Charles and the team helped me through a bad experience and put my mind at ease and delivered a fantastic holiday - truly amazing, can't thank you enough
Any queries answered, confident in using you for all holidays.
Michelle was brilliant throughout
Looking forward to booking our next holiday next year
Nothing too much trouble. Thanks for your professionalism and kindness throughout - much appreciated
Had the most amazing holiday to Phuket, thanks for sorting it all for us
Have used you many times. Billy has never let me down.
A big thank you
Thank you to the lovely Monica
Very pleased with everything connected with our flight, all the details were correct and made for a great start to our holiday. By far the best flights we have ever been on Qatar Airways.
Adam was so incredibly helpful as was Mason in his absence. Very responsive and reassuring. We were travelling for the first time with a toddler long haul so were very apprehensive.
We had a very straightforward booking but it was handled efficiently and professionally. I had 'shopped around' a great deal before booking, and DialAFlight were very competitively priced.
Always deal with Callum - very professional and eager to help if there's a question
Nice to know you were backing me up
Excellent service throughout the process - we recently flew to Phuket and the whole process was seamless. Would highly recommend DialAFlight
Excellent customer service. Will definitely be using DialAFlight again
Yet another fantastic holiday and your arrangements were top class. I would highly recommend your services, as I did to a few people I met on holiday.
Excellent price for tickets to Bangkok and Phuket with BA. Very nice hotel
Riley arranged the holiday. He was really helpful and a great example of fab customer service.
Always available when an enquiry was needed and even called on the eve of departure
Excellent trip. Collections to and from the airport very well organised. Very happy - once again it's why I use DialAFlight.
Very patient as I had a few panics with the app before I left. Every email I sent was answered quickly and efficiently. I had help booking my seats and they were perfect too. It was my first time travelling to Thailand on my own and I felt really looked after. Excellent service.
Fergus was exceptional in putting our package holiday together. I’ve used DialAFlight numerous times and will continue.
Fab service as always from Guy ...very helpful and really spot on with his advice.
I'm a regular client. You guys are great
Hotel and staff were fabulous - the only downside there were too many stairs. Would have to have a ground floor room if we went there again
Everything was spot on and I was upgraded to an Ocean Suite which was superb
Gordon always delivers. I couldn't ask for more
Thanks to Roray, the hotels were all great and in excellent locations.
On my first full day at the Anantara Layan hotel, I’m told that lunch will be cooked by...me!
Perhaps this is pay-back time from dinner the night before, when the chef presented me with something I can only describe as edible art.
I had been faced with amuse-bouches of olives hung on a miniature tree; a plump, pink disc of yellowfin tuna tartare; seabass smoked with Jack Daniel’s, revealed with a flourish from under an opaque glass dome.
It transpires that Anantara, on the northwest coast of Phuket, does things differently.
To immerse guests fully in the local culture, a cooking school called Spice Spoons is offered - and you get thrown in at the deep end.
It starts with an 8am visit to the food market in the small, dusty village of Talang, a ten-minute drive away, with the hotel’s chef. The market is a cavernous covered space full of stalls selling everything from fresh seafood on ice to buckets of coconut cream, and displays of garlic, ginger, green papaya, mint and more.
There are containers of home-made red, green and yellow curry pastes, fragrant Thai basil and weird fermented cabbages.
The cooking class takes place at the hotel’s Dee Plee Thai restaurant, which overlooks the rest of the sprawling resort (comprising 77 villas and suites).
On the menu today are shrimp tartlets, green chicken curry and mango with sticky rice. Before I know it, I’m mixing batter for tartlet cases, marinading mini-aubergines in coconut milk and curry paste, and simmering the sticky rice (the trick is to ensure there is just a finger’s width of water over the rice).
Phuket is roughly the same size as Singapore, with a population of 600,000. It is under two hours away from a truly exquisite archipelago that includes Phi Phi Leh (where The Beach was shot), Khai (home to nothing but a bar) and an island nicknamed ‘Bamboo’.
A boat trip that takes in all these is the perfect way to get a flavour of what draws so many visitors. We speed across the turquoise water, passing giant granite islands covered in greenery, stopping off at Phi Phi Don, the larger sister island to Leh.
Pausing to go snorkelling near a reef among swarms of colourful fish, we then pull in to Pileh Lagoon, a body of crystalline, emerald green water surrounded by more hulking stone outcrops of the kind you see on postcards.
That evening, the head chef does the cooking, thankfully. He serves up a delicious soft-shell crab curry, a local dish called Khao Soi - a tangle of spicy, crispy egg noodles served with chicken, onion and lime - and a light coconut sorbet. Somehow, Thai food just doesn’t taste like this back home.
For a different island experience we also visit Layan’s sister resort, Rasananda, on the much smaller island of Koh Phangan. Its population of around 8,000 doubles once a month as hordes of partygoers descend on Haad Rin beach, to the south, for the infamous full moon parties which started here in the Eighties.
Apart from those wild nights, though, it appeals mostly to families and couples, while Phuket draws a younger crowd. The Rasananda is bang on the beach, but has all the design touches of an elegant resort: an infinity pool featuring a swim-up bar, spa and 64 villas and suites, each with their own private plunge pool.
Mine has a carp pond outside, and all have a free mini-bar. Everything seems to move at a different pace: slowly. But there’s plenty to do such as snorkelling or kayaking around the Ang Thong National Marine Park, which contains more than 40 tiny islands. And you can also go elephant trekking, commune with local monks, or indulge in yoga every morning on the sun terrace.
Yes, there is a cooking school here, too. And yes, I could sign up to perfect my Pad Thai - but I demur. It’s time to let someone else do the hard work.
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