The trip was excellent. My wife and I enjoyed Scotland thoroughly. We covered quite a few places as we chose it to be a self-drive tour. And we explored the Scottish Highlands with visits to castles, museums, a train ride, distillery visits and drive along Scotland's national parks.
The itinerary itself that our travel agency put together was great. It was what we were expecting, and in that regard they did deliver. They were also prompt in answering any questions/concerns we had running up to the trip from the time of booking. Special mention to the gentleman who handled our transfer back and forth between the airport and the hotel. He was just great!!
The qualms I have is the price the travel agency charged for a self-drive tour. The hotels they chose were good, but the price they charged for the trip as a package, as compared to what these hotels actually charged for these rooms, the difference is very significant! My reason for 3 stars. We felt really let down towards the end of the trip wherein we were booked in a hotel of lower quality (room category, and these rooms had no A/C and the most uncomfortable beds) than what they had us booked when we were in Edinburgh at the beginning of the trip. After contacting the company, they did make it up by offering to pay for an upgrade. We almost booked to stay another hotel. Another issue we ran into was when the Car rental company said they've had issues with the travel agency where in the booking vouchers are sent way too early for Hertz to keep track of coz Hertz expects customers to have these vouchers when picking up the car and apparently this is not the first time Hertz has had to deal with this, with the travel agency. It was a bit of back and forth.
We really enjoyed being in the Highlands, and the seeing the wide expanse of greenery along the way. Isle of Skye was the highlight, just a beautiful, spectacular yet a serene place! And it seemed like the weather was just perfect when we were there as if it was just meant for us. Also enjoyed seeing the historical sites, specifically the castles and learning about the history.
I would do more research on the itinerary, and the hotels. Having a travel agent is helpful, so I dont regret using one as I have used them in the past, and will use one in the future. IMHO felt our travel company's quote was on the higher side for the services (airport-hotel transfer, hotels and car reservation) provided for a self-drive tour.
TRAVEL COMPANY COMMENTS:
We provide a luxury travel service with 24 hour on tour support and endeavor to ensure all our clients have the best possible experience at all times. The client even mentions how we did this with a complimentary upgrade when the booked room was not up to standard. It should be noted that this client booked last minute so availability was limited, hence having to use a secondary hotel in Edinburgh at the end of the trip. The issue with the car rental vouchers is an internal issue as Hertz themselves send on the vouchers to each location and only Edinburgh seem to have this problem with their timing. Our contact in Hertz has assured us that the management in Edinburgh have been spoken to and no further issues should arise going forward. As always we urge our clients to contact us if they hit any speed bumps whatsoever - this is what our 24 hour support line is there for. Regarding the pricing I am very surprised at the clients comments. While we do operate in the luxury space and offer the service to match, our prices are very fair and competitive. We match the trip to the clients budget - in this case we came in under the clients maximum specified budget. I am unsure where the client is getting his comparative pricing from - normally price comparison comes up prior to the trip (if at all) and when a client is asked for details of the supposed cheaper price it never materializes. As the budget was never an issue in the booking process a loss of 2 stars in an over all good review is disappointing to say the least.
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