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Bad experience with Antrek Tours, Manali

Houston, Texas
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Bad experience with Antrek Tours, Manali

Just a quick post to share an extremely negative experience with Antrek Tours in Manali. We had booked a customized road trip from Manali to Ladakh, and travels within Ladakh with them, and did not argue the price charged. We wanted the convenience of an end-to-end solution, and took a chance of this company, and suffered a lot for this mistake. Although I tried researching this company prior to booking with them, there are few reviews online, and so I am relating our individual experience here for the benefit of others who may be considering the same.

We were very disappointed to find that this company is horribly disorganized and does everything at the last moment. There is poor anticipation of the travelers' needs, poor planning and extremely poor communication, and plans are changed at the last moment, supposedly in clients' best interest. After completing our trip I am forced to conclude that the only interest this company has is in taking your money, and there is zero attempt at providing any quality of service.

Substandard and atrociously poor quality hotels were booked, and at Pangong Tso lake the camp booked did not have even a half decent view of the lake prompting us to walk out and find a campsite closer to the lake. At Leh, the room booked in the hotel could not even accommodate 2 parent and 2 young children, although for the money paid we should have been in a 3-4 star hotel (the hotel staff did help and shifted us to a bigger room the next day, but it badly spoiled the mood). And the less said about the Tashi Delek hotel in Keylong, the better (at the time I researched this hotel on Tripadvisor, I was misled by the reviews and pictures as there is another hotel with the same name in Sikkim, and pictures posted in Tripadvisor were from that hotel); I have posted my experience of the Keylong Tashi Delek hotel in Tripadvisor along with pictures - suffice to say this was THE WORST hotel we have stayed in our lives - Antrek Tours claims to be in business for 30 years - they should have booked us into a better hotel. Out trip itinerary said that on one day we would have a tour of Manali - when we reached there we were advised to go walking and explore the city ourselves since there was too much traffic - so much for a tour of the city. When I requested a vehicle to travel the next morning to visit a local temple, this was promised by Mr. Naushad the owner, but the next morning I was asked by Mr. Naushad to book an auto rickshaw (tuktuk) and go by ourselves since there were no cabs/taxis available. When I lost my cool, a taxicab was there within 15 minutes. This man deceives and misleads - do not get taken for a ride!

Suffice to say that in every destination of our driving trip there were problems for me to solve, and became a really painful experience and really spoiled what was supposed to be a family fun holiday. When hiring a travel company to create a customized tour, a basic level of expectation is that there should be no problems with respect to hotel bookings, trip planning etc , especially when the tour company charges handsomely for it - I was badly mistaken in my expectations. After completing the trip, I wrote to the owner Mr. Naushad Kaludi highlighting the problems we had on the trip, and have not received the courtesy of a response.

Final words:

1. Antrek Tours and travels is unreliable. Avoid this agency if you wish to have a trouble free trip.

2. Traveling within India can be a lot of fun, and you can get excellent value for money if you arrange it yourself. We did that last year in a drive across MP, and it was terrific.

3. For a Manali/Leh trip, you can easily find and book good quality hotels and transportation yourself, and have the satisfaction of knowing you had good quality control.

4. For me, a valuable lesson learned for all future travels.

Happy travels!

Destination Expert
for Shimla, Manali, Kashmir, Shillong, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Puri, Darjeeling, Kolkata (Calcutta), Himachal Pradesh, Srinagar, Dalhousie, India, Ladakh, Leh
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1. Re: Bad experience with Antrek Tours, Manali


I really feel sorry for the difficulties that you had to faced during your Leh-Manali trip. Being the DE of Trip Advisor, I always insist on self arranged tour. Which is best and secured.

We always guide travellers to get reliable car rental services, hotels @ their budget and guidance on sightseeing or shopping.

However, in future, please get the guidance of TA forum to make your holiday hassle free.


Edited: 1:24 am, July 22, 2012
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2. Re: Bad experience with Antrek Tours, Manali

Thanks for the info.

Jaipur, India
Destination Expert
for Rajasthan, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore National Park, Jaipur
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3. Re: Bad experience with Antrek Tours, Manali

Good of you to share here

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Bad experience with Antrek Tours, Manali

I thought I was the only one who felt like I got ripped off by this ridiculous tour group. Can we add this Trip advisor so we can post all our negative reviews and possibly let everyone know not to go here.

Calgary, Alberta...
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5. Re: Bad experience with Antrek Tours, Manali

We just returned from a trek to Hampta Pass with Antrek and overall had a positive experience. The places we stayed were quite nice, and Naushad was very helpful in booking everything for us. His staff were very friendly and helpful to us. It is unfortunate to hear that the experience you had was not the same as ours.

Tokyo, Japan
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6. Re: Bad experience with Antrek Tours, Manali

I think with travelling one should have reasonable expectations and address disappointments appropriately. When an operator is given a free reign over planning the whole itinerary they may save a buck where possible but if they do this a lot then you may feel that you have been hard done! I went to India in '99 travelling by matador bus for a month with a small family company. I think back to this trip and many times we were disappointed because we were told that we would be in a 4* hotels when we were usually in a 2*! A lot of time choices were made based on lodgings provided for staff and drivers. We covered a lot of ground in 30 days and it can take its toll, if we were told upfront what to expect with hotels and night driving it may have made for a better trip. Sometimes people are too keen to impress and end up over promising and under delivering. Retrospectively, and given it was my first main travelling stint, it was a good experience and good memories of central and southern India.

I have used Antrek recently based on a friends recommendation - ( he did a 3 day trek with Antrek a few years back)

I went to India to attend a wedding In March this year and rather than come home straight away opted for some travelling before coming home.

I contacted Naushad at Antrek with a list of my free dates and he replied with regards to flights I needed to take and a program for getting to Manali and what I can do when I get there.

Unfortunately Kingfisher airlines no longer is in business which used to fly to Kullu/Manali Airport, so Antrek's driver picked me up from Chandigarth Airport and after a 9 hr drive I was in Manali!

The accommodation booked was very good - Drifters - Backpacker chilledness with hotel standard dining and rooms.

The next day was just a day trip around Manali - some walking and around town in the Jeep. Hadimba Temple, Old Manali, Manu Rishi, Vashishth hot water springs, Buddhist Monastery and walk the Mall of Manali. Over night at Manali.

Morning was Trek to the Goshal Village, Jogni Water Fall, Shanag, Burua and to the Solang Valley. Enjoy the options of taking up a Gondola ride, Paragliding, Zorbing and the ski practice. Over night at the Solang Valley. (Wanted to do paragliding but was told that bit of a queue - didn't do any activities in the end but as we were walking all day I wasn't complaining! had lunch at 6pm! and stayed at Drifters instead of the valley)

The plan for the following day was, drive up further towards the Rohtang Pass 3978 meters (as much as the car can go due to the snow over the road) and return towards Manali. Continue to Jagatsukh, Naggar Castle, The Nicholai Reorich Art Gallery, Kaish Monastery, trek for 3 to 4 hours to the Bijli Mahadev and continue driving to Mandi. Over night at Mandi. (Didn't goto Rohtang Pass due to weather conditions and my flight being early the next day, did everything else on the itinerary though, travelled and stayed over at Bilaspur before driving about 5 hrs in the morning to catch my 12.15 flight the next day)

Overall I thing the tour company did well; due to my time constraints I wasn't able to do more research and try to negotiate the price a bit cheaper, (which is the usual way of things), but I did not feel it was over priced. Naushad was quite professional, he has glowing eyes and a kind smile, perhaps his manner a little overbearing at times!, but friendly none the less. The driver Rakesh was curt, polite and very much like a butler! Anilkumar the main guide was quite cheerful and had a good local knowledge, his english is excellent and you can ask him all manner of questions. He was not able to accompany me on the Solang valley trek but the other guide Sharma, was excellent and the guy knows his mountains! July, August and September are the main trekking months so glad that I managed to do as much as I could in the off season period.

Referring back to the original comment 'bad experience with Antrek', with travelling, there is more of a chance of things not going as expected on longer trips, I understand that - perhaps Antrek not showing enough attention to detail- I don't know for sure.

The time I had in Manali was enjoyable and I would book with them again for future trips. My friend said that the Chandrakani pass with Antrek was still his best trekking experience - (we have been on Inka trek and Kilimanjaro subsequently). I have every confidence with this company but like all bookings regardless it would not stop me being critical or scrutinising if I have any misgivings. As travellers it is not cheap getting there and maybe we have worked hard for our holidays. We want things to go smoothly but if you focus on just that, well, you'll miss all that lovely scenery!!

Manali and the himalayas are spectacular - I hope you will all enjoy!!

Happy Travelling!

Visakhapatnam, India
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7. Re: Bad experience with Antrek Tours, Manali

A friend and I did a short trek up to Bhrigu lake two weeks ago, although we couldn't go up to the lake as I had developed some serious altitude sickness. Our guide, Nanak Sharma was great and knew the mountains so well. As this was my first trek, I found it real tough; I for sure couldn't have made it without Nanak's help. He even dug steps in the snow with his boots when I was constantly falling and skidding away and literally carried me when my legs were giving up. Craig, a volunteer at Antrek had accompanied us and was very helpful too. These two guys carried our luggage throughout the trek and were great company. The base camp facilities were quite nice and clean. We were served warm and sumptuous meals, our tents and sleeping bags were of good quality and we had such a lovely time with the Antrek team around the campfires each evening. Naushad, the owner of Antrek offered us a lovely home-cooked meal with his family upon our return to Manali. All in all, we were very well looked after during the entire trip.

My overall experience with Antrek has been very good. Naushad is very prompt with responding to emails. I was talking to three tour operators before finalising on Antrek just because Naushad's response time was quick. He also booked us in a nice new hotel for a reasonable price, although the rates were going up as the tourist season was in full swing and not many decent hotels were available then.

Naushad and his team have been professional as well as caring and helpful. Not many tour operators would come to pick you up when you can't find transport late at night to get to your hotel. Definitely none would offer their homes for you to freshen up after a trek and offer home-cooked meals with their families. He has been a gentleman throughout. We must not forget that for every holiday/trek we pay for in India, the money feeds about 20 families, not just the tour operator's alone. It is our good fortune to be able to afford holidays. The people who make such treks possible work hard day and night for very little just because guests/visitors are seen as being equivalent to Gods in the Indian culture and tradition.

Thank you Antrek! I would love to do another trek with you guys, hopefully very soon. Keep up the good job!

Manali, India
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8. Re: Bad experience with Antrek Tours, Manali

This Post is Still Running After A Year Amigos !

9. Re: Bad experience with Antrek Tours, Manali

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