My husband and I want to thank you for putting together such a wonderful trip for us. All the time we spent emailing and planning was well worth it. Your attention to detail concerning our diet, and suggestions for our special interests were very much appreciated.
We were talking about it on our flight home, and in fact gave your name to our flight attendant, Amy, who will be in Croatia shortly on vacation. She may contact you about the day trip with Mario, or to schedule an outing to Trogir.
For us, you really hit the nail on the head. We were so pleased with the events you recommended for us. The highlights were certainly the day outing with Mario, and the fantastic meal and afternoon with Tatjana. All of the people you and Alan have met, and convinced to work with your clients are wonderful. We really appreciated their knowledge, and knowing that they were really passionate about their specialties. We learned so much by talking with them, and felt we had some genuinely special and unique experiences.
Thank you for choosing guides who were attuned to our interests. Branka, though not Jewish, certainly had spent a great deal of time reading up on the history of the Jews in Dubrovnik. Her knowledge of the synagogue and the history of the community were impressive. Lea, in Split, was a pleasure to be with as well. Her knowledge of Split and Trogir, together with her Jewish connection, which we had not known, were very much appreciated. She even introduced us to her father, who was a delight, and very interesting to talk with about the history of Jewish culture and life in Split. Our meal at Tatjana’s was probably one of the best meals we have ever had. There is no comparison to having the food freshly prepared just as you are going to eat it. (though the mussels and oysters we had with Dennis and the wonderful meal we enjoyed at Mario’s are a close second!)
Had I known there would be so much food, I might have made our dinner reservations later, or given them up totally. It would be helpful for you to make the point that these outings are really a lot of food, and that people might not want to eat a full dinner those evenings. (We gave up on eating at Proto, after our day with Mario, and just had wine and cheese at D’vino.) We did have a great meal at Restoran Dubrovnik, and enjoyed Paradigma for its creativity. We did not eat a huge meal at Konoba Matejuska after having been with Tatjana, but we were reluctant to give up trying such a popular restaurant, so we went anyway and ate again…we have really put on weight this trip.
Both hotels were excellent choices, especially the Palaca Judita. The rooms we got, whether chosen by you or by them, were excellent choices. Being on the first floor in Dubrovnik meant that we did not have to carry our bags down too many stairs. The room was nice and quiet, and we appreciated the modern bathroom. The staff at the Judita made us feel like family, and they were very helpful with some of our plans. Our room there was away from the front desk area, so we did not hear the comings and goings of the other guests, which we appreciated. We were very glad that they could transfer us and our bags to and from the hotel. We did not know that we would be carrying our bags into Dubrovnik, which was not a good time. The walk was long and we had to thread our way between many tourists as we made our way to the other side of town where the hotel was located. I think if the hotel does not provide transfer service, then it would be good for you to arrange for someone to carry the bags with a cart. The helper you sent to lead us on our departure day, did not realize that we had requested to leave from the Pile gate; once there, we asked her to wait with one of our bags, as we went back to the hotel to get the second one…that worked out fine in the end, but we still would have preferred someone take our bags for us.
Random thoughts: we were fine with steps at all the hotels, but maybe you should check to see if people can handle the steps, and if so is there a limit. It may not be obvious that if you stay in the old town that you will have to walk up many steps to get to your room or breakfast area (as was the case in Stari Gard, where the breakfast was served on the roof-top terrace).
Martina, our guide in Mostar, was very nice, but a bit distracted. She was in the middle of exams, and seemed to be anxious to get back to her studies. In our opinion, she was not up to the standards of the other guides.
More specific information on the tipping would be helpful. If you have a transfer, or just a short drive or tour, the amounts you suggest seem inappropriate. Full-day is one thing, but as we don’t know what the parts of our tour actually cost, it is hard to guess what to do. Guidelines for hotel staff would be helpful too.
I have said quite a bit, and may think of other things as a few days pass, but please know that we were so very happy with our trip, and will not hesitate to recommend your company to our friends. If you want to know other things from me, please don’t hesitate to write.