Points South offers characterful accommodation that will provide our customers with a true flavour of India, many of the properties are Heritage buildings offering a haven to return to after a days sightseeing. We make a point of visiting every hotel recommended to provide our customers with an honest and unbiased opinion of the rooms and service. We aim to promote hotels and home stays in interesting locations that are individually owned or part of local hotel groups. Tourism is rapidly developing in Southern India, but there are still a few truly luxurious hotels. Northern India does provide several luxurious hotels and Sri Lanka offers several luxurious boutique hotels.
There is no comprehensive rating system so we have categorised the hotels as follows:
Luxury:In Northern India there are several hotels that warrant this category, with world class service and award winning restaurants, Some of these hotels are in iconic Heritage buildings, or built to reflect the classic Mughal style, offering the ultimate experience in every sense.
First class: Hotels and resorts in this category provide a high standard of accommodation with a wide range of facilities.
Standard: A good standard of accommodation with a reasonable range of facilities.
Simple: A simple standard of accommodation with limited facilities.
Home Stays: Similar to a bed and breakfast, home stays are family run and will provide an opportunity to learn about Indian life.
Winter Tariff: 1st October to 20th December then 11th January to 31st March
Peak Winter Tariff: 21st December to 10th January and 1st -29th February: ADD 25% at certain hotels.
Summer Tariff: 1st April to 30th September, prices can be up to 50% less, making the summer months very good value.
Travelling with Children
India is a family orientated society: and children are welcome everywhere. Long journeys can be difficult when travelling with children, a simple itinerary involving two or three destinations is advisable. At most hotels there is usually several non-spicy options on the menu. A trip on the backwaters or a day spent at an elephant sanctuary will be a memorable experience as will travelling to and from your destinations.
Kerala is renowned for vegetarian cooking and delicious fish curries. Coconut is used extensively in the cooking. Fresh fish is widely available but please note that in some home stays meat is not served. For those who may not want curry, Western and Chinese food is readily available. In Northern India the food is more familiar with meat curries and Tandoori dishes, often the curries are very hot, it is worth asking for a milder version if you prefer.
The food in Sri Lanka is predominantly rice and curry, cooked with coconut milk, with excellent fresh fish in the coastal areas.
GMT + 5 hours 30 minutes
Our Ground Agent
Our agent has been operating in Southern India since 1994, the company is based in Trivandrum (Kerala) and has representatives in Cochin and Bangalore. The drivers are employed on a regular contract and not commission, they all speak good English and most of them have been with the company for several years. The fleet of vehicles are all fully comprehensively insured and the company belongs to AITO (Indian Association of Tour Operators). In the North we use Royal India Holidays, based in Delhi, started by a former employee of Companion, they belong to Aito.
In Sri Lanka, our ground agent is SLS, with many years experience in the local travel industry, the drivers have to take a three-month course in tourism, and act as guides as well as drivers.
Operating in a responsible manner is important to Points South and we hope to our customers. Many of the hotels that we work with have strong environmental policies, they are fully or partially owned by Indians, employing local staff. A large number heat water by solar power and have environmentally friendly sewage treatment systems. Reducing the use of plastic and re-cycling of appropriate waste materials is important as is the conservation of water as you will observe on your travels. Some hotels have won awards for their environmental contribution. A number of hotels and home stays have restored Heritage buildings, helping to preserve the cultural heritage of India, using local materials and providing work for local artisans. We employ local English speaking guides in order to provide local employment.
All foreign nationals including children require a tourist visa, applications have to be made online to www.in.vfsglobal.co.uk. Your passport must have a minimum of 190 days left before expiry and 2 blank pages. The new E visa is now available for tourists to India for a maximum of 30 days visit, costing about £40 per person. The application is done online and valid for 30 days from arrival date.
For Sri Lanka, a visa is required this is applied for online at www.eta.gov.lk, a photo is not required and the cost is £25 for a 30-day tourist visa.
Check with your practice nurse about the current recommendations well in advance.
Useful website: www.fco.gov.uk/travel Do check the latest advice regarding malaria in case you need to take malaria tablets.