India with Nina Compton
One Departure Only | October 16 - 27, 2020
The ultimate culinary, cultural & wildlife adventure in India with chef Nina Compton
October 16 - 27, 2020
One departure only—limited availability and likely to sell out
12 Days, 11 Nights
Best of New Delhi, Jodhpur, Chanod, Udaipur, Mumbai, Jamtara
A morning breeze gently rustles the thick jungle outside your tent. Just yesterday, you were exploring a mega-city of 18 million people, a sensory onslaught in all the best ways. Before that, it was craft cocktails at a floating palace, navigating India’s most colorful bazaars, eating all the tastiest street foods. Now, it’s time to hop in your private Jeep for a safari drive through the bamboo thickets and banyan trees. Everything you’ve experienced so far on your journey puts right now in perspective. This is the India adventure you’ve been waiting for.
Your companion on this incredible 12-day journey is chef Nina Compton. She’s the force behind New Orleans’ Compère Lapin, a James Beard award winner, and one of the most innovative names in the business. Nina’s on a mission to explore the influence of India on her native Caribbean. From curry spices to culture, textiles to architecture, we’re excited to learn—and taste—along with her.
If your idea of the perfect vacation means traversing India from its kinetic hubs to its tranquil jungle outposts—this trip is for you. We’ll explore Old Delhi by rickshaw, the desert jewel of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, a literal floating palace in Udaipur, the back alleys and beaches of Mumbai. We’ll meet local artists and traditional craftspeople. We’ll eat in humble family homes and at some India’s swankiest modern kitchens. And we’ll relax at a remote jungle camp for a true Indian safari experience. Prepare yourself for twelve days that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Traditional Indian flavors, hands-on cooking classes, meals prepared in family homes
Ancient temples, bustling bazaars, audacious megacities and quiet rural villages
Delhi and Mumbai, the desert strongholds of Rajasthan, the majestic wildlife of Jamtara
With Nina and India—with artists and local chefs, with ancient cultures and traditions
3 Reasons to Travel with Nina Compton
Nina Compton, chef/owner of Compère Lapin in New Orleans, takes inspiration from the Caribbean comfort food of her native St Lucia, prepared with the technical mastery of Italian cuisine she honed in the kitchens of Daniel Boulud and Norman Van Aken. Nina's odes to creole cooking have earned her national attention: a stint on “Top Chef”, Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in 2017, a coveted James Beard Award in 2018. Nina is a force of nature, brave and bold, always searching for inspiration.
Full of Life
If you live in the Big Easy, you generally know how to have a good time. Nina's optimism and sense of adventure is matched only by her sense of humor.
Nina was born in St Lucia and moved to New Orleans to open Compère Lapin. She immediately fell in love with the city's mashup of cultures, tastes and global influence in one crazy package.
Nina’s passionate about exploring the influence of India on the Caribbean. “Curry came to the Caribbean by way of Indian laborers in the 1800s. I want to focus on my roots and heritage, and see how they've been influenced by the traditions of India.”
Day by Day
We’ll tour ancient markets, seek out spices and Bengal tigers, weave through regional cultures and cuisine. Each day of this trip is an unforgettable adventure—together, they are the India experience of a lifetime.
Day 1 | October 16
Welcome to India, vibrant, chaotic and kinetic! New Delhi is the perfect place to start, with a rickshaw riding through bustling Old Delhi. It’s a 300-year-old walled city packed with street food, bazaars and artisans. It’s also home to Jama Masjid; this Mughal architectural opus is one of India’s largest and most awe-inspiring mosques, a masterpiece of red sandstone and marble. From here, we explore Chandani Chowk, one of Asia’s oldest and busiest markets. Lunch here will be a moving feast of regional delicacies, and we’ll try it all.
In the evening we’ll regroup for a celebratory feast at a favorite local spot in Khan Market, squeezed in between a dizzying array of artisan stalls and eclectic shops.
Day 2 | October 17
Today catch a short flight to Jodhpur, in the great golden expanse of Rajasthan known as the Thar Desert. Jodhpur was the former capital of the mighty Kingdom of Marwar; today its iconic palaces, forts and temples are set upon the hillside of this stark, hauntingly beautiful landscape. After settling in we’ll head out for Old Jodhpur, its pastel-blue houses flanking lanes and alleys chock full of bicycles, motorcycles and rickshaws—a colorful beacon in the heart of sun-soaked desert. We’ll see the grain and bamboo markets, spice sellers, and artisans crafting garments and jewelry. Each shop has provides its own unique insight into Rajasthani life.
Dinner tonight is a treat: an alfresco meal at Darikhana with ingredients plucked from the chef’s own garden, Jodhpur’s illuminated fort above, a candlelit courtyard below.
Day 3 | October 18
Jodhpur’s iconic Mehrangarh Fort is one of India’s oldest forts and sits 500 feet above everything else in sight. We’ll visit on foot, take in the nearby Jaswant Thada memorial, and spend a few hours sampling street food, checking out artisanal shops and tapping into the pulse of this unique city.
Tonight, we’re invited to the home of a local family for an authentic homestyle dinner unlike any other. In their Old Jodhpur home, our hosts will prepare a typical Rajasthani meal, teaching us about the traditions and ingredients each step of they way. Afterwards, we’ll head up to the rooftop and enjoy the setting sun washing over Jodhpur’s pastel blue buildings.
Day 4 | October 19
Today we’re heading deeper south into Rajasthan, to Chanod, where our opulent 300-year-old palace awaits. Chanoud Garh is resplendent, nothing short of breathtaking and meticulously ornate. We’ll be led into the lush gardens for a welcome drink before lunch: a guided tour of traditional, local delicacies hosted in a vibrant hand-painted room. Everything here is about the small details.
Lunch serves as a primer for this evening, when we reconvene after settling in like royalty. We meet at an old wing of the palace for a hands-on introduction to our hosts’ favorite dishes. A family member will teach us how to prepare—really, how to unlock the secrets of—coveted house recipes. This is India at its most hospitable, flavorful and artful.
Day 5 | October 20
We’ve stayed at the palace. Now let’s get deeper into the royal roots of Chanod with a walk around Chanod Talao lake, led by a local expert and punctuated by visits to the village school and market, and the royal family’s cenotaphs and vegetable gardens. It’s the perfect introduction to the village way of life, topped off with a Jeep safari out in the countryside. We’ll roam the ancient Aravalli hills past herders with their flocks of goats and sheep, and local villagers going about their days.
Dinner tonight is inspired by Nina and her love of Caribbean spices, by way of their Indian roots. We’ll feast in Mor Chowk, named after our palace’s oldest residents, the peacocks. As we dine, we’ll stay warm by a bonfire and marvel at the fact our India adventure has only just started!
Day 6 | October 21
Today is full of palatial perfection. We drive to Devigarh Palace, an 18-century heritage hotel in the village of Delwara. We’ll have a panoramic vantage of the emerald valley hewn by the vast mountain range. Our day’s midpoint features lunch harvested steps away at the palace onsite garden. Then it’s off to the true show-stopper of the day: Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur.
It’s not by the lake, or even at the shore—this stunning 65-room retreat was built in the middle of the lake, like the lair of a supervillain with serious style. We’ll kick back like kings and queens at our island escape for the evening—enjoying the spa, a craft cocktail and regional dishes favored by Indian royalty, or simply admiring the views.
Day 7 | October 22
This morning, we head into Udaipur. Known as the “City of Lakes,” it’s been romanticized through the ages for its rich cultural legacies and sparkling bucolic scenery. We’ll get a look into the lives of ancient Udaipur royalty at the City Palace complex, with towering marble and granite walls, ornate glass works and intricate paintings. We’ll also explore Jagdish Temple, a stair-stepped, 16-century stone masterpiece, and the city’s old quarters meeting local artists and craftspeople.
In the afternoon we’ll take a short flight to coastal Mumbai (formerly Bombay). Prepare yourself for an unforgettable welcome dinner at Masala Library. Dubbed the “Czar of Indian Cuisine” and “Tastemaker to the Nation,” Chef Jiggs Kalra will take us on a gastronomic journey of Indian cuisine, from centuries-old traditions to the most modern techniques. It’s a vision of Indian cuisine unlike any other, showcasing decades of research, swaths of India’s diverse geography and robust flavors highlighted through molecular gastronomy. Simply put, this will be astoundingly delicious.
Day 8 | October 23
In a city of 18 million people, Mumbai is home to everything you know but on a colossal level. From the intricate rail system that acts as the lifeblood of the city, to the legendary Bollywood film industry, Mumbai is a sensory onslaught in all the best ways. First up, we visit the Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, an historic train station and UNESCO world heritage site—and the literal busiest railway station in the world! Next, we see a different kind of efficiency at Dhobi Ghat, an open-air laundromat where, for up to 20 hours a day, local dhobis (washers) scrub, soak and clean linens from around the city.
We’ll then slow down and stop for lunch at a local Mumbai favorite before heading to Khotachiwadi, an 18th-century Portuguese hamlet untouched by time. We’ll stroll down quaint narrow lanes, past colorful cottages with curved roofs and spacious verandas. Dinner tonight is served oceanside at Trishna; we’ll enjoy outstanding fresh seafood and take it easy after an energetic day.
Day 9 | October 24
Today, we trade the Mumbai bustle for quiet countryside. We fly east from Mumbai to Nagpur, then drive to Jamtara Wilderness Camp at the edge of pristine Pench National Park. A true sanctuary, Jamtara was founded in deference to nature and India’s national animal: the tiger. Now in the second generation of the founding family, this luxurious jungle retreat is as peaceful as it is beautiful.
After lunch, we’ll visit the nearby village of Jamtara, a rural getaway that feels lost somewhere in the bucolic 19th century. Dinner tonight showcases India in all its glory: Nina and our camp’s chef will prepare a feast under the stars for us, highlighting rustic Indian flavors and spices. Cozy up by the fire, and revel in the joy and warmth of Nina and this amazing group of people.
Day 10 | October 25
We wake in our private tents to the jungle breeze and the soft swaying of Arjuna trees. It’s time for adventure! After breakfast we saddle up in Jeeps for the Indian safari experience we’ve been waiting for. Guided by Jamtara’s resident naturalists, we’ll ride through the preserve in search of monkeys, eagles, osprey, hawks, gaur herds, deer, wild boar—and above all, the elusive Bengal tiger. Our host family’s commitment to tiger conservation is unparalleled. Manager Amit Sankhala’s grandfather was a famous early conservationist, and the family’s multi-generational efforts are a large part of the reason we may be able to spot one of the 55 tigers that call the national park home.
Dinner tonight is prepared by our on-site chef, well-versed in everything from campfire pizza to laal mass (a spicy Rajasthani favorite) to South Indian udupi dosa (vegetable and rice medley). We’ll kick back, swap wildlife stories and enjoy our company in the greatest outdoors.
Day 11 | October 26
We’re heading back out into Pench National Park today. It was declared a sanctuary in 1965 and served as the setting of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Coated in teak, tall grasses, banyan roots and white kulu or “ghost trees,” it’s a journey through another planet. Even if we didn’t see a single animal there would be endless sights to behold. But don’t worry, we’ll see plenty! Back at camp tonight, our chef will prepare a special farewell feast, and we’ll toast to a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience on these sacred lands.
Day 12 | October 27
We’ll sleep in this morning and soak in the last bits of our jungle getaway, before heading back to the airport in Nagpur and on to New Delhi. We’ve literally come full circle, our travels through India, urban and rural, picking up where we started. Our dinner is one last delicious Indian meal, one last time to reminisce and a final farewell to our traveling companions. This will be an experience we share for the rest of our lives.
Taj AmbassadorNew Delhi
A modern spin on colonial design, with spacious rooms overlooking the city. The iconic greenery of the Lodhi Gardens peeks out from just down the road, and astounding architectural sites—from mosques to mausoleums to skyscrapers—vie for your attention in every direction.
It's the city’s first boutique hotel, with a distinctive look blending historical grandeur with modern comfort. It's clean and geometric, with all the right hints of old-world detail paying homage to Jodphur’s Walled City. A courtyard dinner with views of a spectacular 15th-century fortress? You simply can’t go wrong here.
This 300-year-old palace is the epitome of imperial grandeur. The entire property has been painstakingly restored to its Raj-era glory, with exuberant suites washed in the brightest blues and pinks. It's one of the most sought-after heritage Indian retreats, with all the modern comforts you'd expect.
Taj Lake PalaceUdaipur
This hotel—built on an island in the 18th century by a young prince with lavish tastes—is exquisite in every way. It's five-star luxury with all the amenities, whether you're looking for a spa treatment or an evening cocktail with an incomparable view.
Trident Narimen PointMumbai
We're staying oceanside in Mumbai, in a sleek 35-story tower with panoramic views. The hotel is an iconic Mumbai landmark and a luxurious escape from the bustling city.
Jamtara Wilderness CampJamtara
It's our own luxury wilderness camp surrounded by Arjuna and Banyan trees. Sleep in one of 10 luxury tented rooms overlooking the jungle, each artfully designed and distinctly modern, with private bathrooms. It's the perfect mix of high-end comfort with a front-row view of nature.
Blu PlazaNew Delhi
Back in New Delhi, we’ll have an easy reentry into energetic urbanity. Relax in beautifully appointed rooms, stroll through the lush gardens, or take a swim. Blu Plaza caps off our trip effortlessly.
Book India with Nina Compton
That’s OK, we have answers. Read our FAQs below. Or text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018 to speak with a Modern Adventure Trip Specialist.
What does the price include?
Eleven nights at unique four- and five-star accommodations; private travel for all day trips and excursions; internal flights as mentioned in the itinerary; departure airport transfer; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities, adventures and expeditions; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; local beverages with meals.
What does the price not include?
International roundtrip airfare; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in itinerary; gratuity for tour leader.
Where does the trip start and end?
Our adventure begins at 9:00am on Friday, October 16, 2020 at the Taj Ambassador Hotel in Delhi, India. The closest airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in New Delhi, India. We recommend arriving on or before October 15 to ensure you’re at our starting point on time.
Our last day is Tuesday, October 27, 2020. The closest airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). Your flight home should be scheduled to depart anytime after 9:00pm.
What travel documents are needed?
A valid passport and visa are required for all international travelers. Your passport should be valid at least six months after your return date and have two unused pages. If you are traveling to India soley for recreation, you may be eligible to apply for an e-Tourist Visa. For details visit www.indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html
Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?
For solo travelers, there is a $5,000 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. For this adventure, we are unable to pair guests together who would like a roommate. If you would like to share a room with a known roommate, rooms with a combination of Twin beds and Hollywood-Twin beds may be an option at checkout—these rooms are scarce and are on a first-come, first-served basis. A Hollywood-Twin is a room with two twin beds pushed together, with separate bedding.
Who is going on this trip?
Our adventures typically have between 10 and 20 guests, and our Modern Adventure Team. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.
Who is leading this trip?
This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure Trip Leader. They’re an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.
What is the cancellation policy?
You may cancel on or before July 12, 2020 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel between July 13, 2020 and August 16, 2020 there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after August 17, 2020 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being cancelled (See our Terms and Conditions for full details).
Can I extend my trip?
You can! We are offering an optional extended two-day, one-night extension to Agra where we’ll visit the Taj Mahal. Included in this package are transfers, a local guide with four or more travelers, hotel stay and entrance fees, and most meals. If you’re interested in this trip extension, please call us at +1-855-219-8018 and we’ll help you get it scheduled.
We’re at your service.
Speak with a Modern Adventure Trip Specialist.
Text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018