“Extremely Unprofessional. Amateurs. Save your money.”
So Kelly and her husband Vinod should have paid US to organize the tour, as the amount of work they did to arrange our tour was negligible. Not worh the money in any way shape or form. Lonely Planet could take their place in a heartbeat. They were so unprofessional, inexperienced, and clueless I truly do not know how they have any positive reviews. Perhaps I am naive as to the services one can expect to be provided by a tour company, as all of my previous travel has been via word of mouth or a guide book, but I found nearly every aspect of their 'service' for the cost they demanded, very inadequate.
We paid what I consider to be a large sum of money for very poor service.
Kelly said she would meet us at the airport. She did not. She sent someone else to do so. We were promised a driver that spoke English - not the case. So the driver could not answer questions about what we saw or where to go. In addition, the driver had no clue of the itinerary (timings etc..) and nor did we. When we asked Kelly about this - she said she had emailed us the itinerary and thought we would bring it with us... ummmm... hello? How can it not be standard practice to provide your clients with their itinerary upon arrival? And then her husband had the absolute gall to be annoyed with us when we were late to things - I am sorry - but 1 - it is our vacation, how you can be 'late' on vacation? And 2, how can you be 'late' when you did not even know what time you had to be there in the first place? When we explained to Kelly and Vinod the issue with timing and the drivers, Vinod simply blamed US. He also used as an excuse 'that they were very busy so it was hard to find drivers who spoke English as all of their usual drivers were taken' . Excuse me? If you agree to provide a service, you provide it. You don't make excuses. If you can't provide the service, which they obviously could not, don't take the client. Simple and professional standards that they did not follow.
We actually had to meet Vinod on the side of a busy road to pay him the rest of the money we owed, because he said he did not have a car and was busy and could not come to meet us at our hotel. What? Take a taxi! How is it our problem that you don't have a car? So, we forked over about $800 USD on the side of the road. Very safe! Very professional! Thanks Vinod!
The tour of Kochi was less than interesting, and the hotel dingy. Kelly and Vinod had supposedly arranged for a third bed in each hotel, but each time we arrived, it was not ready. Also , the rooms were so small as to barely allow room for the third bed. And it was often on the floor. Again, not worth the money.
The hotel in Munnar was slightly better - but not much.
The houseboat was nice and everything went smoothly, thank GOD - as we were really sick of the crappy service from Kelly and Vinod by then.
We then went to Varkala, where Kelly said she wanted to meet us so that she could show us good places to eat and shop. She and Vinod did meet us, but then Kelly told us that she had only been to Varkala twice, so didn't really know it all that well. I'm sorry - you are a TOUR OPERATOR for God's sake - it is your job to be informed when people are paying you for that service.
So buy a Lonely Planet and do not waste your money on Kelly and Vinod's sad excuse for tour company. It is 3 weeks later and I still feel ripped off.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC