“Dear Yulia,
I want to send you a very large thanks you for looking after Liz Strange & Suzie Williams so well on their recent trip to St Petersburg.
I spoke to Liz late on Friday and she said that the city was magnificent. AMAZING, incredible, it went like clockwork, the best trip she has been on with us. Couldn’t thank us enough.
Maria Zotova her guide was absolutely fantastic, warm, great fun, informed, interesting, unbelievably good.
They got to see Rembrandt’s prodigal son at the Hermitage with no one else in the room!
She appreciated the gifts for her birthday and the cake at the Astoria. Thank you for all your help in choosing these.
Went to the FS for dinner for Liz’s 50th birthday and had a wonderful meal, met the chef thanks to their driver who was best friends with him.
Their driver was excellent, always there never rushed them or acted bored.
The Rocco Forte Hotel Astoria was by far the best for them for location, service and decor.
It snowed on the 1st night so they got to see a snow topped St Isaacs.
She said that she is so grateful to all of us for our hard work, attention to detail and wonderful knowledge. Another happy client.
Please pass on your thanks to all the team.

Kind regards, Clare Watkins

“Dear Helen,
Please see below the lovely feedback from Travel Tree’s clients who recently travelled with you. Thank you for your efforts with this family!

“For the Russian portion, the hotels and guides were great. I’m glad we didn’t pack the days with too much to see, as the kids wouldn’t have handled it. It was a very adult orientated trip, but we were lucky to have playgrounds near both hotels, which helped a lot, and they were close to good restaurants, sites and transport for when we did our own thing. They were very comfortable too, and quite nice. Our guides, in particular Nadia in Moscow, and our first guide in St Petersburg, Maria, were absolutely great – really engaging, very knowledgeable and were good with keeping the pace fast for the kids (they do pretty well, but the wheels fall off the wagon when lingering too long in museums and palaces where they have to be quiet and not touch things). Maria also made mention of the fact that the driver (Edward) we had in St Petersburg was excellent (apparently some can be a bit bossy but ours was great, and provided a pram too, as we forgot ours in the rush to leave), which may be worth passing on.

Our hotel locations in Helsinki and Tallinn were great as well, and both were comfortable. The Helsinki one was the only one where we had to actually share a room with the kids for the whole trip, and the family room at the Hotel Palace had a Lego toy box and was perfect for the kids. We enjoyed having that part of the trip at our leisure after the full on ‘touristing’ in Russia. Overall we really enjoyed our trip, and we’re happy with what the tour agency organised for us sites, guides and accommodation wise. I really enjoyed Tallinn too, it is a beautiful city. It is definitely worth making a side trip to if you’re in the general area!!

Also, in the end we were fine with not upgrading for the trains and ferry as well, as we had table seats booked so the four of us were all together in one group, and on the train to Helsinki, we were in the car that had a little play area for kids!! The ferry was fine too, as it’s a massive boat with full on shopping stores for duty free, bars, a live band and even a burger king and food court. We found comfy seating ok, and I think would’ve missed some of the fun if we were whisked to first class.
Thank you! Harvey Family

“I am just returned from what has been my most rewarding and beautiful travel ever.
My daily plans were all fulfilled in a professional manner by my guides in each city.
The guides were highly educated and spoke in understandable and excellent English.
The drivers too, were reliable to the minute and transported me to the various stations and airports in good time.

Accommodation at the various hotels was excellent I have no complaints the IBIS hotels in Moscow and Kazan were of a very high standard and the Suzdal Inn was a dream the quality outstanding and always the staff were polite and friendly.
In fact the Russian people I found to be so kind, friendly, polite and always ready to help.
I was overwhelmed by their positive attitude to me and cannot praise them enough!

The programme/itinerary/organisation provided by Travel Russia was so good that nothing ever disappointed full marks to the company for their excellent work on my behalf and I can wholly recommend Travel Russia for their total professionalism in arranging my individual travel without any errors or disappointments.
It did help that I am Orthodox by faith and educated myself beforehand in Russian history and culture/music/art. The guides were very impressed with my acquired knowledge and we all shared our knowledge and ideas.

I am so in awe of Russia and its people that I certainly want to revisit for more wonderful and beautiful experiences.
Thanks, Leslie Hindle

“Hi Svetlana,
I just wanted to share their great feedback-thanks for taking such great care of these clients!
From Steven: Our trip was fantastic! We wanted to write a letter to Artisans of Leisure letting them know how wonderful our guide was. Overall St Petersburg was amazing. One of the most beautiful cities I have been to. I can not recommend it enough. Loved the palaces, the walks, the churches, the Ballet, the guides, the food all of it!!!!!

From Jodi: Just back and WOW WOW WOW !!!!!!!!!! it was ABSOLUTELY sensational. I can't recommend it highly enough. The food, the culture, the history, the architecture, the art, the whole experience was BEYOND !!!!!!!! Our guide Alya was the MOST remarkable woman we have every met. She was so knowledgeable, so kind, so patient, so extremely amazing. We have never had a guide like her. She made the trip! She was just phenomenal on every level.
We came away feeling stuffed full of knowledge and historical understanding. I can't tell you what a wonderful experience we had and I can't thank you enough, for all that you did to arrange such a memorable trip.
Warm regards, Maria

“HI Tatiana, Helen and all at Travel Russia,
Thank You so much for a great 2 days in St Petersburg. We thoroughly enjoyed our touring and your guides were superior as always.
Unfortunately the Hermitage was very very busy....but we knew it would be. For many guests it was very overwhelming and then the rain did not make it easy for us to get back to our bus and into the lunch venue. Very good lunch as always. We made it to Church of the Spilled Blood, which was also very busy and final Peter and Paul Fortress.
Our Peterhof visit was excellent and not too busy. The fountains and Gardens were great and so was lunch at the Summer Palace. The Highlight for all was the PVT St Isaacs! to end off our day. Thank YOU all very much indeed.
Thanks and Best Wishes” Nadia & Kelsey

“Dear Valeria,
I just received a really nice feedback from Mrs Schmalenbach. She said they had a great trip and especially wanted to thank you for the great organization! Also from my side, obviously we would be nothing without your help.
They pointed out Oxana Lartschenko in Moscow, but also all other guides and the drivers were really good. They loved “Giselle” but rather prefer seats in the first or second row to have a better view. The program was pretty full, but they said they wanted to see as much as possible and they now can relax at home ;-)
So thank you to everybody involved, it makes us all feel very good to make clients happy!
All the best and have a great day!
Managing Director Margot Deh

“Hi Helen,
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and the team for organising an impeccably run trip for the Cats Whiskers. It was faultless! The whole group were extremely impressed with everything they saw and the complete organisation of everything. They thought that the folklore show and dancers were very entertaining and it worked well as a welcome dinner. They appreciated having the transport for the theatre goers. Loved the choice of restaurants. They said the two coaches were very comfortable and they appreciated the extra space.

Here are some of their comments:
I think I mentioned to you that my husband and I had been to St Petersburg in June 2004 so it really was a different experience seeing it in the snow. Everything was so well organised and your guides were absolutely wonderful. So much knowledge at their finger tips. The highlights for me were going to the Hermitage on the day it was closed to the public and the Faberge Museum, which didn't exist when we were there before. I was very glad that I had gone to the Russia, Royalty and the Romanovs Exhibition at the Queens Galley before I came on the trip, as it really set the scene.
The trip to St Petersburg was outstanding and special. Faultlessly organised, wonderful staff, super places and itinerary as well as being historically fascinating. It felt like a family get together. Thanks so much to you and Katya for your caring input.
St Petersburg is a beautiful city and was magical in the snow. We had doors opened for us which gave us such privileged access.
Thank you once again and please pass on our huge thanks to the guides.
Best wishes, Katie

“Dear Amy, Just a quick note to say: What a fabulous trip! All the arrangements were excellent. I really enjoyed and benefited from every moment.
Please pass on my thanks to all involved. Please especially thank for me our local guide, Gulya. She was the guide on Coach 1 and I was the chap at the front in red sailing jacket. She was just so knowledgeable, enthusiastic and entertaining.
Please also thank the guide escorting us to the Opera and Ballet, Tania. She will also recognise me if you mention my red jacket. She gave us such good briefings on the journey to the theatres which enhanced our enjoyment.
And, of course, special thanks to Katya and Nick. ‎We really appreciated the special access and arrangements that Katya had organised and facilitated - and both of them were very hospitable and solicitous hosts throughout the trip.
It was a really special experience.
Thank you! Yours, John

“Hello Helen and Valeria,
The Zadrozny’s enjoyed their trip very much – thank you for all your work to keep our trusted clients happy!
Both guides were terrific. I would like to especially cite Elena for her enthusiasm, her ability illuminate every with wonderful historical information and color, her unbelievable depth of knowledge and her perfect command of the English language. She is a gem.
Many thanks, Sabrina

“Dear Helen,
We would like to send a note of thanks to Nadia
Radaeva for her great company and guiding from July 18 to 28.
And thanks to Travel Russia for the great logistics and other regional guides. And for locating my jacket and sending to Irkusk from Kazan!
Best regards, Laurence Cockcroft

“Hi Helen,
We are now back in our own beds after an amazing trip. Thank you so much for all your expert organising.
I would recommend Kiev to anyone interested in history and culture, and the same for Crimea. Sevastopol and Yalta hotels excellent, as was Kiev and Simferopol. Breakfasts to die for - from obesity! Guides always excellent in Russia and now we can say this of Ukraine also. Our Ukrainian guide would say at the end of a full days sightseeing, " oh, I just want to show you this beautiful church, it's my favourite." Of course you can't refuse, no matter how tired you are.
Highlights in Crimea - an 11th century working Armenian monastery where they bake their own pastries, a little café in Bakhchisarai where we ate plouv and homemade baklava and lemonade, Vorontsov's Palace with its shady, gardens and huge trees. The man's wife was Pushkin's mistress, and all this perched on the cliffs. The ocean one way and the mountains the other. Crimea is like the Italian Mediterranean but slightly down market, oh, and with down market prices.You always have the beautiful background of the mountains with fluffy clouds floating on top.
Again, thank you for putting it all together. I wouldn't have liked to do it myself.
Best regards, Louise

“Good morning!
I just want to pass on our sincere thanks for your assistance with our two travellers and their guests, Mr Brenden Hodgkins and Mr Ajdin Dracic, over the World Cup Finals.
We have had great feedback from our guests and this is of course because of your help in securing such great accommodation and organising the cars to/from the stadium so it was seamless for the travellers.
Thank you so much for your professionalism and fast response times – you made this job so much easier for us.

With much thanks,
Gabrielle Dutton

“They had the most fabulous time and were extremely positive about the trip. Please pass our thanks to everyone involved at the hotel. Here is some feedback on the trip.
  • Gulia was a great success and did a brilliant job. She was knowledgeable, flexible, helpful and great company. Please do pass on our special thanks to her for all her hard work.
  • They adored the ballet and you got them amazing seats.
  • All visits wonderful and you navigated the huge crowds well.
  • They took themselves off to the opening of the bridges (01h10am) with the huge crowds that attend that, and really enjoyed it.
  • The Astoria was definitely the best choice in the city. Great rooms, grand enough without being over the top, definitely the best location. They loved overlooking St Isaacs and the staff were great, the service was excellent and the food delicious. The whole place was sparkling and clearly the management are doing a great job.
Laurie Werner, who writes for Forbes Magazine in the USA
Maxine Albert, who writes for Jax Fax Travel Magazine and Bella New York and Los Angeles”

“Hi Travel Russia!
I'm having an AMAZING time! I LOVE Russia!! The fact you didn't hear from me is good. Type-A, high expectations me, and I'm silent all this time except for one schedule Q!? Almost unheard of. The ballets were amazing. The dancing is just unparalled compared to anything I've seen (including NYC, Royal Winnipeg, etc.). The ballets were different in style, so I also got a great mix in repetoire. Maria actually hooked me up with her friend my last AM in St. Petersburg such that I got to tour Faberge's workshop (and see the safe) and hit the Nabokov house and museum. Maria - I can rave about her forever. It was like having my bestie with me. Moscow is so pretty and clean and the weather is perfect. Nalalia took me to a national celebration/festival downtown Moscow in which I got to see Russian folk dancing this morning (so cool!). She also suggested the Circus Nikulin. I just got home from that and it was crazy good. I am not in favor of the animal aspect, and there were some animals, but I tried to just liken it to seeing the running of the bulls because, well,...when in Madrid... My main interest for the circus was the acrobatics and such - it did not disappoint (a performer in pointe shoes dancing on a tight rope with no security net?!? Unreal). Four Seasons (both) have cleanliness, service levels, decor, and amenities that are perfection. Spa time at St. Petersburg was wonderful (and needed), and I'm going to spend some time at the spa here on Sunday before I leave. I feel totally safe walking around by myself and being out in the open around the areas where I've stayed. So sad only a few more days left....

Thanks for checking in!

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