Profile photo for Aleksandra Shebaltseva
1836 messages
active 10 mins ago

Aleksandra Shebaltseva

As a passionate traveler, my approach is anchored in the belief that every journey is an opportunity for exploration and growth. With a penchant for immersing myself in diverse cultures and seeking unique experiences, I thrive on the spontaneity of travel. Through my role, I aim to inspire others to embrace the unknown, fostering a sense of curiosity and appreciation for the beauty our world has to offer. From cityscapes to natural wonders, my travel philosophy centers on creating meaningful connections and lasting memories, weaving together a tapestry of experiences that transcend borders.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"My expertise spans the entire United Kingdom – from the captivating history of England to the breathtaking landscapes of Scotland, the unique cultural tapestry of Wales, and the charming allure of Northern Ireland. It's a boundless playground for exploration, and I thrive on curating activities tailored to any taste. Additionally, I'm an expert in traversing the captivating landscapes of Ireland, ensuring a seamless and unforgettable travel experience!
I specialise in green tourism and extreme activities, which can be adapted to families with children and solo travellers.
Let's embark on a journey that captures the essence of each corner of this diverse and enchanting kingdom!"

How did you get involved in travel?

"Travel is my lifeblood! I'm fueled by a profound passion for exploring new places, and the thrill of venturing into the unknown is an essential part of who I am. I simply can't imagine a life without constantly moving and discovering the wonders our world has to offer. Each new destination enriches me in ways beyond words!"

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"Every journey I embark on is a quest to make it truly unforgettable. I seek out new experiences, immerse myself in different cultures, and explore each destination from various angles. The richness of new feelings and perspectives makes every adventure unique and etches lasting memories in my heart. Travel, for me, is about creating a tapestry of extraordinary moments that I'll cherish forever."

Top itineraries and travel advice

Recent trip reviews for Aleksandra

Amazing London Vacation
England | Jul 10 - Jul 15, 2024

Stacia
Stacia M.
Atlanta, GA | Reviewed on Jul 19, 2024
Aleksandra planned our family an amazing vacation with London Stratford as our home base and side trips to downtown London, Oxford and Bath. We liked everything about our trip from the hotel to the tours and tour guides. Most importantly, Aleksandra was so accommodating while planning and during our stay in London. We had to make some last-minute changes to our itinerary because of family reasons and she was easy to reach and took care of everything. She answered all of our questions and... Read more

Aleksandra planned our family an amazing vacation with London Stratford as our home base and side trips to downtown London, Oxford and Bath. We liked everything about our trip from the hotel to the tours and tour guides. Most importantly, Aleksandra was so accommodating while planning and during our stay in London. We had to make some last-minute changes to our itinerary because of family reasons and she was easy to reach and took care of everything. She answered all of our questions and checked on us each day even on weekends. I highly recommend Aleksandra and KimKim.

Hotel Review
Hyatt Regency London Stratford
London

The hotel is conveniently located right next to the London Stratford train station which is fantastic for travelers. The hotel was nice and the breakfast served daily was very good. It was difficult for taxis to find because it's located within a shopping/restaurant type mall so always send your GPS location to your taxi driver.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Smoke alarm went off in middle of night so no water, a/c, elevators until mid-morning
Activity Reviews
Private Oxford University Punting Tour
Private Oxford University Punting Tour
Oxford

What a fun, relaxing excursion this was for our family. Our guide was so nice and knowledgeable. We enjoyed this punting tour.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
 Round Trip to Oxford - Private Transfer
Round Trip to Oxford - Private Transfer
London

Our driver to Oxford went above and beyond traveling through horrible traffic to Oxford and back. Also, he was extremely accommodating when we had a family issue that delayed our return. He was very kind.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Retired Royal Guard Central London Walk
Retired Royal Guard Central London Walk
London

We highly recommend this tour. David Lombardi is an excellent tour guide. He has such a unique background that affords him inside information that other tour guides would not have. We learned so much and were interested the entire time. He was extremely professional, knowledgeable and interesting.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
British Museum Private Tour
British Museum Private Tour
London

The British Museum is worth seeing but it is extremely crowded. It probably depends on when you visit it. We had to wait in long security lines to get in and then it was hard to see exhibits at times. Our tour guide was late so that did not help.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Iconic Oxford  Private Walking Tour
Iconic Oxford Private Walking Tour
Oxford

Our tour guide was fantastic. First, we were an hour late because of London traffic and he was so nice and accommodating. He was extremely knowledgeable and an excellent storyteller. Very interesting tour.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Bath and The Cotswolds
Bath and The Cotswolds
London

We changed our itinerary slightly and ended up going to Stonehenge and Bath. Both were definitely worth seeing. It was a beautiful drive too. We had a nice lunch at the Derby in Bath and enjoyed touring the Roman Baths. We were thankful to visit Stonehenge and happened to be there when it was not too busy. Our tour guide, Alam, was fantastic. He was so kind and patient with us and very knowledgeable. He made sure we saw the best views and sites.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Exclusive Guided Tour in Buckingham Palace
Exclusive Guided Tour in Buckingham Palace
London

We thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Buckingham Palace is stunning. The self-guided tour was very well-done.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason
Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason
London

We had a slight itinerary change and had afternoon tea at the Savoy and I'm so glad we did. It was very special. They provided excellent service; the setting was beautiful, and the afternoon tea was delicious. They even packed up a box for our daughter who was unable to attend.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Beatles Private Walking Tour
Beatles Private Walking Tour
London

This tour is not just for intense Beatles fans. It's for anyone who is interested in learning about the Beatles and seeing different parts of London. Our guide, Michael Purvis, was amazing. He took such good care of us. He is a musician and had so many interesting stories and pictures to share with us. Even though it was a misty day, we enjoyed every minute of this tour.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Aleksandra Shebaltseva

Perfect getaway: beautiful nature, kind people, living history
Scotland | Jun 26 - Jul 11, 2024

Jenny
Jenny P.
Armenia | Reviewed on Jul 19, 2024
It was a great trip that included a bit of the Isle of Skye but mostly focused the Western Isles (Outer Hebrides). These are beautiful locations but a bit tricky to navigate on your own. Without Kimkim, it would have taken me forever to figure out all the buses and ferries. Aleksandra designed a perfect trip for me, balancing travel, my favorite activities at the locations and time to just be there and explore on my own. She also picked great places for me to stay: it was a good mix of homely... Read more

It was a great trip that included a bit of the Isle of Skye but mostly focused the Western Isles (Outer Hebrides). These are beautiful locations but a bit tricky to navigate on your own. Without Kimkim, it would have taken me forever to figure out all the buses and ferries. Aleksandra designed a perfect trip for me, balancing travel, my favorite activities at the locations and time to just be there and explore on my own. She also picked great places for me to stay: it was a good mix of homely and comfortable. I liked every single one of them, though they were very different in their vibe. Staying in the Lewis Castle in Stornoway was probably the most memorable one; the Edinbane Lodge that dates back to 1543 (no kidding, for real, it's an old building re-furbished into a top-notch accommodation with superb dining experience) was also quite an experience. My B&B host Elizabeth from Barra was absolutely lovely (but she wants to retire, so I was lucky I guess).

Olha was a constant support over WhatsUp, which was great because changes of weather meant some of the activities had to be adjusted short-notice. Every single person I got to interact with was kind and open. I felt truly welcome in every location. All my drivers (Alan, Murdo, Roddy, Alasdair, Brian) told me stories about the place and its people, all of them were native Gaelic speakers so I got to pick and practice a few words: that was important for me. I learned so much about the history and the contemporary life on Skye and Western Islands. Murdo is a musician and a very authentic, fun person to be around. As a bonus, I got to hear a Gaelic song he wrote and performed! A surfing lesson with Eli (I probably misspell the name here) was amazing - the location and the weather made it a very special experience. Kayaking on Barra with Ben and Chris was also fun and relaxing. We got to see many seals who would just pop out of the water near the kayak and stare at us for a few seconds before diving back.

I would definitely go back to Eilean a' Cheò and na h-Eileanan Siar again and would definitely ask Kimkim team again to help plan it. These places are treasures for those who love nature and who appreciate simple, kind, honest and trusting communities with deep roots and oral history of resilience. The trip has left me with many cherished memories, stories to share, a sense of healing and a deep appreciation of true Island hospitality and kindness. Mòran taing.

Hotel Reviews
The Bracken Hide
Portree

It's a lovely location on a slope overlooking Portree, with a view to the harbor. I loved having my own pod that was warm and cozy. The days were rainy, but the pit-pat of the rain on the roof made it even more cozy to be inside.

Authenticity & Character
I loved staying in a pod. The inner decor was very cozy.
Location
The view
Staff
Very helpful
Cleanliness & Comfort
I loved the warm floor! :-) makes a huge difference when you come back cold and soaked with rain. The place was warm and dry and the wet clothes would dry quickly as well
Lews Castle
Stornoway

Where do I even start :-))) You get to stay in a real castle! My room was under the roof and looked out over the roof tiles to another tower. The refurbishment is very modern, of course. There is a shower, a bathtub, a fridge a coffee machine and a tea kettle. But somehow it still feels like a castle. That's how a modern castle room should look like :-) I particularly enjoyed opening the front door of the castle with my own key when I came back form my daily explorations. It felt like a lot of fun just doing that. And then you get inside, there is a hall, a staircase and the place is your temporary "home."

Authenticity & Character
It's a castle! Does not get any more authentic than that :-) During the day it's a museum. You can do a tour of the rooms with augmented reality app - I highly recommend doing that
Location
Stornoway center is a walking distance. But the castle itself is surrounded by a forest with many paths - great for walking, biking, exploring, relaxing...
Staff
There is always someone in the building but they give you your own space and are only there if you need help. Very friendly, gave me plenty of good advice on the first day and then just let me be - exactly what I wanted.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Spotless clean, spacious, my room was full of light and sunshine, the bathroom was always warm, which was important because the weather was a bit chilly. Great comfortable bed, tea kettle, very relaxing atmosphere, could also hear the sound of rain on the roof (which I love)
Carnan B&B
Castlebay

The host greeted me with tea and chocolate cake! She is lovely, but she wants to retire, so I think we should leave her alone :-))) Her little pet dog is very friendly and fun - we became best buddies.

Authenticity & Character
It's a lovely house. A real house where a real family lives. Gives you a sense of home
Location
It has a great view to the castle in the bay.
Staff
Elizabeth is very welcoming, kind, attentive and good-natured. She gave me lots of good advice where to go and what to see.
Cleanliness & Comfort
A very comfortable home away from home
Edinbane Lodge
Edinbane

This place is very special. It dates back to 16th century and looks very picturesque. Once you step into your room, you are amazed at the level of luxury. You could watch TV while taking a bath, if you wished. My room also had a patio with a gas fireplace that I enjoyed for a few hours in the evening. It's very atmospheric: great combination of old and modern. Their dinners are famous. If you stay at this lodge, I highly recommend booking a dinner experience as well. Also, check the pottery workshop nearby: you won't be able to go away without a souvenir.

Authenticity & Character
A lodge that has been a lodge since 16th century. It has all the character that comes with the time it's been around
Location
It's a tiny place. Very quiet.
Staff
Friendly, helpful, graceful
Cleanliness & Comfort
I loved sitting by the fire in the patio. I also loved the tea set from the local pottery workshop. It's beautiful and great to see they support their neighbor's business.
Activity Reviews
Isle of Lewis Heritage: Private Day Tour from Stornoway
Isle of Lewis Heritage: Private Day Tour from Stornoway
Scotland

My driver and guide, Murdo, was just great. He is very authentic, a local through and through who told me so many interesting stories about the Isle of Lewis, it's history, it's people. And these stories did not feel like stories from the book. They were real stories, lived by the people or passed by the people from one generation to another. The Callanish stones are a very special cite to visit. The Black Houses were also very interesting to experience.

Quality of Experience
The bridge over the Atlantic! :-)
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Gaelic heritage, knows every road and path and settlement, great sense of humor, honesty
Transport
Taxi to Surf Lesson
Taxi to Surf Lesson
Stornoway

Alan MacKenzie is a great travel companion, equally good at sharing and listening. I am very grateful he was the one to welcome me to the Western Isles. I think it sat the tone for the rest of my stay and travel.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Attentive, tactful
Transport
Lewis Surf Lessons
Lewis Surf Lessons
Scotland

This was my first ever surfing lesson and I am glad it took place on Lewis. We had the whole huge beach to ourselves, since you are going to get wet anyways, you don't need to worry about the rain and it being not exactly the warmest day :-) It was very atmospheric, you could feel the power of the sea (which you have to respect). I think if I did not have a one-on-one lesson and a lot of support from the instructor, I would never manage to get as far as I got. She was great - very encouraging and easy going. It was pure fun but also a good challenge (did I feel it the next day :-))) ). There are also caves on that beach that can only be visited at low tide - we took a short stroll after the class to check them out.

Quality of Experience
the location is amazing
Guides, Drivers and Staff
easy-going, attentive, fun
Sea Kayak Trip
Sea Kayak Trip
Barra

I had two sessions. One was a one-on-one trip with Ben. It's very relaxing to be on the water and take it at your own speed. We did a good round and saw lots of seals. We also did a round around the castle in the bay. The other one was with Chris and his daughter (sorry, can't remember the name). They are all a great family - all very friendly, experienced and attentive. The second was with a group on a sunny day - so that was also a lot of fun and very picture-pretty, but no wildlife.

Quality of Experience
We swapped a few stories while on the water. Ben is a great companion. He was guiding, spotting wildlife, telling about me about the local traditions, good advice on where to eat and what to try, some funny stories. Felt like a great day on the water with a good friend. The group trip was great too, people watched out for each other, everyone was a good sport.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Easy going but attentive to detail, good fun
Taxi
Taxi
Scotland

Brian told me a few stories while on the road. Also gave me the advice to use the opportunity and have dinner at the place where he dropped me off. Thank you. I would have missed an amazing dining experience, if not for this advice. That was a perfect ending to my perfect Islands getaway.

Quality of Experience
In general, all the taxi pickups and transfers were hassle-free, all of them were super friendly
Guides, Drivers and Staff
very genuine. I don't know how to explain it, but it's just that they were all very friendly and somehow very "authentic" welcoming locals.
Transport
always clean, always comfortable, always warm on cold days
Local specialist: Aleksandra Shebaltseva

Aleksandra was great to work with.
England | Jun 18 - Jun 28, 2024

R
Royce R.
SeaTac, WA | Reviewed on Jul 04, 2024

Aleksandra was great to work with. She is super responsive to all questions and emails. She works hard to solve any problems that may occur during the trip. She took the burden of planning the trip off my shoulders and gave us a great experience.

Local specialist: Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Aleksandra
Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Local specialist in England | Replied on Jul 04, 2024

Dear Royce,

I'm so grateful for your kindness and wonderful feedback! I hope your experience was seamless and enjoyable despite any issues, and that you were able to create wonderful memories during your English vacation with Rachel.
Wishing you exciting adventures ahead!

Sincerely,
Aleksandra

I will review these five days trip by each da...
Scotland | Jun 13 - Jun 17, 2024

A
Anne T.
Denver, CO | Reviewed on Jun 25, 2024
I will review these five days trip by each day. Day 1: Edinburgh Castle and old town tour was enjoyable and amusing with our knowledgeable tour guide Kieran Begg . Dinner at The Witchery as you recommend, the structure of the hotel and restaurant definitely impressive to us, wish I can say the same with the server we had, whom was not very attending and polite. Day2: Rabbie's tour was entertaining with Kelly(?), Alnwick Castle was amazing, Bamburgh Castle was last minute changed on the... Read more

I will review these five days trip by each day. Day 1: Edinburgh Castle and old town tour was enjoyable and amusing with our knowledgeable tour guide Kieran Begg . Dinner at The Witchery as you recommend, the structure of the hotel and restaurant definitely impressive to us, wish I can say the same with the server we had, whom was not very attending and polite. Day2: Rabbie's tour was entertaining with Kelly(?), Alnwick Castle was amazing, Bamburgh Castle was last minute changed on the schedule my husband was little disappointed on his wish list, however the tour guide did stop by far away in a parking lot, and took a picture for everyone. Day3: Redcliffe Hotel was a charming apartment with everything we need and most of all good location to the town and bus station by walking distance. Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle tour were most wonderful. Thank you, Aleksandra! Day 4: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle tour, the weather was not the best to view their beauty which we heard so much and looking forward to it, but the tour bus was the worst experience for us, and I am sure for the same fellow travelers that day. Nonetheless, thank you, Kateryna prompt respond for this matter! Day 5: The Kelpies tour was a plus for the end of the trip. Thank you, Aleksandra!

Hotel Reviews
Redcliffe Hotel
Inverness
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Residence Inn by Marriott
EDINBURGH
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Edinburgh Castle & Old Town Private Tour
Edinburgh Castle & Old Town Private Tour
Edinburgh
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Alnwick Castle, the Northumberland Coast & the Borders
Alnwick Castle, the Northumberland Coast & the Borders
Edinburgh
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle
Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle
Inverness
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Isle of Skye Tour including the  Eilean Donan Castle, Portree and other attractions
Isle of Skye Tour including the Eilean Donan Castle, Portree and other attractions
Inverness
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
The Kelpies Guided Tour
The Kelpies Guided Tour
Scotland
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Aleksandra
Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Local specialist in England | Replied on Jul 01, 2024

Dear Anne,

Thank you for taking the time to review your trip. I appreciate your detailed feedback and am glad to hear about the enjoyable experiences, as well as the areas that need improvement.

I will ensure we address the issues with the tours to avoid similar disappointments in the future.

Thank you again for your feedback and for allowing us to assist with your travel plans.

Sincerely,
Aleksandra

Wales Discovery Tour
Wales | May 22 - May 31, 2024

Brenda
Brenda R.
Jacksonville, FL | Reviewed on Jun 12, 2024
Our private guide, Dylan Jones, showed us North Wales, then through the middle of the country, next along the coast, and, finally, to Cardiff. His knowledge of Welsh history, culture, interesting sites, and natural resources made the country come alive for us. From the beautiful Bodnant Gardens to the top of Mt. Snowden to a folk festival in Fishguard, he made the journey fun and interesting. Thanks, too, to Aleksandra and her colleagues at kimkim for putting together a trip that was so... Read more

Our private guide, Dylan Jones, showed us North Wales, then through the middle of the country, next along the coast, and, finally, to Cardiff. His knowledge of Welsh history, culture, interesting sites, and natural resources made the country come alive for us. From the beautiful Bodnant Gardens to the top of Mt. Snowden to a folk festival in Fishguard, he made the journey fun and interesting.

Thanks, too, to Aleksandra and her colleagues at kimkim for putting together a trip that was so memorable.

Hotel Review
Twr y Felin Hotel
St. Davids

Excellent food, facilities, staff and location. Best of the trip.

Authenticity & Character
Stylish and modern with old world charm
Location
Walking distance to town
Staff
Friendly and professional staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Beds and pillows great
Activity Review
Cardiff Private Tour with Local
Cardiff Private Tour with Local
Cardiff

Dylan knows his town and delights in sharing his knowledge.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Aleksandra
Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Local specialist in England | Replied on Jun 17, 2024

Thank you for your superb feedback, Beth!
It sounds like you had a fantastic adventure! Dylan will be thrilled to know that his knowledge and enthusiasm made the journey so enjoyable for you. It was an absolute pleasure to work with you, and we hope to see you again in the future!

Warmest regards,
Aleksandra

Aleksandra was excellent
Ireland | May 19 - May 29, 2024

Sally
Sally R.
North Atlanta, GA | Reviewed on Jun 02, 2024
Aleksandra was extremely easy to work with and easily reached. She responded almost immediately both before and on the trip. She picked excellent experiences for us based on our interests. Read more

Aleksandra was extremely easy to work with and easily reached. She responded almost immediately both before and on the trip. She picked excellent experiences for us based on our interests.

Hotel Reviews
Maldron Hotel
Galway

Very nice room, shower worked well

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Shannon Springs Hotel
Shannon

The resturant was excellent. For Shannon it was cenrally located to Cliffs of Moher, Bundraddy Castle was close, and Ennis

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Lansdowne Hotel
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Small rooms, and tiny bathroom, although other rooms had larger bathrooms.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Some hard to understand
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Introducing Joyce’s Dublin Walking Tour
Introducing Joyce’s Dublin Walking Tour
Dublin

We loved it and Liam was wonderful and extremely knowledgeable. It was actually emotional at times when he read passages written by Joyce.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
No transport just walking
The Legendary Walking Tour of Galway
The Legendary Walking Tour of Galway
Galway
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Just walking
Local specialist: Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Aleksandra
Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Local specialist in England | Replied on Jun 03, 2024

Thank you for your nice review, Sally.
I truly appreciate your feedback and am thrilled to hear that your journey went smoothly and that you enjoyed the local activities. I hope you all will cherish long-lasting memories from this trip! Wishing you all the best and many blessings.

Sincerely,
Aleksandra

We had a great experience with Aleksandra as ...
United Kingdom | May 21 - May 30, 2024

John
John C.
Sandusky, OH | Reviewed on Jun 01, 2024
We had a great experience with Aleksandra as our travel coordinator and planner. She was very responsive to any requests we had before the trip, and extra helpful during the trip with minor changes we made during.
Her love for travel and the excitement of new experiences is inspiring.
Read more

We had a great experience with Aleksandra as our travel coordinator and planner. She was very responsive to any requests we had before the trip, and extra helpful during the trip with minor changes we made during.
Her love for travel and the excitement of new experiences is inspiring.

Hotel Reviews
Anantara The Marker Dublin
Dublin
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
The Imperial Hotel
Cork
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Leonardo Royal Hotel Edinburgh - Formerly Jurys Inn
Edinburgh,
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Smell of raw sewage in our room, Heating and Cooling controls did not work well.
Palace Hotel & Spa - Best Western Inverness
Inverness
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Broadford Hotel
Broadford, Isle of Skye
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Cameron House
Alexandria
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Mattresses need to get replaced
Activity Reviews
Dublin Private Walking Tour
Dublin Private Walking Tour
Dublin

Connor was an outstanding guide and very passionate about the history of Dublin. He is an excellent teacher, and has a funny and engaging way of relaying information along the tour.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Edinburgh Old Town Tour
Edinburgh Old Town Tour
Edinburgh

Kieran is excited and passionate about the history of Edinburgh and it shows in his presentation

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
The Vaults Tour
The Vaults Tour
Edinburgh
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Local specialist: Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Aleksandra
Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Local specialist in England | Replied on Jun 02, 2024

Thank you for your wonderful feedback, John!

I’m so grateful for your kind words and delighted that I could contribute to making your trip memorable. I’m happy to get to know you!

Wishing you plenty of new adventures and amazing discoveries!

Sincerely,
Aleksandra

Great trip to Scotland with two major glitches
Scotland | May 18 - May 26, 2024

T
Trupti P.
Newark, NJ | Reviewed on May 28, 2024
We had never used KimKim previously and this was a test run for my husband and me. I hired KimKim because I did not have the time to devote to planning a trip. My understanding was that we were paying a premium to an agent so that they could do the hard work of planning our trip and we could rely on our agent to create an itinerary, provide vetted hotels, guides etc., answer questions and provide detailed information so that I would not have to devote too much time to the planning process.... Read more

We had never used KimKim previously and this was a test run for my husband and me. I hired KimKim because I did not have the time to devote to planning a trip. My understanding was that we were paying a premium to an agent so that they could do the hard work of planning our trip and we could rely on our agent to create an itinerary, provide vetted hotels, guides etc., answer questions and provide detailed information so that I would not have to devote too much time to the planning process. This did not work out exactly as I thought it would - details below.

Overall I thought KimKim was good, but it was too expensive for the amount of service that was provided and the ultimate result should have been great rather than just good given the price we paid. Let me start with what they did well - the web portal was easy enough to learn to use and our specialist Aleksandra was responsive to changes in our itinerary and to follow up questions. Aleksandra was also polite and professional. KimKim did a good job with providing good guides. Our guide for the City of Edinburgh and for a day trip to St. Andrews were both very good, and I would recommend them to others. The bookings for hotels and guides were organized and we had no problem with the hotels saying they didn't have our room, or guides not showing up on time, etc. The hotels where we stayed in Edinburgh, Inverlochy and on the Isle of Skye were all very good choices.

KimKim did not do a good job with some things. For instance, they were not great with booking restaurants - the places they recommended were quite touristy and we were clear that wasn't what we wanted - we ended up booking nearly all of our restaurant reservations ourselves. A much bigger issue is that they did not mention anywhere in our itinerary or in any correspondence with us that we needed to advance book the ferry from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye. This was an important detail as the ferry books up in advance during the high season, and we could not get onto the ferry and therefore ended up driving an extra 80 miles, missing the ability to sightsee on parts of the Isle of Skye that we had been planning to do that day. Needless to say, this was hugely disappointing and I think is a basic job of our booking company where they dropped the ball. This made me think that our agent was not a local and clearly did not know this and did not think to ask anyone with more local knowledge. Our expectation was that we were getting advice from a local and clearly that was not the case. The other thing that was spectacularly badly was that the last hotel we stayed in was absolutely atrocious. It clearly hadn't been renovated in a very long time and smelled musty and was just plain disgusting frankly, and the dining options were beyond awful. It was not a place where anybody would want to stay, and I have absolutely no idea why Aleksandra booked us there. Most of the trip was wonderful, but that was a terrible way to end and unfortunately it is the last thing we took away from our time in Scotland.

My recommendation is to be very hands on: (1) make sure to independently review the hotels to make sure that they meet your satisfaction, and provide detailed guidance as to what you're looking for, (2) make sure to doublecheck your itinerary and ask the questions that you would ask if you were planning the entire trip yourself. This of course means that you're putting in much more time in the planning process, which kind of defeats the purpose of hiring KimKim in the first place. I might be willing to try the service again, but in a much more active manner.

Local specialist: Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Aleksandra
Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Local specialist in England | Replied on May 29, 2024
Dear Trupti,
Thank you for your detailed feedback. I truly appreciate your honesty and the time you took to provide such comprehensive comments.
I’m pleased to hear that you found your trip great and that our guides in Edinburgh and St. Andrews were up to your standards. It’s also great to know that the majority of the hotel choices and the organization of bookings met your expectations. However, I am very sorry to learn about the aspects of your trip that fell short.
I regret that our...
Read more

Dear Trupti,
Thank you for your detailed feedback. I truly appreciate your honesty and the time you took to provide such comprehensive comments.

I’m pleased to hear that you found your trip great and that our guides in Edinburgh and St. Andrews were up to your standards. It’s also great to know that the majority of the hotel choices and the organization of bookings met your expectations.

However, I am very sorry to learn about the aspects of your trip that fell short.
I regret that our restaurant suggestions were not aligned with your preference to avoid touristy spots, as these were places which locals love to visit.

Regarding the ferry, I’m very sorry to hear about the inconvenience you faced.
Usually, we don’t book them in advance to allow flexibility to accommodate changing travel plans. While this approach often works, I can agree that in your case it didn’t work as you expected. I deeply regret the impact this had on your trip, and your feedback will help us improve our service for future clients.

It’s disappointing to hear that your experience at Dalhousie Castle Hotel did not meet your expectations, especially given its previously high reviews. We always strive to provide the best options based on feedback and ratings, but we understand that experiences can vary due to room allocation or personal preferences.

As a client-oriented company, we would have been more than willing to assist you with changing the hotel promptly if you had brought this to our attention during your stay. Unfortunately, now that your stay has concluded, we are unable to rectify the situation. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your understanding.

Thank you once again for your invaluable feedback.

Sincerely,
Aleksandra

Fantastic Trip to Scotland Thanks to Aleksandra
Scotland | May 13 - May 19, 2024

Estee
Estee L.
Ashburn, VA | Reviewed on May 21, 2024
Our trip to Scotland was fantastic! From minute one, our specialist Aleksandra was an excellent partner in planning the trip. I can't say enough about how great she was. She was so responsive before, during, and even after the trip. Any time I had a question, she was there quickly with the answer, and I had lots of questions. The other amazing thing was how fast she pulled the trip together for us because we started the planning pretty late. Nonetheless, she made sure everything was top... Read more

Our trip to Scotland was fantastic! From minute one, our specialist Aleksandra was an excellent partner in planning the trip. I can't say enough about how great she was. She was so responsive before, during, and even after the trip. Any time I had a question, she was there quickly with the answer, and I had lots of questions. The other amazing thing was how fast she pulled the trip together for us because we started the planning pretty late. Nonetheless, she made sure everything was top notch for us. Her responsiveness really lowered our stress and heightened our enjoyment of the wonderful country of Scotland. I highly recommend Aleksandra!

We loved all parts of our trip to Scotland. We had a terrific array of excellent guides (Chris in Edinburgh, John in the Highlands/Isle of Skye, Osh in Glasgow) and drivers. The guides were incredibly pleasant and knowledgeable and took us to such beautiful and interesting places. The trip was fascinating and went extremely smoothly even though we did so many fun things. Scotland is beautiful with wonderful people and kimkim helped us make the most of it.

Activity Reviews
Edinburgh Old Town Tour
Edinburgh Old Town Tour
Edinburgh

Chris was a great guide - the tour was so interesting.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Private Edinburgh Castle Tour
Private Edinburgh Castle Tour
Edinburgh

We really liked touring the castle with Chris and the afternoon tea was delicious and fun!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Taxi to the Train Station
Taxi to the Train Station
Scotland
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Taxi to Your Hotel
Taxi to Your Hotel
Inverness
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Taxi to the Train Station
Taxi to the Train Station
Inverness

Ilir was great.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Loch Ness, Culloden Battlefield, Cawdor Castle & Much More From Inverness City
Loch Ness, Culloden Battlefield, Cawdor Castle & Much More From Inverness City
Inverness

Wonderful trip with John around the beautiful Highlands!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Private Glasgow Essentials Tour
Private Glasgow Essentials Tour
Glasgow

Osh is incredibly knowledgeable and showed us so much of the wonderful city of Glasgow in a short time. His passion for his city is inspiring.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
The Ultimate Isle of Skye Tour from Inverness with Talisker Destillery Visit
The Ultimate Isle of Skye Tour from Inverness with Talisker Destillery Visit
Inverness

John was a great guide for us in this spectacularly beautiful place. We also liked the lunch.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Aleksandra
Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Local specialist in England | Replied on May 21, 2024

Dear Estelle,

Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback!
It was an absolute joy to assist you in planning your trip. Your kind words mean a lot to me, and knowing that you enjoyed your Scotland trip fills me with so much happiness!

Thank you for choosing Kimkim and for your high recommendation. Scotland is indeed a beautiful country with wonderful people, and I'm so glad we could help you make the most of it.

Sincerely,
Aleksandra

Wonderful Experience
Scotland | Apr 26 - May 3, 2024

Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn G.
Jacksonville, FL | Reviewed on May 10, 2024
Aleksandra was extremely helpful and communicative. We had an incredible time on our trip to Scotland! I'm looking forward to using KimKim again for future travel. The process was very straightforward, and went super smoothly. Even when our hotel had an issue that made them unable to follow through on our reservation, we were set up with another very nice hotel in a great location, and didn't have to worry about it one bit. Thank you for all of your help! Read more

Aleksandra was extremely helpful and communicative. We had an incredible time on our trip to Scotland! I'm looking forward to using KimKim again for future travel. The process was very straightforward, and went super smoothly. Even when our hotel had an issue that made them unable to follow through on our reservation, we were set up with another very nice hotel in a great location, and didn't have to worry about it one bit. Thank you for all of your help!

Activity Review
Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal 2-Hour Cruise
Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal 2-Hour Cruise
Inverness

We had so much fun on this Loch Ness cruise! The host was very personable, the hot chocolate was immaculate and the views were incredible. I would definitely recommend.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Aleksandra
Aleksandra Shebaltseva
Local specialist in England | Replied on May 10, 2024

Thank you so much for your kind words, Kaitlyn!
I'm thrilled to hear that you had such a fantastic time in Scotland, and that the Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal cruise was a highlight of your trip. It was my pleasure to work with you, and I'm glad you enjoyed your romantic escape.

All the best to you both, and I hope to see you again soon!

Warmest regards,
Aleksandra