Karma Holiday in India
We recently returned from a 4 week holiday staying at Karma Royal Resorts in Jaipur, Goa and Kerala. The 4 weeks turned out to be one of the most interesting and relaxing holidays we have ever had. It completely changed our perception of India and we are now planning to return, to experience more of this wonderful country. We just loved it all!
Our trip started in Jaipur and after a very long flight, it was so great to see our name card held up on arrival at Jaipur airport. When we checked into the very authentic Karma Haveli, located in the heart of the Old City, or Pink City, we felt as if we were checking into the “Marigold Hotel”. The rooms were so comfortable, and the staff wonderful, especially DeshRaj, the Restaurant Manager, who seemed to know exactly what we would enjoy from the extensive menu and was so attentive and ready to please. Thank you DeshRaj for making our stay so special! Chef was so good too, and always popped his head into the restaurant to check if we were enjoying our meal. Fantastic curries, and always just to our taste!
Whilst we had planned to stay a week, in hindsight we should have stayed longer as Jaipur is the perfect base to explore Rajasthan. The people were so kind and helpful, and we loved the cows in the streets and the quaint shops. We also appreciated the work that is in progress restoring the lovely ancient buildings in the Old City, and one special delight was the Laksa shop in M1 Road near the Pink City Gates. Fabulous, and we enjoyed many of these!
Our days were spent exploring the Pink City, the Amber Fort, the palace of Jal Mahal set in the middle of Lake Man Sagar and the City Palace, along with the Astronomic Observatory with its huge instruments, which is mind blowing, due to its complexity, and dating back to AD1500. We enjoyed several day trips, to Abhaneri Temple, then on to Agra and the incredible Taj Mahal. The Monkey Temple was amazing, the King’s family Tombs and the favourite Queen’s Gardens and Conservatory and the Forts were some of the amazing sights. There is so much more, and we will have to return to see more of Rajasthan!!!
Due to flight delays we were 6 hours late arriving into Goa, (11 pm) unable to contact the Hotel regarding our delay, and concerned about being met at the airport by our driver. Much to our relief, he (arranged by Karma Royal Palms) was there to meet us. Arriving at Karma Royal Palms close to midnight we were greeted by the Executive Assistant Manager Miguel, and his staff, Judas, Medhaui and Alex, who had waited for us to arrive. This was so greatly appreciated, and Miguel gave us a choice of the two best apartments.
Next day the staff helped us settle in and gave us details on the property and town. Cheryl, Judas and Betty were so helpful. We found the local beach within walking distance and local traders friendly.
Josephine, and her Housekeeping staff impressed us with their creativity in arrangement of the fresh bath towels left each day on our bed; when returning to our room each day, we would rush to see their next creation...swans, rabbits, candles, hearts and more! Well done ladies, little touches make a big difference, and the toilet roll with paper rose arrangement was very special!
We had decided to spend our second week at Karma Royal Monterio in North Goa and we incorporated our car transfer into a day trip, visiting the Cathedral of Francis Xavier, ancient buildings at Panjim, Port of Vasco, old Portuguese houses and the spice farm at Ponda in the mountains…very picturesque!
Goa is an interesting area to visit with considerable difference between the south and north, which we enjoyed immensely. Visiting the northern beaches, we also walked to the old ruins of the Portuguese Chapora Fort on the high headland with beautiful ocean and beach views for kilometres.
During our stay at Karma Royal Monterio, Baga Beach, the staff learnt that it was my birthday and to my surprise they presented me with a personalised birthday cake. This was one of the special touches that Karma staff do to make holidays memorable.
We spent a wonderful relaxing week at Karma Chakra at Kumarakom, on the Lake. The staff were fabulous. Front Office Receptionist “Jolly Joy” could not do enough to help us enjoy our stay, organising and explaining the various activities. We travelled on the Karma Houseboat along the edge of the lake taking in the wonderful scenery and buildings. Perhaps the highlight of our tours was the day trip into the mountains to Munnar, visiting hillsides of terraced tea plantations, coupled with a visit to a Tea Museum where we learnt the history of the industry. Magnificent views of mountains, waterfalls, and wildlife sanctuaries!
Our highlight of this tour was seeing a family of wild elephants, a male and his 4 females along with 3 babies; it was so amazing seeing them so relaxed and grazing peacefully with us only 150 metres away.
All of this makes Karma Chakra a wonderful resort to visit…a great location, a variety of activities and such lovely staff. We cannot wait to return to India, as this trip has left us wanting to see so much more of this interesting country.