Spain in 11 days - culture, art, adventure, food, people and more!
Aug 21 - Aug 31, 2023
Honestly, I can write an essay on my incredible experience with Rita Pagano, our trip specialist to Spain. The tours and experiences she designed for us, including the guides she appointed, private transfers, train rides, restaurant suggestions - it was a 10 star Spain vacation!
Rita is very skilled at understanding her client’s preferences. Within a couple of chat exchanges on their portal, she very grasped what I am looking for, and the kind of balanced experience I was interested. Within a few hours, she put together a draft plan, which was 70% ready, and then we iterated to fine tune. I should add, I am very picky when it comes to hotel quality (very used to Marriott Bonvoy), but she identified some boutique and local options that truly enhanced our experience, and was able to add along free breakfasts, extended stays etc., which made it so helpful.
To top it all were the guides she selected – Carla for the Tapas crawl in Barcelona, Anna for Gaudi tour in Barcelona, Julia’s kayaking/snorkeling trip in Costa Brava, Andres for architecture tour in Seville, even Adrian’s tuktuk tour in Valencia were all very enjoyable. Most of the guides were history or architecture majors and brought their passion into the tours. All I shared with Rita was that we want a balanced experience of Spain touching adventure, architecture, culture, food and people – the rest she designed it all, and it was well beyond our imagination! The activities were custom to our liking and rigor.
Above all, I would say Rita is patient, responsive and provided outstanding on-ground support, in a way that I did not expect. Everything was seamless, and if a few things did not work out, Rita jumped in and sorted things out (some times even working outside her office hours). Despite us not speaking on the phone even once, let alone meeting, Rita made us feel assured and was responsive beyond my imagination. I found Kimkim through TripAdvisor, and was initially skeptical about its legitimacy. But I cannot wait to book my trip with them again.
Rita, your team is very lucky to have you, and we were delighted to work with you. With a giant thank you from my family.
Outstanding location - cannot beat this one. But the hotel itself needs to renovate. Staff rarely speak English, and are not very friendly. Breakfast was limited and the coffee machine did not work on both days (one option for the entire hotel). But the location, pool, access to beach and shops is unbeatable.
If you want to live in an apartment with your kitchen, laundry and have a couple of rooms (good for family or small groups), then this ideal. Located minutes from all the key places in Barcelona, with an outstanding staff, these are sleek apartments with modern finishes. The rooms are very small though, and I would have preferred to have a door separating the master bathroom and bedroom, but overall, really nice.
A quaint, European hotel in the hub of Valencia with great access to food and landmarks. Excellent value for money and great staff. They were very accommodating with our unique requests. The rooms are very clean and have modern amenities. The breakfast buffet was very good - in fact, much better than some of the 5 stars. We did have a bit of an issue with their ventilation system at times - there was a trapped odor during times of the day.
Carla was so passionate about her culture and has incredible knowledge about local foods. It was very enjoyable. The selection of the restaurants and foods were fabulous. Carla also paid attention to the unique dietary needs, and took us to places with more vegetarian and fish options, as opposed to meats. We also lucked out with the other family who was in our group.
Gaudi's architecture is spectacular. But Anna, our guide, made it even more special. A student of art, history and production, she is very knowledgeable and passionate about the field. We had so many related conversations that made the whole experience superb. We saw Familia Sagrada and Casa Batillo over a 4 hour period with a short break of 10 minutes. Very easy and manageable, and did not feel rushed. Possible to do it in 3 hours if you are in a bind.
One of the best experiences ever. Julia, our instructor, gave us clear guidance for kayaking and snorkeling and adapted the experience to our fitness levels, My daughter, who is a competitive gymnast, did cliff diving, while I who can barely swim stuck to kayaking and snorkeling , which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Enchanting place, with a unique mix of Gothic, Moorish and Andalusian architecture. I have never seen such intermingling of cultures anywhere! A must do experience - especially with someone as knowledgeable as Andres, our guide. We had so many interesting discussions on history, global evolution, religious influences - all of it added so much to the experience.
The Flameco tablao was one of the most traditional and authentic places in the region. In fact, our guide told us that the artists are well paid there. so they can focus on their art. For me, this was particularly important as I am a professional dancer of a form (Kathak) that shares roots with Flamenco. I loved the experience. It was an hour-long performance (just right).
I didn't know what to expect. So left it to Rita to suggest. An easy, laid back trip that takes your though the cities landmarks from ancient to modern. Again, Adrian, our guide was very engaging and proud of his city.