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Shane my travel representative has been totally amazing during the pandemic. He has been so helpful and kind following up on all my cancelled flights due to the pandemic and assisted me with my eventual successful trip to Dubai for the birth of my grandson.
Thank you Ryan for all your help and assistance. Flight, hotel, transfers were all spot on. Your service throughout the booking was brilliant
Kieran has been incredible as always. All of the staff are extremely helpful
Wouldn’t use anyone else - fantastic service
Polite and friendly service which included frequent travel updates and requirements. You did exceptionally well under stressful conditions regarding my emergency flight home. A big thank you
Anthony is amazing. He is quick to get back to me and always provides amazing service. Constantly telling people how good he is and everything is booked as we ask and never have any problems.
Good support from Liam, our main contact.
All good thanks
Thank you to Daniel and his team. I appreciated the seamless pick up of queries even when the familiar individuals were away.
Very good service. I will recommend you to others. The Senses Resort in Patong is superb. Singapore Airlines. Ditto.
Great service from booking to departure. Highly recommended
Great service by Ellis and colleague - have been using now for many years and still get great service.
Have been dealing with you for over 20 years. Howard has always looked after us and our friends. Good people all round.
I have found you helpful and very contactable.
In this complicated, confusing time for international travel you listened to my needs and found the ideal flights to ensure my daunting journey would go as smoothly as possible. Despite an initial cancellation in March you arranged to get my money back and used the credit from this to find me flights 4 months later. Then after several flight cancellations and reschedules Manny found me a better itinerary than I had already. Very pleased. Will use you again and recommend to anyone.
Danny was brilliant, efficient and really professional - great work. Especially as he had to change our flights twice.
You got me to Baku, thanks
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.
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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