Why We Loved Booking With Kuoni
After a very disappointing trip to our local Thomas Cook, I went home and spoke and to my parents about my travel aspirations for the year. We soon realised that the trip that I wanted to do, was two parts of the three part trip they did for their honeymoon, so my dad’s booking advice was greatly appreciated and he told me straight away to try Kuoni.
Neither Andrew or I had ever heard of it before and had no idea what he was talking about but after some research I realised that they are a luxury travel agents and that the huge shop (that didn’t really look like a shop,) that we often walk past in Westfield was actually one of their stores. The people working at desks in the middle of a shopping centre soon made sense, so the next time we went shopping; we popped in. Long story short, we fell in love with the way Kuoni did things and booked our trip there and then. After arriving back last week having had the most incredible time, we decided that we will definitely be using them again in the future and here’s why:
The Booking Experience
They made the actual booking of the holiday a whole experience of its own. After my dad mentioned it, we started spotted stores everywhere. The Stratford one, where we booked, had a glass front and high ceilings, it was very spacious and the design had a muted luxury to it. As we sat down, they asked if we would like a drink were totally surprised when they passed us the menu which said that everything was complementary from the coffee to the wine so we ordered two glasses of champagne.
We left not only excited that we had arranged our holiday but like we had had a lovely afternoon with a friend, bringing me on you my next point…
We booked with Shaina (who has sadly has left Stratford since) and we would happily to book all of our future holidays with her if we had the chance. She genuinely sounded just as excited as we were about our trip and had great knowledge about our destinations having experienced most of them herself. She was patient and friendly as we looked through countless different prices, changing dates and adding on hotels along the way. We got random emails from her through the months saying ’98 days until Hong Kong’ which was amazing and she even sent us over a list of all her favourite things to do out there.
This was in huge contrast to the diabolical service we received in Thomas Cook when the woman decided to call up and get us a price for a 3* hotel that we had not even seen photos of and then loudly huffed and puffed saying she can't keep bothering her team for prices when we weren’t happy to accept the one she’d picked.
I always find it a bit daunting going into a travel agents and booking a hotel from their books but Shaina had been to visit most of them with the company so again, she had great knowledge on the vibe of each hotel. Along with that, she gave us loads of time to look through the brochure and use her computer to do some research and look at more photos.
Apart from that, I needn’t have worried with Kuoni in the first place as each of their hotels are handpicked and when we arrived at each of the three hotels, we were amazing where we were staying. We had only picked mid-range prices but two out of three of them had private swimming pools!
This is something we completely forgot to ask about at the time when we booked. We asked about it, a few weeks later when we realised but they had already included our five different transfers in the price. Each time, we were picked up in a private car, and more often than not, with a Kuoni representative, as well as a driver. We found this really useful and spent most of the journeys scribbling down their recommendations in a notebook. As locals, they were all very knowledgeable and we ended up doing most of the things they suggested because they gave us some great ideas.
If you’re going for a special occasion, make sure you let them know! It ended up, that they date which worked for us both to go actually included the 16th September, which was our 7 year anniversary. We thought Shaina was just making more conversation and didn’t realise that she took any notice of us but apparently she did. When we arrived in Hong Kong, they offered us a free bottle of Champagne to celebrate and also when we arrived in our last hotel, they brought us a cake! Yum.
We had 4 flights on our trip, all economy obviously because we’re not rich. Anyway, we were super pleased that they were able to book our seats when we booked the holiday so I requested an aisle seat for each flight, which I got. Now I don’t know if this is a coincidence but on one of our flights we were the front of economy so we had all of the leg room and for the other three, we were the row behind, so I’m thinking they would have placed us at the front but those seats were already taken so we got the next row. Just something to think about!