Fantastic service from Elliott from start to finish. Would definitely book with you again in the future
The staff at DialAFlight are always helpful and supportive
Excellent customer support and great recommendations for restaurants at my resort
Good service all the way
Brilliant trip - superbly organised. Great value for money. Ticked all our boxes. Highly recommend.
Excellent service from start to finish and the aftersales is second to none. I have used them for a number of years and can't find a better service and value for money provider
Thanks for providing up to date information
Very good professional service.
Your service with Warren is simply fantastic. Just a shame that Heathrow is a disgrace. Thank you for your great service. We had an awesome holiday.
Excellent service - great app and all backed with the security and comfort of a direct number to call in case of any emergency while away
We would like to thank Stacey - a big thank you again for another great holiday
Jonathan never lets us down with our trips, excellent service, thanks again
Shelley Dimes is a superstar. My trip was organised to perfection and could not be more pleased with her help, advice and planning
Marshall as always was fantastic dealing with my family's booking. On this occasion the Emirates flight from Bangkok to Dubai was less than satisfactory but that is no reflection on DialAFlight's masterful booking admin
Spencer Ormerod was brilliant and kept us informed throughout the booking process.
Marshall is always on the ball. Looks after his customers very well.
Alan is brilliant. I have been booking through him for over 5 years and I love having someone to talk to at the other end of the phone.
Zoe delivers as always!
Fabulous company - efficient and highly professional
Will use DialAFlight again.
Tristan Chatburn was extremely helpful and professional. Highly recommended
This was the best holiday ever - thank you for everyone who helped us.
Calvin is always there for my travel plans, he is great!
Oliver and the other members of the team were really helpful and accommodating. They were very informative about the country we were travelling to. If I was unable to speak to Oliver someone else was ready to step in and deal with me
Callum was extremely helpful and efficient in every way. I will definitely be booking future holidays with him
Everyone very helpful, can’t wait for my next flight
Excellent trip both ways. We were worried about having to wait until a day later for our connecting flights but The Novotel Hotel at Bangkok Airport was a super experience. The free shuttle on both occasions took us directly to the booking hall for the airline we had to book with, so no problems at all.
Thanks for your all your support. Your service is the best.
Good service all round.
Will definitely use again and recommend. Excellent dialogue with Charlie Miles - it wasn't just a case of taking the money and that was it. He kept me informed throughout, well done..5 star service
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…
First published in the Mail on Sunday - October 2016 More articles below...
First published in the Mail on Sunday - October 2016
More articles below...
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