26 Feb – 5 March 2020 (8 Nights/9 Days)
*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!
Elderly and Beautiful
The 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.
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.
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.
Meals – Dinner
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.
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.”
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.
Meals – Breakfast
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!).
Meals – Breakfast and Dinner
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.”
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
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
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
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
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.
Airfares to and from India
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
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.