26 Feb – 5 March 2020 (8 Nights/9 Days)

Delhi-Udaipur-Khempur-Jaipur-Agra-Delhi

*This trip starts and finishes in Delhi

FULLY BOOKED – Please ask to be placed on the wait list

“Initially you’re overwhelmed. But gradually you realize it’s like a wave. Resist, and you’ll be knocked over. Dive into it and you’ll swim out the other side.” – Evelyn Greenslade

As Evelyn Greenslade says, ‘…dive in…!’

If you wake up everyday feeling kind of ‘beige’, then maybe it’s time to let fate whisk you away.

Immerse yourself in the glorious colour and excitement of Mother India, as  you paint your next life chapter…

On this exotic odyssey, we follow in the footsteps of Dame Judi Dench and Bill Nighy—the irresistible stars of the movie—through some of the most romantic locations in India.

This is an opportunity to plunge in—to rediscover the vibrancy of life that India offers and to reinvigorate your senses. And with Ms Tammie leading this inspirational journey in style and comfort, you’ll gently recover your sense of adventure among India’s timeless rhythms…

Start packing—see you at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in 2020!

For the Elderly and Beautiful

Rajasthan

xMarigold-hotel-map-182581341238658_crop_341_341_gif_pagespeed_ic_DmlEfAHGSuThe enchanting northern province of Rajasthan is awash with all the colours of India. Consisting of the vast Thar Desert and one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, the Aravallis. The Rajput heritage is apparent in the forts, temples and palaces established by the Rajput Kings. On our adventure we discover the history of these massive forts and the opulence and splendour of Maharajahs’ palaces. Rajasthan has been described as an open air museum. We will travel through the chaos of Delhi to the serenity of Udaipur, from the architectural wonder of Jaipur to the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal, with time to reflect on the light, colour and smiles of India with a stay at the ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ itself. This is truly the essence of Rajasthan.

Tour Organiser & Local Leader

Tammie Day is the founder of Vibrant Women, a retreat and travel company. Tammie spends her days creating inspirational journeys so you can travel in the security of a small group, whilst enjoying another culture. Tammie’s role is to ensure you feel well taken care of throughout your trip. 

Ashish Kumar is a local guide who comes from a small, picturesque village near Dharamsala. He is passionate about India and the Himalayas, and in his spare time enjoys camping and hiking. Ashish is a knowledgeable and caring guide and always makes us feel safe and informed. At times we will have more than one guide on this trip depending on numbers of the group.


ITINERARY

Pre-Itinerary

Please arrive a day early so you are ready to depart for our Delhi day tour tomorrow at 10am. On arrival our driver will be waiting at the airport for you. Extra nights accommodation before or after the trip cost $200AUD. If you are staying longer than 1 night before or after the trip, or prefer to arrange your own accommodation please let us know your hotel details and we will collect you from your hotel the morning of the start day. If you are arriving before 2pm on arrival day or are leaving after 12pm on departure day please consider what you will do with this time. You might like to consider arranging an extra half day tour with Divya from www.thedelhiway.com please just check with us that you will not be visiting the same sites that we already visit. 

Day 1:

Meet for brekky in the hotels Kaffe Cafe at 8.00am. 9am Introductions in the Cafe at Hans Hotel then some sightseeing around Delhi. Today we will visit Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, a Sikh Temple that feeds over 10,000 people a day, followed by a visit to our local charity (see pic above) – Samadhan for children with disabilities and then a spot of higher end shopping at Haus Khas. We then head off to The Lotus Temple – a beautiful Baha’i Faith Temple reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House, Humayuns tomb – what some would say is the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. .

7pm – Opening night dinner at a local South Indian Restaurant, Sarvan House in Connaught Place, for Masala Dosa. 

Overnight Delhi

Meals – Dinner 

Day 2:

Transfer to the airport for an flight to Udaipur. On arrival, transfer to your hotel in the Old City, overlooking Lake Pichola. In the afternoon, explore the laneways of the Old City and perhaps have a palm reading or get a Kurta custom made by a local tailor. 

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is one of India’s most picturesque cities. Palaces surround the city, the most famous being The Lake Palace, which covers an entire island and was featured in the James Bond film Octopussy. The city was founded in 1559 and was the capital of the Mewar kingdom. There’s no doubt you’ll enjoy this relaxing, seductive city.

Relax on your orientation walk of this beautiful city so you can get your bearings.

Depart from the hotel approximately 5.30pm for Bagore-ki-Haveli, near Gangaur Ghat in the heart of the old city to see a one hour local dance performance. After the dance performance enjoy dinner at a roof top restaurant overlooking the stunning Lake Pichola, the City Palace and enjoy the sweeping views and many treasures housed inside.

Overnight Udaipur

Meals – Breakfast

 “Evelyn Greenslade: Nothing here has worked out quite as I expected. Muriel Donnelly: Most things don’t. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.”

Day 3:

This morning head to the rooftop for an optional morning meditation class and then indulge in a leisurely breakfast.

At 9.30am we have a regular session which we try to include throughout this trip which is chats with our guide. For those who are interested they can meet in the foyer for a 30 min Q and A with our wonderful guide. These are opportunities to ask any questions about things you may have missed or just general questions about India, the culture and its people.

This morning we explore this beautiful city firstly with a visit to a local Hindu Temple where you can hear devotional songs being sung (at volume) and then have some free time for shopping among the emporiums and lane-ways. After lunch at a fun cafe with a secret curry recipe we head to the City Palace with its many splendorous rooms and glimpses into the era of this opulence. After this we take a leisurely stroll to board our boat for a cruise around Lake Pichola. We conclude today with a drink to watch the sunset behind the lake palace, just stunning.

Overnight Udaipur

Meals – Breakfast

Day 4:

After breakfast overlooking Lake Pichola, leave for your next destination – “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” in a small town called Khempur, where the film was shot. Check in and spend the late afternoon strolling through this small village, swimming in the pool and sampling some of local life, including *optional henna tattoos and sari dress ups before dinner (400Rp per person approx $8) and then the opportunity to watch the movie, (again I know how many times have you seen it!).

Overnight Khempur

Meals – Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5:

Early departure at 6am. Hopefully we will catch the train to Jaipur approximately 7 hours away. During the train ride you will also have to “Chat with our Guide” and find out all sorts of interesting facts about India. Please note the train is very rudimentary but fine for 7 hours. In the afternoon brave the crazy local Jaipur bazaar for some textiles, silver jewellery or copper pots, or sit in the courtyard at the Alsisar Haveli or book a massage at the spa and just relax. 

Meals – Breakfast box provided for the train

Douglas Ainslie: Would you like some of this? I believe it’s called aloo ka paratha. Muriel Donnelly: No, if I can’t pronounce it, I don’t want to eat it.”

 

Day 6:

Early morning take an (*optional) elephant up to the magnificent Amber Fort as a group. Located high on a hill, Amber fort was built in 1592 and its’ name is said to derive from the many jewels that are used for decoration inside.

After visiting the fort, you’ll have an opportunity to visit a block printing and carpet factory, gemstone and jewellery store, as well as the Hawa Mahal and City Palace. Relax in the evening and enjoy some traditional Rajasthani cuisine. 

Meals – Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7:

Early morning yoga class for those who are interested and then after breakfast leave for Agra. Though Agra is obviously best known for the Taj Mahal, it’s also home to an impressive, 94-acre fort that’s often overshadowed but definitely worth a visit.

On the way have morning tea at the Viceroy Club so well known in both movies now the “The First and Second Best Marigold Hotel” (locally known as the Castle Kanota). 

Meals – Breakfast and Morning Tea

Day 8:

Sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is India’s most-photographed monument, and today you’ll see why. Built between 1632 and 1653 in memory of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s third wife, the Taj Mahal is world-renowned. After the Taj Mahal visit the famous red fort before driving back to Delhi. 

Last night out, market shopping along the Janpath and farewell dinner at local Punjabi Restaurant in Delhi!

Meals – Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9:

Finish your last day with a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before being taken to the airport or joining us on our “Colours of India Tour” if you join us on our next Indian Tour the night in-between the two tours and your flight from Delhi to Mumbai will be provided to you complimentary. Its a great idea to value add when you are travelling so far. Click on the link above or image below for more details. 

Meals – Breakfast

Everything will be all right in the end and if it’s not all right, then it’s not yet the end!” – Sonny Kapoor

Price $AUD: Twin – $2750 Single $3350

Inclusions

  • Airport transfers

  • All transport by private vehicles (pickup and drop off at Delhi, Udaipur airports).

  • Domestic Flight – Delhi to Udaipur

  • 8 nights’ accommodation

  • All Breakfast & 5 Dinners (meals are predominantly vegetarian)

  • Entrance fees to sights – e.g. Taj Mahal, Lake Palace, Amber Fort

  • Walking tour, boat ride and dance Performance Udaipur

  • Visit the Viceroy club from the movie which has wonderful small museum of local history and have Chai on the lawn

  • Visit to the Amber fort (*optional elephant ride), palace of the winds and the Jaipur Palace and markets for some intense shopping (warning Tuk tuks may be involved!)

  • Take an early morning trip the amazing Taj Mahal and perhaps if time permits the red fort of Agra

  • Dine in some Delhi’s iconic restaurants and visit the Janpath markets at night

  • 7 hour train ride from Kemphur (Marigold Hotel) to Jaipur

  • Services of an English speaking Indian guide throughout the tour, plus local guides at each site, (we like you to have the best local experience and knowledge) plus Tammie from Vibrant Women will also be present.

Exclusions

  • Airfares to and from India

  • Indian visas

  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)

  • Lunches and 3 dinners (Indian food can be heavy 2 meals a day is often enough) Please allow between $15 and $20 AUD for self-pay meals (does not include alcohol). 

  • Elephant ride Amber Fort (approx $15 per person)

  • Tipping – We have a $20 a day tipping suggestion, works out to approx 8000 Rupees. 4000 of this we will give to our tour guide for tipping for our drivers, porters and local tour guides. The remaining 4,000 Rupees will be for Ashish’s service if you feel this is appropriate. All other tipping ie restaurants etc is at your own discretion. Please bring to the introductory session on the first morning. You can pay tips also in AUD $160 is fine.

  • Spending money – we suggest changing $500AUD at the airport on arrival and then using card to pay for thing where possible along the way. ATM’s can be used if you need top ups. 

  • Bottled water and other beverages not included with meals

Requirements

This sightseeing tour has several walking tours and many stairs, you require a moderate level of fitness to attend. We can walk around 5km a day so you really need to be prepared. Please note you must wear practical and comfortable walking shoes or sandals for your own safety, road and paths are very uneven. 

*Please note we are unable to mange complex dietary requirements on this trip such as coeliac disease or other anaphylactic allergies. Only people with dietary requirements that they can manage themselves can attend this tour. 

Price $AUD: Twin – $2750 Single $3350

OUR CHARITY IN INDIA

Our charity in India is Samadhan Dwarka, a service that supports children with intellectual disabilities. During our trip we may get to visit the school, (if we are in Delhi during the weekdays). Vibrant Women will donate $25AUD per booking to Samadhan Dwarka on your behalf, we want you to know you are making a difference through your booking, so Thank You!

You can also add our “Colours of India Tour” click the image below for more details. 

You have two payment options for this retreat. To pay a $500 deposit and the remainder two months prior to the start of the retreat or to organise a payment plan. Once you have completed your reservation form deposit details will be forwarded to you. Once you have paid your deposit trip notes will be sent to you with all the details you need to plan your great adventure.

Payment Plans are divided into even monthly payments and calculated in AUD. Payment plans are programmed to complete two months prior to the start of the retreat. Incurs a $100 admin fee calculated into the price.

An initial $500 non-refundable deposit is applicable for this retreat up to 60 days out from the commencement of the retreat, then full payment less your deposit will be due. For bookings less than 60 days full payment will be due at the time of booking.

For cancellations between 60-30 days $1000 per person twin share, and $1350 per single (includes your deposit) will be retained.

For between 30 days and the commencement day and in the case of no shows $1950 for a twin share and $2600 per single room (includes your deposit) will be retained. If we are able to refill your spot on short notice less than 60 days only the $500 non-refundable deposit will be retained.

As this is peak season in India we need to book your domestic flights and accommodation well in advance. Cancellation penalties are high this time of year. This is also why travel insurance is compulsory to protect you against any loss in the event that you need to cancel your trip. 

Inappropriate behavior by guests

If guests display any of the following behaviours Vibrant Women reserves the right to terminate the guests retreat or tour immediately. No reimbursement of fund will be given. Any loss of funds or expenses incurred as a result will be at the cost of the guest. 

  • Irrational behaviour or mental health issues impacting negatively on the experience of other guests.

  • Mobility issues stopping the guest from participating in activities and also reducing opportunities for other guests to participate as they are waiting for them or having to change the program to accommodate them. This also includes wearing inappropriate footwear. 

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol, and any consumption of illicit drugs will result in immediate termination of retreat or tour. 

  • Rudeness or bullying behaviour either to other guests, the group leader or any staff, this will not be tolerated. 

  • Not adhering to local customs or laws could result in placing the group at risk and will result in you leaving the group. 

You can visit the Payment Page here

You might also like to view our Terms and Conditions.

Q.  Where do I fly in and out of?

A. Indira Gandhi International Airport Delhi.

Check www.skyscanner.com for your options. We like Air India to Australia as it has direct flights from Delhi to Sydney and Melbourne.

Q. What dates and times should I fly in/out of India?

A. Please arrive on the 25th of February 2020 so you are ready for the first day on the 26th of February. We can arrange extra nights accommodation and airport transfers for $200AUD. If you are not continuing on the Colours of India Tour, please arrange to depart on the 5th of March at anytime, just know that checkout from the hotel is at 12pm. 

Q. What sort of rooms are available?

A. We have both single and twinshare rooms available. The single room has the supplement included. If you choose twinshare and are not travelling with a  friend we will do our best to find you a roommate however in the event noone else is seeking a twinshare roommate then the single room rate will apply. We hope you understand. *Please note that snorers, smokers or people who wear CPAP machines when sleeping must disclose this when booking as this could impact other peoples sleep and they need to be aware of this. **Also please note we cannot guarantee compatibility of roommates, for example you may be of different ages or nationalities, however mostly when we do match people up they get on well and its only for a short period of time. Some people have even made lifelong friendships.

Q. What is the maximum group size?

A. Our groups are usually between 12 and 18 participants. These are ideal numbers as they are small enough to be manageable and intimate but large enough for diversity and fun!

Q. What will the food be like?

A. The food is Indian haha and I think most people know what this is like. Yes its spicy but we can ask to tone it down. Keep in mind that when you ask, “Is this spicy ?” and the waiter says, “No Maam” his taste buds are not like yours and it will be spicy. India is heaven for vegetarians, all that delicious dahl, spinach and paneer, mushrooms with tomatoes and cauliflower and fresh green peas, potatoes with cumin seeds, koftas and the list goes on, India is my favourite food destination.

Q. Do I require a visa to enter India?

A. The most convenient and cheapest way to get your visa is online e-Visa – To complete online choose E-Visa Application. https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

The online application can only be completed between 4 and 120 days prior to travel. Make sure you don’t apply too early so that your visa is expired by the time you want to depart, 30 days in advance is enough, previously it has taken 1 week to receive the E-Visa. This cost is between $50 and $105USD, prices change all the time sorry but just to give you a guideline.

You will receive a document on how to complete your VISA application after we receive your booking and deposit. Its a step by step process with images.

Q. I have never travelled to a an exotic country like India before, will I experience culture shock?

A. Yes, but in the very best way. India is an incredibly friendly place and has a rich cultural and spiritual history. There may times when you can feel overwhelmed by the poverty or large number of people, noise and or pollution, and then there are just times when the stimuli is totally exhilarating and you see a small child smile amidst the chaos. India just has away of putting everything into perspective.

Q. What should I wear/bring with me?

A. Please wear culturally appropriate clothing ie cover shoulders and knees. You will also need a scarf for temples and religious ceremonies. In the Jain temples any leather products are prohibited but they do provide lockers for you to store your belongings. Please bring comfortable walking sandals or shoes. You will also receive a packing list prior to departure. *Please do not bring any valuable items with you to India such as expensive jewellery.

Q. How much money will I need?

A. Well, that depends on your shopping habits! You will need to allocate around $15 per meal lunches and dinners and then add on extra for personal spending. Alcohol is always more expensive in countries where people don’t drink and is taxed highly. I tell people to bring around $500AUD to change on arrival to India. Then bring a credit card for the other larger spending.

Q. Can I add extra days or extra tours to this trip? *Note above we do not suggest you come early or stay longer unless you have something specific in mind or another person with you. We would not recommend women travelling on their own venture out in large Indian cities unaccompanied.

A. Yep, you sure can. We can arrange extra nights and airport transfers for $200AUD per night. If you wish to stay longer to see more sights please send us your desired itinerary and we can get our ground staff to price it for you with a guide. Please note this will be independent travel, ie a Vibrant Women representative will not be with you.

Q. I think I wanna come….but it is a big decision and I am not 100% sure, can I talk it over with you and see if it is right for me?

A. Yes, I think that is a great idea.

You don’t know me and I want you to! Please view previous testimonial here to get an idea of what our past guest have to say about us and also if you just flick me an email to tammie@vibrantwomen.com.au I will arrange a time to call you or just give me a call – (+61) 0459247122 this works for Whatsapp too.

Q. Ok, I SO wanna come, how do I book?! How much is the deposit?? What’s the process please???

A. Great! You can just complete the registration form on the webpage and from there we will send you a confirmation email outlining what is covered in the trip, answering any questions and provide you with payment options. Once you have paid the deposit or commenced a payment plan then we will send you the trip notes and any other documentation you need to prepare for your journey. We are available to help you every step of the way.

Q. I’m nervous about arranging my flights, can you help me?

A. We use Donna McHugh from Wauchope Travel to arrange all of our flights please contact her on (+61) 02 65852288 or email info@wauchopetravel.com.au Donna can arrange flights to and from anywhere in the world and she knows our itineraries.

March marks the ending of winter season and starting of summer one. Rajasthan climate is slightly hot but not humid at day time and cool at night in Feb/March. Its day temperature can reach up to 32ºC maximum and 10ºC minimum at night. Tourists are recommend to wear suitable clothes according to weather and stay hydrated during travelling. you will need some warm and some cool weather clothing. Also note that this part of India can have air pollution which means we may experience smog for parts of this trip, especially in Delhi, also perhaps in Jaipur and Agra.

untitled