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What’s Hot in IndiaAugust 3, 2012 By: Meagan Drillinger Travel Agent
|Amber Fort, one of the major tourist attractions of Jaipur, Rajasthan, is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture.|
Want to know what’s selling big in India these days? Travel Agent has the scoop on what has grabbed the interest of travelers who are headed to the destination.
Still one of the most popular ways to tour India is by rail. In India, rail travel is an experience unto itself, taking travelers back to a glamorous age of exploration. The Maharajas’ Express is India’s first cross-country luxury train, and still it’s most popular. Its Pan-India routes include Princely India, an eight-day journey hitting Mumbai, Vadodara, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra and Delhi; Royal India, an eight-day trip with stops in Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Vadodara and Mumbai; Classical India, a seven-day excursion visiting Delhi, Agra, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Bandhavgarh, Varanasi, Lucknow and Delhi; and Royal Sojourn, an eight-day trip that visits Delhi, Jaipur, Kota, Ranthambore, Agra and Delhi.
The Maharajas’ Express is operated by Royale Indian Rail Tours Ltd. Agents can direct their questions to Sharon Adam ([email protected], 212-292-5712), Royale’s director of sales and marketing, the Americas.
Another top way to see India is as part of one of the many group tours that visit the subcontinent.
Pacific Delight Tours is expanding its reach into India for the 2012-2013 season. Earlier this year the company unveiled two new escorted journeys: the Inspirational India and the India Cultural & Safari Experience. The company has also enhanced its Dreams of the Taj-India Experience.
The three tours highlight 10-, 13- and 15-day itineraries, each beginning in Delhi and including visits to Raj Ghat and Jama Masjid. Other highlights include a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk. Inspirational India is a 13-day tour with visits to the River Ganges, Varanasi, Sarnath and more. The India Cultural & Safari Experience is a 15-day adventure that brings travelers to Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan. It begins with a visit to Amber Fort, followed by an excursion to Jantar Mantar. Next is a morning drive to Ranthambore to experience the first game drive through the national park.
Greaves Tours has curated a new escorted tour for families. The 14-day Family India tour combines visits to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Shimla in the Himalayas with accommodations at Oberoi Hotels & Resorts properties. Highlights include seeing the changing of the guard ceremony in New Delhi; visiting a bear rescue sanctuary; camel and elephant rides; and village festivals in Rajasthan, Agra (Taj Mahal) and more.
Earlier this year, SITA World Tours launched a new tour product line, Affordable India, designed to bring budget-oriented travelers to India. There has been a growing demand for mid-market options across the country and SITA responded with a new set of itineraries. The list of accommodations includes hotels such as Radisson, Crowne Plaza and Le Meridien. There are eight different itineraries, including an 11-day Temples & Palaces of Northern India; a 16-day Land of Maharajah; a nine-day South India Sojourn, with a four-day extension to Karnataka; a 12-day Glimpses of India tour; a six-day Golden Triangle journey; and a nine-day Essence of India.
Where to Stay
India’s hotel room numbers are skyrocketing lately, with hotels opening almost every week. Once mostly a luxury hotel market, the destination is growing its four-star and mid-level hotel population.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts is making a major push in India. Earlier this year the company opened a new regional office in Gurgaon to support the rapid growth that it has in store for the destination. Starwood plans to open almost 20 more hotels in the country by 2015. This year it will continue its growth momentum from luxury to mid-market tiers with the opening of ITC Grand Chola, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chennai; Westin Chennai Velachery; ITC Rajputana, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Jaipur; and two Aloft hotels. The W brand will make its debut in India in 2015 with the unveiling of the W Mumbai and the W Retreat & Spa Goa, followed by the W Noida-Delhi NCR in 2016. St. Regis is also ready for its entry into India with the opening of The St. Regis Noida, Delhi NCR in 2016.
|Park Hyatt Hyderabad apartment bedrooms are furnished with a king bed and complement views of the surrounding residential area.|
Park Hyatt has recently unveiled its first city property in India. The Park Hyatt Hyderabad has 185 guest rooms and 24 suites, along with 42 fully serviced luxury apartments at The Residence. All the restaurants at the hotel are designed with interactive show kitchens, as well. The spa includes a Swedish sauna, steam room, beauty salon and fitness center. Reach out to Director of Sales and Marketing Sharon Fernandes ([email protected], 011-91-40-2354-2391) with any questions.
Jet Airways, India’s largest international airline, operates a fleet of 102 aircrafts including 12 Airbus A330s. It services 76 destinations, including those all across India. Gateway cities in the U.S. include both John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.