Oliver Orr as always is a pleasure to work with and goes above and beyond to help us achieve our perfect holiday. His effort and attention doesn't go unnoticed.
Will use you again
Everything worked like clockwork. Charlie Miles and Chris Coulter were extremely helpful which eased my mind about travelling as an elderly person.
Professional, friendly and accommodating. We couldn’t have asked for better service. Thank you so much
All flights arranged by Kylie were good and other than a long wait in Miami they were extremely well organised.
The only issue that I had was no vegetarian meal on the homebound longhaul flight. I do, however, suspect that this was an airline issue rather than DialAFlight.
I had to make a change whilst away and this was dealt with very quickly.
Note that Ibis Styles does not have transport to airport and the buses from airport don't go there. Would stay somewhere else next time.
All was perfect - no delays
Very good hotel choices and the flight connections went smoothly. Ably assisted by our Travel Manager who was only a phone call away for any queries, which were answered promptly and dealt with sympathetically. Will use for future holidays.
The DialAFlight app made checking in very straightforward.
Jarvis is superb. A great ambassador for the company.
Great staff, always available to help with queries. Would definitely use again and recommend
Harriet was very helpful and I got my flights for a good price. The connections worked out well so I didn't have to hang around any airport for too long.
Matthew Price is a magician - he always gets it right
Lee was very helpful and answered my questions promptly.
Never received such 5* service when booking flights before. Hugely impressed, will definitely use again and recommend to friends - in fact already recommended to friends who have booked!
Very happy with the service.
No problems but felt reassured that I could contact Ethan if any arose
Richard is a delight to work with. Have been dealing with DialAFlight for over 30 years in my capacity as Personal Assistant to the Executive Director of International Coffee Organisation and now as Consultant for InterAfrican Coffee Organisation. It has always been a pleasure and a peace of mind!
As always the service was first class for my fourth trip in the last 12 months. No need to look anywhere else for travel arrangements
Thak you Joey - we had a great wildlife adventure!
Had a few complications but all worked out in the end and was very glad for the help with cancelling part of my trip to Peru and rescheduling of my flights.
Des brilliant as always.
Julie is always helpful and gives me so many options to choose from. Great service
Small niggle. Qantas charged us extra for our checked in luggage which we thought was included on our Sydney to Honolulu flight
Fantastic service again - been using DialAFlight for the past 8 years and the service is as good today as it was the first time
Roger was excellent. He took all the stress away and his customer care was on point. Great service and a good price.
Reece always a star
Great price and service
The Marietas Islands have been described as the world’s most idyllic bomb site. As I emerge from crystal water onto the much whispered about ‘Hidden Beach’, I’m inclined to agree.
Here I am, mere miles away from Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico's west coast - but I could not feel further removed from this all-singing holiday resort.
The Islas Marietas, to use their Spanish name, were first formed by volcanic activity and have never been inhabited. Taking advantage of their isolation, in the early 1900s the Mexican government used them to conduct military testing.
A crater bombed into one of the islands has created the pristine Hidden Beach, a secret crescent of sand that you can access only by swimming through a cave.
As I breast-stroke through this dark tunnel, my guide tells me to keep my face in the water so the tide does not buoy me up and bash my skull into the rock ceiling. This is not the most relaxing way to start a day of sunbathing.
But I am at peace as soon as I’m out of the cave, with nothing to do except lie on the sand and enjoy the warm ocean waters lapping at my feet. It really is a private paradise. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kim and Kanye made it here during their second honeymoon not so long ago in Punta Mita, an exclusive vacation enclave close by.
The islands were declared a national park in the 1960s, thanks to the efforts of Jacques Cousteau, who found them rich in marine life such as sea turtles, humpback whales and dolphins.
Until recently, Puerto Vallarta, this marvel of Mexico’s Pacific coast, was not easily accessible for British visitors - but now it's just a 12-hour direct flight from the UK.
The town itself is a smart resort long popular with Americans and Canadians, and offers a traditional slice of Mexican life. White-washed houses with terracotta-tiled rooftops are backed by green, palm-packed mountains. Banderas Bay is an arc of golden shoreline, dotted with beachfront hotels.
A stroll along the Malecon (seafront promenade), busy with families, takes me past laid-back scenes of everyday life. On Sundays, townspeople dance to traditional music in the main square, Plaza Principal.
I’m staying a ten-minute drive from Downtown at the beachfront Secrets Vallarta Bay, a new resort with an adults-only policy.
The lobby lacks a fourth wall, so you can gaze out onto swaying palms and crashing waves. Rooms are huge and come with deep baths that turn into hot tubs at the flick of a switch.
It's all-inclusive, and premium drinks flow freely. You can eat with abandon at any of the eight restaurants.
There seems to be a wedding by romantic sunset on the beach every night. It all sounds too luxurious to leave, and many don’t, spending their fortnight in the myriad swimming pools and getting pampered in the spa.
But there are tours to be recommended. One is to the Hidden Beach in the Marietas. Another promises to show me ‘Hidden Mexico’, and I spend the day walking the cobbled streets of quiet, colourful villages and studying petroglyphs - rock engravings left by the Aztatlán.
At the end of the tour, I visit a tequila distillery, and am surprised at the size of the agave – the plant tequila is made from. They look like enormous pine cones.
Most Mexicans you meet will extol the virtues of their various types of tequila – some are for sipping, others for mixing – and will probably tell you that Jose Cuervo, the golden-coloured brand that stocks the shelves in the UK, is underwhelming.
I also learn that the worm at the bottom of the tequila bottle is fallacy. The ‘worm’ is actually found in mescal – similar to tequila but made from a different type of agave – and is in fact the larva of a moth. Tasty.
Towards the end of my trip, I head north for 45 minutes to Riviera Nayarit, a 200-mile stretch of coastline that caters to a rather upmarket clientele. Think ocean-side golf courses, a Four Seasons, and so on. This is the area where Kim and Kanye stayed.
I want to check out the Riviera’s ‘hippy chic’ town Sayulita - once a sleepy fishing village but now a kind of affluent hipster haven.
I'm won over, I must admit. There's just the right balance of easygoing authenticity (cheap taco stands, fresh fish sizzling on streetside grills, studiously tatty beachfront bungalows) and vogue-ish scene (expensive souvenir shops and surf schools targeting the sexy and wealthy).
I spend the morning surfing and seriously consider converting to a life of beach babedom for the rest of my days. But if posing with beautiful beach bums isn’t your thing, Puerto Vallarta is nearby. Adventure or pure repose is all on hand on this part of the Pacific coast, Mexico's hottest holiday haven.
First published in the Mail Online - February 2016
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