We were very impressed with Riviera Travel, this being our 6th holiday with the company. The itinerary was very comprehensive, lovely hotels and our tour guide, Tony was excellent. We felt safe in his very capable hands. Also Riviera include that little bit extra to ensure a memorable holiday.
Review by: Cheryl Dye on 04/03/2019
Absolutely excellent journey to India. So many sights and sounds to embrace. The whole experience ran very smoothly due to our tour manager Inken who ensured that everything was in place. Also I should mention our great guide Dhilip.
Review by: Gail Pope on 07/03/2019
We've just come back from a fantastic trip to India. From when we were met at the airport by Inken (our tour manager) & Dilip (our local guide) the trip went from one highlight to the next. The organisation was superb with the coach team getting us places and keeping us topped up with refreshments, Inken ensuring we were where we had to be and at what time and Dilip was the absolute font of all knowledge and provided informative and appropriate briefings at each site before allowing us some free time to explore. The hotels were lovely ranging from westernised 5 star chains to beautiful heritage palaces. The biggest memory for me will be our trip to the Ranthambore National Park where we encountered four tigers lazing around in the morning sun. To be honest I wasn't sure what to expect before the trip but I have come away with a new found interest in the country and its people. Thank you Inken & Dilip
Review by: James Matthews on 07/03/2019
Brilliant holiday, exhausting, well organised, excellent choice of hotels especially Cecil in Shimla. Well directed throughout by Inken. Intriguing country with wealth of history. We loved it and we saw 4 tigers up close.
Review by: Battershall on 07/03/2019
Incredible India and Incredible Riviera! We have just returned from the most fantastic tour of northern India and Shimla. It ranks amongst the best holidays of all time for us. Our tour guide Tony was consummate in his guiding skills alongside our specialist Indian guide Kunal. Every detail was taken care of including tips to the myriads of service workers etc leaving us to enjoy our sightseeing in a relaxed manner. We loved the colour, contrast and chaos of India and Riviera immersed us in all three of these. The accommodation was splendid and the variety so interesting. Thank you Riviera.
Review by: Lydia Taylor on 04/03/2019
My first time with Riveira and it certainly won’t be my last, the organisation was brilliant, and yes it was a full on schedule but that’s what made it such an amazing trip saw many wonderful and memorable sights including tigers on safari. The tour guides were excellent, and the group were extremely friendly. The hotels were fantastic couldn’t fault it, a tiring but memorable holiday to a country of extremes.
Review by: Sue winson on 21/02/2019
Just returned from this tour and yet again Riviera have delivered. Our tour manager Tony was so on the ball with everything, Kunal the local guide was a fountain of knowledge for the first part of the journey and Sanjay was also brilliant on the Shimla extension. What Riviera are past masters of is thinking of the little things that make for a fantastic trip. Will be using Riviera again for sure. Thank you Tony, Kunal and Sanjay for making this such a special trip. Where to next !
Review by: Trevor & Cheryl Dye on 04/03/2019
I have recently returned from the Rajasthan plus Simla extension trip led by the fabulous Inken and the perfect local guide Dilip. It has been my long held ambition to go to India, to see all the places I have read about in novels, and experience the culture and the history. The schedule on paper looked exciting and varied but it was the organisation, good humour, personal care and knowledge that brought the trip alive for everyone. When I fell sick I was helped to find prompt and effective medical care and really sympathetically supported until I was better. Inken is a jewel in the Riviera crown: organised, funny, enthusiastic, she shared her love of India with all of us. Dilip's knowledge of history, culture and politics complemented her perfectly, not to mention the lovely coach 'team' Sultan and Sunil. If you are thinking of taking this trip to India don't hesitate. You couldn't be in better hands and will come home with a love of India's people, culture, history, cows, street dogs, colour, chaotic roads, temples, textiles, even the elusive tigers!
Review by: Jane Freshwater on 11/02/2019
My first time with Rivera, and I certainly would go again, highly organised with lovely hotels and excellent guides, don't go if you want a relaxed easy going time, its action packed which was great as we saw things that I am sure many would not see in a two week holiday.
From the organisation of the coach and train travel, is was so organised and easy. A highly enjoyable, memorable experience with a great group of people.
Review by: sue winson on 21/02/2019
My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed this trip which was superbly organised and enhanced by the guides Inken and Dilip. Their love of India shone through and despite train strikes and road blockages they kept us informed, entertained and happy. Their knowledge of the sites and the way of life was such a large part of the trip. Also their ability to adapt to circumstances was superb. It was a full on trip but the sites and experiences were worth the tiredness and early mornings! I enjoyed the company of fellow travellers and would recommend this adventure . thanks so much
Review by: julia jewell on 11/02/2019
My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed this trip to India and Shimla. I had been to India several times before but it was a first visit for my companion. The guides, Inken and Dilip were superb . Their knowledge and love of India shone through . Despite train strikes and blockages on the highways , they managed to keep us cheerful and enthusiastic. The organisation was impeccable and their ability to adapt to individual circumstances was great . They helped to make the holiday unique and though it is full on we saw and experienced spectacular sights and great warmth . Thanks a holiday to remember Julia.
Review by: julia jewell on 11/02/2019
We have just returned from a wonderful trip, our first visit to India. Inken and Dilip were wonderful tour leader & guide, and we must mention the wonderful driving of Sultan and the attentiveness of Sunil. How Sultan got us around some of those lanes when we had to go cross country because of road and rail closures will live long in the memory!!!
A great holiday with plenty of fun, excellent accommodation and plenty of information to absorb from Inken and Dilip who passed on their love of India and their enthusiasm to learn more about this vast country.
Review by: Trevor & Liz Williams on 11/02/2019
Thank you to Gill and Pural, our tour manager and guide on our recent trip. It was a busy trip but fun, we laughed everyday with our fellow travellers, they were a great crowd. India is colourful, very busy and beautiful. Our accommodation and the staff that worked at the hotels were excellent. Everyday I remember something we saw or did and smile. Thank you Riviera for yet another well organised trip, you take the stress out of traveling.
Review by: Julie and brian on 22/10/2018
What a wonderful trip !
My wife and I returned a week ago from this fabulous trip. We had both been to India in the past but particularly wanted to do the Golden Triangle plus Shimla and we selected Riviera having done 2 Italian tours and one Spanish tour with you in the past.
Sarah, our tour manager, was amazing. She has a ‘quirky’ style, but it works. She under promises and over delivers and has a wonderful way with people. Given the chaotic nature of India the apparently seamless way in which everything just worked was not far short of a miracle, thanks to Sarah’s abilities and attention to detail. We were always kept informed about what was happening and what to expect.
You may have had adverse comments from others about Ajay our local guide (some said they were going to write). It is easy to be critical, but we found him charming, good humoured, knowledgeable, well turned out and very courteous. He did take us to a marble shop in Agra, which nobody wanted (presumably because he had a sweet commission deal going) but, this is India and to an extent we have to ‘go with the flow’. I don’t think anyone bought !
Jagdish the driver and Jamoona (?) his sidekick were amazing. The driving on hazardous roads was skilfully accomplished, the coach was always clean inside and out and the PA system and aircon worked well.
You have made an excellent hotel selection — we were always comfortable and had good service. The highlight of the trip was 3 tiger sightings in 3 hours in the Ranthambhore Park, a big thrill.
Once again, many thanks for a memorable holiday.
Review by: Steve & Carol Tilley on 19/02/2018
We have just returned from our Indian Adventure and would like to thank Riviera for a wonderful trouble free holiday, the organisation, travel, hotels, and staff were first rate.
We would like to thank Sarah our tour manager particularly for the attention to detail and friendly efficient way she dealt with us it made the trip truely memorable.
Thank you so much and we would definitely travel with you again and recommend your company to friends.
Review by: Lynda and Eugene Calcott on 19/02/2018
We were surprised and delighted to see Sue on the plane out, and to find that she was our tour guide. You see, we have travelled with Sue before and having now been on about eight escorted group holidays (with various companies), she is the best tour guide we have had, by a long way. This view was confirmed on the current trip - she was absolutely brilliant. Her obvious love of India, her knowledge of the country and empathy with its people added a great deal to the experience.
Review by: Richard & Yvonne Peatman on 07/03/2018
This was our first trip to India (or indeed anywhere in Asia) and we were a little apprehensive beforehand, about how we would deal with the food, the temperatures, the crowds, etc. We needn’t have worried, our excellent tour guides Sue and Bhuvendra helped and advised, and we soon relaxed. Of course there are the big sights, such as the Taj Mahal, but some of the best memories came from elsewhere – the cycle rickshaw ride through Old Delhi, the walking tour round Alsisar (where one of the group was brave enough to have a shave at the village barbers) and sitting on the roof of the “Real Exotic Marigold Hotel” in Jaipur drinking G&T’s and watching the sun go down. To top it all, we were fortunate enough to see a tiger at Ranthambore.
We didn’t find the travelling arduous, there was always plenty to see and Bhuvendra’s chats about Indian life were very informative.
Review by: Richard and Yvonne Peatman on 07/03/2018
I would just like to say how my friend Richard and I enjoyed our trip to India and Shimla with Riviera. First time I have done a tour so was a little apprehensive. However our Tour Guide Sue and also our local guide Bravindria (?) were excellent. Choice of hotels were great and Sue was exceptionally helpful. Fully recommend and will have to think about the next trip....and we even saw a Tiger! As always not enough time, but now on a mission to stop using Plastic!
Review by: Rosemary Misselbrook-Draper on 07/03/2018
We highly recommend this comprehensive tour. Our first 'Riviera' holiday and we won't hesitate to travel with the company again. We were part of a friendly group (32) led by the marvellous Matt, our Tour guide. He set us at ease and facilitated the whole trip with great knowledge, kindness and humour, allowing us to fully appreciate this wonderful country. We have so many lasting memories.
Review by: Rosemary Abbott on 22/01/2018
What an incredible holiday from arriving at Heathrow and being met by Matt our tour manager to when we left again at Heathrow. Everything about this holiday was well planned and timed. Matt sorted all the logistics of travel, timings, tours and tipping, thus, taking away any stress about what/where/how etc. The itinerary was varied and fascinating and far exceeded any expectations. The local tour guide Puola was incredibly knowledgeable and made each attraction we visited even more interesting. Mode of transport varied from coach, jeep, trains, taxi and the most wonderful of all the rickshaw ride through some the streets of Old Delhi. Hotels were all excellent. The journey to Shimla was a long day but thoroughly worth it as the scenery was breath taking. Shimla is an oasis in which batteries can be re-charged and was a good end to an incredible holiday. Thank you all at Riviera travel, particularly Matt, for an amazing holiday.
Review by: Kate & Chris on 22/01/2018
Our India holiday was a great experience with some spectacular sights. Matt the tour manager was excellent- lovely sense of humour and kept us very well informed about each day's itinerary. He also looked after us individually; I had a stomach upset for a few days- not serious as it turned out- and he arranged for a doctor to come to the hotel in Delhi. The Indian guide (Sakhet?) was also very good and our driver coped amazingly with mind -boggling traffic, especially in Delhi.
We were very fortunate to have excellent views of tigers in Ranthambore national park: definitely one of the highlights of the holiday.
It was good to finish with a relaxing few days in Shimla as the previous ten days had been busy with a fair amount of travelling. including the train journeys. The viceroy's lodge was a fascinating place, though the lovely grounds are a bit neglected.
Air pollution on return to Delhi was particularly bad and cause a 2-3 hour delay before our train could get onto a platform. Some of the locals just gave up and walked back along the track from a suburban station!
Altogether a most enjoyable holiday including some lovely hotels.
Review by: Chris Shorter on 26/10/2017
We have recently returned from your tour to India with the Shimla extension. What a delight! This tour lived up to all our expectations and often exceeded them. For many people the main attraction is, of course, the magnificent Taj Mahal, but India is so much more. Just watching the crowd whilst waiting to enter the Taj was a colourful experience in itself. India assaults the senses, the sights, the smells, the sounds, the tastes. Be prepared for sensory overload. From the soaring Qutub Minar in Dehli, to the Taj in Agra, the stunning Amber Fort in Jaipur and the breathtaking scenery in Shimla, Himachal this tour delivered. We had a great group of people, an excellent local guide in Kamlindra and a thoroughly professional, caring and hard working tour manager in Rebecca. We stayed at some excellent hotels throughout our stay with the Taj Diplomatic Enclave in Dehli and the Oberoi Cecil in Shimla being amongst the highlights. Highly recommended to everyone and great value for money.
Review by: Peter Maynard on 16/11/2017
This was an eye-opener of a trip - more of a cultural experience to this incredibly fascinating country. The high standard of hotels and service was as you would expect from Riviera. Our guide Sue was excellent, knowledgable and good fun. Everyone's needs were seen to considering the group was far from small at 40. Both she and Munish, our local guide for the majority of the trip, seemed to go that extra mile to add more interest to the holiday - a brief impromptu visit to a school was an example and a delight. Munish enlightened to us to so much about Indian life, from its history to the various religions, the problems of pollution and over population. The safari time at Ranthambore was not in the least spoilt by no tiger sighting thanks to the rare appearance for us of the Indian Sloth Bear, crocodiles, deer and exotic birds, all well spotted and described by the ranger. India is not for all and there were long journeys notably to reach Simla and the return to Delhi from Alsisar. We did feel that all these journeys by coach and train were made as comfortable and interesting as possible by the excellent Riviera team from the bus boy handing out bananas, drinks and crisps to the frequent comfort stops en route. The icing on the cake for us was very personal - the finding, with the aid of a local guide in Simla, the house of a grandfather who lived and worked there in the 1920's. Again, Sue and Munish pointed us in the right direction for reaching this quest armed just with an old photo and a vague address. A holiday that will not be forgotten and a thank you to all concerned.
Review by: Sue and John Green on 06/11/2017
First time in India and it was certainly 'incredible India'. Firstly the arrangements (transport, hotels, tours, guides etc) were first class and most certainly vfm. The Riviera rep, Christine, was extremely efficient and caring ensuring that everything ran smoothly. When there was a problem, such as when a chest infection spread through the group, she sorted the matter out calmly, quickly and smoothly. The local Indian guide Parul was also top notch with a vast knowledge of the places visited but also informing us about Indian life.
As for what we saw and visited, so much was packed in that the 2 weeks flew by! So many highlights, including being fortunate to see a tiger in Ranthambore, that it is difficult to chose a favourite.
Improvements? Not much Riviera can do about the Delhi smog or the 4 hours delay at Kalka whilst we waited for a delayed train. This meant that the toy train departure was held so that we only got 90 minutes of light. There was some debate amongst the group about the journey from Jaipur to Alsisar, and then the next day to Dehli. Our party were fine with it as we were off the tourist route and it was good to see rural Indian life but for others a bit long. Can't please everyone!
Overall thoroughly recommend the trip
Review by: Simon Griffiths on 09/11/2017
Our first ever trip with riviera far exceeded our expectations so very well organised .our tour guide Sue was lovely very helpful .India was fascinating ,wonderful happy people.All hotel where excellent staff couldn't do enough for you.
We would defiantly recommend this Golden triangle tour.
Review by: Hudson on 06/11/2017
What a great holiday! 33 people in our group which gelled so magnificently. A cliche, but it was an assault on every sense - ever changing sights , eyes darting everywhere, constant honking of horns from impatient drivers, multitude of tastes from the food, that smell which is India and the feel of fabrics and materials used in building. From abject poverty to absolute opulence we saw everything thanks to a comprehensive Riviera itinerary. And Matt, our tour manager, was brilliant. I wrote in my journal, Outstanding was our tour manager, Matt, whose "OCD" - his words - attitude, his outgoing personality and relaxed rapport with the group was superb. Matt will always be in the top echalons of tour managers we have had" And we are lucky enough to have had many. Well done Riviera, fantastic journey with lovely hotels on the way. A highly recommended holiday.
Review by: Colin Goldsack on 26/10/2017
This was our first Riviera holiday and our first escorted tour .We normally travel independently, but as this was our first trip to India we felt that a tour was the best option. Wow! What a holiday. It was full on and we packed a lot into our 2 weeks but the highlights were the Taj Mahal, seeing tigers in the wild, and a rickshaw ride in Old Delhi. Everything was perfectly organised and the hotels were good. We had a lovely group of people and we were expertly led by Matt , who not only organised everything perfectly but with his sense of humour also kept us entertained. We would definitely use Riviera again.
Review by: Roger Sales on 26/10/2017
What a wonderful holiday.The hotels were superb.Christine our guide was great even though there was one couple in our group who complained about everything,asked to be moved in nearly every hotel but she remained calm.Nearly everyone remained healthy! We saw a beautiful female tiger and Tom took a fantastic photograph which is on my mantlepiece! Will now be looking for the Riviera brochure for next year
Review by: Marian &Sandra on 30/03/2017
I have just returned from your India and Shimla extension holiday. As ever with Riviera travel, the holiday was first class in all aspects. However I write to make a special comment about our guide Sarah on this holiday. Sarah is quite outstanding at her job, and in every sense psycho analyses people so that she can treat them individually and appropriately. She is superbly organised, witty, and well informed and above all anyone would feel safe and secure in any situation when she is in charge. We would even go so far as to say we would go on holiday because she would be the group leader; this is a compliment indeed from a couple who until recently spurned group travel. Please pass on our views to her Many thanks, Anne Lodder
Review by: Anne Lodder on 23/03/2017
My wife and I have just returned from a fabulous tour of Northern India & Shimla. Having previously visited Southern India 3 years ago we were determined to return, and were so glad we did.
We were both very pleased with the places we visited, and also with the quality of the local guide –Kunal.
However we feel it only appropriate to single out our Riviera Tour Guide –Sarah, for doing such a magnificent job—nothing was too much trouble-as she did everything possible to ensure that we all got the most from the holiday, and she did it all with such enthusiasm. Quite a few folk suffered a bit of stomach upset , one lady had special needs, and there various one off requirements, visits from the Doctor to organise (and visits to the dentist). In short Sarah took it all in her stride, encouraged and cajoled us along and did it with such good grace.
We hope to travel with Riviera again, but regardless of that believe that Sarah is a real credit to your company!
Review by: David and Jane Allison on 23/03/2017
Wonderful holiday, well organised and hosted by Anne and local guide Bravindra. Excellent and interesting hotels. I particularly enjoyed the Shimla extension, which I suggest is a must if you have the time to fit it in, the game drives (bumpy!) and the wonderful forts. Customer support has also been excellent; my wife and I mislaid our video camera somewhere during the trip and on our return Riviera staff located and recovered it for us from the Hilton Jaipur - it arrived in the post yesterday. How is that for 5 star service? Will definitely travel with Riviera again.
Review by: Graeme Addy on 16/03/2017
An Incredible trip, packed with amazing experiences. The tour was well organised and everything went smoothly. Our tour manager, Anne, ensured that we were well looked after and was always on hand to help when needed. Our guide, Bhuvendra, was a wealth of information with a great sense of humour. The icing on the cake was seeing a tiger at close quarters devouring her prey. A truly wonderful experience I'll never forget.
Review by: Adrienne on 16/03/2017
We travelled on Feb 13 to India and Shimla and I must say it was the best adventure ever ! The itinerary was fabulous with sights we'll never forget and we were warmly greeted everywhere . We were so fortunate to have such an experienced tour manager in David - he made the whole experience run so smoothly and can't thank him enough. Like everyone else who goes to India for the first time we expected the "Delhi belly " but all in our group were fine. It was a cultural adventure with luxury accommodation and great food. The toy train up into the Himalayas has to be one of the great railway journeys in the world. We will return - soon I hope .
Review by: Paul and Linda Horrocks on 13/02/2017
Just thought I would say how much we enjoyed this holiday. It was certainly a busy time and we were given great advice by tour manager, Chris. To my knowledge, nobody was ill and he made everything run smoothly. Looking forward to the next holiday, South Africa.
Review by: Neil and Christine Russell on 15/03/2017
A brilliant holiday with great Tour Manager, Sergio, and Indian guide, Mayank. Nothing was too much trouble and they were so helpful. Wonderful sights and hotels, and Riviera must be congratulated on their attention to detail. Rickshaw and Tut Tut rides are a must. So much to see in this wonderful country. Only downside was the trip to Alsisar, as although it was a lovely hotel the journey was long and tiring and there was nothing to see in the town. Will definitely travel with Riviera again.
Review by: Brian Higgott on 12/03/2017
Unbelievable - what an experience. I was very fortunate to have a superb tour manager, David, and also a truly brilliant group of strangers who quickly became friends to share the adventure with. We stayed in some magnificent hotels, we saw magnificent sights and witnessed the highs and lows of India. The trip is full on but this didn't detract from anything at all. I travelled alone on a couple's tour but there wasn't one time when I felt alone. You do need to be aware that some of the additional trips on the tour have to be paid for in addition the cost of the tour. In February there were no mosquitoes so we didn't need to take DEET at all. All in all the tour lived up to my hopes and dreams and I will definitely use Riviera for my next adventure.
Review by: Sheila on 13/02/2017
My daughter and I had the most wonderful holiday in the Golden Triangle. We saw all the major sites and stayed in some wonderful hotels with the nicest group of people I have ever travelled with. All of this was facilitated by the best tour manager I have ever come across. Anyone who has David as their tour manager is fortunate indeed. His professionalism and expertise coupled with a caring and friendly manner meant that the holiday ran like clockwork. He took great pains to make sure that we bonded as a group and that everyone was included. Nothing was too much for him from changing money, going to the pharmacy , taking us to ATMs and laying on extra excursions as requested by the group. We must also praise our local guide and the coach driver and his assistant. All in all, this was fabulous value for money and the trip of a lifetime.
Review by: Michelle Haynes on 13/02/2017
Its been a couple of weeks now since I returned from my holiday to India. I feel I would like to let you know what a fantastic time I had. I was travelling alone but Matt our Tour Manager made sure I was ok and guided me through check in at Heathrow and always 'appeared' just at the right time when needed. I felt very safe and well looked after. He was the right mixture of fun and professional. He and our local guide, Mayek, went above and beyond to ensure the whole group saw all there was to see and that we had the greatest experiences. Our driver, Samir, and his assistant, Ali, were superb throughout too.
Every hotel was amazing. This was my first time travelling alone and first time with Riviera. I would highly recommend Riviera to anyone. The whole experience from booking to going away was so smooth and professional.
I will be contacting you shortly to arrange another holiday
Review by: Carol on 16/01/2017
I recently returned from a memorable trip with my daughter to India and Shimla. It was the last trip of the 2016 season but in no way was that reflected in the enthusiasm and attention to detail of those leading us around the country.
It was a truly amazing experience is so many ways and included many extras not mentioned in the brochure e.g. the rickshaw ride in Old Delhi. Fabulous!
Our tour manager, Tony ,was brilliant and had to deal with unexpected emergencies such as the currency crisis when we were unable to obtain money and again when our train to Kalka was cancelled due to fog. All these things were dealt with quietly and professionally in order not to disrupt our time away. I cannot stress enough how his approach, experience and care for our welfare made the holiday a trip that will be remembered always.
This was my sixth holiday with Riviera and I hope there will be many more to follow.
Thank you to all at Riviera for all the planning, research and delivery of a wonderful holiday.
Review by: Terry Walter [and daughter Rebecca Farr] on 15/12/2016
Took this holiday with Riviera as it was something we'd always wanted to do and it was my 60th birthday while we were away. Just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone at Riviera and also while on holiday. Our tour leader was Christine who was fantastic and the local guide and the man who looked after us all on the coach were both brilliant. Whole tour was wonderful rounded off by several of the staff at the Oberoi in Shimla singing happy birthday after wheeling in a cake and some flowers. Great bunch of people also on the tour who together made the experience unforgettable. Thanks again, Martin and Karen Hart.
Review by: Martin and Karen Hart on 31/10/2016
The holiday was excellent and very well organised. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The Indian guide was extremely good and really added value and the tour manager, Christine, was just brilliant. She seemed to be constantly available and when little things went wrong as they do in India, such as trains being hours late, she found ways of minimising the effects on us and re-organised things so efficiently and smoothly that our enjoyment of the holiday was undiminished and the itinerary was intact. We were so impressed that we would have no hesitation in using you again and recommending Riviera.
Review by: Linda & Peter Greene on 21/11/2017
My wife, Christine, and I had the pleasure of taking one of your escorted tours to India recently, we were on the Golden Triangle tour and we also took the Shimla extension on the trip that began on November 7th of this year.
I am sure that you always welcome feedback from clients, either good or bad. Here are some of my comments about our trip.
We decided to visit India a couple of years ago and decided to invite our great friends, Dick and Angie Cleverly and to choose Riviera Travel to take us. They proved to be two very wise decisions.
Firstly, I wish to say that the whole experience was absolutely amazing and the whole Riviera Travel thing was first class in just about every way.
Before we went, we found your staff friendly and extremely helpful and knowledgeable at any time we called with a question of any kind, nothing ever seemed to be too much trouble for them.
On arrival at Heathrow we were met by Matt, your tour manager. He was a delightful bloke and we all got on with him straight away. Over the coming fortnight he was not only our tour manager, but our guide, our adviser, our fixer and arranger and always great fun, as well as extremely patient and helpful. Another great thing about Matt was that he made us all laugh a lot with his quips and commentaries.
The coach was good, its driver Jessie was brilliant, his assistant Govan was immaculate in the way that he looked after the coach and all of us, always there with a cold bottle of water and a squirt of hand cleansing gel.
Our Indian guide, and historian, Dilip, a very pleasant and polite man, was a compendium of information on every place that we visited and made every venue even more interesting than any of us could have imagined with his description of the history of each place.
The hotels we stayed in were all beautiful, we all really liked the Trident in Agra very much, the food there was especially good. Also we were mightily impressed by the staff at the hotel in Ranthambore, they simply could not do enough for you, so friendly and willing to bring and help, no matter what.
The Toy Train to Shimla was an experience never to be forgotten, The Hotel Cecil Oberon was just jaw-dropping, the rooms, the restaurant, all fabulous, and the swimming pool? well wow!
The Taj Mahal was just about the main lure that got me to visit India, I was not disappointed, a friend told me to look down at people’s ankles till we were aware that the Taj Mahal was in front of us and in full view, we all gasped when we saw it for the first time.
Everything else, The Amber Fort, The Abandoned City etc. etc. was amazing to behold.
I am so glad we chose Riviera to go to India with, the value for money was absolutely top notch, the organisation perfect, in fact the whole thing gives Riviera a ten out of ten for me.
Christine's favourite part of the tour was the surprise rickshaw ride we had in New Delhi after visiting the mosque, she was so delighted with that.
Mine had to be the toy train, though it took me a couple of hours to adjust to being on firm ground after that incredible journey through winding hillsides and endless tunnels and sheer drops that reminded me a bit of the old Road Runner vs Wile E Coyote cartoons.
A lot of my friends laughed at me when I told them that I was taking an artwork with me to get a bespoke carving done in India, and I got lucky there too, courtesy of Jaipur Handicrafts (though I am still waiting for delivery to date).
But best of all surely was the people, the Indian people, all so warm and friendly, and the holidaymakers on our tour, not one person you could not like among them. And some of the sights, the amazing countryside, the teeming masses in markets, the fantastic buildings, cows walking down the street, people five-up on a motorcycle in a tangle of ever moving wiggling traffic, overloaded lorries, vans and tuc tucs.
So ten out of ten to Riviera, I explained to Matt when we parted at Heathrow that regrettably |I would only be able to give him forty-seven out of ten.
Shame that I am not able to give the Indian government ten out of ten though, we were kept waiting for ages at immigration control in New Delhi, we kept joining the end of queues that were closing as we got near the front.
The other thing was that (it had to happen to us) we arrived on the day before the currency crisis hit, bank notes we had only just changed were useless, but never mind, we sailed through and had a credit card bill as long as our street to sort out when we got home.
Last words, thank you very much Riviera Travel, we had a fantastic time, we had great value for money and your staff were a credit to you, and yes, we would definitely book with you again.
Review by: Simon Flowerday on 07/11/2016
What an amazing trip. No tigers but not much Riviera can do about that. The hotels, venues visited, the local guides and the amount of organising that is required to run such an efficient tour. Tony, our Riviera guide gave 110% we could not have asked for more. Any potential problem he was on top of it and it was resolved immediately. Most of all, how hard it must be to keep 37 people happy , he did. I just loved the Alsisar Mahal it was stunningly beautiful. Food wasn't the best but ok. The Shimla extension finished off the trip quite nicely.
Review by: Margaret (Rita) Bond on 24/11/2016
My wife and I have just returned from a Riviera holiday to India with Shimla Extension.
We are pleased to say that we had a great time. It was interesting, amazing at times, busy, colourful – an assault on our senses, and above all, an incredible experience. The itinerary was good and both the Tour Manager, Tony Russo, and local Tour Guides did an excellent job.
Review by: Tim and Marion Davis on 24/11/2016
What a fantastic trip. The whole tour gave us a total 'India experience'. The sights sounds and smells told the whole story. Our rep Kate and local guide Dilip were totally professional and knowledgeable. The Taj Mahal was everything we hoped and we saw a tiger and sloth bear at Ranthambore. Alsisar was a maharajah palace experience although the local wedding was rather noisy and went on all night, but this was the only negative. Shimla was amazing although the toy train journey was very taxing towards the end of the journey. You felt that you were on the top of the world. Would certainly recommend this trip to others
Review by: Hill on 17/11/2016
A brilliant holiday of a lifetime, superbly organised and well led. So many highlights - Taj Mahal, Amber Fort, Palace of the Winds, the Toy Train and Shimla . To experience the sights and sounds of "Incredible India" is something we will never forget.
Well done Riviera!
Review by: Sylvia Dean on 10/11/2016
I would just like to say what a superb holiday this was (returned Monday 21st.). It was my 8th holiday with Riviera (when am I due for a freeby!!). Our guide, Matt, was absolutely excellent. A mix of knowledge, humour, good advice and fun. He had a lot to contend with, what with smog in Delhi and the money situation in India when we arrived. He managed everything smoothly.
Review by: Barbara Raie Goodman on 07/11/2016
Excellent tour of India. Guides very knowledgeable . Matt was most helpful in every way especially with the money crisis we endured on our trip. We hope to travel with Riviera Travel again and will recommend to friends.
Review by: Margaret, Michael, michelle Mcconachie on 07/11/2016
I have just returned from a holiday and I would like to say a big thank you. We went to Northern India and Shimla. It was great from beginning to end. Everything went smoothly as we had a wonderful guide, Matt. He was exceptional in his organisation, especially as we had money problems from the first day. He was great fun as well as being so efficient. It is my third trip with your organisation and I recommend it to all my friends. Thank you.
Review by: Rae Ingleby on 07/11/2016
This tour is fantastic if you want a taste of India but in comfort and style. It’s busy, lots of early starts and a fair bit of travelling but it was worth every alarm call and minute sitting on the tour coach. Our guide Tony was excellent, always totally in control and a very safe pair of hands. The experience was greatly enhanced also by having our local guide Kam with us all the time, with loads of insider knowledge about what it’s like to live in India. He really managed to turn some of my preconceptions on their head! The organisation is excellent and the hotels are lovely. Be prepared to pay hotel prices though!
It’s a wonderful trip and achieved what I want from travel, it broadened my mind. If you have ever fancied India without all the hassle that would go with trying to do it all yourself then it’s perfect.
Review by: A.Jago on 28/01/2016
This was the most amazing holiday I have ever been on. India is a beautiful country and I felt we had a good all round experience of the different aspects if the country. The tour was very well done in such a way that you got so much packed in, without being rushed or herded. We didn’t have to worry about anything as it was all dealt with for us by our amazing and professional team. Our English guide Becky and Indian guide Abhi Singh kept us safe, comfortable and well informed throughout the whole trip. Our only concern was enjoying the experience. And enjoy it we did. Such a beautiful country and we got the full experience by the team at Riviera. Would do the whole thing again tomorrow. Thank you guys so much. Until the next time….
Review by: Eleanor Schofield on 21/02/2016
Having just completed your India and Shimla Extension tour. I feel I must congratulate all staff and guides for a wonderful holiday. May I single out your tour guide Jill whose professional and friendly assistance really put the cherry on the cake.
Thank you so much for a memorable and enjoyable time which will forever be remembered.
Review by: Howard Flatman on 31/03/2016
Our thanks to Gill and Bhevendra for a truly wonderful holiday. Everything ran so smoothly thanks to Gill and Bhevendra’s local knowledge was fantastic. An amazing country, which we will never forget especially “our tigress”. This was our first Riviera experience and it won’t be our last.
Review by: Bob and Pat Sherwin on 01/04/2016
A full-on tour to all the popular sights in the Golden Triangle with excellent support from Riviera’s Gill and local guide Kami. A lot of travelling with hours on the coach, and trains to Shimla, but worth it when one sees tigers in Ranthambhore and the Himalayas from Shimla. Do go - it’s worth the effort.
Review by: Richard Baker on 02/04/2016
Fantastic full on tour made special by seeing the tigress at Ranthambore. The tour was managed perfectly by Gill and the Indian guide Bhevendra was excellent.
It was our first ever tour and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
Will be booking again with Riviera Travel
Review by: Bob Heaton & Barbara Dewhurst on 04/04/2016
Wow, what an amazing experience! A huge thank you to tour manager Gill, Kami our guide, Ranveer our driver and Raman who looked after us on the coach, for making our holiday so memorable. We will certainly book with Riviera again.
Review by: Angela Pettit on 06/04/2016
We’ve just returned from India on the Incredible India tour with the Shimla extension and just wanted to say what a wonderful experience it has been. All of the places we’ve visited gave a great introduction to this fascinating and energetic country and the hotels that we stayed in exceeded our expectations. The tour manager and guide were very knowledgeable and helpful, dealing with seemingly impossible requests without any trouble. I would highly recommend this tour to get your first fix of India. Many thnaks indeed.
Review by: Richard Cornish on 13/05/2016
My wife and I have recently returned from the Golden Triangle plus Shimla tour led by your representative, Matt Locmelis. This was our first ever organised tour and based on this experience it certainly will not be our last. We were extremely impressed by the organisation, management and quality of travel and accommodation and especially impressed with Matt’s sensitive and good humoured leadership from the moment we met at Heathrow to the moment we returned . He ensured that everyone on the tour gained the maximum from it and his tips and guidance throughout were spot on. His concern for everyone’s welfare in a land of heat, dirt and different culinary arts and practices was also impressive.
We also enjoyed greatly the services of our accompanying local guide, Dilip, whose knowledge of India’s history, culture and customs added enormously to the interest and pleasure of this trip.
It is clearly no coincidence that many of our fellow travellers were repeat customers of Riviera, as we shall be.
With thanks for a great experience
Review by: Paul Gardner on 19/05/2016
This was quite an experience for us, we saw some fantastic sights. The hotels were 1st class as was our guide Matt Locmelis he worked tirelessly throughout . It was a nonstop trip . The only thing I felt was the trip to Shimla involves too much traveling out of 5 Days we only had 2 full days in Shimla .
Apart from that it was very enjoyable . Big thanks to Matt, Delip and the bus crew.
Review by: Jane Llewelly on 21/05/2016