Monday, December 24, 2012

Looking to start the New Year on the right foot? Here are the trips to get you motivated.

Of all the storied holiday-season traditions, the New Year’s resolution has long been a laughingstock, ranking somewhere between the office Secret Santa and the barking-dogs version of “Jingle Bells.”
If you’ve been down that resolution path (and who hasn’t?), you know the drill. You begin with an earnest proclamation of intent while standing by the chip bowl at a New Year’s Eve party—“I’ll lose 20 pounds! I’ll run a marathon! I’ll never order fried cheese again!” But once you get back to your usual life’s routine, those ambitions fizzle like day-old champagne. No surprise: a University of Washington study found that almost half of us have ditched our resolutions before March.
To keep a resolution from becoming more than a joke, some say you need to start with a plan of action—and what better plan of action than to plan a trip? When you take your resolution on a vacation, you can immerse yourself in your new mind-set, whether your goal is to eat better, quit smoking, or overcome a fear.
If nothing else, the memories of a great trip will periodically remind you that there’s more to life than fried cheese. —Katrina Brown Hunt

Friday, December 14, 2012

One of our satisfied travelers.

Dear Sirs,
After returning back home we would like to express our sincere thanks for all efforts and services of Mercury Travel during our stay in India from November 16th to 30th 2012.
Usually, people complain in writing and but don’t spend time for making compliments for good work. But we would like to comment preferably on the various good experiences we made during this time in India.
Our comments in detail:
1.        Bangalore: excellent guide with very good knowledge and very good guiding strategy; excellent hotel (Taj) with nice room and excellent service
2.        Hassan: nice hotel (Hoysala Village Resort) with very good food for lunch and dinner
3.        Belur Halebid: knowledgeable friendly guide
4.        Mysore: hotel Quorum is not recommendable –at least for European guests; no green around at all; full AC in dark rooms; windows cannot be opened; cramped corridors and rooms; unpleasant restaurant; totally misleading photos in the internet but friendly general manager who was helpful by finding and booking other place; we have changed to Royal Orchid Metropole hotel where the rooms are nice and spacious, pretty garden and stunning court for dinner and breakfast; excellent food and service
5.        Very helpful and knowledgeable guide in Mysore
6.        Ooty: Hotel Taj Savoy very nice and charming with excellent food and service; guide OK; visit of botanic garden is not recommendable as almost 100% non-Indian, mostly European plants are exhibited which are found in our own garden at home
7.        For the car ride from Ooty to Cochin more than 6 hours should be calculated, 7 to 8 hours appears more correct; brake for lunch should be scheduled
8.        Cochin: Taj Malabar best hotel and service during our tour; extremely nice and knowledgeable guide with good feeling of guest’s interests; we were very pleased by meeting Mr. K.Pavanan, assistant manager of Mercury Travels at the hotel
9.        Aleppey – houseboat: not very good; poor accommodation and limited service; low standard food; 1 night at the boat is more than sufficient.
10.        After 4 to 5 hours of boat trip we decided to proceed to Kovalam hotel Surya Samudra and asked Mr. Pavanan by telephone for his help. Within less than 15 minutes he arranged for everything, i.e. driver and hotel booking. Please transfer our sincere thanks to him for his extremely good service.
11.        Kovalam hotel Surya Samudra: very good hotel with super service and very good food; nice evening music events
12.        Driver from Bangalore to Trivandrum airport (above stations 1 to 11): friendly, good, and fast driver; it was nice to find sweets, road maps and guidebooks in the car;
13.        Jaipur Rambagh Palace: wonderful romantic hotel with excellent service and food; please transfer our sincere thanks to Ms Preety of Rambagh Palace who was extremely helpful when fixing problems with bad tailor recommended by the guide. Guide has good German language knowledge
14.        Pushkar hotel Ananta Spa & Resort: nice hotel, presumably best and most quiet hotel in this area and during this time period (camel fair); good food, improvable service
15.        Guide: far most best guide during this trip through India; most intelligent guiding tours through the town with special places and comprehensive information about town, culture, religion, mores, and practices. Helpful representative of Mercury tours when we requested for additional day of guiding
16.        Very safe driver
17.        Friendly and helpful guy during pick up from and bringing back to airport (Mr. Paukaj Pareek of Rajasthan Tours)
18.        Friendly and helpful guy (Mr. Harshwadhan Trivedi) during pick up from Mumbai domestic airport and bringing us to international airport. He saved us more than 1 hour waiting time by bringing us through a tricky entrance to the gate
Best regards
Johannes Bohnenberger