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Date
Rating
Customer Review

KERALA AND THE SOUTHERN HIGHLIGHTS

Fri 02 Dec 16
Our Service
Poor
Our Tour
Poor

Service rating :

KERALA AND THE SOUTHERN HIGHLIGHTS REF UK76864
I have just returned from the above holiday and found that it was not up to your usual standard.
1 HOLIDAY STRUCTURE
This holiday was unevenly structured, being very hectic at the beginning and not enough to do at the end.
Day one was a fairly relaxed but on days two to five, we completed the programme at the earliest, 6.00pm, and sometimes later with no free time and on day two there was a 5.00am start.
In Mysore seven visits were scheduled in half a day resulting in a 7.00pm finish and some rushed visits. We should have had two nights in Mysore giving us some time to rest on arrival, some free time and had a full day visiting the sites around what seemed to be a fascinating city.
The rest of the holiday gradually ran out of steam, having had a rest day on the house boat, I do not understand why it was necessary to have one the next day at Kumarakom. That surely would have been better spent in Mysore.
2 HOTELS
The hotels though of a good standard but were in many cases, badly located.
Most important hotel from our point of view was the location of the hotel Residency in Chennai. which was located in a rundown suburb, 3 kilometres from both the beach and the city centre. We had a full day to waste as there was nowhere to go without taking your life in your hands. A location near to the beach would have been ideal to recover from the rigours of the journey. A swimming pool would also have been nice
With regard to hotels in Bangalore, Hassan and Mysore, location was not an issue as we got to these hotels between 6.00 and 7.00pm and had no free time.
The hotel in Coonoor was located in a small satellite village about 2 kilometres out with few tourist or retail facilities.
Hotels in Munnar and Thekkady did have better locations though free time in Munnar was limited by a longer than expected journey.
The location of the hotel in Kumarakom was very disappointing; the itinerary promised a picturesque backwater village to explore. The nearest village was 3 kilometres away and was far from picturesque and seemed to offer few retail opportunities.
Even the overnight mooring was remote from any village leaving us with little to do after dinner..
3 TRAVEL TIMES
Some estimated travel times were considerably understated which contributed to hectic start to the tour.
On day two, the total journey time was estimated 4.75 hours. The actual time was at least 6.5 hours. As a result, one site had to be viewed from the coach and we arrived back at 7.00pm and had to set off at 5.00 am the following day.
Other significant examples of understated journey times were:-
Mysore to Coonoor - estimated at 5 to 6 hours 8 hours 15 minutes, although an hour of this was due to currency problems at the border tax post.
Coonoor to Munnar - estimated at 9 hours actual time 11 hours. The driver did this drive under stressful conditions with less than 2 hours of rests. The end of the drive was over narrow mountain roads with the light fading.
4 RETAIL OPPORTUNITIES
There were few retail opportunities.
This was due to the hectic programme in the in the first part of the holiday, even where there were stalls etc near sites there was not time to browse.
Later in the holiday when there was free time, the hotels were not close enough to the bazaars. To be fair, two short shopping opportunities were lost to the search for banks and ATM to change obtain the new currency.
There only three retail visits, the national Silk Centre, a Spice garden and a tea plant / museum.
5 OTHER PROBLEM WITH THE INTINERARY
a In Coonoor, I question if the best use of the available time was to travel to Ooty in order to travel on a overcrowded train with limited views. We would have obtained a better perspective by visiting and walking around such sites as Sim’s Garden, Laws Falls, Lamb’s Rock and Dolphin’s Nose which are all close to Coonoor and still had time to spend some time in the Coonoor bazaars which we did not do..
b Also in Ooty, the itinerary stated that there was an optional walk to a local village above Ooty where we could gain an insight into the lives of the local people and visit a school. This did not happen as we were told that the village was a residential suburb. Nor did we see any of the Colonial past {apart from the Botanical Gardens) eg stone churches, private schools, Ooty Club or singles storey stone cottages etc as mentioned in the itinerary. The Ooty we saw was just another typical Indian town. Very disappointing.
c The itinerary stated that we would leave for the nature walk at 7.00. which I believe would have been the best time to see some animals and it would also have cooler. In the event we left at 9.30 and did a two hour walk in the heat of midday and saw very little.
d In Kochi, the Chinese fishing nets were in the itinerary. We walked to a nearby jetty to view them. I would have liked to walk right up to them as other parties did - it was also a retail opportunity missed.

CONCLUSION
I found this to be a disappointing holiday. I would recommend that
1The imbalance between days one and two is addressed
2There should be a two night stay in Mysore
3Better located hotels in Chennia and Coonoor should be used.
4The stay in Kumarakom should be omitted
5Safety considerations related to the 11 hour drive should be addressed
6More retail opportunities are required especially during free time.
7Greater adherence to the itinerary.

Product :

KERALA AND THE SOUTHERN HIGHLIGHTS REF UK76864
I have just returned from the above holiday and found that it was not up to your usual standard.
1 HOLIDAY STRUCTURE
This holiday was unevenly structured, being very hectic at the beginning and not enough to do at the end.
Day one was a fairly relaxed but on days two to five, we completed the programme at the earliest, 6.00pm, and sometimes later with no free time and on day two there was a 5.00am start.
In Mysore seven visits were scheduled in half a day resulting in a 7.00pm finish and some rushed visits. We should have had two nights in Mysore giving us some time to rest on arrival, some free time and had a full day visiting the sites around what seemed to be a fascinating city.
The rest of the holiday gradually ran out of steam, having had a rest day on the house boat, I do not understand why it was necessary to have one the next day at Kumarakom. That surely would have been better spent in Mysore.
2 HOTELS
The hotels though of a good standard but were in many cases, badly located.
Most important hotel from our point of view was the location of the hotel Residency in Chennai. which was located in a rundown suburb, 3 kilometres from both the beach and the city centre. We had a full day to waste as there was nowhere to go without taking your life in your hands. A location near to the beach would have been ideal to recover from the rigours of the journey. A swimming pool would also have been nice
With regard to hotels in Bangalore, Hassan and Mysore, location was not an issue as we got to these hotels between 6.00 and 7.00pm and had no free time.
The hotel in Coonoor was located in a small satellite village about 2 kilometres out with few tourist or retail facilities.
Hotels in Munnar and Thekkady did have better locations though free time in Munnar was limited by a longer than expected journey.
The location of the hotel in Kumarakom was very disappointing; the itinerary promised a picturesque backwater village to explore. The nearest village was 3 kilometres away and was far from picturesque and seemed to offer few retail opportunities.
Even the overnight mooring was remote from any village leaving us with little to do after dinner..
3 TRAVEL TIMES
Some estimated travel times were considerably understated which contributed to hectic start to the tour.
On day two, the total journey time was estimated 4.75 hours. The actual time was at least 6.5 hours. As a result, one site had to be viewed from the coach and we arrived back at 7.00pm and had to set off at 5.00 am the following day.
Other significant examples of understated journey times were:-
Mysore to Coonoor - estimated at 5 to 6 hours 8 hours 15 minutes, although an hour of this was due to currency problems at the border tax post.
Coonoor to Munnar - estimated at 9 hours actual time 11 hours. The driver did this drive under stressful conditions with less than 2 hours of rests. The end of the drive was over narrow mountain roads with the light fading.
4 RETAIL OPPORTUNITIES
There were few retail opportunities.
This was due to the hectic programme in the in the first part of the holiday, even where there were stalls etc near sites there was not time to browse.
Later in the holiday when there was free time, the hotels were not close enough to the bazaars. To be fair, two short shopping opportunities were lost to the search for banks and ATM to change obtain the new currency.
There only three retail visits, the national Silk Centre, a Spice garden and a tea plant / museum.
5 OTHER PROBLEM WITH THE INTINERARY
a In Coonoor, I question if the best use of the available time was to travel to Ooty in order to travel on a overcrowded train with limited views. We would have obtained a better perspective by visiting and walking around such sites as Sim’s Garden, Laws Falls, Lamb’s Rock and Dolphin’s Nose which are all close to Coonoor and still had time to spend some time in the Coonoor bazaars which we did not do..
b Also in Ooty, the itinerary stated that there was an optional walk to a local village above Ooty where we could gain an insight into the lives of the local people and visit a school. This did not happen as we were told that the village was a residential suburb. Nor did we see any of the Colonial past {apart from the Botanical Gardens) eg stone churches, private schools, Ooty Club or singles storey stone cottages etc as mentioned in the itinerary. The Ooty we saw was just another typical Indian town. Very disappointing.
c The itinerary stated that we would leave for the nature walk at 7.00. which I believe would have been the best time to see some animals and it would also have cooler. In the event we left at 9.30 and did a two hour walk in the heat of midday and saw very little.
d In Kochi, the Chinese fishing nets were in the itinerary. We walked to a nearby jetty to view them. I would have liked to walk right up to them as other parties did - it was also a retail opportunity missed.

CONCLUSION
I found this to be a disappointing holiday. I would recommend that
1The imbalance between days one and two is addressed
2There should be a two night stay in Mysore
3Better located hotels in Chennia and Coonoor should be used.
4The stay in Kumarakom should be omitted
5Safety considerations related to the 11 hour drive should be addressed
6More retail opportunities are required especially during free time.
7Greater adherence to the itinerary.

Kerala and the Southern Highlights

Sat 02 Apr 16
Our Service
Good
Our Tour
Good

Service rating :

Having all meals in a hotel setting was disappointing. Whilst we recognise that you have to cater for a variety of food likes and requirements one hotel breakfast is much like another. Lunches and dinners are all identical. Great holiday but nutritionally boring. More restaurant variety in Birmingham & Derby.

Product :

The holiday is excellent, hot then cool then hot again. Could have done with more time in hotels in evenings, so starting in mornings half an hour earlier would have been a help. The best thing seen was not part of the tour the bronzes in Cochin state museum. These could be seen by uk travellers with the Thursday free but not the later arriving Antipodeans as museum shut on Fridays. When travellers have a free first or last day it would be a help if the guide had a map of the area around the hotel to give out along with a few recommendations as to how to use the day.

Kerala and the Southern Highlights

Fri 01 Apr 16
Our Service
Good
Our Tour
Poor

Service rating :

guide , driver , good at there job

Product :

we have been on 3 other holidays with you-but this is the one that didn't come up to our expectations
first week too many temples-you get that you cannot take any more information in
we went to two parks , where we were supposed to see animals
we saw 1 deer , 1 monkey .
I do realise that animals are not performers , but those two trips were a waste of time - we had been to Kenya into parks there and saw numerous animals
this trip also consisted of 2 tea plantation visits -why?
the one with the musemn was the one to do

Our Response

Thank you for your taking the time to post your feedback following your tour to India.

We were very disappointed to hear your tour did not meet all of your expectations and regret you were not able to see more animals during your visit. this is the first time we have had this bought to our attention and would love if you are able to provide us with more feedback.

Various Plantations have procedures and facilities that differ in interest from passenger to passenger but, we understand you felt this was not a good use of your time.

We will welcome your additional comments as we rely on your feedback to continuously improve our tours and request you send them to our customer relations department on Customer@wendywutours.co.uk

We look forward to receiving your comments.

Kind regards,
Junior

Kerala and the Southern Highlights

Fri 04 Dec 15
Our Service
Good
Our Tour
Good

Service rating :

At times the tour was very frantic but overall well managed.

Product :

Too many sites in the period given I understand that the tour is shorter but the itinerary is the same...

Kerala and the Southern Highlights

Sun 15 Mar 15
Our Service
Good
Our Tour
Excellent

Service rating :

Service at most hotels was poor. They appear to be 3/4 star in appearance but food in the restaurants was often cool or cold, it was hard work to attract a waiter to get a drink, staff on check out were prepared to keep a client waiting 15 minutes to check minibar etc. This is a management problem as staff were generally willing

Product :

Thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Bus could have been better on long leg Bangalore to Cochin. Ramesh the national guide was incredible as he did all the guiding (no local guides). Why did three of our hotels not serve alcohol?Although most western tourists do not need it we are on holiday and would like to have the choice to have a drink with our evening meal. There were alternatives available in the places concerned. Notwithstanding this, still a wonderful trip.

Our Response

Thank you for providing your feedback, which is valuable for us to ensure continuous improvement of our tours. We are glad to hear you enjoyed your trip but acknowlwdge your tour had some points for improvement. Rest assured that your comments have been passed over to our office in india and our ground agents will ensure improvement.

in relation to alcohol not being available at 3 of your hotels in Munnar,cochin and Kumarkom, all of these hotels have no alcohol policies in effect. alcohol will be available in the local area outside the Hotel.

we are happy to hear your otherwise enjoyed your tour and we hope to welcome you on tour with us in the not too distant future.

Kind regards,
Junior, Wendy Wu Tours

Kerala and the Southern Highlights

Tue 10 Mar 15
Our Service
Excellent
Our Tour
Excellent

Service rating :

We were looked after well from start to finish.

Product :

Everything and more that we hoped for.
We have just booked another tour with Wendy Wu!

Our Response

Thank you for your wonderful feedback and we're thrilled that you were well looked after by our partners in India. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you on your next Wendy Wu tour!

Kind regards,
Lorraine, Wendy Wu Tours

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