Absolutely excellent experience with this travel team from the first contact! The travel designer asked questions about our likes and dislikes, goals in our vacation, and budget. The initial proposal required only a very few changes and the designer was receptive to those changes. Our trip to England and Ireland included excellent hotels, restaurants (and recommendations where appropriate), safe and dependable private tour guides, and transportation arrangements. Had only one glitch with the rental car reservation and our travel designer was promptly working on it when we returned.Show More
Our travel specialist made the entire process of traveling abroad for the first time painless. Not only was each activity we desired to complete included, but having all tickets and drivers lined up was invaluable. There was minimal thinking necessary on our part as our travel specialist did all the legwork for us. They were also easy to contact when an issue arose that was not because of them.Show More
My wife and I were looking forward to this trip soo much, specially with all the COVID issues going on in the world, AND everything turned out just perfectly! Even with all the COVID restrictions, testing requirements and overall precautions in place with travel, it was an amazing trip that I wish we could relive. We really wished we could have stayed another month plus. Big thanks to our travel company & specifically Marie-Lys for helping us create and live out the perfect trip to France!! I highly recommend working with this team and hope that we can one day work with Marie-Lys once again!Show More
We wanted to go on a family trip to Italy this Summer to celebrate our 20th Anniversary, and had budgeted a significant amount of money to have a great trip ($35k-$40k). It was very important to us that we get our money's worth. Hilary specializes in trips to Italy, and after speaking with her about our rough travel plans, we felt that she would help us make the most of the time and money we were spending. She built us a fantastic itinerary that enabled us to see 4 major cities (Venice, Florence, Rome and Positano) in a way that we never felt rushed or bored. We are a family with three teenagers who definitely didn't want to just browse museums. Hilary supplied plenty of interactive fun activities (i.e. cooking class in Florence, large full day boat trip off the Amalfi coast, glass bottom kayaking with cave exploration, motor boat tour of Venice canals, food tour in Rome, etc.) The accommodations she chose were fantastic as well -- all of the hotels were right in the middle of the places we wanted to explore. The staff at the hotels Hilary picked were extremely hospitable and helpful with finding any transportation we needed. Hilary was also able to find us private transport between cities in Italy -- the drivers were all friendly, punctual, and spoke English. We really have no complaints -- the itinerary was very well thought through and flowed extremely well.Show More
Elisabeth and George C.Trip through Scotland and England from October 17 to October 8th, 2019.We had a wonderful time and fell in love with Scotland. All the hotels we stayed at were unique, beautifully located and comfortable. The only exception might be the accommodations on the Isle of Skye which lacked the charm and standing to the other hotels. The only criticism I have is that directions to various places of interest were often too general without clear addresses or distances and expected driving time which we had requested beforehand. For example we did not immediately realize that Dumfries House is not in the town in Dumfries which cost us an hour of driving to the wrong destination. I would suggest in the future that distances and driving time are important when planing a trip.Your agents were all very helpful and easy to work with and we were very happy with the itinerary they designed. We would certainly consider using your services again.Best regards,Elisabeth C.Show More
This tour company is wonderful! This was the first time my husband and I had used a travel agent in many years and now we can’t imagine planning a trip without them. We contacted the travel agent at this tour company after having already planned a portion of our trip on our own. We originally had planned on going only to Vienna & Salzburg, but then decided to expand our trip to Germany & France and knew we really needed help. We were directed to this company by Zicasso. As soon as we spoke with our agent, we knew she would be perfect. The travel agent was personally knowledgeable about all of the places we wanted to visit and planned such a wonderful trip for us, including private tours in every city we visited, starting with Vienna. Every guide we had was an expert and these private tours really enriched our experience of the places we were visiting. And it was such a luxury not having to worry about any connections! We received train tickets in the mail before our trip and we were picked up at every location for transfer to our hotel.We loved too that we received an initial proposal to review before everything was finalized. Our agent is very detail oriented and planned trip in such a way that everything was seamless. One of our connections involved a very early train, which we agreed was the one to take because it was the only direct train. The agent arranged for the hotel to have breakfast boxes ready for us on checkout. We actually were given so much food by the hotel that we wound up sharing it with the train staff, who were very appreciative!Our complete itinerary was accessible on an app, which was so helpful. Included were more information on the places we were visiting, restaurant suggestions, additional places to consider visiting, walking directions where needed, etc. And we could contact our agent & her team through the app. The whole team at this tour company is great to work with. A travel specialist works with our agent and was quick to respond to any question we had.We look forward to working on our next trip with this tour company!Show More
We are so happy with our trip. Amy was so great at communicating with us. She listened to all our "wish fors" as well as our specific needs (we traveled with 3 kiddos). She helped us get an itinerary and worked with us while we were on a trip to flex/ add to the plan as needed. I would definitely plan another trip with them.Show More
This company is the most amazing travel company! Our travel planner was so wonderful in helping us really experience the Scotland Highlands. He would find us wonderful hikes/walks. The bed and breakfast choices were perfect! His knowledge of history and stories each day were so informative. He drove us great distances and we felt safe and comfortable the entire trip. Plus he made the effort to have Scottish treats in the car each day and we loved it!My sister and I didn't want to do a bus tour or group tour of any kind. This type of trip and experience is perfect for those who want to really experience the country they are visiting. You are not grouped with people you really don't want to travel or stay with. You are able to experience local food and shopping without being herded around like cattle which a bus/travel group is. This experience was just so amazing plus relaxing! It removes all the stress of traveling with a large group.We can't say enough how wonderful this trip was for us. Our planner was able to take us to the most amazing views and locations. We are already talking about what we want to do next year!Thank you.Show More
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We definitely ran into some hiccups during our vacation. I understand that things happen, especially during this crazy pandemic and labor shortage, but I feel like some of these were definitely due to a lack of care in planning. This was our big 10 year anniversary trip and we hired this UK travel agency, because we didn't want to stress over the details of planning. Needless to say, we still ended up stressing over them.Anne had originally started planning our trip for Nov 2020, but the lock downs forced us to reschedule to Nov 2021. We really appreciated the flexibility that our travel planner provided when it came to rolling over our deposit and adjusting the iternerary since it would now be our 10 year anniversary trip and we wanted to do something extra special. Anne got us mostly set before she went on maternity leave and handed everything over to Kate who seemed to be doing a great job.
Just days before our trip, we recieved our final iternerary and several attractions had been listed as "check times on website". I began checking times to get a rough idea of how our day was going to be and found that several of the attractions were going to be closed on the days that Kate had us scheduled to visit. Thank goodness I had checked or our entire trip could have been closed doors. I contacted her and she rearranged our schedule and we thought everything was going to be fine.
I spoke to my mom prior to flying out and she let me know that Edinburgh Covid testing center kept texting her to confirm our fit to fly tests. I emailed Kate to let her know that they needed to correct the phone # as my mother was only supposed to be contacted in case of emergency. More on this later.
Upon arrival, the airport transfer went smoothly and the hotel in London was truly lovely. Our information packet with all of our tickets was ready at the hotel and we were able to have a wonderful first few days with only a few small hiccups which were completely out of anyone's control.
We started running into issues on Day 4. Kate had indicated that our guide would be picking us up at 7:30am and we needed to be in the lobby ready to go. Breakfast was prepaid, but the dining room of our hotel doesn't open until 7 for breakfast and we would not have time to eat and checkout by 7:30, so we had to order a cold continental breakfast be delivered to our room beforehand. We ate, checked out, and waited in the lobby a short bit before calling our guide. He had just arrived at 7:45 thinking that he was early as Kate had told him to arrive by 8am. We could have had a real breakfast if pickup time wasn't miscommunicated.
We truly enjoyed our time with our guide and wish we had been given more time with him. He truly knew the area and had put a lot of planning into his tour. We were disappointed however that Kate scheduled our afternoon tea on the same day that our guide was taking us to lunch just 2 hours before. We didn't get to enjoy our tea as we were both stuffed from having just eaten. We felt that there were several other days on our itenerary where lunches were not included and afternoon tea would have been much more appreciated.
The hotel in Bath definitely didn't live up to the standards we were expecting. There was no one to greet us when we arrived, we were given a notice that there was no turn down due to a staffing shortage, and the front desk worker told us it wasn't his problem that we needed to talk to the morning worker when we inquired if late checkout was available or if they could hold our luggage in the morning until our guide picked us up at 1pm. They were also unable to find our reservation for tea, but sat us regardless as they were not busy. I am not sure if this was the hotels fault or if Kate forgot to make the reservation when she was unable to get us into the Pump Room.
The next day, our time with Roderick Vere making rings was wonderful. He was an excellent teacher and made us feel welcome and comfortable. We recieved them via mail after arriving home as they were even sent out to be hallmarked. Our guide again was a wonderful host and dropped us at the Euston Station to catch our sleeper train to Scotland. Per Kate's suggestion, we dropped our luggage at the left luggage station and started to walk towards dinner. I thought we should figure out where our platform was located since we had time before our reservation and wouldn't have much time after. When we were unable to find the information, I asked a ticketing worker who informed me that our train had been canceled and we were booked onto the earlier train set to leave in under an hour. Kate had indicated she would be out of the office, but that Owen would be available to help if issues arose. I phoned, but wasn't able to get ahold of anyone. Panicked, we tried again a few mins later and got ahold of Zoe who was able to cancel our dinner reservation and confirm that everything else should still be okay. We grabbed our bags which frustratingly we still had to pay $15 for the hold of and ran for our train. We did not get dinner this evening due to the confusion. We were later told that the train station had sent out a message about the change, but that our travel company had given a landline # for the confirmation, so did not receive it.
The next day was absolutely stressful. We picked up the rental car and drove to Castle Campbell. The drive up the hill was terrifying with a single lane, sheer drop on the passenger side, tires slipping on the slick surface and steep incline, and very few passing zones. When we got to the top we hiked the few mins from the parking lot to the castle only to find it closed. We phoned Zoe to let her know and we then had the daunting task of turning around in the small parking lot backed by the cliff and going back down the road. We proceeded towards Glenturret Distillery which was a lovely tour, but then spent the better part of 2 hours with white knuckles driving to our hotel. We were never warned about the conditions of the road to our hotel in Lochearnhead or we would have insisted on being there before dark. The single lane road was narrow with many twists and turns and was foggy which led it to being extremely slow and nerve wrecking drive. When we arrived at the hotel they told us that we were just in time for our dinner reservation which Kate had told us was supposed to be at 7pm, but was apparently 6:45.
The next day we had our land safari with Alan. The weather did not cooperate, so we did not get to see anything. He was very knowledgeable about the area, but the "safari" was underwhelming. We arrived back at the hotel and ended up just walking around the surrounding area as we were not up to the task of driving the road to the hotel in the dark again. The hotel in Lochearnhead itself was nice and the restaurant was wonderful. The location was beautiful during the day, but definitely needs to come with a warning about driving after dark.
Day 8 Started off with the normal bookkeeper for the hotel being out sick and the replacement was unable to figure out our bill. She initially tried to charge us the entire cost of the hotel stay, but when I indicated this wasn't correct she attempted to charge me for the dinner receipts she could find which didn't seem to be correct as they had the wrong signature on them. We paid a small amount towards the food and she indicated they would sort this out later and send a corrected bill. I have not heard anything yet, but maybe she has tried to contact the travel company? The drive out was much more manageable during the daylight. We enjoyed the Wallace Monument and Sterling Castle before heading back to Edinburgh. We were supposed to go to the Palace of Holyroodhouse as I had previously found it was to be closed the rest of our time in Edinburgh. Kate moved our reservations for the previous 2 attractions to earlier in the day so we could make it before the 4pm cutoff. However, we were unable to locate parking with the GPS provided and quickly ran out of time. We missed out on seeing the Palace and were forced to return the rental car and have them call us a taxi so we could get to our hotel.
Our next 2 days went smoothly and we enjoyed using the Edinburgh Royal Ticket. The hotel in Edinburgh was lovely and convenient to the bus line, but lacked a baggage lift. We again ran into issues of reservation timing not matching what we were told, but everyone was kind enough to work with us.
We encountered some stress on the last day as we attempted to leave. Kate had scheduled us for Fit to Fly tests. We arrived, but she had given them the the wrong passport # for my husband. Luckily, the supervisor at the testing center was able to correct the passport # and we went on our way. We recieved the emails with our link to our test results within the hour, but were unable to access them. It required our birthdate and phone #. After numerous attempts to access the information, I got Kate on the phone and she attempted to help us. Remember, how my mom had been getting the texts to confirm our test, they still had the wrong phone # and it was never corrected. Eventually we got the results and boarded our plane.I provided this feedback to the travel company upon arrival home and was offered a refund of the planning costs which is appreciated, but doesn't change the fact that we spent a lot of money (and our precious vacation time) on a trip which ended up being very stressful.
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What a memorable trip for my wife and I in several ways.
Our travel designer, from this tour company, was our lead travel consultant and was the perfect person for our first visit to Europe. It was meant to be a visit to Europe in a “Nut Shell”- 3 days in London. 3 days in Paris, 3 days in Florence and 3 days in Rome. At every location we were provided with private drivers, excursions, VIP private guided tours, and boutique hotel accommodations. Our Itinerary included a myriad of daily activities that was thoroughly detailed. The execution was perfect. It was comforting to be met at every transport location with a driver who was on time and spoke English. The guides were very knowledgeable and always asked us what we wanted to accomplish in the time frame we had for the day. The cooking classes in two different countries were intimate and the wine tasting and lunch was exclusive to us. We had a sense in our discussions with the designer before our trip that he sincerely wanted us to have a special and enjoyable holiday. I mentioned the trip was memorable and it was! The anticipation of the spread of CoVid-19 was just being discussed in Europe at the time of our trip and the Northern regions of Italy were starting to report growing number of cases. The travel designer lives in Rome and has locations in Paris and London. He gave us updates from his Rome location throughout the trip. Italy was last on our Itinerary, and he was encouraging with offering alternative plans if needed before we entered the country. We chose to continue, albeit with caution and fortunately completed most all of the sites and tours in Italy. The night before our departure from Italy the government instituted a lockdown of the entire country. Thanks to the designer and the other folks at this company we had an enjoyable trip in the midst of a lot of angst around us.