We've teamed up with an India-based specialist, Oriental Routes. Not only do they have in-depth local knowledge and safe, dependable cars and drivers, we've found them extremely reliable (always turning up on time), and unfailingly polite and helpful. In our whistle-stop tour of Rajasthan, they kept things stress-free, and suggested some fantastic sights en route that we might have otherwise missed.
Whether you're after a heady but swift sample of Rajasthani delights or a 3-week exploration of the historic cities, let Oriental Routes help to tailor-make a trip of a lifetime. They will suggest itineraries, book accommodation and arrange all internal transfers. You just need to book your international flights - and decide where you want to go! And en route, remember that this is a trip purely for you. We found the local representative in one city rather pushy - don’t feel you have to say yes to any suggestions they make. Take your time and read up on things before committing to them; the whole point is that it's your dream holiday.
Why we chose this partner
- They're well established, with well over a decade of experience and 70 staff, which includes a good mix of foreign and local management. Their head office is in New Delhi, so they know about all the new openings and best things to do in and around Rajasthan
- They employ their own guides and personally train them, then monitor their ongoing performance through customer feedback. During our trip, we found the local guides excellent: informative and friendly
- Clean cars and friendly, careful drivers make for a very pleasant journey, no matter how rough the terrain
- Drivers and guides shoo away hawkers; you’ll be extremely grateful at times
- Being looked after. India is a fabulous place, but it’s overwhelming at times. Having someone to metaphorically hold your hand will give you confidence
- They take their social responsibilities very seriously
Please be aware
- i-escape can only vouch for those properties which are featured and reviewed on our website. For other areas and accommodations, while we do trust our operator to provide the best options for your needs, you should make sure that you are happy with their suggestions before confirming
Best time to go
Our top tips
The accommodation options in Northern India are just incredible: royal Rajastani palaces, sandstone havelis, luxury desert tents and jungle lodges. We've reviewed the best of these in extensive detail, so read our reviews and tell Oriental Routes which ones you'd like to stay at during your trip. Alternatively, ask for their other options; they'll have something to suit every budget and preference. Our reviews also cover each hotel's food. We still have fond memories of fiery curries with fresh coriander, tiny pakoras with tamarind sauce and pomegranate seeds, and sugar-loaded gulab jamun. Many hotels offer a Western menu too, but we went Indian all the way.
Things we loved...
- Cooking classes
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
- Well being
Travelling with children in India is a unique experience. The dramatic forts and fairytale palaces will capture their imagination; the city cows, hectic bazaars and desert camels will delight them. Most hotels welcome families and can provide extra beds or family rooms, as well as Western or mildly-spiced Indian food
Family friendly accommodation:
Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms
Babysitting: Babysitting available by arrangement
Oriental Routes can organise whatever you want. If you want to be met from your international flight and have a private driver for your whole holiday, you've got it. If you're covering a lot of ground, you can spend several hours in the car so it pays dividends to have a friendly and informative driver - not to mention a comfortable car for those pot-holed roads. If you want to mix things up and take a train or an internal flight, the company can book those for you, and arrange transfers to and from the station/airport.
To fly to Rajasthan, please see our detailed Getting There section shown in our full on-line destination guide for Rajasthan.
A driver will meet you at the airport and take to your first hotel. He will be your main point of contact for the rest of your trip. You will also have direct access to the local tour operator office, which can deal with any further requirements you may have.
More on getting to Rajasthan and getting around