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We recently returned from a three-country group tour (India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives), for which we were the organizers and leaders. We used three different travel planners from the WOW List, one for each country.
Our trip to India was a great success. All of our group participants were extremely pleased with our experiences, hotels, meals and especially our guide Vikram. In fact, we were accompanied by both a guide, and by Digi, the country manager, possibly because of our group size (six couples). The two guides received rave reviews from our group members.
Victoria was extremely helpful and patient, as Covid interrupted our plans so much that two years passed from first contact to the actual trip. During that time our group size fluctuated, necessitating numerous reviews and re-jiggering.
We especially enjoyed the vintage-car experience, which was arranged as a surprise for our group in Jaipur. Our tiger safari in Ranthambhore National Park was a highlight. The other tour highlight was a block-printing experience in a village near Jaipur.
Based on our experience, I would certainly recommend Victoria and her company.
My trip with Victoria was superb. As you may recall, she created a flawless itinerary for my first trip to India several years ago. This time, it was a solo trip focused on Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Jaipur.
Haridwar was the most “off the grid” I had been thus far. It is one of the most sacred cities in Hinduism and lacks the foreign tourism one finds in Varanasi. I was one of only two international travelers I saw during my time there. My hotel, Haveli Hari Ganga, was located within the bazaar and had its own private bathing ghat. I swam in the Ganga and was able to participate with only two other guests (from Delhi) in a private Aarti ceremony. And I had my own Havan pooja the next morning with the pandit. Extraordinary.
In Rishikesh I had asked to stay within the town, as I wanted to experience the spiritual scene in town amidst the hippie seekers and the yogis. Victoria got me a balcony over the Ganga. It was exactly what I wanted. My guide in Rishikesh, Divya, was superb. She and I spent three days together, exploring everything on my list and adding to it. We had the best place to sit at each Aarti ceremony, we met with the head pandit at every mandir, I had the best guide and a private boat when I went river rafting–and swimming in the Ganga, again.
Post Rishikesh I went to Jaipur and stayed at the Samode Haveli. My first time in Jaipur I had stayed at the Rambagh Palace. My thinking is: Go big or go Samode. That is, stay at the Rambagh because there is NOTHING like it, or stay at the Samode because it is charming and heritage and much, much cheaper than the other palace hotels.
Victoria thought I could benefit from the expertise and guidance of India Beat’s Jaipur manager, Diggi, in the bazaars. She was right. There is no way that I could have seen the things I saw in the bazaars, eaten the street food, or bought the treasures I did without Diggi’s help. He took me everywhere and introduced me to everyone. We spent an entire day, at my request, choosing fabric and having dresses made, shopping, praying, speaking in Hindi, and eating lots of samosas, sweets, and faloodeh. Victoria also arranged lunch at the new Villa Palladio (I LOVE exploring hotels) outside of town. I was met by Barbara, the Italian owner, and toured the property with its manager. Gorgeous. As was lunch on the verandah overlooking the gardens.
And, just like that, two weeks had flown by and I was headed home. I recommend Victoria to your travelers without reservation and with great enthusiasm and I urge them to trust her judgment and instincts. She delivers way more than she promises.
We spent 10 days in India with the trip planned by Victoria and her team to celebrate Sandy’s 70th birthday. We greatly appreciated her professional manner, her timely responses to our questions and her suggestions for various routes. It was a wonderful trip. This was our second trip in a year to India, albeit a different route this time. We had a cuple of changes in our schedule, such as driving to Rathambore National Park, instead of taking the train (was a great drive!) and some of the things we saw. Flexibility was key and all changes were handled efficiently.
We were met on 2/25 by Vikram and Mr. “Ragu” our guide and driver for the duration. Both turned out to be excellent with respect to their roles. Vikram was a great conversationalist and guide with regard to what we were seeing. He made every attempt to meet our requests and was flexible with our schedule when the need arose. We appreciated his handling tips, logistics and getting things done expeditiously that we are sure we could not have done without him.
OUr driver was the BEST. We always felt safe and his driving was excellent. Driving in India is no small feat!
Highlights of our trip included driving rural backroads, going to small cafes and restaurants off the beaten path, a morning trip to the milk market, flower market and vegetable market in Jaipur, watching the sunset over the Taj Mahal and a FABULOUS 70th birthday picnic on a small lake near Udaipur. What a treat! With Vikram things ran very smoothly and seamlessly.
Bertie and Victoria did an excellent job in making our trip to India very special. It was my first trip and my husband wanted it to be very, very nice – he has been to India quite a few times. They exceeded both of our expectations, in the selection of hotels, itinerary (Delhi, Agra for the Taj Mahal, and Jaipur for shopping), and the choice of our guide and driver. Our guide, Virendra Singh Naila was amazing. There was not a question he could not answer about the site we were visiting or the history of India. He made India so exciting that I am eager to go again! Our driver Lakschman was incredible. I cant believe any tourist would ever choose to drive in India. He performed miracles.
Bertie and Victoria chose top of the range hotels (at our request) but my guess is they do an equally great job with moderately priced hotels. We felt pampered the entire trip. We will definitely use their services again for our next trip to India.
We recently experienced our second extraordinary India trip designed and implemented by Victoria and Diggi. Our itinerary included Anopura, Jaipur, Nagaur, Jodhpur, Devigarh, Lakhsman Sagar, Udaipur and Mumbai, an incredible city and huge contrast to Rajasthan.
Our trip last year really informed our likes and dislikes. During our planning conversations, Victoria made note of our preferences and designed a trip that delivered to a tee. This included small, character hotels like Anopura(our favorite), Ranvas, Abode, 47 Jobner Bagh and Dev Shree. We asked for authentic experiences and more interaction with locals and that’s exactly what we got. We loved the early morning walk in Jaipur with our guide Harsh, visiting the wholesale flower and vegetable markets and back lanes to see metal artists at work. It took us away from the crowded tourist areas and showed us a side of Jaipur that people rarely see. Our visits to small villages like Delwara and Anopura were lovely, where we met many locals, got insight into village life and were invited into a home for tea and a lesson in making chapatis; totally spontaneous and a lasting memory. Other highlights included a scenic train ride with locals between two villages near Devigarh, exploring the fort at Ranvas, antiquing in Jodhpur and experiencing Diwali in Jaipur.
We were blessed to have great guides in Harsh (Jaipur), Trib (Jodhpur) who sourced some special treats just for George and Asha in Mumbai, who took us on an amazing heritage walk.
The best of all was that Victoria was able to assign us Laxman, the same driver we had last year, with nerves of steel, a great sense of humor and wonderful temperament. We forged a bond with him previously that was only strengthened this year during our 3 weeks together. He took our trip to a higher lever because we trusted him implicitly and had a comfort level with him that we would not have experienced with someone else. He also gifted us with our best experience of the entire trip; a rare invitation to visit his village and have lunch with his family and take a camel-cart ride to his farm. It was beyond amazing and we were very humbled by their warmth and many kindnesses.
We had one small glitch during the trip with a hotel that was undergoing renovations and was not ready to accept guests. Diggi, Victoria’s manager on the ground, was in constant contact with us to update us on the availability of the property and resolved the issue impeccably. We couldn’t have asked for more.
We can’t thank Victoria and Diggi enough for planning and executing an even better trip for us the second time around. It was the perfect balance of city/country and activity/leisure and interesting experiences. We thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it and have even more memories that will tug at us to visit India again.
Victoria did a wonderful job for us. The scheduling of the trip was flawless, even putting an “easy day” at a remote resort right in the middle when we needed a break. Flight changes were seamless. We stayed at the best hotels-this was a bucket list trip for us. Had wonderful spa experiences-India spas are not to be missed. Our guide was experienced, friendly and accommodating. India is shopping heaven and he obliged accordingly. And we learned a lot-about colonialism, religion, history and how they shaped the India of today. We had a wonderful time, ate the best food and enjoyed the cultural experience. Victoria totally got what we wanted and delivered. Thank you to Victoria and Virendra.
My daughter (25yrs old) and I recently went to India using Victoria. We wanted a trip centered around cultural experiences rather than a trip featuring historical features and architecture. Victoria gave us that exact experience. The guide, VJ, accompanied us throughout the 10 days; and prior another 10 days just accompanying my daughter. Here’s some of the highlights: walking with elephants; block printing a scarf of our own; visiting the bazaars including the spice, flower and vegetable markets. We saw Muslim, Hindu and Sikh temples. We experienced lavish hotels which had been former palaces. More importantly, our guide shared his own family background which gave us insight on the typical Indian way of life. “Arranged marriage” didn’t seem as antiquated as one would think in a modern world full of dating apps. We felt entirely safe during our trip although we had reservations beforehand. Every aspect of our trip was arranged from the air travel, to the private excursions and the transportation in such crazy cities….Nothing could surpass this trip. Victoria listened and delivered. It was sad to say goodbye to our guide. We felt like he had become part of our family….
I highly recommend Victoria and Bertie for your travels to India. Victoria was very responsive during the planning stages. We talked a lot about what I wanted. Once we arrived in India the real magic began. We were two couples in our 60s traveling together and from the moment we met our guide, Vikram, our every need and desire was taken care of. He had so many great ideas and made changes to our itinerary when it made sense. He was also so informative. Not only could he give you a lot of information; but, he also could answer any question you threw at him. He took such good care of us that we felt totally spoiled. None of us had a single negative experience on this trip. Do not hesitate to engage Victoria and Bertie for your travel to India!
We have recently returned from an outstanding two week holiday in Northern India. Our custom itinerary was crafted by Victoria Dyer and included Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur and Udaipur. Victoria was invaluable in planning our trip sharing her first hand personal knowledge of properties and logistics. It was the ultimate in customization and she was always available and responsive to changes, ideas, suggestions even when we requested a last minute change to our planned itinerary. Communication was precise and prompt.
We had a guide and driver who travelled with us the entire journey which further allowed us to make changes to our daily plans depending on the day. Vikram, our guide, eagerly shared his extensive knowledge of Indian history and was an invaluable and enjoyable travel companion. Vikram made every transition and every day seamless and effortless. We look forward to welcoming him at our home when he visits the US.
At the end of our trip, my partner was sick requiring us to return home before our scheduled departure. Victoria’s team on the ground in India (thank you Diggi!) was indispensable and facilitated the necessary changes to our travel plans. In addition they continued to follow up with us every step of our journey home.
When and if we return to India, Victoria will be my first call.
Having Victoria interview us first and then lay out and staff our itinerary was critical to making our trip 100% enjoyable and stress-free. That’s very re-assuring in a country as complex and exotic as India. The guide and drivers were flawless and fun. And when our travelling companions ran into a self-created inconvenience, the guide from Victoria’s team and their local manager took complete ownership of the issue and related stress, and settled it quickly and to the delight of all concerned. Well done all around!!!
From start to finish we absolutely LOVED OUR TRIP! Victoria’s planning and pacing, very hard to do, was excellent! Just as important, our driver, Laksxman, was amazing! The driving in India is crazy! We’ve been to Cairo, Athens, Rome, Moscow, Buenos Aires, Beijing et al and nothing compares to the craziness and often times extremely scary, driving in India! Laksxman is a consummate professional, an absolute pleasure and has nerves of steel! We wouldn’t want to play against him in a game of poker! Lol! We’re saving the best for last because what often can make or break a trip is the guide. Verendra is truly in a class by himself! He was absolutely amazing and by far THE BEST GUIDE we’ve ever had and we’ve been to all 7 continents, traveled extensively, always with guides. Verendra with his beautiful storytelling, sense of timing, ability to convey things in a clear and simple language, not overwhelming us with too much information, allowing time to breathe with ample and necessary moments of silence, etc. etc. significantly enhanced our trip and made it come to life! Our AMAZING India Journey is something we will always treasure and will be etched in our minds forever!
My husband and I just returned from 3 amazing weeks in India and it truly was a trip of a lifetime! We thoroughly enjoyed working with Victoria over many weeks, both by phone and email, to make our plans and itinerary. One portion of the trip was business, so it required more travel, to Bangalore, and that was also a unique and rich experience. We had a wonderful, knowledgeable and “fashionable” guide, Vikram, who along with Diggi, in their Jaipur office, and Victoria, were able to make some quick changes in our itinerary due to some unexpected health issues. They were outstanding in offering new suggestions and made those changes seamlessly and with almost no penalty! How awesome was that? We were beyond grateful. And then to experience the “gift” of 3 days at Amanbagh! Something we will never forget! Thank you all for making our first trip to India a trip of a lifetime.
Our planning trip to India began with Victoria Dyer – quite simply THE. BEST. TRIP. OF. OUR. LIVES. !! Victoria’s recommendations, without fail, were spot on. There is not a single thing that we would have changed. Victoria consistently responded promptly to my many questions, as I had very limited knowledge of India going into the trip. I’m not even sure that she sleeps at all, because I think she is always on the computer or phone!
The process for planning a trip with Bertie and Victoria is flawlessly smooth and spelled out extremely clear so that there is no room for misunderstandings or error. I can’t imagine making this trip with any other company. The connections and relationships that Victoria and Bertie maintain concerning some of the sites we visited were of the highest order. The people that ran the sites that we visited ( sites that were in addition to “must see” public sites, such as Taj Mahal) were people that cared about India, the land, the environment, the animals, the quality of food grown, etc. The people and the sites themselves were of the highest order. If on another type of tour, one would never be able to have a glimpse into the interesting, intelligent, and caring people that we met. The relationships that they have with like-minded people, such as themselves, are complete game changers for a trip such as this. Although I have not met Bertie and Victoria, in person, I believe the way they run their business, and the people they hold relationships with, are all of the same mindset. Integrity, ethics, and high quality are understood.
The moment we stepped off the plane, our guide Vikram, and our driver, Jeetu, were waiting for us, with the most welcoming smiles and words. Upon meeting them for just that brief moment, we knew it would be a fabulous experience. Hands down, I cannot imagine there is a better guide than Vikram. Our trip was monumentally enhanced by his unlimited wealth of knowledge, friendliness, kindness, professionalism. He is extremely superior in his position. Unmatched. Vikram actually has an undergraduate degree in history, and his enthusiasm for the subject is apparent. We wanted to soak up every bit of the wonderful commentary he had and were amazed at his knowledge. We consider him a dear friend and were so very sorry to say goodbye.
We decided that Jeetu, our driver has spent time as a special agent in a past life. Navigating the traffic in India is not for the faint of heart, and Jeetu flawlessly kept helm at the wheel, with the professionalism of James Bond. (although not the speeds of James Bond!) We felt so secure that he was in charge of the driving, and could just sit back, relax and enjoy the sites. Jeetu has a kind, lovely way about him, and his smile is a lovely memory we hold close, also. Jeetu and Vikram make a perfect team. Promptness and punctuality every time. No matter how often we tried to beat Vikram meeting us in the lobby, he was always waiting. It was as if he was a magic leprechaun that just appeared every time!
The selections made by them were beyond perfection. We couldn’t believe each day could be as wonderful as the prior day, but every single day – top notch. We would not have changed a thing – only that we had more time. The palatial, indescribably beautiful accommodations and service were like none we have ever experienced, although it wasn’t only the beautiful places. The kindness of everyone we met, the foods, the glorious colors, the harmonious, non-frantic way of life… It was a life-changing trip, and we are grateful that we had the opportunity to see a little of this on a personal level through them. I think the measure of a great trip is when one returns home, but in their mind, they are still in the place they have come from. I can’t seem to leave India and the wonderful experiences made there.
My husband and I recently planned a trip through Victoria and Bertie Dyer for three weeks to Delhi, Varanasi, Agra, Ranthambore, Anopura, Jaipur, Udaipur and Mumbai. It was a lot of territory to cover and included flights and overland travel. Absolutely everything went off without a hitch!
Our guides, Pulkit, Jay and Umar were all very kind, well informed, punctual and took great care of us. Laxman, our driver, was beyond amazing. We always felt safe and appreciated his dry sense of humor and ready smile. He kept everything running smoothly and any changes we requested were never a bother.
All Victoria’s hard work in organizing our trip really paid off. We couldn’t have been happier with all the things we saw and did, and the logistics pulled together by everyone on their team to make our holiday an experience of a lifetime.
We hope to go back to India again and will be sure to call Victoria to work her magic a second time!
My wife & I used Victoria & Bertie Dyer to help us plan an amazing 4 week trip to India in Feb. 2017. They worked closely with us to design an itinerary that helped us fall in love with India and included many very personalized experiences. After arriving in Delhi, we began our journey in Varanasi… the holiest city in India where we stayed in an old palace on the edge of the river that has recently been converted to a boutique hotel. It was just steps from some of the most famous ghats where Hindu families come to cremate their loved ones and bathe in the river which they believe cleanses their spirit…. so It was packed with Indian as well as international tourists. We experienced some amazing boat trips up & down the river both at sunrise & sunset. People sometimes say its an assault on your senses… but we loved Varanasi & found it rich with life and color, albeit very different than ours, and extremely stimulating. Maybe we’ve watched too many documentaries about India! Our trip also included a trip to see the iconic and very romantic Taj Mahal and ten days touring Rajasthan. Although some people may think it a rather touristy thing to do, in Jaipur we took an elephant ride up to a palace & fort built by one of the maharajahs in the 1700s, and in the evening had the good fortune to be invited by our guide T.J. (Tejvir Rathore … who was fantastic!) to day five of his cousins traditional Rajasthani wedding, when the groom arrives on a white stallion). This ended up one of the highlights of our trip…. an opportunity to meet & mix with our guides family & that of the grooms, where we witnessed the local culture and traditions being played out. We felt very lucky & privileged and were photographed almost as much as the bride.
Another highlight was a side trip north of Jodhpur where we were introduced to our desert guide for the day… an extremely well-educated man… Gemar Singh… who took us by jeep to his family’s farming hamlet (near Hacra) where his wife made us a fabulous lunch, and he told us stories…. about his family, the local culture, and the politics of the region. Our day ended with a camel ride through the desert to watch the sunset from the top of one of the dunes. We highly recommend this experience!
The final leg of our journey took us south to Kerala which is much more tropical, and a holiday destination for many Indian as well as international tourists. We stayed at the Brunton Boatyard in Kochi.. literally a boatyard that has been converted into a small hotel and then moved to a backwater houseboat where we are explored some of the rivers, canals, and lakes that crisscross this part of the country. Kochi was a famous marine hub for the spice route, and its where Christopher Columbus was headed but he got lost, so Vasco de Gama and the Portuguese settled here in the early 1500s, as did the Dutch, and later the Brits. While the backwater trip wasn’t our favorite part of the trip… we ended up not getting into the remote areas we had hoped for, and one night ended up docked very close to the main highway… it did offer some insight into the rural life in that region.
Overall, it was an amazing trip, packed with special moments. We highly recommend our guide, and the Bertie and Victoria Dyer. Both contributed to making our first trip to India so great that we can’t wait to go back!
We absolutely loved our guide, Virendra and our driver, Laxman! They were wonderful, professional, kind, and fun. We had a fantastic time with them. Virendra is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge that he kindly shared throughout the trip. He easily tailored his tours around our interests and was a fantastic guide. Both of their contributions turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. We loved our history lessons. We equally loved Virendra’s selections of all our restaurants and meals based on the typical regional foods. We wanted to experience India through its foods and Virendra made that possible. We also loved his side comments, such as, “His hair is orange because of the henna he uses to dye it.” Laxman washed our car 3 times a day, kept the water and snacks refilled, always had a smile on his face when he greeted us, guarded our bags while we toured, and his cars wifi proved very useful. Our time with them flew by and we were sorry to say goodbye!
Our block printing excursion was one of the highlights of our entire trip! We learned about the village as well as the process of making block print textiles. We were invited into their homes and were able to understand how generations of block printers lived and passed on their craft from one generation to the other. It was fun making our own scarves to have as keepsakes to remember this awesome experience! Diggi explained how it took a tremendous amount of effort to make this type of workshop possible.
Samode Haveli was just perfect! Its character and charm, as well as the staff’s hospitality, made our stay there an absolute joy. They made us feel like royalty. The rooms were lovely. We enjoyed having drinks in the courtyard in the evening while the musicians played their instruments. The breakfast rooms were stunning! Thank you for recommending such a wonderful hotel!
Jaipur turned out to be way too expensive for me but in a good way! I ended up buying a large hand-made rug and 3 bed covers, along with a silk scarf. My daughter bought a beautiful garnet ring. We loved seeing how the rugs were made and going to the textile stores as well as to the spice and vegetable markets. The observatory was incredible. It is mind boggling to realize the level of expertise these people had so many centuries ago. The mirrored decorations in Amer were incredible. I can just imagine how that room must have shone at night with the candles lit all around. I could have easily spent one more day in Jaipur, and one less in Agra.
Victoria rocked it. This was, without exaggeration, the best trip ever. Full stop.
In the planning stage, she responded promptly to my many emails. As I do plenty of my own research I had many ideas/questions/requests for reservations that she gladly accommodated. I never had to wait for a response from her, which I appreciated.
She assigned one of her top guides to us, Vikram. From start to end Vikram was superb and stylistically well suited to my husband and me.
At each hotel, we received either the best room in category (best views, quietest, biggest rooms) or an upgrade. Our balcony room at Amarvilas was dead center with the best view of the Taj, our room at Raas had an unobstructed view of Mehrangarh Fort. At Udaivilas and Rambagh Palace we were upgraded. Clearly Bertie and Victoria have a deep and good relationship with these properties.
When our guide had a family emergency halfway through our trip, they seamlessly replaced him with an equally delightful guide.
I continued my trip in Mumbai without the benefit of their guidance. While I booked and got nice rooms at the Taj, the level of guiding that I hired on a daily basis couldn’t hold a candle to Victoria’s team.
Great experience. Can’t wait to go back!
Thanks to Wendy!! She provides an invaluable service to the traveling community.
This was my 5th trip to India and I am thrilled to have found Bertie and Victoria! Victoria and her office manager, Diggi, were amazing to work with!!! Fabulous advice and organization!
Victoria organized a full-day shopping tour with Diggi. He made the day much more organized, fun, and efficient than if we had just had a driver on our own.
I will be using them again!!! Highly recommend!
I worked with Victoria for our weekend stay in Mumbai. My husband and I traveled to India for work (he was a speaker at a conference, and then had several business meetings) and much of our stay was taken up with that. But we had the weekend free in Mumbai, and I wanted to make the most of our time there. Victoria understood this, and she suggested several options, and then worked to put together an extremely interesting schedule for us. She secured a beautiful harbor view room at the historic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, arranged for a fabulous pre-dawn market tour, and booked a private speedboat for our trip to Elephanta Island. Our guides were knowledgeable, easy to understand and extremely pleasant. We were able to pack a lot into a very short amount of time, thanks to their expertise. On Monday while my husband was working, I had a private city tour with a driver and our guide, Pan. It was really wonderful — I felt like I was sight-seeing with a favorite aunt, who chatted with me and taught me about Mumbai without ever feeling like I was getting a “lecture”. Learning about the Dabbawala lunch delivery system and watching it in process was extremely interesting, and especially when Pan explained that she has sent lunch to her husband this way for over 30 years!
This is our second trip to India with Victoria and Bertie Dyer and we plan to use them again on our return to visit Southern India.
The trip was beyond extraordinary. The guide (Harsh) was beyond amazing and became a trusted and loyal friend during our 21-day adventure. The hotels were perfect (Oberoi, Raas, Imperial) and the planning fast-paced but exactly the way we like it. As we had done this trip before, perhaps the comments of the two friends that went with us would be more useful…”Once in a lifetime trip…am I in heaven?…is all of this for real?”
Everything from the arrival to the final days in the Thar desert was magical. Thank you Victoria and Bertie…you two do deserve to be on the WOW list, because you made all of us say WOW, WOW, WOW!
I would only travel to India through Bertie and Victoria. We had a charmed two-week family trip with a perfect itinerary customized to our needs. To see the Taj Mahal has been a dream of ours, and it is beyond amazing. It brought tears to our eyes to see it. We went to Varanasi, saw tigers in Ranthambore, loved Jaipur, Udaipur, Delhi, Agra. Constant eye candy. Our hotels, daily itineraries, transfers were amazing. Our guide, Vikram, was the ultimate tour guide, and our driver was always there to pick us up the second we left a site. They were with us throughout the two weeks, and they were outstanding. They made the trip.
I highly recommend going to India with Bertie and Victoria. It is an unforgettable trip of a lifetime. It is the way to see India.
The prospect of sorting through the chaos of options for exploring India was overwhelming. Victoria and Bertie were recommended through Wendy Perrin and made excellent suggestions with a range of options. I wanted heritage or boutique mid-range hotels options, all of which were excellent. Travelling as a solo woman in Mumbai and Rajasthan meant I was an oddity. The various guides and drivers made me feel safe while exploring back streets or tourist spots. They always checked that the itinerary was tuned to my wishes each day. The Mumbai by Dawn and Dharavi Slum tours they arranged with No Footprints were the best tours I’ve ever experienced. The cooking class organized at Diggi Palace in Jaipur with the Diggi family was stellar. Meeting the family and being invited to watch their daughters’ classic dance performance was a highlight of my India trip. My Jaipur Guide, Harsh, even arranged for his family Astrologist to do a reading based on my kids birthdays. My favorite hotel was 47 Jobner Baugh in Jaipur, which I would never have found on my own. Shiva and his family offer a very classy boutique experience and John looks after guests making everyone feel special. There were delicious vegetarian meals too. I did not miss being a carnivore on this trip.
Thank you for making this trip extraordinary.
We had a wonderful experience in India. We felt like we saw and experienced so much. Our guide Vikram was excellent: He was knowledgeable, entertaining, accommodating and by the end of the trip, he felt like family. I would use Victoria and Bertie again just to have the opportunity to have Vikram as a guide. Our driver was an expert and we were continually amazed at his skill in avoiding incident!
We enjoyed seeing the lunchbox men and festival preparations in Mumbai. We loved our tuk tuk ride and seeing Mehrangarh Fort in Jodphur. One of the trip highlights was getting to witness a ring ceremony at our hotel there. In Jaipur, we enjoyed Jantar Mantar and thought Amber Fort was among the more beautiful things we saw. In general, we tend to prefer doing rather than seeing so particularly enjoyed the elephant ride, having our horoscopes read and cooking at Diggi Palace. Vikram arranged a special brother-sister ceremony for our children on the festival day which was very memorable. We had an interesting experience buying jewelry in Jaipur. I got a special ring to celebrate an upcoming birthday and we were pleased to learn on our return it appraised for 20% more than we paid for it! We appreciate Victoria taking us to a reputable and reliable dealer. In Agra, Vikram advised us to arrive at the Taj Mahal early, and we were the only ones inside the mausoleum. Truly extraordinary!
Hotel highlights were the Umaid Bhagwan Palace and Amanbagh. The service at both locations was just phenomenal! We had wonderful dining throughout our trip and a fabulous last night meal at Indian Accent.
Our driver, Laxman, was with us for most of the driving portion our trip and was excellent. He advised us early on that to drive in India, you need a “good horn”, “good brakes” and “good luck”! He wasn’t kidding but we felt quite safe with his driving skills and judgment. And, if you have been driven in India, you can understand that feeling secure is paramount.
For us, this trip was all about seeing the magnificent tiger, major cultural sites, cuisine, and shopping…all of which were accomplished!
Bertie and Victoria have assembled quite a travel team and Victoria personally put together our itinerary. We really liked our guides in each of the locations but felt that Vikram, in Jaipur, was a particular standout as he seemed to know nearly everything about the best places to shop, when to negotiate and when not to…and…everyone knows him! All of our guides were very well spoken, flexible with special requests for schedule changes and the need for extra time in certain locations. They were well versed in the history and quite sensitive to our needs. It was very hot so we decided to abandon a few activities to relax by our private pool at a couple of our hotels!
All of their restaurant recommendations were fantastic when we decided to venture out from the Oberoi Resorts…which wasn’t too often because the luxury and service is so extraordinary at those properties. We can’t wait to go back…
Delhi, Agra, Kanha, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Udaipur cruise
My name is Kathy Gordon and I traveled to India with my husband in Feb 2017. We used the services of Victoria and Bertie Dyer to assist us with travel to Kerala (Munnar, Kovalam, and overnighted in a houseboat) and Rajasthan (Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Mihir Gargh). We had used a different company to assist us the last time we traveled to India and felt there were a few things that could be improved upon, which is why used Victoria and Bertie for this trip. We will definitely be using them again!
With regard to our trip itinerary, there were several places we knew we wanted to visit and then we relied on Victoria to assist with suggestions for the remainder. A truly successful trip is dependent upon good communication between the parties. I needed to be able to communicate my wishes and vision for the type of trip we were looking to have, while Victoria needed to be able to hear me and understand what type of experience we wanted. I felt she really listened and did a wonderful job understanding the type of trip we were looking to experience, along with the type of accommodations we liked. We liked a couple of her suggested destinations so much that we want to return to them for a longer stay next time!
What is really apparent in working with Victoria and her team is how much they care and want to provide the best experience possible and so they worked tirelessly to accomplish this. Additionally, the guides and drivers in India were fantastic (and that is no small feat considering the chaotic driving in the country!).
I highly recommend using Bertie and Victoria to assist in all aspects of your trip to India!
Trip to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi, and Amanbagh
Outstanding trip – guide and driver were amazing, suggested spontaneous stops that made the trip even better. Logistics were perfect. Cannot recommend them highly enough!
Victoria and Bertie were outstanding. We’ve used many different travel agents and guides over the years, and they were one of the best we’ve met. Customized tour, flexibility, responsiveness, great guide and driver, … all were excellent.
Victoria’s insight regarding how to plan our time was invaluable. The guides she selected were
personable and informative and helped to add something special to each city we visited. Our drivers were exceptional. Victoria was responsive to our needs each step of the way and was able to pivot during our trip to accommodate changes to our travel itinerary. We felt safe, protected and taken care of each step of the way.
Bertie and Victoria Dyer and their team did a lovely job on our trip to Varanasi, from airport pick-up/drop-off, to the hotel booking, and the guide. They were also very patient when we were trying to make some decisions. Varanasi is a “sensory overload” and our hotel, Brigham Palace, was an oasis of calm (and cleanliness!). The hotel restaurant is vegetarian, and non-alcohol, and the food and service were very good.
Our guide was terrific. He gave us a great history of the city, took us along the ghats by foot and by boat, and also brought us into the alleyways behind the buildings. He struck exactly the right balance, making sure we were comfortable but also encouraging us to explore and engage. Im not sure Im using the right words here, but I received a blessing from one of the Brahmin priests on one ghat. Our guide picked the priest out for us, and asked me in advance if I wanted to do this. It was an amazing and authentic experience.
It really makes a difference to have a guide, not just because he or she will give you the real history of the place, but because you are confronted with a sea of humanity everywhere you go, and dodging the cows, motorbikes, cars and pedestrians is much easier when you have a guide. We also went to Sarnath, the archaeological museum that displays some of the findings from the Saranth sites, and some of the neighboring temples (many of these date from recent past and there are quite a few Buddhist temples too).
Bertie and the entire team were exceptional. The London-based team (Bertie mostly) was very good at coming up with an itinerary for us, and working with us being very busy and slow to respond at times. Our overall itinerary was perfect, and we loved the boutique hotels they recommended.
In India, we were thrilled with our guide Harsh and driver, who we were with in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, and with Harsh in Mumbai. It made traveling so much easier and not intimidating, and Harsh was very knowledgeable, professional, and had a nice balance of showing us around and giving us private time to explore. When we said goodbye to Harsh in Kerala, our morning guide was OK but we did feel rushed through the morning tour as he had another tour to give in the afternoon. It was also more difficult with drivers without a guide, as the drivers didn’t speak English hardly at all. But our hotels managed to communicate with them so we were fine. The team responded to our emails on our trip and arranged for staff to meet us back in Delhi and escort us to our hotel for the night before our flight home. All around an excellent experience.
I have been nonstop recommending Bertie and Victoria Dyer since I got back to America. They have converted me to never traveling without help again. Knowing what I know now, I would never travel in India without a travel specialist, even if I were traveling with friends from India. I feel like I’ve wasted so much of my previous travel budget by not knowing how to most valuable spend my time. I cannot thank them enough for this trip and all the efforts that were put in to make it a success.
My husband and I traveled to Rajasthan, India in December 2016 with our two sons ( 22 and 23). Victoria Dyer put together an amazing itinerary which covered Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Udaipur and Ranthambhore National Park. Her hotel recommendations were spot-on, our local guides were extremely knowledgeable and fun to be with, and our driver ( who was with us the entire trip) was amazing. The trip went so smoothly as a result of her planning. Our guides had itineraries for us each day but we had the flexibility to make changes as needed or wanted. Victoria had built in time for us to relax between cities in 2 beautiful tented camps so that we did not feel overwhelmed by each city. We also had time built in to shop which I highly recommend; there are so many beautiful things to bring home from this area, you definitely want to build time into your trip for shopping.
I highly recommend Victoria and would not hesitate to use her again.
Bertie, Victoria and their team made sure our trip was memorable and hassle free for us on our first trip to India in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Our guide, Vikram was very knowledgeable and made sure we did what we wanted to do. The two drivers we had, first in Delhi and Lakshmi for the remainder of the trip were always on time and hard working. I had by accident left my headphones in the hotel room in Delhi and someone from the team retrieved them and made sure they were returned to me. The demonetization crisis could have been a big problem but our guide made sure we had change and what to do with the old currency we had. They had notified our hotels of our wedding anniversary and we had several cakes baked for us and beautiful flower arrangements. I cant think of any better way to celebrate our 40th anniversary and it is all thanks to Bertie, Victoria and their team.
Victoria and her team were excellent to work with. She made our trip effortless. All through our trip reservations, excursions, and sites went without a hitch. A total 5 star trip.
The only thing I would have to say (and its partly our fault) is that with the plane reservations we were not given the option to upgrade to a better class seat.
I would also like to mention that we had gotten some picture taken by a photographer in Agra while at the Taj Mahal. Upon getting home we checked the disc and they were of another family. Victoria helped us recover the correct disc of our Taj Mahal pictures. She has gone above and beyond.
I would surely use Victoria’s services again.
From the moment Victoria Dyer first communicated with us, she provided extraordinary personal service and wonderful recommendations. We even spoke on the phone twice. She tailored the trip to our specific interests and requests and was just amazing. At every step of the way, her team was in place and provided impeccable service. We had a very knowledgeable, personable guide with us throughout the tour, and he went way beyond the call of duty, helping with shopping and all kinds of details. The hotels Victoria suggested were amazing, as were all the stops on our trip. We felt totally taken care of and attended to from day one. I cannot recommend Victoria and Bertie more highly.
Our trip to northern India, including the cities of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur (October 12-25, 2016) wildly exceeded our expectations, largely in part to the travel planner, Bertie and Victoria Dyer. Their guides and driver (who was with us for the full 2 weeks) were always professional, punctual, interesting and pleasant to be with. As 2 women traveling together, we always felt safe and well looked after. Time allotted at temples and monuments balanced wonderfully with our desire to enjoy the gorgeous hotels, great restaurants and amazing shopping suggested by Victoria and Bertie. We would have absolutely no hesitation recommending them to anyone interesting in traveling through India and would book with them again in a heartbeat.
Victoria and Bertie were fantastic! We are a family of 4 with two teen girls that traveled 2 weeks in Rajasthan, started with some ideas of things we wanted to be sure to see and they provided a lot more ideas, creating a custom itinerary for us, hand offs were seamless, we had exceptional guides (one a curator for the museum we toured, for example) and they were great about adjusting on the fly to accommodate a request for a yoga class and a cooking demonstration among other things… We had a safe vehicle and driver which we were grateful for given the nature of the roads in India! Great service and an amazing vacation!
A year ago we did a 3 week trip of a lifetime to India. I used your list of recommended travel specialists for different countries and regions and decided to go with India Beat. I cannot tell you what a fantastic trip we had, planned by Victoria Dyer and her team. Everything from the outstanding guides in each area, to our lovely driver with very comfortable vehicle, the hotels (Taj all the way) and a special trip to a bird sanctuary with tented (luxurious) lodgings. It was all nothing less than perfect. Victoria was fabulous to deal with — she really got a feel for what we wanted and tailored a perfect itinerary for us. AND she really negotiated an amazing rate with the Taj hotel chain. So — we owe Wendy a huge thanks for that — I never would have found India Beat were it not for Wendy!
We did the Golden Triangle, Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, in India arranged by India Beat. We generally travel on our own, but felt we needed some help for this trip. India Beat arranged a dedicated driver for the whole week, plus guides in each location. All staff were pleasant, professional and punctual. They worked with us on hotels and when it was worth an upgrade or not. They also recommended restaurants which we used and had a great experience at each, no Delhi belly on this trip! We were able to see a lot yet have time at the end of the day to relax a bit before dinner. I would not hesitate to recommend this travel planner!
India Beat was great to work with while planning our trip, and I definitely recommend their level of service on the ground in India. We had all of our hotels, guides and drivers booked through them, and their main office in Jaipur was in contact with us at several points during the trip. It was SO nice having our own guide and driver – I wouldn’t do India any other way. It’s one place I would pay the extra money and make sure you have a team behind you, ready to reschedule or reroute you if necessary. Drivers were very good, and the guides were knowledgeable and great about adapting to what we wanted each day. All in all a great experience!
India Beat organized a great tour of Rajasthan. Having excellent drivers in India is critical, and our driver was safe, reliable and personable. All the guides were good and a couple were excellent. The hotels were fabulous, truly the best we have ever stayed at. Communication with the local team was frequent and follow-up was very good. We had a stress free trip and everything was on time and well organized.
My wife and I found India Beat provided flawless, personal service,
assuring that our trip would be a memorable experience. From pre-trip discussions of our preferences, to the selection of places to visit, hotels, drivers, guides, and in-country transfers, India Beat anticipated our every need.
Our trip may have been somewhat unusual since we included a safari and a couple of days of pure relaxation in Goa in addition to the Golden Triangle, but no matter, at each juncture India Beat’s recommended places and activities were of the highest quality.
My friend let me plan our entire trip to India. And planning our trip with India Beat made me look like a total genius!! We felt totally taken care of from start to finish. The hotels were incredible. Everyone seemed to know our names, whether we were at a hotel for 1 night or 3 nights. The guides were great and would easily change our plans based on our interests and wants as we went along. The drivers were great too, as long as you get used to the horn honking and crazy driving rules, or lack there of. We started in Delhi, then visited Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur. Victoria helped us come up with those cities based on our timeline and what we thought we wanted to see. Sometimes my brain hurt from learning so much history (which we enjoyed) so the guides would take us to do something different or fun to give my mind a break. Victoria listened well to our desires and cautions. I was opposed to contributing to the tourist elephant rides, and they did a great job of taking that out of the itinerary and being sensitive to our opinions on it. When she emailed me the final itinerary, we still changed and tweaked a few minor things, and they were happy to do it. I didn’t feel like we got a white washed tourist version of India, which is what I imagine a big bus tour would be. One of our favorite things was a private cooking class in an Indian home in Udaipur. We were always given enough downtime at the marvelous hotels to rest, relax and enjoy their grounds. I would recommend India Beat for friends and family for sure.
I was nervous about booking a trip to India, since it was a country I didn’t know a whole lot about. I was also nervous about booking a trip with a company that was not based in the USA, since that is where I live. Victoria was nice enough to speak with me over the phone a couple of times so that we could brainstorm aloud and I could ask as many stupid and crazy questions as I wanted. Those calls made me feel much more at ease. I always felt that I had a number to call in each city in India if something were to go wrong. I liked that there were so many people looking after us. Having a city manager that met us upon arrival in each town, was great too. It made us feel like the guide and driver had a boss to answer to in each town. It was a great trip thanks to India Beat.
What an a great trip we recently had in India, all arranged by Victoria of India Beats. The hotel selections were spot on, the guides provided just the right information we wanted, the driver was amazing , something truly needed in the chaotic streets of every stop we made on our trip (he made us feel like family). Victoria was extremely responsive to my e-mails and our discussions on the phone were very helpful. She cared about everything that we wanted to see, do and experience. Her people on the ground were caring, professional and truly enthusiastic. The entire 17 days went without an hitch. I highly recommend India Beat and will go back to Victoria for the next visit.
Victoria Dyer of India Beat was an excellent tour planner and organizer for our private, 3 week tour of northern India. The planning process was smooth and efficient and our input was included and appreciated. Her hotel and touring recommendations were excellent. All of her people along the way from our personal driver throughout the trip to the various tour guides in each city were all first class. They stayed in touch with us throughout our stay and whenever an issue was encountered they dealt with it immediately and satisfactorily. We recommend India Beat without any reservation! We’d definitely use them again!
India Beat did an excellent job. We thought they were very helpful and thorough and made our trip a huge success. Victoria and her team were wonderful.
I stayed in Jaipur in March. If you are rather shy and not a “natural” traveler and explorer, but you know you’re missing out, then India Beat is for you! Victoria Dyer’s sensitive and sensible advice and planning, and the continuous support of her lovely staff will ensure you are able to get the utmost from your holiday. If you love traditional crafts like me you will be in paradise! Victoria helped me acquire a gorgeous Aquamarine ring in Jaipur and by the end of my holiday I was bargaining with the best of them for beautiful bedspreads and homeware in the bazaar.
My wife and I have traveled to the Indian Subcontinent with India Beat three times in recent years and have always been delighted with the experience. Bertie and Victoria Dyer and their team of dedicated locals provide a service that is second to none. They use their extensive knowledge of India and network of contacts to create an experience that is tailored to individual preferences and budget, whether it be bird-watching, visiting ancient sights, shopping, sampling the local cuisine or collecting craftwork. Hotels chosen have been exemplary and their drivers reassuringly reliable, safe, friendly and knowledgeable. We will use India Beat for our next trip.
I have traveled to India with India Beat a number of times and I am looking forward to my next trip. Victoria and Bertie Dyer run a tremendous organization. Their itinerary planning is thoughtful and thorough and I am always extremely well looked after when I am there. Victoria understands the hotels that suit me and what I am most interested in when I travel-food! My drivers have always been excellent, and the guides charming and interesting. I now feel I know Jaipur well and am looking forward to exploring South India with their guidance.
My mother and I have both experienced fabulous trips to India thanks to Vicky and Bertie! As well as the sights and shops of the city we rode elephants in the surrounding countryside and visited a local village where we saw the school, hospital, community projects and sipped chai tea with the locals. We also took some side trips including Aurangabad to visit the mind-blowing Ellora Caves, and (probably the highlight for me) to Ranthambore National Park where we came face to face with a tiger!
One day in India in 2007, when I hadn’t been there long and wasn’t yet quite sure how to take this fascinating, vibrant, chaotic and sometimes rather crazy place, I met Victoria and Bertie. They took me under their wing and showed me the country they love, and that was when my Indian Adventure really began. I had such a brilliant time, I couldn’t help going back again and again! Through them I have had so many amazing experiences over the last few years, I couldn’t even begin to list them. This lovely, friendly and kind couple know India better than anyone, and know how to tailor-make every trip so that it is perfect—whoever you are and whatever you need. Above all, they really genuinely care—which is more important than anything else. Don’t even think about going to India without talking to India Beat first!