Profile photo for Stephen Molloy
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active 3 days ago

Stephen Molloy

Originally from New Zealand, I was attracted here to follow the 2004 Tour de France. I'm now based near Lyon. I get to show people around this incredible country, introducing our local guides, choosing the best boutique places to stay and creating the best days out for our travelers. My biggest buzz is hearing great feedback from those who have visited special places I suggested to them.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I know and work all across France. The places I have recently travelled in are Provence, Corsica, Brittany and the Alps. I used to live in the beautiful 12th Arrondisement of Paris.
The activities I frequently organize are active pursuits like Via-Ferrata and cycle tours, and foodie/wine-lover retreats in one of the many glorious wine regions. I suppose I also specialize in genuinely creative ways to experience Paris. "

How did you get involved in travel?

"I had spent most of my twenties travelling for fun or for work, following a family-trait inherited by my globetrotting parents. I had the opportunity to explore some stunning spots across the planet like Bougainville and Timor-Leste and then a long traverse of central asia by classic motorbike. Once set up in France I changed from being a town planner and humanitarian logistician, to working in something far more special and light hearted - creating tailor-made journeys."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"The most memorable experience has to be a cycle tour through the Gorges de Tarn and the Ardeche with my wife and daughter. Most days were spent swimming and camping and while my daughter slept in the trailer, we'd cycle up-hill and down-dale before refueling at a Bistro. The grand landscapes and cultural highlights just got better day after day. The last two nights were spent in an Eco-lodge - a bit of cocooning on full board basis was our reward."

Stephen is part of the following groups: France Travel Agents
Taittinger Champagne house vineyards in autumn
Highlights of Eastern France: Reims, Strasbourg, & Colmar - 7 Days

Explore the highlights of Eastern France on this week-long itinerary. With Champagne tastings, wine routes, and historical villages galore, you'll get to experience the best of the region's offerings. Start in Reims to visit the famed Taittinger Champagne House, the head to the Alsace region to see the towns of Hunawihr and Riquewihr.

Old Town Square in Annecy
Highlights of Eastern France: Paris, Reims, Strasbourg, Colmar, Annecy, & More - 12 Days

Keep Moët & Chandon in a pretty cabinet and eat cake just like Marie Antoinette on this 12-day itinerary fit for a queen. You'll sample the Parisian pastries of Le Marais, artworks in the glass of the Louvre, and elaborate architectural facades of Strasbourg, Colmar, and Alsace. Sip wine with cheese pairings in Annecy before ending the trip on the beaches in Nice. 

Recent trip reviews for Stephen

Jessica

Wonderful trip! · France - Nov 14 - Nov 18, 2019

Traveler: Jessica Z. - Local specialist: Stephen Molloy

Stephen's planning was exactly what we were looking for! Each of the guides/tours he booked for us were excellent - we learned a lot and had a blast the whole trip. Our hotel was also outstanding. Could not recommend his services more!

Stephen Molloy profile photo
Stephen Molloy, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Jessica

Thanks very much for your feedback and kind comments. I will use your validation of this hotel, to continue using it for some upcoming trips. Thanks for that!

Hollis

Spencer's bar mitzvah trip · France - Jun 13 - Jun 23, 2019

Traveler: Hollis H. - Local specialist: Stephen Molloy

Overall, we had a wonderful trip. In general, the excursions Stephen planned and booked for us were a big hit all the way around. A couple didn't quite make the grade, and I'll mention below specific thoughts on some of the elements of the trip.
The hotel in Paris was not up to the standards it should be to be rated 3 stars. I would not recommend it to anyone. The first room they gave us was ridiculously small for 3 people. The lamp shade was torn, the bathroom sink fixture was broken and the... read more

Overall, we had a wonderful trip. In general, the excursions Stephen planned and booked for us were a big hit all the way around. A couple didn't quite make the grade, and I'll mention below specific thoughts on some of the elements of the trip.
The hotel in Paris was not up to the standards it should be to be rated 3 stars. I would not recommend it to anyone. The first room they gave us was ridiculously small for 3 people. The lamp shade was torn, the bathroom sink fixture was broken and the tilt of the ceiling was such that anyone standing up would bump their head. We asked to be changed, and they were able to accommodate us. The second room was better, but still had issues. The towel bar under the sink was broken, which I mentioned to the staff, but they didn't repair it. A shelf was missing in the shower, and only bare screws showed. The hotel is in a lovely area walking distance to many different attractions, or a short subway ride. Their morning breakfast room was also very nice, and the breakfast they served was very good. The front desk staff seemed inattentive at best.
The Louvre tour was excellent, including a very good guide.
The tour guide for the tour of Montmarte was outstanding. She really knew her art and art history, and was very cheerful and pleasant.
Chunnel to England was the way to go - easy and smooth.
Our hotel in London was very nice, except they put us in a basement room. There was a lingering smell of mold and mildew in the corner of the room, which was unpleasant. Other than that, it was fine. We probably should have asked to change rooms, but repacking bags, etc. is a drag.
London Eye and Tower of London were great fun.
We missed the Sherlock Holmes tour due to us going to the wrong meeting place. I highly suggest you don't include the address for the company that runs the tour since that isn't the meeting place. Or at least pull the meeting place information up much higher - above the address of the tour company.
The speedboat ride on the Thames River was a blast. Highly recommend for people who don't easily get upset stomachs. Very fun.
The Buckingham Palace tour was excellent - including a fantastic tour guide.
The Jack the Ripper tour should be booked only with STRONG warnings that it is incredibly graphic and provides far too much information on just how each and every woman was killed and dismembered. Seriously, this tour is not for the faint of heart, or young children. There was a 10 year-old on our tour who was way too young to be hearing much of the tour. I had to turn my head away from some of the slides he showed. Don't book people on this tour unless they're well-informed on what they'll be hearing and seeing.
All the drivers we had were pleasant and well-informed. Only one driver - the one from the Paris train station to our hotel in Paris - seemed a bit clueless and not particularly interested in doing a good job. Everyone else was very professional.
We really enjoyed our vacation, and are happy we used KimKim.