We never had any problem with all the tickets, etc. that Firebird arranged - Essence of Spain, May 2017

William Howard from United States traveled to Spain in 2017
4

FYI, our experience on the trip was mixed. Positives first. The tour guides were uniformly knowledgeable, courteous and punctual. They made the trip! All were outstanding! We never had any problem with all the tickets, etc. that Firebird arranged. The hotels were mixed. Preciados in Madrid was wonderful, well located and excellently staffed. The H190 Port Vell hotel in Barcelona was just poorly managed. Rooms were not cleaned by 5PM and the management seems indifferent to complaint. The room there, at least was nice. The NH Valencia Center Hotel in Valencia was a disappointment, being located in a dingy part of Valencia, next to the Bus Station, far from the best parts of Valencia. In Granada, we stayed at La Casa De La Trinidad. The hotel manager there was very accommodating and helpful with the glasses situation but the room was poorly designed, seeming for 1 person only. It was well managed and well located but again, not a 4 star in my view. Finally, the hotel in Seville, the Vinci La Rabida, was beautiful and well located and I would say this was a 4 star. These may be 4 star hotels on Trip Advisor but some don’t deserve the ratings - Preciados excepted. I would have been happy to upgrade the hotels to assure a great experience, but maybe that is just our preference. Drivers were fine except for the driver that was late and could never find us in Madrid - we had to take a cab after waiting where we were told for an hour, calling the emergency number and being told countless times that he was 5 minutes away or already waiting in the arrivals area, where we were all the time. We did get a nice fruit basket from Firebird after this debacle. We've already talked about the first driver in Barcelona who had a pen scrawled piece of paper with our name on it, no Firebird identity of any kind, and spoke no english at all. An opportunity missed by Firebird to make a good first impression, welcome and calm the nerves of a newly arrived client. My friends are asking me about my Firebird experience. I say your pre-trip logistics, tickets etc. are good and you leverage the tour guide development program in Spain, which has been quite successful in our view. You don’t research your hotels well enough and your drivers are sometimes clueless, sometimes fantastic - a mixed bag. Overall, I'd say the trip was a B-, though Spain was spectacular. I frankly expected better after my experience dealing with you which was thoroughly professional.

Published,
July 17, 2017
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