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 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.