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“Worry-free travelling with an excellent guide” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Culture Holidays

Culture Holidays
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Taj Mahal Tour From Delhi By Private Car
Ranked #230 of 428 Tours in New Delhi
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Owner description: Culture holidays India Pvt. Ltd., comes under the leading travel management company located in New Delhi which is serving the people from all over the world with preeminent private day tour services since 1999. ’Culture holidays’ exclusively serves as a means to explore this diverse nation with much ease. The company is duly recognized by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and is reputed as most prominent travel agents and tour operators in India.
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Worry-free travelling with an excellent guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2014

This was a great way to experience the wonders of Agra. The company took care of me from the moment I stepped into the car in the morning until I returned to my hotel at night. They explained everything very clearly and carefully in very good English. I was guided through the Delhi train station and the representative did not leave until I was in my seat. The train ride was comfortable and easy. I was met by another representative of the company literally the moment I stepped off the train. Once underway, the representative left me in the hands of Sunny, my guide for the day. Sunny was excellent; he told me about the history of each monument and helped me to really appreciate not only the buildings, but the culture and history behind each one. He was also very respectful of the moments where I wanted to be alone to just sit and look/meditate/ruminate - especially at the Taj Mahal. His knowledge of the Taj Mahal (and his passion for it) -- as well as the Agra Fort and Fahtipur Sikri -- really helped me to appreciate the magnificence of each. The lunch was excellent and a very comfortable chance to cool off from the heat of July. As mentioned in other reviews, there are the requisite stops for shopping, but even those were interesting - watching artisans inlaying stones into marble and weavers knotting rugs. Just be prepared to say "no" politely and clearly. You will be offered many chances to buy (when you say "no" in one room, you are guided to the next room with less expensive merchandise). Sunny even phoned ahead to let the rug showroom know that I wouldn't be buying -- still they did the whole pitch, gave me coffee and showed me their work, then bid me farewell when I complimented them and said that I didn't want to buy (I actually might have done so if I actually had the money). At the end of the day, I was guided back to the train and met in Delhi by the company representative who took me back to my hotel. The whole experience made the trip unbelievably easy and comfortable. The guide (Sunny) -- it bears repeating -- was great.

Visited July 2014
Thank AZDavidM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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22 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Worst travel agent I ever had”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2014

I just came home from a tour in Kerala, Tamil-Nadu and Karnataka organized through Culture Holidays in Dehli from Jan. 11 to 28th 2014. I say « through » and not « by » since all they had to do at the time, was make reservations and locally coordinate the trip I had put together myself.

Back in February 2013, I had sent my itinerary, including hotels and things I wanted to do, to 3 online travel agents that seemed to have the right credentials. Culture Holidays was the first to answer and their proposal was very thorough and specifically answering my needs whereas the second one just offered a standard tour and the third one in the UK was way too expensive (but certainly excellent... ) I also had a very efficient and friendly person as contact on the phone. Once our itinerary was confirmed, having travelled throughout the world mostly on my own, I told the person in charge that she should make sure all reservations were made correctly (twin beds), and that we get guides that are flexible and adapt their services to the their client’s personality. I also told her that I was very demanding and would not hesitate to fire guides who could not speak the language or who’d just recite their text with no real knowledge of the subject. So the agency was more than warned.

2 days before leaving, I called the Culture Holidays agency in Delhi to go through the itinerary again and make sure everthing was ok. My first contact was on leave so I had a replacement on the phone which I suspected was new in the business… I realized at this moment that we would be meeting the Dabbawallahs on a Sunday, which did not make sense as they deliver lunches to working people. I was told that there are some people who work on Sundays and that it didn’t matter . However the day after, I received a call telling me that this was not possible and that they would interchange the Dabbawallah and the Bollywood tour originally planned on our return to Mumbay. I mentioned that I was not happy by the fact that they had not paid attention to this themselves. What would have happened if I had not pointed it out to them before flying to Mumbai …?!…and this was only the beginning of an endless series of errors made by the agency :

At arrival in Mumbay Problem # 2 : the hotel had no twin room as specifically requested by me months ago.

Problem # 3 Bollywood tour : there is no more Bollywood activity than Dabbawallah on Sundays in Mumbai. We barely saw a small shooting, but no sound post-production, no make-up nor behind-the-scenes visits were possible. Neither did they take us to a movie nor to a restaurant after that.

Problem #4 : Flight Mumbai Kochi. Internal flight baggage allowance was reduced from 20kg to 15 in May 2013. The agency did not bother telling us about this quite important change for prople who are allowed 60kg on their incoming flight… We thought we’d be safe since our reservations were (supposed to be) made in March 2013, i.e. before the rules changed… but were told our flight had been booked the day before !!! Needless to say that we were livid. According to the check-in person we had already 5 kg surcharge at the beginning of our trip, which meant no shopping during the entire trip!!!

Problem # 5 : The local guide in Kochi was a walking catastrophy – exactly the kind of guide I said I would send back : incomprehensible English, would recite his text from page one to the end with no possibility to ask a question. He insisted to take us to his favorite store for shopping.

Problem # 6 : Flight Kochi-Trichy. The local agency had received an old copy of the very first itinerary prepared by Culture Holidays back in March 2013 ! In between the flights had changed (probably reserved the day before….)and the times they had were wrong. Had we not confirmed pick-up time with them, we would have spent half a day waiting at the airport.

Problem # 7 Trichy – the local guide was incomprehensible. A shame because the temples are very interesting

Problem # 8 Chettinad : No guide was planned !!. Fortunately our hotel (Visalam Mansion) organized excellent (paid) tours of the area.

Problem # 9 Bangalore : No pick-up at the airport at 8 pm… Fortunately I had a telephone number and there had been a communication error. Once more, Culture Holidays in Delhi had sent the old itinerary version and they were expecting us 2 hours later. We decided to take a taxi and meet the person at our hotel. He was very apologetic, but obviously this was once again our agency’s fault.

After that we had a whole week with no hick-ups since we were taken care of by the Golden Chariot train crew from Bangalore to Goa…

Problem # 10 Goa : The driver picked us up at the train station at 9.30 in the morning and wanted to bring us straight to the airport while our flight back to Mumbai was 5 hours later « …because we have another group after you » (sic). We finally managed to keep the driver for a short tour of Goa and got to the airport at a more civilized time.

Believe it or not, the last 2 days in Mumbai were flawless and we had a great Dabbawallah tour !

Visited January 2014
3 Thank ylang48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Tour with No Worries”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2013

This company took care of all my needs and worries. I was guided from my Delhi hotel to the train station where the guide made sure I was seated in my seat. When I got off the train in Agra, I was met by another guide and taken to the tour car. We picked up my tour guide who took me directly through the lines at the gate and into the Taj Mahal grounds with no wait. He was very informative and even took pictures with my camera of some great angles. He also guided me through the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sakri. I was then offered to be dropped of at a Bazaar for shopping or the hotel at which I had lunch. Since this was still my first 24 hours in India, I decided to rest in the bar of the hotel. I was then escorted back to the train and seated and upon my return to Delhi, I was met by another guide that escorted me back to my hotel. The only caveat I have is that this tour will take you to a stone inlaying factory and persian rug factory where they show you the methods of these arts. Those stops ended with a hard sale. However, I simply stated that I was not interested and left both places as quickly as I could. It was interesting to see the skills and techniques, but did not appreciate the pressure of the sales. Overall, however, this is a really great company for people that are not familiar with India and need to be escorted the entire way. I would not recommend it for women traveling alone. Women should never travel without a male escort, but it is OK for an individual male to take this tour alone. I would recommend to my friends and family. Enjoy! It's Wonderful!!

Visited November 2012
1 Thank SATXTravlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Culture Holidays private Taj Mahal tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2013

It was a wonderful experience with Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Srikri with Culture Holidays. We have been picked up early from the hotel and transfer to train station for a super fast train to Agra. Then the manager in Agra, Mr.Vikal pick us up right on time and hand over to the professional tour guide. We have spent all day in Agra even though it is a hot day but we two are enjoying a tour very much. Recommend anyone who is looking for a private tour to consider Culture Holidays as priority.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Natthakij A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Haven, Connecticut
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Culture Holidays private tour of Golden Triangle”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2013

Both my wife and I are in our 70's so we were looking for the convenience of a tour support but tailored to our specific requests. Doing this remote from the USA is always a concern. We just returned April 22, 2013 and the support was excellent. We were met at the airport by a smiling guide, transported to our Delhi hotel in a late model air conditioned car. Every step of the custom trip was just like that. Every sight we wanted to see was fit in. The hotels selected were good to excellent. (In Agra go for the Whyndam Grand, it's like living in a palace). The cost was reasonable, the guides and drivers excellent and friendly. The communications prior to the tour were very good. All done by email and Visa. Thanks Culture Holidays.

Visited April 2013
2 Thank Okemo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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