Luxury India holidays
India is, without question, the most bonkers and most vibrant country in Asia. Everything about it is truly amazing. The sights, colours, smells, culture, people, wildlife… the list is endless. A luxury India holiday with Yonder truly is an assault on your senses of the best possible kind.
This is a country overflowing with culture, history, beautiful landscapes and senses tickling situations that will leave you feeling gloriously overwhelmed. Luxury India tours with Yonder provide a spectacular diversity that cannot easily be comprehended before you’ve visited. Some things in life have to be experienced to be believed.
If you do India properly, especially in carefully crafted, bite-sized chunks created for you in a luxury India holiday from Yonder, you’ll be left with memories sweeter than that omnipresent Indian dessert Gulab Jamun.
Chaos and confusion runs hand in hand with the sophistication of the world’s largest democracy. But don’t let this be a source of anxiety. Thanks to Yonder’s brilliant Escapologists, you’ll see the chaos on your luxury India tour but not experience it. You’ll revel in the highs and will also be pleased you’ve seen the lows. For it all comes together to form the rich tapestry that is India.
Despite what some people say… size really does matter. And India is huge. To claim to fully know it would be like claiming to remember every position in the the Karma Sutra, that well known Indian classic for contortionists. To our minds, well nigh impossible.
Therefore, we make a less audacious claim. We believe that for Yonder’s luxury India holidays we have selected the very best experiences in northern India, especially Rajasthan, and have particular inside knowledge in the little-known and rather mysterious Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
So let’s turn first to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The former seat of the British Raj in all of its elegance and finery and a perfect setting for a luxury holiday in India. Home of the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The great bastion of the Maharajas showcasing their dazzling palaces.
This is the India of your imagination made real, alive with noise, spice, heat and colour. But also blessed with profound tranquility. We have uncovered hotels so spectacular a shiver will run down your spine. From the shimmering Lake Palace in the city of love, Udaipur, where James Bond’s Octopussy was filmed, to secretive hilltop forts oozing privacy and excess. Throw in other fabulous palaces now operating as superlative hotels, luxury boutique hotels in rural retreats and exquisite tented camps deep in tiger reserves that are of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book made real … and one can’t help but wonder whether this is the most amazing place on earth.
Now let’s switch landscapes. Jump on a three-hour flight and head east across the Bay of Bengal almost to the Thai-Myanmar border to the most stunning archipelago you’ve ever seen. In fact, here you’ll find the best beaches in Asia, according to Time Magazine. This is the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Governed by India, few have heard of them. Even fewer have visited them. But for the intrepid, and for those wanting the ultimate Robinson Crusoe experience, the Andamans offer a superlative beach holiday off the beaten track.India is a constant journey of discovery.
No two visits are every the same; this is why we go time and time again. And on the road less travelled, there are jewels so brilliant that we can scarcely believe they still remain largely undiscovered. Seeing wild tigers and leopards, saying in the most ornate palaces which are largely deserted and finding beaches where you can walk for kilometres without seeing a soul. This is true Yonder country. This is true luxury travel in India. This is Yonder’s India…
From the time we first contacted them to when we arrived back from our holiday, Yonder delivered everything they promised and more. The trip was perfect and confirmed their detailed knowledge of the country and places we visited.
I have nothing but positive feedback for Yonder. Our holiday was expertly planned and exceeded our expectations. Our accommodation was first rate and our driver was not just knowledgeable but a pleasure to travel with.
We have travelled very widely all over the world, so we were perhaps a little jaded where travel was concerned. However, we are so impressed by your kindness, efficiency and attention to detail that we will recommend Yonder at every opportunity!
So many great options over Yonder!
Whether you are looking for the perfect hotel stay or to create an exciting itinerary tailored just for you, every last detail of your trip with Yonder is carefully crafted, including hand-picked hotels that we adore ourselves
Sandwiched between a turquoise lagoon and the azure ocean, The Leela Goa is a slice of paradise that very few hotels can match. Add in Leela’s trademark service, beautiful rooms and a private golf course, and you’ll quickly grasp that this is somewhere very special indeed.
Crenelated former village stronghold redesigned with a dash of contemporary style. Charming shady courtyards, superb pool area and a tented spa. Great activities. Set out by 4x4 to spot leopards, go birdwatching at nearby lakes or hack out on thoroughbred Rajasthani horses.
A dazzling reincarnation of a former Maharaja’s palace. Bespoke wallpapers, butlers pristine in white, scents of jasmine from the lush gardens, Art Deco pool, monogrammed linen, custom china… 14 suites, all unique but united by creative flair. And fabulous food to boot.
The perfect overnight bolthole when transiting through Chennai, a haven of tranquility just five minutes from the airport. Gym, pool, gardens and spa all beautifully maintained and richly decorated with marble, giving a sense of class and quality. Good food and service.
If you only do three things in India…
What visit would be complete without gawping at the Taj Mahal? It is more spectacular in real life than any photo. And catch it in the right light, usually early in the morning, and it really does glow.
Udaipur is a city that will melt your heart. Not only is it the city of love, but it is so royal that the Maharana sits above the Maharajas of other cities. And he has a palace to match his status!
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are the ultimate place to escape modern life. There is huge satisfaction in arriving at idyllic Havelock island knowing your phone won’t work and the outside world can’t hassle you.
Luxury India tours
In each of Yonder’s main destinations, we have selected a range of highlights you might like to include in your personalised Yonder trip.
Whether they are fabled regions, resorts or cities, single destinations or entire itineraries, these are the Yonder ingredients we know will help you begin to piece together the ideal trip…
Where to go in India
Periyar National Park is 118 square miles of lush evergreen forests, rolling hills, rare wildlife and quite simply some of the most beautiful landscapes imaginable. The park is a Unesco-listed protected area and one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world.
Travel in Cochin (now known as Kochi) is relaxed and cosmopolitan, yet intriguing and atmospheric. Much of its charm has been slowly built over 600 years of rich and varied history and, for us, there’s no other place quite like this great water city of India’s Malabar Coast.
Kerala is renowned for its natural beauty and relaxed way of life, and nowhere is this more evident than when stepping into a traditional houseboat and exploring its lazy, shimmering backwaters.
Vimal, our ever-smiling houseboat captain, was quick to point out wildlife as we made our way through the long palm lined canals. We saw river otters, elephants and a fantastic array of birds
Mumbai is India’s largest city, the financial engine that drives one of the world’s largest economies, the pinpoint of the country’s cricket obsession and the creative epicentre that is home to the booming Bollywood film industry.
Our charming guide Amir asked us if we wanted to see the lunch run. Off we went to Churchgate station where dabbawalas, or food delivery boys, delivered 200,000 lunches to office workers in a finely-tuned display of precision.
A far-flung Andaman and Nicobar holiday is amongst Yonder’s greatest treasures. It is as far down the road less travelled as you can get. You’ll need a three-hour flight and then a two-hour boat ride to reach your Andaman island hotels beside a pristine Robinson Crusoe beach. But, boy, is it worth it.
- Visit the fascinating Cellular Jail in Port Blair.
- Walk the full length of the compacted white sand on Beach No 7.
- Forget the outside world. Being disconnected is such a rare treat. Embrace it.
Step into Ranthambore national park on a safari holiday with Yonder and you will think you’ve stepped into Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. It’s that magical. In fact, Ranthambore national park has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.
- Tiger, tiger tiger. Fingers crossed you’ll have luck on your side.
- Try to make time to get to the Women’s Cooperative.. It’s a great local cause and the handicrafts are genuinely beautiful.
- Take a moment just to absorb the sheer beauty of the park.
Enthralling and historical, Jaipur, the Pink City, occupies a special position in popular folklore. As the capital of flamboyant Rajasthan, it conjures up images of Maharaja’s palaces, hilltop forts and a noble people. And it does not disappoint.
- Amble round the City Palace and finish up with a pose in front of the Hawa Mahal.
- See the Palace of Mirrors, in the Amber Fort. It’s finely decorated with thousands of mosaic mirrors..
- Go to Jantar Mantar to set your watch by one of the world’s largest sundial (its 27 metres tall!).
Jodhpur, capital of the the kingdom of Marwar, encapsulates everything that is so brilliant about Rajasthan. Its has the beautifully preserved Mehrangarh Fort built in 1460, a magnificent sight and an architectural triumph.
- Explore the old city on foot. It’s compact, the people are friendly and you don’t need a guide.
- If you get peckish, head to the samosa shop, just outside the main city gate.
- Really absorb the brilliant museum and rooms at Mehrangarh Fort. You won’t be disappointed.
Udaipur: the City of Love. In the minds of many, it is the most beautiful destination in Rajasthan if not in the whole of India. The city’s amazing palaces, temples, havelis and narrow, colourful streets are set beside Lake Pichola, a heart-achingly romantic, with the wooded Aravalli Hills on all sides.
- Get out onto Lake Pichola at sunset. The view from the water is spine-tingling.
- Take time just to wander through the old streets and absorb the mesmerising sounds and smells.
- Look out over the city through the spectacularly framed colour stained glass windows from the top of the City Palace.
The Taj Mahal dominates everything that is said about a holiday in Agra. As one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World, its reputation speaks for itself. But whilst the Taj Mahal is unquestionably magnificent, the greater Agra area is also home to two other gems: The Agra Fort and the ancient ruins of the sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri.
- Leap out of bed at sunrise to see the Taj Mahal glowing.
- Find the hanging window in Agra Fort for the perfect view of the Taj Mahal and the Yamuna river.
- At Fatehpur Sikri sit in Diwan-i-Khas, the Emperor’s private audience hall, and imagine the scene 500 years ago.
If India had to be symbolised by just one place, it would have to be the capital city of Delhi, City of Djinns, and 25 million people. Magical, mysterious, mayhemic, it is the embodiment of everything that is amazing about India. And Yonder is your ideal guide to the best hotels in Delhi.
- Take a deep breath and dive into Chandni Chowk one of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi.
- Cram in an actioned packed day of Delhi’s must-see sights.
- Take a train from one of Delhi’s main stations to see Rajasthan unfolding from the window of a railway carriage.
Goa is incredible India in miniature. You'll find kaleidoscopic culture, architecture and food combining to produce a rich, sensual experience. Add to this a sensational string of stunning beaches, and you have a perfectly formed paradise for pleasure seeking Yonderers.
- Meander through the maze of amazing alleyways in old Goa’s Latin Quarter
- Sample the rich Goan classic of Crab Xec Xec cooked up with tamarind and fresh grated coconut
After a sensational tour of northern India, we luxuriated by a deserted beach for a few days to catch up on some R&R. Malik, our ever attentive butler, plied us with a little known Indian Rosé as we lazed by our private pool.
Chennai can easily be one of those place you just glimpse between flights on your Indian holiday adventure. But you will be rewarded if you take it in and experience the modern metropolis that was the first British settlement in India in 1640.
- Make time for the Government Museum. It is impressive from the outside and from the inside.
- Navigate through the traffic to Mylapore, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Chennai, to see Kapaleeshwarar Temple.
- Fort St George, built in 1644, was first British fortress in India.
The tiny rural village of Ajabgarh is approximately 100kms to the north-east of Jaipur nestled in the Aravelli Hills. It's so small it's almost not on the map. You’ll find little information about it trawling through Google. So isn’t it all the more intriguing that one of the finest luxury hotels in India have chosen it for their base?
- Discover your inner yogi with an early morning session at the atmospheric Bhangarh fort.
- This is a rural Rajasthani village in which time has stood still so go out and explore.
- Go on an early evening walk past the temple and listen to the tiny bells being rung in the shrines.
Nagur is a town of two halves: the old and the new. The new part is teeming with life but doesn’t offer too much to the traveller thirsting for cultural adventure. It is the old part, the 12th Century Ahhichatragarh Fort, that gets the heart pumping and sets your mind imagining the extraordinary people and scenes that have gone before you.
- Marvel at the frescoes on the walls and ceilings of the old palace.
- Discover the secret irrigation system that kept the fountains flowing and brought in drinking.
- See how the ancient emperors enjoyed a life of luxury with hot water.
The beautiful 15th Century village of Narlai is a long way down the road less travelled, situated almost equidistant from Jodhpur and Udaipur. It's not the kind of place that the mainstream visit; it's for those inquisitive – and discerning – travelers who really want to understand a country and get under its skin.
- Wander around the village to see the thousands of Hindu and Jain shrines first-hand.
- Set your alarm clock for 6am, grab a cup of coffee, and march up to the top of Elephant Rock for a spectacular sunrise.
- Take a jeep (with a driver of course) from the hotel and have a sumptuous tea by the lake watching the hundreds of birds come and go.
Tailor-made India holidays designed just for you!
Here at Yonder we have devised some exciting itineraries that will illustrate just what amazing journeys you could enjoy through Yonder’s exciting far-away destinations.
Of course every one of Yonder’s clients is a unique individual and we only create personalised itineraries that reflect those personal desires and wishes. So your Yonder journey will be as individual as you are. But to help you envisage just what amazing adventures might be possible, we have devised sample itineraries that we are confident will inspire you. You only have to pick up the phone to explore how any one of these ideas might be adapted to create your own perfect journey Yonder.