Darryl did an excellent job and kept us updated during these trying times
Everything was, as usual, organised well. Very responsive on the phone and always easy to get hold of you. Great service which I will continue to use.
Theo and Jeff were so helpful
In this Covid situation my booking was changed multiple times but this was dealt with absolute patience. I highly recommend DialAFlight.
Tara always goes above and beyond. Thank you
Thank you to the staff for their excellent service.
Really helpful and knowledgeable staff. Would highly recommend and use again.
Travel is precarious at the moment and having DialAFlight backing me gave the reassurance I needed. The entire team were helpful, answered my queries, dealt with airlines when I couldn't and got me out of a pickle. I've booked flights with them numerous times
Lily made the whole booking process so easy and was super helpful! She was always at the other end of the phone whenever we needed her throughout our holiday to help with covid enquiries. I can’t recommend her enough!
Always a pleasure booking our trips though you. Super simple - say when and where we need to go and leave the rest to you all. I tell everyone about your company and the lack of stress.
As always Philip was a true professional, so helpful and highly efficient. Many thanks to him for organising what was a difficult trip
Stan is very helpful and professional
I want to say a MASSIVE thank you to your team! Especially Aidan who has absolutely blown us away with his customer service and for going above and beyond to ensure we landed safely during this difficult time. Last week my partner and I were stuck in Dubai with my Granddad, Dad and Auntie all in hospital extremely ill with Covid. I couldn’t get a flight back to the UK however Aidan managed to sort it for us with absolutely no stress at all! This level of customer care during this extremely stressful time has meant the absolute world to us, and we cannot thank you enough. I have recommended you guys to multiple family / friends/ clients and I will continue to do so!
Abbie is an absolute star
I cannot believe the level of service you offer. From the initial booking to the issues due to Covid you have been outstanding. From dealing with Rudy, Mark or Marco I literally couldn’t fault you or thank you enough. I’ll be coming back for any future trips as well as any business trips.
Amazing service - polite, friendly and helpful
On the ball with everything. Very competitive prices and kept us informed with frequent updates.
Another fantastic trip. Had to make a few amendments due to family reasons but Ryan was on the case and sorted at the drop of a hat.
Very helpful as this was not your normal getaway. Everyone involved at DialAFlight was fantastic.
Annabelle is simply fab!
Best holiday ever!
Excellent service from Zac as usual
Helen very helpful as always - there to help and advise. Would recommend highly
Great one-to-one holiday planning
Really good service and pleasant staff
Thank you to all the staff at DialAFlight for making our family holiday even better than we could have expected.
Claire, Wayne and Gino. Try any of them for a professional, responsive and informative travel discussion.
Outstanding service and I will certainly recommend
From booking and throughout the whole process we found your representatives to be positive, friendly, supportive and knowledgeable. We will never hesitate to use you again and indeed to recommend DialAFlight to friends and family. Thank you so much
You all know Roger Moore, 007? If you are too young to know what he looks like, he looks like me,' said our small, squat, spectacularly un-debonair Thai tour guide, Captain Alex, with a deadpan face.
While not exactly shaken with laughter at his wry quips, everyone was stirred by the stunning scenery at Ko Khao Phing Kan, or James Bond Island, as this place is more famously known. It became a must-see site due to its double-O heaven setting in The Man With The Golden Gun, when Moore's Bond goes in search of Scaramanga, played with relish by Christopher Lee.
This was all heady stuff for a first-time visitor to Thailand, an exotic land that has also inspired on the big screen the sublime (The Beach) and the ridiculous (The Hangover, Part II).
Many writers, from Somerset Maugham to Graham Greene, have fallen for Thailand's bars, silk, curry and hospitality. Its ancient history, temples, islands and beaches, as well as the gentle people of unrivalled grace, have made it endlessly enchanting.
A small bit of detective work led me to deduce that John le Carré found his original inspiration for The Night Manager - his thriller televised this year - in Thailand after staying at The Mandarin Oriental hotel in Bangkok, on the banks of the Chao Phraya river.
I discovered his fascination for the legendary hotelier Kurt Wachtveitl, famed for decades for arranging everything with charm and discretion, just as we saw Tom Hiddleston's character do in the BBC series. More later about le Carré, a drunken night on champagne, and his eternal gratitude to the night manager.
But first back to James Bond Island. This speck in Phang Nga Bay is firmly on the tourist track as boatloads arrive to get their fix of the legendary spy.
Indeed, everyone else on our boat seemed to think they were wannabe secret agents, as the men stripped down to Daniel Craig-style swimming shorts and the women wore Bond-girl bikinis. They also donned their best Bond-villain shades for selfies in front of the limestone outcrops.
Captain Alex's tour included kayaking into sea caves, shopping for silk and a lunch of fresh grilled fish, before driving back to the Banyan Tree Hotel in Phuket, a tranquil base where smiling courtesy is second nature to its staff.
Phuket became a favourite destination of backpackers in the 1960s and 1970s thanks to its sleepy beauty and sensational beaches, and luxury hotel chains soon discovered its appeal.
Many of the villas in the Banyan have a private pool, and you can have spa treatments in your garden overlooking the lagoon. Bicycles make it easy to get to and from the main lobby and its zen-like spa.
The starting point for my trip before heading to Phuket was Bangkok and the splendid Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Leave so much as half an apple in your room and it will be replaced within the hour. As well as supreme service, there is nothing the staff haven't seen, from Billy Idol smashing up his suite to Somerset Maugham fighting off a bout of malaria.
Some simple sleuthing persuaded me that le Carré first came across his inspiration for The Night Manager here. The clues were staring me in the face in the le Carré suite on the tenth floor.
A typed letter from the author is framed on the wall. He thanks the hotel manager for the incredible care and hospitality, having arrived 'tired, dusty and unannounced' after a 'swing through divided Laos' while researching his novel, The Honourable Schoolboy.
He recounts how he met up with a friend in the hotel and drank copious amounts of champagne, which annoyed a journalist from 'a lofty London paper' who was also staying there. 'I fear we may not have seemed as funny to him as we did to one another.' A year later, when The Honourable Schoolboy finally appeared, the same correspondent took time off from his political musing to give it a perfectly dreadful review.
The fact that le Carré bothered to send such a letter to the manager indicates his fascination at how Kurt Wachtveitl looked after him and the dozens of others guests, all seemingly effortlessly.
Incidentally, the room opposite le Carré's is the Barbara Cartland suite, for those who are more inclined to soft romance than spy thriller.
Just outside the hotel, Bangkok shows all its buzz and brashness, with street food, shopping (incredible silver), mai tai cocktails at sunset at bars both grand and grubby.
There has always a sense of being about to enter the land of all possibilities, be it The Beach, Bridge On The River Kwai, or Bond. Just remember not to turn it into The Hangover…
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