Travelling from Johannesburg to Mumbai on the services of Jet Airways, who operate a direct service between our two continents, was a privilege especially in Business Class where we were truly spoilt with the luxurious service. We flew on the services of Jet Lite and Jet Konnect locally - low cost carriers.
Our transportation was provided in an air-conditioned coach, most welcoming due to the high temperatures experienced despite our visit during India’s Monsoon season.
We began our visit to the Triangle in Delhi.
“Delhi” is India's capital & it is a major gateway to the country. Contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis. Hotel Le Meridien Delhi, is very close to Connaught Place, only a 10 minute drive away, rooms are certainly 5 Star Deluxe. The hotel has 3 restaurants and a conference room, boasting an excellent wine collection.
Nearby hotels: Shangri-La & Ramada.
We enjoyed a fantastic city tour, which began with a 20 minute drive from hotel, visiting Humayun’s Tomb passing through Qutub Minar and travelled onwards towards the Red Fort and Chandni Chok.
Hilton Janakpuri which is +/- 30 minutes from the city centre. It is not recommended for leisure clients as there isn’t much available to explore in close proximity. The hotel had 90 rooms operational when we visited. The rooms are great with all the amenities that you would expect of 5 Star properties.
Agra: The distance from Delhi to Agra is +/- 204 km which ideally should take a maximum of 4 ½ hours. Due to bad road conditions and traffic all the way to Faridabad it took us 6 hours to reach Agra! It was very tiring. It is advisable if one is only staying 1 night in Agra to depart no later than 08h00 before peak hour traffic starts in order to cross Faridabad easily.
An important note is that there aren’t good stopping places as the entire stretch is an industrial area.
The Gateway Hotel - 4 Star and it forms part of the Taj brand. The food was simple with the hotel offering all the normal recreational facilities as well as 2 massage rooms.
The Jaypee Palace is a huge spread out property with 250+ rooms. The biggest inventory in Agra and the rooms are good.
We stayed at the Howard Park Plaza and the rooms are very basic.
Jaipur: Distance from Agra to Jaipur is +/- 265 km via Fatehpur-Sikri which can be covered in about 5 hours. The road is excellent on this leg of the journey. The visit of Fatehpur-Sikri takes +/- 1 ½ hours, continuing to Bharatpur which is +/- 55 kilometers out of Agra and took +/-1 hour.
Udai Vilas Palace, is truly a traditional Indian palace setting – a heritage property and is 3 Star, offering 40 Deluxe Rooms and 10 Super Luxury Suites, with the run of the mill facilities coupled with Ayurvedic Massage and the services of a naturalist who offers sightseeing tours and village safaris on request. The food and service was good and Spa facilities will be added soon. Thereafter we visited Keoladeo National Park for some bird viewing on bicycles – what an experience. Journey from Bharatpur to Jaipur was +/- 2 ½ hours drive.
Jaipur - Four Points By Sheraton. The rooms are very comfortable, the service levels were excellent and they put out a good buffet spread.
Diggi Palace a heritage property offering very spacious rooms with all the modern facilities and folk dance performances by prior arrangement at an additional cost +/- 20 minutes drive from the city centre.
We went on an excursion to Amer Fort where we enjoyed an elephant ride - what an amazing experience.
Jai Mahal Palace, it is a very impressive hotel and there food and hospitality was just as impressive.
Mumbai: Gordon House - is 4 Star and is centrally located in the Colaba area, boasting an ultra modern discotech, where much fun was had till the wee hours of the next morning.
Trident Nariman Point Hotel is 5 Star.
The service and rooms were excellent at both properties.
Taj Lands end is a very up market 5 Star hotel, and is well suited to corporate travellers.
We enjoyed a mind blowing and excellent opportunity in the Jet Airways simulator. Our last hotel stop was at the Holiday Inn at the airport, to refresh before our flight home, the rooms, the service and buffet meals where certainly of a 5 Star standard and is greatly recommended.
I thoroughly enjoyed India, and would be readily available to offer more information. Regards