Everything was great... looking forward to booking with you again
Many thanks for arranging the assistance to ensure a smooth transfer in Dubai to our connecting flight.
Great holiday DialAFlight. First class as always. Thanks to all the team and Patrick Howe for his understanding and help
Quick and friendly service and all details as expected
Eric was brilliant as always! Straightforward and stress free service. 10/10
The one aspect that let David down was that we thought DialAFlight would notify airline at time of booking of requirement for gluten free food.
Holiday was amazing and the hotel Movenpick was great. Deborah did an amazing job in sorting out the flight for me. Just a few points . There should be a longer layover in Doha as the lounge is amazing and had barely 5 minutes to enjoy it. I only managed a shower and a bite. Also it might be easier having Qatar airways all the way rather than BA.
Excellent service and would thoroughly recommend. Dealt with Samuel and he is excellent
Shame about the airline
Despite difficult times in Sri Lanka we had a great trip and flights were seamless thanks to Mason.
Josh was amazing - helped me with all my travel details and had lots of patience
Efficient, caring, thoughtful and friendly service as always
Everything worked out perfectly, can't wait until the next time. Thank you.
Tristan was a star
Everything about our holiday was just perfect from the original recommendations to the actual holiday including regular information/ updates. Highly recommend DialAFlight and always use them for our holidays. Excellent service start to finish and brilliant value too!
Vinnie as usual was very helpful. Really appreciate him and all he does. Customer support is spot on
Conrad was extremely helpful and organised an excellent holiday based on our requirements at a reasonable price. Excellent company - we always recommend you.
100% support all the way
Great service from start to finish, always on hand to help with questions or queries
Christian always looks after us well.
Thank you to Claire and team for their professional service sorting our flights out to Sri Lanka. Always on hand for any queries or concerns with a very speedy response
Sadly Sri Lanka is in a very bad place financially. The hotel Club Palm Bay did a wonderful job under the circumstances - a beautiful location, our room had a wonderful double aspect view of the lagoon. Can really recommend this holiday, very peaceful. Hoping to return in November
Have used them for many years and always had excellent care and attention to detail.
Fabulous recommendation for hotel
Had the pleasure of dealing with Ralph. Absolutely tremendous service, provided me with exactly what I asked for, had no issues during the whole trip.
Danny did a fab job, as usual!
Very quick responses to any queries. No bassinet available in business class on Sri Lankan despite confirmation but in fact this was not an issue for us as infant slept at end of flat bed.
As always fantastic service! Thank you Jake and team.
An excellent service
Excellent customer service. Changed a return flight very efficiently and promptly. Excellent company with excellent staff.
We're sitting in a balcony restaurant in the Old Town, with views over the ramparts to the becalmed Indian Ocean beyond. It's our first night.
'Ah, wonderful,' says an Englishwoman, emerging from the stairs below.
'I was up at 5am swimming with sea turtles just off Galle Fort. You should try it. What a way to see the sun come up.
'Watch out for the snake-charmers on the harbour walls and the thrill-seekers hurling themselves off the rocks.
'I'm Juliet Coombe, by the way.'
It turns out she's lived here since 2004, so we listen up.
'This island has really changed since I first arrived,' says Juliet. 'It's become like St Tropez. You're in for a treat.'
I first came here eight years ago, and now, with its jewellery shops, cocktail bars, ornamental Buddha statues and lounge music, Galle has completed its transition from hippy backpacker town to a boho-chic enclave.
Bang in the middle of the fort (but still only five minutes' walk from the sea) is our hotel, The Fort Printers.
It's an engaging modernised 18th-century colonial mansion, which was a private school during Dutch rule, so all the rooms have scholarly names: The Headmaster's, The Prefect's, History and Geography.
The rooms are elegant and spacious, and the Frangipani tree overhanging the pool means the water is covered in white flowers.
Breakfast is a treat — traditional Ceylon tea, fresh fruit and buffalo curd every morning.
Or you can have bowls of fresh fish curry.
Five minutes away is Amangalla, the most famous hotel in Galle (part of the ritzy Aman Group), with 130 staff and its own library, private swimming pool with individual cabanas and a magical garden. We eat famously here.
The whole set-up oozes colonial decadence.
Galle Fort is a UNESCO heritage site, so it's bound to attract the crowds.
But travel ten minutes beyond the walls in a tuk-tuk (a mechanised rickshaw) and you can watch local fishermen sell their wares with ruthless efficiency.
Galle cricket ground is a joy, and try the escorted bike rides through local villages behind Dalawella Beach with British-owned start-up company Idle Bikes (fifteen minutes away from Galle by tuk-tuk).
For 2,000 rupees (£10) per person you get a guided cycle tour through quiet paddy fields, a bird sanctuary, cinnamon and banana tree allotments, and past open fires where wives cook curry.
Immaculately dressed schoolchildren wave and Buddhist shrines enchant.
Best time to go is dusk or early morning. Grab a drink at Wijaya Beach Restaurant afterwards.
Our guide, Kingsley, drives us to Balapitiya Boat Safari — where we take a tour of 64 tiny islands in an enormous inland lake near Bentota.
This is a wonderful way to see Sri Lanka's wildlife: baby crocodiles, fruit bats, monitor lizards, monkeys, and even a brief stop-off at a cinnamon-growing island and a Buddhist temple.
You can get a personal boat for two hours for 6,000 rupees (£30).
And make sure you dangle your feet in the local fishing nets for a genuine fish pedicure.
On our way back to Galle, we swing past The Bentota Turtle Hatchery to see the famous snow white albino turtle ('One in a million, just like Michael Jackson,' jokes Kingsley) and watch the 24-hour old baby turtles being guided back to the sea under the cover of darkness, protected by the wardens.
After a few days, we drive three hours east along the spectacular southern coastal road for one night at Coco Tangalla — a pretty boutique beach villa with four rooms overlooking Tangalla Bay.
It's wilder here and less touristy, and the enormous palm trees and ocean breeze make it feel like Hawaii.
Our final hotel is Ellerton, seven hours drive north from Tangalle (and 2,400ft above sea level), set in the spectacular tea plantations above Kandy.
It's a long drive, but you won't regret it.
It is owned by a British couple, Richard and Cary Goode, and the gardens are immaculately kept in eight acres of what used to be a colonial tea estate.
Bicycle rides, bird-watching from the balconies, tea-tasting and home cooked food make this an excellent choice for adventurous couples and the artistic crowd (Christian Louboutin, the shoe designer, stayed here last year), especially if you like painting, drawing or just gazing through your binoculars at the Alagalla mountains.
It also offers easy access to Kandy's Temple of the Tooth (containing the relic of the tooth of Buddha) and botanical gardens, 30 minutes away.
Sri Lanka has come out of the shadows of civil war and political unrest.
Last year marked the tenth anniversary of the devastating Tsunami and a new president was elected in January. Optimism is in the air — and rightly so.
First published in the Mail on Sunday - October 2015
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