Thank you for the note above and for such expert care throughout my whole trip – again, it was such a pleasure working with you!
As far as Portugal Trails is concerned, I wanted to take a little bit more time than just a quick “thank you” note because I feel the level of service and care I received for my trip deserves more than just “thanks, you were great” in a letter.
So, from September 2015, I started searching Portugal, deciding it would be my next destination adventure, and stumbled onto the Portugal Trails (PT) website during my search and met Nuno via email. The amazing thing about PT is that you are asked to tell the travel consultant about yourself, and what type of experience you are hoping to enjoy. I found this amazingly helpful to really have to spend a few minutes describing what I wanted and how I normally like to enjoy my vacations. And it’s genius on your part because when Nuno first emailed me, he was already thinking of the exact places and plans to recommend to achieve my goals. The itinerary versions, the road book, the perfect email instructions on my payment methods and how to read all the materials and what to expect and do – all was just amazing and everything went exactly to Nuno’s plan for me!
So from the first email and throughout the entire planning period, Nuno was at my side, helping to adjust, recommend, and organize – and re-organize as many times as I needed until I had the perfect plan for myself! He was gracious and tireless and made so many changes for me, with perfect patience! It took us about 4 weeks to pull my perfect experience together and when Nuno was out of the office (with his wife and new-born son!) Vanessa picked right up where needed and the exchange was seamless and it was true that there had been excellent communication between them as she knew exactly where things were and was able to help me through several questions and some changes to our rental vehicle – which was comforting rather than frustrating when someone is picking up someone else’s work.
My sister, Liz, came with me on the trip and the package, mid-level, was perfect for my experience and did not feel “mid” level at all. The hotel recommendations (Hotel Lisboa Plaza and Hotel Carris, Ribeira) were fantastic. Service was impeccable (I gave Hotel Lisboa staff a fantastic review on TripAdvisor as well). The city guides, Sofia in Lisboa and Ricardo in Porto were both amazing. Friendly, putting us as ease immediately – great sense of humor (we Americans always put that first, in many cases!) – fun, energetic and so helpful. We didn’t want to leave them at the end of the tour, but wanted to take them out for lunch with us! The private guide made my mid level experience feel like luxury, they were so enjoyable. We were able to talk about school, and clothing, embarrassing decorating mistakes, funny childhood memories with each of these charming, amazingly professional guides – and that’s so much more enjoyable than just a “guided tour” of a city.We got to know them in those few hours and were easily able to get the feel for their city and move through as though they were with us the whole time. It was fantastic! And they were both “stand-out” experiences for us.
The car service team from and to airports were fantastic as well and so gracious. We felt truly welcomed when we arrived in Lisboa – jet-lagged, stunned and in a totally new place, but our driver made us feel comfortable and excited to finally be there in the first moments of our engagement and through the entire drive to the hotel – he was a wonderful “first ambassador”!
Daniella at the car rental office in Lisboa was fantastic. (Even the cute cab driver the staff called for us to get to the rental office was hilarious, sweet, jovial and shared driving tips with us: “Just go slow and you’ll be fine!”) Nuno told me exactly what extras to purchase from her, and we ended up spending a little bit more just because she was so familiar with Portugal Trails and was so wonderful, efficient and accommodating of us – we did not feel as though we’d been “sold” by her at all – we took her recommendation and were extremely happy with our Peugeot and the entire experience. (Except when we cause a major rush-hour back up getting back into Porto one evening when we got into the wrong V-Pass lane! The two cars behind us were so wonderful and no one yelled at us at all! – We apologize to all the poor people who were late for dinner that night!)
Thank you for your indulgence of such a long letter of gratitude and praise but I felt that the team I worked with and all your Portuguese associates deserve this detail.
I’ve already recommended Portugal and Portugal Trails to several of my friends who’ve see our photos and heard of the amazing experience we had in lovely, wonderful, fabulous Portugal – all to the credit of Portugal Trails and how you work with your clients!
Thank you, again for everything you do! You will hear from us again, and we will be back.