Based in Brough

Sarah Smith

It's Nice To Meet You

My name is Sarah, and I'm a travel agent in Brough.

I've worked in the travel industry and customer services for over 27 years. I'm one of those lucky people who work in an industry that is essentially my hobby: travel! I love travel and all things related; be it the foreign culture, traditions, architecture, smells and sounds and, of course, the cuisine.

I have travelled extensively so have first-hand knowledge of many worldwide and luxury destinations including the Middle East, Caribbean, Australia, Canada, USA, South Africa, Maldives, Mauritius, and Morocco, Egypt and many European destinations including multiple Greek islands, Italy, Austria, Spain and Portugal. I also have immediate access to a huge circle of colleagues all over the world, so if I can't answer your question, I'm confident someone in the Travel Counsellor community will be able to.

The largest holiday I ever organised was for my own wedding in Zell-am-See, Austria in 2005. It was an amazing week where 64 family and friends joined us for a 'winter wonderland' wedding. It was truly bespoke with seven different departure points, flights, trains, cars, transfers, two boutique hotels, a horse-drawn sleigh and plenty of mulled wine!

I have won many awards and accreditations. Here's a few of my career highlights:

TUI New Shop of the Year award 1993
TUI Shop of the Year award 2001
TUI Shop Manager of the Year 2004
Institute of Customer Services (ICS) Solutions Award 2011
Travel Counsellors Nominee Best Newcomer (Leisure) 2013
Awarded Gold Travel Counsellor status Oct 2014 - recognised as one of the top 10% in the company!

Why choose me?

1. I believe in building strong and trusted relationships with my customers so that when you think 'holidays', you think 'Sarah'.

2. I believe in fully understanding my customers’ needs so that I can offer you the best holiday to match those needs.

3 I believe in good old-fashioned customer care. You simply can’t get this if you book online. I would never recommend a holiday that I would not feel happy booking for me and my family.

4. I am available to you when you want me, often when most travel agents are closed. You only ever deal with me all the way through the process.

5. There are so many recent changes to travel these days, I have access to the latest FCO rules and regulations, country by country, whether you need a negative COVID test to enter, whether you need to complete an e-form before you depart, etc... so you don't have to worry about a thing!

So, when you are thinking about planning your next trip, be it a luxury honeymoon, a city break, safari, ski trip, a cruise, or a round the world trip of a lifetime, just give me the opportunity to quote.

Remember: With me, it's a relationship not just a transaction.

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Contact Me

Whatever your holiday needs I'm here to help you, so simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact details on and I can get things started for you:

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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.

Immersion into Mauritius Tour (a client review)

07 March 2022

It was absolutely lovely – thank you for arranging it for us and your recommendation! Some comments from the trip: Sakoa Boutique Hotel, Trois aux Biches – absolutely lovely place – location and facilities were perfect. Nothing was too much trouble for them and the food really excellent. Would certainly recommend. Heritage Kaz’alala, Bel Ombre– this was really interesting – a bit like an upmarket hostel with buildings which house 4 bedrooms and shared kitchen and living area. They had a pool and open restaurant where you could see the cook preparing the food. Food was basic Mauritian style, noodles, curry, rice, but very tasty. There was a school party whilst we were there, so it was difficult to imagine it without a lot of teenagers!. A perfect destination for young families as it was very laid back. We had dinner one night in the Chateau on the same site, which was outstanding. Highly recommend that – top quality food and service. La Vielle Cheminee, Chamarel. There were a number of individual houses dotted around the farm, so you got a whole house to yourself. Dinner and breakfast were delivered in advance and put into your fridge, where you could then just heat up the food, or cook breakfast as you wanted. This was simple local Mauritian food. House was lovely and it was up in the mountains so the views were spectacular. It was perfect for us as we prefer to be away from people. Activities: Hike to Le Morne Brabant. Wow, what a hike! Very hard going, but really good fun, especially when we climbed high enough to be in the clouds and then in rain! Very steep and rocky climb, so not recommended for the feint hearted! Lovely local guide. Electric bikes were cancelled, so we went for the quad bikes instead which (in my opinion) were much more fun. I’d recommend giving your clients a choice here if you want to, the electric bike tour or the quad bikes. The bikes were on a cycle track along the coastline, but with very little shade, so for us pale English people it could have been extremely hot! Canyoning – this was my favourite activity by far – I’ve never abseiled before and they made it great fun, safe and a lovely day out. We had a massive thunderstorm when we reached the bottom which made the very steep climb back up the mountainside challenging. Like climbing up a muddy waterfall!! Loved every minute of it! Food tour of Port Louis – a great guide who knew all the areas to take us to and showed us around parts of the city that we would never have explored ourselves. Cooking with Rosamund – this was great fun, a friendly local lady in her own home who we had a lot of laughs with even though she had only a little English. And a tasty lunch as well. Car Hire – the car was great to have – we would have been extremely stuck without it as we spent a lot of time exploring the back roads around the island. One point here, it arrived about an hour and a half late on the drop off day (Gerald did let us know), and when we dropped off at the airport they were about ¾ hour late collecting it which was a shame as we were getting hassle from the airport police to move it. They were also very difficult to get hold of, so if Gerald has alternative providers he can use it might be worth exploring for next time. The weather was very hot, but it was overcast for some of the time which helped Andy in particular. No more cyclones thankfully! Gerald (the host) was great throughout, plenty of recommendations and WhatsApp messages to make sure we were doing ok, even though he was in Costa Rica at the time.

Cool Kefalonia

12 November 2020

I was determined to travel in 2020 once the travel bans were lifted, not just for my own mental-health, but to see first-hand how life & travel in Covid-times was different to any other year. I was pleasantly surprised! We took advantage of twilight check-in the night before our early flight from Manchester. There was NO-OTHER person in the check-in queue, it was spookily quiet! After our Greek entry forms (on the app) were checked for approval we dropped our cases in record time and retired to an airport hotel for the night. On arrival at Manchester Airport the next morning, it was time to don the face mask until we arrived in Greece. Without the need to queue for bag-drop, we headed straight to security, through Duty Free (sadly no tester perfume sprays or snifters of a wee dram in 2020!) and at the gate you have to drop the mask for a split second for passports to be checked. When eating and drinking onboard the flight you can take your mask off too. On arrival in Greece, QR codes are checked again, random Covid testing was done on approx 30 people off a full flight. Then onto our hotel....and relax! The sun shining, Mythos in hand, around the pool or walks to the beach for the 7 days of chill-out I needed. The sign of a good holiday is not knowing the day or date, so this was the day we decided to hire a car and take a self-drive Island tour of Kefalonia. Hire a car....a must on an island this size with so much scenery its just perfect to explore. First stop : Argostoli, the capital, for turtle spotting around the harbour and envy at the superyachts! Next stop : Myrtos Beach.... The most famously photographed beach in Greece. The colour of the sea changing as the sun went behind clouds was just mesmerising! Lunch stop and a quick paddle : Assos. I could quite happily retire here. What a stunning picture postcard little village, just like all the photos, with well-kept different coloured buildings, high quality tavernas, tiny beaches and crystal clear waters backdropped by pine clad mountains with an old castle on the top....lunch of fresh sardines grilled in the open air.. I'm SOLD Ice cream and pudding stop : Fiskardo... The St Tropez of Kefalonia. Super-yachts, boutiques, famous-people spotting and very glamourous and a great place to sit back in a harbour-side cafe and watch the world go by with a crepe, a baklava, coffees and ice creams... Which is exactly what we did. LOVED IT! Last stop : AntiSamos... For a swim and snorkel stop. This is a famous little spot with the locals behind the town of Sami. It's found up a rough windy road only slightly wide enough for 2 cars. With sheer drops into the Ionian Sea it's a touch nerve-wracking at times. When you turn the corner to get the view of the bay it's just stunning. Cool, beach bar vibes and water-sports on offer, it's a great end to a long day of driving. We finished off the day with a drive back over the mountains to Svoronata for a stunning sunset. Mythos and a gyros.. Of course. Kefalonia ... I will be back!

A Highland Games fling!

22 March 2019

I was invited as a guest to the Crieff Highland Games in August 2018 by one of the elderly patrons, so I thought I would make a family weekend of it, why not? I stumbled across the perfect little dog-friendly cottage in nearby Comrie, a 15-minute drive from Crieff. At once I felt the Scottish welcome I've grown to love with the best complementary tea-tray awaiting our arrival! Caroch Cottage had won me over with a bottle of red wine and a Battenberg! A cosy living room, stylish shower room, a twin and a double bedroom on the first floor and kitchen/diner downstairs with bread, milk and ice lollies for the kids set us up nicely for our long weekend. We enjoyed lovely walks down by the river with some picturesque views, stunning properties, and just the right mix of small hotels, local cafes and shops and tourist gift shops to ensure my escape from busy life was well and truly felt and batteries recharged. The location of the cottage was perfect for parking (a free car park just steps away) and rather too handy for the village fish and chip shop next door. Fried mars bars really do exist... and this was the first time I had ever seen fried pizza on a menu too! My highlight of the weekend was the Highland Games! Starting with the 'kilt race' through Crieff high street, then the majestic sound of marching pipe bands from all over the world. The high street is cordoned off as the streets are lined with locals and tourists alike listening to the authentic traditional sounds of the big drums and bag pipes! Magical! The Games are held annually in August with all sorts of competitive races for all age groups and abilities. There are also Scottish dancing competitions, the famous tug-of-war and of course the traditional caber tossing! A fun-fair for the children in the surrounding showground compliments local trade stalls, live music and bar tents. All in all, a great day out for all the family, well organised, and much fun. Crieff & Comrie.... I will be back! Top tips: 1. Buy your Highland Games ticket in advance for a reduction. 2. Caroch Cottage can be booked through me, via Hoseasons UK holidays. 3. Go prepared for all weathers, it could be sunny in the morning but raining by the afternoon!

Cypriot Surprise!

31 December 2019

It has been 18 years since my last visit to Cyprus so when I got the chance to visit two of the leading hotels on the island in the month after my busy-booking spell it was a no-brainer! March is a cracking time to visit this Eastern Mediterranean island, still divided since 1977, the north being occupied by Turkey, the south Greek- speaking. Don’t get me on the politics but I only visited parts in the south. It’s a pleasant temperature this time of year, I had a week of early 20oC sunshine and just half an afternoon of light rain. The two hotels I stayed in are next-door to one another in the Amathus area of Limassol. Both 5* yet both very different, both are beachfront with wide sea views. Amathus Beach Hotel was my first stay for 3 nights, it’s set in beautifully kept, extensive gardens the outside of the hotel does not do the inside justice. It’s a 1970's ‘block’ style hotel yet once inside the modern interiors are sparklingly modern and ooze elegance. In the winter the choice of restaurants is limited as the outdoor ones open only in summer, but this doesn’t affect the choice of food as menus are changed daily with themed buffets and an excellent A La Carte option. I loved the spa here too, themed on the fire, water, earth signs it felt like I was entering a serene Balinese space with flowing waterfalls and twinkling lights… zen like! If the weather is a bit changeable you can always head to the indoor pool, gym, spa, lounge areas, bars and shops within the hotel until the clouds pass. We did! Moving next-door-but-one to The Four Seasons, you are at once greeted by huge cascading chandeliers over fountains and the most beautiful flower arrangements that add sophistication. I instantly felt like I should be on my best behaviour compared to the relaxed feel at Amathus Beach Hotel! Again, beautifully kept gardens leading down to the beach, free form pools, an excellent spa and more restaurant choices including the islands BEST Oriental restaurant on the island apparently (you MUST pre-book as very popular with non-residents too) I can concur it was blooming good!! For me what stood out at both properties was the attention to detail and the most excellent customer service levels. There’s no surprise repeat guests are a huge proportion of business at both hotels. There also seemed to be staff everywhere – all stopped what they were doing and acknowledged you as you past. I felt very special! In the winter I would recommend both hotels to the more mature client not only because it’s quieter, but the cooler months may suit more. In the summer months, many families and couples will visit for the excellent standards and beach life. Both hotels provide well for children; with child pools, kids clubs, early dinners, large family rooms, play areas, and entertainment. Some rooms even have their own private pools! TOP TIPS: The hotels are located 8kms to Limassol town centre. Use bus number 30 which runs frequently from the Park Lane hotel to Limassol town centre all day every day for 1.50 Euro each way. An absolute bargain, and the bus stops right out these hotels! Explore the Old Town streets of Limassol. We found historic squares and churches to visit, authentic meze restaurants, cute little bars, boutiques and galleries. A short taxi ride out of Limassol we found a great Cypriot meze restaurant with live music and Greek dancing called Forsos Tavern – I’d highly recommend it – great prices and tonnes of food (book in advance) Alternatively, if you prefer a more modern feel, visit the new multi-million Euro Limassol marina area. With amazing waterfront villas and apartments currently being finished, with expensive yachts neighbouring old fishing vessels, it’s a great place to wander and people watch. The restaurants and bars around here are more renown names, bustling with local life. If you plan to visit Cyprus in the winter, head for one for the bigger resorts like Paphos or Limassol for a wide range of accommodation where amenities are fully open and where ‘town’ life complements tourist-life. We happened to visit the island in Carnival Week which culminated in a big street carnival, Rio-like, with floats, music, fancy dress and dancers galore! It was a fantastic parade with a buzzing atmosphere full of locals of all ages having great fun! A great end to our Cypriot week away!

Winter wonderland Swedish Lapland activities and Northern Lights- client review -

07 March 2019

Our trip was wonderful thank you. Brandon Lodge was just what I hoped it would be, nice and relaxed with really good food and accommodation. The activities that we’d booked turned out great. The Dogsledding was absolutely fabulous. We had a stunning sunny day, beautiful fresh snow and keen dogs in the forest…Gorgeous. The provider even had us all in their home afterwards for fika (coffee and cake) - lovely people and a superb activity. The other activity was “dinner on ice”. What we’d booked was a dinner for two in a teepee out on the ice near the chalets at Brandon Lodge. What we actually did was to go a couple of miles out onto the sea-ice on sledges pulled by a snowmobile. We were in company with other guests and our guide/chef. We were a bit taken aback by this initially, but it turned out to be a better evening than it probably would have been for just the two of us. Our guide Tommy was a friend of the owners and was helping out in a busy period. He is a professional hunting guide (nordguide.se) and a frankly amazing outdoor chef. With a large frying pan and a wood fire he produced a meal of Swedish flavours that I would have been very happy to pay for in a really good restaurant. Interesting and super knowledgeable host and all-round super chap. To top off the evening the Aurora obliged with a lovely green arch display. Our photographic skills weren’t up to getting a picture but fortunately a fellow guest did better and obliged us by taking a picture with us in it which he has promised to e-mail to us. This exemplified the rest of the guests we met. A mix of nationalities who were all happy to share their experiences over excellent food in the dining room. All in all, a super destination full of very nice people. Lulea Clarion Sense hotel. Lovely! Jo tells everyone they are the best beds she’s ever slept in and I tend to agree. Great room, beautiful restaurant/ bar and fabulous food. Massive choice at breakfast, and the evening meal we had on Monday 4th was astonishingly good. Apparently simple dishes done to a stratospheric standard. Possibly one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. Only thing to watch out for is that the restaurant is shut on Sunday evening so guests might want to time their arrival accordingly. Lulea itself was very pleasant as well. The harbour around the town was frozen solid as you’d expect even though the locals told us it was 15 to 20 deg C warmer than they were used to for the time of year (whilst we were there it averaged about minus 13 I think). The local council had swept and smoothed the 11km ice track around the whole harbour and in the beautiful weather we had it was lovely to walk out and watch people ice skating, skiing etc. We walked right round the circuit on Monday and it took just less than 2 hours. A nice thing to do on a sunny day! Guests would be well advised to buy a set of slip on ice spikes from Class Ohlson in one of the malls though as without them walking required concentration. In the town there was a good array of cafes. We tried a place called “Hemma Gastronomi” which belongs to a close friend of the aforementioned Tommy and was recommended by him. It was a good recommendation. We had lightly smoked reindeer with creamy mashed potato with a creamy gravy and lingen berries. Doesn’t sound much but was amazing. Very highly recommended. All in all, I would say that this was one of the best trips we’ve been on. All the Swedish people we met spoke better English than us and were polite to a fault, taking excellent care of us at all times. A great success and thank you for arranging it for us!

Marvellous Maldives

26 February 2019

As Familiarisation Trips go this one was pretty special! A twin-centre COMO hotels trip staying at both Cocoa Island and Maalifushi. As it was my first visit to the Maldives, I was so excited to arrive, so a short 50 minutes speedboat transfer was just what I needed with some fresh air after being on a plane for so long, and great to whizz past other islands en-route. I reached 5* Cocoa Island first, greeted by the GM Benjamin, instantly you can tell how tiny the place is, you can walk around it in 10 minutes, the sand is so soft and the water crystal clear you can see baby black fin sharks and baby stingrays in the lagoon where the water is shallow and warm. All the rooms are over-water, only 33 rooms in total so at certain times of the day when the dive trips are out you feel like you have the island to yourself! It's got a traditional-Maldivian rustic feel to it, all wooden and decorated in white/creams and interior in browns/woods too. They are closing 2019 for a refit which it does need to compete with the new islands that are opening all the time. I hope they don't spoil the rustic-ness though as there is a certain charm to it. The unique Dhoni boat shape of the leading over-water rooms are really cute and ideal for a couple. I stayed in the duplex suite with bedroom upstairs, large living room which can sleep kids and a huge balcony into the sea with loungers on the deck. The larger overwater villas are on each end of the platoon (sunset and sunrise) and offer much more space, privacy, lots of decking and bedrooms for kids. Although there is no kids club or kids’ facilities to offer many families come for the space and the beach life/snorkelling/ diving etc. There is only one restaurant and bar, but the food is amazing. It's so fresh, lots of seafood and fabulous, friendly service. The menu changes every day so it's like having many restaurants on one island. I had a great Thai menu one night then a seafood one the other... all delicious... and the puddings? Wow! They also have a stunning 1km sandbar that is lapped by the Indian Ocean, stunning for a daytime paddle or they can set up for romantic meals on an evening. Most repeat clients come for the excellent diving and snorkelling. It is truly amazing and you can dive from very nearby. We did a black-fin shark snorkelling trip and saw 32! A huge favourite with repeat guests who feel like they are home when they land. I can see why; the welcome was lovely and smiley, and the small size makes you feel like not just a room number. My only negative is the closeness to other islands, there are a few more 'local' islands close by so small boat traffic is constant, and the proximity of the Maldives Jail island is a bit of an eye-sore, saying that all accommodation faces the other direction. After two days at Cocoa Island, I arrived by seaplane to 5* COMO Maalifushi, greeted personally by the GM who had checked faces against passports and knew all our names. I noticed this with other guests arriving - if a couple arrived, he knew them by names on the reservation - nice touch I thought! This island is quite large in comparison to the sister hotel, so every villa is assigned Dutch bikes to get around on and there are buggies for those that chose not to cycle. I had a sunset over-water villa, I felt like I had won the lottery or died and gone to heaven! Loads of space, private pool, his and hers sinks and shower inside and out. The decking space was private and had both a double day bed and sunbeds both extremely comfortable and luxurious. The ever-changing sky at sunset was just truly unforgettable and so romantic! I viewed other rooms, all are very well decorated, and luxurious. The amenity kits are by COMO Shambala the in-house spa products, all organic and beautifully smelling. Beach rooms are again very private with hedges in front with just a small cutting to get to the beach. Watersports are free - paddleboards, kayaks, snorkel kits with vests, and the marine life centre staff were very helpful and informative. For keen snorkellers, the house reef was truly excellent with so many different fishes it was amazing! The drop-off at the edge was just like in Finding Nemo where huge shoals of fish could be seen in the cooler water. They offer a must-do whale-shark night snorkel trip which was just breath-taking, local fisherman call the hotel when they spot the whale-sharks feeding, we were given a mobile and when we got the call at dinner you must drop everything to rush to the speedboat to get to the feeding-site. Wet suited and snorkelled up I snorkelled next to 2 whale-sharks who were 6ft long! Once in a lifetime stuff! Food at Maalifushi is also fabulous, lots of choice and varying menus, a great Japanese restaurant facing the sunset (oh the lamb chops) and a main bar/restaurant area. For families, the Kids Club is huge, both indoor and outdoor, with an emphasis on learning and eco-friendly /recycling/environmental marine work. The spa is also well worth a visit (although quite expensive) all in-house COMO Shambala smells, divine! I would return in a heartbeat, the most romantic place I have ever been! Top tips: Always book the most meal-inclusive plan as food was expensive. Why not twin-centre both islands for two very different experiences like I did. If you have a late flight home why not check out early from Maalifushi and book a day-room at Cocoa Island so you can enjoy your last day and then speedboat to Male for your international flight home?

Sandals Royal Barbados - a client review

07 January 2019

The resort is right next to Sandals Barbados so you can walk freely between the two resorts and they are really just two resorts in one, but we did prefer our side. It just felt more luxurious and typically Sandals. The food as usual at Sandals is amazing, we certainly have some pounds to lose! Thankfully with us being Club Level the concierge made all our reservations, so we didn’t have any problems getting into the restaurants. Our favourites are the Sushi and Butch’s Chophouse, but we loved them all! We also loved the beach. We were a little disappointed with the beach last time we visited Barbados on the West Coast, but here the sea was turquoise and the sand like flour. We did manage to escape the resort and went to the Harrison Caves, which took you on a tram 150ft down. We then went onto a Nature Reserve to see the wild monkeys! We will definitely be going back, it is so easy direct from Manchester and a 15-minute transfer, you can’t go wrong really! Thank you once again for organising a lovely holiday!

Pretty & Perfect Parga

18 December 2018

This relatively unknown corner of the Greek Mainland had been on my radar for a while as it's a firm favourite of my fellow Travel Counsellor colleagues. It's one of those places that you could go back to time and time again (as many Parga-fans do) and never eat in the same restaurant twice! With accommodation to fit all budgets and tastes from luxury boutique hotels to quaint, typically Greek self-catering units, it really is a destination which appeals to most markets. Two stunning bays with sand and shingle beaches, plus local beaches and the main 'town' beach to choose from, you can find a spot for you to enjoy the sunshine and warm Mediterranean Sea. There's even a couple of trendy "Beach Clubs" for that relaxed 'Marbella' feel at one end of Valtos beach. For me the main appeal is Parga Town itself. By day it’s a myriad of cobbled streets with a wide range of tourist shops and ice-cream parlours leading to the main harbour, but by night the place comes alive with twinkly lights, busy tavernas, street artists, buzzing bars and Greek music, and the wonderful smell of home-cooked Greek cuisine.... Loved it. Honest, welcoming, Greek hospitality at its best! Drop the map, and lose yourself in one of the back streets, you'll come across some fabulous places to eat and drink, pass the time of day, and some amazing views over the roof-tops towards the castle. Try Helloniki behind the main harbour for authentic Greek fare. The other reason for wanting to return are the stunning views. There is something quite magical about the backdrop of green hills, a mish-mash of old town buildings all leading down to the port, the colour of the sea against the red-roofs and the constantly changing vista of fishing boats and luxury yachts in the bay. I'm ready to return! Top tips: Book on self-catering or bed and breakfast, as there is so much choice for eating out! If you struggle with walking up hills, it’s not the place for you! However, there is a set fee of 5 Euro taxi fare for anywhere in Parga district so walk down for dinner and grab a taxi back! My favourite restaurants: Med Bar (for the views over Valtos beach), Sakis - large portions, great value, authentic home-cooked Greek food. My favourite bars: Avo Cado - modern design, great views over the castle and Old Town, trendy cocktails. Gin Distillery - quaint stone bar with swings attached, amazing views over Valtos beach at sunset. Explore: Greek mythology - find the entrance to the underworld, white water raft, horse ride or dip your heel in the freezing waters of the gorge at River Styx like Achilles.

A dog-friendly Scottish Lodge-stay

18 December 2018

A great Easter base for us for access to Perthshire, Sterling with the Wallace Monument and Sterling Castle, and only an hour's drive to lovely St Andrews for the world-famous golf and stunning wide beaches. These lodges - The Woods are in a quiet location on the outskirts of Alva, with super views overlooking the Ochil Mountains, locally known as the Hillfoots were the perfect place for a few nights with our Molly-dog! Lodges are modern, spotlessly clean, warm (a necessity in April), well-decorated and well- maintained and a big plus for me ... are dog - friendly! Two local pubs that are also dog-friendly in the area: The Birds and The Bees (Causewayhead) and Torbrex Inn (Sterling) offered great pub-grub and a welcome for Molls too! We loved St Andrews, the beaches here are fabulous for dogs and many cafes and restaurants are also dog-friendly, offering water-bowls outside and a warm welcome inside. Top tips: Stop in Sterling for a bigger supermarket shop, the shop on site is very small, and limited supplies in Alva itself. Take a walk down to the river close to the lodge park, you may spot a swan or two, or even a canoeist battling the slalom posts! The small village of Dollar is within an easy 10-minute drive for more upmarket eateries and shops.

Fajitas, Fun, and Flamingos in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

16 October 2018

Stunning soft sandy beaches, a huge choice of excellent hotels with superb service. Perfect for weddings, with lush gardens, Caribbean Sea backdrops, relaxing spas, romantic sunsets, Jacuzzis in your room or balcony - or both! We visited four stunning hotels all very different and for very different markets. Here’s a summary: Dreams Riviera Maya, Cancun A great all-round resort for families and couples, groups and weddings. A laid-back atmosphere with friendly, smiling staff, good food with plenty of choices of restaurants from beachfront grills to Tapanyaki. Great little kids club for your youngsters. Small spa area in lush surroundings. The couple’s area is perfect for a treat after a wedding! Upgrade to a premium room for a jacuzzi on your balcony facing the sea as well as one in your spacious room! Occidental Xcaret A must for nature lovers. This hotel is built in the middle of an eco-rainforest with free-form pools surrounded by wildlife like deer, gecko, flamingo, and monkeys swinging in the trees! Awesome! Attached to the hotel is the Xcaret theme-park. In Xcaret you will discover more than 50 attractions to appreciate the natural and cultural wealth of Mexico. A great day out for all, plenty of places to eat, and explore the rides and thrills then swim through underground caves to cool off! Take the free boat shuttle to the park from the hotel reception to arrive in style. Tip: for a quieter day head down to the lovely sandy beach, grab a cabana or a hammock, and a chilled cocktail from the beach bar! Grand Velas Now I’ve eaten in some fine restaurants and I’ve been pummelled in some fancy spas, but this place just tops the bill! The hotel is vast but divided into three distinct areas and if you never left ‘your area’ you’d think the hotel was pretty small. Ambassador area is for families: beachfront, a large pool and amazing kids’ clubs for all ages, a range of restaurants to suit all tastes and some great vibe around the pool. I’d stay here with my family - large rooms, sea views, fall out of bed onto the beach! Zen: set in the eco-jungle, green and lush and the setting of one of the Caribbean’s largest spa. The most divine space I’ve ever seen! Worth booking a treatment and spending a day there. The smell as you walk in, excellent staff and great products! Great rooms in this area of the hotel with views over lagoons and rainforest jungle. Grand Class: I was so lucky to have a suite in this part of the hotel. It’s the adult-only part. Quiet and chilled. A great pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea. We had our own concierge and our own butler, I truly felt spoilt! Here we were treated to the most delicious, highly presented meals and attentive, friendly service. The huge bedrooms were cool and welcoming with a great well-stocked minibar. They have thought of everything even down to providing a cute beach bag to take your belongings down to the beach or pool. A huge balcony with splash pool complements the indoor jacuzzi area! I’d return here in a flash! Secrets Akumal A gorgeous adult only hotel further up the coast so a longer transfer than some hotels nearer to Cancun. Built around three pools, in luscious gardens with a beautiful sandy beach it’s worth the drive! Relaxed and chilled with attentive service but unobtrusive if you want some privacy. Rooms are modern yet accent towards the Mayan culture with warm woods and decorated in reds, oranges and yellows. I loved the Cafe de Paris for fresh coffees and pastries or ice creams! Perfect for a quick pit stop before getting ready for a sublime dinner in one of the yummy restaurants! During the day swim out on the house reef and spot the neighbourhood sea turtles feeding on the sea grasses! I will be coming back here! Top tips Even though your hotel is all-inclusive, check the policy for tipping as if you have received great service you may want to show appreciation. As Mexico is popular with many Americans the staff may be used to a dollar here and there. Do not be tempted to buy cigarettes or alcohol on the outbound flight as you will be required to pay tax on arrival in Mexico. Take mosquito repellent as the Riviera Maya is built on lush mangrove jungle and even though many hotels spray daily you may be bitten. If visiting Tulum or Chitchen Itsa or any other Mayan ruins plan your visit for early morning to escape the heat. Always book a guide to get the most from your visit.

Jollies @ Jacob's Lodge

19 December 2019

Jacob’s Lodge, Egglestone, Teesdale, Northern England. Finding a large cottage of the best standard, the right amount of parking, enough bathrooms, a games room, and in the right location for 15 of us over three generations was never going to be easy, but we fell lucky with Jacob’s Lodge Cottage in the northern part of the Yorkshire Dales. Located north of the A66 not far from the market town of Barnard Castle, in the most stunning rolling hills the views are to die for. With a huge wooden farmer’s-style kitchen table we self-catered for huge breakfasts. We enjoyed some wonderful walks from the front door over hedges and stiles into sheep-filled fields once coming across local farmers learning to sheer their sheep. Great for the young (and old) to watch. A short drive away we found amazing gastro-pubs in Middleton for a cracking Sunday lunch, and lovely antique shops, craft shops and homely cafes. Another day we scaled the rocks at High Force Waterfalls for that fabulous insta-moment! Bookable by our UK supplier Sykes Cottages, please get in touch for more details. Top tips: If you ask the owner they will wheel round their BBQ to use. They live close by. Make sure you book a table at the local gastro-pubs for Sunday Lunch as they are very popular and get very busy at peak times. Escape the rat race once in a while, pack the car up, don the walking boots and breathe in the fresh air, it’s good for the soul!

Vietnam - a client review

25 May 2018

As you know I was little apprehensive in entrusting the itinerary to anyone else but I have to say the organisation of it all was fantastic. You, the Travel Counsellors team and the Easia company, in Vietnam were all exceptional. Day 1 to 3 - Silk Path Hotel - Hanoi Hanoi is simply one of the world’s best cities. It is so vibrant, busy, interesting and fascinating that it could be a holiday destination all by itself. We had originally not booked a guide to show us around the city but on arrival and being met at the airport the guide was very interesting and whetted our appetite. We therefore booked him for some time the following day and he showed us around the sites and sounds of Hanoi. I would definitely recommend a guide as a must for anyone visiting Vietnam for the first time. The whole concept of food and drink is very “unwestern” and can appear a little daunting. A guide shows you how it all works and gives you the comfort and confidence that the locals will embrace you and welcome you in. The Silk Path Hotel which we stayed in was in a great location and was a great base. A well-furnished hotel with good food and drink. Day 3 to 5 Trip to Sapa (north Vietnam) We were picked up from our hotel in Hanoi early evening and transferred to Hanoi Rail station. We were booked on the Victoria Overnight Train which in reality is a couple of carriages which are attached to a much longer train. The Victoria is the best class of accommodation that you can book for the overnight train. The carriage was well furnished and relatively comfortable. Unfortunately it was also very cold and the noise pretty much makes it impossible to sleep which means you arrive in Sapa more than a little tired. The bathroom facilities are also shared which wasn’t great as the smell was particularly unpleasant. That said it was a memorable journey and looking back at least we can say we did it. On arrival in Sapa we transferred to the Fantastic Victoria Hotel which was simply the most beautiful hotel in Sapa. From there the guide took us to a couple of local villages and we also asked him to take us to the cable car in the mountains. We had learned that this took you to the highest point in Indo China and whilst the weather was bleak on the day we went it was again an unforgettable experience. The local food and drink in Sapa were a particular highlight with everything being wonderfully tasty and 3 of us eating and drinking for less than £20. Definitely a must visit for any excursion to Vietnam Day 5 We opted to change our plans at this point and instead of travelling back on the overnight train we took a Limousine through the Country and stayed an extra night in Hanoi. In hindsight we should have done this from the outset and I would recommend that other visitors try the same. We got to travel 5 hours through the Vietnam Countryside really experiencing and seeing how the people live. A truly amazing experience. On arrival in Hanoi we stayed at a different hotel in the “French Quarter” called the Conifer Hotel. This was an exceptional hotel and very well located in what is the “Posh” end of Hanoi. Day 6 Halong Bay Trip on the boat from Halong Bay with Indochina Sails Company. This was a fantastic boat and by far the best of the “400” or so boats that departed with us. The scenery is spectacular whilst the water is very polluted. Only to be expected I guess when you have that many visitors. The accommodation, the food and the organisation on this boat was again really good. We opted not to do some of the small trips that they had planned simply because of the volume of tourists that were there. None of this was a problem for them and we were made very welcome to change our minds. The second day of the trip was far more exclusive as we ventured further than the day trippers and really found some hidden gems. Again this is a trip that should be taken on a visit to Vietnam but go prepared to be with the masses if you only do one day. Day 9 Phu Quoc We stayed at the Mercury resort on Phu Quoc. The hotel was ok and we had a really nice apartment in the grounds. I was expecting a little more from our visit to Phu Quoc but I think as we started to restrict our budget (when booking) a little we perhaps didn’t quite experience the “paradise” that we were expecting. That said it was a great place to chill out and relax after so much travelling. My recommendation to anyone doing this is to go for the best quality hotel you can afford. The local town of Phu Quoc is bordering on the Benidorm of Asia and you really need to make sure your hotel has all you need so you don’t need to go out. Day 13 Saigon Can't remember the name of the hotel in Saigon now but it was the best of all of the hotels. Really comfortable and modern and fresh. Fantastic breakfast with everything you could ask for. Saigon is similar to Hanoi in that it is very bustling but certainly not as friendly. We really enjoyed our time here but with hindsight would probably have preferred to have better accommodation in Phu Quoc and left Saigon off the itinerary. That said it was a fascinating city and the War Remnants Museum was very thought provoking. As with everything in Vietnam the food and drink is ridiculously cheap. I think I have probably spent more on giving tips to people than I have on food and drink the whole of the 2 weeks I was there. Shaun told me he thought Vietnam was the best holiday destination in the world at this point in time. I have to say that I agree with him wholeheartedly. If anyone asks me where they should go I would point them in the direction of Vietnam Finally we had 3 nights in Hong Kong at the Kowloon Harbour Hotel. This was a great hotel well situated and with a shuttle bus that took you into Kowloon every 20 minutes. From there you can catch a ferry for 25p across to Hong Kong Island. We did a few touristy things whilst there but it never really floated my boat too much and I wouldn’t rush back. I think however that could be because we had such a good time in Vietnam that anywhere else in the world would pale into insignificance really. Finally thank you to you personally for putting together such an amazing itinerary. We really loved everything about Vietnam and it was all made so easy by you. You are a credit to Travel Counsellors and I hope they realise how lucky they are to have you.

Sandals Grenada - client review

31 January 2018

This is one of my client's reviews following their anniversary trip to the 5* Sandals La Source in Grenada. We had an amazing time, I think I can honestly say the most relaxing holiday I have had for some time! The room was really nice, they had only just been built in July, so it still felt nice and new. It was open plan with the bathroom within the bedroom, which I loved because it was so modern but not so great if you want some peace and quiet whilst taking a shower! The food was really nice, with plenty of choice including Japanese, Italian and Sushi - we have eaten so much! The gourmet hotdogs for lunch were lovely! And we always managed to fit in a cupcake from the French cafe! There were two nice size pools, they were renovating the one nearest to the beach, but it didn't stop you being able to use it. The beach was nice. Although they are public, because of the location we only saw a couple of beach sellers. The sea was like a bath, so warm and clear, although we did do some snorkelling, you didn't need to because you could easily see the fish. They do put on a free boat trip up the coast so we did that one afternoon and we also booked the Jeep safari and river tubing excursion, so we got to see the island on an open top jeep with a stop off at the sulphur springs and then river tubing, which was really good fun! The only downside (and there has to be one) was that the hotel did seem to have a lot of Butler Suites, so you found that first thing most of the sun beds were reserved for the Butler guests. They put towels on most them so that they would be able to choose which one they wanted! At times you felt there was a class thing going on! One major bonus was the transfer - it took about five minutes! I was a bit worried about it being rainy season, but the weather was perfect! Over the 10 days, we had about 30 minutes of rain! Plus, because we were out of season, the hotel didn't feel overly full, so it wasn't overcrowded and there was no issues getting into the restaurants. It's certainly on my list to go back! Thank you once again for booking a lovely holiday.

Client review: Santa's Lapland

18 December 2017

It was all perfect! The accommodation was a separate ’block’ at the back of the hotel, three minutes’ walk away and the room was lovely. The hotel was great location for the toboggan run and the supermarket was a 10 minute walk away, where we stocked up on bits for lunches. Scotty treated us to the extra trip of the Husky ride. Not cheap but as Scotty said “we’re only here once”. We went out at dusk driving our own Husky team across a frozen lake and through woodland. Jacob was sat bolt upright at the front LOVING it while Libby cuddled up to him on my knee-pretty perfect! The trip to Santa was great. All the games the kids loved and lots of friendly staff, the elves were Jacobs favourite - he’s usually so quiet but he was shouting out at them and laughing his head off plus another husky ride where mums and dads drove the team again. We’re so glad we stayed the extra night, but glad we did the huskies for an afternoon to break it up too, not sure I could do a full day at the toboggan run as well as all the other times we did (10pm on Saturday night!) Can’t recommend the trip enough. I realise it’s a lot of money but if you ever have clients not sure they honestly won’t be disappointed. I actually had tears down my face when we met Father Christmas, Jacob’s face when he knew his name and had his actual letter was worth every extra pub shift and saving through the year. Feel extremely lucky we were able to go. Thanks again for everything, we’ll be in touch once I’ve qualified for another ‘big’ holiday.

Cruise & Maritime Weekender

01 September 2017

I've just returned from a wonderful taster cruise onboard Cruise & Maritime's Columbus. It's a medium-sized ship which is a refreshing change from some of the huge resort-sized ships we see these days. Not too many people and less likely to get lost finding my cabin! Onboard, there is a feeling of spaciousness as there are various venues for guests to be entertained, dined and refreshed, or simply just chill- out. The decks are spacious with plenty of deck chairs and sun beds around the pools to snooze away or catch some sunshine. Lots of food choices and excellent service from the waiters made dining experiences meals to remember. I particularly enjoyed the Indian speciality dining which is excellently priced with very authentic food and Indian beer. We had an outside cabin with a large picture window. It was spacious and clean and had UK plugs to compliment the sterling onboard - another welcome difference between some other cruise lines who only operate in dollars or Euro. Entertainment ranges from piano bars, quiet cafes, The Dome nightclub, a theatre for dance shows, and even an authentic English pub. There really is something for everyone and with such a mix of ages and clientele on board, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a weekender on board. We visited Amsterdam and Antwerp, perfect destinations for a short break as you dock right in the heart of the cities within walking distance of the main sights and attractions. For longer journeys on Columbus it's mainly an older clientele, with a clear adult only emphasis. If you are interested in sailing on Columbus, or would like any further information please get in touch. Top tips: On 4 night or longer cruises upgrade to the all-inclusive drinks package, currently costing £17.95 per person. Don't fancy sailing from the south coast? Did you know Cruise & Maritime sail from numerous local UK ports, eg Hull, Bristol, Newcastle and Liverpool. Pre-book a spa treatment on the day of embarkation and receive a 10% discount.

Amazing Aruba

08 November 2016

I have been incredibly lucky this year I know. Every so often we are offered the chance to visit some fantastic locations around the world to see for ourselves what destinations have to offer. So when I was offered the chance to visit Aruba with a group of fellow Travel Counsellors it was very hard to turn down, especially as it was a Caribbean island I have not visited before. As the island is part of the Dutch Antilles we flew with KLM (the Dutch airline) via Amsterdam. Regional airports connect very well so I set off from Humberside Airport to Amsterdam for our connection direct to Aruba. I really like this idea of getting the short hop from Humberside Airport (25 mins from home) rather than the normal 4+ hour drive to London I usually have to do to get to the Caribbean. Circling the island to land you can see the beautiful white sandy beaches, and also appreciate the island’s close proximity to the South American coastline of Venezuela! Location plays a key role for Aruba as it sits outside the main Caribbean hurricane belt. On arrival the heat hits you! Love that feeling especially as I left the UK in autumn! My first impression of the island was that of wealth as we passed the designer shops in Oranjestad, the capital. Many cruise lines stop off here so the island likes to capitalise on this where possible. The architecture is a nice mix of old and new Caribbean with lots of Dutch influences as bright colours and shuttered windows adorn shops and houses. Some Caribbean islands feel quite poor with locals living in tin shacks – not Aruba! Our first morning was an orientation half day island tour taking in the stunning California lighthouse, various stunning white sandy beaches with the famous Divi Divi slanted trees, the Alto Vista Chapel, the Natural Bridge, Casibari Rock formations and the Bushiribana Gold Smelter ruins. This was a great introduction to the island and its people, I really got a feel of the small size of the island and its friendliness. I would recommend this. The next day was hotel visits taking in the Ritz Carlton which has some lovely hotel rooms and a buffet breakfast service that was superb. From there we made our way to the Renaissance Aruba Beach Resort which consisted of two sites, the first being on the beach and the second across the road in Orangestad’s main shopping complex where we had a lovely lunch. Then to our surprise we were whisked away James Bond style in a speedboat from inside the main hotel, through an underground tunnel, out to sea to their own private island for the afternoon to swim and snorkel and take pictures with the resident iguanas and pink flamingos! Lastly, we visited Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa, which was a low rise, traditional Caribbean-style hotel with some lovely facilities including a beautiful Balinese style outdoor spa on the beach and a very intimate restaurant and bar. The following day we were up early and off to see a varied selection of hotels this island has to offer. Firstly, we saw a wonderful privately owned, small boutique hotel called the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel which was so different. Set in lush small tropical gardens with roomy accommodation for families that included kitchen facilities on a self-catering basis. Perfect if you want to hit the beach all day, come back, put the kids to bed and then sit out on your balcony and terrace, BBQ, lounge in the hammocks and open the vino! I liked this one a lot! From here we hit Palm Beach, known locally as the ‘high rise’ area. Here you have all the bigger hotels and our first hotel we visited was the Hilton which is currently going through a building upgrade, the artist’s impression of the final look was very impressive. Following lunch at the Hilton beach restaurant with some wonderful prawns cooked on the grill (highly recommended) we made our way along the beach path through the lush gardens and palm trees to the Grand Hyatt which is everything you would expect of a Hyatt property. There are good sized rooms and plenty of space to chill around the different pools! Our last hotel of the day was the Amsterdam Manor Beach resort, a Dutch style property with lovely apartment style rooms for families with the beach just across the road and their own beach bar and restaurant where you can sit and have a real sunset dinner experience. This evening’s experience was a night to remember: Kukoo Kunuku: Aruba’s infamous party bus pub crawl! This was a lot of fun, a bus with no windows, lots of flashing lights, music blaring, we were all given maracas to shake and wave at the locals…. Singing and dancing you couldn’t help but enjoy the ride around the town, stopping off at four bars before being dropped off at the hotel just before 12.30 am. A great laugh, not for the faint hearted! The next morning, and probably not best planned after the party bus experience, we were out on a catamaran cruise for the morning from 9am to 2pm. This included three stops for snorkelling around shipwrecks, and then closer to land to see some wonderful sea life. Lunch and drinks included in the tour, this a great excursion to enjoy the Caribbean Sea, sun, and the views back to the beaches and rock formations were stunning. After an afternoon chilling back at our host hotel we were taken for our last hotel visit and for me, they had saved the best for last. The Bucuti & Tara Beach resort hosted us for an evening tour and champagne reception on the beach. This boutique hotel is an adult’s only hotel and the vibe was so relaxing and chilled. Couples who come for honeymoon are often repeat clients for anniversaries and birthdays in future years. The resort was lovely with great service, lots of space on the beach and around the pool. The beach restaurant with sunset views was a perfect place to spend our last evening. Very romantic, sparkly lights in the trees, a beautiful sunset and fabulous food, I would return here in a heartbeat. In summary, although Aruba is a small Caribbean island it has so much to offer you in choice of accommodation for all budgets and for things to do; from golfing to water sports, to yoga or gambling. Whether you just come to relax on the amazing beaches or be active, there is definitely a spot on this island for you. Top tips: You don’t need to book all-inclusive hotels, there are plenty of restaurants for all budgets. From McDonalds to top steakhouses or exquisite Thai restaurants to KFC! It is safe to drink the tap water. Ensure you use plenty of sunscreen. The winds can make it feel like it’s not as hot as it really is. Take it from me you can easily burn! The iguana is the local cat/dog! Weird to see them walking around the pool side or on your balcony!

Sunflowers and Sangiovese

15 August 2016

Umbria and Florence: Rolling hills, wide vistas, sunflowers as far as the eye can see, silence... As you may have guessed by now, we love our food. Having enjoyed Italian hospitality on previous holidays we chose Umbria as our summer destination this year. It's been a busy year so a quiet place was needed where we could chill out and recharge our batteries, have some days out in the surrounding area, and enjoy some fab food and wine. If this sounds like your perfect trip then Umbria is for you. More reasonable than neighbouring Tuscany, yet only 2.5 hours’ drive from Pisa, get off the beaten track and find vineyards for local wine tasting, view olive trees growing in pretty lines, medieval hill top towns with bell towers 100s of years old, kick back and relax. We visited famous wine towns; Orvieto, Montepulciano, Volterra, Casteliagno del Lago, Paciano. All stunning with amazing churches, some with caves, quaint old towns, traditional shops and THE best gelatarias! One day we made 3 types of wonderful fresh pasta and an Italian peach cake at Fontenaro Cookery School, a 5-hour course in a stunning traditional farmhouse kitchen, then our hosts served us our meals in their beautiful garden washed down with their homemade wine. Great day and highly recommended. After a week in Umbria, we had 3 nights in Florence. It felt very busy compared to Umbria and the prices in restaurants were double! Designer shops and beautiful people on every street made the contrast a great second destination to highlight the differences between city and countryside. If you are into your art then you will love the galleries, sculptures, and museums. If you are not afraid of heights (and physically fit!), climb the bell tower and the dome of the Duomo...only a mere 464 steps up (and down!) Top tips: Stay on an agriturismo property for the best local hospitality. Learn all about olive oil manufacturing, pasta making and wine producing by attending a cookery class. Attend local markets for fresh porchetta, cheeses and artisan bread. Make the most of your mornings as late afternoons in July / August storms occur. Avoid the queues, buy your Florence duomo entrance ticket online before travel.

Theme Parks and Tapas

14 April 2016

My youngest daughter is a bit of an adventure junkie (yes even at 8!) so when the opportunity came to visit Portaventura theme park on the Costa Dorada in Spain I jumped at the chance to fill the Easter school holidays. We stayed on site at the 4* Hotel Caribe and although it’s a large hotel it didn’t feel busy this time of year so there were plenty of tables for the huge buffet at dinner and breakfast. I can imagine in the summer it could be very busy and noisy! The food was varied and of a good quality, with plenty of choice for all palates. The salads were particularly good and replenished regularly. A complementary ‘noddy’ train takes you to the theme park gates. The theme park itself offers plenty of rides for all age groups and is themed into different ‘lands’. Two of the scariest (tallest) and (most loops) rollercoasters in Europe are in ‘China’ – Dragon Khan and Shambhala, so if you like the thrill of the ‘coasters and can’t quite stretch to Orlando, then a few days here will tick your box. We particularly liked the water rides, such a laugh – although in April we didn’t dry off very quickly! Top tips: Visit out of season for fewer queues. Beware of the opening times of the aqua park (Costa Caribe) it’s only open from end of May until September. Buy a poncho for the water rides (and the changeable weather in April!) Following our 3 nights here we caught the train (1.5 hours) to Barcelona for a few nights. One of my favourite European cities and although I have been before we managed to find spots we hadn’t previously explored and restaurants we will return to! We particularly enjoyed the Museum at FC Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium, a great interactive experience with access to some areas of the back rooms, press areas, pitchside and the impressive trophy room - highly recommend this most visited attraction of the city, although the shirts are ridiculously expensive! Top tips: For the best seafood eat in La Barceloneta. This is the area where the fishermen used to live and there are some excellent traditional Spanish restaurants hidden away in the back streets. Take cash as many won’t accept cards. Try a bike tour, you will get off your feet for a few hours and cover loads of ground to see areas only the best guides know about. Watch your purse, especially on Las Ramblas.

Swedish Lapland...no sign of Santa!

15 April 2016

Sometimes I get a bit blasé about destinations when I am dealing with them day in and day out and you forget how special some places are; so when I had the opportunity to travel to Swedish Lapland I had to pinch myself as I had never been anywhere so special before. We travelled with Scandinavian Airlines via Stockholm to Lulea in the heart of Swedish Lapland and our first overnight was the ‘red cottage’ style Pine Bay Lodge with just 7 bedrooms and a hearty fire to welcome us I already fell in love with the simplicity and beauty that is so often lost with huge hotel chains. We were then served the most amazing platter of nibbles I have ever had which included my first taste of reindeer, then a wonderful, locally produced, 3 course meal (I was hooked). A quick look for the Northern Lights (they were hiding unfortunately) on the frozen lake followed then a sound sleep in a very comfy bed. The Swedes have a fascination with their beds and sleep with a very think mattress topper on the mattress and then a duvet and heavenly pillows. Wonderful! The following day we were taken on a snowmobile tour out to the edge of the archipelago of islands in the bay, totally frozen this time of year, you pass tiny islands with a handful of inhabitants that are usually surrounded by water but now only accessible by snowmobiles! The silence, once the engines were switched off, was enough to give you goose-bumps! Our guide cooked up a fabulous meatball lunch over a BBQ (yes at -15oC!) as we huddled around in our thermal suits. 70kms an hour whizzing across the snow, we headed home for hot chocolates and cinnamon buns! That night we stayed back in the city of Lulea in the Clarion Sense Spa Hotel, a stunning hotel, with great Skybar, but before another comfy bed we visited the famous Ice Music Arena where an hour of Swedish music was played on musical instruments made of ice. A totally surreal evening to be seated in an igloo listening to Roxette and Abba , amongst others. The next day was a day and night I will never forget; we met with the husky dog legend Richard first and had an introduction to his huskies and a short mush with him. Next we arrived at Aurora Safari Camp for a stay overnight in lavvu tents in the wild forest of Swedish Lapland and the Råne River Valley. Stories around the campfire, a sauna, and plenty of wine kept us entertained before bed. Your lavvu tent has a comfortable bed with an Arctic sleeping bag and chairs and a heater to keep the air warm and snug on a cold winters night. The outside temperature in winter can be anywhere from -5°C to -35°C but inside you will find it around normal room temperature due to very efficient 'in-tent' stove fires which you keep going with plenty of logs, our alarms had to be set for every 2 hours to keep them lit! What a night sleeping in full thermals, a hat and a headlamp ! Bleary eyed the next morning; we met with Lars, a Sami elder, at his reindeer farm and museum for an insight into the fascinating Sami culture. It was interesting to hear first-hand about how the Sami people live and taste yet more yummy reindeer. This evening we stayed at one of the world’s top 10 quirky hotels: The Treehotel! Designed by individual architects the rooms are uber cool and quirky, offering great views of the wilderness and endless skies. We went moose spotting in the forest but no signs of the Northern Lights still. A fabulous hotel, truly worthy of it’s title. So, in summary, if you are a little adventurous, and want a trip of a lifetime, great food, super hotels with excellent service, and Lapland without any of the commercial Santa hype, this kind of trip is for you. Contact me to help you put together the itinerary for you. Top tips: It’s all about keeping warm! Wear layers of clothes made of natural fibres, no jeans or cottons. Thick wool socks are a must! Most suppliers offer free thermal suits and boots, so don’t spend a fortune on outer layers until you know what is included. Even though its freezing cold outside it’s boiling hot indoors so be prepared to walk around hotels in your socks and under-layers. It’s expensive to eat out, so have a good breakfast and pre pay any evening meals if you can before leaving the UK. If you are staying at the TreeHotel make sure you pick the right room for you, some access via ladders and some can be quite claustrophobic, there will be the right room for you, so read up! Don’t be disappointed if you don’t see the Northern Lights, it just means you have to return again!

Family 'Beaches' trip

09 March 2016

This was to be our last family holiday before my 18 year old decided it's no longer cool to go with us, so I wanted a real family trip for half term with loads of activities for both age groups of my children and I couldn't have chosen better. We went to the 5* Beaches hotel, Negril, Jamaica, mainly for the weather, but also for the beachfront location, the watersports, choices of restaurants and all-inclusive activities. It was fab! The waterpark on site kept my 8 year old busy all day, every day. We also tried all the FREE watersports available, paddle-boarding, banana boats, water skiing, hobie-cats, kayaking and snorkel trips. It was unlimited so we had plenty of goes every day. The Scratch DJ Lessons were really popular with the girls too, for $25 an hour they got to learn how to scratch records and came away with a CD with their work on too. The food was the highlight for me, especially Café de Paris for breakfast (French pastries and lovely coffees), Grills/BBQ for lunch, and Kimonos was my favourite for dinner(the tepanyaki restaurant) such different foods and offered such variety.... the cocktails weren't bad either! The romantic setting sun and daytime beach-life were just what we needed for an all-round fabulous family Caribbean holiday. I would highly recommend.

Greek island hopping....Mykonos, Naxos, and Santorini.

27 October 2015

Not happy with just one Greek island I wanted to pack in three this holiday! I chose these three islands due to their locations, ferry connections and contrasts and wasn't disappointed. We stayed in three very different properties which suited our family perfectly. We flew with Easyjet into Mykonos then home from Santorini, after 10 nights of Greek sunshine. My highlights : Mykonos: Watching the A listers on their yachts in Platys Yialos. Mykonos Town for cocktails and sunsets over Little Venice. Getting lost in Mykonos Town's maze of back streets. Naxos: Naxos Town- loved the harbour and Old Town. THE most amazing sunsets I have ever seen in the WORLD whilst eating some of the best seafood I have ever tasted. Try Patatosporos restaurant - amazing! Book ahead for a table in the beach for the sunsets. Laid back Greece, uncommercial, friendly and really good value. Santorini: What a view! Sitting on our terrace overlooking the caldera watching the sunsets whilst the cruise ships sailed away. Last day on a fabulous catamaran cruise around the island, swimming in the sea and the hot springs around the volcano with BBQ on board. Hiring a car for the day to see the whole of the island, visiting Oia ( stunning hotels with views to die for) eating at A Good Heart restaurant with the famous Anna and her sun-dried tomatoes. Tips: Beware of the days the cruise ships enter the port in Santorini, the town of Thira gets very busy.

North Yorkshire short break

05 May 2015

I spent a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend at Basin Howe Farm Cottages in Sawdon Heights, North Yorkshire with my family. I can highly recommend these luxury cottages for a stay in this beautiful part of the world. It's location is perfect for mountain bikers, walkers, people who like the coastal area, it's also set on the outskirts of a peaceful village with a fabulous gastro pub too! We took plenty of walks with the dog and loved rock pooling on Cayton Bay beach. A fish and chip lunch in Filey or Scarborough is also a must! The cottage is a very high standard and well equipped for a self catering stay. I loved the viewing pod which has fabulous views over the rolling countryside and woodland.

Rugged and Wild Yorkshire Coast

02 June 2015

When it comes to anniversaries and birthdays or I need to leave the rat race for a night this is where I head. Raithwaite Hall Estate. It is a fabulous luxury property only a mile inland from the Whitby to Sandsend coastal road but set in beautiful gardens it is calming as soon as you walk in the doors. The service is impeccable in the restaurants and I rate the breakfast as one of the best Yorkshire breakfasts I have ever had, all locally sourced fresh foods and with views over the gardens I cant fault it. We tend to have a spa treatment too and an hour or so in the indoor pool area which at certain times is child-free. Our room was in the main original hall this visit so there were thick walls and high ceilings and one of those marshmallow beds and duvets that engulf you into a great sleep. I would highly recommend a stay here to golfers, walkers, families and couples a like. The area has so much to offer from the bustling harbor town of Whitby for fresh fish and chips to tiny Yorkshire Moors villages that look like they haven't been touched by time. I will definitely return...not only for the deconstructed snickers bar dessert! Top Tips: Book a spa treatment before you go as they do get booked up. Reserve a table for dinner - scrumptious steaks! Try the afternoon tea in the bar area too!

So good they named it twice....New York, New York!

02 June 2015

I'd promised my eldest daughter since she was 12 or 13 that I would take her to New York when she was 18. I have no idea where those years have gone but in February 2015 I made the promise into a reality. We arrived in the coldest spell of winter storms they had experienced for years but we were well prepared so it didn't stop us doing anything we had planned, infact the snow made it more magical, Central Park more stunning and Ground Zero more eerie. We stayed at the mid-priced Ameritania hotel, perfectly positioned for Midtown Manhattan, Times Square, Central Park and The Theatre District. The rooms aren't massive, but warm and comfy and to be honest we were out all day so that's all we needed. Each day we shopped, walked and walked, ate (a lot), visited the iconic sights like Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, Macy's and Bloomingdales, Grand Central Terminal and Madison Square Gardens. My highlights: The Pizza Tour of Brooklyn - get off Manhattan for the best views of it! Fab pizzas, stories of Mafia mobs and iconic movie scenes and a trip to Coney Island. 9/11 Memorial and Ground Zero - fascinating, touching and emotional and very well done. Allow a fair few hours to see it all properly. Take tissues! Jersey Boys - amazing show in a beautiful theatre just off Times Square. New York baked cheesecake at Juniors. Sunday brunch at Sarabeth's - make sure you reserve a table in advance! Chinatown on Chinese New Year - amazing dragon dancers, drummers, street parades and fabulous gala meals. We felt safe at all times, the subway was clean and easy to use and much cheaper than a yellow cab. We will return!

Sandals and Beaches Educational Trip

02 June 2015

Sometimes we get the opportunity to travel to destinations to 'try them for ourselves' so when I was offered a trip to Jamaica courtesy of he leading all-inclusive hotel group of Sandals I jumped at the chance. I visited 4 hotels on the island, here are my reviews: Sandals Royal Caribbean: I visited this hotel for lunch. It remains one of my favourites of the trip. Beautiful rooms and suites, particularly the swim up lagoon suites. the gardens are well kept and beautiful. I loved the private island at Sandals Cay that you get a boat across to. There is a fabulous Thai restaurant on the island and a nudist section of the beach that is very private and not in sight of the bar or pool there. There are cabanas and hammocks over the sea here, all very romantic. The beach is stunning, soft white sand and the property has quite stretch. There are some lovely wedding venues in a few different locations from garden pergolas to small docks/piers into the sea that are dressed in floaty materials and can easily accommodate rows of chairs for guests. All looked stunning. I liked the choice of restaurants and bars, all a bit different to the next with even an afternoon tea area like old England. The watersports facilities are excellent and the sea is very shallow and warm for quite a distance out to sea, perfect for lounging in! The hotel staff were really welcoming and couldn't do enough for us. I want to return for definite ! Sandals Royal Plantation: It was by far my favourite of the 4 hotels I visited. It is the smallest and most intimate property with all rooms having stunning sea views. The hotel has an old-plantation home feel to it, very well decorated and furnished. Quiet and romantic. The clientele I saw around the hotel tended to be older couples, and honeymooners, wanting a more discreet service level. The hotel has two small coved beaches with watersports available at one. This isn't the normal brash, full-of-Americans Sandals hotel, far from it. There is a champagne and caviar bar in one of the intimate restaurants (at additional fee) and a beautiful drawing room that is often used for weddings. If clients stay here but want a livelier day or night they can pop next door to the Grande Riviera but guests staying there cannot go to Royal Plantation. Beautiful grounds and driveway really make for a stunning welcome on arrival. The rooms are luxurious with dark wood furnishings to fit in with the old plantation house theme. The Prime Ministers Suite being totally gorgeous with amazing balconies and bathroom. There is also a private villa in the grounds that can be hired with Cook and butler. I would definitely stay here! Sandals Grande Riviera and Butler Village. (now called Ochi Beach Club): The Butler Village is on the hillside so you have to get a little golf cart or mini bus to the main hotel, pools and beach front. If you get an ocean view villa then you are right at the top. Each villa shares the pool with either 2 or 4 other villas. There wasn't many people around the pool areas in this part of the hotel so I got the impression the private villas are only used as a base and most time is spent at the beach club or pools lower in the resort. Although if you wanted a quieter stay you would be fine up here. There are lots of facilities here you would expect from Sandals properties, the spa, tonnes of restaurants, bar areas, etc and some you wouldn't expect, like a climbing wall!! I found the resort to be quite lively with lots of people around the pool and beach, but as the resort is so spread out there are plenty of quiet areas too. The resort is incredibly lush and the gardens are like a jungle in places so even though it was a big property it is really pretty with flowers, ponds, walkways and palms everywhere. I would stay here, but not in the Butler villas as I think they are too far away from all the action and I would get annoyed at having to get a golf cart anywhere. Beaches Ocho Rios: I stayed in a gorgeous concierge suite on the beachfront in the Greek Village area. It was huge and would quite adequately fit a family of four with amazing views over the sandy beach onto the Caribbean Sea which was literally 6 steps away from my suite door. It is a large property made up of various areas, The French Village is being completely renovated at the moment with all new bathrooms and tiled floor areas being revamped. We ate at Neptune's seafood restaurant a couple of times which was nice food, but not massive portions. Service was very friendly and chatty. The main buffet restaurant was the main area for breakfast there was always a huge selection even though the hotel was not busy what so ever, in fact this made the hotel feel a bit soulless and not much in terms of atmosphere. Also the disco and the A la Carte restaurants weren't open as not enough customers warranted it. I would therefore be careful about recommending this property out of season as it may be too quiet for some. When I discussed this with a watersports instructor he said it is really busy in peak time and the beach can be crowded! The waterpark in the hotel is the largest in Jamaica so this is a real attraction. It opens from 10am every day. The kids club area had loads of activities planned and the Sesame Street characters are at home here for character breakfasts and parades. Great fun! The rooms in the kids club area are a bit dated in my opinion. they could do with a refresh. The location of the hotel on the outskirts of Ocho Rios means you are too far out to walk into town so a taxi would be needed. However, Ocho Rios is central for all the main attractions of the island; Dunn's River Falls, Mystic Mountain, Dolphin Encounter etc. I would stay here with my family, but only when it is busier.

IOS …an Island of chill out and party!

28 August 2014

Ios is a neighbour of Santorini, in the Cyclades group of Greek islands. Its popularity as a party island for young people should not deter you from visiting it. It is a Greek island of much beauty, un-commercialised in most areas, with beautiful sandy beaches, mountainous hillsides, windmills, history and myth. The fact that it is on the main backpacker route around the Cyclades does mean in July and August it is popular with young people but in June and September it is much quieter and offers a very reasonable alternative to its neighbours of Mykonos and Santorini. We loved hiring a kayak for the afternoon and finding our own cove with no one else on it. We loved chilling out in hammocks in beachside tavernas, the way the hippies would have done in the 1960s and 1970s. Certainly an island for chilling out and kicking back. Loved it! Tip: Before sunset climb the hill at Chora (The Village) of Ios Town, past the churches with the whitewashed walls and blue domes and pick a place to watch the amazing sunset, very romantic! Restaurant Recommendations: For a special occasion try Grandma’s at Liostasi Hotel & Spa above Ios Town harbour – excellent food, service and views, to be expected at one of the small leading hotels of the world. For rustic Greek, Sally & Nicos Arhondiko in Chora, is great after the sunset walk. It has a lovely roof terrace. Also, the Nest is very busy but very reasonable with great hearty, local food.

Brief: 'Send me up a fjord to disappear for a weekend'

15 July 2014

This is one of my customer's reviews sent to me on the return from his weekend away, I thought it was perfect to share on here! SAS airlines are excellent, no messing about, no fuss, they just get you there. Also the coffee is OK. Oslo airport isn't bad, we grabbed a decent bite to eat there. Aalesund airport is a bit like Humberside, but hugely efficient, clean and tidy. Car hire is right in the arrivals hall. The staff were friendly and efficient, not quite the German level of efficiency at Dusseldorf, but very close. Our car was upgraded to a rather smart Volvo. Out of the airport, through six miles of tunnels under the fjords and we ended up in the middle of town. Apoteksgata was first on the right. There is no parking at the hotel but the receptionist was super-helpful and told us about an underground car park 600m away where the credit card machine was broken, so we had three days free parking. It’s normally £16 for 24 hours, but this is bang in the middle of town. Think of Venice, but really clean. The hotel room had French doors that opened right over the harbour, straight down to the water. The hotel was an old salt warehouse. Staff were very efficient and helpful; right up there with The Marriott. Their internet service was fast and we could use their laser printer too which was great for boarding cards and maps. We didn't check the calendar, but there was a huge boat festival going on. There were live bands each night, a huge food marquee and dozens of exotic food stalls, plus hundreds of visiting boats and their associated crews. The only downside was that finding a restaurant seat was tough. We managed though. Prices were similar to London. A half-decent meal with wine was £70. We also ate from the street food vendors, superb paella from an Italian who was selling English preserves and Italian cheese and salamis as well. We went off into the fjords, skipped over a few ferries and up to the snow line. It was 25 degrees at sea level, but still glaciers and snow. It was a bit like Morocco in fact, baking hot but still snowy up high. We were hoping to get to Geirangerfjord, but we were seduced by a little restaurant/bar alongside the ferry and were treated to a superb halibut fillet, local fish soup and smoked salmon salad, and on a whim, jumped on a different ferry and went up through the hills to the north. The views were stunning, and we didn't get back until 11pm or so, but it was still full daylight and the boat festival partying was just beginning. Sleep was rather tough, as the party went on until at least 1am and it was still completely light. Hotel breakfasts went on until 11am so not a problem. The breakfasts were really good, with bacon and eggs and home-made warm bread. There were also rice cakes for those of us who are gluten-free but also bacalao (salt cod with onions, tomatoes and spices) and marinated herring, cold meats, porridge, several different fermented dairy products and cured air-dried reindeer sausage. The highlight of the visit was probably the Atlantic Park aquarium, with enormous shoals of herring and an amazing huge tank of cod, whiting, halibut and haddock. Lunch there was excellent, really good cream fish soup, salmon salad and bacalao. Second best was the living museum of Sunnmore, with replica Viking boats being built and 20+ houses from the 1600 and 1700s through to 1900s which have been moved to the site. We didn't have time to get to the Fishing Museum or the Cube modern art gallery or the shops or the Art Nouveau museum in town, but we are tempted to go back. We went off exploring the countryside and went up to the park at the top of the hill above Aalesund. It’s pretty much a wild area, but then you follow a track and have a panoramic view over the town, the dozens of islands, the harbour and the distant snow-capped peaks. Military aficionados would enjoy the Atlanticpark, with pillboxes and old gun emplacements for British Armstrong heavy guns from the late 1890s. Aalesund was burnt to the ground in 1904, and as a result, many of the buildings come from the Jugendstil or Art Nouveau period. There are lots of new buildings too, the place felt really booming. The ferries are excellent, a 24 hour service once per hour and once every 20 minutes from 7am to 8pm or so, and lots of tunnels. It would have been possible to get around without a car, but it made such a difference having our own transport. Prices were, as expected, ludicrously high, but we had a stunningly good time. The place didn't feel like it needed tourists, it was buzzing and managed fine without us being there, which added to the allure considerably. Highly recommended so long as you don't expect it to be touristy.

Supercool Family Californian road trip!

07 May 2014

I promised my children a trip of a lifetime that would encompass all that California has to offer and that's what we delivered. I wanted to see redwoods, the Pacific Ocean, national parks, theme parks (like Disney and Universal), Hollywood, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge - all the icons that sum up the Golden State. Hopefully they'll remember this holiday for a very long time. We travelled with Air New Zealand direct from Heathrow to Los Angeles, the service was excellent and I would highly recommend a direct flight. The Skycouch was perfect for the children as they got 3 seats which transform into a couch for the two of them (well worth paying the supplement for). Our itinerary was a busy one; with a city stay in LA, a beach week in bohemian Venice Beach, a culture and sporting stop in San Francisco, and then a four day drive back down the wild and wonderful Pacific Coast Highway. We had an amazing trip with so many wonderful experiences. Where else can you see elephant seals lazing on the beach in pup season, Hearst Castle, redwoods (the tallest trees in the world) in their natural habitat, drive past multi-million dollar mansions, cycle on world famous boardwalks, shop until you drop and then within a day be hugging Mickey Mouse or Scooby Do? This place really does have it all. Our trip was quite punishing for a family, so try not to under estimate the distances and the amount of traffic. I would therefore recommend planning in a few rest days in between all the driving. Needless to say I would be back within a flash; the laid back lifestyle, huge food portions, great year-round weather and reasonable prices are a draw. Also the people are friendly, the service in general is impeccable and the standard of the hotels leave some European hotels wanting. Hints and tips: Pre book and pay for a GPS when driving in the USA - a life saver on numerous occasions. Take plenty of small denomination dollar bills for tipping, you tip everyone! Wear sunscreen whenever you are out, the sun really is strong even when you think it's behind clouds. Pre book Alcatraz tickets before you go as these get booked up and are rarely available on the day. Most US hotels don't have kettles in the room so if you like your morning cuppa take your own teabags they will often give you a kettle if you ask at reception. We stayed at: The Mondrian, Los Angeles Clift, San Francisco La Playa, Carmel Madonna Inn, San Lois Obispo Harbour View, Santa Barbara

Tapas, Terraces and Tours

26 March 2014

I've just returned from a long weekend in Barcelona. This beautiful city is quickly becoming another favourite of mine. We stayed in the superbly located H10 Port Vell. It’s a 4* hotel with a small roof terrace for lounging on the warmer days and enjoying a drink whilst overlooking the harbour. Within a block you are into the myriad of streets of El Born, known for the artisan shops, boutiques and tapas bars this city has based its reputation on. Another block away and you find yourself in the Gothic Quarter with its wonderful cathedral and gothic architecture. I found Las Ramblas too busy and too touristy for my liking but it's the main pedestrianised area to get from the harbour front to the main square of Plaza de Catalunya, where all the tours seem to go from. We decided to leave the tour buses behind and hired a bike tour of the city's highlights. Such fun! There are plenty of stops for the guide to tell you stories of the city and the main landmarks. I would highly recommend this to anyone visiting the area, and you catch the sun whilst you are cycling! The food is always a highlight on any of my trips, so I wasn’t disappointed with all that Barcelona has to offer. With so many restaurants to choose from it's important to do some research before you go, otherwise you could end up walking aimlessly looking at menus! I can highly recommend Bastaix in El Born. It serves rustic Spanish food, plenty of it and it’s very reasonable. The Sangria was amazing too and in very authentic surroundings.

Luxury trip on the Northern Belle to Edinburgh

03 December 2013

I can't begin to tell you how special and unique the Northern Belle is. The food is outstanding and, for me, one of the highlights of the journey. The surroundings are enchanting with fine linens, silver cutlery and beautiful crockery. The service is attentive, being tailored to the customer, relaxed and chatty, and in no way stuffy or over the top. If you like the finer things in life and appreciate how lucky we are to have this kind of tradition and workmanship in this country you need to try it! Our trip was a long day with an exceptional five course brunch which was served as the train travelled through some of the most stunning Lake District and Scottish countryside I'd ever seen. The leisurely pace allows you to take in the views somehow with more appreciation than any normal train journey. On arrival in Edinburgh we took a tour around Holyroodhouse Palace which gave a great insight into the history of the palace and all the royalty who lived there over the centuries. The journey home on the train saw the lights dim as we tucked into another scrumptious five course evening meal. There was a more jovial atmosphere, the champagne was flowing and there was a buzz in the carriages as we shared experiences of our afternoon in the Scottish capital. If you have a special occasion, birthday, anniversary, Mothers or Father's Day or just want to treat yourself…..you will not stop smiling. From the minute you set foot on the special carpet on the platform to the minute you are waved off, it’s amazing! Do it!

Cottage Weekend Away

16 October 2013

Leighton Hall Farm Cottages, Near Neston, The Wirral, Cheshire was our chosen place to stay for a weekend of quiet countryside where we could access the busy towns and cities close by. We chose these cottages as they were furnished to a high standard and had enough space for a group of 11 ladies all to have our own rooms. We hired all three cottages but one would be fine for a family of up to 6 people. I booked through Hoseasons Cottages who left loads of information for us on arrival with recommendations for places to visit and eat. I can hearty recommend the Greek restaurant Kri Kri in nearby Neston village. A half hour rail journey took us into Liverpool for a trip around the Albert Dock, The Beatles Story museum, Mathew Street for The Cavern Club, and to hit the shops in Liverpool One. The next day we spent all afternoon visiting Port Sunlight, the village Lord Lever built for his workforce when the UniLever factory was in its prime. This is a great place to visit for a history lesson and a nice leisurely Sunday stroll. The cottages aren't far from North Wales and Chester too, I may have to return to see that part of the country for another weekend away!

The Magic of Maggiore

15 August 2013

Recently we had a wonderful time staying near Luino on Lake Maggiore, Italy. I could have sat on my balcony forever and never tire of the views over the Lake. I loved how the lake changed colour as the night drew in. We saw some fabulous sunsets and had two unbelievable storms where the lightning was fascinating to watch. We had a week visiting the following places: Our first stop was Lugano, Switzerland. We had a lovely walk around the old town and the lake. We took the mini tourist train through the town and did the funicular ride to the top of Monte Bre. The views there were absolutely breath-taking! On the way back we stopped at a chocolate museum and watched the chocolate being made. Happily, we were able to sample as much as we liked! We also took a day trip to the pretty islands of Isola Bella and Isola Pescatoire from Lavena on the little ferry. This was a great day out and we found a lovely fish restaurant for lunch. The gardens on Bella are amazing. Luino Market on Wednesdays take over the whole town. We particularly enjoyed the food stalls and stocked up for a BBQ that evening back at the Villa. TIP - Enjoy a swim in the lake after a busy day sightseeing, it's cold but very invigorating.

MSC Cruise of Western Mediterranean

10 August 2013

The MSC Divina is great if you’re looking for a family orientated cruise that’s laid-back, casual and full of fun. There’s also a dash of sparkle and sophistication thrown in with lounge bars and tempting menus! The ship’s design was inspired by screen legend Sophia Loren. As a result there are sumptuous lines plush decor with Swarovski crystals embedded in the stairs, and overall the ship is pristine. We chose an itinerary departing from Venice, which almost looked like a miniature village as we sailed off through the lagoon. Highlights were:- a trip to Olympia, with a fascinating insight into how the modern Olympics came about and a chance to run on the original Olympic 'track'. Sea kayaking around the old fort, islands and coastline of Dubrovnik. The hustle and bustle of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and the bazaar in Izmir with the eclectic mix of pet shops, hang bag stalls, kebab shops, the largest array of pashminas and fresh fish markets! TIP - Prepay the all-inclusive drinks package on board, relax and enjoy.

Stratford Spa Weekend

09 June 2013

Once in a while you have to treat yourself. With friends in London and friends in Yorkshire, Stratford upon Avon was the ideal place to 'meet in the middle' for a girly treat weekend. The McDonald Alveston Manor was our chosen retreat. Located perfectly by the river and a stone's throw from the hustle and bustle of the summer street markets and the shops, cafes, bars and bistros of this busy tourist haven. We booked a spa package through UK specialist Superbreak where chocolates, champagne, robes and relaxation are on the menu. The staff were extremely special, especially the spa ladies who were chatty but very professional, and also made us feel relaxed and pampered. Dinner was served quickly and efficiently and a nice choice on the fixed menu. I can highly recommend the dark chocolate marquise with pistachio sauce, yummy!

Bruges - more than just chocolate!

06 June 2013

A quick dash over the North Sea from Hull on an overnight ferry allows a full day of exploration before the return journey. Bruges is not just about chocolate but it does feature heavily, if you love chocolate you’ll adore Bruges. I was pleasantly surprised with how pretty this little Belgian town is. It reminded me of parts of York with cobbled streets and ancient buildings. We did a walking tour of all the main squares and streets surrounding the main town including a short canal trip. If you get out of the main square the streets are much quieter and you can enjoy the quaint Belgian architecture. We tried the different Belgian beers found in the many bars before our coach back to the ferry, oh and the obligatory Belgian waffles smothered in chocolate sauce! Yum! TIP: Go in the moules season and enjoy the famous ‘moules et frites’ fresh from the seaside.

Birthday bash in Dublin

12 May 2013

Recently, I had my ‘big’ birthday bash in Dublin with a group of my best friends. We stayed in a really funky 4* hotel called the Trinity Capital hotel; it’s close to Trinity College, the main shopping area of Grafton Street, a short walk to the nightlife of Temple Bar area and the riverside. Apart from the Guinness tour (I recommend the steak and ale stew and mash in the Guinness bar!), the main highlight for me was a visit to the Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison and now a heritage site museum. It is eerie and a painful glimpse into prison life in Dublin over the years. The guides that take you around are brilliantly knowledgeable and really set the scene of the suffering endured. TIP: The Guinness tastes different in Dublin, so give it a try, even if you think you won’t like it!

Family-friendly Barcelona

06 June 2013

I took my 5 year old to Barcelona in October half term and was pleasantly surprised how child friendly this bustling city is. The award-winning zoo was quiet this time of year so very few queues to get into the sea-lion and dolphin shows. It was also warm enough to picnic in t-shirts in the many park areas. We took a hop-on-hop-off 2 day ticket as my little one wasn't up for all the walking. The ticket also gave discounts off many attractions and restaurants, including the zoo! We found the metro to be very handy, good value and easy to navigate too. If you buy a multi trip ticket it can save you a fortune. An area we found to be ultra cool was 'El Born' - trendy tapas bars, shops, small hotels and great Spanish architecture really close to the main Gothic Quarter but nowhere near as busy. Definitely worth a return visit, without children next time, so we can enjoy the late night Spanish lifestyle! TIP - Make the effort to visit Gaudi's Parc Guell, north of the city, it has amazing views over the whole of Barcelona and out to sea.

Dazzling Dubai

06 June 2013

I've seen Dubai evolve over the years, and it never ceases to amaze me! Not only known for its designer shopping malls and glitzy hotels, there is so much more to Dubai waiting for you to find. I would highly recommend catching the metro, which is unbelievably good value and clean, or a cab down to Bur Dubai. Take an abra ride (a small wooden boat) on the creek for a glimpse of what old Dubai was like before all the development began. It's a great way to get a tan, whilst enjoying the sights on this busy waterway. Reasonably priced, by Dubai's standards, there are also small cafes on the creek side where you can sit with a peppermint tea and Arabic snacks whilst watching the boats bob up and down the creek as the sun sets...marvellous way to end a day of shopping around the souks in this area. TIP – Pre-book your Burj Khalifa 'At the Top' ticket before leaving the UK, much cheaper than paying on the door and guaranteed entrance.

Costa Cruise of the Emirates

06 June 2013

We wanted to see more of the Emirates after staying in Dubai, so this cruise was perfect for us travelling with two children. The facilities on board are brilliant for families and the free child prices make his cruise company a first choice for me. Must see:- Abu Dhabi – The Grand Mosque - the most amazingly serene place, quiet and tranquil and a welcome cool retreat from the heat. Be prepared to don the full black gown and head cover to enter. Omani Fjords – We spotted dolphins and had a wonderful cooling swim in the fjords within Oman’s rugged coastline. Muscat – Old Muttrah Souk is close to the port and is a myriad of narrow alleyways selling everything and anything. I loved the smells and sounds coming from all the shops and stalls and could have spent hours here, husband permitting! TIP: Pre book the drinks packages with Costa before departure, well worth it.

Action-packed Amsterdam

12 May 2013

Another weekend trip with a group of friends, we had a great time visiting the galleries and nightlife of this famous European city. We stayed in the Convent Hotel on a broad street away from the main hustle and bustle of the liveliest parts of town. By day we wandered around galleries and museums, stopping for coffees and cakes when we pleased. By night we found a marvellous Dutch restaurant called Moeders where the locals ate. Traditional and homely, we felt we’d found the real Amsterdam. I would highly recommend this place for it’s home cooked food and vintage crockery and decor. TIP: Take a walk through the red light district; you can’t go to Amsterdam without a quick peak!

Midi-Pyrenees - Real France

06 June 2013

We had a wonderful family holiday in the Midi-Pyrenees part of untouched France. We flew into Gerona in northern Spain, hiring a car to drive over the border into France. We stayed in a characterful town called Prades which was approximately an hours’ drive to the seaside or up into the Pyrenees in the opposite direction. Prades has market days which are a delight; beware of the smelly cheeses! We enjoyed a day out at the picturesque seaside town of Collioure where there are some great seafood restaurants along the harbour front. Travelling in August we arrived in the height of the peach season with fields and fields of beautifully ripe and juicy peaches and apricots for sale by the side of the road. Yummy! Carcassone, the medieval settlement, is also worth a day trip. The children loved the birds of prey and jousting re-enactment. For me the highlight of the holiday was the day we spent at the natural thermal outdoor spa baths ('bains'). There are quite a few of them in the area and the locations are stunning; often perched high in the mountains overlooking some amazing scenery. TIP – It’s not far to drive into Andorra, if you fancy visiting another country on your holidays.

Aegina and Agistri - Greek islands

06 June 2013

If you want the Greek islands where the Greeks go for their holidays, these two islands are for you! An hour's hydrofoil or ferry ride from Athens, it felt like I'd landed somewhere wonderfully relaxed and in total contrast to the capital I'd left an hour earlier. Still relatively uncommercial, during the day Agistri offers laid back beach life with shallow sandy beaches safe for children. We hired a boat and were sailed around the island by a full of character ex-pat, Robert! It included a brilliant swim stop for snorkelling and a fabulous lunch stop at the south of the island where we sat overlooking other tiny islets in the bay dotted with moored up boats. Wonderful! By night, the restaurant life brings everyone out for a stroll along the seafront down to the quayside to eat the fresh octopus that has been drying out in the sun all day. Barbequed on the grill, this is a local speciality of the island, and absolutely mouth watering. Aegina Town is a short ferry ride across the water, and a touch busier. The shopping here is better with some great local art galleries. TIP: On your return to Athens allow some extra time to see the capital.

Asturias and Cantabria - real Spain

06 June 2013

If you fancy seeing some of the real parts of Spain, this area in the north of the country is for you. We flew into Santander and had a week in Cantabria close to some of the best beaches and equally gorgeous seafood you can imagine, then a week in the mountains in Asturias. A trip to Antoni Gaudi's summer house, El Capricho, in Comillas is well worth seeing as is a day pottering around Santander, a colonial Spanish town with heaps of history. Find a Valon coffee shop for the thickest hot chocolate and churros known to man! The Cangas De Onis area of Asturias is an adventure junkie's playground. We took a day trip white water kayaking; an afternoon horse riding, hiking in the hills, to going underground in pre historic caves. Needed a holiday when we returned! TIP: Don't miss a visit to the pilgrimage site of Covadonga to kiss the feet of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Prague

06 June 2013

We had a wonderfully sunny weekend in Prague which meant we were able to walk and walk and walk. We stayed in a hotel in the Unicef World Heritage Area around the old square near the gothic cathedral really central for all the sights and sounds of this wonderful city. With limited time to enjoy the Czech capital, we joined a walking tour of the city which covered all the main sights of the bridges and cathedral and the Jewish quarter and offered a free ghost tour on the evening. This ensured I didn’t sleep a wink that night! I loved all the different beers and the cafe culture of the main squares. TIP: Trams are inexpensive and a good alternative to the more costly taxis to run you up the hill to the St. Vitus Cathedral.

Calming Kefalonia

12 May 2013

I used to escape the busier Zakynthos for day trips onto this neighbouring Ionian island Kefalonia. The drive from the small ferry port took us into Argostoli and up into the mountains usually to a favourite fish restaurant in Aghia Efthimia. This tiny resort with a shingle beach is typically Greek with white washed stone buildings and blue painted window frames. Just lush. Captain Corelli's Mandolin was filmed here with Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz. I bet the village didn’t know what hit it when Hollywood came to town! If time permitted we could get up to Assos or Fiskardo for some amazing views over the harbour to neighbouring islands. Don't miss the underground caves at Drogorati, lots of steps down to see these famous caves, remember you have to climb back up them all! TIP: Cameras at the ready at Melissani Lake, a must visit behind the resort of Sami. A rowing boat takes you down to this underground lake where the colour in the water is amazing.

Passo Tonale, Italy - ski

05 June 2013

This is a challenging, high altitude ski resort with glacier skiing and guaranteed snow coverage situated in northern Italy. Not the prettiest of resorts but some amazing views from high up the mountains. The slopes are wide and great for beginners as the nursery slopes are close to the resort centre. I loved the snow mobile toboggan runs, great fun! TIP: We took a well earned rest from skiing one day and drove down to Venice, quite a journey, but it was Valentine's Day so perfect for a romantic day out! It was the famous Venetian Masquerade Ball, great to see people dressed up and masked ready for action.

Venice, Italy

06 June 2013

One of my favourite places in the world, I adore this place, it's magical. Once you have visited St Mark's Square, get off the tourist trail and throw your map away. Let the alleyways, bridges and canals dictate your day. Every corner you turn you will be spell bound by a different sight or square or church dome or intricate doorway. Once the sun goes down there is a huge variety of nightlife and something for everyone. One of the best ways to see Venice is by waterway. Gondolas aside, if you are lucky enough to sail into or out of the port at either sunset or sunrise the sun dazzling on the uneven terracotta roof tops is just breathtaking. TIP: Drinking outside a cafe in St Mark's Square will be double the cost of the same drink off the square!

Swish Switzerland

06 June 2013

Villars and Les Diablerets are two beautiful resorts with some amazing skiing. My husband and eldest daughter are the mad skiers in the family, so I always look for a little something for me when I book our winter trips. With Switzerland I am never short for non-skiing things to do. I always book a resort with a toboggan run, and the Swiss do this very well. Whole road systems that are unused during the ski season are taken over as toboggan runs, so you take your toboggan up on the ski lift and follow the signs down the hill/roads where I meet the family after they have skied down. Still a speed freak, I am often first down! Great fun, but not for the faint hearted! I loved the picture postcard chalets and the quaint craft and chic-home shops. Great cafes for apple strudels and hot chocolates for après-ski. TIP: Go for half board as expensive to eat out.

Zakynthos, Greece

12 May 2013

I was lucky enough to live on Zakynthos for the summer season of 2005 for 6 months. The island really does have something for everyone. I particularly like the Vassilikos peninsula; hire a car and take the drive down the winding coastal road through Argassi to this wild tip at the point of the island overlooking the mainland of Greece in one direction and Marathonisi, known as 'Turtle Island' in the other. There are some great beaches to visit and pretty views through olive groves at every turn. My favourite restaurant is La Bruschetta – this restaurant is high above Liminaria (Keri Lakes) for rustic Italian food, al fresco with the most beautiful flowering bougainvillea surrounding the walls of this top notch eatery. Great at sunset! Michaelo's on the Zakynthos Town road is also great. Home cooked traditional Greek food, friendly service and good value. Al fresco restaurant under grape vines. I can still taste the tzatziki! Yum!

Las Vegas honeymoon

12 May 2013

My honeymoon destination. It was a strange choice for someone who prefers uncommercialised places, but I loved it! The whole scale of the place made me walk around with jaw dropped, saying 'No! Look at that!' all week! We stayed at the Bellagio. Amazing place once we'd found the way to our hotel room after a 20 minute walk from reception. It also houses the best steakhouse we have ever had the pleasure of eating in, the Prime Steakhouse. Mouth watering! Don't miss the dancing fountains at the front of the hotel as seen in Ocean's Eleven. As for shopping, choice of eateries and amazing themed hotels, there is simply no where on earth to beat it! The place is truly bonkers, and a great place for people watching from celebrity spotting to brides in full bridal gowns playing on the slot machines! TIP: If you fancy a light aircraft ride over the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, book an early trip to catch the sunrise. Watch how the canyon changes colour as the sunrises.

Winter Wonderland Wedding

06 June 2013

Another favourite place of mine, chocolate box villages on the hillsides and a link to The Sound of Music, what more could you want? I've visited Austria in the summer for the lakes and mountains season, as a city-break and in the ski season and equally love it for different reasons. So much so, we got married here in the snow in the Bavarian-style town hall in Zell-am-See. I hold very fond memories of a magical week in the snow with 64 of our friends and family. We stayed in the Romantik Hotel, and it certainly played up to it's name sake with a waterbed and Danish fire in the wedding suite and a sumptuous wedding breakfast with mulled wine in a cauldron on arrival for all our guests. Unforgettable! Salzburg is a fine location for a city break. Salzburg fortress, Hohensalzburg, offers fabulous views from the top over the city of Salzburg and into the hills of the surrounding area. TIP: Plan your trip when music concerts are at the fortress and celebrate the birth place of Mozart.

Spanish Pyrenees - Skiing like kings!

06 June 2013

Baqueira and Beret. These two ski resorts are fairly unknown by English tourists but are popular with the Spanish ski fraternity and more famously with Spanish royalty. The slopes are wide and well-groomed; a great place for my eldest daughter to learn to ski here with an English speaking local ski guide. The resorts are small enough to find your way around easily and there didn't seem to be many queues at the lifts, always a bonus! TIP: If you fancy a day off skiing, or you injure yourself like me, Barcelona is a few hours drive away.

Jumping Jamaica

12 May 2013

The whole island's motto should be 'fun, fun, fun'. Anything goes here in this Caribbean island! Music plays a key part of the general lifestyle so make sure you pack your dancing shoes. I managed to squeeze in a trip to Bob Marley's old home in the capital Kingston. It is now a museum, fascinating - even if reggae isn't your thing. His influence on the island is still very evident, although I hear Usain Bolt is fast on his heels! Climbing Dunn's River Falls is a must, but not for the faint hearted. For a more leisurely excursion try a river raft trip, slow and cool under the canopies of huge trees from the plantations. TIP - Go easy on the rum, those cocktails are lethal in the sun!

Triple Centre Malaysia

12 May 2013

This trip was a real mix of senses and contrasts, I loved every minute of it. In Kuala Lumpur, I saw the best electrical storm ever from 20 stories high in my hotel room. Thankfully, I was out of the rain, but the sight of the lightning at night over the tall skyscrapers, famous Petronas Towers and the neon of the city will stay with me forever. Fabulous! In total contrast were the delightful rolling hills of the Cameron Highlands where the tea plantations go on for miles and miles in almost Lake District-like surroundings. I visited a working tea factory where I watched the whole journey of the tea leaves being picked by hand to being bagged for my morning cuppa! Fascinating! Hillside hikes are also recommended for an afternoon of adventure. Kuantan is a coastal resort with wonderful beaches and a welcome break from all the buzz of Kuala Lumpur. Great to twin with the capital for some relaxation before your flight home. Take a canoe trip into the dense jungle past huge flowering lily pads to visit traditional Malaysian villagers in their mud huts. Remember your mosquito repellent! TIP: Get used to bartering in China Town KL, you can bag yourself a genuine-fake bargain!

Gorgeous Grand Cayman

12 May 2013

Stingray City has got to be a 'must do' for anyone visiting this more tranquil Caribbean island. We were taken by speedboat out into the Caribbean sea, no land could be seen for miles yet the sea was shallow when we stopped and delightfully warm. We held chunks of dead fish in our fists for the stingrays to sniff out. Without sight they have to smell their food and slowly come out from nowhere, the size of humans but soft and fleshy to touch as they glide up to your outstretched arm with their mouths wide open! The fish is gone from your fist and you let out a breath, phew! Highly recommended island for beautifully long sandy beaches, colonial buildings and architecture, and top notch hotels. TIP - Stay out of Georgetown when the American cruise ships are in, it gets really busy!

Awesome Australia

12 May 2013

This was my first big trip oversees and it cemented my love for travel. Even though it was more than 20 years ago I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I remember flying across the country as the pilot said over the tannoy ' we are now in Australian airspace' the red earth underneath seemed to go on and on for hours. I loved the laid back lifestyle, the love of the outdoors, the BBQs, iconic sights and loveable animals. For some real Aussie surf and beaches take the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to Adelaide. We found quaint colonial seaside towns with amazing hospitality and seafood to match. Snorkelling around the Great Barrier Reef was also a highlight for me with fish and coral life made of colours I have never witnessed since. As a 19 year old, fresh out of Yorkshire, my passion for travel and adventure had begun. TIP: Don't under estimate the distances between places when you are planning your trip, this place is huge so allow plenty of time for your body clock to adjust!

My customer stories

Sent by Lisa Leaming

Thank you so much for the postcard and email and more importantly for making our little holiday be possible. Well what can I say from start to finish it all went smoothly, we allowed 3hrs for checkin which was just right no rush or stress, had time for a duty free shop, breakfast and a glass of fizz. I did book the fast track which really helped too. The private taxi was there waiting for us so no time was wasted. The hotel was superb we couldn’t fault it at all, the service was great and the staff were all so friendly and helpful. Our room was just what I wanted it to be, the view was excellent. The location was fantastic just a 10 min walk into the town, the town had everything we needed. Within a 2 minute walk from the hotel we had a choice of fantastic restaurants, we never had a bad meal. We did a trip round the island one day booked through the hotel, which was great, the tour guide spoke very good English and provided us with so much information and we got to see some lovely places. Another day we walked from our hotel to Oia 6.5miles, which was hard going but the views were worth it, we really enjoyed it, Oia was beautiful we had lunch there and got the local bus back, it was so easy and only 1.60 euros each. All in all we have had a blast, a great start to our retirement and would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone. Thank you so much

Sent by Sally Finn

Sarah was incredibly helpful and efficient - I'd definitely recommend!

Sent by Wendy Norton

Sarah was most helpful and polite , and got us everything we asked for , we will be recommending her to everyone I know

Sent by Neil Eastwood

Sarah has been extremely helpful and knowledgeable in arranging the first of many holidays we’ll be asking her to book for us. Great hotel suggestions and fantastic idea for the stopover in Dubai.

Sent by Sophie Wheeler

Sarah was incredibly helpful! She spent time getting to know us and what we wanted and absolutely understood the assignment! She got us an even better holiday than we were hoping for, well under our planned budget, with loads of dreamy extras for our honeymoon. Couldn't have hoped for a better experience and we're now recommending her to everyone we know!

Sent by Alison Finn

Sarah is an excellent travel agent, I always ask her to book my holidays. Sarah offers a really quick, reliable service and is always happy to help. I have already recommended Sarah to my friends.

Sent by Peter Orvis

Sarah is very helpful nothing is too much trouble for her. When we travel in the future we will always contact her as our first choice

Sent by John Price

Always provides us with requisite information

Sent by Amanda Stride

Sarah is always happy to suggest and look at different holiday destinations for us. She is always very patient and looks into more remote locations that we sometimes ask for. Sarah always gives the best advice especially throughout the last 2 years ! We always feel that booking with Sarah is hassle free ( except when she’s winding me up!) and we always feel fully confident. 100% the best!!

Sent by Amanda Stewart

Very quick and efficient service - Sarah responded to my request with 3 holidays within 24 hours. All my preferences were included. It really takes the pain out of searching online for hours

Sent by Gillian Townend

Sarah is very knowledgeable, giving you first class professional advice. Always looks after her clients

Sent by Nicola Bray

Really easy to talk to and gave me lots of options to choose from. I feel that we have, and will be, really looked after!

Sent by Becci Maudling

This is the second time I have used Sarah and she almost feels like a friend who will help you in anyway possible… totally taking the stress away from arranging everything ourselves. Even down to a hand delivered thank you card for booking. Above and beyond anything I ever expected.

Sent by Ian Stabler

Definitely recommended, Sarah has been great. She dealt with my requirements quickly, efficiently and with a great personal touch

Sent by David Rodgers

Great experience, Sarah managed to find us exactly what we were looking for!

Sent by Leanne Steele

If I could score Sarah 100/10 I would do. She is so helpful , understanding and completely honest and that's why I choose to book with her not only for my holiday's but for all the add on extra bits as well. Thank you Sarah , you are worthy of a 100/10 from us :)

Sent by Sonia Dsenis-Constantine

Sarah was quick, efficient and gave us great options for our holiday. Very helpful and great to deal with.

Sent by Wendy Berry

Sarah goes out of her way to find the best holiday available, responds quickly and we wouldn’t hesitate to book through her again

Sent by Sylvia Hill

I found Sarah to be extremely helpful, patient and professional.

Sent by Judith Franklin

Sarah is quick to respond to emails / phone calls, and because we've used her before, she knows the type of holiday we like, so the ideas she sends are based on this.. Always excellent service

Sent by Joanna Lewin

Sarah is always very helpful with suggestions and answering all my queries

Sent by Anthony Hartley

Sarah has been amazing whenever we have asked Sarah she has sorted holidays professionally and courteously nothing is too much - thank you

Sent by Eleanor Lyth

As always a fantastic service from Sarah - wouldn’t use anyone else to book our holidays. I always recommend Sarah to our family and friends for her expert advice.

Sent by Martin Baltazar

Sarah is brilliant and great to deal with and have in our travel corner.

Sent by Natalie Kendrick

Amazing support in such challenging times. Thanks for all your help and advise Sarah

Sent by Sue North

Very happy to recommend Sarah to friends and family, in fact I already have!! It's a no-brainer to be honest as Sarah takes all the stress out of searching for the perfect deal and as she knows what we like, this makes the process so much simpler. Sarah is thorough in her research and meticulous in her planning, no detail is omitted. All round excellent service and highly recommended.

Sent by Victoria Lamb

Always quick, efficient and very knowledgeable

Sent by Amanda Holland

Very helpful, personal service. Extremely patient with an inexperienced holiday planner.

Sent by Lance Wiggins

Sarah is always excellent - she is organised, prompt, knowledgeable, friendly and she listens to what we want every time we use her for our travel plans

Sent by Kirsty Old

Really friendly service, gave great options within our budget, couldn't fault Sarah at all and will definitely be going back for further holiday help!

Sent by Clare Reeve

Great communication and I feel much more relaxed under current circumstances, knowing that an experienced person is handling everything.

Sent by Geoff Holmes

Thank you for your response to this developing picture over the weekend. I was impressed by the level of service you are providing, which prompted me to look at your website and all became clear. A great combination of expertise, passion and customer focus - and fully aligned with our approach at PX Group.

Sent by Katherine Woods-Ruddick

Sarah's support is excellent

Sent by Margaret Kirk

Sarah is very helpful and considerate no hesitation in recommending her

Sent by Dorothy Stroud

Really helpful would recommend Sarah, to book your holidays anytime.

Sent by Richard Harrison

Sarah has given a fantastic level of service and responds promptly and efficiently to any questions raised. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone who needs any form of travel advice

Sent by Toni Davis

Sarah always goes that extra mile to help us and make sure our holiday is exactly what we want

Sent by Joanna Miles

Sarah is brilliant. I have already recommended Sarah to my friends Mr and Mrs Ford who are enjoying themselves now in Portugal thanks to a holiday that Sarah found. I’m about to have a zoom call with another family about booking a joint holiday through Sarah next Easter. 10 out of 10 service. :-)

Sent by Natalie Kendrew

Amazing support in such challenging times. Thanks for all your help and advise Sarah

Sent by Gemma Fleming

Excellent level of personalised customer care with a holiday tailored to meet our individual needs at a good price. Sarah provided attention to detail with excellent communication throughout and nothing was too much effort, she went above and beyond for us!!!! Will be using again and can highly recommend! Thank you

Sent by Gemma Walton

Sarah is exceptional and made planning our USA trip so simple and straightforward (and fun!). She also saved us money by accessing rates and hotels we had no idea about, and her knowledge was second-to-none. We will be recommending her to everyone!

Sent by Michelle Bayram

Sarah has been a god send during all the recent uncertainty due to COVID and although we have had the disappointment of having to delay our holiday, Sarah has always made sure that it has been stress free and has been able to offer advice.

Sent by Helen Giblin

Nothing is too much trouble. Sarah is amazing. Always excels . Thank you Sarah.

Sent by Joseph Bvumburai

Sarah was not good but excellent. She is very knowledgeable and knew all the rules around Covid travel. What a marvellous service I got from her!

Sent by Emma Dixon-Smith

Recent holiday booked with Sarah to Malta. Sarah made sure we had prepared all documents etc required before travel. She also helped clear up an issue we needed to sort with our home transport whilst we were away which was a great help as the tour operators were still not currently in the resort.

Sent by Lynn Tharratt

Sarah is a very special person, she is always on our level, always the same personal service, efficient and friendly. She is exceptional at what she does. She is always our ‘go to’ knowing exactly what we consistently get. Thank you.

Sent by Angela Wallace

We’re just back from another holiday that Sarah organised for us. The whole process from the first phone call to book to returning back to the UK was seamless. Sarah also advised us brilliantly about the travel related Covid requirements. We wouldn’t use anyone else to book our holidays through, Sarah is simply fabulous!

Sent by Vicky Wainman

I recommend Sarah at every opportunity I can. She is caring, knowledgeable and extremely helpful!! I would never book anywhere else I know with Sarah our valuable holidays are in safe hands and we will be well looked after.

Sent by Jacqueline Carter

Sarah was really helpful, went above and beyond when we had to change our plans due to Covid

Sent by Danielle Storey-Hall

Sarah always has great attention to detail, ensuring her understanding of my preferences are met as much as possible so that the holiday always delivers and is spot on. From the initial request, to booking, to even hand delivering the boarding passes, she is quick, attentive, great to work with and makes the process happy and easy, taking all the stresses of searching away. She is my go-to person for both UK and foreign travel.

Sent by Joseph Bvumburai

I found Sarah to be highly knowledgeable with current travel requirements for our destination and always willing to answer any questions I had.. I would use Sarah for my travel arrangements again and again!

Sent by Lorraine Myers

Sarah offers such a brilliant service. I would not hesitate to recommend her to my friends

Sent by Sophie Knapp

Sarah was recommended to me by my family members, and I would 100% recommend her to others. Really friendly, helpful and took away all the stress of booking a trip away. She found some great options for us with us giving her such a short time. All in all I would not hesitate to come to Sarah again when it’s time for another holiday, thanks again :)

Sent by Paul Miller

Sarah always goes the extra mile for a client and is calm and most supportive if problems occur.

Sent by Amanda Brown

Sarah is very pleasant & efficient & dealt with my booking very quickly. Thank you Sarah

Sent by Tracy Ratfer

Sarah is very knowledgeable and personable! I wouldn’t book with anyone else.

Sent by Cathy Phillips

Sarah has always been brilliant but during the pandemic, having her look after us has been an absolute godsend - she’s been amazing, despite it being an incredibly difficult few years for her and her colleagues.

Sent by Jack Newall-Swallow

Sarah has been brilliant throughout the whole process of sorting our honeymoon! We've had to move it twice and changed hotels a couple of times but Sarah has sorted everything and made it so easy and stress free. Always on hand for any queries, and keeps us constantly updated- I would 100% recommend her to anybody and we'll definitely be booking with her again in future! Can't sing her praises high enough!

Sent by Keren Holmes

There is no one else we would use. We've used Sarah for last-minute breaks and to create our holidays of a lifetime. Nothing is ever too much trouble and Sarah's always found us at least 4 holidays to choose from every time, each one perfect for us, usually with a little gem we've not considered. We've had two holidays cancelled because of Covid19, and Sarah had us kept up to date throughout and got us an alternative booked super quick. As well as from being really efficient, Sarah is super friendly and I know it's not 'just' a holiday to her, from the last minute breaks to arranging our holiday of a lifetime we always feel as much care and consideration goes into booking them all. Cannot recommend Sarah enough and here's to more holidays in the future!!

Sent by Mark Chappell

A first class service, wouldn't go anywhere else for my holidays and my business travel.

Sent by Shaun Dean

Sarah always goes above and beyond to make it happen. She gets to know her clients needs and makes the whole holiday preparation experience as smooth as possible. During these crazy COVID times, where the situation has been so fluid, no issue was too much trouble for her to attend to, this is the true mark of a professional. I have no hesitation to recommend Sarah to peers and colleagues, she is a true pro! Thank you so much, you have a lifelong client as a result!

Sent by Leanne Steele

We have known Sarah and used her for several years now for not only booking holidays but for many of the extras that run along side them such as transfers , insurance, trips and even theatre tickets ! We value her honest opinion , and these last 18 months must have been an utter nightmare for her , yet she’s remained professional, calm and extremely helpful throughout , she is known in our household as the 4th emergency service. We’ve already booked another holiday with her for next year and can’t wait to get travelling again so she’ll be super busy over the coming months . Thank you Sarah , you really are one in a million and definitely our go to girl ! xx

Sent by Sophie Knapp

Sarah was recommended to me by my family members, and I would 100% recommend her to others. Really friendly, helpful and took away all the stress of booking a trip away. She found some great options for us with us giving her such a short time. All in all I would not hesitate to come to Sarah again when it’s time for another holiday, thanks again :)

Sent by Craig Temperton

We've used Sarah before and this is the reason we returned to her. She's so helpful and gets back to you very fast. Nothing but praise from our end

Sent by Oliver Brodie

Sarah is brilliant. Extremely efficient and very professional with a personal touch!

Sent by Liz Johnsen

Sarah always understands exactly what we are looking for, she is so accommodating with all requests and enquiries we have sent and goes above and beyond. I wouldn’t book a holiday through anyone else.

Sent by Eileen Lewin

The service we have enjoyed with Sarah has been outstanding.

Sent by Angela Oldroyd

Excellent, friendly service, always!

Sent by Sally Campbell

Sarah always goes above to help sort out our holidays. Her service is amazing. Thank you

Sent by Jessica Dodds

Sarah has been nothing but helpful and supportive throughout all our holiday decisions, especially over the last year with cancellations, changes and challenges. I would, and regularly do, recommend Sarah to others looking for a stress free, enjoyable and secure holiday booking experience.

Sent by Karen Marsden

Sarah is always available to answer any questions and responds very quickly to requests. Sarah matches holidays/breaks perfectly to needs/wants and gives plenty of options to choose from. I have and will continue to recommend Sarah to my friends and family

Sent by Martin Baltazar

Given the ease with which holidays can be arranged online these days, people are often tempted to do it themselves, and it is a big mistake. Over the last several years Sarah has organised all our holidays and long weekends. She also organises all the trips my 82 year old Mum takes. Mum also thinks that Sarah and Travel Counsellors are marvellous. Sarah is so patient with her and she loves dealing with her for her trips. I know that the pandemic has presented Sarah with many challenges and she has risen to them all. There is no one I would rather deal with for my holidays and, as I have often said Sarah has my business forever. Sarah and Travel Counsellors are there for the good times and, oh so importantly, for the bad times as we found out this year. Sarah is a consummate professional and I highly recommend that anyone looking to travel uses her and leaves booking and organising holidays and trips to a professional and stops wasting precious hours online.

Sent by Jessemy Evans

Sarah worked with me to get me from NZ to the UK so that I could introduce my entire family to my new baby who have been waiting for six months to meet her. It wasn't an easy thing to do and her patience, understanding and flexibility whilst my plans kept unexpectedly changing made the otherwise stressful job to get us to our family the other side of the world, feel like a breeze! Thank you Sarah.

Sent by Kieran Tunney

Since meeting Sarah to book our Honeymoon, she has been nothing but professional, helpful, very knowledgeable and very easy to talk to. With the current situation we all find ourselves in, having to move our Wedding and Honeymoon has been a nightmare no one would want. Sarah has been so good in helping us keep calm (when stressed and a lot of money on the line), she has felt like more of a friend. Sarah has helped us be able to move our trip to a time which hopefully will be something like normal and with no money lost. We can't thank her enough and would, and have, 100% recommend to Friends and Family. Thank you

Sent by Alison Robinson

Just a quick note to say thank you for rearranging our holiday into next year. In these difficult times your calm, knowledgeable and efficient service is unmatched. On-line sites may be crashing and big holiday company help lines unreachable but you do exactly as you promise and are available to your clients 24/7. When this crisis is over I hope everyone remembers and recommends you as the best way to book travel. You should be so proud.

Sent by Rita Miller

Sarah was there for me when I was in danger of being stranded abroad and solved my problems promptly, and was unflappably efficient. I cannot recommend her enough!

Sent by Ian Storey

Sarah is quick to respond to enquiries, provides lots of options on great hotel choices which ideally suit our needs, patient and nothing is too much trouble for her.

Sent by Tony Hartley

I would score you 10/10 every time because you go the extra mile all the time and I always hand out your cards I can’t understand why others go through the hassle of booking elsewhere, she's a pleasure to deal with nothing is left to chance - thoroughly professional

Sent by John Waterston

Great listener. Professional and responsive. Offered inspiration and practicality tailored to our needs. Could not recommend more highly

Sent by Myra Dykes

Excellent, very efficient and speedy service

Sent by John Price

Everything was organised for us so we had no problems at all which was good as we are pensioners

Sent by Martin Baltazar

Brilliant service. Sarah knows a lot more about new places than we do so is an excellent font of knowledge and guide to help build the perfect holiday.

Sent by Hannah Harrison

Sarah has been excellent, I have already recommended her services to a friend and will not hesitate to do so again in the future. Thank you for your patience and help Sarah.

Sent by Bethany Wright-Paramio

Definitely will recommend! We asked Sarah to help us book our girls holiday this year and she was really great! Gave us lots of suggestions that fit our criteria really quickly after contacting her! Really friendly and helpful throughout the whole process and took out all the stress of organising the holiday! We will definitely be booking through Sarah again!

Sent by Deborah Thornton

So helpful and friendly!!!

Sent by Alison Walker

You did all the hard work for us, it made it so easy. Thank you for your prompt delivery of service.

Sent by Sara Murphy

Sarah is very knowledgeable and offers a fast and efficient friendly service

Sent by Shaun Wood

I would 100% recommend Sarah Smith. Nothing is every to much to ask. Not matter what time if its an evening or even on the school run. Sarah is always available for us. We look forward to continuing to work with Sarah throughout 2020 and beyond. If anyone wants a stress free holiday, Look no further.

Sent by Alison Robinson

Sarah is amazing! She takes the time to understand your requirements, makes suggestions including wild cards when appropriate or just offers what you ask for when the brief is specific. This time it was speed booking because of a wild card last year! Just give Sarah your holiday parameters and prepare for her to exceed your expectations - a unique experience not available on an algorithm!

Sent by Frances Dodd

Sorry taken me so long….but just wanted to say a big massive thank you for all your organising in the US – you did such a brilliant job and it all worked so smoothly. Thank you in particular for getting those front of row sets – I have never managed to get those before – so was in awe of your speediness!! Thank you again – really appreciated all that you did for us.

Sent by Bernhard Lindsey

Sarah always offers a fantastic service, she works with us to get the best deal for our requirements. I recommend her to all our family and friends!

Sent by Emma Marrison

Sarah is very helpful and always responds quickly to any queries I have. I would always recommend Sarah !

Sent by Sue Rees

As usual, great, efficient service ....thank you!

Sent by Michelle Bayram

We have always been extremely happy with the level of service that Sarah offers, Very quick response times, friendly service, wealth of knowledge, always adds the personal touch! The only difficulty is deciding which destination I want Sarah to book next!

Sent by David Marsden

A very professional, informative service that you can rely on

Sent by Amylou McParland

A truly personal service, no question big or small was any trouble in answering. Always a quick and efficient response with a friendly tone, thank you

Sent by Kaylee Abel

Sarah was amazing booking our wedding package, tailored it to exactly what we wanted & better value than anywhere else.

Sent by Sandra Norton

I am always pleased with your service, thank you. It takes the bother from me as I am the one usually having to think about holidays with whoever I am travelling with at the time. . So, thank you.

Sent by Simon Daws

The trip was really nice, just what I needed! The cottage was beautiful! I didn’t want to leave... thank you!

Sent by Jane Clark

Extremely helpful and efficient service. Will definitely use your services again and would highly recommend to family and friends. Thank you .

Sent by Simon Daws

Sarah is always really helpful, and goes that extra mile to ensure the trip is a success!

Sent by Diane Wright

Always friendly, efficient and finds us the holiday we need.

Sent by Kieran Tunney

Very friendly, informative and professional with a personal relationship. We will highly recommend to our family and friends.

Sent by Fleur Green

Fabulous Personal professional Friendly service - Sarah went the extra mile to find the perfect hotel location and amazing experience in Venice - thank you

Sent by Stuart Campbell

Fabulous Personal professional Friendly service - Sarah went the extra mile to find the perfect hotel location and amazing experience in Venice - thank you

Sent by Angela Jensen

I would have no hesitation in recommending Sarah to family and friends and will definitely be using her services again ourselves. She listened to what we were looking for and came back with really good options for exactly what we had asked for at a price we are extremely happy with. No pressure to book and a lot simpler than searching and searching through brochures and websites. Thank you Sarah, roll on next July

Sent by Fiona Evans

brilliant, quick service, a great help and support.

Sent by Heather Taylor

The trip planning, transfers, ferry and pickup/drop off went without a hitch. Thank you for taking the hassle and headache out of our holiday we both thoroughly enjoyed our first Greek experience.

Sent by Keith Edlington

Always available and quick to respond for advice and help. All with a cheerful and friendly manner.

Sent by Danielle Storey-Hall

Always deliver a great set of options according to criteria given and often has to gauge requirements when I'm not clear. Great service always !

Sent by Danielle Storey-Hall

Always deliver a great set of options according to criteria given and often has to gauge requirements when I'm not clear. Great service always !

Sent by Sarah Hopper

Very professional,efficient service given by Sarah Smith will definitely by using this service again

Sent by Gillian Townend

Sarah is brilliant, has worked us 2 holidays out to precision. will use her again. Did not worry when I did not like one of the proposed trips, she just worked us something else out.

Sent by Vivienne Blackledge

Sarah has made planning our holiday a super quick, super easy process and I'm delighted with what she has arranged for us. Thank you!

Sent by Carol Kinroy

A smooth, easy transaction for a holiday booked with Sarah

Sent by Jessica Dodds

Fabulous experience yet again. Simple, time efficient and full of exciting ideas. Why go anywhere else?

Sent by Jane Markvart

We just got home to find your very thoughtful 'welcome home' post card. We had an amazing time on the cruise with Mum and Dad. We loved Norway and really enjoyed all our excursions. Everything went like clockwork, so many, many thanks for all your help and organisation. The whole Cruise and Maritime team were fantastic in all areas as well.

Sent by Joanna Miles

Sarah made booking our summer holiday stress-free. She is delightful to deal with and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.

Sent by Gina Rogerson

Nothing too much trouble, very helpful and efficient

Sent by Shaun Wood

Incredible service from start to finish. Really Professional and helpful. We will continue to book through our TC :)

Sent by Martin Baltazar

Great, reliable, efficient, and nice with it

Sent by Claire Lawrence

Thank you so much again for all your help with all the arrangements. It’s been a massive help and I’m just glad we’ve finally got there! It’s such a valuable service and certainly saved me a load of time and stress! I’m sure we’ll work together again in the future

Sent by Dean Marshall

Sarah is an amazing contact to have regarding any holiday requests or recommendations. Her professionalism is second to none and I am always happy to promote her name and business to family and friends.

Sent by Jess Dodds

Just want to say a HUGE thank you. It really was a holiday of a lifetime. We did everything you can imagine and more and it was such a dream having everything all planned and ready, especially after a stressful period at work. Cannot thank Sarah enough for her support, reassurance and all the extra special finishing touches to make our three centre holiday to Florida one to remember. First time finally using Sarah for holiday support and it certainly won’t be the last, as we spent the flight home discussing the next one! If you want peace of mind, quality service and the stress taking out of your holiday booking, Sarah is the person you need. Thank you so much!

Sent by Judy Franklin

Sarah always goes the extra mile to find exactly the right holiday, even if it's quite a complicated one! She is efficient at responding to emails quickly.

Sent by Tracy Rafter

Sarah is very personable and always delivers! She put things right if anything goes wrong! Well done Sarah! Keep up the great work x

Sent by Christine Gee

Excellent service throughout.

Sent by Frances Aktipis-Tsiolis

Everything was perfect. Even the weather the first three days was timed to perfection. I wouldn't change a thing. It's so hard to describe the feeling of awe when the seaplane lands. My hubbie was well pleased and for sure we will do something like this again. Although I won't be able to hold it as a surprise. Wishing you all the best. Thank you again for everything. Got a great tan!!!

Sent by Liz Blair

Booking our holiday through Sarah was such a straightforward experience with no hassle. Much easier that looking through the minefield on-line or going to a travel shop. Now I have had my first experience I will not hesitate to use her again and recommend her.

Sent by Anthony Hartley

Superb service from start of holiday planning through the whole process until you return- can’t recommend Sarah high enough

Sent by Alison Robinson

Thanks, Sarah, for sorting our NYC short break. It means so much to be able to rely on your experience and knowledge so we just had to give dates and preferences and it's done! Can't get that online!

Sent by Alison Robinson

Fabulous advice and options for Villa holiday in Crete with teens. Sarah takes time to understand the needs of everyone travelling and, having booked for us before, responded to our feedback from previous trips. Sarah is friendly, efficient and professional and makes the process of booking a holiday a fun part of the holiday build-up.

Sent by Sharon Wiggins

We have recommended Sarah to friends and colleagues will continue to do so because you offer such a comprehensive, tailored service in a friendly, patient and knowledgeable manner.

Sent by Angela Russell

Sarah really helped us to tailor make a holiday for our honeymoon. We couldn't have done it on our own. She was incredibly patient (with my numerous questions and queries), was professional and responded to us quickly. We genuinely believe that we have now booked the perfect honeymoon for us and can't wait to go! I know that Sarah will be there for us from now until we get back. Even the little things like booking flight seats and transfers have been done for us. She has really taken the presure off us and now we can just look forward to the holiday.

Sent by Peter Orvis

Sarah is very professional, helpful, and makes booking a holiday enjoyable taking away the stress

Sent by David Marsden

A very professional, friendly, efficient way to find out about, and book a holiday.

Sent by Barry Palmer

We had friendly advice with plenty of options to suit our budget. It didn't seem to matter if we came back and altered our plans because a new quote was quickly available.

Sent by Myra Dykes

Very efficient and professional service with a friendly and personal touch too.

Sent by Kevin Young

Sarah had to work particularly hard to match our needs - particularly price. She did this with great tenacity and a genuine desire to deliver. This was a great customer experience

Sent by Shelly Bayram

Sarah is always very informative and very quick to answer my enquiry

Sent by Julie Johnson

We've already recommended Sarah to lots of our friends! She came to us highly recommended and the service she provided was amazing - efficient, fast, organised, knowledgeable and super friendly. Sarah gave us expert advice, over and above what we expected, plus some great travel tips for our holiday of a lifetime.

Sent by Lee Horn

This is the 4th holiday booked with Sarah, and she is amazing, every time getting it just right. She doesn’t personally know us other than a chance meeting but already she knows what we like and get the best deal for us too! Highly recommend her and I often do to friends

Sent by Sue North

I have already passed Sarah’s details onto lots of friends as I just know she’s the best in the business! Always helpful, gets the best deals and the personal touch - she’s a gem

Sent by Frances Aktypi

Everything was organised very quickly and efficiently. Looking forward to our holiday.

Sent by Kathryn Howe

There are just simply not enough superlatives to describe how amazing Sarah is. Approachable, professional, friendly and incredibly knowledgeable. Based on our recent experience, we would not use anyone else now!

Sent by Emma Marrison

Sarah is always professional, friendly, extremely helpful and keen to help out with any enquires and/or bookings. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Sarah to friends, family and colleagues

Sent by Stuart Campbell

Sarah’s personal service and help have already given us some fabulous holidays so would highly recommend her

Sent by Malcolm Grassam

Thanks for the impeccable planning and arrangements. You took the angst out of the travel. Grenada is very special! Thank you

Sent by Tracy Hardwick

A big thanks for booking our dream holiday and giving us the peace of mind you were there if needed. It was amazing and we want to go back! Now!

Sent by Susan Keene

Sarah is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and always available to assist with any questions or queries very quickly.

Sent by Colin Locker

Amazing personal service with great recommendations to enhance the holiday

Sent by Tracy Hardwick

Very helpful and informative. Made booking our dream holiday very easy.

Sent by Gillian Townend

Our experience with Sarah has been brilliant, she has looked at various options for 4 adults. Found what we were looking for and booked us!

Sent by Emily Prestwood

Absolutely fantastic service as usual. Sarah went all out to ensure my last minute holiday was all sorted in just a matter of days. Thank you once again!

Sent by James Howarth

Sarah has been a huge help, very approachable and will always go out of her way to help with any advice or help you need. Can't rate Sarah highly enough.

Sent by Joanne Thompson

Sarah works hard to get the best deal and gives 100% in customer care.

Sent by Jessica Dodds

Personal, professional and incredibly flexible. Very excited to have booked our dream holiday with Sarah.

Sent by Susan Rees

As always, excellent service, trouble free for me, thank you!

Sent by Lindsey Ladds

So easy to sit back and let Sarah do all the hard work, will be coming back every time I need a holiday.

Sent by Rita Varley

Sarah is a knowledgable Travel Counselllor who delivers a fast, friendly, efficient first class service. We have just booked our 3rd holiday through her. Sarah dealt with any questions and requests promptly and truly removed any stress that booking holidays can cause. She even pre books our seats and checks us in. We literally have nothing to do but pay, wait for our tickets to arrive and enjoy our holiday. Thanks Sarah.

Sent by John Beachell

Sarah had the arduous task of booking 28 lads onto a stag do, she was well organised and made us feel very welcome, and secured a fantastic hotel in Krakow for us, even after having difficulty with hotels and changing dates. Would highly recommend and will definitely be using again soon.

Sent by Melissa Lawton

Sarah everything we asked for we got and more. Thank you so much for finding us a superb last minute relaxing holiday in beautiful Parga. We loved it. Now to planning our next holiday with you.

Sent by Melissa Lawton

Sarah you did good! We love it here, well done and thanks for the recommendation!

Sent by Judy Franklin

Thanks for sorting my trip to Australia and Singapore (as usual!), and particularly thanks for rearranging it for me back in January when I was having such a stressful day! How lucky I was I’d booked it via you and not independently!

Sent by Samuel Hunsley

Thank you for your amazing service! We can't fault it!

Sent by Kelly Taylor

First time using Sarah but it won't be the last! Great service.....on a Sunday evening too. Kept us informed right along the way. Prompt responses to all my emails with nothing too much trouble. Taking the stress out of holiday booking.....would highly recommend. Thanks again Sarah.

Sent by Jen Armitage

If anyone ever has any doubts about booking with Sarah then just do it! We're just about to go on a non-Sarah booked holiday (booked before we knew about her) and the service we've had from our supposed luxury operator has been nothing short of shocking in comparison! We keep saying to each other... 'Sarah wouldn't have let happen' etc... It says it all!!

Sent by Desiree Ashton

Sarah you have done it again...family bliss! Great pool, amazing views and a games room into the bargain with a ping-pong table for the boys! Keeping teens and parents equally happy, thank you !

Sent by Tony Whiting

Holiday was absolutely fabulous and again made all the easier because of your efforts. We had a car for 5 days and managed to see lots of different things on the island and had plenty of fun filled days and nights, and lots and lots of walking when we didn't have the car. Thanks again for all your help in the arranging of this years holiday, we will have to do it again soon for next year!

Sent by Anna Smith

Can't recommend Sarah enough, she organised the perfect honeymoon for me and my husband. Sarah was so helpful whilst we were deciding where to go and put together loads of fantastic options for us to choose from. Wouldn't hesitate to use Sarah again in the future! Thank you!

Sent by Deena Patel

Feedback from our honeymoon.... we had a brilliant time. Bali and Singapore were amazing. Thank you for organising it, and we will definitely recommend your services and use you for future holidays.

Sent by Clair Grubb-Fenn

Just got back from our 1 night taster cruise, we all had a fab time and can’t wait to go again. Thank you for sorting everything out Sarah, especially whilst you were away and also thank you to your colleague Sue. Very efficient service from booking to departure. Will definitely be using you again .

Sent by Amanda Stride

Excellent professional, honest, knowledgeable service given at all times.

Sent by Maureen Watson

The elderly such as myself may have difficulty because they have poor knowledge of computers and IPads this obviously limits customers, some of the older generation prefer personal contact, so Sarah is great for us.

Sent by Chris Cassidy

The holiday was utterly brilliant. A good time had by all! Thank you for all your help.

Sent by Colin Whiting

We got a quick, slick, no nonsense and friendly service, Sarah was very professional, a good listener fully understood our needs. It is on this basis I would have no hesitation in recommending Sarah and Travel Counsellor to all those we know.

Sent by Andrea Whincup

Couldn't do without Sarah, always finding me the best holidays.

Sent by Victoria Wainman

I never think of using anyone other than sarah to booked our holidays! Fantastic customer service and outstanding communication throughout. Always understands what we want and finds us beautiful hotels in stunning locations! Thanks again Sarah!

Sent by Lesley Dorsett

Hassle free and very organised, thank you so much. And at such short notice too!

Sent by Mark Dyson

Very pleased with the service and knowledge. Supportive throughout and will definately be asking for Sarah's advice again. Have already given a recommendation. Thank you.

Sent by Andrew Stonehouse

Great personal service, professional quick and thorough. Thank you.

Sent by Tony Hartley

Thank you very much for a wonderful holiday from start to finish, your meticulous planning all through the process was second to none. Price, flights, transfers and hotel accommodation was superb, can’t wait to plan the next one

Sent by Neil Tomlin

Excellent efficient service, would highly recommend Sarah,

Sent by Dean Marshall

Yet again, the most amazing help, assistance, knowledge and customer service from Sarah. Always the first port of call for us in arranging any holiday from short breaks to big summer escapades! Rating 10 still doesn't do justice.

Sent by Frank Robinson

Just sitting on our villa’s terrace with a glass of wine toasting your skills! Another great suggestion and every detail tailored to us. From the Meet and Greet at Manchester to the chosen plane seats and welcome pack at the villa an unparalleled service. Highly recommended!

Sent by Diane Wright

Sarah is so efficient. Our holidays are sourced, debated and booked so easily. Queries are no problem to her, yet never any sales pressure.

Sent by Craig Brown

Big help planning our honeymoon and really friendly service from the start

Sent by Lucy Thomson

Before contacting Sarah we had no idea where we wanted to have our honeymoon! Sarah tailored us a perfect holiday and we are so excited and are counting down the days. Thanks so much Sarah I will definitely be using your services in the future.

Sent by John Price

We had a super holiday, the hotel was excellent in all respects, we were amazed with our "side view" from the balcony. Also the location of the hotel was ideal for strolls along the coast. The transfers were faultless and were a great way start and finish our holiday. Final score 10/10! Perfect. Thanks again.

Sent by Myra Dykes

Thank you for your very efficient service Sarah and arranging everything for us, it makes such a big difference when everything runs smoothly. We are already looking forward to going again next year.

Sent by Clair Grubb-Fenn

Excellent, friendly customer service, and quick response to questions

Sent by Gillian Townend

Sarah was not working when I rang her following a weekend break she had advertised but she sorted it for me and someone rang me back so I did not loose out. That's good work. Thank you

Sent by Catherine Phillips

Great to have someone who has the knowledge and experience to find the perfect holiday based on our individual requirements.

Sent by Sally Bickers

Sarah Smith is lovely and got us the quotes we needed before booking with her, I know she's aways there if we need anything

Sent by Rebecca Maudling

Sarah almost now feels like I’ve known her all my life. Great holiday booking experience.

Sent by Kay Locker

Sarah is always ready to help, professional, knowledgeable and friendly - great service with a smile, what more can you ask for?

Sent by Kelly Taylor

First time using Sarah, it was so easy! Will definitely be using her again for future holidays!

Sent by Claire Barratt

Sarah has been fantastic and patient with us (since we keep changing and adding things)! Already have been recommending her to friends and colleagues, thank you.

Sent by Helen Carrison

Sarah was brilliant, understood exactly what we wanted and arranged it all

Sent by David Waudby

What can I say! We got the holiday we wanted at the price we wanted and I didn't have to lift a finger. Friendly efficient service would recommend Sarah to anyone.

Sent by Sue North

From the minute I sat down with Sarah to discuss our holiday I felt at ease. Nothing was too much trouble and I can honestly it was the most stress-free holiday booking experience I've ever had! Having Sarah on-board is like having a fairy godmother watching over you - she knew when our flight was delayed and kindly texted whilst we were having the aeroplane wings de-iced at Manchester and even though we were delayed all our onward transfers ran smoothly. Thank you Sarah so much for all your planning and fabulous organisational skills. Our daughter can't wait for her Australia trip you have booked for her and we will definitely be using you again.

Sent by Sheila Peart

Very professional and prompt to find us the holiday we were looking for.

Sent by Melanie Foster

I have used Sarah many times to book my holidays, she chooses well and goes above and beyond with her help and assistance

Sent by Susan Rees

Sarah is super efficient and knowledgeable. Makes booking holidays so easy, thank you

Sent by Kevin Hopper

Alot of companies work in the same sectors of business and prices may be similar, so for me quality customer service and the fine detail is what draws me back to use Sarah at Travel Counsellors to book my holidays, she is number one in my book.

Sent by Alison Robinson

Sarah really listens to the brief you give her, respects your budget and offers amazing suggestions often including a 'wild card' to give you maximum options. All with friendly and professional service.

Sent by Carina Rainbird

Fantastic service, very helpful and quick response. Very knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

Sent by Shaun Dean

Sarah knows our tastes so well now, it feels like she actually comes on holiday with us. Perfect and attentive service, even if I do take forever to reply! Thanks a million, already searching for the next holiday in paradise!

Sent by Joanne Thompson

Sarah is always helpful and works hard to get the best deals.

Sent by Sandra Norton

I am always very satisfied thank you with Sarah's service and professionalism, it takes the stress from myself having to make decisions and bookings etc. Thank you.

Sent by Amy Cockerill

Sarah is brilliant at putting unique trips and multi trips together and takes the stress off you. My favourite holiday ever has been one Sarah booked for us going to Venice, Paris, Switzerland and Rome all in one trip! She did everything flights, train tickets, over night trains and every hotel was perfect! Cannot wait for our next Sarah holiday a multi trip in America!

Sent by Sara Murphy

Already recommended to three friends!

Sent by Joannne Ellerington

Sarah was very friendly, knowledgeable about the area where we wanted to go and flexible. The fact that she came to our house was also an added bonus and I have already recommended her to someone else who wants to do a possible trip to America.

Sent by Helen Burdon

Sarah, always goes above and beyond any other travel agent!

Sent by Keith Johnson

Prompt, effective, efficient and courteous - as ever!

Sent by Samuel Hunsley

Sarah has been very patient and helpful with our large group! I couldn’t recommend her more and will absolutely book my trips with her in the future! What a star!

Sent by Dawn Welton

Friendly and efficient service. Listened to my needs and interests and planned accordingly. Quick to respond and update on progress.

Sent by Bruce Milroy

Sarah is super knowledgeable and really knows her stuff. She has given us advice and guidance on hotels and resorts to visit and her recommendations are always welcome and right on the money! And booking and check in are as easy as can be through our dedicated TC!

Sent by Anthony Hartley

Superb customer service and never lets us down at any stage in the planning of our holiday, always attentive to any requests, just a superb service all round.

Sent by Karen Marsden

Always recommending Sarah the service is perfect and so tailor made!

Sent by Anna Smith

We just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your help and efforts arranging our honeymoon for us. You did an amazing job and all the arrangements you made for us were perfect! We had the most incredible time so thank you very much! We have made memories that will last us a lifetime. We loved Dubai, the hotel was perfectly located and only a relatively short taxi ride away from all the attractions we went to see. The fountains were a definite favourite of ours! We were also lucky enough to go see the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix courtesy of my godfather who lives in Dubai and takes his yacht to the GP every year. The hotel in Mauritius would come highly recommended from us - we were treated like absolute royalty and we couldn't fault a thing. It was a beautiful place and the quality and standard were incredible. Nath surprised me whilst we were there with an upgrade to one of their luxury villas for the last 4 days with our own private pool and butler - it really was amazing, like something out of a movie! Thank you once again, you've been an absolute star and we won't hesitate to recommend you!

Sent by Karen Cornwall

Very efficient personal service, would highly recommend and would definitely use again.

Sent by Susan Keene

Sarah is extremely knowledgeable and efficient, and always on hand to help with even the most mundane queries. All our holidays booked through her to date have been excellent and worry-free, which is what a holiday should always be. Many thanks!

Sent by Graham McFadyen

I have dealt with Sarah for some little while now and have recommended her service to a large number of people, many of which are now her clients!

Sent by Judith Whiting

I want to thank you for booking this for us over the weekend. I appreciate that this was almost certainly during your own personal time and I just want you to know we are very grateful, especially given that flights and accommodation were booking up so quickly.

Sent by Timothy Storey

Excellent service and quick responses, would definitely use Sarah again.

Sent by Deborah Thornton

The most amazing way to book a holiday...completely stress free. Sarah is so attentive and thorough. Can't recommend her highly enough.

Sent by Rita Varley

Many thanks for such a friendly, speedy and helpful service. Nothing for us to do now but wait for our departure date to arrive (well pay too haha).. Our last holiday booked through yourself was all the more enjoyable due to your hard work, de-stressing us so we could just relax and enjoy ourselves. We are most grateful to you.

Sent by Richard Harrison

Exceptional service, listening to what I wanted to do and matching my trip perfectly.

Sent by Lauren Spaven

Absolutely incredible honeymoon thank you! Surpassed all our expectations. Just gutted it's all over now!

Sent by Philip Charman

Thank you once again for organising another amazing holiday for us. We had a great time and were very grateful for your super planning, everything went like clockwork. Thank you once again

Sent by Tony Whiting

We are back from holiday and just wanted to say that we have had an excellent time, the apartments were faultless as were both the outbound and inbound flights. To be honest there is not a thing that we can find fault with and a lot of that is down to the time and effort you put in for us in making all the arrangements, something we cannot thank you enough for. Thanks again for all your help and that going forward, it was by far the least stressful build up to a holiday we have ever had.

Sent by Jen Askew

Amazing attention to our needs. Sarah goes above and beyond.

Sent by Lorraine Robinson

Sarah is always a consummate professional, on the ball, fully engaged with our needs and responsive to our individual requests. She almost knows before we do what we want

Sent by Michelle Bayram

Sarah is always very helpful and prompt. And takes the stress out of booking a holiday!

Sent by Chris Langley

A very huge thank you for arranging our holiday, it was fantastic. Villa was brilliant even for me to access every where with my sticks, lovely location for accessing everywhere and sight seeing. There were no hold up or problems anywhere and sailed through customs (brilliant). Once again thank you from all of us.

Sent by Victoria Pickering

Sarah is fantastic!! Superb advice and service.....

Sent by Neil Tomlin

Sarah was amazing and took all pressure away from booking a holiday.

Sent by Cheryl Bourne

Sarah is a wonderful person to book holidays through and we only use Sarah. Nothing is too much and she will make sure everything is planned perfectly

Sent by Andrea Whincup

Sarah is one of the best travel agents that I have ever used, very thorough, always happy to help no matter what time of day it is, wouldn't use anyone else

Sent by John Stabler

I was delighted with the professional, helpful service you provided which took a great deal of pressure from me and made my booking and planning experience so convenient and stress free.

Sent by Roy Swinbank

Speedy, efficient, accurate, helpful - a pleasure to work with !!

Sent by Bruce Milroy

Sarah is very knowledgeable and helpful, even to the extent of suggesting destinations I might like. She provides a very personal service and she's passionate about making sure your trip goes smoothly and gives you a great experience. I never hesitate to recommend Sarah to anyone who'll listen.

Sent by Diane Wright

Sarah always gives that personal holiday booking service.

Sent by Jennifer Armitage

Sarah is a superstar! She has the patience of a saint when we change our plans... knowledgeable, friendly and so easy to deal with. Also, when things go wrong on holiday she is there for you 24-7...thank you!

Sent by Anthony Hartley

Sarah has provided excellent and professional service, and was available to help at any time of asking.Thank you, Sarah, from the whole family.

Sent by Arianne Rogers

Sarah has gone above and beyond many other people that have tried to help us arrange our wedding abroad. She is friendly and very knowledgeable. So pleased that she was recommended to us, or we'd have been well and truly stuck!

Sent by Helen Burdon

I would highly recommend Sarah, as a business customer I often call out of normal working hours and she always answers her phone and is happy to help anytime of the day, or night!

Sent by Myra Dykes

Thank you for arranging all our travel and accommodation bookings. We had a lovely time and everything went so smoothly. Maybe you booked the glorious weather too! Our transfers were very well organised and the accommodation was good. Thank you Sarah, you deserve a medal for efficiency and personal service, I will certainly recommend you to family and friends.

Sent by Rachel Yaull

I always pass Sarah's details on to anyone thinking about booking a holiday. She is completely fabulous! We were undecided about where we actually wanted to go for a quick week away in May. I gave Sarah some VERY vague ideas of what we required and she came back with 5 or 6 excellent suggestions. Once booked, she suggested a few places we might like to visit close to our hotel and I can only tell you she must be a mind reader! Everything was perfect. We will definitely be booking with Sarah again.

Sent by Dena Wood

Incredible service, Sarah was friendly and very efficient.

Sent by Matt Whitaker

Super customer service from Sarah. Nothing less than the reputation she has built up over the years.

Sent by Raymond Khan

We did not know that such a personal service existed; as such we have been thrilled so far. Sarah was always available, was appropriately persistent but never 'pushy' at all. We have already recommended Sarah to other people and we will use her again, in fact our booking is for 2018 and we have asked about Summer 17, despite having been away for 10 days during Easter.

Sent by Louise Cooke

I've used Sarah twice now very helpful and always looks for the best hotel for me and my family. She is very efficient and quick to respond and action.

Sent by Emily Prestwood

Fantastic, personal and friendly service, as always, and a FANTASTIC holiday to boot. Such a great find, I can't wait for our next adventure. THANK YOU SARAH!!!

Sent by Myra Dykes

Thank you so much for dealing with everything for our holiday, you certainly make everything so easy for us, you really do it all so efficiently. Many thanks from us all.

Sent by Elizabeth Johnsen

Really helpful, brilliant support, would highly recommend. We had to cancel one of our bookings due to illness and Sarah took away a lot of stress, and helped us ensure we got our money back.

Sent by Karl Filby

Sarah, the trip went extremely well. We were all very happy. All flights and transfers were on time and smooth. No arrangements were questioned at any of the venues. The selection of accommodation was perfect for our needs. In Cape Town the Abbey Manor guest house had a real touch of luxury, the rooms were excellent, the breakfasts superb, the service could not have been more pleasant or accommodating, but the crowning glory was the view of Table Mountain from our private terrace. 131 on Herbert St was ideal for our layover, although l was amused by the size of the pool, which was about 16 metres square, only a plunge pool really. But this didn't matter to us, the rooms and food were very good. The Rovos Rail is exactly as described, luxury from the moment you arrive at the station until you disembark. But this is where you excelled yourself with the upgrade from the Pullman suites to the Deluxe suites for both couples. We are all extremely grateful for this along with the other treats we received in Victoria Falls. The Ilana lodge was an excellent choice for us, very nice surroundings and pleasantly informal after the formality of the train. Phil and Diana had a problem with their air conditioning, but the hotel reacted very well, giving them an upgrade to a suite overlooking the falls and a free dinner. Almost wish it was our air con that had bust! But the highlight of this hotel was seeing baboons, warthogs and elephants on the lawn. Both the river cruise you organised for us, and our first night dinner were truly appreciated. The river cruise kept the luxury going with an exclusive feel, being limited to just four couples with an all inclusive bar and snacks with a very attentive and knowledgeable crew able to find and explain much wildlife, the highlight being a group of hippos. With this trip, you have exceeded our expectations!

Sent by Dean Marshall

I would score Sarah more than 10 if I could. Her knowledge, expertise and will to want to make the best holiday for my family is priceless! An amazing go-to person, who I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

Sent by Jane Heald

I always recommend Sarah to any friends or family looking to book a holiday.

Sent by Benjamin Marsden

Sarah was fantastic at tailoring our holiday to fit what we wanted and find hotels in unusual locations.

Sent by Nigel Kenning

Amazing, knowledgeable and will always go the extra distance to help find what you are looking for!

Sent by K Hopper

The person who deals with me at Travel Counsellors, Sarah, is fantastic. The care she takes to ensure our requests are fullfilled make our holidays even more special. "It's all about the detail!"

Sent by Elaine Puckering

Absolutely brilliant service from Sarah, with never being abroad before booking with Sarah has made it as stress free as possible. Very highly recommended

Sent by Sandra Norton

I have already recommended you, as I know and trust you and find you very efficient. I feel I can relax about details as they will be taken care of by yourself. Thank you I really appreciate you.

Sent by Shaun Dean

First rate and personal service. We have been booking for several years now and Sarah knows "what we like" so the short list is already containing the holiday! Thank you for taking the stress away from us!

Sent by Robert Watson

Sarah was recommended to us and she has completed our reservation this week. I found her to be both competent and extremely pleasant. Having provided her with our budgets she offered us good choices. One or two changes of mind on our part meant us having to get back to her - none of this appeared to be too much trouble. First class service taking all the hassle away from us.

Sent by Helen Wigfield

Excellent service, will be using Sarah for loads more holidays in future

Sent by Michelle Earl

Sarah was a great help with the booking we made and the price was great too. I will recommend and book with Sarah again

Sent by Lance Wiggins

Brilliant, thank you – if only you could run all aspects of my life!

Sent by Myra Dykes

Excellent service (again) would recommend Sarah to my friends and relatives knowing she would give them the same service too.

Sent by Lesley Forrest

Excellent service as usual. Had given up on St Lucia because of cost, but Sarah came up trumps as usual, definitely recommend to friends.

Sent by Ernest Mosey

Have already given some more of my friends Sarah's card as they are planning their holiday.

Sent by Michelle Bayram

Very friendly and informative. Choice of destination and accomodation have always met our expectations.

Sent by Alexander Norma

Sarah listened to the type of holiday I wanted for me and my son and came up with a number of options, she gave a personal service and treated me with respect, courtesy and in a friendly efficient manner. I am looking forward to my break. I recommend Sarah. Thanks Alex

Sent by Kevin Hopper

I just wanted to send you a quick thank you from us both for making our holiday in Moofushi so special, the extras you had arranged & the fine detail made our stay even better than it had been the last twice we have stayed. I look forward to booking our next holiday with you.

Sent by Alison Robinson

Sarah has once again found the perfect holiday for us. Fast and efficient reply to our request with several options to consider. Couldn't ask for anything more.

Sent by Lynn Tharratt

Budapest was amazing. The hotel was way above anything I had ever expected, it was truly beautiful, every bit of it. I didn't want to come home! For not knowing me at all, and I truly am a simple person, you couldn't have booked anything better! Austria - we had a ball, really didn't want to come home. Although both Joe and I travelled with a touch of flu, it didn't impact at all. The hotel was 'easy, comfortable and felt like a home'. The waiter that looked after us was outstanding at his job but felt like a member of the family. The food and the wine offer were something else. The skiing (totally out of your control I know) although exhausting, was the icing on the cake. I really cannot express in words how I will hold the memories of that holiday forever. We all got on like a dream (which I was concerned about) and all of us were blown away by the whole holiday. So much so, we would like to go back next year. So, I really cannot thank you enough. Your judgements and choices for us, really you couldn't have done a better job. I am sincerely grateful for the directions you have pointed us in and the good times and memories we have had/hold.

Sent by John Shaw

Maria asked me to thank you for sorting everything out with her ticket. She was very happy with all the connections etc. She had a lovely time with her family. Thank you also for the card you sent Maria welcoming her home. It was very nice of you. Take care Sarah and we send you all our best wishes. Will be in touch later in the year to book another!"

Sent by Lydia Reed

I am really pleased with the holiday that Sarah has booked for me, the whole process was uncomplicated and stress free. I feel a lot more confident going on holiday on my own because I know if I have any queries or problems at all, Sarah will be there.

Sent by Amy Sutcliffe

Sarah is an absolutely fantastic Travel Consultant as well as being an absolute joy to deal with. I would most definitely recommend her and actually already have on several occasions!

Sent by Graham McFadyen

I have been recommending Sarah to friends, family and colleagues since she started as Travel Counsellor and will continue to do so!

Sent by Susan Rees

Great service as usual, very professional and prompt, use for all my travel needs!

Sent by Lorraine Myers

Sarah offers a wonderful service and without hesitation I would recommend her to family and friends.

Sent by Lee Horn

Very happy with the service provided by Sarah and I have infact already recommended to a friend and will continue to do so!

Sent by Susan Keene

Sarah is extremely knowledgeable and attentive to all details. Anything you wish to know she finds out asap, and is very friendly, approachable, and helpful.

Sent by Anna Todd

Thanks so much for booking all this Sarah, we really couldn't have got it all sorted without you. We're both very excited!

Sent by Andy Wigg

Sarah you make bespoke holiday planning seem as easy and straightforward as walking in a straight line (when sober)..... you are our first consideration whenever we start to plan our next dream break. Add to that your speed of response, your professionalism and the effectiveness by which you operate, you really do offer a first class service!!!

Sent by Debbie Thornton

Stress free holiday booking, an angel in disguise. xx

Sent by Lesley Forrest

I would just like to say a massive thank you to Sarah. Our holiday was amazing, from the hotel and staff, location, private transfers where the staff went above and beyond our expectations, to the one to one service when we had to call her on New Years Eve regarding our problem with the gala dinner. Fantastic service, cannot thank her enough. Can't wait to book the next one!

Sent by Sheila Hudson

Having made a very positive initial comment on the ease of having Sarah plan and book our holiday, I am pleased to say that now having had the holiday Sarah interpreted our requirements to the very smallest detail with utmost accuracy and skill. Our holiday was everything we wanted, and more. Sarah’s personality, together with her knowledge and experience in the industry is what sets her apart in providing the very personal service she is able to offer and deliver. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah, and we will definitely be using her services again.

Sent by Claire Crosbie

Sarah is friendly, professional and goes out of her way to help. Always highly recommend to my friends

Sent by Sheila Hudson

Very prompt service, up to now has taken all the hassle away of the logistics of planning and booking a holiday. Would certainly recommend Sarah, and will definitely be using again.

Sent by Claire Raper

I will never book a holiday again myself. Sarah Smith is awesome and always finds the best deals, best star rating, and great flights. I'm always recommending her to people!

Sent by Bruce Milroy

Sarah is always available, very accommodating and flexible in meeting our needs. I always appreciate her advice and her recommendation on what will work best for us.

Sent by Amanda Stride

Excellent, patient service as always! Highly recommend!

Sent by Joanne Thompson

The whole experience of booking was hassle free. Sarah has been on hand for every question I have had and responded immediately. I have recommended your service to friends and family and know my friends who have also booked are happy with the service they have had.

Sent by Lynda Morgan

Thank you for postcard! We are just about recovered from the jet lag and the washing! We had a fab time, everything was brilliant. The villa was lovely and Dave was fine driving. Discovery Cove was fantastic, the dolphins were amazing. We did have quite a bit of rain due to the tropical storm. It didn't really stop us doing anything, but we wanted to go the Clearwater but the weather just wasn't great for the xoast. Thank you for all your help with booking our holiday, you did a fantastic job!

Sent by Joanne Roose

It's just so easy to tell someone your requirements and then they come up with the solution. Love booking my holiday this way. Sarah is wonderful.

Sent by Stuart Campbell

Sarah was very helpful and nothing was too much trouble, we will be doing a lot of travelling in the future and won't hesitate to use Sarah for those trips.

Sent by Anthony Whiting

An excellent all round experience was provided by Sarah, nothing was too much trouble. I would have no hesitation in recommending to family and friends and have already done so.

Sent by Nick Tharratt

A very warm and engaging person who gives you the confidence that she's always there to help. I've already recommended her to two friends.

Sent by Claire Coupland

Great personal service, highly recommend for any type of holiday and budget.

Sent by Lance Wiggins

I wanted to email you to say thanks so much for all your planning and hard work. We had a brilliant time and everything worked so well in terms of the itinerary, route, accommodation etc. The quality of the accommodation that you booked for us was excellent in all respects. The mountain view at Whistler was a bonus and so was the upgrade to a two bed suite at Rosedale on Robson. Everyone should go to Clearwater, if only for the drive there and back (including going on a two car ferry to Little Port). We saw bears, deer, chipmunks, red squirrels etc – I could go on! Thanks again for everything and rest assured we will use you again next year.

Sent by Philip Charman

We just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your efforts in arranging our amazing holiday. We have been so impressed with your personal service and all the little touches that have made everything feel so special, including the postcard this morning - so thoughtful. We will be in touch soon to ask for your help in arranging our next adventure. Thank you once again.

Sent by Keren Holmes

Not even had our holiday yet but had recommended Sarah to friends and family within 24 hours of booking as we were so impressed with the service. Business cards passed to other friends the same day I received them. Would go straight to Sarah when booking our next break and also hopefully for our wedding accommodation in 2018.

Sent by Karen Marsden

Sarah makes travelling easy, organised,and helps you feel confident in the arrangements

Sent by Shaun Dean

Sarah has now been booking our holidays for the last 3 years or so........its so easy, she knows our tastes and the selection to chose from is concise and perfect. Great job!

Sent by Rosemary Voss

Sarah is most accomodating and easy to work with!! Thanks so much, Sarah!!

Sent by Elaine Gutherless

As normal Sarah comes up with a selection of great holidays for us to choose from, she is always helpful and shares her knowledge and expertise on the destination of choice. We always use Sarah for any break no matter how short or long. We constantly recommend her to family, friends and business clientele. Well done Sarah once again for helping us find our perfect break! !

Sent by Cathy Phillips

Super service, listened to our thoughts on what we were looking for, gave us a number of options and recommendations to choose from and then sorted all the bookings - easy and painless! Perfect start to our holiday plans.

Sent by Andy Dickerson

Perfect, thank you so much. Awesome trip - all worked really well. Found some great places for you for future clients. Tonne of fantastic stuff to do in eastern Iceland. Got 10 ft from a seal on an iceberg and Milly was similar distance from puffins whilst I was clmbing. We had to turn back short of the top due to an avalanche but that's mountains for you. Just sat in blue lagoon restaurant after 2 hours chilling. Thanks so much for helping set up such a memorable few days away.

Sent by Susan Hill

Simply the best......and I'm a stickler for excellent service.

Sent by Danielle Hall

We had a picture perfect postcard holiday, an absolutely beautiful place. Fab weather and restful times. We did a couple of trips - one boat, one train both with stunning views - and enjoyed the gorgeous Corsican wine and fresh food. Probably a bit too much! Can highly recommend the place. There's a lovely walk to the Notre Dame de la Serra too for an astonishing view with the scent of incense all the way. Helped walk off a bit of the wine. The stress free organising was most welcome for me. I really appreciated this thank you.

Sent by Myra Dykes

Thank you so much for your help in making our holiday arrangements stress free. You handled everything so efficiently and everything was perfect. The car park arrangements were ideal and checking in was so easy as you had checked us in `On Line.` You did well to arrange the weather too! It was perfect. Thank you for your excellent service, we will certainly recommend you and ask you to make our holiday arrangements next year.

Sent by Jacqueline Dean

It was all perfect, including the room which was massive! Thank you so much, only the weather on Sunday spoilt it, however unfortunately you cannot control that. We loved it. Thanks again You're so good at your job.

Sent by Sandra Bramley

Sarah found our holiday.. possibly a hotel that we would may have missed. Last year's holiday was perfect due to the stress free booking. Sarah -you're stuck with us, and we are more than happy to let our family and friends know about your engaging and careful consideration.

Sent by Leanne Steele

Sarah responds to our emails and queries within minutes . She gives fantastic advice and is always on hand should we need her . We have no hesitation recommending her to our family & friends .

Sent by Annie Lee

Thank you very much , we are all happy with your arrangements in this trip, and we are very pleased to contact you again if any plan to EU in the near future .

Sent by Vicky Cook

Absolutely amazing service !! A1, 5*

Sent by Sonja Graham

Sarah is always very helpful and always gives lots of options. Nothing is ever too much trouble

Sent by Emma Blakeborough

It was a pleasure to use your expertise and extremely personal service. Your knowledge of the area assisted us in deciding where we wanted to visit and what type of accommodation we really wanted. I would definitely be contacting you again when holiday booking time comes around again. Thank you for all the time (in and out of office hours) you spent on our holiday booking.

Sent by Judy Franklin

I have already recommended Sarah to people who live abroad (USA) as well as in the UK. They have all been as impressed with her friendly approach as I have been

Sent by Mark Richardson

Outstanding service from Sarah - she really cares and books as though it's her own holiday.

Sent by Valerie Horlock

Personal, and always there to answer any query, what a star!

Sent by Jessica Marsden

Efficient service tailored to requirements and lovely little extra special touches.

Sent by Alison Fisk

Sarah's knowledge of Kalkan was as if she had spent much time exploring the area; but indeed was taken from taking the time to listen to her many customers and their adventures. When we talk about 'going the extra mile' this is Sarah; she found and emailed local information on unusual places of interest to suit the diverse range of travellers in our party from babies, teenagers and adults. Listening, understanding and knowing who we are and what we like. We know we won't be disappointed and will have an amazing time; which is down to having Sarah as our Travel Counsellor.

Sent by Alexander Norman

I have used Sarah for a number of holidays and always found her flexible and responsive to my requirements.

Sent by Martin Baltazar

Lovely person that takes the hassle out of arranging travel.

Sent by Jacqueline Elvidge

Excellent service and listened to my requirements resulting in me getting exactly what I asked for

Sent by Andrew Wigg

Sarah has been excellent - thoroughly attentive to our needs and aspirations, and the 'finishing touches' that Sarah offers make all the difference. Absolutely our first choice for all future holidays!!

Sent by Cheryl Bourne

Sarah has been wonderful each time I have booked a holiday with her. Nothing is too much and she always can advise on the best way to do things. An absolute pleasure!!!!!

Sent by Susan Rees

Fabulous service as usual, thank you Sarah.

Sent by Sandra Norton

I find your service very efficient and helpful plus a friendly voice at the other end of the phone, and meticulous to detail . Thank you

Sent by Nathan Stead

Sarah has provided me with numerous travel arrangements, taking all the hassle away and provided an extremely efficient service and I would not hesitate to recommend her.

Sent by Amanda Stride

Fantastic service as usual, professional, patient and informative, thank you x

Sent by Janette Charman

My son recommended Sarah at Travel Counsellors to me when I said I wanted to take the family to Disneyland Paris. He had used her services for his train trip across Europe last year and been delighted. I am so pleased with the service, support and understanding of our needs that I have already recommended Sarah to a family friend and given her details to my daughter who plans to travel, rather than have a package holiday, next year. So thrilled that the stress factor has been removed from planning and booking our trip. Thank you so much Travel Counsellors

Sent by Derek Mills

Sarah was very helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. It's the little extras that matter like sending through a thank you card for booking with her. I loved this touch.

Sent by Cindy McAndrew

Sarah thank you so much we've had a wonderful time in Barcelona. From our flight out until we arrived home we have received excellent customer service. Fizz on arrival at the hotel, fizz for breakfast, more fizz!! Football was amazing. Barcelona is amazing and we are so grateful we booked with you!! Big thank you xx

Sent by Sarah Flowers

Really easy & helpful service with all the information and options we needed to make an informed decision. Very straightforward and personally tailored to your needs, not something you could get searching online.

Sent by Garry Ridler

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the work you put into my hectic travel arrangements last week. Your planning and booking and even emailing boarding passes was exceptional and a sincere thank you .

Sent by Lesley Forrest

Fantastic service from start to finish.

Sent by Eleanor Lyth

Sarah is amazing! Thank you so much for booking our family holiday.

Sent by Jen Armitage

I just wish I had found out about Sarah sooner! A pleasure to deal with and always willing to go that extra mile... Wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others.. In fact I did just this morning!

Sent by Myra Dykes

Excellent service, very friendly, quick and efficient. I will certainly recommend to family and friends with confidence that they will receive the same service.

Sent by Stephen Lilley

I would have no hesitation in recommending Sarah & Travel Counsellors to anybody. The ease of booking & the information Sarah provided enabled me to make my decisions regarding flights, hotels & destination very quickly, from initial inquiry to booking my holiday took less than 2 days with Sarah responding almost immediately and offering excellent advice on all maters.

Sent by Derek Milroy

Sarah has provided a fantastic service in arranging our holiday. She took on board everything we wanted to do and developed an itinerary that covers every aspect and more. I would have no hesitation in recommending Sarah to everyone.

Sent by Derek Milroy

Just to say many thanks for doing this all so quickly, it is very much appreciated. Your proposed itinerary is so much better than the previous one we were looking at with the other travel company. It's all very exciting!

Sent by Adrian McAndrew

The service provided was excellent. We provided the requirements of our proposed trip and were given three superb options to choose from. I would definitely recommend Sarah Smith to others to arrange/supply holiday bookings.

Sent by Diane Wright

Sarah's service is always so quick and detailed. I would recommend her to everyone.

Sent by Mark Chappell

You have been fantastic this year and I am extremely grateful.

Sent by Cindy McAndrew

Always no fuss..........I love no fuss! A pleasure dealing with Sarah as it's like you guys say....always personal!

Sent by Bruce Milroy

Sarah is knowledgeable, friendly and very helpful - everything you need in a trusted business partner - and her attention to detail around my preferences and the needs of my family and I is greatly appreciated.

Sent by Craig Johnsen

Sarah was incredibly helpful and patient. Great package sourced too.

Sent by Robert Smith

Sarah was first class with our holiday booking. So good we have already booked our 2016 holiday with her.

Sent by Alan Sanderson

Sarah was very knowledgeable and attentive to our requirements and made the booking procedure very simple for us. Will definitely recommend Sarah to friends, family and colleagues.

Sent by Andrea Whincup

Very friendly, best deals and all the hard work taken from me, I will carry on booking my holidays with Sarah,

Sent by Nikki Jackson

Really responsive and helpful. Will always use for future holidays and recommend daily to friends.

Sent by Dena Wood

Sarah was lovely. She made the booking of a holiday a relaxing and happy experience

Sent by Dean Marshall

Fantastic help in all aspects of putting together an amazing holiday! Now we can't wait to go! Thanks Sarah

Sent by John Turner

I believe that Sarah has done more than what she needed to and it has been an absolute pleasure dealing with her. Thank you very much

Sent by Sandra Bramley

I cannot thank you enough for your time, efficiency and care – you really do go the extra mile and it is gratefully appreciated and I will have no doubt in calling you again and passing your contact details onto family and friends. Sarah --- THANK YOU FOR BEING PERFECT.

Sent by Sarah Watson

We had a lovely time, the place was great, weather fantastic, Thomas wanted to stay!! Thank you for making it all very easy and stress free, will definitely book with you again and we will come to you to sort our flights to America in 2017!! Thanks again Sarah.

Sent by Melanie Foster

Sarah, is efficient, nothing is too much trouble and it's the little touches, like the welcome back postcard, so you know she really cares.

Sent by Karl Filby

You had done a great job with the hotels, each gave us a gift, cake in Dubai, sparkling wine everywhere else, we had an upgrade to a suite at Brighton le Beach with amazing views over Botany Bay, In Sydney we overlooked the Opera House and Bridge and the view over the Marina in Singapore was stunning. I am sure these cannot be all coincidence and must be due to your influence, thank you. Overall we were extremely happy with the whole holiday, and if we ever wish to have such a complicated itinerary in the future we would use your services without hesitation.

Sent by Karen Marsden

The service was easy friendly and so convenient, certainly takes the hassle and time out of booking a holiday

Sent by Julie Jones

Amazing!! Sarah is so knowledgable and her attention to detail is incredible. I feel very confident that she has everything covered and I'm really excited for my Christmas trip! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Sarah to anyone looking to book a holiday!

Sent by Lucy Golding

Sarah was a fantastic help & great support trying to book a group party with ever changing dates & numbers! Would definitely use her again.

Sent by Ryan Fenton

Sarah has done a fantastic job organising and sorting our group booking for us. It has taken a lot of stress off our shoulders. I would highly recommend her to any of our friends and family when they are looking to book a holiday.

Sent by Shaun Dean

Perfect and personal service, that is first class! I will for sure return again....Sarah takes care, whatever the "conditions" or the time. It really is like having your own personal travel agent! Thanks.

Sent by Elaine Gutherless

Sarah is always quick, efficient and extremely helpful when booking our holidays.

Sent by Alison Finn

We had a fantastic time in Kos! The weather was gorgeous, the complex was beautiful and they upgraded us as soon as we arrived as they said they would. I would definitely recommend the Chrysoulla hotel, the staff were really helpful and friendly, the apartments were immaculate and they came in and cleaned every day and changed the sheets every two days! Better than a five star hotel!!! No money issues and not a migrant in sight, despite the media hype! Thanks to you we had an amazing holiday

Sent by Michael Robinson

Excellent service with outstanding personal attention.

Sent by Aoife Brady

Thank you so much for arranging the holiday for us it made things so much easier I will definitely be in touch for our next holiday and will recommend you.

Sent by Eleanor Lyth

Just a quick note to say thank you so much for arranging our holiday in Majorca, as always your service is top class and I can’t thank you enough for putting up with my endless indecisiveness! The resort was so great for us, beautiful beaches and some amazing restaurants. I have now got serious holiday blues, beware I will be calling soon!

Sent by Susan Rees

Sarah is very organised and knows what her client's expect. I enjoy the experience of booking my holiday by doing nothing! Sarah does it all thank you.

Sent by Gavin Wilkinson

We are arranging a wedding abroad and Sarah has been fantastic helping us.

Sent by Jane Wharam

Takes all the worry and stress out of booking your holiday and travel arrangements. Down to car parking and car hire.

Sent by Kevin Young

Sarah has just booked a brilliant holiday to Fuerteventura for me and the lovely Andrea. She's done all the leg work while I just kept feeding her with requests. When it came to payment, she already had all our details from last time so no laborious documents to complete in hard copy or online - it made parting with the cash a bit more pleasant! She can book anything from theatre trips, long weekends, city breaks, sunshine or ski trips and really comes into her own when it comes to something a little bit special like a holiday of a lifetime. She has vast industry knowledge and experience and delivers an excellent customer experience.

Sent by Graham Fisk

Sarah finds us great and unusual holidays, just tailored to our needs. Sarah has patience and listens. If it isn't right first time Sarah has another go, until we're happy. That's great customer service!

Sent by Eleanor Lyth

Sarah was so patient and listened to what our requirements were to find us the right holiday. Thank you!

Sent by Abigail Bourne

Just wanted to say thank you for sorting out allowing me to take my scooter, and thank you for everything you have done, Cheryl was right, you are brilliant. It's the first time I have gone anywhere since becoming ill six years ago, I was nervous about going away but you have made things easy. Thank you!

Sent by Myra Dykes

How pleased I am for asking you to deal with our travel arrangements for our recent holiday to Portugal. You dealt with everthing so quickly and efficiently and also with a personel touch. Time seems so short and valuable, it was all done without me leaving home, I didn't have to spend hours at our usual Travel Agent. Everything you organised was `spot on`. The car park, flights and transfers on both outbound and inbound journeys were perfect. We had no delays in fact we landed 15 minutes ahead of schedule, probably due to a woman pilot! After collecting our luggage, we walked from the airport 16 minutes after landing (now that must be a first) the car park bus was waiting and we were soon on our way home. I think you must have booked the weather too because we had 10 full days of sun some days it was 29 degrees. Thank you Sarah, we will definitely call you again and I have been singing your praise and passing on your details to friends.

Sent by Claire Raper

Will never book a holiday myself again now we have Sarah - fab, friendly service!

Sent by Gemma Wright

Sarah has provided such an excellent service that I believe she will always be in our future now for any new adventures we may want to take with Travel Counsellors. The service she always provides makes me long for a similar job. 10+ out of 10 for this lady.

Sent by Michael Wake

Have used internet extensively for travel, always check on other companies for the same deal, your prices are competitive but the difference was Sarah's customer care FABULOUS!

Sent by Colin Wilson

Just a note to say thank you for arranging our trip to Venice. The hotel was superb and in a great canal-side location. The courtyard appeared to get very jealous looks from passing tourists as an oasis of calm – it’s quite a rare thing in Venice I think and so can recommend the hotel on that basis alone. The staff and the Prosecco were very welcoming. The transfer was particularly attractive as you know! So all-in-all I can’t fault your work, thank you again for giving us such an enjoyable experience for Graham’s 60th birthday.

Sent by Gillian Hultum

Sarah really took the time to understand our requirements and we are really pleased with the booking that we have made with her. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend Sarah to anyone and we will certainly use her again ourselves.

Sent by Lorraine Robinson

She gets everything right when you give her all the necessary criteria. So absolutely NO complaints

Sent by Claire Crosbie

Fantastic professional and friendly service. Sarah couldn't have been more helpful. Would definitely recommend 10/10

Sent by Alison Robinson

Great service from Sarah again. Positive advice on selection of the holiday and very efficient booking process. Thanks Sarah!

Sent by Shaun Dean

Just to let you know The hotel is far in excess of our expectations Ambience Location Service Food Quality Atmosphere Best holiday ever, thank you so so much x

Sent by Amanda Stride

A very personal, professional, informative service provided, very happy!

Sent by Mark Richardson

Just wanted to say thank you very much for organising everything for us. The trip was great and all went without a hitch and was really well enjoyed. Weather was great and 27/28 degrees everyday! Anyway, thanks again - you made the whole process really easy and relaxing as Ild normally have to do these things myself! Will definitely use you in the future!

Sent by Karen Evered

Sarah has a friendly but professional approach. Extremely flexible and happy to look at alternatives for us to ensure we've chosen the best travel options for us. Excellent service.

Sent by Mark Chappell

Absolutely delighted, takes the pain away from organising my own business travel and gives me back my Sunday afternoons.

Sent by Leanne Steel

Sarah is fabulous. She always answers my queries straight away and works so hard to make sure our needs are met. She goes far beyond the call of duty and once even turned up at the train station (unprompted and unannounced) when we were having trouble getting to our Northern Belle trip due to a train being stuck on the lines. Offering to take us to our destination herself leaving myself my mum and other members of the public stunned at such genuine compassion and beyond excellent customer service. That's why I have and will continue to recommend Sarah to my family or friends.

Sent by Alison Finn

Sarah Smith has been fantastic and I will definitely recommend her to all my family and friends. I will also be using her to book my next holiday. Great service.

Sent by Jayne Hussey

Sarah was really helpful providing us with lots of different options for our holiday and gave us lots of advice based on her own experience of visiting New York.

Sent by Victoria Scaife

A really excellent service, Sarah is friendly and chatty which is nice. Have travelled thanks to Sarah before and am looking forward to doing so again.

Sent by Amanda Griffin

Just back from am amazing week in Egypt, thank you as always Sarah, arrived in Egypt walked in to the airport and the first name board we saw was mine 'Amanda Griffin', Mr Wallis was impressed, private transfer was fab too, lovely hotel and great chilled week enjoyed by all 3 of us, thank you again for making our holiday hassle free xx

Sent by Carol-Ann Holmes

Thanks for sorting our holiday Sarah. We normally spend weeks/months thinking & searching for hotels etc but with your knowledge and experience it made the whole process so much easier. A very personal, efficient and professional service. We are now very excited about our trip!! Thanks Sarah x

Sent by Jane Heald

It is always a pleasure to deal with Sarah. She is extremely helpful and nothing is too much trouble. I always recommend her to friends.

Sent by Paul Lister

Have booked numerous holidays and city breaks with Sarah, all of which have been handled efficiently, swiftly and with clear evidence of the personal touch you wouldn't get elsewhere! On our current trip things did not go according to plan with both my wife and I being taken ill, resulting in missing out on many days of enjoyment! We decided to extend for a further few days and sorting out accommodation was the easy part, but as usual the airline were unwilling to budge on price and wanted full fare for the later return home! Sarah was not happy with this and with zeal and tenacity managed to speak to the right person at the airline who provided an acceptable solution all round! My wife and I cannot recommend Sarah highly enough, especially when you are far from home and need help, Sarah is head and shoulders above any travel agent and travel rep we have ever dealt with!

Sent by John Turner

I would (and will) recommend Sarah to all my friends. She was brilliant. So friendly, efficient and professional. Never met her but she came over on the phone and email as if I had known her years.

Sent by Val Horlock

Despite some very specific requests about our booking Sarah has managed to come up with just what we wanted ..... quiet we got quiet ...... no hills we got no hills ....near the sea and near the restaurants we got it. We have recommended Sarah to our friends and will continue to do so.

Sent by Shaun Dean

The personalised and continually updating service is exceptional. You never fail to find a solution, now matter how many "stones have to be turned over" Perfect :)

Sent by Paul Featherstone

Brilliant service, nothing is a problem to Sarah. Can't praise her enough.

Sent by Carol-Ann Holmes

We were very impressed with the level and quality of service that Sarah gave us throughout. She helped us to tailor the holiday to our requirements. She was very helpful and professional. We will definitely use her again. Thanks.

Sent by Debbie Thornton

You made booking a holiday hassle free, will be recommending and will be back next year. Many Thanks Debbie

Sent by Amanda Griffin

Super-efficient Sarah is just the best, would highly recommend, ensures you don't have to worry about a thing and does everything other than packing you suitcase!! Thank you Sarah xxx

Sent by Racheal Melia

As a returning customer, Sarah never fails to deliver what we want. She provided an excellent service, always offers the best deals and is on hand to answer any query - no matter how small or trivial a query is she always delivers. And if she doesn't know the answer she will find out! Can't imagine booking with anyone else! I have passed her details on to several of my friends and colleagues already.

Sent by Kate Rayson

Sarah was recommended to me and didn't disappoint. She arranged our trip quickly and efficiently without being at all pushy.

Sent by Andrew Jewitt

Very happy with Sarah, we have booked three holidays with her and referred our family and friends to her.

Sent by Faye Kirkpatrick

I would recommend Sarah to anyone looking at booking a holiday - she's great to use.

Sent by Rajinder Kalar

I've given Sarah a full 10, as no matter what time of day I email my requests, Sarah replies back ASAP and really goes out her way to find that perfect holiday. Her prices are reasonable too and the service is fantastic. I will be more than happy to recommend Sarah to friends and families as I know she will go that extra mile to deliver what the customer wants.

Sent by Jacqueline Buxton

As usual you dealt with all our holiday choice requests personally and professionally and the documentation was sent through quickly by email and then delivery through our door. We felt the confidence of knowing that we can safely leave things in your hands.

Sent by Gemma Wright

Just want to say a huge thank you to Sarah. You have been so helpful with organising my family holiday and you really are very professional, efficient and extremely patient (with all my swapping and changing). What could have been very stressful you have made this Mum a very happy lady. I cannot wait to take my girls to Florida. Thanks once again.

Sent by Cheryl Bourne

Just want to say a huge thank you for the holiday, we had a stupendous time and love the city. We didn’t get everything done due to the weather being so cold on the last few days, but gives us more reason to go back again. Thank you once again.

Sent by Amelia Paramio-Lopez

Sarah is lovely, very professional and always doing all she can to accommodate your needs and wants in your holiday. I highly recommend Sarah!

Sent by Gillian Kirkwood

We are back from Malaysia and want to say a big thank you for all of your help and advice in making our Malaysia holiday, in both of our words 'the best holiday ever'! From the hectic Kuala Lumpur, majestic Borneo, bustling Penang to beautiful Langkawi, our trip blended seamlessly with no worries needed about transfers, flights or hotels. We were both so busy before going and would not have been able to sort everything as you did, so it made the holiday so relaxing knowing all the hard work had been done! Each place was a treat on the eyes, ears and taste buds and we have memories we will treasure forever-from seeing the orang-utans, proboscis monkeys and so much wildlife, busy cities to beautiful beaches and even Langkawi cable car for my birthday (although once was enough for that one!). We would not hesitate to work with you again for another trip!

Sent by Amanda Stride

An excellent service given once again! We are always highly satisfied with the service that Sarah offers. Sarah is very informative when questions are asked, she is reliable and responds quickly and efficiently throughout, she never lets us down. Thank you!

Sent by Mark Richardson

Very impressed with the service Sarah gives, she is very knowledgeable & personable but also extremely efficient - I will certainly book everything with Sarah now.

Sent by Charlie Wilkinson

Had an absolutely amazing time in Iceland!!!! Everything went as planned, and that's a big thank you to you, you made a guy who never books anything like this look like he knew what he was doing and that's because you made everything so easy for me to understand, the itinerary was brilliant. My fiancé could not have had a better time if we tried, the hotel was lovely and the staff were friendly and helpful. All the tours ran smoothly and again the English speaking tour guides made the trips. To top it all off we saw the Northern Lights on the Saturday night, which was the cherry on top of the weekend. So again, thank you.

Sent by Sarah Watson

Sarah is very professional, friendly and approachable - wonderful service, thank you.

Sent by Nicola Jackson

Really pleased with the service Sarah gave us, easy to book and fab service.

Sent by Julie Bayram

Sarah was very nice and helpful and we would recommend her to friends and family

Sent by Susan Rees

Brilliant as usual, so easy as I go away often

Sent by Emily Prestwood

Amazing personal service from Sarah Smith. Have already recommend her to everyone I know. She helped us book a 2 week holiday to Kalkan for summer 2015 and we can't wait to go already. Keep up the good work Sarah :)

Sent by Susan Keene

Everything worked out perfectly, no problems whatsoever, and the holiday as a whole exceeded expectations - lovely weather, good company and interesting destinations. It was really nice that nothing was too much trouble, can't fault P&O at all. So, thank you once again for organising it all for us, I'm sure we'll get back to you when we decide on our next holiday (hopefully, soon!)

Sent by Nicholas Sutcliffe

Although not yet been on our holiday, the service Sarah has provided during the searching and booking process has been amazing.

Sent by Gemma Wright

Sarah was very helpful. Quick to respond and provided a few options for us to consider as I had requested. Very polite on the telephone. Lovely to do business. Inspiration for me to want to do the same job. Thank you. Will definitely recommend.

Sent by Ruth Dacey

On behalf of Greg and I, I just want to thank you for arranging the best holiday of our LIVES for us!! It was truly exceptional we felt so special! The place was idyllic so beautiful, great weather, wonderful people and for the first time in a very long time I feel so relaxed. We will be recommending your services to pretty much everyone we’ve ever met! Thanks so much it really was the best holiday that either of us has ever been on!

Sent by Bob Hunt

Very friendly, good advice, prompt service I will definitely recommend Sarah and use her service again. Thanks Sarah.

Sent by Elaine Gutherless

Another holiday booked through Sarah, always brilliant service, quick, efficient and always great value. I am always recommending Sarah to family and friends.

Sent by Marie Smawfield

The service and expertise Sarah has is second to none. She is professional but friendly, and works hard to give you the holiday you really want. I would happily recommend her.

Sent by Shaun Dean

Perfect, friendly service, very personalised serviced. Just what we wanted, thanks!

Sent by Diane Wright

Sarah is always super efficient and is always happy to re-quote and re-quote when your plans and ideas change.

Sent by Sean Maloney

Accessible, diligent and accommodating - wouldn't hesitate to recommend Sarah to all.

Sent by Sarah Fewster

I have just returned from a fabulous week at a luxury lodge in Cornwall booked by my Travel Counsellor Sarah Smith. From my initial enquiry to the actual booking I felt that Sarah was genuinely committed to providing me with the best holiday. Even when I wanted to book extras and had further queries, nothing was too much trouble. I would definitely use Sarah again and would have no hesitation in recommending her.

Sent by Claire Raper

Sarah's service is fab making searching for a holiday hassle free. Sarah really is a mind of information and experience, she's fab and we would never book through anyone again. Even for other things like business trips and weekend breaks!

Sent by Claire Norris

A great, friendly and efficient service with the personal touch. Sarah found us a fantastic location for our honeymoon. It perfectly matched what we were after. Will always use Sarah from now on. Highly recommended.

Sent by Chris Smith

Sarah was very helpful with such a small request and I will have no hesitation in contacting her again.

Sent by Alison Robinson

Fabulous trip on Northern Belle, Sarah. Everything was fabulous especially booking with you and all the help you gave. Planning Royal Scotsman next just a bit of saving to do then we'll look at dates. Trip to Rhodes still to look forward to after all your hard work finding the right holiday for us. You are priceless Sarah. Thanks again.

Sent by Graham McFadyen

I have already recommended Sarah to friends and family and will continue to do so. She is excellent!

Sent by Jane Heald

Sarah is exceptional. She really does go "the extra mile" for her customers. Nothing is ever too much trouble for her.

Sent by Desiree Ashton

Excellent service - a creative solution on a challenging budget. I've already recommended Sarah to friends and family and she will definitely be my first port of call in the future.

Sent by T Rich

Sarah really helped, it was short notice, and with her knowledge and expertise she was able to find a five day break, somewhere we hadn't even thought of, and it is perfect! It is for a surprise honeymoon gift. Sarah was available at all times and very prompt. Have told family and friends about her service and said to give her a try. We hope to use her services in the future for ourselves. Thank you!

Sent by Emily Prestwood

Hi Sarah! I got my thank you card today, very sweet of you. I knew you'd be able to find the perfect holiday for my Mum. She was singing your praises about what a great service you gave her, and how nothing was too much trouble. Another happy customer, I just wish I was going with them.

Sent by Susan Hill

Wouldn't dream of using anyone else to sort out my precious holidays.

Sent by Judy Franklin

Sarah goes out of her way to help and I'd totally recommend her to anyone. I travel a lot and using Sarah saves me any headaches. Service with a personal touch!

Sent by Alison Fisk

With Sarah's experience we are confident we are in safe hands and she has been exceptionally patient with us! Every detail covered and great advice throughout. Fabulous customer service - would recommend Sarah to my personal family and friends. We are chuffed to have booked through Sarah. Many thanks.

Sent by Barrie Buxton

Very friendly and extremely efficient; we will definitely recommend Sarah to friends and relatives. Without doubt we will be using Travel Counsellor Sarah Smith again in the future.

Sent by J Kalar

I must say thank-you as everything was perfect from the time we were picked up to arriving back at home. Flights were great and kids really enjoyed the pleasure of traveling business class. They offered us a discount at the spa and also set up a movie night at the beach for my son's birthday. This was very special under the stars and he loved it. His birthday was great as they provided a birthday cake, and decorated his bed. He was made up. Thank you for arranging this! This really was a great holiday from start to finish and thank you for taking care of every need. We will definitely be booking another holiday through yourself soon.

Sent by Allan Wilson

'Would like to say this is the first time I have used Sarah and I am very pleased with her advice, information and willingness, not to mention all the time she must have taken to provide me with the info/data and her very politeness/mannerism is the reason I highly rate her so highly. It's because of her dedication that allowed her to listen to my wants and holiday needs. I am looking forward to a European cruise that I accredit to Sarah's professional guidance'

Sent by Elaine Dobson

An excellent, thoroughly helpful, friendly and personal service…top marks in every way!

Sent by David Buckle

Sarah was very professional and gave us the personal touch. The process was very straight forward and took the stress of planning the holiday away. We would have no reservations using a Travel Counsellor again.

Sent by N Cattle

If I could score Sarah 110 I would, she's amazing. Nothing is too much trouble and it's great to have confidence in your travel agent!

Sent by Elaine Bateman

I couldn't have asked for a better service from Sarah, nothing was too much trouble. I will definitely book through her again and recommend that my family and friends also give her a call before booking their next holiday.

Sent by A Non

Discreet service provided, as requested, to book a special birthday getaway! It was just so easy! Just awaiting the big event now for that surprise city break.

Sent by Bruce Milroy

Sarah Smith is an outstanding Travel Counsellor. She is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and she can't be beaten for customer service. I've contacted Sarah on evenings and weekends when I have free time to arrange travel and she has always come through with relevant information really quickly, and most importantly with a smile!

Sent by Helen Beal

I will definitely use Sarah again. Quick, prompt professional service, did what she said she would, even a card asking if we had a good holiday, and a thank you for using her services. Can't fault it! Have asked her to put a trip to America together for us next year.

Sent by C. B.

Sarah was a wonderful help. After a recommendation from a work colleague, I went with Sarah and she guided me on the price I had seen and what else she could offer me. With this trip that I have booked, a surprise for my husband, she has really helped with every aspect, even when I am bugging her every 5 minutes. She has done all the leg work for me and pointed me in the correct way for more information. Brilliant and friendly I cannot recommend her enough.

Sent by Lesley Forrest

Sarah went above and beyond the call of duty to find us the perfect holiday, from the best deal including airport choice and hotel choice. She also recommended which resort to go to at the time of year that we wanted to go. I would highly recommend her to anyone.

Sent by Susan Rees

Sarah is my perfect person to arrange all my holidays and friends' holidays. She loves her job and it shows, she is very knowledgeable and gives lots of info and much much more.

Sent by Sally Clayton

Sarah has found what looks like the perfect honeymoon package, and went out of her way over the weekend to get the booking sorted. We will definitely be speaking to Sarah to book our next trip.

Sent by Kathryn Norman

Sarah really understood what type of holiday accommodation we required and was happy to tell us when she thought something was not up to the standard we required. She helped us put a bespoke holiday together sorting out dates, flights and accommodation and transfers. We cannot fault the service provided. We do not have any worries concerning our holiday and return. We cannot recommend Sarah highly enough and the excellent service provided.

Sent by Sarah Fewster

I would have no hesitation in recommending Sarah Smith. From the initial enquiry to the actual booking Sarah was very responsive and extremely helpful. She listened to my requirements and provided suggestions which matched my criteria perfectly. The only issue I had was choosing from the range of fantastic options Sarah had provided.

Sent by Lucy Ward

Sarah was really helpful and everything was quick and easy. I will definitely be booking my summer holiday through her.

Sent by Shaun Dean

This is the third time now we have used Sarah. Her patience and knowledge is invaluable to my wife and I during our busy and overseas working schedules. We know that in her hands we will get the next dream holiday, First Class service, and knowledge!

Sent by Sally Shenton

Just wanted to say another big thank you for all your hard work organising our trip to the ice hotel. We both had the most amazing time and you should definitely go it is phenomenal. Everything was great, all the transfers, excursions, flights and hotels were fabulous. The Arctic Eden was great, such friendly staff and lovely hotel. The Ice hotel is such an experience and it is stunning Thanks also for checking us in both times, the seats coming back were perfect. Paul had a fabulous birthday and we both loved it so much. We want to go back!

Sent by Sonia Welsh

I found Sarah very helpful and willing to accommodate my requirements. I have recommended her to friends and colleagues.

Sent by Amanda Griffin

If there was a 20 I would have put that down! Sarah was amazing from start to finish. Professional, speedy service and I would highly recommend, and have already to friends and family. Sarah is your one stop contact when looking for your holiday.

Sent by Diane Wright

We received excellent service from Sarah. She was super-efficient, gave great advice and got our whole holiday booked within 24 hours…with just a starting point of “we don't mind where we go...somewhere warm...at Easter... for 5”.

Sent by Julian Moon

I have been looked after by Sarah and she has been excellent, very good communication and very impressive. Thank you.

Sent by Gillian Turner

Sarah is wonderful and has arranged a really outstanding holiday for our 20th wedding anniversary. She gave us lots of options and accommodated our own requests too. Can't wait until June now.

Sent by Melanie Halliday

Sarah was extremely efficient and accommodating with our request which was business related and we will definitely be using her again in the future.

Sent by Jane Wharam

Congratulations on being nominated as Best Newcomer! We had a fantastic holiday in Portugal. All the travel arrangements went very smoothly, we had no hiccups at all. All the recommendations and arrangementss were first class, the car hire deal was fantastic, I think Trevor wants to change his car now! Thank you again for all your help, we have been handing out your business cards and recommending you to all our friends and relatives. Wishing you all the best for your future, and we look forward to our next holiday arrangements with you.

Sent by Suzanne Futter

Excellent service. Nothing too much trouble. Willing to look at variety of options for us. Friendly, helpful, professional. Very knowledgeable. Can't fault!

Sent by Bruce Milroy

I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your calm professionalism and instant response today. My daughter was taken ill whilst travelling alone in Asia, and you were enormously helpful in re-arranging flights within hours to get her home almost immediately. Booking on a website is all well and good, but I can't tell you how much it means to have a trusted professional like you at the end of the phone when things go wrong. You took a lot of the worry (and the work) out of our situation and I'm enormously grateful. With luck our daughter will be home with us tomorrow evening thanks to your efforts. I can't thank you enough.

Sent by Alison Robinson

Fantastic, friendly and professional service. Good advice, well presented. Exactly right and appropriate. Can't wait to book again!

Sent by Libby Bielby

Sarah suggested we might like Kalkan after chatting about the type of holiday we were looking for. We had a fantastic week. It was an excellent holiday.

Sent by Lee Morton

I am a global traveller for both business and pleasure and as such have used many travel agents, both high street and commercial. I have never, however had such a tailored, expert service as that offered by Sarah Smith of Travel Counsellors. Her knowledge of both long vacations as well as city break opportunities is first class, supported by rapid research on any travel possibility thrown her way. I would be delighted to recommend Sarah's service to friends, family and colleagues.

Sent by V Quinnell

It's nice to organise our holiday in the comfort of our own home with someone who is knowledgeable. Any problems or queries can be answered asap.

Sent by Emma Marrison

Sarah was really polite, professional and helpful. I have already recommended Sarah to a friend.

Sent by Judy Franklin

I wanted London theatre tickets with only a relatively short time to go. Sarah got back in touch with me immediately and within 24 hours I was sorted and the confirmation posted through my door! The redemption vouchers were mailed out within the next few days and I had no problem presenting them at the theatre. It made it all much easier for me. Thanks Sarah for your efficiency in dealing with what I thought you may have considered to be a minor booking!

Sent by Nancy Cattle

We are back home after a wonderful holiday in Koh Samui, our hotel and its location couldn't have been better we all had a great time. We would all like to say a very big thank you to you for arranging everything so perfectly you made a long journey travelling with a 3 year old so much easier with all the information and help you gave us - (you have been a real star). The hotel was right on the beach with great swimming pools Daniel had the time of his life he really didn't want to come home. As you can imagine it was very sad saying good bye to Sarah at the end but it was the perfect location for having a long awaited catch up holiday, so thank you once again for everything, can’t wait for you to organise our next one!!

Sent by Trevor Wharam

We will definitely be recommending Sarah Smith to all our friends and family for all their holiday and travel arrangements. Sarah gave us first class treatment from our first telephone conversation. She was very professional at all times and very friendly, and enthused about our booking as if it was her own holiday.

Sent by Gail Wallis

Sarah answered every question I asked and was very prompt with the requests. She is friendly and nothing is too much trouble, she offers a relaxed yet professional service, such a good service you almost want her to come on holiday too to say thank you!

Sent by Sally-Jane Shenton

Sarah was really helpful and no question was too much. She gave exceptional service even over a bank holiday. Thank you.

Sent by Yvonne Elliott

Great service and planning next trip already!

Sent by John Sugdon

This was the first time we have used this service and Sarah was excellent.

Sent by Genna Stainforth

Sarah is so incredibly speedy, that's the first thing I would recommend about her service. Despite it only being her first day back after her holiday, she got back to me within a few hours with 3 excellent hotels in Paris, all of which fitted my original brief to a tee. She doesn't try and sell anything to you, just lays down the facts and helps you make an informed choice. I would definitely use her again in the future to book anything abroad, not only does she save you the time trawling through price comparison websites, she can beat many of their offers as well. 5* service with a personal touch, highly recommendable!

Sent by Lesley O'Leary

Sarah, you're a star. Many thanks for organising a fantastic family holiday, against the odds. With only one departure date that would work all summer you really did come up trumps. The resort was fantastic. We made good use of the golf course and golf academy, tennis lessons, spa, beach club, gym, kids club and numerous on-site restaurants. We tried Segways for the first time, went cycling, sailing and even had a fun day out at the waterpark. There was something for everyone and we've come home rested, relaxed and with some great memories.

Sent by Cindy McAndrew

Sarah is very efficient and nothing is too much trouble. Great service given and good prices quoted. I feel safe in the knowledge that our plans have been catered for, also very reasonable car hire. Thank you!

Sent by Sarah Rees

Friendly and efficient service would highly recommend.

Sent by Paul Lister

Sarah was extremely attentive to our needs and requests, providing full and accurate information with excellent use of all communication methods available.

Sent by Lauren Gallagher

Sarah has provided a great service, very thorough & clear on details. Sarah has planned a great itinerary to suit our group, customer service has been fantastic. I would definitely recommend Sarah to my family, friends, and colleagues. I will contact Sarah in future for all my holiday/travel arrangements.

Sent by Graham McFadyen

Sarah is an exceptionally knowledgeable travel consultant and with her excellent customer service skills I have no hesitation in recommending her.

Sent by Kevin Young

We gave Sarah some very specific requirements for our summer holiday - we know what we want and what we don't want! Sarah called to gather more information and asked questions to enable her to further refine the search. She quickly came back with some options and some honest comments that prompted us to have a rethink. We worked with Sarah to reach around five options, which we whittled down to two. The two remaining options were reached individually by Sarah (based on her extensive knowledge of the travel industry), me and my wife. After that it was easy to choose. The post sales service has been second to none. Sarah has dealt with the irritating Advance Passenger Information and recommended airport accommodation and parking. This is a great way to deal with any travel plans; we will definitely use Sarah again and recommend her personal service to our friends and family.

Sent by Susan Hill

Sarah provided excellent service from the first minute to the last. She persevered with my booking despite several changes to the requirements and ensured that we ended up with the break that we asked for. I would definitely use her again and have already recommended her to numerous friends, one of whom has already booked with her. Thanks for everything Sarah!

Sent by Shaun Dean

Sarah was put under severe time and location pressure from us as we had been given the bad news of a "double booked" villa with another agency. She persevered to find a perfect solution that ticked all the boxes. A true professional and one which we will not hesitate to recommend or use again soon. Thanks a million.

Sent by Rachel Yaull

I was extremely impressed with the service we received from Sarah Smith. I gave her very vague details of what we wanted from our holiday and with only two weeks to the time I could be off work. Sarah asked me a few questions to make sure she understood what we wanted and our budget. When the email came back with our own personalised brochure with several excellent options to choose from, I knew we had hit upon a special service. I even went back to Sarah and asked her to price up a totally different holiday which she did immediately. Sarah had excellent advice about the particular resort we are going to, as she had been there herself. I have already recommended Sarah to my friends, family and neighbours and will have no hesitation in booking with Sarah again.

Sent by Helen Webster

Sarah has helped us sort out our late summer holiday brilliantly. She found flights that suited us, offered various options on accommodation and information about the region we went to visit. I have already recommended her services to family, friends and colleagues as she has done us proud. Thank you Sarah!

Sent by Emily Zand

Sarah, you have been so helpful and it can't have been easy with the three nightmare 20 year old girls who can't make up their minds! Or get hold of each other for that matter. You even booked our holiday at 11 o'clock at night! We will all be recommending you to our friends and families!

Sent by Elaine Brant

Sarah was great from start to finish. Our requirements were very specific and Sarah got us an exceptional deal which ticked all of our boxes. She is always happy to help no matter what time of day and I would not hesitate to recommend her and Travel Counsellors to all my family, friends and colleagues.

Sent by Rosie Stainforth

Sarah worked extremely quickly and efficiently. Within a few days she had found us lots of perfect deals on our holiday enquiries and we had purchased our holiday! We had quite a specific search and had previously been to the travel agents and looked online. Being a small group of 17 year olds, we didn't want something too expensive and the travel agents failed to provide us with affordable deals. Online, we found we were unable to book a holiday without having a member that was over 18. Sarah managed to find us an amazing deal for our first girl’s holiday which was the cheapest we'd heard of and was legal for under 18s! Thank you very much to Sarah and we have already been recommending her!! We're now looking forward to our stress-free holiday!

Sent by Bruce Milroy

Sarah is enormously helpful, and nothing is too much trouble for her. It's very refreshing to have a trusted travel professional at the end of the phone who is upbeat, knowledgeable and willing to help. Thank you Sarah!

Sent by John Mason

This was the first time I have used Travel Counsellors and I will certainly be contacting Sarah again for future trips this year. First class service.

Sent by Sandra Norton

This is the first time I have used Sarah to book my holiday and I couldn't have been better looked after. She was most helpful in every way and in constant contact. I will certainly use her again. It took all the pressure from myself and also I didn't have to go and sit in a Travel Agents for hours. Thank you.

Sent by Melanie Foster

Sarah was very helpful and seemed to know exactly what I was looking for.