PANDEMIC TRAVEL Our trip to Croatia could not have been better planned by Ala Osmond. She thought of absolutely everything and made it so easy for us. Every single aspect was planned out perfectly- our fast track services, our drivers, our experiences, the restaurants— every detail was thought of. From the moment I talked to her she was on top of all Covid issues and gave us options on how to best handle them. She came up with experiences for us that were even better than they sounded on our itinerary and she clearly spent a lot of time and thought bc everyone mentioned they had read our itinerary – which was nice bc we didn’t have to tell each person where we had been or what we had done- they already knew so there was no repeating all the time.
This was my first trip through Wendy Perrin. I chose it bc of the emails I got that sounded so well versed in Covid issues. I will never try to plan alone or use anyone else for now on bc of how detail oriented our trip was. I said it before but Ala thought of everything. We never worried about Covid bc we were well prepared and did everything private. She was really good about giving her opinion rather than just planning what I thought we wanted to do and we would have had a far less experience had she not planned our trip. She really listened to our preferences and then ran with them. We got to spend a day with a vintner in Hvar and then have a really special meal and wine tasting at the end of the day that was such a highlight for us. The websites for the hotels made it a bit hard to gauge but she knew the hotels personally and was able to address any questions. It was so nice to be traveling and Ala made sure we felt safe and comfortable – and aware of what we needed to do and she had a backup plan had things gone south.
If anyone is thinking of going to Croatia, it felt so safe. They have not been hit hard at all yet they are following all the guidelines and safety measures. We are going to go back in April (if covid allows). It was not crowded at all but it also did not feel deserted so it was perfect. Had it not been for Covid, we would have just booked some hotels and drivers on our own and I cannot fathom how much we would have missed by doing that. Ala didn’t plan too much (we didn’t want every minute planned) but she planned our activities perfectly and they were not things I could have found online and booked myself so we are so grateful for her amazing planning- and she has great taste in restaurants so that was a plus too!
Ala was responsive from the moment I reached out to her. She listened carefully to the type of travel we like to plan and delivered an itinerary that fit our needs to a T. She remained communicative and responsive once we started traveling and was helpful in adjusting the itinerary as our plans changed. Her guides were fantastic and there wasn’t a single hitch throughout our trip. I highly recommend her!
Ala tailored our trip to our interests and expectations; it was a perfect blend of city and nature, as we requested. All three guides were phenomenal! They were super knowledgeable, friendly and flexible. Two of the three hotels were wonderful. We had some issues with the third; we wrote to Ala and she was immediately responsive and settled the issue to our satisfaction. We can definitely recommend her for anyone who wants to visit Croatia and Montenegro.
We had a wonderful trip to Croatia/Montenegro with the help of Ala and Natasha (on site). Planning was easy and timely. From the minute we exited the airport we felt confident that things would go smoothly. Natasha called to welcome us within minutes of our arrival. We loved the Judita Palace hotel in Split, the staff was friendly and helpful, and the location was wonderful. Our visit to Krka National Park was ok – only because it was pretty crowded. But, the lunch we had in Skradin afterwards was spectacular. Oh, the fresh grilled fish! The guides we had throughout the trip were knowledgeable and interesting. It is a great opportunity to chat with locals and hear more about their lives and the history of the countries visited. We loved being out on the water both from Split and Dubrovnik, it got us away from the crowded cities. Our captains were also very knowledgeable. We had one small misunderstanding with a pickup time, and within 15 minutes Natasha had resolved the situation. Furthermore, to apologize for what was only 1/2 hr delay in pickup, Ala offered to buy our lunch that day. It was above and beyond, and much appreciated! We spent a day in Montenegro, and as we were driving around the bay I thought to myself, why are we not in a boat? We arrived in Perast to take what we thought was a short boat ride to Our Lady of the Rock church on an island…and, WOW, we learned we would have a captain and boat for the remainder of the day. What a perfect WOW Moment planned by Ala and her team! We really enjoyed our hotel in Dubrovnik, the Hotel Excelsior. We had a patio overlooking the old city and the Adriatic. A couple of nights we just stayed in and ordered room service enjoying a spectacular view with no crowds. We also loved the day cooking with Katerina in Konavle – what an interesting way to learn about the lives of a family who can trace their history back 5 generations! It was a really great trip that went off without a hitch. We can’t wait to go back to Croatia…but maybe on a private charter next time!
I worked with Ala for our trip to Croatia and she was efficient, responsive and friendly.
And patient…very patient with all our back and forth, questions and changes to plans.
She understood that what we were after was not just a trip but a collection of wonderful experiences.
And she delivered. It was a well paced and very well thought out itinerary.
All our guides were top notch and we learned so much from them. They were knowledgeable, flexible and friendly. Special shout out to our driver Maro who was with us through out the trip.
We loved him for his sense of humour and excellent driving skills.
Hotels and recommended restaurants were all top notch and exactly what we were looking for.
Ala’s team is excellent as well, we always had a contact person on call throughout our trip and she checked in on us every few days. They even surprised us with a picnic and cable car tickets. wonderful experience.
It all came together seamlessly. Thank you Ala.
Our trip was planned by Mariana Fisher and Ala Osmond. They planned a 2 week trip with 6 people weaving in and out of the plans. They were excellent in the planning stages, very responsive to all the needs of adults and young adults all arriving and leaving at different times—truly, many moving parts. While we were in Croatia, we had to make several changes due to weather and our “in Croatia” rep, Natasha, as well as our guides and drivers were very flexible and accommodated our needs every time.
Ala’s colleague Gwen and her team helped us with several bespoke excursions during our recent trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia. They were really helpful with information about accommodations early on in our trip planning—we wanted to stay in Montenegro in a rental property and she helped educated us that verified options home rental options were rare in Montenegro and recommended staying in Southern Croatia instead. This was really helpful advice and allowed us to solidify our plans around Dubrovnik, where we eventually found a truly lovely property to rent.
They organized 2 local excursions from Dubrovnik. One to a local winery and one to Montenegro. They both went very well. Our winery trip was local and super delightful. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Our excursion to Montenegro was similarly wonderful. It was a bit longer than we expected but we saw much of the small country and were happy that we did it. We were surprised by lovely things along the way, such as the amazing Our Lady of the Rocks, a small church with super interesting and beautiful artifacts on a man-made island that took over 200 years to build. Our guides and drivers were knowledgeable, flexible, and wonderful throughout.
We had a wonderful time in Dubrovnik and in Montenegro. Everyone was professional, knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. Our driver, Ilija, was outstanding. We were thankful to be with him all three days. He knew the perfect spots to stop for photos and helped avoid traffic. Our half day walking tour guide in Dubrovnik on the first day helped us see everything we hoped to see in the walled city and gave us great historical information. On the second day, Aleka was the best! She was with us for a full day tour of Perast and Kotor. We learned so much and saw so many beautiful sights. Aleka had vouchers prepared for entry to every sight and also recommended a delicious restaurant for lunch. We loved the entire trip.
In May 2018, my husband and I spent 2 1/2 weeks on a self-drive trip around Slovenia and Croatia arranged by Ala’s colleague Gwen. We aren’t cruise people and most who go here do so on cruise ships. A couple of years ago, we found Gwen who proposed a better way—at least for us—than the typical cruise ship stopping along the coast. Gwen is on Wendy’s list for Central/Eastern Europe. For a variety of scheduling reasons, we worked with Gwen over a couple of years. We started with Gwen’s pre-planned tour called “Ultimate Self-Drive Croatia & Slovenia: A Private, Historical and Cultural Self-Drive Tour of Zagreb through to Dubrovnik, with private guides opening doors along the way.” Using an already planned itinerary generally has little appeal to us but this did. Driving ourselves would allow us to see the countryside, not just the coast. It seemed well thought out (remarkably so, it turned out). The stops made sense, the hotels were the kind we like, the allocation of time with guides and free time seemed reasonable, and the price was right. Of course, we tinker with everything and opted for upgraded hotels and a few additional days that sent the price up. But we ended up getting what we wanted.
Frankly, we were amazed at how well it worked out. Gwen’s guides were superb; the hotels were terrific; the restaurant reservations she had made for us were spot on (and we had one of the best meals we’ve had in the world at Restaurant Monte in Rovinj, which she directed us to). The itinerary was great though, in retrospect, we wish we’d spent even longer in that unexpected jewel of a country — Slovenia. Gwen’s GPS with all our stops and possible side attractions already pre-set made driving (and even parking for the hotels) easy; the unexpected free loan of a Croatia cell phone was a bonus that got used far more than we expected. Gwen was always accessible and her on-the-ground person in Croatia, Nastasa, was only a phone call away. We made a major change along the way by deciding to add in Bosnia but that didn’t phase Gwen or Nastasa at all and a terrific guide was put at our disposal.
Gwen is our 14th Wendy Perrin expert who’s planned a trip for us. This is the first time we’ve used a base itinerary that was already figured out. And yes, we tinkered with it. But we were very impressed by how well thought her self-drive itinerary was. She knew just how much time to allot to guided vs. free time, what were the most important places for us to spend time, what lots of additional side trips ( pre-set in the GPS) we could (and invariably did) make, and how these two foodies could get the best possible meals in Croatia and Slovenia.
We had a great time. Wendy’s trip specialists score again!