Our clients’ comments

Some feedback from our recent customers, all originals are held on file and can be viewed at our offices.

Hi Paul

Better late than never! Thank you for organising our trip to Lake Garda in July we had a fantastic time. The location of the hotel and Garda town was perfect for exploring the lakeside villages plus Venice & Verona and the opera was amazing in the setting of the amphitheatre although it was a marathon session lasting 7 hours!! Once again thanks for ur help in organising our holiday.

Mrs D M

Hi Paul,

The holiday was fantastic. Thank you so much for all the arrangements you made – everything ran like clockwork, right to the last minute.

Santorini was beautiful but very expensive! Imerovigli is so pretty.  The temp was in the 70’s during the day. It was cool in the morning/evening, enough for the locals to wear jackets,scarves & hats. You could tell they hadn’t visited England!

The overnight boat trip (Blue Star Ferries) to Rhodes ran like clockwork. The boat/ship was impressive & puts P&O Ferries to shame.

Please let us keep in touch, you are so helpful; a million thanks once again.

Yours sincerely,

S&P

Paul,

Just a quick note of thanks for your help with our booking for the opera at Verona this August. We had a very good time (despite the temperatures being in the high 30’s) and got to see quite a bit more of a lovely city. The opera (Nabucco) was wonderful, especially once a breeze sprung up. We had good seats immediately behind the old Emperors Box, the staging was spectacular and the corus of the Hewbrew slaves was repeated to rapturous applause. A night to remember.

The arrangements for the hotel and tickets all went smoothly and the hotel (San Marco) was very good – we swam outside every day – good pool.

Thanks again for you help and ability to answer all our questions allowing us an enjoyable and relaxing beak.

Martin & Caroline

Hi Paul.

Been back from Rome a week now and thought I would email my thanks for your help and input. The “Angels and Demon” tour was even better, the guide Roberto was fantastic and we learnt even more about the history and buildings in Rome.

Thanks once again.

Jane

Dear Paul,

I’m sorry I have not e-mailed you sooner about my visit to Lucca and the Puccini Festival which you organised, but I went to Spain immediately I got back from Lucca and then on to Sicily and I have only just got back to the UK. I just wanted to thank you for organising a fantastic trip. All went well with the flights, the hotel, the pick ups and the opera seats. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and I will certainly return to Lucca as it is such a lovely town in its own right. So thank you again for giving me a very memorable trip.

Best wishes,

John

Paul

Just a quick message to say that it was a very good holiday – complete with Etna eruption(s).

That hotel is very nice – comfortable without being luxurious but lots of character and everywhere in Taormina there are astonishing views.

We’ll probably want to go back to Sicily to finish off what we didn’t see but now back to work and the winter!

Best wishes,

Simon

Hi Paul

I just wanted to say a huge “Thank You” for organising our trip to Verona.  Everything went smoothly and my husband had a fantastic time. Aida was a great experience and the seats were perfect.

Kind regards

Jackie

Hello Paul

Many apologies for not writing sooner but feet haven’t touched the ground since the holiday!

Just wanted to drop you a note and say a very big “thank you” to you and your colleagues for a wonderful holiday in Italy, it was just the sort of trip we needed to be introduced to the area and we weren’t disappointed – Tuscany is beautiful and some of the towns and villages were stunning. The “surprise” worked a treat – Debbie didn’t have a clue where we were going – even on the Artesia from Paris she didn’t know we were headed for Italy until a very loud tannoy announcement early in the morning told us we were in “Milano”!

Very happy with the Bellini Hotel – we were lucky with the room, nice big size and very comfortable (thanks for your input on this!) and very close to the station which was a big bonus.

Thanks for arranging all the train tickets, no problems at all but we were glad we had booked seats on the Venice – Florence train, as it was packed! All the regional trains worked well, very popular and a good service.

Some of our companions were quite interested to hear how we had travelled and one chap asked for your contact details as he was impressed by the Itinerary, so hopefully he may get in touch.

Thanks again Paul, we had a lovely time and we will certainly think of you and Explorer Travel again when we have saved up enough for our next big adventure!

Best wishes to you and all your colleagues,

Kind regards, from Ian.

Hi Paul,

Just wanted to say the Verona trip was fantastic and everything went like clockwork. The whole thing was just amazing, loved every minute of it.

Do you only deal with Italy? Do you do Florence by any chance?

Regards,  Sue

Hi Paul.

Just wanted to say thank you for arranging another fabulous trip to Verona.

We had a fantastic time, including a day-trip to Venice on the train, complete with a ride in a gondola and a (crushed) trip on a water bus.

Aida was great, even though we did have a break between Acts 3 & 4 due to rain. I think the opera finally finished at 1.30am!!!

So, back to real life again now, but I shall be in touch to arrange next year’s trip!

Best wishes

Caroline

Hi Paul

All in all a lovely short holiday thanks – so you got us a jolly good rate

I also noted that our airfare was much less than BA are currently charging – is that due to booking so far in advance?

kind regards

Susan

Hi Paul

Just to say thank you very much for arranging the holiday for me. It was fantastic and both my wife and I really had a great time. The hotel was perfect, the location out of this world and the experience so unforgettable

Thank you once again and I hope to travel with you again

Malcolm

Hi Paul

Just back from a wonderful trip to Lucca – one of my best holidays yet!

A few little tips and hints for any of your other clients thinking of going there:

Hotel San Luca Palace – faultless.  Lovely room, very good and generous breakfast, excellent service from all staff.  Claudio and Argentinian receptionist Clara particularly helpful. The hotel’s bar is very pleasant, with tables outside and the young barman is charming and mixes a very good Aperol Spritz.

Best restaurant in Lucca – Buca di Santonio. (down Via San Paolino  towards town centre in a little alleyway on the right hand side visible from the road)  Lovely food, not cheap but good value for money given service, atmosphere etc.  Robert had a huge T-bone steak, I had wonderful Risotto ai Funghi.  Good local red wine Monte Carlo (also had this in other places)  Claudio from our hotel and other locals told us this was the best place in town – and they are right.

Trattoria da Leo – very good, not far from Piazza San Michele.  Very popular with locals and vital to book as it was full

Lucca in Tavola – funny little restaurant/cafe just in front of Hotel San Luca in the Via San Paolino.  Good value for money, English-speaking owner bit pushy but pleasant nonetheless.  Would recommend it for family meals and we did visit it twice whilst staying in Lucca.

Nice cafe/bar in Piazza San Michele – Turandot.  Good A|perol Spritz, coffee, Birra Moretti, ice cream etc.

Orto Botanico – sweet little botanical gardens, bit neglected but charming just the same.

Chiesa San Giovanni has small recitals of Puccini, Mozart every evening.

Thanks for your help and advice during our booking process

Kind regards

Susan

(PS Joe Cocker was excellent!!)

Dear Paul

We returned home yesterday evening, having had an excellent time with excellent weather; the arrangements all worked well.

The opera Aida was amazing, and performed excellently.

We also, thanks to your advice, had what we considered to be about the best seats in the arena.

Sincerely

E

Dear Paul

Thank you for arranging our holiday to Rome.

The transporation and trips were arranged very smoothly and we were even upgraded at the hotel to a suite!!!!

Many thanks for all your assistance.

Best wishes.

Roger and Geraldine

Paul,

Had a wonderful time, the view from our room was lovely; restaurants and the spa were great.  All transfers worked perfectly in Crete. All in all the holiday was great and we did what we went for….relaxed in the sunshine.

Thanks again Paul

Chris

Paul

I just wanted to let you know that we had an excellent trip to Verona this weekend.  We had a perfect evening at the opera and a nice break in Verona.

Thank you for all your help in setting it up,

James

Paul

Just to say thank you so much for organising our holiday, it was fabulous!!!

The only down side was that when we arrived in Miami a hurricane was passing the Bahamas and for the first 3 days we had the tail end of the weather (huge winds and rain showers). The temperature was still 80 degrees so we could get out and about dodging the showers and trying to stand up in the wind. On the last couple of days the weather calmed down and it was sunny.

Miami and Las Vegas were great and we also enjoyed a nice weekend shopping when we visited our friends in Houston – loads of bargains!!!

We will remember to come back to you the next time we book a holiday.

Many thanks for your assistance.

Alan & Natalie

Hi Paul,

Thought I would let you know we enjoyed our holiday in Maderno very much. The hotel wasn’t bad, no fridge in room, which was a nuisance as Pat was still under the weather and had medicine to take which needed to be kept in fridge, however, they gave her access to the one in the bar area which worked out fine….. everyone was very friendly and welcoming. Despite the rain midweek, we managed to see the entire performance of the Marriage of Figaro at Verona which was great.

Thanks for your assistance in obtaining a very good break away at such short notice.

Kind Regards

Anne & Pat

Dear Paul

Thank you very much for your help and advice on our trip to Verona. We all had a really great time! The hotel was excellent, well positioned with very helpful and courteous staff and we really enjoyed the opera.

We packed quite a lot into our weekend – trips to Venice and Lake Garda.

Best of all the weather was kind (a definite improvement on the weather here).

Once again, many thanks

Anne

Paul,

Just wanted to let you know that we have arrived home safely and that the opera was fantastic. What a spectacle! The venue and the setting were fantastic. Staff greeting us with professionalism and we got preferential treatment with Mother being in the wheelchair. Everything ran extremely smoothly and we all had a wonderful time. I didn’t realize that we would be so near the stage, 4 rows back, fantastic! Thank you for all your help, I have already passed your contact details on to friends who are interested in going to the Verona Opera Festival next year.

Do you organise trips to the Carnival in Venice?

Thanks once again.

Chris

Had an excellent holiday -hotels good, opera brilliant -many thanks for your help.

Ciao!

Paul

sorry it’s taken me a while to drop a thank you out – we’ve only just got the cards printed and one will be on its way to you (can you let me know the address to send it to please).

The honeymoon was absolutely superb, Emma was totally surprised by the venue choice and was ecstatic when she found out after the wedding. I had sent the currency over to her in the morning as a big clue – it didn’t work as she only looked at the foreign exchange note – MRU – and couldn’t work out where that was. The answer was on the notes themselves that said ‘Bank of Mauritius’.

We had the best two weeks holiday and I will definitely being going back, maybe even to that venue. For an all inclusive it was excellent the food was stunning, almost all the drink was included (even the minibar).

A very big thank you Paul – will call you in the new year when things quieten down a bit over here….

Regards

Dave

Paul,

We had a great time in Verona. We had a couple of spots of rain as the opera started but as soon as we had bought our plastic macs the rain stopped – so even the weather was good. It was an excellent holiday. Thank you so much for all your efforts on our behalf. Best wishes,

Elaine

Thank you for all your help Paul. The hotel was fine and we enjoyed Lisbon. Even the weather brightened up after the first day so it was our last opportunity to sit outside sipping wine this year!

Elaine

Paul,

Just a note to say thank you for all the work you put into making our honeymoon fantastic. All of the information you gave us was great and very helpful.

We managed to do all the things we wanted – except the wine tasting as they didn’t run this on the Thursday and the Tuesday we were going to Verona. However everything else was superb.

The VIP Lounge in Verona was great too and this gave us an ideal opportunity to relax and stay calm as the airport was jam packed and very hot!!!

We received the Wedding card and the postcard – they were a lovely touch. Thanks again and I am sure we will be back in touch for you to arrange another holiday for us in the future.

Vicky & Gerald

Dear Paul,

Thank you for all the splendid organisation you did for our trip first to Verona through my cousin Elaine and then for Mervyn and my onward to trip in Italy and Sicily

Thank you again for helping to make out holiday one of our most enjoyable.

Best wishes

Valerie

Hi Paul

Just want to say a big ‘thank you’ to you for your brilliant bookings and reservations for our trip to Verona.

Our seats at the Arena were great, though next time you book for someone (not us for a few years as 3 operas was a bit much!) row 20 is where the aisle is and therefore no-one’s head gets in the way. We were fine in our row and it was great. Aida was disappointing in that Radames was sung by someone who’s voice was disappointing – don’t know his name as didn’t get a cast list. The spectacle for Aida was fantastic and the atmosphere wonderful as were the rest of the cast. We thought it was because there were no mikes, but discovered we were wrong when we saw La Boheme which was absolutely wonderful: voices magnificent, staging marvellous and just fabulous!! The Barber of Seville was long and a bit of a let-down after wonderful La Boheme, but you can’t win them all and the spectacle was wonderful again with the fabulous atmosphere. Thank you very much for organising it so well.

The Academia hotel in Verona was fantastic. Rooms lovely and proximity to city centre and Arena fabulous. You did brilliantly for us and a very big thank you from our cousins Vivian and Margot! Staff at hotel very nice and generally we were delighted. Some guests we got friendly with asked how we came to the hotel as they come every year and say it’s the best hotel to stay at. I told them about you and your ears must have been burning. My only gripe was that during siesta time there was no garden to sit and relax in as I hate to be inside in the air-conditioning when the sun’s shining outside and sitting having a coffee is not the most comfortable. I did find a sort of park one day, but it wasn’t the most comfortable. However, that is not really serious.

We had a driver take us to Lake Garda and Simione for lunch on one of our free days. Was really lovely.

Once again, many thanks for all you help and assistance.

Regards

Thelma

Having recently returned from our trip to Verona I felt I had to e-mail you for your help in arranging this trip. From the moment we left to the day we returned everything ran like clockwork, flights, transfers, brilliant seats at the opera and hotel accommodation were all excellent. A very enjoyable trip. Once again thanks for all your help.

Pauline

Paul,

Having been back just over two weeks, I thought you might like to have a brief report from me about the trip as a whole. In general, it was a great success and was very enjoyable.

As you know, we spent an extra three nights in Calgary where a niece of mine lives and she took us to the various tourist spots which was great. The Fairmont Hotel was good — very comfortable and good food.

We then started on the Rocky Mountaineer tour in a Coach. It was only two thirds full which was great and the drivers were excellent. We had three over the trip to Jasper and they were each very knowledgeable and with a good sense of humour. The first stop was Banff and the hotel is enormous. They gave us a map to find our way around! But it was O.K., and the next stop was at the Fairmont at Lake Louise. A wonderful position and once again a very big hotel for 900 guests (?) and the lunch/dining facilities were not able to accommodate such numbers without having to queue. Similarly at Jasper where you are accommodated in small outhouses perhaps 100 yards from the main hotel. Fortunately it did not rain! Frankly, being wise after the event, I think we would have been better off in slightly less upmarket hotels.

The train journey to Vancouver was wonderful. Here again, the observation coach was only half full which was great from our point of view, and the three girls who were looking after us were excellent. Marvellous views and scenery etc. We will leave out Kamloops! Just a nightover stop and then Vancouver at the Fairmont Waterfront for two nights. On checking in, they said we would have to change our room for the second night. Needless to say, I protested and eventually they put it right. Apparently, the first night was the last of the Rocky Mountaineer trip and the second night was the first of the Alaska trip — a different agency. One booking was in the names of Dashwood and Bowman and the other in the names of Bowman and Dashwood and of course the computer assumes these are different couples! Then the dining room checked with reception when I said we had vouchers only to be told we hadn’t so I had to go to reception to get them to look again at the voucher and they then confirmed it was O.K. Then the next afternoon, the door key wouldn’t fit! So it was replaced. Then the final bill on departure included the cost of dinner and breakfast after all. They cancelled it! I must say, however, that the staff involved in these few contretemps were all charming and full of apologies each time. I think I had to go to reception five times in 24 hours!

The cruise and outings to Alaska were great. For choice, I would not go on quite such a large ship, but the cabin was comfortable and the food was very good. We were rather outnumbered by Americans —- 1,400 out of 1,500!

All in all, it was an excellent holiday and thank you for all your efforts on our behalf.

Cyril

Dear Mr. Graham,

We returned two days ago from an extremely enjoyable trip to Verona. Thank you so much for all your organisation (we had no hitches whatsoever !) and also for your Welcome Home card.

We were very fortunate with the weather, of course, (almost cloudless throughout, day and night) but it might be worth warning opera-goers that rain can be a “dampener”, apparently – if there is any serious downpour during a performance the orchestra pack up their instruments and go home, and there is no compensation.

As I say, everything went very smoothly and the Hotel Maxim met our every need – excellent rooms and all the Staff were efficient, friendly and helpful. We were glad of the hire-car and had a lovely trip up part of the West side of Lake Garda last Thursday. One comment as regards pick-up at Brescia. Alamo seems to be connected to Maggiore and the sign at the counter was for the latter, with a small card in the window mentioning Alamo, not easy to spot at first ! Also, their desk seemed to be manned only intermittently (as opposed to Hertz, Avis etc.) so, for example, I had to push the keys and paperwork through a hole in the window when returning the car on Tuesday and was unable to have it checked.

We were very pleased to have been able to switch our Ryanair tickets to Online Check-In (which even I, as an incompetent on laptops, was able to achieve on the Monday before we set off) and Priority Boarding was a godsend, especially on the return leg. Of course, it only works if you only have hand luggage but well worth the extra £8 it cost us.

Finally (and definitely no reflection on yourself), our seats in the Second Sector Stalls, for Nabucco, were very disappointing since the grading of seats was very shallow and so we had a poor view between the heads of people in front of us – and many people around us felt the same way. Ironically, people who sat on the seats on the lower steps (proper, numbered seats), behind us, had a much better view. Might be worth advising your clients of this. The seats for Aida (velvet and cushioned, and much better grading) were fine and, as regards the performance, the Triumphal March just before “Half-Time” was mind-blowingly spectacular.

We spent our last day on Sunday by taking the train to have a fun day at Venice, a suitable finale.

I hope some of the above comments will be helpful to you but thank you again for organising such a great trip. We will remember it for a long time !

Regards,

Pat

Dear Paul

Thanks very much for recommending and organising our recent trip to Italy. We had a fantastic time (not least in the 36 degree sunshine !) and it all went very smoothly. It was just what we wanted – all the important bits booked but still the feeling of being, to a large extent, independent travellers and free to do what we wanted each day. We must have walked miles !

We were very impressed with the Hotel Renaissance in Naples – it was very central and the staff were helpful, and definitely good value for money. We were able to see about half of Pompeii in our first full day and tried then to follow it up the next day with a visit to the Archeological Museum in the city to put it all into context, but unfortunately that was the one day in the week it closed ! We found a lovely place to eat though which made up for it – Osteria da Carmela in Via Conte di Ruvo. It was recommended in the DK Naples and Amalfi Coast travel guide. We arrived at about 6.45 as we were in the area and it was still closed – the waiter then turned up and, despite it not opening ’til 7.30 – invited us in for a drink whilst he prepared the restaurant, got changed and then served us. We were the only ones there until just before we left when a local party of about 15 people arrived, and we had a real giggle with the staff despite the language issues – they made us feel very welcome and the food was fab. It was our best meal of the whole trip.

The train journey down to Rome was a positive experience and it was good to see some of the scenery instead of being up in the clouds ! The Embassy Hotel in Rome was, as we had asked, adequate – we were given the smallest room of the lot according to the fire-plan on the back of our door – but it suited us and was very clean and central. Of course we didn’t get to see everything in 3 nights but it was lovely that the city had such a relaxed feel and everywhere you turn there’s something else to see. We took advantage of the audio guides at the Colosseum and the Pantheon which were very useful, and were glad we made the effort to climb the dome at St Peter’s Basilica to see a fantastic panoramic view. We enjoyed a meal on our last night on your recommendation on the rooftop restaurant at The Hotel Diana.

All in all a good holiday (made even better because it was not somewhere that we would have gone with the children!), and a lovely way to celebrate Nick’s 40th birthday last November. I have had some interested enquiries from some work colleagues and passed on your details, so I hope some of them will follow it up!

With best wishes

Jo and Nick

 

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