Mystery Shopper: A couple planning to visit Amsterdam for a week

Location: Newcastle
Wanted: A couple are keen to visit Amsterdam for up to a week in October, ideally via ferry and car.
Budget: £2,000

Hays Travel
5 Ridley Place

I was greeted straight away by a friendly agent who seemed knowledgeable and was happy to help. She asked a series of open-ended questions to fully understand my requirements, and used online resources as well as her personal experience to bring the holiday to life. I was recommended six nights’ bed and breakfast at the Ibis Stopera Hotel, travelling overnight via ferry with our car from North Shields.

I was offered car parking at my hotel, but no other extras. However, I was given a list of attractions to visit while in Amsterdam. I felt that the agent was fully committed to helping me find my ideal holiday. I would have preferred a printed summary of my holiday, rather than a handwritten one.

Barrhead Travel
3 Eldon Square

An agent greeted me promptly and was enthusiastic about my holiday ideas, which she established by asking lots of questions. I was given two holiday options. The cheaper was £1,446 for seven nights’ bed and breakfast at the Golden Tulip Amsterdam West, travelling via ferry with our car.

The agent also made an effort to find a hotel with parking. She did have to refer to a colleague during my visit.

Dawson & Sanderson
26 Ridley Place

The agent was friendly and positive, but I found the store difficult to navigate, and it took me some time to find the appropriate person. The agent asked some probing questions to get an idea of my preferences, but she was unable to offer in-depth information on what Amsterdam had to offer.

I was recommended five nights’ bed and breakfast at the Best Western Blue Tower Hotel for £1,090, including parking.

Winning agent – Helen McLean, assistant branch manager

I’ve worked for Hays for seven years, and as a retail agent for four of those. I like dealing with people and when customers come in and don’t know what they want, and trust you to find their perfect holiday.


All three agents came up with great recommendations and were able to meet my desire to travel via ferry.

Elite resorts caribbean

Top-scoring agent each month will win use of a Mercedes SLK for 10 days

The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Any agent who is under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent.

The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. The winners will be informed by Travel Weekly.

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