money for The trip was overall a wonderful experience. Let me provide details. First of all , this agent was outstanding - pleasant, informative , helpful.
The hotels we stayed at were outstanding
The spa at the first hotel was first rate
The wineries we visited were terrific along with the people who guided us
The Milan guide was very good- deep understanding of the history of the city and the buildings
There were however a number of nagging issues over the week that need to be improved for other customers
1- the description of our itinerary suggested dinner the first night in Piedmont at the Michelin star restaurant at the hotel is included in the package. However we were told we were not entitled to dinner there but rather at the more casual restaurant of the hotel. We felt either the wording of that in the itinerary was deceptive or the hotel didn't honor their agreement.
2- the cooking class was a big disappointment. We've had cooking classes in France and Umbria that were truly outstanding. Full course meals of interesting dishes , a clear explanation of the cuisine and traditions, interest in stories etc. In this one the chef didn't speak English and was translated in basic language - furthermore all we learned was how to make pasta and a simple dessert
3- the truffle hunt was underwhelming. We essentially went to a small area of the woods watched the dog sniff around for 20 minutes or so , finding two truffles and that was it. The wine tasting afterwards was nice but we felt the truffle hunt needed to be more comprehensive , cover more land and last longer with clear explanations
4- The drivers we had in Piedmont either didn't speak English or didn't have any sense of history. We are used to drivers who can speak the language of the guests, tell us what we are seeing , have a sense of history and storytelling. And even more disappointingly the hotel charged us a lot of money for a few of these drivers when we believed they were part of the package
5- So overall it was a fun trip but we were very disappointed in some of these developments - it doesn't compare to other luxury trips we have taken. Finally given the above the price we paid was way too excessive- many thousands of dollars above what it was worth
iron out the exact details beforehand - and make sure what it says we are getting is exacty at the luxury standard we are paying for and that we confirm we won't be double charged for anything it claims is part of the package.
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