Travel Professionals International
Testimonials
Hear what people have been saying about our TPI Agents.
ABOUT MS. LANA J KEYES
“Once again Lana, I was so impressed with the complete thoroughness of your service and your attention to detail. We were both impressed with your good wishes before we left and the fact that you were keeping track of our flight schedule. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and you will be the first one I call when I have further travel plans.”
- Chery Scharf - February 2009 - Las Vegas
ABOUT MS. LANA J KEYES
“The service that we received from Lana was extremely professional and personalized. From the moment we began planning our trip, Lana did her best to help us find the right holiday for our budget. Her constant contact through e-mail and telephone proved to us that she was striving to meet our needs. We had an amazing time on our Mexican vacation and there is not one complaint or concern. It's great to know that we have someone so reliable, professional and enthusiastic in our community who can help make your travel plans a reality. Gracias!”
- Tyler & Lisa Shiels - February 2009 - RIU Vallarta - Puerto Vallarta
ABOUT MS. LANA J KEYES
“Overall service from Lana was exceptional!”
- Kathy McLean - Las Vegas - Jan/Feb 2009
ABOUT MS. MARILYN CHARTERS
“We were at SRH from Feb. 19-26. We booked with Transat and had no issues. We have previously travelled to the Bahamas and Barbados. After reading the reviews on TripAdvisor, I had low expectations and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I think negative reviews come from people who go expecting this resort to be comparable to other Sandals which it probably isn’t. If you go with a good sense of humour and the attitude of making the most of your vacation, you will enjoy this resort. In the end, you get what you pay for and the other Sandals destinations are far more pricey than this one. Resort: The grounds are well kept. Rooms were clean and service was great throughout especially Hermes and Dania at the buffet restaurant. We found that sitting in the same area at the buffet was a good idea as we got to know the wait staff and they remembered us. Our cups were never empty and they couldn’t do enough to please. Same at the bar: if you got a drink you didn’t like the bartender made you something else. We found all staff to be professional and friendly. The only exception to this was most of the front desk staff we encountered during our stay. It wasn’t that they were rude but they seemed indifferent I guess, like guests were a bit of an inconvenience. We did smell the sulpher smell a few times but it wasn’t overpowering on the resort. We found it quite strong out on the street, walking towards Iberostar and Paradiscus. Food: We really enjoyed the food at the buffet, so much so that we didn’t bother to book any a-la-cartes. Breakfast was eggs, bacon, omelets, fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, toast, pastries etc. Lunch was rice, fries (they had Heinz ketchupJ), steak, chicken, fresh fish, soup, bread, etc. There was a variety of choices for the evening meal but I normally stuck to the pasta or pizza which they made fresh for you. I always tipped Yoel at the pasta station because he works so hard and always serves your pasta with a smile. I found the deserts quite bland but really enjoyed the ice cream (they had 3-4 flavours every day at lunch and supper). Overall, anyone who couldn’t find something to eat here has got to be extremely picky. We loved it. A note for pop drinkers: we saw no Pepsi the whole trip but they do have Coke and Sprite in Varadero at some of the cafés. They do have their versions of Coke and Sprite at the resort and the Sprite wasn’t too bad. Beach: I had very high expectations for the beach and was actually somewhat disappointed. In terms of quantity, you could walk for miles. The sea was a beautiful turquoise color and staff on the beach was great and were always there to get you a lounge chair which were plentiful. Palapas were also plentiful. My main complaint about the beach was the sea weed and shells that would wash up that never seemed to get cleaned up. You have to be careful where you walk because you could step on sharp shells or other sea debris which seemed to be everywhere.. Also, there were a ton of jellyfish while we were there. Portuguese Man O’ Wars were also a big problem during our stay. There were very few days when we didn’t walk the beach and count at least 10-15 washed up on the shore. It was very windy during our stay so I’m sure this was the source of the problem. The beach right in Varadero (downtown) is very nice and much cleaner. Pool: The pool was great. Very clean and lots of sun loungers however, during our stay if we wanted to get a lounger at the pool we put our stuff out early because if you wait until afternoon there are usually none. Entertainment: We enjoyed the live music in the lobby bar each night but it did get repetitive after a while because it was the same group every night. The night shows were ok. Apparently there is a great magic show (we missed it) and one night we heard Charlie A’Court (from Nova Scotia) who put on a great show but other than that the entertainment was just ok. Most nights we made our own fun in the bars with people we had met. Varadero: We went into Varadero twice to do some exploring. We caught the double decker bus ($5 pesos round trip) the first time which was an experience! We opted for the trolley train the second time ($4 pesos round trip) as it was slower moving and we could take pictures and see more of the sights. Varardero is very safe and clean. We were not hassled and felt totally comfortable walking around. The market is nice (much less congested than Havana). Dolphin Show: We walked up to the Dolphinario (I think that’s what it’s called) about a 20 min. walk from our resort and watched a 30 min. dolphin show. It was very cool and well worth the money. Havana: We paid $190 Cdn. to do the Havana tour and it was excellent. It’s a two hour bus ride there and back but the bus is comfortable and our tour guide was informative. You will stop at a Pina Colada stand to break up the trip. The Pina Coladas here are awesome!! You will visit Hemingway’s bar/hotel where he spent his time while in Cuba, museums, a huge cemetery, Revolution Square etc. They also provide a very nice lunch (4 course). Be prepared for people to approach you when you are getting on and off the bus however. They will ask for money, etc. We found a lot of this in Havana at the regular tourist spots but once away from this area it was fine. Another thing about this trip is that at several spots we were told we had to pay to take pictures (1-2 pesos) which I thought was ridiculous. All in all, a great trip. Tipping: We tipped at every meal and every couple rounds of drinks and it was much appreciated. A little goes a long way in Cuba. Staff at the resort never asked for tips and I think the service would still be good if you didn’t tip. Off the resort, if you go an excursion you will be asked to tip the bus driver and tour guide. In Havana, it seemed that everyone had their hand out for a tip even if they didn’t do anything for you. I have no problem with tipping but I don’t like being asked to tip or tipping someone who has not provided any type of service to me. This, we found annoying. We left gifts (toiletries, etc.) for our maid everyday but she seemed more interested in my clothes and shoes. She left me a note saying they were “very nice” and she “likes and needs.” I ended up leaving half my wardrobe for her. I wish I would have brought more clothes, shoes etc. to leave. My husband gave a pair of sunglasses to a gardener and his Bubba Keg to Yoel on the beach and they appreciated it so much. Their reactions were priceless. This is a great resort for normal, working folks who are looking for a break. If you go there expecting to live in the lap of luxury you will be disappointed. The staff does their best to make your holiday memorable and the Cubans are among the nicest people you will find anywhere. A smile goes a long way too and I find you get what you give here. I would recommend this resort to anyone going to Varadero for sure. We will probably not return to Cuba next year but it is a great place for a cheaper ”
- SANDALS ROYAL HICACOS - VARADERO - FEB 2009
ABOUT MS. HOLLY BIRD
“We did have a great time on the cruise. The shore excursions were good. We did a walking tour of Old San Juan and a guided tour in St. Kitts up to a Fort. We went to Orient Beach in St. Martaan but it rained. Still got a taste of it tho! We both ran into difficulties with the Montreal connection. Both flights were late getting in and while we got our luggage quickly, the line at security was a nightmare. I would recommend at least 2-3 hours just to be able to make it comfortably. Their 55 minute minimum required must be under optimal conditions in an empty airport!! The ship was beautiful and everybody we talked to that had taken cruises before said this one was the best! The shows/entertainment was superb. The drinks were well worth their cost (and not outrageous at all). The food was flawless...they did a brunch one day and my jaw literally dropped from how expansive and extraordinary it was...same for the midnight buffet. The usual dining room was exquisite and the main cafe was full of variety. We had coffee served in the room after we got back from the gym most mornings. Nice to sit out on the veranda and watch the water go by. The rooms were plenty big enough, the bed was comfy and the housekeeping staff all over everything! She actually apologized for not turning down our bed the first night - it was so covered with stuff she couldn't even find it!! She found me a bag of the chocolates they left on our pillows each night as well! Tips were included in all the drink bills and altho we knew we were paying a daily "tip" rate for the housekeeping/dining room staff we still did extra for the housekeeper and 2 waiters - they were so worth it! So...we are hooked of course!...I'm thinking we should cruise around the boot of Italy....if you come across anything let me know! Nothing is solid at this point except we will cruise again!! Thanks for making it so easy! ”
- Andrea and Paul - CELEBRITY SOLSTICE CARIBBEAN CRUISE, FEBRUARY 2009
ABOUT MS. HOLLY BIRD
“Hi Holly…sorry it took soooo long to get back to you…but Mexico was wonderful…..the resort was beautiful and our room was perfect….The royal club part of the resort was very nice. Todd loved the food…and said it was his favorite vacation spot so far….. We would most definitely go back to this resort……and for me..one of the most important things is the gym of course….and that was great as well….. I’m trying to get Todd to go away again this fall…so hopefully we’ll chat with you then. We always love the places you pick for us….its like you know exactly what we’re looking for! ”
- Lisa and Todd - OCCIDENTAL GRAND XCARET ROYAL CLUB, FEBRUARY 2009
ABOUT MS. MARILYN CHARTERS
“Hi Marilyn What a great break this vacation was…….the Playa Costa Verde was tons of fun…..Cuban bartenders, etc fantastic – met loads of party people from all over – Winnipeg, Ontario, England, Germany, Finland. It will take a few days to work the alcohol out of our systems. The pool bar ended up being our place of choice – just one continuous party - beach was good too – water was gorgeous and warm. Our rooms were fine – depended on the day if we got more than 1 towel -- Cuban coffee sucks tho! Kevin and I got caught in the snow bomb of Sunday night/Monday morning Feb 23 - took us 3 ½ hrs to drive from Saint John to Fredericton; then, we were informed that our plane was stuck in St Johns, NL – and there would be a couple hrs delay – well that couple hr delay ended up being a 14/15 hr delay – needless to say the Freddy Beach Airport isn’t the most comfortable place to send hrs on end. But ended up getting our time back on the other end – our flight out of Cuba was stuck here in the Maritimes so we got an extra night at the resort – yeh, more drinkin in the lobby bar!!! Anyway, had a really great time at this resort; loved Cuba and the people – would recommend it to all- the food wasn’t the best, but who goes to Cuba for the food. Hope you survived all the storms in the last week and a half. ”
- PLAYA COSTA VERDE - HOLGUIN CUBA - MARCH 2009
ABOUT MRS. ROMY JACQUES CTC
“Hello Romy, this is a little delayed in coming but I wanted to thank you for handling our Mexico trip. We had a fabulous time! It was so nice to have airline seats together in both directions; it was really comforting for the couple we traveled with as they are very inexpereinced travelers. The resort is even better than we remembered and the room locations were absolutely awesome! The fresh flowers, fruit and wine in the room were an incredible touch. We can't thank you enough for everything Romy; this trip will provide us with wonderful memories for many years to come. We will certainly use your services again and definitely recommend you to others! Thanks you again!”
- Wendy
ABOUT MRS. ROMY JACQUES CTC
“Hi Romy, We are back from Hawaii and missing it! We loved it there so much. We thank you so very much for all your hard work. We would like to drop by and see you next week. We have some sweets for you from Hawaii. ”
- Adelaide
ABOUT MRS. ROMY JACQUES CTC
“Hi Romy, Just wanted to thank you again for the hotel. I am here in Abu Dahbi right now and the hotel is amazing. Very Luxurious. I've been by the pool and gym all day. They provided transportation to and from the airport and our lunch and dinner. I fly out tonight but just had to write to say thanks again. You saved the day and have made this trip flow easily! Can't wait to catch up soon. Hugs and smiles, ”
- Rosanna

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