The trip, overall, was terrific! The travel company- well, my specific request included "boutique size hotels" and that the Australian Open was key note. We had two hotels we were unhappy with, the key note being in Melbourne (location of Open). It was the biggest hotel (chain) I've ever been in. So that left a bad taste. As well, I am severely gluten intolerant and the subject never came up while booking (many breakfast and "meals included" trips) and it should have been asked of me - just a heads up that all companies should ask if the bookings they make include food. All our tours and hotels were high end and locations good except one, near Nelson. The region was not considered, it seems. We were in Richmond which seemed quite industrial with not many dining options and was "in the middle of no where" with nothing to do outside of the organized tours. Plus directions to meet tours were not even in the same town. Otherwise all hotels and tours were terrific. Oh, I would not suggest the Aboriginal tour in Sydney. The guide really has a chip on her shoulder and everyone seems quite uncomfortable.
Fishing in Rotorua; tour in Coromandel; jet boating and kayaking in Queenstown; tennis; Opera House in Sydney; food; Tree Tops; The Dairy; Spicers.
FIND A BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN SYDNEY; make sure we were at least three nights in each location - cut out the estate in Tasmania and do three nights at each of the others instead of two at each of three; only rent from Avis.
TRAVEL COMPANY COMMENTS:
We were happy to read the trip was overall “terrific”, we are sorry to read the they were unhappy with the accommodation in Melbourne and Nelson. Hotels in Melbourne sell out over the 2 weeks of the Australian Open and unfortunately the boutique size hotels sell out the fastest. We chose/recommended the hotel in Melbourne – despite that fact that it is a large hotel – because it was 1. A brand new hotel for which we had received rave reviews about the amenities, staff and rooms and 2. Because it is close all the action in Melbourne and relatively close to the Australian Open and 3. There was not availability in the boutique hotels. We chose/recommended the luxury B&B in Nelson because in this part of New Zealand it was the closest fit/best match with the rest of the style of accommodation used throughout the itinerary. We apologize if the directions for meeting tours was not clear: Richmond is a suburb in the town of Nelson, so that may have added to the confusion and we will do a better job of clarifying that in future directions. The attitude of the guide in Sydney is of great concern. We have raised the issue with the tour operator in Sydney and awaiting a satisfactory response before using this tour again. We have changed internal procedures to ask clients about food, allergy and mobility issues. Thank you for the ‘heads up’.
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