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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.'
Prices from £4,995 per person saving £1,785 per person for 14 nights
For all retreats of between 14 and 21 nights, book a Garden or Forest room and receive a complimentary upgrade to a Bodhi/Forest Suite and also receive one extra wellness weight per night per person. Prices from £4,995 per person for a 14 night stay including international and internal flights from the UK. Valid for travel from the 1st July to the 15th September 2015. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
SPEAK TO A TRAVEL CONSULTANT ON 01242 858 059
Suggested itineraries in India
Nights: 11 | from £3,710
Experience the flavours of India as you explore the fascinating sites and the historical treasures of New Delhi, Udaipur, Rajastan, Jaipur, Agra and Delhi.
Quintessential Northern India
Nights: 8 | from £3,445
Palaces, observatories, bazaars, temples, forts, memorials, and James Bond all feature in this enthralling 13 night journey through Rajasthan and Northern India.
Highlights of North India
Nights: 7 | from £1,850
Visit India's enchanting northern region and explore the pink city of Jaipur, watch the sunrise over the Taj Mahal and ride in a rickshaw through Delhi.
In Search of Tiger
Nights: 10 | from £3,975
Search for India's tigers in Pench National Park, Kanha National Park and Bandhavgarth, one of the best places to spot these elusive big cats.
Small Luxury Group Journeys - Taj Mahal & the Treasures of India
Nights: 15 | from £5,815
Explore incredible India on this 15 night adventure staying in opulent former palaces and enjoying the countryside, cities and generous hospitality of this giant country.
Peacocks and Palace
Nights: 14 | from £2,890
India by Private Jet and Chairmans Event
Nights: 14 | from £18,950
This this amazing private jet trip that explores key cities from north to south India including Delhi, Agra, Amritsar, Udaipur and Hyderabad.
Luxury Mobile Camping in Ladakh
Nights: 5 | from £2,995
Embark on a nomadic journey through the Himalaya, sleeping under canvas and exploring the beauty of this fascinating area with expert guides.
Christie's Art Journeys: A Colourful Odyssey through India
Nights: 9 | from £4,995
Gala Chairman’s Event – Hyderabad, November 2015
Nights: 3 |
A great way to see India in a completely new light, this exclusive 4 day gala celebration offers top cultural opportunities combined with genuine insider access.
British Polo Day India
Nights: 3 | from £1,480
Join us in the ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur to watch Oxford and Jodhpur battle it out in the private polo club The Maharaja of Marwar.
Land Rover Adventure Travel by Abercrombie & Kent to India 2014
Nights: 8 |
We have created a thrilling Indian adventure to stir the soul of any driving enthusiast – or indeed anyone keen to explore one of the world’s most culturally and geographically diverse locations from behind the wheel of the most capable all terrain vehicle.
Mystical Tamil Nadu
Nights: 13 | from £2,575
Visit India's least explored but most fascinating state, Tamil Nadu; where you will sample the region's famous cuisine and explore the former French colony of Pondicherry.
Northern Kerala Explorer
Nights: 13 | from £2,865
Explore Kerala - one of India's greenest and friendliest states - home to unspoilt beaches, coffee plantations and palaces on this 13 night trip.
Journey through Incredible India
Nights: 15 | from £3,275
A spellbinding journey exploring northern and the southern India including the Keralan backwaters, the bazaars of Old Delhi and Jaipur's extraordinary palaces.
Families with teenagers Explore Northern india
Nights: 9 | from £1,695
An exciting family trip to northern India that includes painting, feeding and riding elephants in Jaipur and going on a tiger safari.
Treasures of Northern India
Nights: 14 | from £2,890
Explore Northern India for 14 nights where you will visit the River Ganges, the Amber Fort in Jaipur and beautiful palace complex in Udaipur.
Kerala & The Maldives
Nights: 14 | from £2,790
Discover Kerala where you will stay on a traditional rice barge before flying off the white sandy beaches of the Maldives.
Wonders Of the World by Private Jet
Nights: 22 | from £70,600
A once-in-a-lifetime adventure by private jet to the world's most iconic destinations - from Machu Picchu and Easter Island to Sydney and Istanbul over 22 nights.
The Golden Triangle with Oberoi Hotels
Nights: 7 | from £2,790
Enjoy India's top hotels while visiting incredible sights like the Amber Fort in Jaipur, the Taj Mahal in Agra and the city of Old Delhi.
Empires of the Deccan
Nights: 11 |
Discover the India that many don't see; visit the royal centres of Vijayanagara Kings and south-western Karnataka for the Baba Budan mountains.
Quintessential Southern India
Nights: 11 | from £2,705
Immerse yourself in the sights and smells of southern India, from the spice markets of Fort Cochin to the spectacular Meenskshi temple in Madurai.
Taj Palaces Incredible Escapes
Nights: 10 | from £2,350
Discover northern India's most fascinating highlights including the Taj Mahal, the palaces of Udaipur and Jaipur and the 'Blue City' of Jodhpur.
Orient & Indian Subcontinent
Annie, Brandon, Debbie, Margaret, Vicky Hamlin, Vicky Smith and Rachel - are experts in designing travel experiences across the region to suit your personal needs, interests and budget.
Best time to be there
From October to March the weather is refreshingly cool with minimal rainfall in most places. India's main festivals also take place during this time, such as the Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan, the Republic Day of India and Holi, the festival of colours.
8 hours 20 minutes non-stop
GMT +5 1/2 hours
Required for UK passport holders
Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area