Claire, Wayne and Gino. Try any of them for a professional, responsive and informative travel discussion.
Thanks again for the service you gave me under very bad times - all the best to Rocky and his team
Well done Shane and team
Very well planned and organised by Lucas and his team
Niall was amazing when I needed to rearrange our flights back to UK as a result of the covid19 pandemic. You were so reassuring and got us home safely. You took the stress away and contacted the airline at a time when it was nearly impossible to get through to them.
10/10 would I recommend. 100%
Alan was on the case very fast
We had to contact the emergency number and spoke to Russell. We wanted to bring our flights forward due to government advice to return to the UK at the earliest opportunity. He dealt with our request speedily and efficiently making the whole process stress free.
I’ve fallen in love with Orlando - this guy has been absolutely amazing in very difficult times. Can’t thank him and the DialAFlight team enough
In the wake of the global virus crisis - well done Darren and his colleagues
Once again Otis was fantastic. He delivers everything we ask for and keeps us updated with a friendly professional attitude. Over the years we have booked many of our holidays through DialAFlight. I have recommended him to lots of family and friends and they too have been very happy with him.
First time using DAF - Alfie was very helpful
Excellent service as always. We were lucky getting back from Phuket, since I heard that both Emirates, who we flew with, and Qatar were cancelling their longhaul flights a day or so later.
Rearranged flight change driven by coronavirus very quickly.
Very helpful and always my first choice for any trips
Great professional service
I’ve already sent an email to Max thanking him for his help over the crisis.
Awful flight, awful seating, awful food. Worst flight we’ve ever had. Not your fault of course. Very unusual for Thai Airways.
I would just like to thank you for excellent service
I hope we will be using your services again later this summer, let's all hope we can get back to normal soon.
Thanks for rebooking my flights after BA cancelled at a late stage
Many thanks to Roger for advice re my return flight from Bangkok. All went well and I am now back home safe. My best wishes for your business during these difficult times.
Harvey was excellent in reprotecting our cancelled flights without even having to call him.
Under the pressure that you must be under now with all the cancellations due to Coronavirus the service you provided us in sorting out flight cancellations both going out and returning was quite superb. A brilliant team and one that I will defiantly be using again. Huge thanks!
Said what they do, did what they said.
Some impression of the trip itself may assist yourselves and other travellers. In this case I would say that Gulf did a good job in difficult circumstances although Bahrain airport is outdated and has undersized gates for B787s. The second security on departure is pathetically slow.
Gordon, as always, was brilliant
I would like to thank Tyler who was always available to answer my many queries and concerns. His knowledge and thoughtfulness continually put my mind at ease during a very difficult time due to travelling amid the Coronavirus.
Gordon as always was brilliant!
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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