Home to the Taj Mahal, Maharajah’s palaces, vibrant cities and exquisite desert retreats, India is renowned for its warm welcome and outstanding hospitality. Luxury travel in India is always an unforgettable experience, made even more exceptional by your Luxury Gold Travel Concierge.
To learn more about the highlights that await guests on our Imperial Rajasthan tour, and how your journey to India will surprise and delight, we spoke with Travel Concierge Viren.
“I’ve travelled to many countries around the world but there’s nowhere quite like India,” Viren says. Working as a Luxury Gold Travel Concierge since 2015, he’s very proud to share his beautiful country with guests. “As someone who represents India and Luxury Gold, my aim is that each and every guest has an amazing time.”
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A luxurious world of contrasts
“India is a country of contrasts that will never bore you; something is happening somewhere all the time. The cities are bursting with life and activity and aromas. The desert is an oasis of calm and tranquillity.
“Imperial Rajasthan is a tour that celebrates India’s contrasts. The beauty of travelling to India with Luxury Gold is that you can enjoy the vibrancy, but also retreat and relax in the most magnificent hotels. We see big cities, smaller towns and the desert. We meet experts and locals and, of course, enjoy the most delicious cuisine.”
Discover this on: Imperial Rajasthan
Celebrating India is all its vibrant glory, our Imperial Rajasthan luxury small group journey begins in the capital New Delhi. Over 13 days, enjoy the best of luxury travel in India. See Agra, home to the Taj Mahal and the pink city of Jaipur. The desert village of Khimsar provides a stunning oasis retreat while the grandeur of Jaisalmer’s fort never ceases to amaze. Blue hues in Jodhpur and Udaipur’s sublime lake Palaces complete your vivid, and unforgettable picture of India, each step paired with unrivalled hospitality and sensational cuisine.
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Your Travel Concierge is always by your side
“India is an amazing country – with a human touch,” says Viren. “People are welcoming here, and because it’s a country where English is not a foreign language, it is very easy to converse with locals. As your Travel Concierge, I’m always on hand to help guests understand local customs and assist with any cultural questions.
“In some smaller towns, people may have never seen somebody from the Western world. They will be keen to learn and know more about you. It’s quite endearing and special that curiosity is still there, despite the modernisation of India and the world. Don’t be surprised if you are invited to an Indian wedding if happening in the same hotel where you are staying!
“This culturally vibrant country gives immense pleasure to guests who are into cultural exploration. Having your Travel Concierge to guide you through everything enables you to embrace the full vivid picture of India, whilst having an expert local by your side taking care of every detail.”
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Tailoring your tour
“With such a wealth of cultural riches to explore, there are many opportunities on Imperial Rajasthan where you can personalise your day,” says Viren. “Created with the Luxury Gold guest in mind, we offer thoughtfully curated options to explore your destination. I spend time talking to guests to get to know them and their preferences and explain the options to find the best fit.”
“On the first day of the tour, guests can choose to take a food walk with a local expert chef,” Viren tells us “This intimate tour gives guests a chance to explore Old Delhi on the street. You stop at different points and taste the the delicacies – it’s a fascinating and personal way to discover the history, people and culture.”
Old Delhi’s tangle of ancient streets and alleyways, filled with all kinds of shops and people is a bustling sight to behold. “Some of these outlets are more than 100 years old. To have been in business for a century speaks to the quality of the food, with recipes handed down through generations. And it’s not just about tasting. The chef also how the dishes are prepared, how the spices are mixed and answers all your questions.
Guests can also choose instead to visit the 12th century Qutub Minar and see the tallest brick minaret in the world. “For those that prefer to focus on history, there is the option of visiting a monument which is 1000 years old, which is also very special.”
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A wealth of options to personalize your day
When in Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, guests can choose between meeting locals on a Murgal Heritage walk, to learn about daily life in the ancient village. Alternatively, you may prefer to visit a private colonial bungalow and join the host family for high tea. To gain a deeper connection to Jaipur you can visit the fresh flower and spice market, or the white marble Birla Mandir Hindu temple to witness a traditional prayer ceremony. And in Udaipur, choose to cruise the serene waters of Lake Pichola or explore the colourful bazaar in the old city.
India’s contrasts reflected through exceptional hotels
“All hotels on Imperial Rajasthan are both luxurious and fascinating,” says Viren of this hallmark of luxury travel in India. “Each one offers something different. Rajasthan as a state is blessed with heritage properties. Many forts and palaces have been converted to spectacular hotels. This offers not only an exceptional hospitality experience, but you get to further see the historical and cultural contrasts of India.”
India’s penchant for hospitality paired with your Travel Concierge taking care of all the details ensures a sublime, flawless experience at every destination. “I hand each guest their key on arrival and their luggage is ready waiting in their rooms.,” Viren says. “This means you have even more time to enjoy the sensational rooms and amenities.”
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Intrigue and luxury every night
“The Imperial in New Delhi, is a great example of a colonial hotel,” Viren says. “Then, when you step into the lobby of the ITC Mughal Resort and Spa in Agra, it looks like you are in a Mughal court.” Located close to the Taj Mahal and boasting beautiful gardens, the Mughal hotel perfectly recreates the splendour and majesty of the Mughal Dynasty.
In Khimsar the Welcome Hotel offers a historical sanctuary with oasis style grounds spread over eleven acres of sand dunes. While in Udaipur the Leela Palace Hotel is built in the style of a grand Maharaja’s palace, evoking the mystique of a bygone age and celebrating the best of luxury travel in India.
“Staying in a heritage hotel which is centuries old is always an exceptional experience and is a highlight of luxury trips to India” Viren tells us. “When guests know it was not built as a hotel, but as part of a nobleman’s property history, that makes it much more exclusive.”
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The Taj Mahal at sunrise
One of India’s most iconic monuments, the Taj Mahal is a must-see sight. Travel with Luxury Gold and you’ll see it in peace and calm. “Sunrise is always the best time to visit the majestic Taj Mahal and we ensure this moment for our guests,” says Viren. “The early morning has its own charm, and the crowds are sparse. The light is soft, it’s a photographer’s delight. Perfect for capturing this unforgettable monument to love.”
Explore Jaipur City Palace like a VIP
“The City Palace, now mostly a museum, was the residence of the former royal family, when Jaipur was founded,” explains Viren. “Part of the residence is a seven-storey palace, called the Moon Palace, and very few people are allowed to go inside.
Enjoy a private access tour around Jaipur City Palace including the maharajah’s personal living room, normally off limits to visitors. Savour an Indian inspired high tea on the regal terrace after viewing the spectacular handcrafted crystal table by René Lalique.
“Inside it is very beautiful with paintings dating back from the 18th century, ivory trinkets and an old elevatorlike the Maharaja’s used. From the top you get a unique view of the city. The experience of actually going to a place which is where others cannot go is the epitome of luxury travel in India and makes it very special.”
Dine amongst the dunes in Jaisalmer
Exquisite cuisine is a hallmark of all Luxury Gold tours. With many great culinary experiences to choose from, one of the most sublime on Imperial Rajasthan is dining among the dunes in Jaisalmer.
“One of the Imperial Desert cities, Jaisalmer is a very unique place,” says Viren. “It used to be part of the Silk Road. Everything in the city is yellow in colour because of the local yellow sandstone. The honey-coloured Fort has actually got 2000 people living inside.”
It is in this city that you will experience a truly unique dinner as the sun sets over the sand dunes. A sumptuous nomadic banquet is served under the desert stars as local musicians play traditional tunes into the gentle breeze of the night. “You’re sitting under the stars and it’s quiet and suddenly you hear the sounds coming from the background and there’s a musician playing here,” says Viren. “It’s an unforgettable moment.”
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No ask too great
Whilst following an expertly crafted itinerary, the tour allows plenty of time to tailor to your individual preferences. And your Travel Concierge is on hand to help with that in any way possible. “Some people choose to get up early to see sights not scheduled in the tour. I help with research, planning and arranging transport, there is nothing I do not know about the area. I also know the best spots that you may not find in a guidebook, for tailored experiences and special occasions.”
“I’m also your expert for dinner reservations and recommendations during your free time. If you like food with flavours, there’s there’s nothing better than India and the vegetarian food is wonderful.”
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Elevating the everyday
“Every step of the way we look to do that extra something,” says Viren. “I really get to know my guests be able to shape ideas and suggestions. Through my expert knowledge and passion, both for India and for our guests, I elevate the every day.”
“I like to treat guests to local rum, as India is actually one of the best sugar cane producing countries. Guests are often surprised at how good it tastes and keen to try more. It is these pockets of local knowledge that make a big difference to their experience.”
“With many repeated guests who love and trust Luxury Gold, the challenging is to make everything even better than before!”
To indulge in the delights of luxury travel in India, take a look at our exquisite collection of small group journeys.