Excellent in every way - as ever.
Although long delay due to Italian Air Traffic Control strike Jet2 looked after us very well. Chris Briggs from DialAFlight kept in touch throughout.
I was concerned that I would have to cancel my trip following my flight being cancelled, but DialAFlight quickly found replacement flights for the same dates saving me the stress and hassle of dealing with the airline. Very happy I booked with DialAFlight.
Brilliantly organised and on hand to support whenever needed - a special thanks to Stan Castle who always does a great job!
Vinnie was excellent. Given that Easyjet cancelled our flight out Vinnie sourced and delivered alternative routing very quickly and as a result we only lost one day of our holiday. Very impressed with the service and client care.
You are all fantastic
Excellent service. Lee sorted out a last minute problem that was caused by us within minutes and was professional throughout. Would highly recommend this company for all your travel needs.
Dave is the best
I always expect the best from you. I have never been disappointed.
Luke, good as always
Just a quick thanks to Stuart for organising a fantastic trip to Venice. The hotel was superb and in a fantastic location. We will definitely use DialAFlight again and I've already been recommending you to family and friends.
I will not book a flight any other way from now. It was a really good experience.
The personal service is excellent and why I love DialAFlight
Wayne was absolutely amazing in understanding exactly what our requirements were. He delivered a first class service.
Happy to hear from you before we travelled and kept us updated in case of any delays.
As per usual - excellent
We had an amazing time - all went to plan.
Saved the day by booking us Club Class on the ferry Pozzallo to Valletta, 21.00 hrs arrival. First foot passengers off and only two taxis waiting. Much relief at getting speedily onwards to hotel.
As ever, a fabulous trip with fantastic hotels. Flights and transfers were seamless … and with cancellations due to weather we didn’t have to worry as DAF were already on it and contacted us with amended arrangements. Perfect - thank you.
Your responsiveness to my flight cancellations was excellent.
We usually travel independently but during these rather challenging times it was great to be able to create our own package of flights and hotel while having someone to support us. Changes to the flight schedule and problems printing boarding passes from an airline site that wasn’t working were all handled swiftly and resolved by Ashley. Plus it’s fabulous to get your calls answered instantly - a real bonus.
Thanks again Michelle - fab service as ever
Very pleased with the booking and the service. All worked out very well indeed
Great suggestion for the hotel and all ran very smoothly.
Greg gave great recommendations, sorted out amendments quickly and was always available to help when necessary. A perfect honeymoon
Have dealt with Craig for years and found him to be very helpful. Nothing seems too much trouble and his customer service is fantastic.
On the busiest day of the year at Rome Airport, all worked very well. I can fully recommend your flight finding and booking service.
As always Raj did a fantastic job especially when BA decided to delay our flight by a day! He always comes up trumps and sorts things out without any fuss.
Your personal service is second to none. Very attentive, immediate response to any messages and always resolve any problems that may arise by third parties. Our recent trip was affected by a cancellation from EasyJet, but you got us re-booked on the very next flight only a few hours after we should have travelled without any problems whatsoever, including the car hire which was absolutely brilliant!
Thank you darling Helen!
Some hotels manage effortlessly to combine a hip and trendy image with old school charm - and the Splendido Hotel in Portofino is certainly one of them. In the Hotel Splendido’s case a generous dose of Italian style is also thrown in for good measure.
THE ROAD TO SPLENDIDO
It is perched on the Italian Riviera coastline, two hotels in one, both boasting roof gardens, geranium-filled terraces and a languid way of life. Carved from a 16th Century Benedictine monastery high above the village, the original Hotel Splendido opened in 1902 and has 65 rooms surrounded by terrace gardens with a swimming pool. In 1998, a satellite branch on the harbour - the Splendido al Mare - opened with 16 rooms and suites.
Portofino is still a fishing village, south-east of Genoa. Pastel-coloured houses, high-end boutiques and seafood restaurants fringe the Piazzetta, which is a small cobbled square overlooking the harbor, which often has a selection of super-yachts in evidence.
A path leads from the Piazzetta to Castello Brown, a 16th century fortress and museum with frequent art exhibitions and constant panoramic views of the town and the Ligurian Sea.
The village in general, and Hotel Splendido in particular, has always been a magnet for celebrities, past and present. The visitor of note list includes Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Madonna, Rihanna.
WHAT TO EXPECT
All the hotel's rooms are spacious with a mix of antiques and marble, maintaining a timeless feel. Gadgets are kept to a minimum, although the Splendido does have its own yacht. There is also a shuttle to spare guests the 15-minute walk between the two sites.
ITALIANS DO IT BEST
Food takes centre stage - this is Italy, after all. Elizabeth Taylor, who honeymooned here, has a spaghetti dish named after her – but Ava Gardner went one better. There is a suite named after her.
La Terrazza is the Splendido's most iconic restaurant – it’s romantic, relaxed, with serious seafood and alfresco tables.
Down in the harbour, Chuflay offers a more formal dining experience, but many celebrities - including Madonna and Rihanna - see it as the perfect place to hang out during yachting holidays.
The location on the Ligurian is as scenic as could be desired, and Portofino's harbour is one of Europe's most beautiful. The many-coloured villas hugging the coastline are the subject of many calendars.
The waters of this fishing village are now frequented by the yachts of the super rich. Yes, there's nothing much to do - but that's really the whole point of Portofino. You stroll, indulge in some light shopping at Ferragamo, and then indulge some more at a restaurant or bar.
HOME TO THE STARS
The USP of Portofino is that it can claim to be Italy the way it was - for Hollywood stars at least - around 50 years ago, when celebrities could wander through the cobbled streets without being pestered for selfies.
It's still, relatively speaking, a safe zone for celebrities. But Beyoncé learned that stilettos aren't the best footwear for the terrain in 2010 - when she returned in 2014, she opted for more suitable flats.
Regular guests Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw holidayed at the hotel with their family very recently. Kylie Minogue, another regular visitor, was also in Portofino recently to perform at a Dolce & Gabbana show.
But is it good enough for the rest of us? Undeniably it is. You can sip your aperitif at one of the delightful harbour bars and feel just like a star.
And at the Splendido, from the stars twinkling above the moonlit ocean to the swaying palms in the garden, you can live la dolce vita. It is the epitome of Italian glamour.
First published in the Mail Online - June 2018
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