Was particularly pleased that we were phoned a couple of days before we went and asked if we had any last minute questions
Well organised holiday
One word - perfect!
Everything went smoothly. Excellent hotel. One annoyance was Qatar changed our pre chosen seats on two of the flights due to change of plane without notifying us
Excellent service and I will definitely use again..
Everything worked out perfectly - what a fab holiday thanks to you.
Great customer service, tickets, transfers and accommodation - all organised without a hitch, will definitely use again.
Really organised trip - great location, great flight times. Fabulous customer service thanks to Howard Crafter. We’ll be back
Jenson was fantastic throughout our holiday booking process and would highly recommend him - very professional and a pleasure to speak to
Not your fault but the flights with Eva and Thai Airways were extremely confusing (poor quality service with EVA), causing us to nearly miss our flight back home. Also the transfer back to Phuket was arranged far too early (4 am for a 9:40 flight). We arrived at Phuket at 5am and the desk did not open until 7:40 am.
I am extremely impressed with DialAFlight. They go above and beyond giving an excellent personalised service. You can get hold of someone within minutes every time. I would not hesitate to recommend and will definitely be using you again for our next trip.
Huge thanks to Kylie for yet another brilliant holiday. Everything ran smoothly, and exceeded our expectations. Hotel was gorgeous, perfect location.
Graham Parkinson is always easy to get in touch with and very helpful with any questions or concerns
Orchidacea Hotel - our choice as had stayed there many times - was this time really disappointing. It was 90% populated by Russians and consequently service, food and facilities slanted to them. Not DialAFlight's issue. Rest of trip Fabulous,
Graham was great and always willing to help
DialAFlight are always so helpful, go out of their way to find the perfect holiday destination for my needs.
Amazing support from Justin
Julie Harris planned our holiday very well and each plane was on time so an extra bonus. Will book again with her.
Jeff Lee was particularly helpful to make our holiday great.
Jetstar failed to put our bags on the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket so we had no change of clothes for 3 days. However the holiday was a fantastic success. We have used DialAFlight for all our holidays and would highly recommend them.
Excellent service offered by my DialAFlight contact, Gavin. I was particularly impressed with his call to me a few days prior to traveling checking if everything was in order. I have no hesitation in recommending this company.
Had an amazing time. Hotel you recommended was amazing
Top marks to Charlie
As usual, Connie came up trumps for us with the organisation of our trip. Wouldn't use anyone else for our flights.
Alan, as per last 20 years, has been fantastic yet again .
Your service was great but the Emirates flight out from Gatwick to Dubai was disappointing. I had to walk through a section of economy seats to access the Business seats. They were understaffed too, which didn't help.. The onward flight to Phuket and the return journey was fine. These aircraft seemed to have the normal configuration of seats.
First class assistance and attention to detail
Fabulous holiday - thank you for planning it all for us - will definitely come back to you again
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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