TestimonialsWhat our clients have said about our services
Ehud R., Israel
Thank you for a well planed trip and accommodations in Ireland.
Your business name - "Enchanting Ireland" really reflects both your plans and great service.
We enjoyed every minute of our stay. staying in one B&B for a few days was brilliant as it allowed us to spend more time traveling.
We wish you all the best and successful business
Ehud R., Israel
Kayla H., Issaquah, WA
I wanted to flood your Facebook with pictures, but in the end decided to pick my favorite. A rainbow seemed appropriate! My jacket size is Small. That's so thoughtful of you. :)
The trip went amazingly! The car was perfect (they gave us a tiny one that zipped along the narrow roads, and Miles became an Irish driving pro by the end). The B&Bs were an awesome choice; the owners added such a personal touch to our trip and we loved talking with them. I think Ardmore and doing the Cliff Walk was our favorite experience, but the Connemara loop was definitely up there. I also loved Kinsale-- we were there the weekend of a big rugby match, so people were out in droves celebrating and wearing their red fezzes. London was also excellent. My hotel was super close to the Tube, so I went to as many places as possible. :)
Thank you SO much for all your help planning our trip! You made it so convenient and efficient; I would have been way more stressed without you. :) I've already recommended you to another person and will definitely continue doing so for years to come.
Pat & Charlie H., Plymouth, MA
We are home and the trip was AWESOME! We were on the Driftwood part of Vagabond. The picture you posted was probably Mia's group as we seemed to follow each other. We had a non stop flight on Aer Lingus out of Boston, arrived in Dublin @ 5:00 am, had the best taxi driver who gave us a quick tour and suggestions as to what to do with our one day.
Arrived at the Westbury Hotel not expecting to find a room ready, but to our surprise there was one. So a perfect start. The hotel was beautiful and I am glad I chose it rather than the Canal as this hotel is perfectly located. After settling in, (no sleeping) we grabbed breakfast and did the on and off.
Spent the whole day out, early supper in a pub and then off to bed. Next day New Grange. Had a good guide and we enjoyed the experience.
Tuesday the Driftwood buses came, and if you recall we went the oppposite way of the original tour, starting in Belfast. Fast forward to the end of our trip, we all agreed this was the way to do it as Belfast, the black cab ride is a bit thought provoking and sad, but coming up from Gougane Barre Hotel was unbelievable and this ended our tour on a high.
Our Guide Emmett was outstanding, his love of country, family and his knowledge was unbelievable. He had us laughing from day 1. I cannot say enough about him. We were a group of 12 strangers who bonded quickly, no divas, no problems
Ireland is a beautiful country, Cliffs of Mohr, outstanding weather that day, a country with lots of history....and the food was good!!
I could go on but I am sure you have other things to do other than to read my email. Suffice it to say we are big fans of Driftwood and the way they run their tours and without a doubt Emmet is one of their biggest assets
If you would like any other information please let me know. We skipped funghi the dolphin :)
Thank you for hooking us up with this company.Driftwood Giant Irish Adv
Michael & Linda S., Sarasota, FL
Our trip is done today and I am writing from Dublin airport.
Everything you arranged was perfect. I was worried with the changes but there were zero problems.
Thanks a million as they say. We would like to return and do a circle drive from Dublin covering the south next time.
Hope you are having a great tone here too.Self Drive
Rick & Dawn T., Glen Ellyn, IL
We ended up driving ~750 miles all told (only about 100 or so totally lost!). Apparently, I need more signs than the Irish to get where I'm going. Not a big fan of tour buses, either. Had a couple "WTH!" encounters with them on the cart paths, I mean roads. Yikes!
Overall, I will say the trip was great- enjoyed it very much. B&Bs definitely the best way to go. We liked Killarney the best (so beautiful!) and Dublin the least (mostly just another big crowded city, and I think we were getting tired by then, too). A big Thank You for setting it all up! I still owe reviews that I plan on getting to soon.
Hope your trip went well, too.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.Self Drive
Brianne & Jeremiah C., Gerrardstown, WV
Hey Chris! The honeymoon was amazing. The weather was really nice for this time of year. Everyone we met kept saying it was unseasonably warm and we must have brought the weather with us. haha We managed to fit a LOT of sightseeing in and had a blast. J was really nervous with driving the first few days but he started getting the hang of how everyone drives over there. We learned to pull the side mirrors in! Covered a lot of miles and took a lot of photos. J thinks we need to move over there in a few years, but I told him they're having job market issues like we are in the states, so it may not be the best idea at this time. :) But we'd love to take another trip in a couple years!
The only thing I wanted to bring up with you, was the unknown insurance cost when we went to pick up our rental car at Dan Dooley. They said we could get the increased insurance for $400 or if we kept the low insurance, they needed to hold $1200 on a credit card. We didn't know about the requirement in advance, and neither of us had a credit card with enough credit on it for that so we had to pay the increased insurance of approx. $400. I'm not sure its in any of the fine print somewhere, but we weren't expecting to have to spend a chunk of our spending money on more insurance. :/ Maybe highlight this for future travelers!
[Note: We corresponded with Brianne to let her know that we notified her of the car rental deposit in her original quote, our Hints and Tips Guide as well as Car Rental Insert. We have increased exposure to this issue over the years and always looking for ways to improve so everyone knows about the credit card deposit.]
Thanks again for all of your help getting our trip set up!
Brianne & Jeremiah C.Self Drive
Stephanie P., Plano, TX
I cannot even begin to properly describe how wonderful our Ireland vacation was. Thank you so much for your assistance with booking the trip. The River Lee Hotel in Cork had probably the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in (and being pregnant that was a definite plus). I even went to their spa for a pedicure and it was fantastic. Everything about the trip that you handled for us went smoothly; from the hotel accommodations and using the website to pre-book our B&Bs to the rail tour to Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway and even picking up and dropping off our rental car. Everything was so easy.
The rail tour was a wonderful experience, even though we were rained on the entire time we were at the Giant’s Causeway (but it was October, what more could we expect?). Overall, the weather we had was really nice – sunny most days with maybe a few brief showers and relatively warm, considering.
I have to say, my absolute favorite part of the trip was not even something we planned – or knew about before we went. We had a wonderful cab driver take us to pick up our rental car on the fourth day who recommended that we go to a small town called Enniskerry just south of Dublin then visit the Powerscourt Park. The town had a few nice shops and we had a fantastic burger in a pub at the center of town. About 15 minutes from town is the park, which cost about 6 Euros to enter. The word “Park” does not do this place justice. It’s a lovely forest with the most magnificent waterfall I have ever seen. For any of your clients that enjoy nature trails, etc., this is a must-see stop. Everywhere we walked in the park was one wonderful view after another (and the hot chocolate I bought at their snack stand was delicious, too).
Oh, and if you have never stayed at Maggie O’s B&B in Killarney I recommend you do so just to have her pancakes in the morning; she was also incredibly kind and the home was lovely. I am completely ruined for pancakes now; none will ever live up to hers.
Thanks again for helping us plan the perfect anniversary vacation!
Stephanie P., Plano, TX
Jeff S., Alberta, Canada
Yes, Ireland was amazing! Can't wait to go back again.
The credit statement should arrive this week, so will double check - but I am sure they did the refund...thanks a million for handling that for us. [NOTE: A prepaid hotel charged them for some reason but we were able to quickly have that refunded.]
Dublin was fun and pretty frenetic. We were ready to go by the time the day came. The hotel (as you had said) was very basic...our least favourite place to stay by far (huge industrial fans out the window, and staff - well - not the friendliest).[NOTE: Dublin is crazy and our usual hotels were pricing way above their value so we offered alternatives. In this case, Blooms Hotel... which is so-so but priced well.]
But Ballycotton was spectacular. Have you stayed at the Bayview? It was our favourite place...gorgeous, the most incredible and friendly hotel staff, and the seafront garden...could have stayed there a long time!
We had a great time in Kenmare. Got lost a million times (and swamped by a cycling tour)...but got to see some stone circles, and wander through the provincial park. That place is absolutely gorgeous. The hotel was just fine...probably should have made Doolin the 3 nighter, but that's okay too).
The west coast - gods, I could move there! Really. Next time I go, I will skip Dublin side altogether, and just stay along there. County Clare was like a song I didn't want to end. It was the coast, and the bits of the Burren that did it...and the music in Doolin. Hotel Doolin was a huge (and really pleasant) surprise. Couldn't tell at all from the website how lovely the place was, and the staff there was also phenomenal. Loved it!
The castle. Sigh...Kinnitty was grand. You could kind of see the transition out of receivership in some rough corners - but it is just spectacular. The grounds, the room (the bathroom!), and the food. It was beautiful. No ghosts though!
County Meath - wow. Could have spent a long time there...it was really hard to decide what to see - so much history. The festival there was delightful, and my performance was very fun. I had picked the Newgrange Hotel...wouldn't stay there again, but it did the job, and was handy in terms of location.
The airport hotel was just fine.
Driving was an adventure...no daydreaming on the road, that's for certain!
Chris, I can't thank you enough for your help with all this. It was so helpful to have all your tips, and the many extra things you did. I will recommend you and what you do to anyone.
Sending along a photo of us at Ladies View, and my best to you.Self Drive
Jason Y., Sylmar, CA
Well we just arrived back from Ireland and had a great time. Renting a car was diffinately the right way to go, although it took about 2 days to get used to driving on the left side of the road, and the blinding rain and fog didn't help that second day. Overall it was an amazing experience and a great place to visit. The Irish people were great, and getting lost on some of the smaller roads and taking the "scenic routes" really made all the difference.
I'm not going to lie, it is tough being back in the concrete gray city, and not on those windy green mountain roads.
Now to start planning next year's trip - Turkey and Greece.
Thanks again for all your help.
Chris: How do you think the final itinerary worked based on the original? Was it well-paced or would you have done a bit more? That's always good for me to know on how much to push back on folks... it is YOUR vacation after all.
I really liked the way it worked out, and am glad that I planned it out in such detail. I've gone the other way and not planned, and felt lost and like I didn't experience the trip at all. I thought it was well paced but wish I had realized that the driving distances weren't really that far apart and could be done in a couple of hours at the most. We spent a lot of time exploring the cities and seeing some sites that we hadn't planned to see but that meant that we missed other sites, fortunately, those were brewries so it wasn't that big a deal.
I would diffinately recommend getting lost on side roads since those brought us the best views of the countryside. We stayed off the "freeways" as much as possible by inputing the next city along our map rather than the final distination. In some instances we purposely ignored the GPS so that we could go through the mountains and hills, but liked having the GPS on so that we could know where we were even though we weren't following the directions. Or, if it was getting late and we were getting tired, we could just take the fastest route to the B&Bs, which were extremely easy to find with the GPS. As for the B&Bs, the only change I would make is to stay closer to the towns. Our longest walking distance was 15-20 minutes (5 minutes via car) but it seemed like there were some nice places to stay closer to town which would have made it easier to walk there and spend more time in town.
Dublin was great, two full days there was the perfect amout of time and I would recommend that to everyone. One day wouldn't have been enough to really enjoy or get to know the other parts of the city. We didn't like Cork and I would never go there again, but that was my choice because I was unaware of the distances. Wish I had either stayed closer to Blarney or Middleton. Other than that, I really liked the distances between the locations from day to day. Millie had commented that she would have liked to spend two days in each location but I tried to explain that you end up seeing less than we say so it was fine. I think it was more a matter of living out of a suitcase for two weeks that bothered her. I think it was the right amount of time for what we did. Had we tried to do more in the time we had I think it would have been too much.
The Waterford Castle was a great experience with good "bar" food. For some reason we got the giggles there and could't stop laughing for 20 minutes. Must have been something in the air? Exploring the small towns is the way to go and what I would recommend after the manditory stay in Dublin.
I wouldn't mind doing the northern route from Dublin to Belfast along the northern coast and back down to Galway and then out from Shannon airport again, probably some time in the future, but there are other places like Thailand, South America, Australia and China that I would like to visit over the next few years.
JasonFly & Drive
Kimberly K., Grabill, IN
Chris, thank you! Everything went very smoothly with no issues. The only "snag" that we ran into was with the rental car. We ended up paying out an additional $295 US for the rental. First, the person driving must have a credit card in their name. We only brought one card and it had my name on it, not my husband's, so we had to add him as an additional driver for 10 Euros a day. Then they charged you 75 Euros for gas and then there was the insurance. If you didn't want to have a $3,000 block put on your credit card, you could purchase the additonal insurance for, I believe, 15 Euros a day. This allowed you no block and only a $100 deductible. Not a big deal, but $300 we didn't plan on spending right off the plane. This information might come in handy for your future customers. We weren't the only ones being caught unprepared for these charges. Everyone in line in front of us was having the same issues. Some people were down right rude about it!
So enough with the negative! I was so impressed with the way everthing went. Everyone was expecting us. We handed in our vouchers and off we went. The dinner at Kinnitty Castle was spectacular! They even provided us with a bottle of wine. We were so not expecting that!
My husband did very well with the driving. We purchased an iphone app for navigation and saved on the GPS rental at the rental car company. We couldn't have made it without it! It worked off of your phone's GPS and not data, so it worked really well with no additional fees. The drive from Killkenny, via Blarney Castle, to Kinnitty was the worst. Small country roads and big tractors. The last hour was the longest. I thought my husband was going to have a coronary :-), but we made it safely.
The weather was typical Irish weather. The day we went to the Cliffs was very windy and the swells for the boat tour were very large, but we made it and we made it to the Aran Islands as well. Well, just the first island, it was too rough to go to the third. We were prepared for the weather and we didn't let it stop us in any way! It was mid 50's all week and it didn't rain at all when we were in Dublin.
We had a full Irish breakfast the first day at O'Connor's Guest House in Doolin. It was very good. I even tried the black pudding, which was not to my taste, but tried it anyway. We had a nice breakfast each morning, a lite lunch (usually soup) and dinner at a pub. We were surprised that you got a clip board with a couple items on it to choose from and portion sizes are smaller. The best ham and cheese sandwich I have eaten was at a pub in Dublin. Nothing fancy, just a sandwich the bar keep made on a hot plate behind the bar, but it was sooo good!
The people are an absolute delight. Everything is, "yeah, yeah, no problem". Very friendly! Needless to say, we wished we could have stayed longer and would go back in a heart beat. I thank you so much for all you did and how patient you were with all my questions. There is so much that we saw and did that I won't bore you with, but I couldn't have asked for a better trip. I have attached a picture for you of my husband and I on our way to Dingle. Put us down as another satisfied customer!
Thank you again! Gregory & KimberlySelf Drive