We found the trip to Cannes well planned, organized, and executed. The tours which were included were worthwhile and the two paid excursions we chose - Aix en Provence and Gourdon were interesting. The Mediterranean was beyond what we had imagined especially the coastline. We found the French people reserved and aware that we were tourists. With the occasional French word and gestures it was surprising how helpful and warm they were to us especially on trains and buses.
Cindy Taylor, the main tour guide was/is fantastic. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Any problem was immediately and satisfactorily resolved. She has tremendous empathy for people. After long days of travel she was still upbeat and cheerful. She is a definite asset to your agency.
The hotel store was very useful. The fragrance of baking croissants and baguettes enticed us to daily have a "pain chocolat" (chocolate croissant). Amazingly neither of us gained weight probably due to all the walking. My cholesterol test taken a few days after our return will tell a more woeful tale.
Hotel staff were extremely pleasant and helpful. The hotel was well cared for and the twice a week maid service was most welcome. The Happy Hour which Cindy arranged was a great idea as tips could be exchanged. We purchased a Train Pass for E30 + E6 for photo and this allowed us to purchase tickets at 1/2 price, thus we had 7 train trips. I went to Cindy's first photography class and quickly realized I was out of my depth with my tiny Olympus but it was fun and very enlightening for the many true diehards who learned so much. The closing Dinner and Dance was very successful. Flights with Air France were good.
Jan, Paris Ontario
Just had to let you know my ladies Mary and Bertha have returned from Portugal and absolutely loved their holiday.
Everything that Merit Vacations had done was just perfect from being met at the airport in Faro, to the choice of property, to the reps in the destination to help with day trips,etc... and that wonderful book on Portugal that you sent out ahead of time to get the clients pumped for their holiday.
They were really impressed with Merit and I most certainly was as well. Thanks again for all your help with this booking.
Kathy Kean, Robert Q's Travel
Just a note to let you know that we found Estrela Do Vau most satisfactory. Our suite was pleasant and the kitchen suited our needs and we had a balcony overlooking the quarter with a view of the ocean in the distance. We enjoyed the Algarve very much and found the whole trip very satisfying.
This was my third visit to Estrela Do Vau and it was nearly as wonderful as the first visit.
The only negative aspect of this visit was the weather which was far wetter than in past years. This obviously had some impact on my activities but not enough to outweigh the wonderful people, food, scenery and experiences.
I am already thinking towards next winter and a possible return visit to Estrela Do Vau.
I am home, unfortunately, from a wonderful time in Portugal.
My experiences in the Algarve were great. The food, wine, people, sights, and weather were just what I needed.
The Estrela Do Vau apartments were great and certainly helped to make the trip enjoyable. I really loved the location because it was "mid-way" between Alvor, Portimao, water, rocks, cafes, sand, and...
I would strongly encourage Merit to consider including the Estrela Do Vau apartments as part of the Longstay packages for next year.
I stayed at the Estrela Do Vau apartments from Feb. 15, 2012 until March 14, 2012. This was the second time that I enjoyed a longstay package arranged through Merit Vacations.
My overall impression about the apartments, my time in the Algarve, and my experiences was certainly very positive and makes me consider returning again in 2013.
We are finally feeling caught up here at home. We LOVED our holiday in Portugal!! We had an amazing time and totally loved everything we saw and did there. I will be writing you a more detailed note later, when I get some time, but special thanks for suggesting the Paraiso de Albufeira... it was the PERFECT location! We could, indeed, walk everywhere... it was fantastic! The apartment was well-equipped and roomy... housekeeping service was excellent (we had to ask them not to give us so much service!)... the complex was lovely, including their wonderful outdoor pool (it opened on March 15 or so... but the water was too chilly to swim in until almost the end of the month). The front desk personnel were unbelievably helpful and friendly. The Merit Travel rep, was fabulous... she was very welcoming, helpful and supportive. Our weather was wonderful other than a few days of overcast drizzles (major rains only at night). We loved the Albufeira beaches... gorgeous! And we liked the fact that we were there off-season when it was quieter.
Marlene and Richard
Jo-Ann and I are back from our longstay vacation in Portugal at the Paraiso in Albufeira. We wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time. The Portuguese people are very friendly and helpful, and the food, drinks, accommodations and weather were great. We learned a lot about Portugal through a number of excursions and other interactions.
We will be recommending this adventure to all of our friends.
Gord and Jo-Ann Thow
The Hotel was spacious - the room was European type - small, everything was there either in the room or in the lobby -- hair dryer, complete kitchen facilities. The Hotel was close to Cannes - 30 to 40 minute walk to downtown, bus shuttle was available on most days - taxi from Cannes was 10 Euro. Weekly excursions to places of interest were available. Bus and RR was convenient. Food in Cannes was excellent, but as an emergency there was a restaurant at the hotel, and breakfast take out at the convenience store in the hotel. Extra for the sea view was worth it, though it was a bit chilly to use the balcony. Is high on the list for a repeat for next year.
Our vacation in France was a trip of a lifetime; we really enjoyed the AMA cruise and plan to do another when we feel up to traveling which I don’t think will be for a while. We are revelling in being home and getting back into our regular routine. We really appreciate how well you looked after us on this trip and told everyone how impressed we were with the support you provided.