Welcome to Bontaks’ Travels! This website will give you honest reviews of hotels and restaurants that we have experienced on our travels around the world, as well as blogs of our adventures. We also offer assistance with the planning of your trip – from answering questions about places we’ve been to, right through to researching accommodation and creating itineraries. Just go to the ‘contact’ tab in the menu bar and drop us a line.

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Reykjavik, Iceland

Wall art near our hotel, Raykjavik, Iceland

Leaving the heat of a sweltering Sydney summer, it was bliss to arrive in our first Nordic country of Iceland at a cool and wet 5°C with an apparent of 1°C! At this time of year, the sun doesn’t rise until 11:30am and sets at 3:30pm, so we just managed to catch a bit of daylight, despite the overcast sky. The Reykjavik article

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai

In the area surrounding the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, the traffic was gridlocked, and security procedures were thorough, and thus, time consuming. The residual precautions from the 2008 terrorist attacks were even more vigilant due to the holiday season. After having our car checked for bombs, we were ushered through metal detectors and our luggage was passed through the x-ray machines. The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel article

Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka

Elephant eyes, Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka

We were only 300 metres inside the gate of the park when we saw our first elephant. We were madly taking pics and videos not realising that there would be many, many more to see as we drove along. It was a bit like our first stop on Galapagos where we saw our first sea lion and spent ages photographing that sole beast, only to go over the rise of the hill and see literally hundreds of them. The Udawalawe article

Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner

Rooftop seating at Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner

The approach to Laxmi Niwas Palace down the long driveway evoked an Indian Downton Abbey episode of my imagination. The pink stone from Dulmera was the perfect medium with which to create this Indo-Saracenic beauty, and its domed chhatris and harem windows beckoned in the sunlight. Maharaja Ganga Singh commissioned Laxmi Niwas Palace to be built as his royal residence as the world ushered in the 20th century and it wasn’t until the beginning of the 21st century that it was converted into an historic hotel. The Laxmi Niwas Palace article

Petra, Jordan

Treasury reveal, Petra

A restful night’s sleep was ended by the alarm. Originally we had planned to rise an hour earlier to get ahead of the crowds, but as it was only 3°C, we didn’t think there would be too many eager people out that early. We were proved right, and were glad of the extra hour’s sleep (thanks to the advice of our host). The Petra article

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