"Cathy and I found our eight-day Southeast Asia adventure to be memorable and were completely pleased with Trails of Indochina.
Where to begin?
The guides were all exceptional: Ahn at the Lak Tented Camp, Duc in Saigon, Sarom in Cambodia, and Tuoi in Laos. Each one of them was sensitive to our desires, always there to help, and very knowledgeable and ready to teach us about the place where they live. They made us feel like special guests. I also must mention Cau who took us on the history and culture tour of Ho Chi Minh City. He took us to the former residence of Henry Cabot Lodge where we met Mr. Dong, father of John – the owner of Trails of Indochina. He was just one of many fascinating characters we were introduced to during our tours.
Four flights were part of our itinerary. On each occasion, someone from Trails of Indochina took us to the airport and met us as we arrived. What a relief it was to be greeted in Siem Reap and Luang Prabang and have someone facilitate our entry into Cambodia and Laos.
The hotels in each of the four locations were not just comfortable and accommodating for western visitors but of the highest quality. We stayed in a two-story bungalow at the Lak Tented Camp where the lake vistas were breath-taking. As you’ll recall, Fusion Suites was a late addition to our itinerary. We really enjoyed our three nights in this contemporary hotel. I’ll never forget the gracious, professional staff at the Shinta Mani Resort in Siem Reap. No matter the time of day, someone would meet us at the door of our car with a greeting of “Welcome home!”. The Satri House Hotel in Luang Prabang was constructed around the former home of a Laotian prince. Unique design and character.
Trails of Indochina representatives called me while we were in Saigon, Siem Reap, and Luang Prabang. They wanted to be sure that Cathy and I were totally satisfied. I hope I convinced each of these callers that we were. I was also asked to complete a written survey at our last two stops. Trails of Indochina received “Excellent” grades in every category.
I can’t thank you and Patty enough for introducing this first-class tour company to us. We will certainly recommend it to all of our friends.
George – in an email message you sent a couple of months ago you promised to “make our dreams come true”. You, Patty, and Trails of Indochina did more than that. You created memories for a lifetime."
I must start by sending you and Patty a huge THANK YOU. The trip was absolutely amazing. I could see your thoughtful touches throughout the entire trip - starting with the very helpful VIP host to take us through customs (Alexia), to the FABULOUS rooms, to the wisdom to get upgraded train tickets and speedy boarding on the Easy Jet flight. The tickets that you arranged for us at the sightseeing events (Louvre, Versailles, Vatican...etc) saved us countless hours of waiting in lines. That alone was so valuable. I must say that you were 100% right about the Hotel D'aubusson. It was beautiful and just perfect - the location, the cleanliness and the wonderful staff. I also wanted to point out that the Treasure Hunt at the Louvre was also outstanding. It was very worth it and a highlight of our trip. Our guide, Phillip, made it so much for Peyton. I too learned from him in a very fun and entertaining way.
The Hotel Flora in Rome was beautiful and the room was very elegant and spacious - also a great recommendation. I have already told several people that YOU made the trip. Your knowledge of both Paris and Italy really shined through and made such a difference in our trip. I can't say again how awesome it was to walk to the front of the line each day and avoid hours of waiting. My sincere thanks to you and your wife for guiding the way...making a vacation a trip of a lifetime for Peyton and me."
"For many years, the top of our "Bucket List" included several weeks in France experiencing the awe and majesty of its Gothic cathedrals. On the occasion of a combined 75th birthday/32nd wedding anniversary, we began planning this trip. We turned to George and Patty Benford to help us transform our random thoughts into the trip of a lifetime. Over the course of several years, Bob had studied every possible aspect of numerous cathedrals in France. Erika had a desire to spend time in the quiet and charming beauty of Provence. We both had a dream of a barge trip down the Loire River and the delights of both exquisite wines and exquisite chateaus.
Not only did George and Patty offer amazing professional guidance, they also made the planning fun! Each of our ideas was worked into a smooth and seamless itinerary. They designed the initial itinerary that was tweaked and refined several times. The final binder was complete with tickets and confirmations and directions for every part of the itinerary. Included was extensive historical and cultural information for each of our destinations. And, amid all of this, we found ourselves in a wonderful new friendship with both George and Patty."
-Bob and Erika Reynolds
"Over the past three years I have had the pleasure of working with George and Patty Benford at Travel by Patty Benford/Viking on numerous projects. When working with this team, there is never any need to worry as your every need and want is taken care of. George works with the hotels to secure exactly what is needed and negotiates the best deal possible for your company. Patty is amazing at working with clients to secure travel for them and always gets them the best deal and travel itinerary. Meeting space is always secured as needed for little or no cost, and Food and Beverage costs are kept at low minimum in negations.
With our US and International programs, Travel by Patty Benford/Viking takes care of every aspect including ground transportation, flights, site-checks, Food and Beverage negations, meeting space and sleeping rooms. George and Patty have worked with our company KAO USA for over 10 years and each event in all categories has been flawless, going that extra mile each and every time with our customers, making sure their every need is taken care of.
I can not say enough about how important it is to have Travel by Patty Benford/Viking working with you on your event - whether a small local event for 50 people or a large international event for thousands. George, Patty and team are who you want there working for you!"
-Cara Carr, Director National Shows and Events, KAO USA/Goldwell KMS California
"George and his team seemed to put as much care in planning our European trip as if he were planning his own. They helped turn a vague collection of ideas we had into a truly amazing experience that our family will never forget."
-Rit Venerus, Charlottesville, VA
"The trip was magnificent! As I was arranging to send a "thank you" to you, I received the most beautiful bouquet of flowers expressing thanks to me! What a lovely surprise! I could never have made all the arrangements on my own--the transfers alone were a godsend. The house and chefs in Provence were perfect--we loved the comfort of the mas and the food was exactly what I wanted for the family. The hotel in Nice was perfectly located--we walked over to the great restaurants in Old Nice each night and swam in the Perouse lovely pool each afternoon (everyone but me did the rocky beaches--I did that in 1963 and I still remember those rocks). Paris--well, what can I say? It is the most beautiful city in the world, and for the first time, I got to enjoy it without having to take care of a group of students and/or adults. The Napoleon Hotel was unbelievable--when we drove up to the Arc de Triomphe and made a right before entering the Etoile, I was sure I had died and gone to Heaven. Thank you so much for choosing perfect hotels, for arranging chefs, transfers, and tickets. You gave us the perfect vacation, and I can't express enough my gratitude for all your help.
"Thanks very much George!
We had a fabulous trip!!
Cruise ship accommodations were terrific, as was the ship itself. Loved the island stops and the tour in Croatia. Tour operators throughout the trip were on time, knowledgeable and truly seemed to enjoy their work which came across in their enthusiasm. Kept the kids interested which was key! Moving from city to city was seamless, thanks to those whom you hired to get us from one place to another. The Metropole Hotel in Venice was so cute. Such a beautiful breakfast buffet only wish we could have lingered longer. The Grand Hotel Cavour was in a terrific location and great rooftop bar. May have captured a Christmas card photo while enjoying the space. The rooms were clean and of good size but very strange decor. Lots of bright pink and silver flowers on the walls. Apparently, the 2nd floor has been remodeled but I did not see the rooms...just FYI. The Grand Hotel Miramare was the perfect ending to the trip. Beautiful location and very nice, old Italian decor. We enjoyed the beach across the road that they have a relationship with and ran into Portifino on our final day. Definitely want to go back and enjoy the Cinque Terra region in the future! Ended up changing our tour itinerary in Munich to a walking and bicycling tour of the city. Kids were "museumed out" even for BMWs. Turned out to be a great way to get acquainted with the city.
Thank you again for your help in planning, rearranging our trip after a difficult start, and for having wonderful contacts in each of the countries!
We will definitely contact you again with travel planning and I will gladly share your contact information with friends."