WOW thank you, Sharon, for putting together yet another excellent trip this time to Sri Lanka, for myself, husband, brother-in-law and sister-in-law. I gave you our wish list of places to see and things to do and we were not disappointed. Our transport and driver Sujeewa had lots of knowledge and a great sense of humour. The hotels we stayed in were in perfect locations, staff, food and accommodation were excellent.
The high lights of our trip being Sigiriya rock and its 1200 steps not for the faint-hearted also the train from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya with its fantastic scenery, we then come to our five night stay at The fortress resort and spa, looking out over the Indian Ocean, here we were able to watch the turtles come into feed at high tide then there was the stunning sunsets and of course a few sundowners cheers Sharon.
Yet again we cannot thank you enough for the perfect trip you devised for us. Your knowledge of India, Kathmandu, Nepal, Bhutan etc is unsurpassed and your attention to detail outstanding.
Our guides were excellent, We were treated like VIP’s. Your preparation and presentation of our itinerary in the beautiful folder was a special touch, and your regular contact with the agencies whilst we were on our trip was felt and reassuring.
Looking forward to another trip with Mystic India sometime soon.
Mary & Nish
Sharon, I don’t know where to start. I will try and keep it short and to the point.. I have so much feedback to pass onto you.
Firstly, THANK YOU very much for putting an awesome itinerary together for me. I can not begin to express my gratitude towards the effort made in putting my needs and comfort at the forefront.
From the moment I had landed in Delhi airport, my journey was so smooth and guided really well. Once I reached Srinagar, my guide and driver were very welcoming and pretty much assisted me throughout my stay. My guide Owas was very thoughtful, aware of my health conditions, pretty much knew what I wanted to do and see. He was always available when I needed anything.
I was not given a phone as discussed, the reason was that the networks were down and the phone would not work in Kashmir, which was right, as my sim failed to work out there too. My guide was very kind enough to let me use his mobile data when I needed to, and in the hotel, wifi was available, a little slow but available.
All the hotels were amazing, the houseboat was beyond my expectations! It was exactly what the name of the boat meant, Sukoon, peace!
Overall, I was so impressed with everything. The team out there were so helpful and honest. I have always had my doubts but you all proved me wrong. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and family. By far, this was one of the best holidays.
Once again, thank you for all your help and patience. I really appreciate all the effort made with putting my package together. You have been amazing. I look forward to booking more holidays to India with you.
Sharon – many thanks for your organisation which worked brilliantly as always. Our highlights are as follows:
The trip to the cemetery was lovely and the guide and driver couldn’t have been more helpful in helping us negotiate to get a wreath made and translating with the caretaker to find the actual grave – the one comment was that the guide didn’t really have a lot to say – his English was a little limited, and maybe he was a bit shy. We thought the wildlife reserve was terrific – very well run and guides well trained – it may not have the cache of East Africa, but we thought it was a really worthwhile visit – compared very favourably with the reserves we have visited elsewhere in India. The Radisson in Guwahati and Trident in Chennai were both excellent.
Our first trip to India and what a fantastic experience it was – exceeded our expectations in every respect. We chose Mystic India in preference to larger and no doubt competent tour operators because we felt Sharon not only had the competence but also had a rare passion for India – this passion translated into an easy rapport with us and an incredibly detailed knowledge of this enormous and wonderful country. We had a rough idea of what we would like our tour to cover but really had no idea how many more wonderful locations and experiences were available to us. Whilst we covered all the ‘headline’ sights it was the ‘small print’ experiences that made our holiday so special and allowed us to get a feel for the real India – this is a very special service in our experience of travel agents. The trip worked to perfection with outstanding local representatives catering to our every need – we were greeted at each destination by a professional representative, our guides were personable with first-class knowledge and our drivers were all safe, pleasant company and looked after us really well. We will return to India and wouldn’t consider anyone else as our travel agent.
Just wanted to let you know that we had a great trip for the wedding. All the hotels and guides were very good. Both our drivers were very good, both extremely helpful, when we were in Thiruvalla, our driver was James who drove you around when you visited with your husband, a lovely man. The wedding and other functions were lovely.
Thank you again for your help with all this and look forward to using you again next time we go to India.
I can’t thank Sharon and her team enough for what they did for us. From the planning to the execution of the trip in India, I can’t find words to describe how professional and thorough the service was. The staff on the floor were extremely helpful, hospitable and fluent in English. Our driver was amazing. As for the service – I didn’t have to open or close a car door once, let alone carry a suitcase. Some of the best service I have experienced in the world. We were even given our own mobile phone with an Indian pre-paid sim, to call our representative any time of the day or night if we needed to. Nothing was missed!
I have no hesitation in recommending Mystic India to anybody looking to book a holiday in India. You will certainly not be disappointed, and your expectations will be greatly exceeded. Please book an Indian holiday with Sharon and her team!
Thank you for an incredible experience… We will be back in touch next year!
Last February my husband and I did a 3-week trip around South India with Mystic India, taking in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Right at the start we really liked Sharon’s personalised approach. We had planned our own route and destinations so needed to ask Sharon lots of detailed questions and get her advice on things like walking in particular locations.
She was very accessible and patient, and if she needed to check things with her Indian agent, she would do so. We felt that she really catered to our individual needs. Even when we chose a location not used by Mystic before, she was willing to investigate and then enable that to happen. We’re probably quite demanding clients and Sharon really stepped up to the mark. She put flights on hold for us while things were finalised and this proved very good advice.
We were given a mobile phone so that we could keep in contact with the agent, and we were impressed that he phoned us regularly to check if everything was fine.
We chose some of the hotels, but when we asked for advice on others, we were delighted with her choice. Because of the distances involved, we wanted the latest model car, and Sharon arranged that. The driver was a lovely man who was great company. Before the trip, we were sent a package which included a very useful introduction to Indian culture and religions.
We had been to Rajasthan with another company and approached them for the South. But Sharon’s approach was much more personalised. She also offered more at a far better price. Thank you so much, Sharon! If we return to India, we will undoubtedly go with Mystic India.
We travelled with Mystic India to Kerela over Chinese New Year 2017. We travelled in a “rectangular” route via Fort Cochin, Munnar, Thekkady and Kumarakom.
The travel agents, driver and guides were excellent and well organised. All of the hotels were excellent, but we would particularly recommend the Spice Tree at Munnar as one of the best hotels in India and try to stay an extra day and take the hotel’s organised walks. We would also particularly recommended one night on the houseboat at Kumarakom.
We are now planning our next trip with Mystic India to Nepal.
Just to say thank you for providing such a lovely tour…..Well balanced and well-chosen accommodation and very professional.
We loved the accommodation in the forts…especially the tent at Ramathra Fort in Karauli..very exciting and such a wonderful location could have stayed longer…the views from the fort were wonderful….the village tour was humbling…and the school visit a delight. Also, the heritage hotels all came up to and exceeded our expectations.
We have met so many delightful people along the way…..the staff at all the hotels….the times we had our photograph taken by locals….their interaction…and all the children who waved… our dancing in the temple..its what this kind of tour is all about. This where an individual tour is so successful, Bharatpur was wonderful, so unexpected to go by trishaw with the guide.
And of course the final icing on the cake….the tiger reserve tour at Ranthambore….as on our second time out we managed to see and track the tiger…wow….lasted about 30 minutes..absolutely overwhelming.
Thanks to our guides.
The driver…Nippon was well experienced, and we always felt safe, he was always pleasantly engaging but always professional. The snacks were such a good idea.
We will, of course, be back for our 6th tour of India next year. Your company has come out tops.
My friends and I had a really wonderful time. Thank you so much for making sure we did, and for the suggestions on both the itinerary and places to stay, everything was impeccable really well thought through. The drivers and tour guides were really nice and accommodated everything we wanted to do. They gave us some local insights and would stop every time we wanted to see something on the way. Also, the India books you left for us came in really handy when we were travelling. I would definitely recommend you and Mystic India to anyone who wants to go to India, especially first-timers like myself. It makes all the difference when somebody who knows the place inside and out is doing the organising. I just wish the trip could have been longer…we enjoyed it so much! Thank you!
just when we thought it couldn’t get any better – it did!
We have just returned from our fourth Indian Photographic adventure with Mystic India. This time there were eight of us in the group, and the trip surpassed the expectations of each and every one of us. Thanks to Sharon’s incredible knowledge and expertise our trip was again tailor made to ensure we were at the best photographic locations possible. This ensured we all came home with wonderful memories and some amazing images to treasure for all time. Our guides were friendly and helpful, always going out of their way to please. They ensured that travel and transfers went smoothly, we didn’t have to worry about a thing. Our accommodation throughout the trip was faultless and perfectly situated. Visits to our chosen destinations were mind-blowing and humbling.
We are now planning our fifth ‘Mystic India’ adventure for 2018–and we can’t wait! If you would like to see more images taken on our amazing ‘Mystic India’ holiday you could look on my website www.chrissiewestgate.com
I am so sorry it has taken so long to give you feedback but as I am sure you will have gathered from our telephone conversation that we had the most incredible trip to India. Thank you! It was your brilliant expertise that made it so very special – although action packed the pace was just perfect.
On arrival Amrik came to the Colonels Retreat and carefully went through our itinerary with us, it was good to meet him, and we appreciated the couple of calls he made to us ( on the mobile you kindly supplied) to make sure everything was going well. Thanks also for the book – it says it all! The meet and greets by your team at all the destinations were all perfect – as was being met off the plane on arrival at Delhi which made our transit through the airport very slick. We should make particular mention of the agent in Udaipur who wasn’t aware that we were due to go on a boat trip on the lake on the second afternoon there. He arranged for us to be picked up from the hotel by a pre-booked auto rickshaw then escorted us on his moped to make sure we were safe there and back. The young man in Mumbai who met us at the airport initially wanted to take us straight to Dharavi, but when we said we wanted to go to the hotel first to change and get some lunch and then do the tour as per our itinerary in the afternoon. He contacted the guide, rearranged the timing and accompanied us around the slums.
One thing we were really impressed with in Calcutta was that the agent gave us a business card with driver name, mobile no, car no, pick up times on one side and the same info for the guide on the other side. Very useful, helped us to remember and pronounce the names and nice as a souvenir too. We were very well looked after and made to feel like special visitors by all
All the drivers were safe, punctual and polite with spotless cars – but ‘Prince’ Sarabjeet Singh who picked us up at Delhi airport and was with us until Jaipur was just brilliant. An excellent driver – not once breaking hard over hundreds of miles of driving, quite an achievement in India. He was charming, entertaining and very knowledgeable and interesting to talk to. He wasn’t very well, but was still reliable – and we were delighted that when we came back to Delhi, he was at the airport to meet us, fully recovered, and also take us to the airport the next day for the flight home. He was a big part of our holiday and would really recommend him
All hotels were brilliant so thank you for the recommendations. We were upgraded at most – and this was particularly great at the Taj Palace where we had a suite and butler. We loved the hotel in Udaipur and reckoned our room (7) had the best view in town, and the restaurant was great too. The Windamere is something special, isn’t it? We couldn’t eat all the food and had to choose between lunch and afternoon tea!
All the guides were of a high standard as expected. The guides in Mumbai and Darjeeling were excellent – very knowledgeable and flexible making sure we saw as much as possible, understood what we were seeing and enjoyed ourselves.
Highlights – Ganesha Visarjan in Mumbai – and being welcomed by families to join their celebrations – at night on the beach and in the morning on the way to the airport, the tour of Dharavi slums – inspiring. Dinner at the Peshwari restaurant in Agra and of course the Taj Mahal, elephants in Jaipur, the view from our room in Udaipur over the lake, the luxury of our suite at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. A visit to a tea factory in Darjeeling – and tea tasting touching the union flag that Hillary raised on Everest, afternoon tea and roast beef and Yorkshire puddings at the Windamere Hotel. The surprise of how big and impressive the Victoria memorial was in Calcutta – and how small Mother Theresa room is. Getting a leaf from the tree that Buddha preached under in Bodhgaya and watching life on The Ganges from the roof of our hotel in Varanasi – mesmerising. Finally swimming early in the morning in the stunning pool at the Trident Hotel in Delhi before getting our flight home. ….but most of all the lovely lovely Indian people that we met everywhere and the vibrancy and energy and diversity of the places we were lucky enough to visit.
Things to go back for! Chandni Chowk in Delhi, Tiger Hill at dawn on a clear day, Victoria Terminus, Dabbawallas, and a Bollywood film at the Regal Cinema in Mumbai
Thanks so much Sharon, you really are a star – and so are your team in India. It was our third tripoli India with you, and we are already dreaming of our next visit!
We had a very positive experience with Mystic India, and nothing was too much trouble. It was our first trip to India and we were quite anxious about it. Everything ran so smoothly, we were met from the flight at Delhi, and we were reassured straight away that everything had been taken care of.
We embarked on a 21-day itinerary covering Delhi Agra The Taj and Jaipur ( The golden triangle ) as well the hidden gems of Rajasthan which included Udaipur Khempur Narlai and others. We then ended our trip with 3 days in Mumbai.
In every major location, we were met by a local tour guide ( who spoke excellent English ) and had been pre-arranged by Sharon. This allowed us an opportunity to ask lots of questions as they took us on a tour of their local historical sights. Every guide was exceptionally knowledgeable, but we did experience a range of differing personalities which added to the Indian experience.
All our transfers had been pre-arranged by Sharon, and we were lucky enough to have the same driver for 3/4 of the trip. Our driver Shuki was amazing! He was prompt and didn’t mind waiting when we wanted to stop off to look at sights on a whim! The car we travelled in was luxuriously comfortable with an endless supply of bottled water and snacks. We spent days travelling miles through the towns and villages of Rajasthan and were able to sit back and watch as real life was acted out before us.
Our accommodation ranged from 5-star hotels and the luxury tents at the Ranthambore national park to the real experience of staying in family Havelis ( ancient family homes opened up to welcome tourists ). We even experienced 1 night at the real ‘The best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ in Khempur. We really did have that Indian experience from the foods, the colours and the sounds and smells ( not all bad )! This can not be portrayed through words alone and can only be appreciated by experiencing this for yourself.
Sharon we can’t wait to book our next holiday to South India and also North India including Darjeeling through you. Once again thank you for making our holiday memorable.
Well, we all truly can’t believe this experience you have created for us. It all we could have wished for and a million times more. I am sure we are as crazy as the Indians. Fitting in nicely..terrible table manners seem no problem; children screaming no one notices and five children. Seem to blend into all the chaos.
Have washed a beautiful elephant, been on a spice trail saw cardamom, nutmeg, curry leaves, and citronella. You name it we have seen it, cocoa beans and coffee. Actually while swimming this eve in the Dewalokam river, all I could smell was Ylang Ylang tree. It’s the most amazing smell I have smelt in my entire life. It is so lush and fertile here.
People are amazing too..so thoughtful. When we are I the river, there is always a guy standing there watching…amazing. Been swimming in the river at 6.40am in morning hand then yoga afterwards. It doesn’t get any better.
Caron’s birthday was incredible. They had a poster ready this morning and sang to her and presented amazing flowers to her. We went to a waterfall, and we bought her a massage which she said was incredible. Hot stones n everything. The works!
Tomorrow going to town and doing a walk of their farm then the day after off to our desert adventure. How you have organised all this God only knows. Went to a big catholic school today and stood on stage for assembly. Mad!
Anyhow, Sharon, that’s it for now. Loved Carmelia too and the elephant. Such a wonderful experience to be splashed by an elephant. We all loved it. Your guy in Delhi is incredible and has sorted out so much for us. You couldn’t have a better team.
Looking for a travel company that will ‘really accommodate a photographer’s needs is not easy. So many companies have set criteria and wanted you to fit into their itineraries’. Mystic India was different from the start. Everyone involved with this company seemed to understand our requirements. Our itinerary was tailor made; we went to places that we had chosen, many off the beaten track.
Our guides were just the best, they were patient, obliging and had an incredible local knowledge, and nothing was ever too much trouble. They even gave us mobile phones with pre-programmed numbers in and when we wanted to spend time in any one place, we just phoned the guide to come and get us when we were ready to move on. Our guide in Agra made sure we were the first people in the Taj Mahal to see the sunrise in order we could get shots with no people – it was just breathtaking!
What more can we say but our trip was ‘picture perfect’ we would certainly recommend Mystic India to others seeking a similar experience, and we are already planning our next trip …
Our trip planned by you, Sharon, for myself and four friends ( 2 from California and two from Germany) was a terrific trek through India, focusing on our chosen areas in the lands of the Rajas, the Moghuls, the Tigers, the temples, the markets, the Ganges and the Indian People. We travelled for 25 days mostly in the comfort of our vehicle with our safe and knowledgeable driver and his assistant, and with three flights on good domestic airlines. We always felt safe (even walking on our own), and we were well looked after by greeters upon arrival at destinations and by our many guides. We particularly liked the heritage hotels and the tented camp at Nagaur, but the modern hotels certainly gave us a high level of comfort. All gave us a breather from the wonderfully hectic nature of Indian towns and cities. Each accommodation (bar one) had a definite design or antique beauty. We certainly did not rough it (though the tents were really cold in the January nights). The organisation of the trip allowed us to enjoy the sights, sounds, colour, history, excitement, food and people of India. This was probably my 9th trip to India (the 1st for my friends), and I was sorry to depart India at the end of this fun trip. So, until next time………….
The greeters, the guides, the drivers and others were always on time and gave very good service.
The trip was a complete success. The organisation of the trip by you, Mystic India and you’re on site people allowed us to really enjoy the sights, sounds, colour, history, excitement, food and people of India.
Thank you for all you did in making Gemma and mines honeymoon the unforgettable experience that it was. We are both so grateful for all the hard word you put in and we have been singing your praises to everyone we meet. You helped us really fall in love with India and we both can’t wait to go back!!. Please pass our thanks onto you team in India who were fantastic as well. Look forward to working with you planning our next adventure.
Sikkim has always been a destination we have dreamed of visiting. When I initially spoke with Sharon at Mystic India about my plans, I felt she had a deep connection with India, understanding not only culturally, but a profound insight into its spirituality. This was what we had longed to explore. Sharon reveres the Indian culture and puts together a tour for us, which surpassed our expectations. We would unreservedly like to give our thanks and compliment her on her inspired choice of locations. I (Vas) am no stranger to Indian culture as this is part of my heritage, but I was still unprepared for the incredible experiences I enjoyed on this particular trip. Thanks to her, we had a trip of a lifetime!
In search of a holiday in India, we must have consulted more than 20 websites to discover various formulas and itineraries.
We didn’t want to be part of a group, rushed around tourist sites, eat set group meals or get up at the crack of dawn to spend most of the day travelling by coach. Instead, we wanted to take our holiday at our own pace, choose the tourist sites that interested us, and most importantly chose our own menus.
Mystic India stood out because they are a small company that specialise in India. Their tours are not set in stone, and so they were able to organise our trip to suit our personal interests. Not travelling in a group also enabled us to choose each hotel to suit our style and budget.
We chose their Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Tour (the Golden Triangle with a twist) and added on a few days in Jaipur and Udaipur in the hope of visiting a few sites in our down time that did not appear to be included. After discussing these extra visits over the phone and in emails, we discovered that Mystic India had subsequently included them in our itinerary. It was so satisfying to be able to have such a large input at the planning stage and then be able to hand over the organisation!
We opted for heritage hotels, all of which surpassed our expectations be it for rooms, service, restaurant, or location and setting.
Our driver was extremely competent and professional as were our guides and we were able to relax throughout the entire trip.
At no point during the holiday did we find ourselves out on a limb, but at the same time, we were given space to ourselves. Mystic India made our holiday unique thanks to their warm, personal approach.
Richard and I are home safe and sound, and I have to give you an A+++ for all your trip arrangements! Everything worked out so beautifully, even though I know some of our locations and logistics were not easy to arrange. Your contact people in India could not have been better……all of them….guides, drivers and meet and greet people. Your hotel choices, too, were wonderful, with the exception, of course, Mon……but even that was probably the best available and it was not their fault that the town’s electricity was out, meaning also no water.
Anyway, I couldn’t be more pleased with your services and with your associates in India. I’m sure Richard feels the same. I certainly will recommend Mystic India to any friends looking to make an independent trip to India. Thanks for everything, Sharon. It was just a really great trip and memory! You are an excellent travel agent.
Thank you, Sharon, you arranged a super trip for us, everything ran like clockwork. Bhutan is a very special country we had the most amazing time. All the hotels you suggested to us were excellent and exceeded our expectations, and your local guide was informative and a really nice person, we enjoyed travelling with him. Bhutan really is the last Shangri-La, we would recommend anyone to travel to this unique country. Will be in contact again as we now want to travel to Rajasthan and Kerala in India.
We are now back at the Colonels Retreat after having a fabulous time in Shimla, Mashobra and Chandigarh. Your choice of hotels and Dak Bangla has been just right and all the people who have been looking after us in one capacity or another have been excellent! Thank you.
We just wanted to thank you for organising such an amazing trip for us; we had a fantastic time.
The lady who met us at the airport in the early hours was invaluable; she got us through the immigration process at great speed. Unfortunately, everyone else on our flight had real problems trying to find immigration forms, etc. the immigration process seemed very badly organised and chaotic … but not for us!
We especially liked our guide in Delhi, she was incredibly knowledgeable, and she took a real interest in the things we wanted to, even took us slightly off the beaten track to try some (safe) delicious, local street food Adam had expressed an interest in sampling. She was fantastic!
Thank you, Mystic India for putting together such an excellent tour for us. We have just returned from our trip and wanted to send you a quick email to say everything went like clockwork; your local agents made sure all the arrangements you designed was implemented. Thank you for the room upgrades, you did say that you would save us money on this and were surprised that this, in fact, happened at many hotels during our tour. We will be returning to India again in the next few years as you said ‘the invisible thread’ has now wound itself around us.
Thank you, Sharon, for such a wonderful holiday, we enjoyed our tailor-made tours immensely. As you know, this was our first trip to India and particularly wanted to see the Taj Mahal, the amazing temples at Khajuraho and spiritual Varanasi. The mix of hotels you suggested was just right, and your representatives in India made sure that everything on the ground worked without any hitches. We will highly recommend you to our family and friends that have an interest in visiting India.
PS: Only one hiccup, the train was late, but then again that is out of your control. We had to wait at the station for two hours, but the people watching and chatting to some made this time fly.