What a pleasure it was working with Mieke and...
The Netherlands | Jul 15 - Jul 22, 2023

Scott D.
San Carlos, CA | Reviewed on Jul 27, 2023

What a pleasure it was working with Mieke and KimKim on our family trip to the Netherlands and Belgium! I have to say that planning and coordinating the trip with Mieke was actually a real pleasure. She is very knowledgeable and extremely responsive. I never had to wait for responses of excellent, creative suggestions from Mieke, at any hour.

Our trip went quite well. Mieke developed an itinerary for my three kids (22/20/17 - GGB ) that everyone enjoyed. We were in Amsterdam for 3 nights and Belgium for 4 nights. We are active and did bike rides in the countryside in Holland. We also did a bike ride around the ancient city of Bruges. To top it off, we kayaked in the countryside out of Ghent in Belgium.

United Airlines cancelled our return flight from Europe (just as they did last year - Oh, how I'd like to write a crushing review of UAL!). Anyway, we had 2 extra days in Amsterdam at the end of the trip. Mieke worked closely with me on this portion of the trip in real time while I was in Europe, despite the fact that I booked the hotel and activities myself, so she made no money from these efforts whatsoever.

Our transportation was spectacular. Our driver, Fred, was more than a driver, he became our guide and a friend. The mini-bus was a beautiful Mercedes Benz, and Fred always had cold water bottles for us. We stopped and charged the bus and got food at some cool roadside areas along the way. He always texted ahead of time with exact ETA's.

Our hotels were very nice, especially the Pillows Hotel in Ghent - OMG, it was a five-star experience. We felt like royalty. Our guides for Amsterdam and Ghent were both great and very knowledgable. We did a canal cruise in Amsterdam, which was fun, but I'd recommend a dinner or drink cruise in the evening. Also, be sure to have a rice table (reis taffel) dinner in Amsterdam, it was the best meal of the trip.

My only complaint is that it is not that easy to access KimKim on your phone remotely. I had to find an old email from Mieke in my Gmail box, and then connect to the website, and then select the trip itinerary, then finally, access a PDF of tickets etc. It was a bit of a hassle and could be better designed and more functional. But the good news, is that all your activities and tickets can be accessed from your phone with a little bit of work. So, I didn't even carry a backpack around for most of the trip, just my phone and wallet -- and that was super cool!

Three cheers for Mieke - she is truly a star and is great at what she does. You will love planning the trip with Mieke and KimKim almost as much as the trip itself.

Please add a sixth star, so that we can truly identify Mieke as one of the best travel professionals you will ever work with!

Scott D.
San Francisco, USA

Hotel Review
Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof

Beautiful, luxurious hotel. On a fairly ugly street in Ghent, so the entrance is not much to look at. But the hotel is wonderful and it's a 5 minute walk to the ancient city, without all the crowds and bustle. Breakfast is very nice. They have a gym. The staff is friendly and will pamper you, if you want.

Authenticity & Character
More modern than classic -somewhat of a contrast for an ancient city like Ghent, but very nice indeed!
5 mins from old town - the facade of the hotel is not impressive, but interior is great
Very friendly and helpful
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Mieke Arendsen
Mieke Arendsen
Local specialist in The Netherlands | Replied on Jul 27, 2023

Dear Scott

Thank you so much for your wonderful review and amazing words. You make me blush :) It was a pleasure working with you and I am glad the trip turned out so well for all of you. You have been very flexible about the bonus time that the airline threw in by cancelling their flight.
Thanks for your notes about the documentation and information; we're working on ways to make this easier to access and more user-friendly. Your insights are very welcome!
Best regards,