India: Challenging But Oh, So Rewarding
BY Ed Salvato
February 08 2010 6:25 PM ET
India is a country renowned for its sights, sounds, colors, and aromas. It's also known to be challenging and difficult — a chaotic environment with snarled traffic jams, endless noise, dust and smog, impossibly crowded trains, cows wandering the roads, and many more obstacles to an easy vacation.
But these difficulties shouldn't prevent you from exploring this amazing country, where almost all visitors come away different and more aware than when they arrived. It's worth pausing and considering this phenomenon. How many vacations actually help you become more self-aware? How many trips have you taken that challenge or reaffirm your innermost beliefs?
It's a special place that can accomplish that. India should be a must on your list of dream trips. Here's one way to discover the best of India in a fashion that minimizes the stresses of journeying here. First, book your air on Jet Airways, which offers an economical business class option Called Premiere Class, with private sleeping pods at surprisingly low prices. This class of service includes delicious meals (frequently with both Indian and Western-style options) and, when available, an attendant who meets you at the plane door and whisks you through customs and immigration and onto your transfer or awaiting transportation. Jet Airways works with Jet Lite for domestic connections. Jet Lite is incredibly inexpensive.
Economy travelers, fear not: Coach class offers amenities that nearly rival business class in other airlines, with seating considered the most comfortable economy class seat in the world. When the back is reclined, the seat moves forward and up to cradle the passenger at a 130-degree incline, and a foot net appears beneath the seat in front to provide support for feet and ankles. Each seat also comes with a nifty Panasonic eX2 entertainment system (with more than 200 movies and many more musical choices) as well as Bose noise-canceling headphones. You'll appreciate all this since the Brussels-to-India segment of your trip can be at least nine hours.
Aman Resorts, which boasts three stunning hotel properties in varied locales in India, offers a specially priced deal that is a perfect way to discover India in pampered style with all transfers included. Dubbed Aman India Journey, the special ($3,650 double occupancy through April 30, 2010; $3,840 Oct 1, 2010 through April 30, 2011) includes a minimum of two nights in each of the following properties. Also included are breakfast and transfers between the properties and one activity per stay. And let's not forget the addictive lemon-scented cold towel compress that meets you at every juncture, both cooling and sweetening your stay.