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Vacation Labs Blog

Revivify at the best luxury spa destinations in India

January 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

How often have you sat back on your chair at work and dreamed about a peaceful, relaxing holiday? One of the best ways to relax, unwind and rejuvenate is to spend sometime pampering yourself. Fortunately, you can choose to do so in one of the many spa retreats in India that offer holistic therapies, Ayurveda based treatments and much more. In fact, foreign nationals are known to love taking special trips to Indian spas that offer yoga and Ayurveda treatments. These natural treatments offer a complete sense of healing.

Ananda in the Himalayas

Ananda Resort

The mountains have always borne a sense of calm and quiet. Tucked away near the foothills of the Himalayas in Rishikesh, lies Ananda Spa. For people specially looking for natural Ayurvedic treatments, Ananda is one of the best!

Location – Rishikesh in Uttaranchal

Treatments – Ayurvedic treatments, yoga and meditation, healing and fitness, Vedanta classes

Main Highlights – Special workshops, private sessions, nestled in the foothills, comfortable living and dining facilities

Taj Lake Palace Jiva Spa, Udaipur

Taj Lake Palace

The Taj chain of hotels has always been always known for their commitment to Indian roots and culture. The Jiva Spa at the Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur offers a range of Indian based therapies and treatments or those influenced by the rich culture. The Jiva spa boasts of trained experts and uses natural ingredients for every treatment.

Location – Udaipur in Rajasthan

Treatments – Signature Treatments, Indian Therapies, Indian Aromatherapy, Scrubs & Wraps and Beauty services

Main Highlights – Five star facility, trained experts, natural ingredients and products

The Oberoi Spa, New Delhi

Oberoi Spa

New Delhi is centrally located and easily connected by air. If you are stopping over in New Delhi for professional or personal reasons, hop into the Oberoi Spa at the Oberoi Hotel. The spa offers a range of treatments that are influenced by eastern and western culture. A melange of the two result in a comfortable, unique and relaxing experience.

Location – New Delhi

Treatments – Massage therapies, body therapies, Ayurvedic therapies, skin and nail care, etc

Main Highlights – Indoor and outdoor pool, steam room, private terraces

Carnoustie Ayurveda Wellness & Resort, Kerala

carnoustie kerala spa

The backwaters of Kerala are themselves one of nature’s most serene creations. This resort was awarded to be the best Ayurveda spa and Wellness resort in 2014 and 2015. Set right on the shores, this quiet ambience combined with Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Yoga treatments can be the right fit.

Location – Kerala

Treatments – Ayurvedic, Naturopathy, Yoga

Main Highlights – Acclaimed resort, house-boat facilities, range of treatments

The Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa

Khyber Spa

Facing the Himalayas and offering a wonderful view of the giant mountain range is the Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa. Located in Gulmarg, this is the ideal destination to “get-away” and disconnect. Far from the maddening crowd and one with nature.

Location – Gulmarg

Treatments – Aroma therapies, concentrated deep massages, body scrubs, body wraps

Main Highlights – Beautiful location, five star facility, range of treatments

A lot has changed since our servers crashed last year

November 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

A lot has changed since our servers crashed last year. Our data center charges growing by 300%. We moved into a new office. And our team grew by 5x (3 people to 15 people, FWIW)!


Over the last three months we’ve been working furiously behind-the-scenes to make our product powerful, yet simpler.


Today is when we start rolling out the result of this hard work – starting with our first set of changes – a complete revamp of the tour creation wizard.


The problem


Responding rapidly to customer feedback in our initial days, we had ended up with a user interface, which, while functional & powerful, was very intimidating. Form labels were either too confusing, too verbose, or worse, both. Much like TV remote controls, rarely used settings & “knobs” were given prime real estate on the screen.


So, we took this important part of our product back to the drawing board to see what we could simplify, remove, or re-design.


Multiple product types


Pressing “New trip”, now, does not launch you directly into the wizard. You need to select a product type first. This allows us to set intelligent defaults and change the wizard interface to be more relevant to the chosen product type. For example:


* A short tour/excursion will assume that you need to provide start & end **times** for each time slot in your schedule, whereas, a multi-day tour will assume that you can do with just the start & end **dates**

* A short tour/excursion will have “nouns” set to tour, departure, and passenger, whereas, a lession will have “nouns” set to course, class, and participants.


There are many such tweaks which make the tour creation wizard easier to use.


Overall visual refresh

The first thing that you’ll notice is how much shorter the new forms are. We’ve moved all help text and verbose instructions to tooltips. Not sure what a field does? Just hover on the small question mark against it.


[insert screenshot of new and old forms side-by-side]


Simplification of rates


Instead of showing all pricing options for all tours, we now show only those that are applicable. For example:


* Short tours will be able to define per-person and per-group rates

* Long tours will be able to define twin-sharing matrices and accommodation based rates


[insert screenshot of ‘rates’ tab]


*We have decided to pull back the twin-sharing pricing matrix and component-based pricing, till the time we polish and relaunch them. In case you’d like to use them in their current form, drop as an email. We can enable them for your account.*


Special rates & capacity for individual time slots


You no longer need to define tour variants just to have different rates for different seasons; or to have a special rate for long weekends & holidays.


You can now do it easily while opening time slots:


[insert screenshot of ‘Calendar > Open time slots’ modal]


Or, by clicking on an existing time slot:


[insert screenshot of ‘Calendar > Time slot popover’]


Simplified settings


We’ve fussed over every word on the new “Settings” tab. Fields have been logically grouped together; and rarely used settings have been hidden, unless needed. This tab has received the maximum visual relief with all the help text moving to tooltips.


[insert screenshot of ‘Settings’ tab]


There is a ton of spit & polish that has gone into this, which we are sure you will notice. Or, probably not. As they say, the best design is invisible.


We’re always looking to improve. So, do give us a shout-out if you feel things could be made even better.

Online Direct Bookings for Tour Operators :

September 16, 2015 | By | No Comments

How to tap into the digital marketplace to boost total sales.

A recent study revealed that the majority of US consumers believe that to get the cheapest airfare, they should book directly from airline websites. The same holds true for similar business that typically work with booking agents. When it comes to booking a tour, many customers will check a tour operator’s website before finalizing their purchase. Chances are, they’ll also check social media outlets and sites that post ratings and reviews. This means not only are they searching for the lowest price, they’re also searching for the best value. Read More