Based in Reading

Gill Nicholls

Looking for help with your business travel? Find out how I can help here

It's Nice To Meet You

Hello and thanks for taking the time to look me up. I've been with Travel Counsellors since 2004 and every day is a fantastic challenge which makes me enjoy my work more and more. It's such an honour to be part of such an exciting and innovative company where our ethos is firmly rooted in excellent customer service.

For 18 years I specialised in Business Travel and enjoyed creating itineraries which include flights, hotels, cars, ferries and rail reservations but since joining Travel Counsellors, I now have the opportunity to put together some really exciting itineraries for leisure customers as well and my knowledge of the leisure sector is growing by the day.

Of course I have done some travelling myself and have been many times to Europe. I loved the buzz of New York, the 'Summertime' feeling you get in Miami and the clean air of San Francisco. Dubai is fabulous for shopping and sizzling on the beach or relaxing in the desert. I've also been to Hong Kong where the pace never eases up and in contrast, to the Caribbean where nothing is rushed and you'd fare better if you just relaxed!

I'm also an avid cruiser and have cruised with P&O, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Holland America cruise lines and this year I was on board for P&O's Azura and NCL's EPIC inaugural events. Cruising is fantastic these days and really has something for everyone.

So you see, I love travelling and when I'm not, I take pleasure in arranging travel for my friends, and my clients become my friends, and I always arrange a holiday on the basis of ' would I go there'.

Thanks for taking the time to read my page and get in touch when you next want your dream holiday arranged.

Please feel free to contact me by phone or email.

Kind regards



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My Blog

I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.

Ponant - Luxury expeditions to the Polars

03 May 2023

In April I was invited to a seminar at sea by the French cruise company, Ponant. They were showcasing their flagship Icebreaker vessel, name Le Commandant Charcot. The vessel took 6 years to design and build, 2 years longer than usual and is the most technological craft on earth and the only one to be powered with L&G energy. It’s Hull is 3x thicker than conventional ship hulls and this allows the ship to break through ice up to 3m thick which means it can get to the North and South poles and closer to nature than any other luxury ship. It also has two Bridges at either ends of the ship and thrusts that are capable of rotating 360° giving the ship the capability to sail backwards. The environment is at the heart of what Ponant do and so, on their Expeditions, minimal footprint is left behind with all waste being either recycled or stored safely until it can be disposed of later. As this is an expedition ship, going to remote parts of the planet, scientific research is welcomed with a resident scientist on board and other scientists being invited on board and the ship has a wet lab where samples can be stored and research work can be carried out. The passenger ship is small and luxurious, only holding 245 passengers. Its a 5* service on board with a Michelin starred Alain Ducasse restaurant called Nuna, 2 swimming pools, fully equipped gym and top notch SPA complete with sauna and ice room. It’s small but feels very spacious. There is a lovely seated area at the back of the ship with heated seating and a heated outdoor pool. The outdoor grill serves lovely comfort food such as burgers and aranchini balls. Ponant is a fantastic for adventure and luxury combined.

Cappadocia - A sight to behold

02 April 2023

It's perfectly possible to do a 3 night trip to Cappadocia in central Turkey, but I would recommend you do it as part of a twin or triple centre itinerary. There are no direct flights to Cappadocia, you have to fly via Istanbul so it does makes it a long journey. You can fly into either Kayseri or Nevsehir. However, when you arrive, it's like being another world. The town scenery is lunar like and punctuated by unique, cone-shaped rock formations, called 'Fairy Chimneys'. The Goreme UNESCO open air museum allows you to get up close to the formations and visit churches cut out of the rock. You can also hike through one of two valleys in the region, Love Valley or Red Valley but, by far the absolute best way to see the region, is from the air in a hot air balloon. The sight of the sky full of balloons, all floating silently and elegantly is something that will stay with you forever. It's a must-do activity in Cappadocia. As well as seeing Cappadocia from the air, there are also underground cities to explore, its not for the feint hearted though, as it can be tight on space underground. The town of has lots of shops and restaurants offering really great food, both local and international dishes. All in all, Cappadocia is an amazing destination, why not combine it with either a city break to Istanbul or a seaside resort like Kalkan or both!

A Great Referral

06 August 2019

At Travel Counsellors, we are trusted travel experts who believe in supporting our clients through every aspect of the booking from enquiry, through booking, before departure, during their holiday and even after returning. This also holds true for my business travellers. When you’re thinking of who to send my way, it could be anyone, really but I thought I’d give you some ideas…. It could be a family or couple who like quality holidays – it doesn’t have to be luxury, but you are looking for a good standard of accommodation and maybe like to be a bit adventurous. One of my clients that have booked with me for 10 years love exploring. Their most recent trip was Stockholm and the Baltic States by planes, trains and overnight ferries. I’ve also put together a driving holiday in Portugal, a driving holiday in Sicily, a twin centre holiday to Boston & Chicago for them and the list goes on. They very rarely book an ‘off the shelf’ holiday and I love the challenge. It could be a school; they are always arranging trips for their pupils – I have access to group rates with all the major airlines and hotel groups and I’d be happy to go into the schools and discuss their requirements. Sports club – we’ve got some great ‘cricket cruises’ at the moment or if you love Formula 1 and cruise, why not combine the two?! I’ve also arranged Zumba groups to Portugal the last 2 years running. In the past I’ve also arranged tickets for the Melbourne Tennis Open as part of an extensive Oz itinerary and you may remember that James Butler went to India a few years back to watch the cricket – I arranged that for them as well. Small group travel such as overseas groups wanting to tour the UK like I arranged for Mitch’s US group last year – they toured Scotland or a group of 6 ladies wanting to celebrate their 50th birthdays in Crete, as I did recently for my girlfriend. Small businesses with maybe 5 to 30 travellers. Companies of this size are usually battling to keep costs under control and by using someone like me, they can control where and how their employees make their travel plans and also avoid wasted man hours due to employees spending time researching travel options when they should be doing what they’re actually paid to do. By using a central point for all their travel, it makes it easy for me to identify their travel trends and advise whether they may benefit from enrolling in an airline or hotel scheme which would offer them negotiated rates and savings. I can arrange incentive trips for their staff e.g. dinner and a night at a West End Theatre, Whale & Dolphin watching weekends in Tenerife, Barcelona with a tour of Camp Nou Stadium including skip the line access. A lot of company employees are now taking advantage of bleisure – a mix of business and leisure – so e.g., you need to fly to Berlin or Munich for a business trip in December, why not take your partner, extend for a few days and visit the Christmas Markets? Lastly, I can help small businesses who need help arranging meetings & events – it could be at a country hotel in the UK or a beach resort in the Caribbean and include conference and breakout rooms during the day with golf sessions/spa treatments in the afternoon and dinner in a restaurant or a BBQ on the beach in the evening.

Exhausted Ocean cruising? River cruising may be your answer

22 November 2016

The Travel Counsellors Gold trip is Travel Counsellors way of rewarding me for achieving my target and retaining my Gold status. This year, the trip was a luxury River Cruise on the Danube. I flew out to Budapest and boarded the Scenic Jewel, where I headed for the bar with its panoramic windows to meet my fellow Gold TC’s. Eventually, Valerio, my butler showed me to my stateroom where my luggage, which I hadn’t seen since the airport, was waiting for me. I’m still amazed at how spacious these river vessels are and indeed they’re actually nicknamed spaceships. After dinner on the first night, we sailed up and down the Danube so we could see beautiful Budapest at night. After docking up we stayed overnight in Budapest and next morning joined one the many excursions organised by Scenic and offered to all guests complimentary. They call it their Enrich programme. We went to Szechenyi Baths - 20 different thermal baths, all different sizes and temperatures ranging from 18 to 40 degrees. The building itself is beautifully ornate and on a rainy dreary day in Budapest, the outdoor thermal pool, heated to 27 degrees was a great experience. On the way to and from the Baths, we were given a short city tour of Budapest by day. Back on board the Scenic Jewel, all drinks and snacks including 24hr room service and the in-room mini-bar are included in the price you pay and the food was absolutely outstanding. Your butler is on hand 24hrs for anything you might need and every member of staff could not do enough for you. The ratio of staff to passenger is 1:3 so you do feel very pampered. We set sail for Vienna and the panoramic windows really come into their own as you sit in the bar area with a book or a group of friends and a drink and watch the world go by. On arrival in Vienna, again you can either take one of Scenic’s excursions from their Enrich programme, stay on-board and enjoy the Spa area or hire one of the electronic bikes that Scenic carry on-board and do your own thing. That evening we were treated to a night of Ballet and Opera at the Palais de Liechtenstein before heading back to the ship for a bowl of Goulash and more drinks and music in the bar. Our trip was a short three night section of a seven night itinerary. It was long enough to get a very good feel for luxury river cruising and who this product would suit. Luxury river cruising is usually enjoyed by people who 50+, retired or nearing retirement, maybe they’ve done extensive ocean cruising and are looking for more intimate smaller ships which are able to get into the smaller ports around the world. The 5* ships are pricey but excellent value for money as everything on-board, including the Enrich programme is included in the price you pay. It’s a fantastic product and would be ideal for a special birthday or anniversary. If you think you’d like to try river cruising, get in touch, I'd love to hear from you.

New York, New good they named it twice!

08 July 2016

This was my 4th visit to NYC aka The Big Apple and each time has been better than the last. New York is frenetic and exciting and sucks you into its positive energy. There's so much to see and do that I would strongly recommend you do some research before you go. There were still things I didn't get to do but I guess I'll just have to return. We purchased a New York Explorer pass which offers loads of attractions and you choose from 3, 5 or 7 attractions as a bundle, saving you money. I chose 7 attractions and off I went. I chose a 48hr hop-on, hop-off bus ticket. This way you can get to see all 5 Boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island. The buses are open top and have experienced guides. We visited all the iconic sites like Empire State Building and Rockefeller Centre but we also did a couple of river cruises - one during the day and another one at Twilight. New York is best seen when you step back from it so these cruises are brilliant as you get to see the NY skyline, which is amazing. During these cruises you also get a close up view of the Statue of Liberty, given to the USA by France in 1886. We also jumped on a new tour called THE RIDE. It's an interactive bus tour, where the seats inside the bus are arranged in theatre style all looking outwards at the view outside. THE RIDE then takes you on a tour round the streets of Manhattan, where you interact with the world outside, whether that be the general public or a professional performer. It was the highlight of this trip and if you do nothing else, book yourself on THE RIDE! We did a day trip to the capital, Washington D.C. It's a 4hr coach journey, including comfort stops so definitely do-able and we were able to visit Arlington Cemetery where we visited the grave and eternal flame of J.F. Kennedy. We then drove into the centre and visited the Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials, before stopping for a photo opportunity outside the White House. The day finished at the National Air & Space museum - part of the Smithsonian museum complex. We had lunch here before departing for New York City, driving by the Capitol Building on the way. New York can easily be twinned with other cities e.g., Philadelphia, Boston, Toronto to name a few. Our last day was spent at the 9/11 Memorial Centre & Museum and the One World Observatory - very poignant to see the names of the 9/11 victims carved into the steel around the giant reflection pools that now stand in the footprints of the North and South Twin Towers. Don't just stay in Manhattan when in NYC, go exploring the other 4 Boroughs too - they all have their own personalities and their own attractions to offer. If you fancy eating out, try the Atrium in DUMBO, Brooklyn or if you fancy some comedy, try the Apollo in Harlem - New York has cleaned up its act and it's now safe to venture into these areas. So 5 days wasn't nearly enough time to see everything but you can get a great taster.....and it'll give you a great excuse to return!

Villa holiday to Majorca

16 September 2015

Villa holidays are becoming so popular now that I decided to experience it for myself. I flew to Palma courtesy of a leading Villa holiday company and they showed me their programme of Villa’s on Majorca and I was able to experience Villa and Resort living. My Villa was a traditional Finca, all thick stone walls and small windows which keep the house cool during the daytime. It was set in a lovely secluded spot, made very private by clever planting of trees and bushes and included a wonderful private pool and barbecue area. This particular Villa is ‘car essential’ which is testament to its secluded position but I saw many different types of Villas e.g, Townhouses - walkable to shops and the beach, Ultra-modern Villas with whirlpool baths and upside down villa’s with cool bedrooms downstairs and infinity pools. Villa holidays give guests so many options – couples who want a complete getaway, families who need the space for the kids to run around, large groups who need the flexibility of sleeping and cooking arrangements are just some groups where Villas would be a great choice but the list is not exhaustive. While in Majorca, I ate at some fantastic restaurants – none more than a 10-20 minute drive so even for ‘car essential’ Villas you still don’t have to cook if you don’t want to. Sunday morning was started by a visit to Pollensa Market. A lovely location with narrow cobbled streets and a wonderful town square with lots of bars/restaurants. The Market sold clothes, jewelry, handicrafts, fruit & vegetables – a lovely way to spend a relaxed Sunday morning. Monday morning I took a 40 minute drive down to the capital, Palma and jumped aboard a half-day Catamaran excursion up the coast. The boat dropped anchor at a gorgeous little beach area called Cala Portals Vells and you were able to jump off the vessel and swim to shore – the trip provided a tasty lunch and party music, it was great fun. Majorca is a wonderful island for a relaxing Villa holiday with lovely scenery, great bars and restaurants and some lovely little beaches. Of course, there are also lots of other places worldwide where a Villa holiday would be a great choice so if you fancy Villa living, please feel free to get in touch.

Switzerland and the Swiss Alps

08 July 2013

In May I spent a wonderful 3 days in Switzerland with a few of my Travel Counsellor colleagues. Everything you hear about Switzerland is true – the trains run impeccably (always to time), the air is clean and the roads are pristine. It was still quite chilly in Switzerland when we arrived but it it’s not like the UK – everything is set up for snow! Our first two nights were spent in Interlaken at the Metropole Interlaken. I have to admit that it’s not the prettiest looking hotel but it is in a fantastic location with views over Inerlaken. We took the Jungfrau railways up to Jungfraujoch which is the highest train station in Europe at 3454m above sea level. The train winds its way through the most stunning scenery and the mountain villages of Wengen and Grindewald. We had a wonderful guide called Martin Gertsch who is actually from Wengen and knows the area like the back of his hand. If you can afford it, having a guide like this can prove invaluable and I would say it was well worth it. When we got to the top we were able to visit the Ice Palace. It is a moving glacier full of ice sculptures, and an ice bar. There are viewing platforms from which you can see famous Swiss mountains such as The Eiger and Monch. However, a word of warning – altitude sickness is a real possibility at this height so I would recommend having a pack of altitude sickness pills with you, just in case. The next day we took the bus to the cable car station where we proceeded up the mountainside to the Alpine village of Murren. When we arrived in Murren, it was snowing heavily which made it feel like Christmas when it was nearly June! The village looked absolutely beautiful! We visited the hotel Alpenruh, a wonderful little property about a minute walk from the cable car and had a wonderful lunch. I would highly recommend it for a winter wedding – it would be magical! Later that evening we met at Interlaken West railway station and walked around the corner to the dock side. We boarded one of the many boats and steam paddles that traverse Lake Thun, for a leisurely dinner on-board. The boats are just another form of public transport but they can also double as a scenic tourist attraction as most people tend to use the buses and trains as they’re quicker. Schilthorn was our next place to visit. It is famous for where the James Bond movie ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ was filmed. The views are supposed to be absolutely stunning from up there but unfortunately, the day we visited there was a complete white-out. The clouds came down and visibility was nil. Visiting the Piz Gloria was definitely a highlight. It was the first revolving restaurant in the world and doubled as Blofeld’s living room in the movie. We enjoyed a fantastic hot chocolate there. We then visited the capital city Bern. It’s a small medieval city and a walking tour is a great way to see most of the sights. We visited the history museum and were fortunate enough to be there at the same time as the famous Xian Warriors visiting from China. We also visited the ‘Bear Pit’ housing a family of bears after which the city is named. Our last day was spent on a fabulous journey through the Swiss countryside on the Glacier Express train which took us to Zurich via Brig and Chur. We boarded the train at Brig. It was a wonderful end to a fantastic trip to Switzerland. Although Switzerland is a great place to visit in the snow, it also has many sights which are just as good in the sunshine. Just let me know if you're considering visiting this fantastic country and I can share some insights and tips for whenever you're thinking of travelling.

Porto - Great Food, Great Drink, Great City!

28 March 2012

I’ve just got back from a great city break – Porto. Situated on the North coast of Portugal, this fantastic city has so many things going for it. It’s only 2 hours from London, is in the same time zone and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. Porto is very hilly but is quite compact and if you’re fit, the best way to get around is on foot although there is a metro system, trams and a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour. The Portuguese have some wonderful restaurants and really tasty food – of course being on the coast, fish is a staple diet and they have a million different ways of cooking fish. We started off the weekend by wandering through the City’s many art galleries and curio shops and found a lovely Tea shop which hid a beautiful Tea Garden at the back where friends sat round on big cushions with tea and cake. On the Friday morning, we started a 4 hour walk around the city by visiting the third most beautiful bookshop in the World – Livraria Lello. It has the most beautiful staircase, rumoured to be the inspiration for the staircase in the Harry Potter movies. It is a fully functioning bookshop and so unfortunately taking pictures are forbidden. We also visited the Stock Exchange Palace, which is a very unassuming building from the outside but as you make your way through the building the rooms get grander and grander until we got to the Arab room and WOW!!! Decorated with intricate gold Arabic writing from ceiling to floor in a Moorish style – the room is used for receiving visiting Heads of State. After lunch we crossed the Douro river on foot over to the Guia side of Porto. This is where all the Port Cellars are in a row. We visited Sandemans Port Cellar where we were taken on a short tour of all the barrels stored with Port grown from grapes in the warmer, sunnier central region of Portugal and transported to the coast to mature in the cooler temperatures. Some of the barrels are absolutely huge and hold hundreds of thousands of gallons. The tour finishes with an invitation to taste some of the Port – both white and red. The afternoon was finished off with a lovely relaxing tour up and down the Douro River almost to where it meets the Atlantic Ocean…you get a really different perspective viewing the City from the water. On the Saturday we drove 45 minutes further North to Guimaraes (pronounced Gimaraesh). A lovely little town voted European Capital of Culture 2012 and also referred to as the birthplace of the Nation. Guimaraes has gorgeous cobblestone streets with little shops, restaurants and bars and at its heart – Guimaraes Castle. The city is awash with festivals and events celebrating its status and the Portuguese are certainly very proud of their city – everywhere you look, there is the logo to mark the European Capital of Culture, the ‘Heart’ whether it be in a window, on the façade of a shop or worn as a brooch. I really enjoyed my time in Porto and Guimaraes, it’s a fantastic region and a definite must for Port and wine loving 'Culture Vultures'.

Washington & Williamsburg - a Tauck Tour

05 October 2011

I’ve just returned from a wonderful tour of the North-Eastern States of the US – history buffs will love this itinerary. I flew into Newark, New Jersey with Continental airlines but there are other airlines operating from London and incidentally, it’s a great alternative to JFK as you can either take train from Newark airport straight into Penn Street Station, New York or alternatively, there’s a shuttle bus which operates frequently into the city for $15. Anyway, we took the train from Newark to Philadelphia – it’s really easy, a direct train with very comfortable seats and we were there in about 60 minutes! The tour, operated by Tauck Tours started at the Four Seasons right in the centre of Philadelphia with a canapé reception for all the guests where we all had a chance to meet our tour director, Mark and mingle with each other before standing up and introducing ourselves. There were 35 people on this tour and a good mix of nationalities. The canapé reception was followed by a lovely dinner in a private dining room. Next morning we all met our wonderful coach driver Nate for an 8.15am departure to Independence Hall, the birthplace of America where the Declaration of Independence was signed; we viewed the Liberty Bell in its new home and rode a horse-drawn carriage through the streets. We also visited the National Constitution Centre where we saw a presentation called ‘Freedom Rising’ all about the American Civil War. The evening was at my leisure and there are so many things to do in ‘Philly’ that it would be great as a city break. There’s plenty bars/restaurants/theatres and I finished my evening in a rooftop bar on the 19th floor of the Hyatt Bellvue hotel, appropriately called XIX (nineteen). It’s also a great location for Sunday Brunch. The next day we left Philadelphia on our way to Amish country. The Amish live very simply in a community with no modern day distractions. They don’t use electricity, mobile phones or cars except for work. They prefer to use horse drawn buggies, and bicycles adapted into scooters as they believe that God does not want them to live a comfortable life so everything they do has to be a chore. We learned so much about this community and after eating a traditional Amish meal we left with much more of understanding of why they choose to live the way they do. The afternoon was spent on the battlefields of Gettysburg. Gettysburg played a significant part in the American Civil War and was a deciding factor in the Union being triumphant and slavery being outlawed in the whole of the US. Abraham Lincoln gave the famous Gettysburg Address speech from here. Later on that evening we had an exclusive Tauck desert reception where a storyteller in Civil War dress re-enacted the story of a Gettysburg civilian caught up in the war. Day 4 and we crossed the famous Mason-Dixon Line which separates the southern slave states from the Unionist north. Mason and Dixon were actually English and were sent for from England to survey the area – it took them 3 years! We continued our journey onto the US National Marine Corps museum. There are exhibits representing each of the conflicts the US has been involved in from the Civil War right up to 9/11 – very moving. That evening we arrived in Colonial Williamsburg – a wonderful ‘Olde Worlde’ town full of re-constructed 18th century buildings and people dressed in period costumes and when they realised I was English they kept asking of news from the ‘Old Country’ and how the King and Queen were - George III & Charlotte! Williamsburg was the capital of Britain’s largest and wealthiest outpost of the Empire. Williamsburg has an abundance of activities for all the family including re-enactments of court cases where the public can play parts, guided tours of ‘The Palace’ which was the Governor General of Williamsburgs residence, ghost walking tours just make a trip to the visitors centre to buy your pass which allows you access to all the attractions open that day and also full access to the Williamsburg bus service which gets you around. In the evening, there are plenty of restaurants/bars to suit all pockets or you could visit one of the authentic Tavern’s for some Colonial Fayre and join in a sing-song of 18th century popular songs. I stayed at Williamsburg Lodge; it’s a beautiful place with a first-class SPA, outdoor and indoor pools and fully equipped gym. There’s also a Golf Course and Conference Centre and the Williamsburg bus stops right outside the door. After two wonderful nights in Williamsburg, we continued our journey onto Washington via a short detour to Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown is the first English settlement and where they fought for power with the Powatan Indian’s and later the African slaves were introduced. The first ship from England left four days before Christmas and after a 144 day journey, arrived in Jamestown in May of 1607. We arrived in the nation’s capital for our last two nights. We stayed at the Renaissance Mayflower, right in the centre of D.C. and an eight minute walk to the White House. Washington is the memorial capital with memorials to the Korean War, Vietnam War, WWII, Martin Luther King Jnr to name but a few. We had a spectacular night time tour where we saw these memorials lit up against the night sky – just breath-taking. Washington is great as a stand-alone city – I would recommend at least five days here to be able to experience everything this wonderful city has to offer. For our last night we had a farewell reception at the International Spy Museum where you can live out your dreams of being a spy by learning espionage techniques. After a tour of the museum, the group sat down to a last supper where one of the guests sang us a song from his native New Zealand that left everyone with a tear in their eye. The group had really gelled over the week and we all exchanged business cards and invited everyone to look us up if they were in our part of world – I’m sure some will. Tauck Tours are a fantastic product with extremely knowledgeable tour directors and a lot of inclusions making the price you pay an all inclusive price. Their product is aimed at a more discerning client who appreciates quality and don’t mind paying a little extra for exclusivity. Some of the guests on this departure were on their third, fourth and even eleventh trip with Tauck, which is testament to its popularity.

German Cities by Rail

30 July 2010

I’ve just had a lovely weekend in Germany and rather than flying, we travelled by rail. We travelled 1st class on Eurostar from London to Brussels and then changed to the high-speed ICE train to Cologne. We left London at 08.27am and arrived in Cologne at 14.30pm and that’s also taking into account the 1hr time difference. The advantage of arriving by rail is that you’re right in the city centre and so we took the 10 minute walk to our hotel – Maritim Cologne. The hotel’s atrium is beautiful, all glass which is spacious and light with shops and restaurants within. It’s actually classed as being out in the open air by the Cologne authority and so smoking is permitted in atrium! Next morning we did a walking tour of Cologne, it’s quite a flat city and quite compact so it’s easy to navigate. We ended up at the Cologne Dome – a beautiful gothic cathedral which took over 600 years to build. In the afternoon, we took a short taxi ride to Bonn and checked into the Maritim Bonn. This hotel has huge capacity for conferences with a large conference centre with various size rooms and break-out spaces. They also hold New Years Eve Gala dinner & dance every year. From Bonn, we took the short journey to Konigswinter. This lovely town is situated on the banks of the Rhine and reminded me of being at the sea side. We had a lovely lunch, courtesy of the Maritim Konigswinter before heading to the foot of the Drachenfel Mountains where you take the Drachenfel Railway to the summit. It takes about 10 minutes to the top and you get wonderful views over Bonn, Cologne and the surrounding countryside. About a third of the way is a wonderful stately home which is open to the public and while we visited, there was a wedding reception taking place in the beautiful grounds. The following day, we took the train from Bonn station to Bochum with a quick change at Duisburg. We were here because of a one-off event whereby 60km of Germany’s busiest Autobahn was closed off to traffic and picnic tables were placed out on one side while the other side was open to cyclists and skaters. It was a lovely hot day and an estimated 3 million people attended the event and there was a real party spirit with marching bands, choirs, musicians, chess clubs and even a group of ladies dressed in wedding dresses. We left Bochum around 12.25 and with an hour’s connection Cologne, we were back in London around 6pm. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and once on the train, it was very relaxing. One tip – just make sure you leave enough connection times between trains otherwise you end up dashing round train stations looking for your platform – but it’s all good fun ?


15 December 2009

I’ve just spent 4 days in Andalucía and it’s captured my heart. Day one was spent in Malaga city. Malaga is the gateway to the Costa del Sol and Andalucía and it’s often overlooked – it’s a beautiful city with a lot of history. I would recommend a couple days spent here to explore the city centre with its typical Andalucían architecture, the palm tree lined boulevards, the narrow cobbled streets and its own version of the La Alhambra called La Alcazaba Palace. Malaga also has a very beautiful Cathedral which is well worth a visit and the Picasso museum is a must if you want to find out about the famous artist. It’s also got some great shopping with many UK high street names. We spent the night at the Parador de Malaga del Golf. Paradors are a hotel network set up by the Spanish government. Most of them are situated in historical buildings and while the brand is consistent, each Parador has its own character and style. Parador de Malaga is a modern Parador with a Golf course – with it only being 10 minutes from the airport, its perfect for a short golfing break. On day two I travelled for about 90 minutes to reach Ronda. Ronda is a hilltop village split in half by a gorge and connected by the Puenta Nuevo or ‘New Bridge’ which was constructed in the 17th century. Ronda is a lovely town, they have a museum situated in a beautiful old building and it’s easy to stroll around looking at buildings that date back to the 16th & 17th Century. The Parador Ronda is situated in what used to be the old town hall and is perched on the edge of the gorge. It has spectacular views over the gorge and down into the valley and would be perfect for a romantic honeymoon. I had a lovely lunch at this Parador. After lunch, I was on the road again – this time to Seville. Seville is well known for the Spanish American Expo of 1929. Lots of buildings that were constructed especially for the occasion still remain today. I didn’t have long to visit unfortunately, I would definitely recommend at least 3 nights in the city. I also visited the Plaza de Espana, a beautiful building in the shape of a crescent, a reminder of its Islamic origins. I stayed the night in the Parador de Carmona, a little village situated about 15 minutes outside of Seville. This was the most impressive hotel façade I have ever seen - it looked like a castle but inside still provided upmarket accommodation and great food. Paradors are perfect for 40 plus couples who no longer travel with children and instead prefer to travel on their own or maybe with friends. They like the finer things in life, 4* properties with 24hr room service, excellent food and wine and great history. My last full day was spent in Granada at La Alhambra Palace. La Alhambra was/is a city within a city and when it was first occupied by the Muslim’s who conquered Spain, up to 6000 people were living within the Palace walls self sufficiently. They built a dam up in the hills and diverted the water into the Palace so they could grow their own food.I spent the whole day looking around the Palaces and gardens. It was very interesting and informative and is one of those places that needs to be ticked off the list. I spent my last night at the Paradores de Nerja. Nerja is a small resort along the Costa del Sol with a lovely beach. The Parador is perched high above the beach with fantastic views out to sea. It’s a modern building but the service is still consistent with all the other Paradores and provided a lovely end to a fantastic trip.

Cairo & the Pyramids of Giza

11 October 2009

I met colleagues at Heathrow and checked in for our BMI flight. We were then taken to the BMI lounge, situated airside. It’s a lovely lounge, decorated in contemporary style. There was a good selection of pastries on offer along with other drinks and snacks. They have a lovely fireplace with comfy sofas arranged around it. The flight is about 4 hours and BMI’s economy cabin offers a tasty menu and a very good entertainment system with video and audio channels. We arrived in Cairo and the next day we visited the Egyptian Museum. Entry fee is EG£60 which allows you entry to the majority of the antiquities held here. I found it fascinating looking at furniture, clothes and jewellery which was all at least 5000 years old and you can easily spend a whole day in here. If you want to see actual mummies e.g. Tutankhamen, then you have to pay a further EG£100 to the special area. In the afternoon, we made our way to the Pyramids. People always think the Pyramids are way out into the desert but in reality, they are situated on the edge of the city at Giza and in fact, you can catch a glimpse of them from most places in the city. Entry into the area is EG£60 and you are able to walk around the Pyramids and the Sphinx. You have to have your wits about you here as you will be hassled continually by people trying to sell you all manner of things or offering you camel rides. We were warned not to engage with the sellers but while there other guides were heard encouraging their group to buy so it depends on who you get. The Pyramids and Sphinx were absolutely awesome and it was hard to take in that I was looking at an Ancient Wonder of the World. I actually touched the base stone of one of the Pyramids and felt very humble. The Sphinx was built to guard the Pyramids and our Guide explained that when a Pharaoh died, it took 70 days to embalm and mummify the body and this was done in a building below the Sphinx away from everyone. He was then carried through a corridor to a temple where the family could pay their last respects. The last part of the journey was the carrying of the body into the Pyramid itself. Our last full day in Cairo was spent visiting various hotels both in the City and around the outskirts and it gave us a chance to see the contrasts. There is a new city being built to take the overspill from Cairo, called 6th October City, and there’s lots of building work at the moment but already looks very promising. Nicely landscaped and less polluted with lovely resort hotels. On summary of my trip to Cairo, I would definitely compare it to Marmite – you either love it or hate it! Personally, I feel very privileged to have seen the Pyramids with my own eyes and visit the Egyptian Museum and I think everyone should visit the Pyramids at least once in their lives.

St Lucia, West Indies

09 April 2011

While holidaying in Grenada, my Mum and I decided to pop over to St Lucia for a few days. We arrived at Vigie airport on the northwest coast, much closer to the main resorts on the island. If you’re arriving from the UK you will arrive into Hewanorra which is a 90 minute drive from the resorts, but then I suppose you could use that as an excuse to take the helicopter up to the northwest and marvel at the Pitons on the way! The Pitons are 2 conical peaks that rise almost vertically straight out of the sea for about 770 metres - remnants of volcanic activity that created St Lucia and most of the islands in the Caribbean. We stayed at the Almond Morgan Bay resort about 15 mins from the airport and the capital, Castries. The hotel is set right on a wide private beach and is set out around a lovely pool area. Actually there are two pools, right next to each other but one is adults only which worked out really well. Friday night is ‘Fish Friday’ in Gros Islet. It’s about 5 minutes from Rodney Bay and its basically an open air ‘jump up’ with music and stalls selling food, drinks and handicrafts. You can party into the night but we stayed about 3hrs before heading back to the hotel. Saturday morning we rode the local bus into Castries for market day.They have loads of outdoor stalls and also an undercover part selling freshly caught fish, herbs and spices, locally made souvenirs, fruits and vegetables. The place was bustling with lots of people and it was HOT! On Sunday we hired a local taxi driver to take us on an island tour. We spent the whole day out with him and we literally saw the whole island. We started at Toraille Falls which is popular with tourists who like to swim in the pool formed by the waterfall. We then went on to enter the world’s only drive-in Volcano! Soufriere Volcano looks like what you would imagine the inside of a volcano to look like - hot, smokey with bubbling mud springs. You have to pay to drive in but it’s well worth it as you leave the road and make your way by foot to a vantage point which is directly above the volcano – it’s an amazing sight. The island roads are in fairly good shape but are very windy and mountainous so although the island is small, it could easily take the whole day to get around. The views are magnificent from most places on the island and the people are extremely friendly. There are some wonderful hotels within everyone’s budget so I would thoroughly recommend St Lucia – I certainly hope to return one day!

Dubai & Maldives part 3

18 May 2009

One & Only Reethi Rah is huge in comparison to the other islands we had been to. Two thirds of the island is man-made and has been reclaimed from the Ocean. It has 130 rooms & villas but there is at least 65ft between each accommodation which helps to maintain a spacious feeling. On arrival at your villa, you are introduced to your Villa host who performs a foot bathing ritual with essential oils to soothe tired feet after a long journey. I had a Duplex Villa which was just beautiful, decorated in dark wood and red with really high ceilings and the tallest mirror you’ve ever seen. Each villa has two bicycles which can be fitted with children seats (drive on the left) or you can still use the buggies. We dined on Arabic food in Fanditha’s which was delicious and then spent the evening in a chill out space on large cushions scattered on the sand with a DJ spinning the decks. The next day our final host island Huvafen Fushi sent their luxury yacht to pick us up, complete with 2 masseurs from the island SPA who performed quick massages on the 20 minute transfer. This can be booked as an upgrade to the usual speedboat transfer but is pricey at US$2000. On arrival at Huvafen Fushi I was shown to my room, a deluxe beach villa with large deck directly on the beach. There was a plunge pool in the private courtyard that houses the outdoor bathroom area. There is an abundance of foliage could put some people off but torches are provided for night time as the lighting across the resort is deliberately low-key. Huvafen would suit a hip and trendy clientele, with their music systems in the rooms that can also be heard via speakers in the outdoor bathrooms and music also seems to permeate throughout the whole resort. Huvafen Fushi has the worlds only underwater SPA where you're outlook is the bottom of the Indian Ocean and the natural coral. We were taken out on one their luxury Dhoni boats which have been re-vamped into one bedroom units and be combined with a stay in a beach bungalow. That evening, we had dinner at Salt, a fine dining restaurant where the food is prepared in front of you. Next morning, it was time to pack the suitcase for the last time and wave farewell to Huvafen Fushi and all the Maldivian islands we had visited over the previous 7 days. From the luxury yacht, we waved goodbye to Baros as we passed by on our way back to Male airport. Quick Facts Currency – Maldivian Rufiyaa but US$ is widely accepted Religion – Muslim nation so no topless sunbathing! Islands – over 1000 spread North to South in the Indian Ocean

Dubai & Maldives part 1

14 May 2009

I’ve just returned from a fabulous trip to Dubai & the Maldives and I had the most fantastic time. I flew Emirates and was upgraded to business class which gave me the chance to sample their award winning business class cabin. When you board, you are greeting with hot towels and complimentary Orange, Apple juice or Champagne. I arrived in Dubai after the overnight flight and was met by Tariq, our host for the day. Tariq took us on a city tour of Dubai including the Stock Exchange, The Burj Al Arab hotel, the Emirates towers, The Burj Tower, the Dubai Mall and we ended the day with lunch and a site inspection of the One & Only Royal Mirage’s The Palace and Arabian Court hotels. I then headed back to the airport to continue onward to Male airport. I arrived at 1am and was greeted by a representative from the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa who immediately took my suitcase, tagged it with my room number and loaded it onto a speedboat. I clambered aboard and we sped off into the dark night for a 30 minute high speed ride to the resort. I was met by a welcoming committee who immediately showed me to my room and my luggage arrived 5 minutes later. I stayed in a beach bungalow with private pool and indoor and outdoor shower’s in a very contemporary decor. The accommodation is situated on either the sunset or sunrise side so you can request a preference. Next morning, I was shown around the resort – the resort is quite relaxed and very family friendly with a great kids club, a very well equipped gym and a fantastic SPA on a separate island, reached by a Dhoni. The SPA has a room set up for couples to have treatments together while looking at the ocean through a glass floor. After lunch, it was time to move onto the next resort, Cocoa Island. A very small resort, 350m by 70m, with all their accommodation over water. Journey time from Male is 45 minutes. I stayed in a 2 bedroom COMO villa with access directly into the warm Maldivian waters from both bedrooms and living room. The décor is very rustic and most of the accommodation is in the style of the Dhoni. The view from here is totally un-interrupted. It’s a very intimate resort with only one restaurant, called Ufaa and a small pool. It has an open air pavilion for Yoga practice and I would recommend this resort to an older couple or honeymooners who are looking for seclusion. This resort has no provision for children. To Be Continued....

Dubai & Maldives part 2

14 May 2009

The next morning it was time to move on again and this time it was quite a journey! The Beach House is reached by a 40 minute flight from Male to Hanimaadhoo then a 45 minute exhilarating speedboat ride. Its well worth the effort, the resort is beautiful. All accommodation has a private pool and a personal butler. Each Beach Villa also offers a private Cabana on the beach. It’s one of a few Islands to offer Water Villas as their lead in category. You get around the resort on buggies and I would recommend a torch for getting back to the Beach Villa’s at night as it’s quite dark with a lot of foliage. They have a live band some nights and there is even a Karaoke lounge! That evening we dined at Medium Rare, one of many restaurants & bars and the food was absolutely exquisite. The next morning, we travelled by speedboat for a short visit to Island Hideaway. This resort was a very family friendly one with each accommodation type having its own butler who does absolutely everything for and with the family. The Butler will serve you in the restaurant for your evening meal (there are no waiters). He will even look after the children or go snorkeling with you if you so wish. The island is quite big but there are only 43 villas so it feels very spacious. The rooms will fit 2 adults and 2 children but are very flexible and will consider 2 adults and 3 children if requested. Unfortunately we didn’t spend the night at this resort and so didn’t get to sample the accommodation but it was a lovely resort and the two ladies Jasmine and Julia (both from Germany) were excellent hosts for the afternoon. After lunch, it was time to move onto Baros. This was the first resort where I saw ordinary English people enjoying the Maldives. The resort is very contemporary in design and they are eco-friendly by not using buggies. I stayed in a lovely Baros Villa and I kicked off my shoes and walked around the resort bare foot! Baros is the lead in Luxury Island in the Maldives and there were some negative points – all room types will only sleep a maximum of 3 including children and then only children over the age of 8 are welcome. There also isn’t a main pool and not all room types have a private pool so if you prefer pool to sea-water, then Baros may not be for you. We dined at their fine dining restaurant, Lime Restaurant, and enjoyed a 7 course Degustation menu. Lime restaurant only does 26 covers so pre-booking is highly recommended. The next day, we took a speedboat back to Male and then took a sea plane to Kanuhura. Kanuhura is a beautiful resort, and the jewel in the crown is the large pool that meanders around the resort. None of the accommodations have private pools but it didn’t seem to matter too much here as the large pool made up for it. The Bar was a great place to meet in the evenings for a pre-dinner drink overlooking the same pool now lit up for the evening. We dined at Veli Café, an open air restaurant on a deck beside the beach, as we watched a loan Heron staking out his catch at the water’s edge . The food was wonderful and the presentation, first class. There is a private island across the way from the resort and a Dhoni is on hand to take people back and forth all day, and you can even arrange to dine there as a special treat. Next morning, I was able to get experience the calm waters of the Indian Ocean before boarding another sea plane which would take me directly to the One & Only Reethi Rah. The sea plane was delayed by an hour but this is nothing unusual. The journey was 30 minutes and we were greeted by the largest island yet! To Be Continued....

Captivating Canada & Alluring Alaska

30 November 2008

I flew from Heathrow to Calgary via Minneapolis with Northwest Airlines. I was impressed with NWA, the plane was modern and spacious and the crew were very friendly and professional. After a long day, I eventually arrived at the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary. A majestic looking hotel, right in the heart of Calgary. This hotel is a good choice if, like me, you are taking the Rocky Mountaineer to Vancouver. The staff from Rocky Mountaineer set up a desk in the hotel reception and I checked-in there, deposited my luggage and it wasn’t seen again until the next evening, in my hotel room at the Fairmont Vancouver. The Rocky Mountaineer is a great way to see the Canadian Rockies, the scenery is awesome. Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to see any grizzly bears but I did see loads of bald eagles and mountain goats! Every so often someone would shout ‘eagle to the left’ and everyone would run to the left hand side windows to get a look and take photos. It’s 2 long days on the train so I would suggest taking reading material, cards, Ipod – after all, there’s only so much scenery one can see! The train stopped at Kamloops where we transferred to a hotel for the night before continuing our journey to Vancouver the next day. By this time the train from Jasper was now joined to ours and we totalled 23 carriages! I arrived in Vancouver early evening and transferred to the Fairmont Vancouver for 2 nights. Vancouver is a wonderful city, the air is so clean and fresh. A city tour is definitely recommended – we got all the information needed from the information office opposite the cruise terminal. It was now time to join the cruise that would take me to Alaska. I joined Holland America’s Ryndam. Holland America are known for their medium sized ships. The style is very elegant and the staff are extremely attentive. By the end of the cruise my waiter knew my favourite drink and they all made the effort to remember your name. Alaska is amazing – it’s hard to describe in words and really needs to be seen with your own eye. I saw Glaciers, snow capped mountains, waterfalls and the fin of a whale. Unfortunately, while there were many sightings of whales from other passengers, I was never lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. I would recommend this holiday to people 50+ who enjoy the scenery at a relaxing pace. It’s a once in a lifetime holiday and I’m so glad I was able to experience it.

Day Trip to Venice

17 July 2008

I'd never been to Venice but, as with so many places around the world, it was on my wish list so when I found some bargain flights with Ryanair I persuaded my husband and 6 other friends to part with their money and enjoy a day out with me. I took a flight from Stansted to Treviso with Ryanair. I have to say, you do get what you pay for with Ryanair and that was very evident in the 'scrum' for the seats on board but on the plus side, they were on time and the set-up with the bus service into Venice is very slick. The bus costs 10 euros return and takes about 1hr from Treviso airport to the Piazzale Roma in Venice. From here, we were accosted by a gentleman offering a free ride to Murano Island where we visited a glass making factory. There was an opportunity to buy some beautiful pieces at very reasonable prices. We took a water taxi over to St.Marks Square and I just stood there in awe. This was a place I had seen countless times in magazines and on TV and now here I was, standing in it! The trick to saving your pennies in Venice is not to eat in St.Marks Square but go off the square and onto the little side streets where you'll find plenty of restaurants and they offer 3 course lunches for between 14 and 18 euros, excellent value for money. Venice is full of shops selling Murano glass jewellery, and masquerade ball masks and we strolled through all the side streets and through the Rialto Market, over bridges and down steps, lots of them, all the way back to the Piazzale Roma to catch the bus back to Treviso airport. Doing Venice in one day was very tiring but immensely worth it, I thoroughly recommend it.

My customer stories

Sent by Denise Darrell

Gill has been nothing short of brilliant. She found everything I wanted an excellent apartment, in a great location, within my budget. She was super fast at coming back to me with quotes, made some excellent suggestions and just really ‘got me’ and understood what I wanted. And then she delivered it with ease, professionalism and some lovely extra touches. Definitely my travel ‘go to’ person from now on.

Sent by Catherine Weeks

Gill is excellent and very helpful! Delighted to have discovered Travel Counsellors!

Sent by Y S

Gill listened to our requirements for a romantic break for 2, and found us 3 amazing holidays for us to select from, all to our requirements and budget. All subsequent questions were answered efficiently and promptly, now we just can't wait to get going in a couple of months! We are planning to go away for our anniversary next July, and we will definitely be using Gill again to find us our dream holiday.

Sent by Richard Atkinson

Just wanted to say a big thank you especially to you (Gill) and all others who helped arrange our holiday in Iceland, everything went as smooth as clockwork. The mix of activities and our own time was great, each activity seemed to eclipse the previous days! It was a great way to celebrate two birthdays and we are now hooked on glaciers, volcanos and geysers! I would not hesitate in recommending Travel Counsellors and your services to all my friends and colleagues

Sent by Mabel Ezugwu

Gill Nicholls comes highly recommended. She is really friendly and helpful. We gave her a budget to work with and she really went out of her way to help us. We can't thank her enough for her help. Thank you Gill! We’ll definitely be in touch again soon :)

Sent by Alan Bradbury

Gill always listens to what we want rather than put forward her own agenda. She has suggestions but ultimately she makes what you want happen.. We have full confidence in her high standard of service. She is knowledgeable but prepared to say if she doesn't immediately know the answer to a query and will use her initiative and network of fellow Travel Counsellors to find a solution. We have used Gill's services for many years and she is our first call when planning a trip

Sent by Sioux Lees

Gill and her team provide a very personal travel service that is rarely found these days with many companies. Their attention to details is second to none and I would certainly not want to use anyone else having now found travel counsellors.

Sent by Martha Matthews

I cannot thank Gill enough for the help and support that has been given to me, at a time when I needed it most. A family emergency meant that I had to travel ASAP. I called Travel Counselllors and the professional way in which Gill went about calming me and making my flight possible, for this I am most grateful. Travel Counsellor will always be my first choice, and will always highly be recommend.

Sent by Siobhan Truter

Gill has been absolutely fantastic. She's understood our requirements and the option we had to choose from where completely aligned to those. Thank you for making the process of booking our girls trip away so simple. We look forward to the trip and booking with you in the future. We highly recommend Gill!

Sent by M N

Without a doubt an 11, Gill gave me options tailored to exactly what I wanted and in less than no time the holiday I always dreamt off is one step closer to reality!

Sent by Diksha Chakravarti

Gill goes the extra mile - she is extremely well travelled and has personal experience of the locations so all the information she provides is valid and up to date. Gill also takes the time to get to know her client's needs and preferences so she creates a 'perfect fit' each time - not for her the hard sale, she nurtures you and takes care of you. I wouldn't consider booking my holidays/trips with anyone other than Gill Nicholls! Thank you Gill from a happy traveller Diksha Chakravarti

Sent by Ghislaine Borenstein

Great service as usual over the many years Gill has looked after me

Sent by Joe Ball

Excellent service before and after booking was made. Would most certainly use this company again. Gill was most helpful

Sent by Afiya Titus

Gill's expertise and speed go above and beyond to ensure a seamless customer experience. 10/10 will definitely book again. Thanks

Sent by Camilla Medcalf

Fantastic! I have not used a company to book a holiday for years, since it has been possible to do it myself on the internet. The hours I have wasted! Gill took away all the pain staking time wasting and deliberation, she presented me with some fantastic options that fitted my needs perfectly and I now have a wonderful holiday to look forward to. I would not hesitate to go back to Gill again. Thank you very very much

Sent by V C

It would be perfectly possible to book a holiday ourselves via the internet, so why use Gill? The answer is simple: service. She always comes up with the perfect choice that is tailor made for us. She provides excellent support before, during and after the holiday and makes us feel nothing is too much trouble. It's the personal nature of our relationship that makes booking a holiday with her a real pleasure.....and you can't get that on any website!

Sent by John Titmus

Gill has provided a fantastic service everytime I have booked with her.

Sent by Mark Sparshott

Gill is awesome providing a phenomenally fast and efficient service to our company while maintaining a personal touch. On countless occasions Gill was able to change my booking on the way to the airport to get me home on earlier return flight in time to put the kids to bed after all. Invaluable time back - thank you Gill!

Sent by Renata Clayton

Gill is very helpful, polite and great with coming up with ideas for holidays. Trustworthy and I would say goes the extra mile.

Sent by Sue Kitley

As always Gill is awesome and in this particular trip which was particularly complex, Gill was very patient with us with all the changes to the itinerary and gave us a first class GOLD service! Would recommend Gill to anyone.

Sent by A Bradbury

Gill is always happy to answer any question and go the extra mile to ensure you are entirely comfortable and happy with your choice and you are making the most informed decision so that any trip or holiday is the best possible outcome.

Sent by A Y

I have completed these reviews but just wanted to say thanks again. It was pretty much a perfect break with spot on choices on your part as you may have already gathered from Facebook . What a star, yet again.

Sent by Mary Selby

I always mention Gill Nicholls when talking about our holiday last year which was just perfect! The arrangements and itinerary were just what we requested and more! We have booked our 2016 holiday through Gill and she couldn't be more helpful - so more mentions to family and friends.

Sent by Emma Milligan

Thank you so much for all your help during my trip. This is the second multi-location trip I have booked with Gill. She is an extremely warm and friendly advisor and goes above and beyond to help make your trip run smoothly. It is only when problems arise that you realise how incredibly helpful it is to have a Travel Counsellor to support you. When my flight was cancelled by the airline a couple of weeks before take off, Gill contacted me immediately and changed my flight so I wouldn't arrive late to my holiday arrangements. I would happily recommend her to my family and friends and will use her in the future.

Sent by Andrea Reid

I contacted Gill with brief information about where and when I would like to book my holiday. The service I received was flawless. Not only did Gill quickly sort out the booking for me, the ticket price was more competitive than expected. Thank you Gill for a wonderful service. I will definitely be booking with you in future!

Sent by Stuart Sharp

Gill Nichols is the epitome of efficiency and top class customer service! She handles every request, no matter how last minute, with calm efficiency. It's a pleasure to work with her.

Sent by Victoria Colclough

Thank you so much for organising our recent trip to Sorrento. You were a shining example of the personal service Travel Counsellors promise. We were initially disappointed that it didn't look as though we were going to be able to get a sea view in the hotel of our choice, but, dedicated as ever, you dug away and trawled through all the agencies until you found not only a full sea view but also half board for about the price we were initially paying for bed and breakfast. Now that's what I call service!! It was a great week, made all the better by your hard work. We've no idea how you will top this triumph....unless it's finding a hotel that pays us to stay there! Many thanks. We look forward to planning our next holiday with you. Vicki and John Colclough

Sent by Judith Brailli

We have already recommended Gill and would not consider any other agent for our holiday bookings, she is always prompt, enthusiastic and 'goes the extra mile' for us. Our last holiday she arranged exceeded all expectations!

Sent by Amy Prentice

Gill was fantastic! We couldn't have asked for more. She was friendly, enthusiastic and helpful in ways other travel companies weren't. Gill was recommended to us through a few friends and we would certainly send our friends and family her way. It was a real pleasure organising our honeymoon through her.

Sent by Helena Jagger

I am a travel booker at my company and I also book my own personal travel with Travel Counsellors. I would definitely recommend Gill as she takes all the hassle out of looking for a holiday, it is simple, easy and just all round good.

Sent by Paul Macbeth

I wouldn’t use anybody else for my holidays. You get what you pay for in life and, although there may be cheaper holidays online, you provide fantastic value together with an incredibly personal, knowledgeable and exceptional service. This has resulted in you building an in-valuable base of ‘clients for life.’ Something that I certainly am!

Sent by Lynne Rutter

Thankyou so much for organizing our trip to painless for us! We would highly recommend your service to anyone. Looking forward to hearing from you in the new year! Have a great christmas whatever your plans are.

Sent by Angie Sanders

I have booked holidays and flights with Gill for a couple of years now, and I can honestly say that Gill takes all of the worry and stress out of the booking, departing and arriving that I used to feel. I know that Gill always finds the best accommodation and locations from me. I recommend Gill Nicholls from Travel Counsellors to all my friends, family and colleagues. I know that when Gill was recommended to me it changed the way I book holidays and flights, I am completely converted! Thank you Gill.

Sent by Alan Coutain

Gillian has to be one of the most professional, helpful, resourceful people I have had the pleasure of meeting. I used to book my holidays through the high street chains. But after Gillian booked one of my holidays, I never went back to them. Gillian is not just interested in the sale (i.e. give him the most expensive holiday I can offer). She listens to my varied destinations, needs, interests and my budget then gives me recommendations based on a good fact find.