We loved the trip. My mother did great. Hope I have her energy and stamina when I am 86.
As promised, I will give you some specific feedback to help your future clients. Prague is drop dead gorgeous. Just a fabulous city to visit. Budapest is also a fine city but does not have the city center walk and gorgeous architecture of Prague. The people in both countries were for the most part very friendly and good to be around.
Otto (a private guide in Budapest) did his job most professionally. He is very Americanized after living in US for 30 years. He is a slick entrepreneurial guy. He was very punctual. You can recommend him without reservation. We give him an A.
Both of his guides were adequate. We would score them a B. Adequate but not memorable and several notches down from the guides we experienced with Abercrombie and Robinson. The guy guide, Valentine, did not have much of a personality and spoke very softly but a very nice young man. The gal was a motor mouth and talked nonstop. Very knowledgeable but after hearing a zillion dates and stats, you would rather get a sense of the dynamics of the history. Nevertheless, we are pleased we chose the tours we selected. Every site was memorable. Perhaps the Spanish synagogue and cemetery in Prague were the most memorable sites but Parliament in Budapest was awesome also. On our own, we saw the ethnography museum in Budapest which is highly recommended.
One suggestion for future clients: From Hotel Julis you do not need any transportation from the castle tour back to center of Prague because it is a short walk from castle to Charles Bridge and from there, the hotel is 10 minutes. The driver never showed up going and we took a taxi. Going back, we walked so we wasted money arranging for the transportation.
Food. Highlight restaurant among many fun bistros was a Russian place down the street a few hundred meters from the Hilton in Budapest. Incredible comfort, service, wonderful food. Wines were adequate in Hungary not memorable and simply awful in Prague. Stick to the superb beer there, at half the cost of bottled water!
Weather. Except for one cold rainy day in Prague, the weather was fine for walking around. Low 60s...perfect walking around weather.
Hotel selections: We loved both hotels. Julis in Prague has a fabulous location and is very modern. The staff and receptionists are rather cold and unhelpful but the place is spotless with every modern convenience including free internet in the lobby reception area. You can walk everywhere from there. The Hilton in Budapest does NOT have a convenient location. I recommend stay on the Pest side where all the major sites and shops and restaurants are except for the castle. You need taxis to get anywhere. However, the staff is wonderful. Very, very helpful, friendly and welcoming. Could not be nicer. The hotel is equal to any Four Seasons. Very beautiful in a 13th centrury castle site. Views are spectacular and again, the rooms have every convenience. We loved it....especially with breakfasts in the VIP lounge which also had gorgeous views.
In summary, this trip was totally successful. We got to see what we wanted to see and walked both cities every day. The time in both cities was just about right but did not leave time for excursions to outside destinations.
The score of A+ goes to you. We are grateful for your attention to us as your clients as well as your handling of the many details that go into planning a trip. We look forward to a long and successful association with you and George and be assured that we will call upon you first for any and all of our travel plans.
Bye for now and again many thanks
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