J. Friedman, Maryland, USA
We had a wonderful vacation in England overall, and a terrific cruise on Royal Caribbean. With your help, we saw a great deal of England. And I must say, England exceeded even my expectations (not to mention the expectations of the others).
Not having much knowledge about the English countryside outside of London, we thought your advice was invaluable for making a wonderful itinerary for our 7-day journey. You patiently listened to our needs and wants through many e-mails and phone calls and fine-tuned the itinerary to make it affordable and workable for us.
We very much liked and used all the information, maps, and written itinerary included in the mailing provided for us before our trip. Your “tips for a successful vacation” was also very helpful. It was very well done. I especially appreciated the information and directions provided for each accommodation.
Generally, the accommodations and breakfasts were acceptable for the price set for our vacation. Accommodations that we especially liked and would recommend were the Centurion Hotel near Bath (wonderful restaurant off the golf course) and Monks Barn Farm B&B, Stratford-upon-Avon, where we had lovely accommodations, a knowledgeable and warm and friendly hostess, and sheep that we were able to feed! The Park Inn, Heathrow, was perfect for our last day as it was the most modern of all the accommodations, had internet and a great breakfast buffet, and relatively easy access to the airport and the tube to London. All accommodations provided us had excellent “English Breakfasts.” But there were two hotels on our itinerary that we would definitely not recommend to other Americans. The first hotel, Old Ship Hotel, Brighton, had “issues:” 1. Car access for the purposes of unloading luggage was poor and the front of the hotel had no directions to their parking lot; 2. Cleanliness of the room was questionable; 3. the shower had either cold or super hot water with nothing in between; 4. we could not connect to the internet as promised by the hotel. The second hotel, “Marlborough Hotel, on the Isle of Wight” in Shanklin was in a nice town and setting. However, the hotel itself paled in comparison to other B&Bs and small hotels that we noticed in the near vicinity. It also failed to have internet service and did not honor a “wake-up call” request from our friends. Despite these criticisms, we still feel that we had value for our money in terms of accommodations.
Driving in the UK was definitely more challenging than we anticipated. Not only do Americans have to get used to driving on the other side of the road, the “round-abouts” were confusing, the roads were markedly more narrow (and without shoulders) than roads in the U.S, and the time to cover distances in the UK because of these features are much longer than it would be in the U.S. Although David is an excellent driver and comfortable driving a “stick-shift,” we are very thankful that we chose to rent an “automatic.”
Finally, even with what we consider to be minor criticisms expressed above, I want to thank you for your services for our trip to England. Despite the few glitches, it was a great vacation that could not have happened without you. I would recommend your services to other Americans wanting to make this kind of trip. Thank you again.