Your calls always answered within 5 rings.
Great break and just what we needed. It was first class.
Rebecca Wilkie was extremely helpful in all respects
Excellent service given.
Superb, personal service from Ray. From communication to personal knowledge ... couldn't fault it
Everything was perfect.
No lounge at Cape Town airport for Air France
Fast, knowledgeable and super helpful, all went like clockwork, and we had an amazing holiday - thank you!
Just back from another holiday booked by Ryan. We have been booking with him for years now and wouldn’t think of doing anything else. Excellent service
The usual excellent service from Cody and the team.
Everything went to plan. An excellent service.
Eric is AMAZING!
Best travel company we’ve ever used. Would highly recommend and will be using them again.
Leo was very knowledgeable and helpful. Very on the ball with our queries and helped us during the trip
Everything went according to plan. As I was the lead of a group I was worried but everything went like clockwork, thanks to you
Amazing service as usual
Remind passengers with early departures (eg 2 am), that airport pickup is on the date before the flight!
After giving my requirements they came up with the perfect hotel on the perfect island. Best holiday ever.
Always excellent service
Find a way of us being able to avoid being seated near to babies in Business Class!
Grant was there for us with every question answered. Will be using DialAFlight for future holidays.
Fantastic service, above and beyond any other agent. Our holiday was exactly as described and surpassed our expectations. I wouldn’t hesitate recommending and will be booking again
Debbie listened to what we were looking for and delivered in every way
Thanks to Michelle Dooler again after many years of excellent work and always fulfilling our expectations. Everything went smoothly and the holiday was perfect
I think it was a mistake to agree to Mauritius in January. We had a cyclone that cut 4 days from our holiday and the weather was not great. The Oberoi was fantastic
Varu was an excellent venue. Thank you Brody for your help.
Ian Newton great. Flights both ways badly late.
When the cyclone hit, your emergency response and day teams did everything needed to make sure we were delivered home safely. Thank you for just being there and being professional at all times.
Dubai better than expected and very good hotel. Maldives hotel did not have a house reef but they did boat trips to local reefs. Hotel pretty good but not quite Villamendhu!
I have been using DialAFlight for about 20 years. First Spike and now Graham Parkinson have looked after us really well.
Micky was brilliant! I'm afraid we threw a couple of changes at him at the last moment which he dealt with very efficiently.
Some of us simply can't do a whole English winter any more. For me, there is the added business every December and early January of being on the panto treadmill, three shows a day, in Guildford.
What's more, this year, the Grim Reaper had been scything like Poldark through my address book. I needed a break. I needed sun. Then someone suggested Goa is a goer. 'Goa?' said our son. 'Isn't that where you take stimulants and rave?' Well, excuse me if I rave.
THE LEELA HOTEL
The Leela Hotel is wonderful - despite the fact that Putin visits. Sir Mark Tully, the BBC's voice of India, stays, as does Sonia Gandhi, who arrived shortly after we left.
My wife Kate and I flew there non-stop and then had an easy 75-minute transfer.
Many of our fellow passengers were heading for package hotels up the coast, rather than sweeping into The Leela's discreet gates at the end of the peninsula.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
The Leela was built 26 years ago and has benefited from less strict planning controls than exist now. It was able to secure a private beach then, not possible now, so that means it can put as many sun loungers on the sand as it wants.
Hotels now, fronting public beaches, can park no more than a dozen loungers. But for Leela guests, there are more than enough loungers for everyone.
Croquet is the only nod to the Raj, but the guests nevertheless are 50 per cent English: you can tell by their Boden linen. An elderly lady archaeologist from Pimlico, an accountant from Bromley, a yoga teacher from Hampstead. All regulars for decades. 'What makes this place,' they chorus, 'is the staff.' The astonishing ratio is 3.5 staff to each guest, lifting your finger before you're even aware that it needs lifting.
Of the rest? Russians (in bling), Euro-randoms (Italians leading the charge) and wealthy Indians. Their children are perfect: well-behaved and virtually invisible.
AT THE BEACH
The beach is perfect, too – no lacerating coral, the breeze cooling without sandblasting. At sunrise, there are dolphins. Sea eagles frame themselves beautifully between palm trees.
Sandpipers dart. Beach guards keep hawkers away. At night, you watch the lamps on the fishing boats and owlets hunting.
The huge rooms are scattered around 75 acres, overlooking lagoons where pink lilies bloom.
There are private villas, too, within the – yet more exclusive – Club, for Bollywood stars and Mr Putin. Silent buggies convey the elderly from joy to joy.
Conferences are discreetly arranged, wedding pavilions erected and down by morning. Indian ceremonies are welcoming and their tribute bands do a creditable Radio Ga Ga.
We attended not one, but two, Punjabi weddings of radiant couples we had never seen before, nor shall again, but may blessings rain upon them. My meditation class was too singsong to be intelligible, but the four-year-old Indian boy in front of me had it sussed. The gym is so deserted that the trainers are truly personal. In the top-flight spa, Kate had a magnificent holistic massage, with oils, bells and probably whistles.
All You Can Eat was never like this. Thyme-scented lentil soup with roasted walnuts? Goan kingfish? A bewildering vegetarian menu, creamy dhals, dhingri palak? Desserts? How about rabri (cardamom condensed milk) and dates in soft, white fudge?
Trips to the Goan capital Panaji with your own driver are astonishingly inexpensive and you can shop there for textiles, paper and incense.
Ten miles on and Old Goa, with its Portugese churches, is unmissable. 'Another day in Paradise,' says the daily Leela newsletter. Nonsense. Paradise can't compete with this. Paradise won't have so many staff.
First published in the Mail Online - July 2018
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More articles below...