Namaste India Tours reference

#1 Feb 11th, 2004, 00:46
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  • murrayni is offline
#1
I'm interested in Namaste India Tours advertised Rajasthan Tour. Apart from enjoying their humorous Website, has anyone direct experience with this company who could recommend it? What are the cars and drivers like? We're approaching old codgerdom, planning a trip RTW while still fairly sprightly.
#2 Feb 11th, 2004, 03:05
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#2
hi murrayni - my husband and i, (both in our sixties) spent 5 weeks in india nov/dec 2003. we used namaste india tours for part of our trip. we had a 'meet and greet' from delhi airport on arrival, and the following day used them for a delhi trip. both legs went very smoothly, and we were pleased we had someone to meet us on arrival. as a senior traveller it's good to conserve energy where you can!

after a couple of weeks travelling around by train (amritsar, agra, varanasi, calcutta, darjeeling) we were met by namaste at delhi station for an 18 day independent trip of rajasthan. the cars and drivers were excellent - clean, well maintained vehicles, and drivers who were clean, smart and always on time. the owner rang us a couple of times to check all was going well.

i don't have any knowledge of their rajasthan trip, as we planned our itinerary ourselves and booked our hotels direct but they were very flexible around our needs.

i would recommend an ambassador car - just gives a greater feeling of security if you're not used to indian roads (well, even if you are used to indian roads!), and not sure of your timing but you may prefer a vehicle with air conditioning.

all in all our experience was very positive. good luck, and enjoy your trip - all power to codgers!

jayembee
#3 Feb 11th, 2004, 04:43
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#3

Touring India info

Thanks for the useful recommendation. We're both mid-sixties too, about to retire, this is all extrapolating from my wife's wish just to see the Taj Mahal into seeing more of India. Had you been to India before? What guide books did you use? How did you select the hotels? Are you already familiar with Indian food?
Thanks for any other tips you can add.
Murray
#4 Feb 12th, 2004, 22:00
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#4
hi murray - yes, we'd been to india before, twice with small 'adventure' groups, but recent visit was first independent visit. would now of course never travel any other way! we used several guide books to get a feel for the area, lonely planet and footprints, both excellent - just depends on personal preference.

i mostly chose the hotels from the internet, which i found by searching google, or by recommendations from guide books. i didn't choose any that i couldn't book on-line, which limited us somewhat but made me feel more comfortable that i'd established some sort of rapport with the hotel guys before we arrived. we really like jasvilas in jaipur and udai kothi in udaipur (see hotel section on this site).

i don't eat a great deal of indian food as a rule, but it's great if you're vegetarian. almost all tourist places provide food that's mild, and it's always easy to get an omelette if you feel you need a break from all that spice!

will try to think of other tips - you can mail me if you want further info - jayembaker@aol.com.
#5 Feb 24th, 2004, 21:22
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#5

Namaste tours

We had a very good (23 day) experience with Namaste India Tours in January-February.

Namaste provided my partner & I with pickup and dropoff at Delhi airport, a car & driver for three days in Delhi and a 3 week counter-clockwise drive around Rajasthan, and arranged for plane tickets from to and from Khajuraho, as well as lodging each night. They even filled our requests for several very high-end hotels of our choosing.

We traveled in a Tata Tourin, a medium sized SUV type vehicle, and found it very comfortable and reasonably priced. Our driver, Bhupendra Aryas, was excellent: a combination of safe, timely, trustworthy and good humored. We had had some concern about spending a long trip with a "third" person but it ended up being a pleasure and Bhuppi provided real assistance (for example, when speaking Hindi was useful).

We had considered traveling by a combination of trains, planes and cars with drivers between selected points but are glad we didn't. Having a single car & driver for most of the time meant that we could concentrate on what we wanted to see and do rather than negotiate every single change of location in the trip (and there were many). Like jayembee, we got several calls from the owner while en route so that we could make any necessary changes in plans. And Namaste did this all at a price we thought was very reasonable.

Have a great trip!
dan s
#6 Feb 24th, 2004, 22:45
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#6

We just finished up a tour with a lot of help from Jawahar from NIT, and they consistently went the extra mile for us. Couldn't be happier!
#7 Feb 24th, 2004, 23:49
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#7
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Namaste India Tours is especially great if you are worried about getting cheated. When I go back to India, I will definately use them again!
#8 Feb 27th, 2004, 11:27
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This is yet another Namaste India Tours cudo. We are at the end of our one month India trip w/Namaste Tours advance booking hotel and cars for over half the trip. Their drivers were outstanding and caring, with good command of English (for us Hindi impaired) and even taught me a bit of Hindi. Jawahar from Namaste went more than the extra mile to take care of our vouchers and needs. They were a no BS right on outfit.
#9 Feb 27th, 2004, 12:49
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#9
This thread is great! I'm so pleased to read so many positive things about Namaste tours here because I am planning to travel with them shortly! They have been great about communicating and I'm looking forward to the itinary they planned for me.

Diane
#10 Feb 27th, 2004, 21:44
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#10
gotta say I'm really pleased to see the positive feedback as well as it makes me more comfortable recommending their services to friends.
#11 Feb 27th, 2004, 21:55
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  • murrayni is offline
#11

Namaste references

As the guy who started this thread, I'd like to thank all for your excellent comments...and I found byronic's own Website referenced above a lot of fun!
I think we'll use a Namaste car and driver for a trip I'm planning for next November.
Murray
#12 Mar 8th, 2004, 22:07
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#12
Also, how's this for service:

My fiance and I were on a tight schedule as we only had two weeks and had loads we wanted to see. We had train tickets booked, but after waiting at the station we learned our train was 8 hours late due to the fog.

We made our way back to our hotel, and called Jawahar of Namaste (we had taken the airport pickup and city tour the day before). We explained our situation, and within one hour we were in a car headed to our destination. He set us up that quickly with a driver and car for five days for our golden triangle trip - for not all that much more than the (2AC) train tickets had cost!

I never expected a travel agent to be so prompt and quick to help. He came to the hotel and took care of everything. I will use them again.

Shannon
#13 Mar 24th, 2004, 21:21
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  • phacops is offline
#13
We also confirm NIT prompt and professional work.
Jawahar managed last-day-flights and also a same-day-stay in the Lake Palace in Udaipur.
If you need some more advice, send me a pm.

phacops
#14 Apr 4th, 2004, 19:06
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#14
I also would like to praise Namaste India Tours for the fine time that I had in India. When there was a problem with one of our rooms--we did NOT like the hotel at all--it was inferior to all of the other great hotels that NIT arranged for us, they changed the hotel without any hassel whatsoever--even though the other room had already been paid for.

Everthing was really great....however, I was traveling with my Indian friend...and I really think there was a lot of conflict going on there between what her image of what a driver SHOULD be (they have a driver themselves) and what our driver was (used to being casual and dealing with foreigners.) Things were generally OK, but there was some tension that would not have been there if I was just with my daughter.

That, of course, is not NIT's fault...but was a bit of a surprise to me and an introduction to how deeply ingrained the class system is in people.

If I go to India again I would definitely use Namaste India Tours--but probably not travel together with an Indian. (though I always got really good prices on whatever I bought, thanks to her.)
#15 Apr 4th, 2004, 21:20
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#15

A Fine Balance

As a comment to the previous message reflecting on the caste system, I was recommended to read "A Fine Balance" by Robinton Mistry before I went to India. Set in 1975, I don't know how much things have changed today, but I found the book fascinating and a bit grim. It's about triumph of the human spirit over the caste system, I think..
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