Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

Did a great job asking us questions about what we were looking for and made wonderful recommendations
Tedi Mcclain | September 9, 2023

Jonathan and Katie did a wonderful job with hotel selections and suggestions for restaurants, etc. Scotland was a wonderful experience. Jonathan did a great job asking us questions about what we were looking for and made wonderful recommendations from what we gave him.

A fantastic job planning our month-long vacation to England and Scotland. We traveled with our three young children...
Greg Broughton | August 28, 2023

Jonathan’s office did a fantastic job planning our month-long vacation to England and Scotland. We traveled with our three young children, and they come with their own set of unique touring and lodging challenges. The team did a wonderful job of finding the perfect accommodations for our family, with knowledge of which properties would best suit our needs and put us right where we’d want to be in each locale. More than that, however, they did a fantastic job finding the most patient, knowledgeable, and caring guides and drivers who were so kind to us and our (busy) children. In particular a big shoutout to Susie in the Cotswolds for her kindness to our children, and Murray in Scotland for braving both us and the conditions (it rained a lot but was still wonderful). Jonathan planned a 28-day trip and not once did we have any logistical, lodging, or touring issues. It was a fantastic trip.

Made the entire trip so easy and pleasant and definitely worth the $
Laurel Flatt | August 19, 2023

We had a wonderful trip. Jonathan’s team curated a terrific itinerary that took us from Dublin to Mayo to Clare, Kerry and then back to Dublin. They arranged a private driver for our party of five, which included my parents who are 82. The driver, Kenny, was wonderfully knowledgable of the history, people and culture. He was also exceedingly kind. It made the entire trip so easy and pleasant and definitely worth the $.

A cadre of guides whose authenticity was only exceeded by their graciousness
Michael Kelberman | July 22, 2023

My wife and I traveled with our 3 adult children to Northern Ireland and Ireland July 1-12, 2023. Jonathan and his team planned and executed our entire trip for us from beginning to end. The logistics of the trip were essentially flawless. The itinerary was a combination of the typical tourist agenda with some unique and more personalized experiences thrown in, and most importantly, a cadre of guides whose authenticity was only exceeded by their graciousness.

We were delighted that Jonathan got on the phone with us for our first meeting, which he assured us is only a certainty with clients referred through Wendy. Indeed, when this came up in conversation during our trip, one of the experienced guides remarked that it was distinctly unusual to speak directly with him! It was Jonathan’s strong suggestion that we include Northern Ireland in our itinerary instead of just Ireland, and we are glad that we did. Our experience in N. Ireland was the soul of our trip, and we could never have understood the country without that experience and the help of our guide for 3 days while there, Mark Murphy. His authenticity was palpable, in addition to being a consummate professional. For example, he not only took us through a small Catholic village to watch children learning the Irish sport of hurling on a field surrounded by Irish national flags, but then took out his equipment so we could all give the game a try on an adjacent field. Every experience with Mark was like that, including his lessons on tasting Irish Whiskey at Bushmills and getting me the opportunity to hold the great N. Irish golfer Rory McIlroy’s PGA championship trophy at his home golf club in Belfast! We also spent a morning at Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen, making (and eating) delicious soda bread along with other delectables. Like all the folks we encountered, Tracey was an absolute delight, and we loved getting to go out to the countryside and spend some quality time with people who were so happy to share their lives with us.

We then went on to spend 3 days in Dublin, staying at a classic property called The Shelbourne. This gorgeous masterpiece offered impeccable service and a perfect location. One of the benefits of working through Jonathan’s office are some small perks offered to you at each of the hotels, and we enjoyed oysters and Guinness in the beautiful lobby bar at the Shelbourne one early evening before heading to dinner. We had less time than we thought in Dublin, and probably only did about half of what we intended, but we really enjoyed the city.

Galway was our next stop, and we used that as the base for our exploration of the Connemara National Park and the Cliffs of Moher. Once again, our guide for 3 days, Anne Marie Lally, was lovely and extremely accommodating. She made sure we found the shopping that we needed, and the restaurants that would satisfy us. Another absolute highlight of the trip is the Killary Sheepfarm. It’s on an absolutely beautiful fjord, and it’s fascinating to watch the sheepdogs in action and to participate in shearing the wool off the sheep. Tom, a 3rd generation proprietor, is eager to share his place, and it helps keep the lights on for these family businesses.

Our last stop was Dromoland Castle. At this point we had been on the move constantly for 10 days, and I think it was brilliant planning to let us decompress at this gorgeous castle for a few days before returning home. They do make you feel special there, although it is an expensive treat during the peak season.

As you can see, we left the planning and logistics entirely up to Jonathan, Katie and their team. We are glad we did, and I don’t think we would have changed a thing. As Wendy has written about before, the real difference maker is the quality of the guides and their gracious attitude and terrific knowledge and pride in their homeland. Perhaps the only thing I would do differently is giving a bit more guidance on special or unusually good restaurants or places to eat. We were told to rely on the concierge at the respective hotels, and they were fine for the most part, but it was a mixed bag. We did get shut out of one place since we made no reservations ahead of time, and another restaurant we tried was fairly pedestrian. Restaurants change from time to time, and it’s hard to predict individual tastes, but perhaps a few “classics” should be suggested in each area that capture something unique about that particular place.

It’s always hard to decide on the “value” of any trip. From our perspective, having Jonathan and his team create our trip for us was “invaluable”! Most of the cost was not the guides and extra experiences, which really made the whole trip! It was more the hotels, airfare, etc in peak season and there is only so much you can do about that. We chose not to, but I’m sure you can be guided to less expensive hotels and shoulder-season prices to make an experience more affordable. We rarely travel anymore without using Wendy’s WOW List planners, because you really do get spoiled. Thanks again to Wendy and Jonathan!

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