We’re honored when people select us to help plan their vacations, as we share in their enthusiasm for experiencing a wonderful trip. It’s a pleasure to share this selection of testimonials from our many years of serving clients. ~ Thank you, Berry Versfeld, President.Â Â Â Meet our consultants here.
Terry – There is one word our family has been using to describe our trip to South Africa, and that isÂ â€śbeyondâ€ť.Â They just keep talking and posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram of all they saw and experienced.Â Now we know why the company owners of our safari camps are called “&Beyond,â€ť as I am sure you have heard from many clients.Â From our arrival in CapeÂ TownÂ and the excitement of our harbor hotel, the Table Bay (so perfectly set in that most beautiful of cities), to the restaurants arranged for us by the extraordinary and most helpful Joan Frost, of Redfoot Safaris, we were all delighted. Our guides and pickupsÂ were wonderful and the tours arranged, from beautiful drives, to penguins, to botanical gardens were terrific. Little did the family know what was coming on safari.Â I think they thought they would see lions and elephants way off in the distance through strong binoculars.Â The thrill of animals right next to your vehicle is truly one of lifeâ€™s great moments, and the pictures taken by our familyÂ photographer, son Mark, prove Â it. You were so right to tell us to go to two different safari camps. There is a newÂ experience to be had at eachÂ camp and both Kirkmanâ€™s and NgalaÂ were great. We especially loved the water hole at Ngala so we could see families of elephants and smaller animals right there as we looked from the veranda. Superb.Â Kudos go to the young rangers we encountered at each place. They are so enthusiastic and intent on making sure you see what is out there in their world and they try hard to find the animals that we had not yet seen. One of our granddaughters fell in love again with each ranger she encountered. Â So funny.Â Terry, we know how hard you worked on this celebratory trip for our two life events and you should feel very satisfied on a job well done. More than well done. It was perfect in every way and we are grateful for the effort and blood, sweat and tears you put into all the planning and followup. We thank you for planning a true trip of a lifetime for all 17 of us.Â ~Â Barbara & Charlie (see Tips for Planning a Vacation in South Africa)
Berry – it was an awesome trip to South Africa and the Victoria Falls, thanks for all you did for us.Â 1. Manna Bay Boutique hotel in Cape Town was absolutely perfect!!Â 2. The tour guide Julie, the best!!Â 3. Londolozi Game Reserve – Where do I start? It was the most amazing experience! The drives were spectacular, the tracker Chadrick and ranger Jessie were wonderful, so knowledgeable and most personable. The property is spectacular. The meals and service perfect.Â 4. Johannesburg – The Residence Hotel – over the top!! Was just perfect all around.. Â Our guide for the tour was great.Â Â 5. Vic Falls Safari lodge was very nice.Â We did an elephant back ride at 6am before we got on our plane to start the journey home.Â ~ Joan and Rex
Vicky helped us identify the perfect resort for our family. Beyond that, she positioned us in some of the best suites near the ocean. The activities of the resort were appropriate for our inter-generational family trip. Vicky clearly knew the resort and had the relationships to assure that we were given excellent service and support. Our grandson summed it all up withâ€“it was awesome!
Ginger –Â The gorilla trekking was absolutely over the top for each of us. That we could get so close and be completely ignored (I think that there were about 11 of us) was spectacular. Cameras were clicking. After our treks, and with lovely accommodations in each place we stayed, we’d arranged for a flight to Ethiopia, to visit the single mom of the student we are supporting through our local private university….Â Thank you SO much for making the trip possible. It was just perfect in every regard–even the hotels were spectacular. But the best part was actually being with the gorillas, who seemed to contentedly pretend that we weren’t even there! The babies were adorable! ~ Diane and Ted (read full account of the trip here:Â Africa – A Magical Journey)Â
Joan and Berry – Peter and I want to thank you both for planning the most amazing trip weÂ have ever had. Every thing was simply perfect. We meet some wonderful people along the way and the animal sightings are forever etched in our memories. While I knew we would see animals, nothing could have prepared meÂ for the drama of those sightings. Tracking two lions who had been separated from their pride – watching them as they took down a bush back – and then seeing them reunited with their pride was nothing short of magical. Berry, I remember when we were planning this vacation and I told you I really wanted to do this right since this would probably be our only trip to Africa. You laughed and told me that once we got that African dirt into our feet we would be back. You were right! We are already thinking about where we’ll go in 2017. Again, thank you for something very special. ~ Laura (see more about trips our clients have take to Africa hereÂ and here)
Sharon – Thank you so much!Â From the moment we first walked in your door, you have been wonderful.Â You’re the best! ~ Jim
Laurie – Hello! We are back safely! I just wanted to say Thank You for everything you did for me on this trip. Our flights went perfectly with no problems whatsoever. I always feel comfortable when we work with you and Travelong. ~ Thanks again, Andrea D. Â PS: We are thinking of going to Tanzania next year in case you want to start researching flights for that!!
Whitney – Wanted you to know Liz and I returned this afternoon. The trip wasÂ fantastic. The tour company that you worked with provided such interesting,and genuine guides for Liz and I. Both trips to Sienna and the Vatican wereÂ educational and interesting experiences not to be forgotten.Â The hotels we stayed in were all excellent and well recommended. The trainsÂ ran promptly, so travel that we made between stays, was a breeze. AmericanÂ Airlines flights were great. Can’t say enough about everything!Â Thanks so much for suggestions and recommendations. It was a great trip! ~ Doug
Beverly – I want to tell you what a wonderful time we had in Turks & Caicos. The Seven Stars was the perfect resort for us. Wonderful service, extremely accommodating and ideal for people with (or without) children who want a luxury property that still has plenty for adults. We never felt uncomfortable having our three-year-old with us as there were other families with children but also plenty of couples without children. The property was small enough that it was manageable but also large enough that it was never crowded at the pool, water sports center, or the restaurants. Thank you for taking good care of us and for really listening and working to arrange a perfect trip for us. It was just what we needed and the best part is that you were able to please EVERYONE–there was something for each of us and we all left happy! Looking forward to working with you again. ~ Regards, Maria
Sharon – Ellen got to Newark safe and sound today. Many thanks for your great service. You are the best. ~ Howard
Marylyn went above and beyond the call of duty in arranging my family vacations. She is incredibly responsive (any time of the day) and is well-versed regarding locations in both in the US and abroad. Every detail was accounted for and she gave us several options in every area. Marylyn made it very easy to make decisions because she laid it all out after thorough research. The last two times I used her I did so without much advance notice and she did a phenomenal job, not only in booking the trips, but keeping the costs reasonable. I would never plan another trip without herâ€¦..she is the best!!!
Berry – Overall terrific trip along the Danube after three days in Prague. The AMA Sonata is new, sleek and comfortable; the crew were very polite, very efficient. Rooms were small but quite well planned and water pressure in showers always good. The tours were informative in positively beautiful sites, with equally beautiful cathedrals. Some tours were in very crowded popular spots e.g. Schonbrunn Palace. I preferred the less crowded ones. Tour guides ranged from good to excellent. Some highlights were: Vienna concert, local classic trio (La Strada) and on-board entertainer on keyboard, Tamas. Meals on boat were uniformly good but wine only so-so. Free time was barely adequate, but that may have been our fault for not taking more. We found great restaurants in Prague on our own, and other interesting events when we had the chance. Met very nice people on board. I took 400 plus photos. ~ Mel
Sharon – Just a quick, long overdue note to thank you for planning our trip to LAÂ last month. We did have a great time and took in all the “sights” timeÂ permitted. The hotel was great too.Â Hope to be able to call you in the future to work out another getaway. OurÂ big THANK YOU for your help. ~ Elaine and Katie
Hi Laurie – For the 9th year in a row, you have once again done an outstanding job arranging our flights to our student conference. The trip was without incident as the weather cooperated, everyone arrived at the airport on time and our flight back to NJ even departed earlier than the scheduled time. Many thanks for all that you do. I appreciate not only your attentiveness each year but your friendly demeanor. Have a wonderful holiday season! Next year, Tampa! ~ Best, Tracey
Vicky – Iâ€™ve been intending to write ever since we returned from Prague and Vienna to tell you what a spectacular trip we had. On the planning side, everything unfolded so smoothly â€“ flights, connections, the train to Vienna from Prague. And the hotels were exceptional â€“ both The Aria and Sans Souci were the best combination of luxurious and comfortable, with a special kudos the staff at each hotel (especially The Aria).Â Iâ€™ll be ccâ€™ing you on a note to Context Tours about our guide in the Jewish Quarter in Prague. You had forwarded to me Contextâ€™s request for feedback, but it was our intention to write unsolicited. As an aside, we also took a day tour north of Prague to Terezin. We had heard about and requested a guide â€“ a 93-year-old holocaust survivor named Pavel Stransky who had been through Terezin himself. It is rather unclear how much longer heâ€™ll be able to remain a guide, but he is like a spry energizer bunny, who can make the visit immediate and especially compelling. He can be booked through Wittman Tours. The entire trip was great â€“ thanks for everything you did and for taking such good care of us. ~ Best, GrantNote to Context Tours – On October 6 of this year my wife and I toured the Jewish Quarter in Prague with one of your guides, Dr. Katerina PruĹˇovĂˇ. We have been intending to write to tell you how extraordinary that morning was. Dr. PruĹˇovĂˇâ€™s enthusiasm for and knowledge of the Quarter and its history was terrific; she made each stop come alive. What resonated the most, however, was her genuine interest in my wifeâ€™s family story, culminating in her helping us look for and find her grandparentsâ€™ names on the wall of the Jewish Museum. She does your firm great credit. ~ Grant
Vicky – To everyone at Greaves who provided Barbara and me with such a wonderful trip to Dubai and India, we thank you so very much. Starting with Shal and going from there to all who we talked to and met along the way, you all did a fantastic job. You should be proud of your firm and the constant professionalism it displays at every turn. There was not a thing more that we could have asked for. I apologize for any trouble we might have caused along the way. We did our best to follow your suggested itinerary, but there were a couple of days where we just thought that lying by the pool for part of the day might just be the right thing to do. One piece of advice we did not take was to stay in the hotel during Holi. We decided to venture out and thanks to our guide, Deshpal, we had a marvelous time—got totally colored and soaking wet but it was great fun and gave us a great feel of how this wonderful holiday is celebrated. One thing we might recommend for future Greaves’ guests who are in Udaipur during Holi is that they attend the dinner and ceremony at the City Palace the night before where the Maharaja and his family are present and presiding. It is open to the public and I believe the cost is only about USD 75 and apparently it is a wonderful event to see and be part of. All of the guides were wonderful and gave us exactly what we wanted, while maintaining some flexibility so that we could feel totally relaxed. Again we thank you, and if you want to use us a references for you, we would be happy to talk to any of your potential clients and to sing your praises. ~ Page
Laurie –Â Where do I start? Thank you for making this special Disney vacation truly special! Everything was perfect……dinner reservations, flights, magical express bus service and the hotel was fabulous!Â We enjoyed every single minute. The weather was low 80s with low humidity and sunny every day. Again, it was wonderful working with you and I look forward to working with you again soon. ~ Andrea K.
Sue Lappin has orchestrated our travel adventures for more than 5 years, and we cannot imagine planning a trip without her expert and cheerful guidance. Previously, we had booked our own trips or occasionally used other agencies, but Sue has always managed to find us the perfect accommodations, routes, and guided tours at better prices and upgrades than we could ourselves. We are the fortunate beneficiaries of her first-hand knowledge of destinations and careful research, and we have referred appreciative family members and friends to her services. From the spectacular hotel overlooking the Mediterranean in Amalfi, to the charming lunch in Honfleurs, to the picturesque cabin on the Big Island in Hawaii, to the Danube riverboat trip (on the only line that offered biking excursions!), her recommendations have always been totally in sync with our interests and preferences. It is such a pleasure to work with Sue!
Hi Whitney – Thank you for checking in. We had an amazing time!! Thank you so much for your help. Everything went smoothly, every hotel was perfect, and Trails of Indochina did an excellent job – our tour guide, Suzie, was the best. Below is some specific feedback on our hotels and services:Palace Hotel Tokyo – Best service we’ve ever had! I would absolutely recommend this hotel. Our room was on the highest floor with a breathtaking view of the palace gardens and city skyline. The location was perfect; all the popular attractions were no more than 20 mins away by cab (and most were more like 5-10 mins away). For our first night, the concierge sent us to a great authentic Japanese restaurant for dinner in the Shibuya district since we wanted to see the famous Shibuya crossing. We had a blast in Tokyo – I would recommend it as a layover for people traveling to southeast asia.The Peninsula Bangkok – Beautiful hotel. Kind of an old-world luxury feel to it. Service was outstanding. We loved staying on the river, and the hotel had these neat boats that transport you across the river for easy access to the city (boat ride took no more than 5 mins). We definitely recommend.Trails of Indochina – As mentioned above, Trails did an excellent job putting together our itinerary. Suzie, our tour guide, was waiting for us right at the gate when we landed in Bangkok, and she and Chet, our driver, took us straight to the Peninsula to shower and change for the day (we arrived at 5am). We loved having our own private tour guide and driver, and Suzie was more than happy to take us to places not on our itinerary (such as Jim Thompsons’ for souvenirs), which meant spending more time with us than the itinerary called for. She also took us to a “train market,” where lots of local vendors set up stands along train tracks, so when the train comes (three times a day!) they all have to quickly move their stands off the tracks, then move them back on when the train passes. This was a highlight of the trip and was not on our itinerary, so we really appreciated Suzie going the extra mile. We enjoyed the temple visits, and the floating market was a lot of fun. Suzie also bought us various street foods throughout the two days, which was a very nice touch.Anantara Koh Pha Ngnan – We absolutely loved our stay at Anantara. The beachfront villa was perfect, as we had our own private pool and were steps away from the beach, which was warm and much more beautiful than any of the beaches I saw at Koh Samui. The honeymoon setup in the room was very cool (“happy honeymoon” written in flowers on the bed, bottle of champagne, etc.). The island of Koh Pha Ngan is much quieter and less developed than Koh Samui, which means all the restaurants and bars (other than those at the resort) are true local spots. We loved this, but I can see how other less adventurous travelers might prefer more options. And if you can’t stand bug bites, I might recommend traveling elsewhere. The hotel coordinated our elephant trekking and zip lining excursions at very low prices and provided us with a private driver to take us to each excursion. Anantara was exactly what we were looking for.Novotel Airport Hotel – Perfect hotel if you need to stay close to the airport. It was much bigger and more luxurious than we were expecting. The shuttles ran very frequently and the service, like everywhere else, was excellent.Please let me know if there is anything specific about the hotels or services you would like to know. Happy to provide more insight/feedback if helpful.Â Thanks again! ~Â Chris
Vicky – My wife and I chose to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary by scooting off to Bermuda for five days with our three children, their spouses, and our ten grands. What a wonderful adventure. Daunting in scope, but thrilling to execute. First of all, the logistics of putting this ambitious trip together was critical. You were the answer. You worked with us and mentored us through the seemingly small logistics to find a seamless way to get this tribe of 18 from various places to arrive in Bermuda at essentially one time. All went perfectly and we were on our way. Your choice of hotels could not have been better. Elbow Beach was the perfect size for us and we all were housed in charming residences near one another, but not cloyingly close. All of the grands had free run of the sizable property and felt secure and safe, while having the time of their lives. The hotel staff was “off the charts” accommodating to us. The were knowledgeable and efficient and were absolutely perfect for us. Our meals were gourmet quality, yet relaxed and comfortable. Our big dinner night was magically created and was held by their enormous pool overlooking the entire Elbow Beach complex. The net of all this is that we could not have been treated better, had better planning and execution (thank you Vicky), and look forward to our next trip to somewhere. ~ Dick & Barbara
Whitney – Thank you, thank you for all of your help in organizing our honeymoon to Hawaii. We had such an amazing time!!! The resorts were fantastic especially the Fairmont. And I actually thought I would like that one the least. Also, the champagne was delicious and extremely thoughtful. You’re the best, and I will definitely being giving you some rave reviews. Thanks again!! What a memorable honeymoon!! ~ Josephine
Hi Laurie – Everything was wonderful and completely beyond anything we expected!! Cape Town was beautiful and the Cape Grace exceptional. Londolozi is an extremely special place. Thank you for all your help in putting this together for us. ~ Michelle