India design journey


An Indian Design Journey – Delhi to Mumbai

Through Architecture, Interior Design & Textiles

18 days from NZ$10860 per person
27 Feb to 15 Mar 2024
Small Group: Min 8 – Max 11

An Indian Design Journey, hosted by Design Alchemy and boutique tour operator All Things Intriguing (ATI) Travel, is all prepared to dive deep into India’s most extraordinary architectural and cultural wonders.

Are you longing to immerse yourself in India’s rich and captivating culture but haven’t found the perfect opportunity to do so?

Look no further! This personally curated tour offers you a chance to witness the magic of India in ways you never thought possible. You will embark on a journey that will ignite your adventurous spirit and leave you awestruck. This tour includes visits to luxurious royal and private residences, artists’ studios and workshops, as well as carefully selected design institutions, museums, boutique showrooms, and local markets.

You will travel comfortably with a small group of like-minded individuals, indulging in regional culinary delights across five states. After the high energy and buzz of the cities, the authenticity of Artisans in the villages kick back and soak in the quietude of the wilderness during the wildlife safaris. Let us turn your long-held dream of experiencing India into a reality.

Delhi | Chambal | Agra | Jaipur | Udaipur | Ahmedabad | Mumbai
An Indian Design Journey Route Map
Rajasthani lady in yellow sari at Jaipur Palace

I undertook a tour with Design Alchemy to India in March 2023. It was an incredible experience with a group of women that, at the start of the journey, I didn’t know and now have shared lifelong experiences with. The tour itinerary was very well organised and also flexible, as travel can be unpredictable at times.

I would call it a bespoke tour as we had the opportunity to truly integrate with Indian families in their own homes and environments, which is certainly not something the average tourist to India gets to do. Every day was an exciting new adventure, and I loved every minute!

If you get an opportunity to join one of these tours, do not hesitate…. You will be in for a trip of a lifetime!

Diana Murray

You are warmly invited to join Design Alchemy’s third Journey to India, a unique partnership between the designers and ATI Travel, which takes place from February 27 until March 15, 2024, and it promises the experience of a lifetime.

Design Alchemy is a collaboration of three award-winning New Zealand Interior Designers who came together to combine their knowledge and creative talents to work together in a multi-faceted way. They share the same values and believe that when true collaboration starts, magic is created, which will ignite, inspire, and connect through design. As well as completing a huge variety of design projects, they are working on a product range, presenting live “Wine and Interior Design” webinars, and have created a bespoke design journey to share with you. All three designers and Joji led the first tour in 2023. Joji and Anna Cuthbert will lead this tour, while Amanda Neill and Donna White will accompany guests on alternative tours.
Read more about the designers and the tour leader

Each of these designers has a strong connection with India in their own way.

Anna’s passion for India started while working in fabric houses in London in the late 90’s. She fell in love with the textiles, embroideries and exquisite workmanship. “Nothing rivals the jewel-like tones or the vivid patterns that tell time-honoured stories.” She has travelled extensively, hosting design tours through Asia, including Kerala in the south of India. Never shy of street food or walking off the beaten track, Anna has an incredible knack for finding those hidden gems.

Amanda began her relationship with India in 1988. Travelling on her honeymoon, she ventured as far as the remote northern area of Ladakh, meeting the Dalai Lama, and spending time with the Monks. Fast forward to 2012, and she married again in a western / Hindu ceremony in Kerala, the Venice of the East. The allure of exotic India has continued to draw Amanda back numerous times over the decades. She loves the intensity of all things India, the design, the colours, the people and the variety of traditions and cultures. When she steps off the plane into the country, feels like she has come home.

Donna has always travelled under the philosophy of seeing a lot of a little.  Her love of India started in her mid-twenties when she and her husband arrived in Old Delhi to commence an incredible trip through northern India. They took in all of the vivid cultures and design experiences from Delhi to Agra & Varanasi. This was a trip of a lifetime that intoxicated all her senses.

She has even trekked to Mt Everest Base Camp in Nepal and met Tenzing Norgay & Sir Edmund Hillary while they were filming a National Geographic documentary.  Those encounters created memories still cherished today. Donna has returned to India on multiple occasions, and the draw to visit again is still as strong as ever.

Joji with Mumbai TabhawalasIt was an easy decision for these 3 designers to partner with Joji Jacob from ATI Travel. Joji has created bespoke tours for our previous tours, and his clients include Coco Chanel. Together, they have created “An Indian Design Journey”, which will take you on a breath-taking and experiential tour of the amazing Architecture, Interior Design and Textiles of India.

This tour will take you behind the scenes into real India, and you will experience a journey that will fill you with a lifetime of memories and leave you hanging for more. If you have ever dreamt of travelling in India but have never had the confidence or the like-minded people to travel with, now is your golden opportunity.

Children in India with beaming smiles

This was a comprehensive and fascinating tour exploring the northwest corridor of India. Tour leaders, with excellent support from the ATI leader (and his team), provided accessible and informative service throughout while ensuring that we, as a group, had really good fun!

I will never forget this trip; I learned lots of stories and lots of new learning about textiles and design. Importantly, so enjoyable to interact with, and learn from, so many friendly people I met in India. Namaste.

Jaye McIsaac


Day 1, 2 & 3 – Delhi - Arrival

Welcome to India! Upon your arrival at Delhi International Airport, we will warmly welcome you and escort you to your hotel. Delhi boasts incredible architectural wonders, and we will have the opportunity to discover the charm of the old city on a cycle rickshaw. As Delhi has a rich Mughlai heritage, we cannot miss the chance to indulge in its delectable cuisine.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationGolden Haveli

Day 4 & 5 Chambal

We leave behind the bustling city of Delhi and drive to the serene countryside of Chambal, where we will spend a few nights at the Chambal Safari Lodge, an eco-friendly place that blends in with the village surroundings. The lodge offers comfortable rooms, delicious food, and friendly staff who will make us feel at home. We are looking forward to going on a river safari and discovering the Chambal River Sanctuary, one of the most pristine habitats in India that has been protected from human interference. We hope to spot some of the rare and endangered species that live in this sanctuary, such as the gharial, the Gangetic dolphin, and the Indian skimmer. We also expect to see a variety of other wildlife and birds that thrive in this rich ecosystem. It will be an unforgettable adventure that will expand our knowledge and appreciation of nature and its wonders!

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationChambal Safari Lodge

Day 6 – Agra

After enjoying a hearty breakfast at the lodge, we will embark on a journey to Agra, the city of love and history. Our first stop will be the Sheroes cafe, a unique place where we will meet some of the most inspiring women in India. They are survivors of acid attacks who have turned their pain into power by running a successful social enterprise that empowers other women and raises awareness about violence against women. We can interact with them and learn about their stories and vision. In the afternoon, we will witness one of the world’s wonders, the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan built this magnificent mausoleum in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. We will explore its exquisite architecture and gardens with a knowledgeable guide who will tell us about its history and significance. We will end our day at one of the heritage properties in Agra, where we will experience the charm and hospitality of a traditional haveli. We will also enjoy a puppet show showcasing India’s rich culture and folklore through colourful puppets and music.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationGrand Imperial

Day 7, 8 & 9 – Jaipur

Our journey takes us to vibrant Rajasthan, where we reach Jaipur, the Pink city that greets us with its splendid architecture and culture. We marvel at the grandeur of this regal city, visiting its impressive palaces, forts, showrooms and markets that showcase its rich history and skill in various fields such as textiles, jewellery, pottery and painting. We also get a chance to mingle with a hospitable Rajasthani family, learn their culinary secrets, and taste their delicious homemade food that reflects their customs and tastes. We enjoy their warm hospitality and learn about their lifestyle and values. We meet renowned designers and get special access to their studios, where we witness their creativity and innovation. We see indigo dyeing in the countryside, where we learn about the natural process and the history of this ancient art. We see block printmakers in action, and we admire their intricate designs and patterns. We buy textiles from the craftsmen directly, where we appreciate their quality and authenticity.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationIkaki Niwas

Day 10, 11 & 12 – Udaipur

Udaipur is a charming city that exudes elegance and beauty, often referred to as “the City of Lakes”. It is undeniably one of India’s most romantic destinations, nestled amidst the serene waters of its renowned lakes such as Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake, and the historic Aravalli Hills. The city offers a chance to discover traditional craft revival and sustainability initiatives, providing an excellent opportunity to purchase unique items while also supporting local artisans and empowering women in less affluent areas of the country.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationKarohi Haveli

Day 13, 14 & 15 – Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad is a captivating fusion of contemporary and traditional architecture. Skyscrapers and factories harmoniously coexist with mosques, tombs, lively residential areas or pols, Hindu and Jain temples, and bustling local markets. Some of the must-see places include the Indigo & Calico Museum and tasting the local cuisine.

Ahmedabad is also known as the Heritage City of India, as it was founded in the 15th century by King Ahmad Shah I and has a rich history and culture. The city is divided into two parts: the old city and the new city. The old city is home to many historical monuments, such as the Gandhi Ashram, where Mahatma Gandhi lived and worked for many years, the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, famous for its intricate stone latticework, and the Adalaj Step-well, a five-storey.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationThe House of MG

Day 16, 17 & 18 – Mumbai - Departure

As we conclude our tour, we arrive at Mumbai, which is often referred to as ‘The City of Spices’ due to its vibrant and colourful atmosphere. This bustling city has a rich history and culture that is celebrated with enthusiasm, and it is also the largest city in India and the centre of the famous Bollywood film industry.

This itinerary will help you discover the best of Mumbai and experience its unique charm and energy. You will come to appreciate why Mumbai is such a special place in India, with its diverse attractions and activities.

Mumbai is an incredible destination for travellers seeking to immerse themselves in a different world. You can explore busy markets, savour delicious cuisine, visit galleries, and indulge in endless shopping. All these experiences await you in this lively and vibrant city.

Meals:   B | – | –
AccommodationTaj Mahal Tower

Tour Price & Other Info

Prices are per person, based on twin-share
Package Price for 18 days: NZ$10860 per person on a twin share basis
A mandatory tipping fee applies for a group of 9 or less: NZ$200 per person
Single Supplement: NZ$2925 Per Person


  • Airport meet and greet with private transfers
  • Private air-conditioned coach
  • Handpicked boutique accommodations
  • Meals as per trip note
  • Cooking class & dining with the family
  • Entrance fees, as required
  • River safari & bird watching
  • English-speaking local guides
  • Train journey in A/C Chair Car from Ahmedabad to Mumbai


  • Airfares
  • Visa fees
  • Travel Insurance
  • Medical Tests & other medical expenses
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for restaurant staff


What destinations are covered in the small group tours to India?

This carefully curated small group tour of India encompasses a vast array of destinations, encompassing legendary cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai, as well as culturally significant regions such as Agra, Udaipur, and Ahmedabad. You’ll have the opportunity to explore awe-inspiring historical sites like the Taj Mahal, ancient temples, vibrant markets, peaceful wildlife, and more. Each itinerary is carefully crafted to showcase India’s rich diversity of landscapes, traditions, architecture, cuisine, music, and people.

What is the maximum group size for your small group tours?
To ensure an intimate and enjoyable experience, our small group tours to India typically have a maximum group size of 8 to 10 participants. This allows for personalised attention, more effortless group dynamics, and better access to attractions and local experiences. Travelling in a small group fosters a sense of camaraderie among fellow travellers and allows for more flexibility in accommodating individual preferences and interests.
What is included in the tour packages?
Our tour packages are meticulously crafted to offer you a stress-free and all-encompassing experience. They comprise of a stay at carefully chosen boutique hotels with private bathrooms, transportation to various destinations, expert tour guides, sightseeing activities, entrance fees to attractions, domestic air and rail travel, and some meals as mentioned in the itinerary. We aim to provide a blend of organised tours and leisure time, enabling you to explore at a comfortable pace without feeling overwhelmed.
Are the tours suitable for solo travellers?
Absolutely! Our small group tours to India are an excellent option for solo travellers. You’ll get to meet people who share your interests and make new friends throughout your trip. Being part of a group will give you a sense of safety, companionship, and opportunities for shared experiences. This makes it the perfect option for anyone who wants to explore India alongside other adventurous travellers. Just keep in mind that if you prefer a private room, there will be a single supplement charge.
When should I purchase comprehensive travel insurance?
When it comes to purchasing comprehensive travel insurance, the ideal timing varies depending on an individual’s unique needs and situation. Nonetheless, it is advisable to buy comprehensive travel insurance as soon as possible after booking the trip. By doing so, one can take advantage of the pre-departure coverage offered by some policies, such as reimbursement for non-refundable deposits in case of trip cancellation for a covered reason. Furthermore, purchasing insurance early can prevent potential problems with eligibility, like age limits or pre-existing medical conditions.
What is comprehensive travel insurance?

Comprehensive travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers a wide range of risks and expenses that may arise during your trip. It typically includes coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellation, baggage loss or damage, personal liability, and legal assistance. Travel insurance provided by Credit card providers might have some limitations, so please check the small prints.

What are the supporting documents I need to submit for the tour?

To successfully book your trip, please ensure that you have
1. a completed and signed copy of the booking form
2. a copy of the passport, valid for six months from the last day of travel
3. a copy of the comprehensive travel insurance
4. a copy of the International Air Ticket with arrival & departure information *
* Please DO NOT purchase your air ticket until the minimum tour numbers are reached.

When is the final amount for the tour package due?
To secure your booking, a deposit of NZ$1000 is necessary within 3 days. The remaining balance is due 90 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

We Got You Covered

Something for everyone

Whether you are a first-timer or experienced traveller, our tours meet the expectations, needs and interests of each individual on the tour. Our guests continuously tell us that it surpasses all their expectations.

Active Tour

This tour is suitable for guests who do not mind travelling that extra mile in search of those unique experiences. If you are interested in culture, cuisine, architecture, people interaction and textiles, you will love this tour.  

boutique accommodation

We hand-pick boutique accommodation for you to rest and rejuvenate in beautiful settings as an integral part of the travel experience we curate for you.

Travel in comfort

We provide airport to airport service, for your comfort and safety. Your private vehicle and the English speaking driver will accompany you throughout the journey. Check out the feedback we have received from our guests.

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