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Often an assault on the senses from the moment you touchdown, India has been a favoured destination for over half a century for both independent travellers as well as those wanting super luxury travel experiences. From the snow-capped mountains of the high Himalaya, the wind swept deserts of Rajasthan, the pristine jungles of Madhya Pradesh, to the tranquil backwaters and tropical beaches of Kerala in the south;the subcontinent offers much, catering for all tastes and budgets. Whether you want to stay in a Maharajah's Palace, witness the hustle and bustle of the street markets of Delhi's Chandni Chowk, go on safari to see a Royal Bengal Tiger, take a boat ride at dawn on the river Ganges in Varanasi or kick back and relax on an authentic houseboat in South India's backwaters;India has this and much more on offer. Add to all of this a rich 10,000 year history and some of the most iconic historical and cultural sights in the world including the Taj Mahal and it's easy to see why this amazing country has been attracting visitors to its shores for so long. The one thing that makes a trip to India truly special though is the people. Over 1.3 billion Indians of various castes and creeds bring a swirl of colour to the lands they inhabit and their generous and friendly nature leaves visitors with memories they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
India with A&K
Udaipur leaves visitors wide-eyed for many reasons: its exquisite architecture, elegant white hotel swaddled by serene Lake Pichola and floodlit Monsoon Palace 'floating' high in the night sky. But for one A&K traveller, there was another major surprise. At sights including the Jagdish Temple he was amazed to find tourist crowds being parted to allow him, his wife and their guide, Vikram, through. 'It was quite extraordinary,' he writes. 'I have never seen other guides move their customers aside. Vikram is excellent, and clearly has the respect of his peers'
Vikram is just one of a stellar A&K supporting cast who made the Rajasthan holiday so memorable. Take a bow our staff in the UK, guides on the ground, and driver, Viru, who made light work of a thrilling road trip enlivened by recalcitrant cows, haughty camels and rickshaws. 'Driving in India takes special skills,' says Air Commodore Leaning. 'Viru is one of the best.'
For nearly 30 years Abercrombie & Kent's large, highly experienced team have been offering luxury Indian holidays. We offer the country's best vehicles, hotels ranging from sumptuous to heritage to homestays and a network of guides and consultants embracing experts in everything from museums, art and architecture to conservation, food and history. With privileged access, they make the unique possible: An Indian cookery lesson in a private home? A private peek at a royal crystal collection? A Bollywood film set visit? Not a problem.
The subcontinent is such a diverse, intoxicating, sensory overload, it's hard to know where to start. Take a holiday or tour to India with A&K and we'll show you Delhi's teeming bazaar and awe-inspiring Raj architecture, Agra's Mughal Taj Mahal, and Rajasthan's mountains and deserts frescoed with palaces and forts.
You can walk in Himalayan foothills or Ladakh's high altitude desert, watch teeming life on Varanasi's sacred Ganges or study the erotic carvings of Madhya Pradesh. We'll take you to throbbing Mumbai's famous harbour, Bangalore's 'Silicon Valley' and lovely Mysore's palaces and festivities. You can flop on Goa's beaches or float through Kerala's backwaters eating masterful food.
We offer it all. And you're travelling with the knowledge that you're in the safest, most reliable hands. When Mumbai was engulfed in the chaos of 2008's terrorist attacks, our guest Mrs Lacey, was evacuated from her hotel at 4am. Our guide had located her room, and descending the ladder, she was overjoyed to hear: are you with A&K? 'They were,' she says, 'the most reassuring words I have ever heard'
And when Air Commodore Leaning and his wife needed urgent medical care, we made sure they got the best. The very best. Their holiday was uninterrupted. 'When things go wrong,' he wrote, 'you really appreciate the depth, concern and sheer professionalism of a company such as yours. Abercrombie and Kent, take a huge group hug from Jo and me: you were simply outstanding.'
MEET THE UAE TEAM
Debbie Duncan-Studart - General Manager
+ 971 2 245 8100
Debbie loves exploring the World, but Africa is her true passion and she know it intimately. Her favourite travel memory is sitting in a canoe on Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe watching the sun go down behind the Matusadona Mountains whilst listening to the sound of hippos splashing around us. Next on her list is Vietnam as it has several of the world's top beaches along with an amazing history, world heritage sites and fabulous cuisine. It's also really easy to see a lot in Vietnam in a very short time.
Camille d'Harambure - Senior Travel Consultant
+971 2 245 8103
Camille grew up in South America and Africa and as a result knows these destinations extremely well. After a year as a bush guide in the horn of Africa, she spent several years as a tour leader across Africa and the Middle east. Following this experience, she lived in Mauritius for four years where she founded a small travel agency specializing in luxury travel in the Indian Ocean. Camille joined A&K in Abu Dhabi at its opening in 2014. With her passion for adventure and luxury travel expertise, she creates inspiring journeys for the most discerning travellers.