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Nirvana Expeditions - would not ever recommend

Australia
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8 posts
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Nirvana Expeditions - would not ever recommend

Just wanted to add to this forum, to share so as to help people avoid the waste of money & horrors experienced.

I unfortunately used this company in 2013 for a once in a lifetime trip to Bhutan which was nightmare from arrival to departure.

Issues included,

- no guide allocation ( First 2 days was spent with the office junior who knew nothing about any places we visited, as no guides available)

- Additional / duplicate hotel fees ( found had to pay hotels directly even though had paid to Nirvana for whole trip)

- changes to itinerary with no prior discussion ( paid to do a 3 day trek, got to area and was told no trekking and nothing to do in area! so sat in car for another 8 hours to go back to where we started from)

- Hotel rooms as per issued Itinerary not booked ( solution - had to share a room with opposite sex traveller for the night to stay in that hotel) & other occasions had to go to other different quality accommodation.

- departure flights not confirmed , after asking 3 times & being assured was all done and only discovered when checking in at airport, guide had left me at airport door & could not assist when called ( almost was stranded - thank you DrukAir for somehow getting me on that flight)

And still had to pay the huge $100 PER DAY "expected" tips for driver and guide, another $1000 cost.

Have traveled a lot in life, & have to say this was worst trip ever made.

Made complaints to company - both in country & when returned, no response ever received and even to Bhutanese tourist authority ( no response either)

Bhutan is a lovely country but very expensive, ( 5 star prices for 2 star quality) so you need to ensure that you choose wisely to avoid an experience like this.

Edited: 12 December 2013, 01:17
adelaide
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1. Re: Nirvana Expeditions - would not ever recommend

doesn't sound very pleasing

it is not $100 per day tip

you don't have to tip

and in your circumstances no tip should have been paid

Australia
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2. Re: Nirvana Expeditions - would not ever recommend

Thanks for feedback

It was not clear whose accountability it was to make arrangements, seemed it was not the guide/ drivers and as was in a private group ( 2 separate travellers only) there was a lot of pressure for us to tip.

Will know for next time

Amsterdam, Holland
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for Bhutan
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3. Re: Nirvana Expeditions - would not ever recommend

I am very sorry to hear about your bad experience. It is a pity you didn't enjoy Bhutan as it is.

First try to reach the Bhutan tourism counsil:http://www.tourism.gov.bt/

If there is any complaint, they can withhold the payment due to the local agent until it is clear what happened and who should cover which costs. As the price of the package which you paid in advance should include all hotels, there is no reason to demand extra payment. Try also to contact the director of Nirvana, Sonam Dorjee. Although he is very busy, he should respond to a client. I think his mobile number is in the mails sent from their office.If not, I'll try to find it later on, please let me know if you need any more help.

I agree that although a tip is expected, it never is demanded, and if you're not happy with the service, there is no need to give anything.

Please don't leave things as you have them now, let the Council decide what to do.

Australia
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4. Re: Nirvana Expeditions - would not ever recommend

Thanks so much

I had contacted Sonam Dorjee, by mobile and email before I left and afterwards and no response from him at all. This is damming in itself as the ability to deal well with the difficult situations is a critical sign of a good business.

On my return, emailed the Tourism council ( no response) and then actually called them & spoke to person there who assured me they would get back to me, as I firmly believe in giving feedback directly and again no response ( and is now many months)

There are many good companies in Bhutan to choose from, as there is lots of competition for the tourist dollar, this company is not one of them now.

Amsterdam, Holland
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for Bhutan
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142 reviews
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5. Re: Nirvana Expeditions - would not ever recommend

When exactly did you travel?

If you had difficulties in contacting them before your trip, why did you go and didn't cancel?

You see, I first took your words as they are, but after your second answer, I have some questions. I guess you did have contact with the office. Did you share your concerns with them, how did they response?

Are you still trying to get an answer from the council, or maybe from some other official iin Bhutan? You can try ABTO too: http://www.abto.org.bt/

This is the official organisation of Bhutanese tour operators.

Australia
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6. Re: Nirvana Expeditions - would not ever recommend

I went in Jan and had trouble contacting Sonam before I left Bhutan.

Thanks for ABTO link, will try them

Thimphu, Bhutan
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117 posts
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7. Re: Nirvana Expeditions - would not ever recommend

Hi MazzAustralia,

I have gone through your complains and i have respect for it.But looking at your last post i am quite surprise to see the case is been pending for the last 11 months which shouldn't be.I have heard and seen such case many times but all were solved by TCB promptly. I don't know how this didn't happen in your case..Again try writing to TCB.

Australia
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8. Re: Nirvana Expeditions - would not ever recommend

Hi I actually sent another email after advice from other person and they just forwarded email to Sonam and asked him to deal with it -and of course no response !!!

Thanks for helping

Australia
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9. Re: Nirvana Expeditions - would not ever recommend

Hi I actually sent another email after advice from other person and they just forwarded email to Sonam and asked him to deal with it -and of course no response !!!

Thanks for helping

10. Re: Nirvana Expeditions - would not ever recommend

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Removed on: 19 December 2013, 15:42