Location: Maidstone

Wanted: A family of four – mum, dad and two teenage kids – want a holiday in Cyprus for summer 2020. They are flexible about times and dates but it must be in the school holidays, from late July to the end of August.

They are not sure which resorts and accommodation would suit them but would like a little bit of sightseeing for the parents to enjoy as well as sporty and water-based activities for the teens.

Budget: £5,500-6,000


Verdict

All three agents performed impressively with their helpful advice, product knowledge and suitable quotes.

The Tui and Thomas Cook agents both recorded particularly strong scores across the board, thanks to their combination of great service and detailed quotations.

The Baldwins agent scored well although the holidays on offer impressed the shopper slightly less and were somewhat below budget.


Winning agent

Louise Martin, travel consultant

“We get lots of inquiries for Cyprus; it is very popular and really good for families. I went on a fam trip to Paphos and had a family holiday to Protaras so I have first-hand knowledge, which is invaluable. I’ve been with the company about 19 years – since it was Lunn Poly.”


MSCyprus_0910

Tui
24 Week Street
91%

Impression: The shop was clean; the uniformed staff all looked neat; and the window and brochure displays were well-presented.

Service: I was acknowledged immediately and spoke to an agent after a couple of minutes, as the store was busy. The agent had personal experience of Cyprus so offered me lots of useful information. I enjoyed the friendly conversation and looking at beautiful photos of the destinations.

Quotes: Both quotes were printed out, and were for 14-night holidays with Tui, flying with Tui Airways from Gatwick. The first was departing in August and staying all-inclusive in a family room at the Holiday Village Aliathon, Paphos. It would cost £6,059 including transfers and a free child place. I was told this hotel was ideal for the location, price and sightseeing.

The second was departing in July, and staying all-inclusive in a family room at Vangelis Hotel and Suites, Protaras. It would cost £6,404. I was told this option was ideal for beaches and excursions. Insurance for the holidays was offered at £183.50.

Overall: The conversation was enjoyable and the agent was friendly and professional. I was highly impressed by the quotes, the agent’s thorough attention to detail, and her personable approach.

Thomas Cook*
38 Fremlin Walk
90%

*These visits were carried out before Thomas Cook ceased trading on September 23

Impression: The shop was clean and staff were neat and in uniform. Window displays featured adverts for a new prepaid Mastercard and travel money. The brochure displays were tidy.

Service: I was acknowledged and sat down immediately for a friendly conversation. I was given plenty of information as the agent knew the destination well and told me a great deal about their own experiences. The agent was very positive and I would recommend them highly.

Quotes: Both were 14-night Thomas Cook holidays, flying from Gatwick with Thomas Cook Airlines.The first was departing in July, with all-inclusive accommodation in a family room at the SunConnect Sofianna hotel in Paphos. A pool view room would cost an extra £98.

The total cost was £4,973 including transfers and silver level insurance. The second holiday would depart in August, with bed-and-breakfast studio accommodation at the Melini hotel, Protaras. It would cost £5,645, including silver insurance. The agent said this option was better for beaches and water sports, and good accommodation for teenagers.

Overall: I was impressed by the service and the quality of holidays offered. The agent was polite, amiable, professional and knowledgeable.

Baldwins Travel
21-23 Earl Street
82%

Impression: The window featured an attractive array of offers; the staff were in uniforms and brochure displays neat.

Service: I spoke to an agent immediately and we discussed my preferences. The agent had visited Cyprus so called up their own experiences to offer me knowledge and advice. I was given three quotes, and the agent was upbeat, pleasant and positive. They asked plenty of questions and tailored each quote to suit my needs.

Quotes: Both printed quotations were for 14-night Jet2holidays, flying from Stansted in August. The first was for a two-bedroom apartment on a half-board basis at the Mayfair Gardens in Paphos, for £4,632, including coach transfers. I was told this was ideal for a family with teenagers because of the separate bedroom and resort activities.

There was a lively pool area and an entertainment programme. The second was a suite on a bed-and-breakfast basis at Malama Beach Holiday Village, Protaras, for £4,628. The agent said the beachfront accommodation had a fantastic restaurant, spacious rooms, a spa and an excellent range of activities.

Overall: I enjoyed the conversation and peaceful office setting. The holidays were satisfactory but the agent could have offered more with the budget.


Oasis-Logo

The top-scoring agent each week bags a £25 Amazon voucher, courtesy of Oasis Hotels & Resorts.

Oasis Hotels & Resorts offers five all-inclusive beachfront properties and two city-centre properties in Cancun, Mexico. They are:

Hotel Zone, Cancun
Grand Oasis Cancun; The Pyramid; Oasis Palm; Grand Oasis Palm; and brand new Grand Sens Cancun.

Downtown Cancun
Oh! The Urban Oasis; and Smart Cancun by Oasis. Oasis offers family-friendly resorts and adult-only experiences, as well as wedding and honeymoon packages.

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