Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

France was definitely busy during our travel, but with the guidance of the team and the knowledge and access of our tour guides, we had very little waiting time...
Julie Schulman | July 11, 2023
Julie Schulman

Gordes, Hilltop Village in Provence. Photo: Traveler Leah Schulman

We recently returned from a 9-night trip to Paris and the South of France with our family of 4. This was the second trip we took through a Wendy Perrin recommended travel agent and it was, again, a wonderful adventure! The team in Philip’s office helped us book an active and engaging itinerary for 2 adults and 2 teenagers.

We spent 5 nights in Paris and Sarah, our local representative, connected us with an outstanding private tour guide for 3 separate excursions, including a scavenger hunt at the Louvre, a driving tour of all the city highlights and a day trip to Versailles. She also shared walking directions to explore Paris on our own, excellent dinner recommendations and tickets to a fun Seine river cruise. We took some time to find the right hotel at a very busy and expensive time (during the French Open) and it was perfect – accessible location in a walkable area, outstanding service and delicious breakfasts.

Particularly important was navigating an unexpected strike while visiting the city and expertly re-arranging our plans so that we didn’t miss anything that we wanted to see. Sarah was on-hand throughout our time in Paris to help with any needs that arose.

After our time in Paris, we took a high-speed train to Avignon, where we picked up a rental car. With recommendations from Philip and Julie, we spent 2 nights in Aix-en-Provence and 2 nights in Cap D’Antibes. Our drive included exploring several small villages of interest including Gordes, Mougins, Rousillon and St. Paul de Vence. We enjoyed a half-day tour in Aix-en-Provence and a full-day tour of Nice, Eze and Monaco. Our private guides provided engaging information to our teens and shared out-of-the way spots known to locals.

France was definitely busy during our travel, but with the guidance of the team and the knowledge and access of our tour guides, we had very little waiting time at any of our stops. It was an active and engaging vacation and a lot of ground covered during the 9 days.

Self-driving around Nice, Cap d’Antibe, and Monaco was a bit difficult...
April Harbaugh | July 10, 2023

We returned from our wonderful 2-week trip to the Cote d’ Azur. Our trip was planned by Philip and Laurie. We had a brief conversation with Philip about the order of the itinerary and he handed us over to Laurie to do the planning. Their choice of hotels was absolutely perfect! We loved every hotel and location. Cap d’Antibe beach hotel, Villa Saint Ange, Chateau de Messardiere, and one last night in Nice at the Negresco.

We asked to self-drive in a rental car.  Our trip went well, but the driving around Nice, Cap d’Antibe, and Monaco was a bit difficult. Driving in Provence was easier.

Our wow-type moment was when we were driven to the private beach of Chateau de Messardiere by Rolls Royce. They have several Rolls at the Chateau to drive guests into Saint Tropez, to the beach or nearby destinations. It was so much fun to arrive in style! That hotel was extremely elegant, and our favorite of the trip. We arrived to a bottle of Champagne, fruit, pastries, and to a room upgrade!

Our private boat trip arranged by Laurie was rained out and that was disappointing, but their office refunded our money.

In respect to Philip and Laurie, it was almost like pulling teeth to get answers or responses from Laurie until the last minute. I have a trail of emails that she apologized for her late responses. I actually had to call her on the phone to get her attention. She was more helpful when we arrived in France rather than before we departed.

We felt that we were an afterthought and I do not think I will plan our next trip with their office.



As a result of this traveler review and the difficulties of driving a rental car in France this year, Philip has stopped offering self-drive itineraries.  Last winter, I repeatedly warned readers about the enormous volume of tourists headed to France in this first post-pandemic spring:  I warned in January in Where and When to Travel in This Unprecedently Busy Year and on March 1 in our newsletter on Where To Go This Spring.  It was no surprise that the overwhelming influx of travelers stretched Philip and his team very thin.  Fortunately, the frenzy has begun to subside.

I began the planning process for this trip with concerns about how we could manage an experience that would make all of us happy and be comfortable enough for my mother, but Philip and his team pulled it off
Virginia Socolof | July 7, 2023
Virginia Socolof

Virginia Socolof enjoying Gordes with three generations of women in her family.

I recently returned from a FABULOUS trip to France with my mother, sister, and 17-year-old daughter. This was a real bucket list item for my mother—she is 80 and wanted to see both Monet’s gardens at Giverny and Provence. Philip and his team planned and executed a wonderful itinerary that perfectly satisfied my mother’s wishes—a special shout-out to Marion, who successfully navigated a few challenges in the planning process. I love the Axus app, which constantly updated our itinerary and provided a way for us to quickly communicate with Philip’s team. From the moment we landed in Paris until the day we flew out of Marseille, the drivers, excursions, and hotels exceeded our expectations.

On the day we were going to Giverny our van had a flat tire in the middle of the countryside, and within 30 minutes my family was in an Uber called by our heroic guide Paul, headed to Giverny with our tickets and lunch reservation in hand. Paul had the tire repaired and met us after lunch for the rest of our trip to Auvers sur Oise, but we didn’t miss a thing.

Giverny was the most eagerly anticipated moment of the trip for my mother, and what could have been a disappointing travel disaster is now one of our funniest trip memories, involving aggressive strawberry buyers and a tiny blue car. Cedric, our guide in Provence, was a gem—my whole family loved him and both his hilarious stories and historic insights. The Hotel du Pigeonnet in Aix was so very lovely, and Philip’s team also provided us with some wonderful restaurant recommendations and reservations.

I began the planning process for this trip with concerns about how we could manage an experience that would make all of us happy and be comfortable enough for my mother, but Philip and his team pulled it off. Their advice about transportation (private cars and high speed train), luxurious hotel choices, creative excursion ideas, and flawless execution of our busy itinerary delivered a once-in-a-lifetime family experience that the women of my family will always remember. Merci beaucoup, Philip!

A tour of the Paris monuments by night in an open-top deux chevaux: What an amazing way to see the city on uncrowded streets and with all of the famous landmarks lit up at night!
Larry Bridge | June 11, 2023

Kudos and thanks to Philip and his entire team for a fantastic 2-week trip to France! We started in the South, staying at the world renowned Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc—unavailable if you try to book it yourself, but available if you have Philip’s team working with you. One of the best, if not the best hotel we’ve ever stayed at. The facility, restaurants, service and grounds were all top-notch! We spent four days touring Southern France with expert driver guides arranged for by Philip’s office, having the opportunity to compare places like Cannes, Nice and Monaco—all excellent, yet each very unique. We enjoyed a personal glass-blowing experience where we made our own sculpture (I can’t believe we were shaping 1000-degree glass by hand, with only a wet newspaper to insulate us) and ate at some of the best restaurants on the French Riviera. The Picasso museum in Antibes, the hilltop villages of Eze and St. Paul de Vence were all amazing experiences. From the South of France, we moved on to Aix-en-Provence, where we stayed for three nights at the superb Villa Gallici—a beautiful hotel tucked into the hillside above Aix with an easy walk into town. Wonderful tours of Provence including a stop at the weekly markets in Cucuron (highly recommend!) and St. Remy, along with a Vincent van Gogh tour. Our driver guides helped us compare and contrast the various villages and markets that were touristy vs. those that were frequented more by the locals—both were great and yet very different. An excellent way to get a feel for the uniqueness of Provence and the people that live there. From Provence, we took the 3 hr. bullet-train ride from Aix to Paris—absolutely the best way to travel from the South of France to the North—takes less than half the time that driving would take. In Paris we spent four nights at the new and very nice Madame Reve hotel—small, but elegant rooms with a great location—and toured every site you could imagine over the next four days with excellent guides that really helped us understand the history of the city and the stories behind each of the sites that we visited. Our “croissant, chocolate and cheese tour” of the Left Bank was an excellent experience and dinner at the 3-Michelin-star Epicure restaurant (again, arranged by Philip’s office when no reservations were available) was an absolute highlight of the trip! On our final night in Paris, Wendy surprised us with a WOW Moment—a tour of the Paris monuments by night in an open-top deux chevaux. What an amazing way to see the city on uncrowded streets and with all of the famous landmarks lit up at night! We ended the trip with a visit to Giverny to visit the Monet Gardens (absolutely beautiful!) as well as a stop in Auvers-sur-Oise to see where van Gogh spent his final days and is now buried. Both incredible experiences if you are admirers of the works of either artist.

Overall the trip was everything we had hoped for and more. The Hotel du Cap, dinner at Epicure, glass-blowing experience, Vincent van Gogh tour, visit to Giverny Garden and the Paris monuments at night were the absolute highlights. The only disappointment was the skip-the-line Eiffel Tower tour, which still entailed a 45-minute wait in line. If I were to visit the Eiffel Tower again, I would absolutely make reservations at the Restaurant Jules Verne, which has its own private elevator to access the second level of the tower.

This was our sixth time using Wendy’s WOW List and the trips have never disappointed. Thanks to Philip and his team for putting together a great experience. I will note that having the team available via text on every day of our tour made adjustments to the itinerary almost effortless. A special thanks to Sarah and Sofia for being available and helping us to accommodate schedule and reservation changes along the way.

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