My daughter and I decided to research an in country travel agency rather than book through a UK company - when we approached a few, IRIS (Arun Dev) was easily the most proactive and understood very quickly the sort of holiday we wanted to book in Kerala and the budget. We had a well priced and interesting itinerary (which took on board we are completely opposed to elephant rides) within a very short time and we didn’t hang around to book.
Everything went smoothly, the airport pick up, meeting our driver for the week, Mr Binu, getting us to our first hotel in Ft Kochi (Xandari Harbour, lovely) and then for the rest of the week, up until making sure we got a train to Goa a week later. Highlights? Fort Kochi and the Xandari boat on the Aleppey Backwaters, and learning you can have a good holiday without a sundowner. (Limited availability of alcohol in Kerala was a surprise). Some communication issues, and we weren’t always clear about what we were doing on a given day, the content of our morning tour of Ft Kochi was all a bit of a mystery, as was the stop at a tea plantation on the way to Thekkady.
And it would be helpful if the drivers know bathroom stops that the delicate western tourist can cope with. And it would be really helpful if IRIS gave some guidance to tipping as that was a bit of a mystery too. Kerala with IRIS was an Overwhelmingly positive experience, Arun always available on WhatsApp if we had a query, the hotels and the houseboat we stayed on were really lovely with very good service everywhere we stayed.
Mr Binu always on time and made sure we kept to timescales. So much to look back on with pleasure - we are very happy we found IRIS to make it happen. Highly recommended. Thank you.