movies,starring Judi Dench, Richard Gere, Bill Nighy and others, were evocative, colourful and inspiring. So much so, that the BBC followed with a documentary series entitled ‘The Real Exotic Marigold Hotel.’ In these documentaries (series 1),celebrities such as Wayne Sleep, Jan Leaming, Bobby George and others immersed themselves in Indian culture,to see what retirement in the sub continent would bring. This fascinating documentary was extremely popular and now is your chance to have the same experience.
You’ll stay in Jaipur, the same city used in the first series and have access to many the experiences featured in the programme; seeing aspects of India seldom seen by tourists. You’ll have to navigate local transport too, such as rickshaws, local taxis or even buses. Often your adventures may be comical, sometimes touching and always fascinating. You’ll also have the help of local support staff as well as a UK host during your stay.
The trip starts with a stay in Delhi, followed by 11 nights in your home in Jaipur. We’ve also added 3 nights in the beautiful lake city of Udaipur and you’ll also visit the Exotic Marigold Hotel used for the movies. The total trip duration is 19 days. Please see below. This includes all transport, accommodation and food as specified, as well as some activities. Like the TV show, there’s free time to explore your own interests. Whilst these are followed at your own cost, the cost of living is inexpensive in India.
Meals are provided mainly on half board basis but we’ve included some Bed and Breakfast nights too, allowing you to go out and explore some evenings. There are some charming restaurants in Jaipur. Accommodation when we move to Udaipur is on B&B basis; in the evenings there are some magical rooftop restaurants under the desert sky.
The cost of this unique experience is just £1,495 based on two sharing. All we need is a £295 deposit to secure your place. Flights to India are extra and start around £390- £550 which we help you find. The earlier you book, the cheaper your flight. An internal flight within India is included in the trip cost. There is a supplement for single travellers of £395. However, if you want to avoid this, we can try to arrange a same sex room sharer for you. Note we may also have one small box room (en suite) available in our Jaipur home for a supplement of £189 (in other locations you’ll have a full size room).
All accommodation, food as specified; airport transfers, transport (private buses and trains) internal flight in India and trips as listed in the itinerary. Activities and transport in your free time are not included but can be arranged inexpensively. We will help you do this.
We will be staying in a simple, yet comfortable home; modern by Indian standards – the same house used for the first BBC series with Bobby George, Miriam Margolyes, Jan Leaming and others – although we reserve the right to change the home due to any unforeseen circumstances. All rooms and sizes will be different, you have to accept this as part of your stay. All rooms will have private bathrooms and air conditioning. Larger rooms will be given to sharers/couples and priority of room sizes given to those who book earliest.
Participants must have quite a social personality, be willing to mix with the group and have an open mind to experience retirement in India, and all it brings. They’ll have access to aspects of Indian life that tourists seldom see. A positive attitude is essential. There is no upper age limit but participants must be reasonably fit and mobile, without any serious medical conditions that would compromise their stay. They must be able to obtain adequate health insurance and should enquire with their doctor/travel nurse before booking this experience. Note, in the home there are steps/stairs (the home will have several floors). If you can climb steps steadily, you can join this trip.
Management and Support team
This project is managed by Angel Holidays, an ethical British tour company and specialist in the area. You’ll have a local, friendly British host to help supervise, as well as local support staff; a local Jaipur office is used for further support. Private coach transport is provided between cities as well as a train, together with flights from Udaipur to Delhi. Local guides are provided where needed on included activities such as sightseeing. We can also provide you with good cars and drivers if you want to get around independently (at an additional, reasonable cost). City rickshaws are very cheap.
What will you do?
You’ll have many of the experiences as in the TV show, it’s going to be fabulous. We’ve included some activities in our Itinerary page. We’ve also provided some ideas on how to get you started in your free time. Whilst your free time activities are at your own cost, they’re often very inexpensive. All suggested ideas for your free time are entirely optional. You’re free to pursue your own interests on your adventure in India and you’ll need to show your initiative to find things to do – this is no holiday. Free time ideas are based on the BBC series. However, spending a day wandering around the busy city, in the middle of a culture very different to your own, can itself be fascinating. This is your time to explore.
Like the TV show, our team will be on hand to help and give advice. We’re sure that your adventure is going to bring up some surprises and some humour too! For an idea of what to expect, you might also like to visit ‘https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3oun57’ this is the BBC programme. You may also wish to see the Exotic Marigold Hotel movies.
Please note that activities detailed in our programme may be subject to change due to local conditions. An activity may longer be available for example, by the time of travel. Festivals such as Holi might be changed without our notice. We will do our best to manage this and give you a rich experience. We reserve the right to change the itinerary to maximise your experience.
We are likely to have a nice mixture of travelers. Approximately 12 to 18 members in the group. This is a nice number to create a pleasant social atmosphere, where you can find others with similar interests.
Booking your place
To book your place, please note we need a £295 deposit per person. The rest is not payable until 8 weeks before departure.