5 reasons NOT to book tours with the Akbran Company:
1. The owner of the company Sumit U has the worse customer service. ie. when our concerns were voiced, he laughed and belittled them. In addition when we asked about whether or not he planned to reimburse us for the accommodations that were promised, yet not delivered upon, he said no and we didnt hear from him for the rest of the trip.
2. The hotels he books with are NOT 5 star. Let's be clear, I didn't have unreasonable expectations, but cleanliness was one of them. Both of the hotels we stayed in had mold and mildew throughout the rooms and even in the rooms they switched us too. When asked about a different hotel or any compensation we were told no.
3. The website says all meals included and also says breakfast and lunch per itinerary. I assumed it would be breakfast and lunch only which would be fine. However, breakfast was not included the first day and lunch was not included the last day. When asked why, he states it wasn't a part of the itinerary although that is not documented anywhere.
4. I am aware in my travels that you are usually taken to shops where the tour guides/host get commission but they were not upfront about it when asked and would not provide alternative shops when asked.
5. The actual tours and tour guides were good. Yay, positive review.
6. I don't like to complain and I don't usually write reviews but I felt this was necessary.
TOUR OPERATOR COMMENT: Thank you for your feedback. We're sorry to hear of the discomfort you experienced while on tour. Please allow me to explain a few key details from our point of view as well.
When we arrived in Agra, we took care to double-check with you to ensure everything was to your liking at that time. All appeared to be well until the next morning at breakfast when you submitted a complaint about a scent in your room. I immediately called the duty manager of the hotel and asked him to address this issue. We both checked the room but did not locate the scent you were referring to. Nevertheless, we changed the hotel for you and you seemed satisfied at that time.
During the third day when we were scheduled to reach Jaipur, I rode ahead to double-check the hotel in advance before your arrival to make sure everything would be okay after the previous issue. I also arranged a complimentary musical dinner at "Virasat Restaurant" as an upgrade to our typical dinner option to ensure you would feel more comfortable. Yet once again at midnight, we again received a complaint about your room - this time regarding a small black spot under the not-slip mat in the bathroom. I again brought this up with hotel staff and asked them to address this issue for our guests. They upgraded the room to business class and also offered you a complimentary dinner.
On the fourth day at breakfast, you requested compensation for the entire cost of the hotel stay due to having to change rooms in the middle of the night. Regrettably, this was not a request we were able to accommodate as the late change to a different room was processed as soon as we received the request, which was submitted at midnight by yourselves.
I was quite surprised by the admission of your discomfort as I stayed in the same hotel and did not find any issues myself. I asked that you take into consideration that the staff had upgraded your room and provided a complimentary dinner to act as compensation for the discomfort you experienced. This did not seem to please you and you continued to request compensation for the entire cost of the hotel stay.
Culturally, we strive to treat every guest like royalty. I have been operating this tour for the last 7 years and it disappoints me greatly that we were unable to come to a resolution regarding this customer service issue, especially when I took the time to ride ahead of the group just to ensure everything would be taken care of prior to your arrival.
Please do check the star-ratings for Hotel Ramada in Agra and Hotel Radisson Blue in Jaipur as they have the best ratings in service quality for the area, which is why we selected them for our guests.
Please also understand that breakfast is not provided on the first day due to the 9AM pick-up time as many guests prefer to eat before departure. Additionally, on the last day breakfast is also not provided as the pick-up is scheduled for after breakfast for a shorter 4-hour ride and drop-off back in Delhi. Hence why only lunch is included in that leg of the journey. Both of these items are mentioned in the itinerary on our brochure page.
During the tour, our chauffeur only provided one non-itinerary stop for your comfort and advised you that you were able to freely explore the area at your leisure.
We are glad you appreciated my guides and again please accept our apologies for the discomfort you experienced in regard to the hotel. We can assure you that we will continue deliver the best of our services to future travelers.
I want to thank AKBRAN TOUR team for your excellent work organizing my trip. You delivered on all of your promises. Good well-located hotels, super private tours, skilled and friendly drivers for private transfer, good food and more exceeded my high expectations. Everyone you hired for me were punctual, professional, enthusiastic and friendly. This personal touch, in particular the drivers and guides made my trip authentic, stress free, inspiring, fun and memorable. Thanks a lot!
There is no such thing as a perfect tour. You are most likely visiting a new country and you are bound to experience something that makes you uncomfortable. What you need is a tour agency that is willing to respond promptly and respectfully. I got that experience with this travel agency. The owners communicate with you throughout the entire trip and ensure everything is running smoothly. If you don't like something, they go above and beyond to fix it. The car service was excellent--airconditioned, new car. The tour guide i met were knowledgable and professional. My Agra tour guide was my favorite. He is such a good guy and i left feeling i made a new friend. The hotel rooms were good and the sites were photogenic. If you want a safe, fun, and memorable experience in India, i recommend this package and service!
What an excellent tour! Sumit was incredibly helpful in organizing everything and really went out of his way to make sure everything went well. The guides were great and our driver was excellent. If you're looking for a great time in India, definitely book with Sumit.