities, guests can

gardens are dedicated to the cause too

questions are answered. Generally, all programmes are

enjoy the well-stocked library plus music

and grow Ayurveda herbs which chef

tailored to individual needs including the cuisine.

and cultural performances. The extensive

often uses in his cooking.

KALARI KOVILAKOM Kalari Kovilakom Palace is located in Kerala, in the old town of Kollengide in the foothills of the Annalalai Mountain Range. The stunning remote location adds to the ambience of the resort which is dedicated to reconnecting the mind, body and spirit in an uninterrupted environment. There are 18 spacious suites across the Old Guest Wing and the Palace Wing. The former exudes elegance with its colonial western-styled rooms whereas the Palace Wing offers traditional Keralan dĂŠcor. The emphasis is on the treatment facilities here though. Guests can expect a range of Ayurveda therapies through the treatment room, beauty centre and yoga, meditation and chanting hall.

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DWARIKA DHULIKHEL Perched on the rim of Kathmandu Valley at 1,700m above sea level, Dwarika’s Resort offers panoramas of snow-capped peaks, rolling pine forests and sprawling valleys. Drawing on the ancient Himalayan beliefs of nature and care for oneself, this resort invites its guests to rediscover themselves in this truly spiritual location. Its idyllic location adds to the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere which is crucial for this holistic lifestyle resort to thrive. Interspersed among the 20 acres of manicured gardens are nine houses containing 36 guest rooms. Each boasts outdoor space where admiring the views is the only thing on the agenda. All rooms are decorated in neutral tones with an uncluttered yet stylish edge.

The restaurant, lounge and bar are located in the main building and offer sumptuous local cuisine.

The treatments on offer are enhanced by the resort’s breathtaking location, guests can expect body treatments and yoga, plus a Himalayan Salt

Activities are plentiful with an emphasis on outdoor living. Guests can

Room and meditation room inspired by Buddhist medicine.

rent bikes, go for hikes and even visit the nearby Newari villages.

Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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Angsana Velavaru


BEYOND INDIA

EXPERIENCE INDIA THE W&ONDERFUL WAY – BY COMBINING THE HOLIDAY WITH OTHER DESTINATIONS. THE COUNTRY IS PERFECTLY PLACED FOR MULTI-CENTRED TRIPS, BETWEEN THE ANCIENT STATES OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE TROPICAL LANDS IN FAR EAST ASIA. MIX A SOUL-SEARCHING TRIP TO THE HIMALAYAS WITH A WEEK IN OPULENCE IN DUBAI, OR A HERITAGE TOUR OF THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE WITH THE BEACH PARADISE OF THE MALDIVES.


BEYOND INDIA

NEPAL A country with a long and distinguished history and deep cultural roots, Nepal is the only Hindu kingdom in the world. Set amidst the great Himalayas, this small but captivating country has so much to offer from windswept high altitude plateaux with prayer flags fluttering, to steamy jungles and the towering magnificence of Sagarmatha – or Everest. Nepal boasts a landscape that is nothing short of spectacular, and with so much to see, and do, a holiday here is an outdoor lover’s paradise.

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BEYOND INDIA

KATHMANDU Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, in Nepal, you can explore Kathmandu. The many historical sites in the city make it feel like an open museum. As manic as you’d expect of a busy capital, Kathmandu has peaceful back streets to explore too. If you’re after heritage, there’s enough to satisfy the most ardent historian at the various Durbar Squares, Buddhist stupas of Swayambhunath and ancient Hindu temples. Most of Kathmandu’s sites are protected by UNESCO. You can enjoy a private session with the Everest summiteers. But if you’d rather not trek up the mountains like Tenzing Norgay, you can take a private flight to the top of the world for very special memories. You can also hire a private chopper for a visit to the Everest Base Camp. Make the experience memorable and tee-off a golf ball.

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EXPLORE NEPAL GHURKHA LAND – POKHARA The natural home to the Ghurkhas, explore the deep river ravines, caves and cascading waterfalls of the famous Annapurnas and Macchapuchere from a vantage point at Sarangkot. CULTURE VULTURE AT PATAN One of the three royal cities of the valley, Patan attracts artisans for it was the birthplace of master craftsmen and artists such as Arniko and Kuber Singh Shakya. The city is filled with over 1,200 monuments including dozens of Hindu and Buddhist temples. DHULIKHEL This town has become the place to go to observe the high altitudes of the Himalayas and maybe because of its quaint and peaceful location, the world of wellness has set up camp here. Many resorts have utilised the natural surroundings and taken influence from age-old principles and philosophies of care of nature and for oneself to generate a plethora of wellness resorts leaving guests with a place to contemplate, reconnect and find inner peace and balance. CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK Explore this former hunting reserve for the Rana Prime Ministers and Royalty everywhere. The Chitwan National Park, a world heritage site situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of southern Nepal, is one of the last bastions of the One Horned Rhino and home to more than 700 different species of wildlife. THE TEAHOUSE CULTURE Wherever you choose to hike in Nepal, rest assured there will be a teahouse to lay your head on your journey. Originally family-run, they would provide a bed, and cup of tea for weary travellers trekking through the remote parts of Nepal. Nowadays, although still cheap, they provide travellers insights into the traditional lifestyle of the Nepalese. Guests can stay, and enjoy local food while still being on their hiking trail. There are main Teahouse trails to choose from, where you hike from one to another and each provides excellent views. The main regions are Khumbu, Annapurna and Manaslu.

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BEYOND INDIA

BHUTAN High in the Himalayas, the tiny kingdom of Bhutan sits on the roof of the world. Jungle-filled valleys give way to flowered alpine meadows and snow-capped peaks. MONKS, MOUNTAINS AND MONASTERIES Celebrate the world’s last untouched Shangri-la with this stunning trip around Bhutan. Starting at Delhi, whisk around the old and new city before taking the journey up into the Himalayas. Visit the mountainous monasteries and gaze at the most breathtaking alpine views in the world. FESTIVALS Full of colour and celebration, October, November, February and March are our favourite times to visit this Himalayan gem of a country. A visit during these months will coincide with the famous Tsechu festivals. These colourful and exciting festivals feature dance and feasting, and are annual events that occur in different months depending on the temple.

BUMTHANG We have the ideal holiday for adventurous romantics in Bhutan. The Bumthang region covers the central Bhutan valleys of Chumey, Choekhar, Tang and Ura. It’s a magical landscape of rhododendrons, temples and monasteries. It’s a beautiful place to explore together.

WE RECOMMEND Visit Bhutan’s largest dzong, Jakar. The beautiful dzong looks out over the Chokhor valley and is still an open monastery. The stunning Wangdicholing Palace was the home of the first kings of Bhutan and now is used as a monastic school. It’s still a beautiful visit in the valley. Explore the sacred site of Kurje Lhakang, the final resting place of the first three kings of Bhutan. Trekking makes Bumthang magical, but why walk when you can cycle? We can arrange a cycling tour through the valleys, and then to other beautiful spots in the land of the Thunder Dragon.

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BEYOND INDIA

PARO Discover mystical Paro lying on the shores of the mighty River Paro Chhu. Boasting a main street bursting with colourfully painted wooden shop fronts and restaurants, this town is perfect to explore by foot. Find peace up in the mountains, where prayer flags continuously flap in the wind. You may discover spiritual bliss just like the monks at stunning Taktshang. The town is both historical and sublimely peaceful, with some of the best examples of Bhutanese architecture in every Dzong (or fortress). SEE RURAL BHUTAN AT PARO If you’re up for a challenge, then the hikes around Paro are just for you. Watch the rural and real Bhutan roll out from under you as you trek through the mountains. We recommend moderate walking treks around Paro, which can be overnight or day treks.

WE RECOMMEND Spend a whole day exploring Tiger’s Nest (Taktshang). It’s a must when visiting Paro. You have to visit a Dzong while in Bhutan, so you might as well see the best – Rinpung Dzong, which means Fortress on a Heap of Jewels. Take a trip to the crumbling ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Make sure you spend time in the town square. The colourful buildings match the vibrant Sunday market where you can find lots of unique vegetables.

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BEYOND INDIA

SRI LANKA Known as the tropical teardrop of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is the perfect addition to your Indian escape. Pristine beaches, hilltop plantations, ancient cities, cave temples and an extraordinary abundance of wildlife make Sri Lanka one of the most exciting holiday destinations in Asia. Sri Lanka is one of our favourite places to visit. Just off the southern coast, you can reach the island by boat or plane. Don’t just stop there either. We recommend combining the Maldives with Sri Lanka for that extra slice of luxury.

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BEYOND INDIA

MALDIVES Welcome to paradise. The Maldives is the ultimate beach getaway destination complete with desert island retreats where luxury and escapism come hand in hand. With only one hotel per island, this archipelago of white beach havens lapped by gin-clean waters make the dream holiday a reality. Relax under the palms and enjoy the heat of the Indian Ocean, home to myriad marine life. The Angsana Velavaru

Maldives is the perfect counterpart to a sublime retreat in the Himalayas. Mix and combine your holidays – don’t just visit one island or one country. Our experts can create your perfect itinerary, and what could be better than spending time on some of the best beaches in the world.

Four Season Resort Landaa Giraavaru

Baros Island

Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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BEYOND INDIA

MIDDLE EAST Extravagant wealth and Arabian nights come together in the middle-eastern marvel of Dubai. It’s a city where anything is possible. With man-made islands, the world’s tallest building and some of the most expensive hotels on Earth, there’s no place like Dubai. Stay and dine in luxury in this Arab city. We love combining the beautiful metropolis with nearby Asia, from the islands of the Maldives to the lush forests of Thailand. We can even create a multicentre holiday that covers the heart of India. Enjoy these ancient kingdoms with our special touch.

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BEYOND INDIA

THAILAND Dive deep into the Far East with a multi-centre holiday to Thailand. Tropical beaches, stunning limestone karsts and a rich history are all in this ancient land. From the natural beauty of the south to the explosively cultural capital of Bangkok, you can enjoy the best that Asia has to offer. Whether you are looking for a jungle retreat, a city stop or laid back island break, Thailand really has it all. Including world-class cuisine and fantastic diving. Our favourite combination brings the colours and culture of Thailand together with the secluded bliss of the Maldives. Why not throw India into the mix and make this holiday truly special?

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INDIA v ENGLAND 2016-17 In 2016-17 England’s cricketers will travel to the subcontinent to play India in five Test Matches, five One Day Internationals and a T20. This series of showdowns is sure to be thrilling, and you can be there to see it all. Whether you’d like to catch one match or watch every single over, ITC Sports Travel can take you there in style. Our cricket tours are legendary, and in late 2016 and January 2017 we will offer a combination of hosted tours to India that allow you to witness all the action unfold.

These tours are more than just flights and tickets; they will include high levels of hospitality such as welcome drinks with fellow travellers, entertaining cricket forums hosted by former England cricketers and farewell dinners to say goodbye (for now) to new friends. Throughout your trip, a dedicated Tour Manager will accompany you to take care of every detail. There will also be a selection of high-quality accommodation, so you can choose where to rest your head. India is a diverse and enthralling nation and we know sports fans will revel in the atmosphere at matches in this cricket-mad country. Outside the stadiums there is much more to see, and we can arrange for you to have as wide a travel experience of the subcontinent as you wish. Most of our tours take in some of the sights and culture of a host nation, and we can also personalise our suggested itineraries with pre and post-cricket touring, creating your perfect India cricket holiday. For more information and to pre-register your interest in this exciting England cricket tour to India call one of our experienced Sports Travel Specialists.

TEST MATCHES • ONE DAY INTERNATIONALS • T20’S

Call our Sports Travel Specialists on 01244 355 581 or visit www.itcsports.co.uk


W HY A N I T C S PORT S T RAVE L TO U R? Our tour itineraries are packed with value. Of course there are the ‘nuts and bolts’ of flights and accommodation but our itineraries also feature many added extras; you’ll be surprised at how much is included in your holiday as standard. • All of our sporting tours are designed by our resident Tour Director, who has travelled the world extensively with ITC Sports Travel during his 18 years with the company. • On an ITC Sports Travel tour we ensure that you get to the heart of every country you visit, with many non-sport excursions included in our itineraries. • You’ll enjoy signature ITC Sports Travel events, including our ‘State of Play’ forums where you can put your questions to legends of the cricket and rugby world. There are also welcome drinks, hosted lunches and farewell dinners with your fellow travellers. • As well as special guests at tour functions, on most ITC Sports Travel tours you’ll be welcomed by a former professional player, who will escort you on tour as your Celebrity Host. • All ITC Sports Travel tours also have a dedicated Tour Manager to take care of all the details, so you don’t have to. We can also tailor-make packages to almost any sporting event worldwide! Our Sports Travel Specialists can arrange everything to make your trip more than just a sports holiday; including exclusive hosts, prestigious hospitality and premium event viewing with the opportunity to experience the destination in the ultimate style and luxury.


BOOKING CONDITIONS These Booking Conditions form the basis of your contract with Western & Oriental, a brand of ITC Luxury Travel Group Limited of Concorde House, Canal Street, Chester, UK. CH1 4EJ company registration number 8687765 (“the Company”, “we”, “us” and “our”). They only apply to holiday arrangements which you book with us in the UK and which we agree to make, provide or perform (as applicable) as part of our contract with you. All references in these booking conditions to “holiday”, “booking”, “contract”, “package”, “tour” or “arrangements” mean such holiday arrangements unless otherwise stated. In these Booking Conditions, “you” and “your” means all persons named on the booking (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date) or any of them as the context requires. Please note that the booking of villas, cruises and yachts is governed by separate Booking Conditions and will be supplied at the time of booking or on request. The Booking Conditions describe your obligations to the Company and the obligations of the Company to you. Please read them carefully. 1. YOUR RESERVATION To make your reservation, please call us and one of our expert Travel Specialists will provide you with first hand information on your chosen destination. You must then confirm your booking, either: • By telephone - your Travel Specialist will reiterate all aspects of your itinerary, ask you to provide details* from the passports of each person travelling and confirm that you have read and agreed to our Booking Conditions. You will then be asked for payment of the required deposit or full payment if booking after balance due date. You can pay by cheque, debit/credit/ charge**card or by bank transfer (details on request). You will be required to complete our online agreement, so that we can check that all of your details and requirements are accurate. Incorrect information supplied will be subject to amendment charges as stated in Clause 6 (1). A contract between us will come into existence when we despatch our confirmation invoice to you to confirm your booking. • By using our online agreement system, please follow the instructions on the screen and complete the required fields. We would refer you to our Privacy Policy and Terms of use of the site. You will be asked to accept that you have read and agree to these Booking Conditions before submitting your itinerary to us. We will then confirm receipt by email. You will then be asked for payment of the required deposit or full payment if the booking is made after balance due date. Receipt of the applicable payment within the stipulated timescale will bring a contract between us into existence. We will then issue and send you a confirmation invoice. For all bookings where only a deposit is paid at the time of booking, the remaining balance must be received by us 90 days prior to departure, unless otherwise stated. Non-payment or late payment of your outstanding balance may result in your booking being treated as cancelled by you, in which case, the cancellation charges set out in Clause 6 will be incurred. Contact us immediately if any information which appears on the confirmation invoice or any other document appears to be incorrect or incomplete as it may not be possible to make changes later. We regret we cannot accept any liability if we are not notified of any inaccuracies (for which we are responsible) in any document within ten days of our sending it out (five days for tickets). We will do our best to rectify any mistake notified to us outside these time limits but you must meet any costs involved in doing so. If you book through one of our authorised travel agents, please note that all monies paid to your travel agent for a holiday which does not include any flights are at all times held by the travel agent on behalf of the Company. For flight inclusive bookings, all monies paid to any authorised travel agent of ours for your holiday with us will be held on behalf of and for the benefit of the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust subject to the travel agent’s obligation to pay such monies to us in accordance with our trading terms unless we fail. In the unlikely event of our financial failure, all monies then held by the travel agent or subsequently paid by you to the travel agent will be held by the agent on behalf of and for the benefit of the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust without any obligation on the agent to pay such monies to us.

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*Information required prior to flight check-in for some destinations. **Full payment, deposits and balances made with a credit or charge card (Switch and debit cards excluded) will automatically incur an additional 2% charge and 2.5% for Amex of the payment. 2. PRICE POLICY We reserve the right to vary the price of unsold arrangements and to correct any errors of which we become aware at any time. Please check the up to date price when booking. You will be advised of the applicable price before your booking is confirmed. Once the price of your chosen holiday has been confirmed at the time of booking, then subject to the correction of errors, we will only increase or decrease the price in the following circumstances. Price increases or decreases after booking will be passed on by way of a surcharge or refund. A surcharge or refund (as applicable) will be payable, subject to the conditions set out in this clause, in the event of any change in our transportation costs including the cost of fuel, dues, taxes or fees chargeable for services such as landing taxes, embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports and exchange rates mean that the price of your travel arrangements may change after you have booked. Even in the above cases, only if the amount of any increase in our costs exceeds 2% of the total cost of your holiday (excluding any amendment charges) will we levy a surcharge. If any surcharge is greater than 10% of the cost of your holiday (excluding insurance premiums and any amendment charges), you will be entitled to cancel your booking and receive a full refund of all monies you have paid to us (except for any amendment charges) or alternatively purchase another holiday from us as referred to in Clause 7 “Alterations and Cancellations by the Company”. Although insurance (where purchased through us) does not form part of your contract with us or of any “package”, we will consider an appropriate refund of any insurance premiums you have paid us if you can show you are unable to use/reuse or transfer your policy in the event of cancellation or purchase of an alternative holiday. Where applicable you have 14 days from the issue date printed on the surcharge invoice to tell us if you want to choose option b) or c) as set out in Clause 7 below. If you do not tell us that you wish to choose either of these options within this period of time, we are entitled to assume that you do not wish to do so and will pay the surcharge. Any surcharge must be paid with the balance of the cost of the holiday or within 14 days of the issue date printed on the surcharge invoice, whichever is the later. Please note that arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your holiday due to contractual and other protection in place. A refund will only be payable if the decrease in our costs exceeds 2% of the total cost of your holiday as set out above. Where a refund is due, we will pay you the full amount of the decrease in our costs. We promise not to levy a surcharge within 30 days of departure. No refund will be payable during this period either. 3. INSURANCE We believe that it is essential to take out comprehensive travel insurance when you go on holiday and we strongly recommend that to do so is in your interests and those of your family. We also ask that you provide us with the details of your insurer, the policy number and the emergency contact details to assist you in the event of an accident or emergency abroad. It will be necessary for you to comply with the requirements of the policy in the event of a potential claim; e.g. reporting a theft to the local police. Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. We do not check alternative insurance policies. 4. BROCHURE & WEBSITE ACCURACY The descriptions in our brochures and on our websites may be prepared many months in advance but is believed correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of printing or publication. The availability of services and amenities may be affected by local conditions, such as inclement weather or the season. Suppliers of accommodation, transport and recreational facilities can make changes with no advance notice to us. When we become aware of any significant changes, we will advise you or your travel agent

at the time of booking or, if after booking, as soon as possible before departure. The provisions of Clause 7 will apply when a significant change is notified after the booking. 5. PROVISION OF TRANSPORT & ACCOMMODATION The various carriers who provide transport as described in our brochure and on our website have their own terms and conditions. International and sometimes national travel is subject to international conventions and regulations (such as EU regulations). The carriers’ terms and conditions may limit and/ or exclude the supplier’s liability to you, usually in accordance with applicable international conventions or regulations. For more information on these, see Clause 10(ii)f). Air travel is also subject to the operational decisions of air carriers and of airports, which may result in delays, aircraft being diverted or schedule changes over which the Company has no control. The Company can provide you with copies of all relevant conventions, regulations and conditions upon request. In accordance with EU Regulation 2111/2005 we are required to advise you of the actual carrier(s) (or, if the actual carrier(s) is not known, the likely carrier(s)) that will operate your flight(s) (including any connecting flight or transfer) at the time of booking. Where we are only able to inform you of the likely carrier(s) at the time of booking, we will inform you of the identity of the actual carrier(s) as soon as we become aware of this. Any change to the operating carrier(s) after your booking has been confirmed will be notified to you as soon as possible. Due to the flexible itineraries that we offer, we are not in a position to state these facts in our brochure and on our website. Any changes to the actual airline after you have received your tickets will be notified to you as soon as possible and in all cases at check-in or at the boarding gate. Due to the nature of the airline business, on rare occasions flight delays regrettably do happen. In such an event, while we will work with the airline to ensure any delay is as short and comfortable as possible, it remains the airline’s responsibility to look after you. Depending on the length and cause of the delay, meals and accommodation and/or compensation may be available. See Airline Delays and Passenger Rights. Our brochure and website detail our sole responsibility. They are not published on behalf of and do not commit any independent organisations/ carriers whose services are featured in it. 6. ALTERATIONS & CANCELLATIONS BY YOU (i) Should you wish to make any changes to your confirmed booking, you must notify us in writing as soon as possible. Whilst we will endeavour to assist, we cannot guarantee we will be able to meet any such requests. Where we can, an amendment fee of £25 per booking, or £50 per booking if the amendment is made within 46 days of departure, will be payable together with any costs incurred by ourselves and any costs or charges incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers. A change of holiday dates will normally be treated as a cancellation of the original booking and rebooking in which case cancellation charges will apply. Changes may result in the recalculation of the holiday price where, for example, the basis on which the price of the original holiday was calculated has changed. If any member of your party is prevented from travelling, the person(s) concerned may transfer their place to someone else (introduced by you) providing we are notified not less than two weeks before departure. Where a transfer to a person of your choice can be made, all costs and charges incurred by us and/or incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers as a result together with an amendment fee of £100.00 must be paid before the transfer can be effected. Any overdue balance payment must also be received. For flight inclusive bookings, you must pay the charges levied by the airline concerned. As most airlines do not permit name changes after tickets have been issued for any reason, these charges are likely to be the full cost of the flight. (ii) Should you or any member of your party need to cancel your holiday, the lead person who made the booking and/ or signed the Booking Form must immediately advise us in writing. Your notice of cancellation will only be effective when it is received by us in writing. As we incur costs from the time we accept your booking the following cancellation charges will be payable. Where the cancellation charge is shown as a percentage, this is calculated on the basis of the total invoice

cost payable excluding amendment charges, which are not refundable. Please note that when part cancellations occur, the amount payable by the rest of the party may increase. PERIOD BEFORE DEPARTURE CANCELLATION FEE PER PERSON OVER 56 DAYS LOSS OF DEPOSIT*** 55 - 43 DAYS 50% OF HOLIDAY PRICE 42 - 31 DAYS 75% OF HOLIDAY PRICE 30 DAYS or less 100% OF HOLIDAY PRICE *** Bookings on some airlines and hotels during the peak season will have varying cancellation charges and, therefore, the fees shown above will not apply. The charges will be calculated and advised to you at the time of cancellation. 7. ALTERATIONS & CANCELLATIONS BY THE COMPANY Occasionally, we have to make changes to and correct any errors in brochures, websites, and other material published by us, both before and after bookings have been confirmed and cancel confirmed bookings. We must reserve the right to do so. However, we will not cancel your holiday unless you fail to make full payment on time, we are forced to do so as a result of circumstances outside our control we are forced to do so as a result of circumstances outside our control or minimum numbers apply. Most changes we have to make are minor. Sometimes, we have to make a ‘significant change’. Significant changes include the following when made before departure: • A change of accommodation to that of a lower price or standard for the whole or a major part of the time you are away • A change of accommodation area for the whole or a major part of the time you are away • A change of departure time of any transport which forms part of your holiday arrangements by more than 12 hours • A change of the overall length of the holiday by more than 12 hours • A change of the UK departure airport to one that is inconvenient for you. If we become aware of a significant change or we have to cancel the booking before departure, you or your travel agent will be notified as soon as is practically possible. You will then be offered the following options of: a) Accepting the changed arrangements as notified to you, or b) purchasing an alternative holiday from us, of a similar standard to that originally booked if available. We will offer you at least one alternative holiday of equivalent or higher standard for which you will not be asked to pay any more than the price of the original holiday. If this holiday is in fact cheaper than the original one, we will refund the price difference. If you do not wish to accept the holiday we specifically offer you, you may choose any of our other then available holidays. You must pay the applicable price of any such holiday. This will mean your paying more if it is more expensive or receiving a refund if it is cheaper, or c) Cancelling your holiday and receiving a full refund of all monies you have paid to us. In addition, if we have to cancel or make a significant change after the date you are obliged to pay the balance of your holiday cost, we will pay you compensation as set out below, subject to the following exceptions: Compensation will not be payable and no liability, beyond offering the above mentioned choices where applicable, can be accepted where (1) we are forced to cancel or make a change as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with all due care or (2) we have to cancel because the minimum number of bookings necessary for us to operate the holiday has not been reached (see above). No compensation will be payable and the above options will not be available if we cancel as a result of your failure to comply with any requirement of these booking conditions entitling us to cancel (such as paying on time) or where a change is a minor one.


A minor change is any change which is not significant. For touring holidays, it may be necessary to make changes to the accommodation, routing or order of the itinerary. Unless the holiday is significantly altered as a result, any such change will not be treated as a significant change. Very rarely, we may be forced by “force majeure” (see Clause 8) to change or terminate your holiday after departure but before the scheduled end of your time away. This is extremely unlikely but if this situation does occur, we regret we will be unable to make any refunds (unless we obtain any refunds from our suppliers), pay you any compensation or meet any costs or expenses you incur as a result. Compensation Payable as set out above: Days Before Departure Compensation per person 57 or more Nil 56 to 29 £40 28 to 15 £50 14 to 0 £70 EVENT CANCELLATION: Occasionally, advertised events are cancelled by the organisers and often at short notice. Such cancellation will not constitute a significant change to, or the cancellation of, your holiday arrangements even though we have pre-booked tickets for you. 8. FORCE MAJEURE Except where otherwise expressly stated in these Booking Conditions, we regret we cannot accept any liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected by or you otherwise suffer any damage, loss or expense of any nature as a result of “force majeure”. In these Booking Conditions, “force majeure” means any event that we or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include but are not limited to (and whether actual or threatened) war, riot, civil disobedience or strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural disaster, adverse weather conditions, adverse flooding, fire, unavoidable technical problems with transport and all similar events outside our control. Advice from the Foreign Office against all travel or all but essential travel to a particular country or area will generally be regarded as ‘force majeure’. FCO travel advice appears on their website. www.fco.gov.uk/ knowbeforeyougo which you are recommended to consult before booking and in good time before departure. 9. SPECIAL REQUESTS Any special request must be advised in writing well in advance of departure if it was not already stated on your original booking form or at the time of booking. We will make every reasonable effort to make the arrangements. We do not however, have any legal liability to you in the event that we or a third party is unable to comply with your special requests. Confirmation that a special request has been noted or passed on to the supplier or the inclusion of the special request on your confirmation invoice or any other documentation is not confirmation that the request will be met. Unless and until specifically confirmed, all special requests are subject to availability. For your own protection, you should obtain confirmation in writing that a special request will be complied (where it is possible to give this) where it is important to you. You will not be entitled to cancel (without paying our normal cancellation charges) if we are unable to comply with your special request. We regret that we cannot accept any conditional booking (i.e. any booking that is specified to be conditional upon the fulfilment of a particular request). 10. LIABILITY (i) You to the Company: (a) It is your responsibility to arrive at places stated at the correct times and to reconfirm your return flight and departure times. The Company has no liability whatsoever to you for your failure to do so. (b) You must act and behave in a reasonable and responsible manner toward any other person you meet in the course of your travel arrangements. If in our reasonable opinion or in the reasonable opinion of any other person in authority, you behave in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause danger, upset or distress to any third party or damage to property, we are entitled, without prior notice, to terminate the holiday of the person(s) concerned. In this situation, the person(s) concerned will be required to leave the accommodation or other service. We will have no further responsibility toward such person(s) including any return travel arrangements. No

refunds will be made and we will not pay any expenses or costs incurred as a result of the termination. (c) You accept responsibility for any damage or loss caused by you. Full payment for any such damage or loss (reasonably estimated if not precisely known) must be made direct to the accommodation owner or manager or other supplier or to us as soon as possible. If the actual cost of the loss or damage exceeds the amount paid where estimated, you must pay the difference once known. If the actual cost is less than the amount paid, the difference will be refunded. You will also be responsible for meeting any claims subsequently made against us and all costs incurred by us (including our own and the other party’s full legal costs) as a result of your actions. You should ensure you have appropriate travel insurance to protect you if this situation arises. (ii) The Company to You: a) We promise to make sure that the holiday arrangements we have agreed to make, perform or provide as applicable as part of our contract with you are made, performed or provided with reasonable skill and care. This means that, subject to these booking conditions, we will accept responsibility if, for example, you suffer death or personal injury or your contracted holiday arrangements are not provided as promised or prove deficient as a result of the failure of ourselves, our employees, agents or suppliers to use reasonable skill and care in making, performing or providing, as applicable, your contracted holiday arrangements. Please note, it is your responsibility to show that reasonable skill and care has not been used if you wish to make a claim against us. In addition, we will only be responsible for what our employees, agents and suppliers do or do not do if they were at the time acting within the course of their employment (for employees) or carrying out work we had asked them to do (for agents and suppliers). b) We will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss (including loss of enjoyment or possessions), damage, expense, cost or other sum or claim of any description whatsoever which results from any of the following:- the act(s) and/or omission(s) of the person(s) affected or any member(s) of their party or the act(s) and/or omission(s) of a third party not connected with the provision of your holiday and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable or ‘force majeure’ as defined in Clause 8 above c) Please note we cannot accept responsibility for any services which do not form part of our contract. This includes, for example, any additional services or facilities which your hotel or any other supplier agrees to provide for you where the services or facilities are not advertised by us and we have not agreed to arrange them as part of our contract and any excursion you purchase in resort. Please also see Clause 11. In addition, regardless of any wording used by us on our website, in any advertising material or elsewhere, we only promise to use reasonable skill and care as set out above and we do not have any greater or different liability to you. d) The promises we make to you about the services we have agreed to provide or arrange as part of our contract - and the laws and regulations of the country in which your claim or complaint occurred - will be used as the basis for deciding whether the services in question had been properly provided. If the particular services which gave rise to the claim or complaint complied with local laws and regulations applicable to those services at the time, the services will be treated as having been properly provided. This will be the case even if the services did not comply with the laws and regulations of the UK which would have applied had those services been provided in the UK. The exception to this is where the claim or complaint concerns the absence of a safety feature which might lead a reasonable holiday maker to refuse to take the holiday in question. Please note, however, our obligation is to exercise reasonable skill and care as referred to in clause 10(ii)a). We do not make any representation or commitment that all services will comply with applicable local laws and regulations and failure to comply does not automatically mean we have not exercised reasonable skill and care. e) As set out in these booking conditions, we limit the maximum amount we may have to pay you for any claims you may make against us. Where we are found liable for loss of and/ or damage to any luggage or personal possessions (including money), the maximum amount we will have to pay you is

£250 per person affected unless a lower limitation applies to your claim under Clause 10(ii)f) below. You must ensure you have appropriate travel insurance to protect your personal belongings. For all other claims which do not involve death or personal injury, if we are found liable to you on any basis the maximum amount we will have to pay you is twice the price (excluding insurance premiums and amendment charges) paid by or on behalf of the person(s) affected in total unless a lower limitation applies to your claim under Clause 10(ii)f) below. This maximum amount will only be payable where everything has gone wrong and you have not received any benefit at all from your holiday. f) Where any claim or part of a claim (including those involving death or personal injury) concerns or is based on any travel arrangements (including the process of getting on and/or off the transport concerned) provided by any air, sea or rail carrier to which any international convention or EU regulation applies, the maximum amount of compensation we will have to pay you will be limited. The most we will have to pay you for that claim or that part of a claim if we are found liable to you on any basis is the most the carrier concerned would have to pay under the international convention or regulation which applies to the travel arrangements in question (for example, the Warsaw Convention as amended or unamended and the Montreal Convention for international travel by air and/or for airlines with an operating licence granted by an EU country, the EC Regulation on Air Carrier Liability No 889/2002 for national and international travel by air, the Athens Convention for international travel by sea (as amended by the 2002 Protocol with effect from 31st December 2012) and COTIF, the Convention on International Travel by Rail). Please note: where a carrier would not be obliged to make any payment to you under the applicable international convention or regulation in respect of a claim or part of a claim, we similarly are not obliged to make a payment to you for that claim or part of the claim. When making any payment, we are entitled to deduct any money which you have received or are entitled to receive from the carrier for the complaint or claim in question. Copies of the applicable international conventions and regulations are available from us on request. g) Please note, we cannot accept any liability for any damage, loss, expense or other sum(s) of any description (1) which on the basis of the information given to us by you concerning your booking prior to our accepting it, we could not have foreseen you would suffer or incur if we breached our contract with you or (2) which did not result from any breach of contract or other fault by ourselves or our employees or, where we are responsible for them, our suppliers. Additionally we cannot accept liability for any business losses. 11. EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES We may provide you with information (before departure and/ or when you are on holiday) about activities and excursions which are available in the area you are visiting. We have no involvement in any such activities or excursions which are neither run, supervised, controlled nor endorsed in any way by us. They are provided by local operators or other third parties who are entirely independent of us. They do not form any part of your contract with us even where we suggest particular operators/ other third parties and/or assist you in booking such activities or excursions in any way. We cannot accept any liability on any basis in relation to such activities or excursions and the acceptance of liability contained in Clause 10(ii)a) will not apply to them. We do not however exclude liability for the negligence of ourselves or our employees resulting in your death or personal injury. We cannot guarantee accuracy at all times of information given in relation to such activities or excursions or about the area you are visiting generally or that any particular excursion or activity which does not form part of our contract will take place as these services are not under our control. 12. DATA PROTECTION In order to process your booking and to ensure that your travel arrangements run smoothly and meet your requirements, we *(and your travel agent) need to use the information you provide such as name, address, personal information including any special needs/dietary requirements, etc. We take appropriate technical and organisational measures which are intended to

prevent unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data. We are required to pass the information on to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements such as airlines, hotels and transport companies. The information may be required by and provided to security or credit checking companies, public authorities such as Customs, Border Control and Immigration if required by them, or as required by law. Your personal data may be stored, used and otherwise processed within the UK and/or any other country(ies) of the European Economic Area (EEA). EEA countries are all member states of the European Union together with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. We may also store, use or otherwise process personal data outside the EEA. Data protection laws may not be as strong outside the EEA as they are in the EEA. Personal data will not be transferred to a country outside the EEA unless (1) the country to which it is transferred is one which the European Commission considers to provide an adequate level of data protection or (2) the personal data is transferred to a United States company which has signed up to the Safe Harbour scheme or (3) the personal data is transferred to a company which is required by our contract with them only to deal with the data in accordance with our instructions and to maintain appropriate security to protect the personal data which we are satisfied they have or (4) We are obliged to provide the personal data to a government /public authority in order to provide your holiday. We will not, however, pass any information onto any person who is not responsible for part of your travel arrangements or as we are legally obliged to do. This applies to any sensitive information that you give to us such as details of any disabilities, or dietary/religious requirements. If we cannot pass this information to the relevant suppliers, (whether in the EEA or not), we cannot confirm your booking. In making this booking, you consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons. If you have booked using our online system, please ensure that you have read our Privacy Policy. *Please note that where information is also held by your travel agent, this is subject to their own data protection policy. Your data controller is International Travel Connections Limited. You are generally entitled to ask us (by letter or e-mail) what details of yours are being held or processed, for what purpose and to whom they may be or have been disclosed. We will charge a fee to respond to such a request. We promise to respond to your request within 40 days of receiving your written request and fee. In certain limited circumstances we are entitled to refuse your request. If you believe that any of your personal data which we are processing are inaccurate or incorrect please contact us immediately by email marketing@ westernoriental.com 13. COMPLAINTS & ABTA ARBITRATION Whilst we aim to ensure that your holiday runs smoothly, there may be times when it does not. Please follow the complaints procedure below to minimise inconvenience to all parties: 1. Any complaint should be reported immediately and directly to the supplier and, as soon as possible, to our local representative (where applicable). If you fail to follow this simple procedure, your right to claim compensation may be affected, as we will have been deprived of the opportunity to investigate and rectify the problem. 2. In the unlikely event that neither our representative nor our supplier is able to resolve the matter to your complete satisfaction, please telephone please telephone us on Tel +44(0) 20 7666 1234 or E-mail enquiries@westernoriental.com Any costs incurred in doing so will be fully refunded. 3. Once in receipt of a complaint, we will react swiftly to resolve the matter. Our aim is to rectify any shortcomings immediately, so that you can fully enjoy the remainder of your holiday. If you still have cause for complaint on your return to the UK, you are required to seek satisfaction by writing to the Company within 28 days of the end of your holiday and providing full details of the holiday and the reason for dissatisfaction. We regret that we cannot accept liability in relation to any complaint or claim which is not notified entirely in accordance with this clause.

Call us on 020 7666 1209 | www.westernoriental.com

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Disputes arising out of, or in connection with your booking which cannot be amicably settled may be referred to arbitration if you so wish under a special scheme arranged by ABTA Ltd and administered independently. The scheme provides for a simple and inexpensive method of arbitration on documents alone with restricted liability on the customer in respect of costs. Full details will be provided on request or can be obtained from the ABTA website www.abta.com The scheme does not apply to claims for an amount greater than £5,000 per person. There is also a limit of £25,000 per booking. Neither does it apply to claims which are solely in respect of physical injury or illness or their consequences. The scheme can however deal with compensation claims which include an element of minor injury or illness subject to a limit of £1,500 on the amount the arbitrator can award per person in respect of this element. Your application for arbitration and other required documents must be received by ABTA within 18 months of your return from the holiday. Outside this time limit arbitration under the scheme may still be available if we agree, although the ABTA Code does not require such agreement. For injury and illness claims, you can request the ABTA mediation procedure and we have the option to agree to this. Where we act as agent, please bear in mind that your contract is with the supplier of the arrangements concerned. Unless the supplier is also a member of ABTA, only disputes relating to our actions as agent can be dealt with by the arbitration scheme or mediation procedure and not complaints about the arrangements themselves or the acts / omissions of the supplier. 14. FINANCIAL PROTECTION We hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL number 2786). When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday* from us, you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong. We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable). If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit, you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent or your credit card issuer where applicable. You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme. *The flights and flight-inclusive holidays we arrange are ATOL protected providing they are made available in the UK. For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk

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or Northern Ireland, you may choose to have your contract and any claim governed by the law of Scotland/Northern Ireland as applicable (but if you do not so choose, English law will apply).

and may well vary from those on your confirmation invoice. Should you fail to check-in on time and you miss your flight, we do not have any liability to you.

16. ESSENTIAL INFORMATION We fully recognise that the choices you can make concerning your chosen accommodation, the destinations you wish to visit and your airline carrier are vast. Our specialist team is able to provide helpful information including flight details, car hire and basic costs for all accommodation. Once you have decided on a preferred itinerary, simply contact one of our Travel Specialists for advice and a full holiday recommendation by telephoning the number shown in the brochure or on our website. As we have first hand intimate knowledge of the destinations we feature, we will of course be pleased to discuss and advise you on the most appropriate holiday that meets your requirements.

Please note: 1. All tickets issued in conjunction with our holiday packages are non-changeable and non-refundable. For restrictions on preseating requests, please see ‘pre-seating on aircraft’. 2. Special meal requirements must be made at the time of booking 3. Full details of any disability or medical condition which may affect your holiday arrangements and any related special requirements must be disclosed to the Travel Specialist at the time of booking. These details must be confirmed in writing. We will endeavour to accommodate any special requirements, with the airline and service providers. 4. Tickets (a) if paper tickets are issued these will need to be taken to the airport of departure and handed in at the check-in desk. (b) if the airline operates an e ticket system you will not be issued with paper tickets with the travel documents but you will be issued with a letter of confirmation of the flight booking which should be handed in at the check-in desk. 5. Certain airlines operate an on-line check-in prior to departure. If you wish to utilise this method we cannot be responsible for any errors or changes in seating arrangements.

WHAT YOUR HOLIDAY PRICE INCLUDES 1. Air travel as booked and detailed in our confirmation of your booking 2. Accommodation as booked and detailed in our confirmation of your booking. 3. Meals, as shown in the hotel description and on your confirmation. “Breakfast” usually means continental breakfast, unless stated otherwise. “Half board” is breakfast and evening meal, which is generally with a restricted choice of menu or restaurant. “Full board” is breakfast, lunch and dinner. “Allinclusive” is breakfast, lunch, and dinner with house wine, snacks, unlimited bar drinks (excluding champagne and some premium brands) served by the glass. 4. Return transfers from airport to hotel/resort unless stated at the time of booking. At destinations where transfers are provided by the hotel, you may be transferred along with other hotel guests arriving on the same flight. 5. Services of a representative in most of our featured destinations. 6. Mandatory hotel taxes and service charges. 7. United Kingdom departure tax and passenger service charge (for all international departures). Children under 2 years of age, who have not been allocated seats, are exempt from this tax. 8. Luggage allowance as determined by the carrier, the amount will be detailed in the travel documents. 9. Special offers that are available at the time of booking.

We are also a member of ABTA (ABTA number V2359). If your holiday does not include flights, ABTA will financially protect your holiday by ensuring you receive a refund or, if your arrangements include return travel to the UK (other than flights) you are returned to the UK in the event that your holiday cannot be provided as a result of our insolvency. Please go to www.abta.com for a copy of the guide to ABTA’s scheme of Financial Protection.

WHAT YOUR HOLIDAY PRICE EXCLUDES 1. Some overseas airport departure taxes (generally £15 - £30 per person, per island/country, payable locally In the local currency or US$). Also cruising tax (as applicable) between US$2 and US$4 per person, per day is payable locally. 2. Travel Insurance, which you must have in force prior to your departure 3. Charges made by the hotel in respect of infant’s requirements and baby sitting. 4. The services of representatives at the destinations where there are no local representatives. 5. Items of a personal nature - drinks, laundry, room service, telephone calls, etc. and any tax payable on these. 6. Visa and passport charges. (unless stated) 7. Cost of inoculations or other medical requirements of the country of your destination or compulsory or non compulsory medication. 8. Gratuities where service charges are not mandatory. 9. Any applicable surcharges - see Price Policy (Clause 2 of our Booking Conditions). 10. 2% charge for payments made by credit or charge card. 11. Tourist Tax in some destinations. 12. Excess baggage charges on aircraft and ground transport. 13. Local charges. 14. Charges for equipment for leisure activities or for excursions. 15. Excess fuel surcharges. 16. Any items not expressly included in the cost of your holiday.

15. LAW & JURISDICTION We both agree that English law (and no other) will apply to your contract and to any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us (“claim”) except as set out below. We both also agree that any claim must be dealt with by the ABTA arbitration scheme referred to above or Courts of England and Wales only unless, in the case of Court proceedings, you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. In this case, proceedings must either be brought in the Courts of your home country or those of England and Wales. If proceedings are brought in Scotland

TICKETS AND OTHER DOCUMENTATION Approximately 14 days prior to departure, providing we have received full payment, you will be sent your travel documentation. Remember that you must check-in at least 2 to 3 hours before take-off for most flights (depending on the airline). Please also ensure to check the correct airport terminal for departure. As the airline allocates seats on a first-come first served basis, we advise you to check-in as early as possible so that, if you are travelling in a party, you are less likely to be separated. Please check your flight times carefully on your ticket as these are subject to change

Please check your invoice, tickets and all other documentation carefully as soon as you receive them. Contact us immediately if any information appears to be incorrect or missing as it may not be possible to make changes later. ADVANCE PASSENGER INFORMATION & APIS UK and overseas governments require all passengers travelling by air to provide certain personal information known as Advance Passenger Information or API this means your passport/ identity card details and in some instances, your contact and other information, are provided to the authorities before you travel. Some governments also require airlines to provide them with direct access to airline passenger bookings, which may contain other passenger data. It is important that the information provided is accurate so you pass through Immigration on arrival without delay. You must provide this information when requested to do so which may be in advance of travel. PASSPORT & VISAS Each passenger including children are required to hold their own full and valid passport for visits to all the destinations that we feature. Most non-eu countries require that passports are valid for at least six months after the departure from their country. Please visit www.fco.gov.uk/travel for the individual country‘s passport and visa requirements for British citizens with a British passport or contact us for further details. A full British passport presently takes approximately 2 to 6 weeks to obtain or renew. If you are 16 or over and haven‘t yet got a passport, you should apply for one at least 6 weeks before your holiday. The UK Passport Service has to confirm your identity before issuing your first passport and will ask you to attend an interview in order to do this. All information we provide in respect of visa or passport requirements is given in good faith and as known at the time it is provided. However, requirements may change and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure. For countries requiring visas, there should be at least one blank page in the passport to facilitate the visa stamp. Please note that some countries may require two blank pages for entry and departure visas. If you, or any member of your party, do not hold a British citizen’s passport and/or do not reside in the UK, you must check the entry requirements with the embassy of the country/ies you will be visiting. Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Subject to compliance with the applicable conditions, we can issue an electronic travel authority for entry to Australia (ETA). Please advise us at the time of booking if you require assistance. Travel to and via the USA Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) and Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) In order to enter the USA, every person travelling (including children) must have a visa unless they qualify for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Most British citizens residing in the UK will qualify for the VWP (which covers visits of up to 90 days) but please see the important note

below. All visitors to the US (including children) who are eligible for the VWP must apply for authorisation to travel to the US in advance in accordance with the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). You must complete an online application for authorization to travel on the ESTA website (details below) at least 72 hours before your flight to the US departs but you are recommended to apply earlier. Providing the application is accepted, you will be provided with approval via the website. Approval is usually provided very quickly but can take up to 72 hours if data needs to be checked. You should make a note of the ESTA approval number when you receive it. There is currently a US$14 per person fee payable when you apply for your authorisation to travel. The ESTA is valid for two years and can be applied for at any time. It is very important that you complete your ESTA application using the exact address as displayed on the documentation you receive. If you have booked a flight only or the address of your accommodation is confirmed on arrival, please use the address as stated on your holiday invoice/tickets. It’s recommended that the ESTA is applied for as soon as you have booked your holiday. Important note: Not all British visitors to the USA will qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. You will need to apply for a visa if you have ever been arrested (even if you were not convicted of an offence) or have a criminal record of any description. Other exemptions also apply. If you are in any doubt as to whether you may require a visa, please contact the US Embassy, Consular Information Unit, 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 1AE or visit the website www.usembassy.org.uk or contact them on 020 7499 9000 before making your booking with us. Visa requirements may change. Further information on entry requirements for the USA are available at http://travel. state.gov. You must also check entry requirements at the time of booking and in good time before departure as requirements may change. 17. HEALTH REQUIREMENTS You must ensure you are aware of and comply with any health requirements, recommendations and precautions such as vaccinations for every country you are or may be visiting. Requirements and advice may change and it is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of all recommended vaccinations and health precautions in good time before departure. Details are available from your GP surgery and from the National Travel Health Network and Centre www.nathnac.org. Information on health abroad is also available on www.nhs.uk/ Livewell/Travelhealth For travel to Europe, we strongly recommend that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for which you can apply online at www.ehic.org.uk free of charge. For details of the cover provided by an EHIC go to www.dh.gov.uk/travellers. Please note that the EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance and may not cover the total cost of health cover. It does not cover the cost of repatriation to the UK if required for medical reasons. You must have adequate insurance cover for all medical costs which will not be covered by the EHIC or you will be personally responsible for payment of these to the hospital/medical practitioner. Payment may be required at the time of departure from the hospital or at the time of receiving treatment. If you have a pre-existing or current medical condition of any kind or if you are pregnant, then you must get clearance to travel from your own doctor. Please also check the terms of your travel insurance policy. Pregnant ladies are not accepted by most airlines after 28 weeks of pregnancy. IMPORTANT: It is your responsibility to ensure that you hold the correct, valid documents for the country/ies you are visiting and have obtained and have proof of any compulsory vaccinations. You should also carry written confirmation of any medication requirements you may have. Further, we cannot accept responsibility if you are refused passage on any airline or other transport or entry into any country due to the failure on your part to carry the correct documentation. If failure to do so results in fines, surcharges, claims, financial demands or other financial penalties, costs or expenses being imposed on or incurred by us, you will be responsible for indemnifying and reimbursing us accordingly. 18. LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE Allowances vary according to the carrier, destination, route and the class of travel booked. You will be advised of the specific allowances and restrictions with your travel documentation. Should you require these at the time of booking, please ask your Travel Specialist.


Please note: 1. Many airlines restrict the weight, size, dimensions and contents of hand luggage. For further details please check with the airline you are flying with. 2. The airline may impose a charge payable by you at the check-in or refuse to allow the luggage to be checked-in until the weight and dimensions are within the prescribed limits if your luggage is over the prescribed allowance. We will not be responsible for any such charges or be liable for the cost of any items which you are unable to check-in and are left at the airport. 3. There are restrictions on the contents of hand luggage to be taken on board an aircraft. You are advised to visit www. direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Publictransport/ AirtravelintheUK/DG_078179 to check the applicable requirements or restrictions before departure. 19. AIRLINE DELAYS & PASSENGER RIGHTS If your flight is cancelled or delayed, your flight ticket is downgraded or boarding is denied by your airline, depending on the circumstances, the airline may be required to pay you compensation, refund the cost of your flight and/or provide you with accommodation and/or refreshments under EC Regulation No 261/2004 - the Denied Boarding Regulations 2004. Full details of these rights are posted at EU airports and are also available from airlines/ airline websites or visit www.caa.co.uk. Please note that any compensation or other payment due to you is the responsibility of the airline and will not automatically entitle you to a refund from us. All sums you receive or are entitled to receive from the airline concerned by virtue of these Regulations represent the full amount of your entitlement to compensation or any other payment arising from such cancellation, delay, downgrading or denied boarding. This includes any disappointment, distress, inconvenience or effect on any other arrangements the fact a delay may entitle you to cancel your flight does not automatically entitle you to cancel any other arrangements even where those arrangements have been made in conjunction with your flight. If, for any reason, we make any payment to you or a third party which the airline is responsible for in accordance with the Denied Boarding Regulations, you must, when requested, assign to us the rights you have or had to claim the payment in question from the airline. If your airline does not comply with these rules you may complain to the Civil Aviation Authority on 020 7453 6888 or by e-mail to passengercomplaints@caa.co.uk or see www.caa. co.uk – Referring Your Complaint to the CAA . Please check your travel insurance policy for compensation following airline delays. Where long flight delays result in lost holiday time, refunds are not given by suppliers for unused accommodation as rooms are held for delayed arrivals and are not re-let. Please also note that an airline carrier may, if circumstances so require, divert, postpone or delay any flight, or alter the airport of departure or arrival and may, without notice, substitute alternative carriers or aircraft. We are not always in a position at the time of booking to confirm the flight timings which will be used in connection with your flight. The flight timings shown in our brochure, on our website and/ or detailed on your confirmation invoice are for guidance only and are subject to alteration and confirmation. Flight timings are outside our control. They are set by airlines and are subject to various factors including air traffic control restrictions, weather conditions, potential technical problems and the ability of passengers to check in on time. The latest known flight times will be those shown on your tickets or confirmation of the flight booking, which will be despatched to you approximately two weeks before departure. You must, accordingly, check your tickets very carefully immediately upon receipt to ensure that you have the correct flight times. It is possible that the flight times may be changed even after tickets have been despatched; we will contact you as soon as possible if this happens.

will be notified to you as soon as possible. If the carrier with whom you have a confirmed reservation becomes subject to an operating ban as above as a result of which we/ the carrier are unable to offer you a suitable alternative the provisions of clause 7 of our Booking Conditions “Alterations and cancellations by the Company” will apply. 21. NON PACKAGES Some of the holiday arrangements we sell are not “packages” in accordance with the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. For these arrangements, the acceptance of liability set out in Clause 10(ii)a) of our Booking Conditions will not apply. Instead, we will use reasonable skill and care in the performance of any services which we or any of employees provide subject to and in accordance with the other terms of the Booking Conditions. For services which are provided by third parties such as hoteliers and transport companies, we will use our reasonable skill and care in selecting reputable suppliers. 22. PRE-SEATING ON AIRCRAFT Pre-seating can be arranged on most international carriers. However, the seating available will be limited and once this limit is reached, airlines will only allocate seats at check-in and this cannot be overridden. Pre-assigned seats cannot be guaranteed as airlines do not undertake to provide any particular seat in the aircraft. Therefore, you agree to accept any seat that may be allocated on the flight in the class for which the ticket has been issued. Certain airlines now operate a voluntary online system to book your seats in advance, please see your travel documentation to see if this is available. Depending on your airline, you may be able to check-in online in advance. Please note: 1. Bassinettes for babies must be booked at the time of booking and are on a first come first served basis. Due to airline availability bassinettes cannot be guaranteed. 2. If you have any special seating, dietary or other requirements as a result of any disability, reduced mobility or medical condition, please advise us at the time of booking or as soon as you are able if you are not in a position to do so when booking. We will pass such information to the airline concerned but cannot guarantee that they will be met. 23. INTER-ISLAND & OVERSEAS INTERNAL FLIGHTS Please note that on aircraft used for flights between islands extra luggage restrictions will apply. We will try and ensure that special requirements relating to disability or mobility needs can be accommodated but this cannot be guaranteed. 24. SAFETY STANDARDS Safety standards and rules are set by each country. These may not be equivalent to those of the UK and, in some cases, could be lower. This includes activities, public transport, taxis, theme parks and other recreational facilities. Many hotels do not have lifeguards on duty at the swimming pool and some may have signs indicating that swimming is at your own risk. Please act responsibly, particularly with children, as the depth and design of hotel pools vary. We suggest that, in all cases, you familiarize yourself with each pool, particularly prior to diving or allowing any children travelling with you to swim. When properties provide cots for infants, you must check you are happy with the standard and safety prior to use. Caution should be exercised with regard to some room facilities (such as tea and coffee making machines, Jacuzzi baths, etc). Parents should ensure that the standards for childcare and the facilities of the children’s clubs meet their requirements. Further information is available on request.

process), please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of the arrangements and/or making the booking. In any event, you must give us full details in writing at the time of booking and whenever any change in your condition, disability or mobility occurs. You must also promptly advise us if any such condition, disability or reduced mobility which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. We are not a specialist disabled holiday company, but we will do our best to cater for any special requirements you may have. We will make every effort to recommend the most suitable holiday for you as we do have a specialist department who will be able to provide information to you. For further information, call us to discuss your holiday requirements. Within the EU, airlines will facilitate access to air transport for disabled persons and persons of reduced mobility and ensure they receive assistance when travelling by air in accordance with EC Regulation 1107/2006. This also applies to passengers departing from an airport situated outside the EU to an airport situated within the EU if the air carrier is an EU Community Air Carrier. Due to the nature of some of our hotels/destinations, many may lack the simplest facilities, such as ramps for wheelchairs and door access. This may apply to shops, restaurants public transport and recreational facilities. 27. ACCOMMODATION CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT The standard international practice is to let rooms from midday to midday but this can vary between 10:00am and 3:00pm. Therefore, if you check-in immediately after a night flight, this would normally count as one night’s accommodation. Similarly, if your return flight is at night, you will normally be required to vacate your room at 12:00 noon prior to leaving for the airport. Day rooms are subject to availability and cost and can be arranged locally with the accommodation management. In order to guarantee an early check-in or a late check-out, the pre-payment of an extra night’s accommodation will be necessary. Please check at the time of booking. Guests may be asked to present a credit card or a substantial cash deposit upon check-in to guarantee payment of extras/ incidentals. The use of room safes is recommended and items of value should be deposited with the hotel. 28. HOTEL ACCOMMODATION CATEGORIES Throughout our featured destinations, there are no official hotel ratings. Room and suite category descriptions which are referred to throughout the brochure and on our website are set by each individual hotel - the terminology is not our own. Therefore, you will find that some accommodation categories and their respective prices will be determined purely by location (the proximity to the beach for example) and some by the décor of the accommodation itself. Others will be a combination of the two. When we use the term ‘Ocean View’, it means just that - that the sea can be seen from the room, patio or balcony, but please note that sometimes, the view may be partial or at an oblique angle. 29. BEACHES Please note that all beaches at the accommodation/resorts featured are open to the public unless specifically stated otherwise. Minimum clothing restrictions may operate on beaches in certain countries. We cannot guarantee beaches in every country will be manned with lifeguards or provide flags for information on currents and conditions unfavourable or favourable for safe swimming or water sports. You must satisfy yourself that conditions are safe for swimming before doing so.

COUNTRY

20. BANNED AIR CARRIERS In accordance with EU Regulation No 2111/2005, we are required to bring to your attention the existence of a “Community list” which contains details of air carriers who are subject to an operating ban within the EU. The Community list is available for inspection at http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air-ban/list_ en.htm We are also required to advise you of the actual carrier(s) (or, if the actual carrier(s) is not known, the likely carrier(s)) that will operate your flight(s) at the time of booking. Where we are only able to inform you of the likely carrier(s) at the time of booking, we will inform you of the identity of the actual carrier(s) as soon as we become aware of this. Any change to the operating carrier(s) after your booking has been confirmed

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25. WEATHER & PUBLIC UTILITIES Public utilities and continuity of services, such as water and electricity should not be taken for granted at your destination. On tropical islands and in less developed countries, there may be interruptions to the supply. Occasionally in the tropics, severe storms and cyclones do occur. Generally, the “hurricane season” in the Caribbean, North and Central America is from June to November and in the southern hemisphere, cyclones can occur between December and April although this varies between regions and areas. It is advisable to check, prior to departure, for any unusual weather that may affect the enjoyment of your holiday. Further information is available at www.metoffice.gov.uk. 26. CUSTOMERS WITH ANY DISABILITY, MEDICAL CONDITION OR REDUCED MOBILITY If any member of your party has any medical condition, disability or reduced mobility which may affect your holiday or any special requirements as a result (including any which affect the booking

30. BUILDING WORKS We strive to ensure that your accommodation will not be in an area of construction and that your accommodation will not be undergoing substantial refurbishment which may cause you inconvenience. We have no control over building works our hoteliers are carrying out or building works which are being carried out in the immediate locality of your accommodation. If it comes to our attention that building works are being carried out which will or may have a material effect on your holiday we will notify you as soon as we become or are made aware of the nature of the works and whether the works will or will not cause you undue inconvenience.

some hotels/resorts may close. For example, a pool may be closed for maintenance or a restaurant for refurbishment. We will advise you of any changes to the availability of the facilities and of any work taking place known to us at the time of booking or as soon as we have been informed. 33. NATIONAL & SPECIAL RELIGIOUS PERIODS There may be restricted facilities e.g. restaurant/shop opening times, availability of public transport, recreational facilities etc, during national holidays and/or religious periods or festivals. Ramadan is observed in Dubai, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Malaysia, The Maldives, Indonesia, India, Egypt and Morocco. It is observed in the ninth month of the Muslim Calendar, the exact dates are determined by the lunar cycle. During this period, there are restrictions with regard to eating, drinking and smoking in public during daylight hours. 34. CAR HIRE We only deal with reputable car hire companies and, in the high season in particular, we strongly recommend that you pre-book your hire car to guarantee availability. Hirers must normally be 23 years of age or over (minimum of 25 years for prestige cars) and hold a FULL and VALID British driving licence, which must be carried at all times. Local licences (if applicable) are obtainable from the hirer or main police stations upon presentation of a British driving licence and must be paid for locally, together with petrol and optional extra insurance. When collecting your hired car, you will be asked to sign the hire car company’s standard hire agreement. This agreement is likely to contain provisions that limit or exclude the hire car company’s liability to you in certain situations. Please read the agreement carefully and ensure that you have adequate insurance cover. In some countries compulsory collision damage waiver is required. A credit card will be required as a deposit against fuel, insurance waiver, additional child/ baby seats or other costs. For infants, front airbags may not be disconnected in certain vehicles, please check with the hirer. You are advised to take out additional insurance if voluntary such as collision damage waiver or equivalent for the country of your destination. 35. AIRPORT TRANSFERS We will provide private vehicle transfers where possible. However, when a hotel provides transfers these may, on some occasions, be by coach or shared minibus, or by motor launch as appropriate. Please note that excess luggage will necessitate the need to supply an extra vehicle, which will incur an added charge. If you are travelling with luggage in excess of your airline allowance, please advise us so that we can make the necessary arrangements. Where helicopter transfers are available, your luggage may need to be transported by road and for return flights, your luggage may have to be collected from your accommodation early in the morning. Helicopter transfers are not generally available after dark. 36. TRAVEL ADVICE The Foreign & Commonwealth Office produces up-to-date travel information to help British travellers make informed decisions about travelling abroad. For further information please visit www. fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo or telephone 0870 606 0290. Alternatively, you can contact ABTA’s Travel Information line on 0901 201 5050 (calls are charged at 50 pence per minute). 27. ABTA - The Travel Association International Travel Connections Limited is a member of ABTA membership number V2359. ABTA and ABTA members help holidaymakers to get the most from their travel and assist them when things do not go according to plan. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. For further information about ABTA, the Code of Conduct and the arbitrations scheme available to you if you have a complaint, contact ABTA, 30 Park Street, London, SE1 9EQ. Tel: 020 3117 0500 or visit www.abta.com.

31. TAXES We will advise at the time of booking and with the travel documentation when, and if, any local taxes are payable in respect of the arrangements you have booked with us. 32. FACILITIES IN HIGH/LOW SEASONS In low seasons and periods of low occupancy, a few facilities at

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ITC Luxury Travel Group Limited THE COLLECTION

Pioneers of responsible travel, Rainbow Tours specialises in tailor-made holidays to Africa, Madagascar and Latin America, taking you to world famous sights as well as hidden corners right at the heart of local cultures. Their well-travelled team arranges safaris, custom-made trips for couples, family holidays, honeymoons and expert-led groups, as well as relaxing beach breaks.

Regent Holidays has been pioneering travel experiences to a wide range of unique and off-the-beaten-track destinations since 1970. From St Petersburg city breaks and group tours in the Balkans, to Silk Road train journeys and tailor-made Burma holidays, our Travel Specialists travel extensively so that they can offer expert advice to help you plan your alternative holiday.

www.rainbowtours.co.uk

www.regentholidays.co.uk

A pioneer in luxury travel, ITC has spent over 40 years creating bespoke holidays of a lifetime for our valued clients. As one of the UK’s longest-established independent, luxury tour operators we offer a genuine passion for travel, extraordinary local knowledge, a pedantic approach to fine details and an inspired workforce who sincerely love what they do.

www.itcluxurytravel.co.uk

Founded in 1983, Villa Select is known for its unique and discerning selection of carefully hand-picked villas across Europe, the Caribbean and Thailand. From traditional, rustic countryside retreats to contemporary, centrally-located luxury villas, Villa Select provides a friendly and professional service from the moment you book right through to the service you receive in resort.

www.villaselect.com


Telephone: 020 7666 1209 Email: enquiries@westernoriental.com Web: www.westernoriental.com /WesternAndOriental

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Western & Oriental Registered in England 8687765 VAT No. 203 9167 24 All information correct at time of going to print. All rights reserved 2015.

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Western & Oriental is part of ITC Luxury Travel Group Limited.

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