Mystery shopper: Dorset, Algarve golf break

Mystery shopper: Dorset, Algarve golf break

Location: Shaftesbury and Sturminster Newton, Dorset
Wanted: A couple is looking for a golf break of between five days and a week in the Algarve, Portugal. They’d like to travel in May or June, avoiding the school half-term.
Budget: £1,600

Co-operative Travel
5 Bell Street, Gillingham
90%
I was acknowledged straight away with a pleasant greeting and an offer of help. The agency was tidy, but there could have been more posters in the window. I was given two suggestions, both for five nights departing on May 23. The first option was with Thomas Cook, staying at the Dom Pedro Vilamoura and flying with easyJet from Stansted, for £1,303. The second was with Jet2Holidays, staying at the Vila Gale Ampalius and flying with easyJet from Bristol, which cost £1,365. The agent made sure all my needs were met; he explained about accommodation, food, car hire, green fees and shuttle buses. I was also offered a room with a sea view for a slightly higher price.

Hays Travel
14 High Street, Shaftesbury

87%
Everything was neatly displayed and accessible, and I was acknowledged immediately. The agent was enthusiastic and patient. I was offered six nights at the Dom Pedro Vilamoura, flying with Jet2, for £1,448. No operator was specified but I was given a Monarch brochure. The agent was knowledgeable about the Algarve and golf, and gave me information on car hire. He was thorough in determining my holiday needs, within the budget.

Spear Travels
35a Market Place, Sturminster Newton

81%
The shop was clean, but the agent who assisted me had an untidy desk. The agent was friendly and was patient to begin with, but became edgy as I asked for more details. I was offered a six-night holiday with Thomson Gold, staying at the Falésia Hotel and flying with Thomson Airways, for £1,308. The recommendations met the brief, although car hire and green fees were extra. The agent was thorough in ascertaining my needs.


Winning agent

Andrew Rabbitts, sales consultant

“I have been with Co-operative Travel for four-and-a-half years and love providing good customer service and finding people the right holiday.”


Verdict

All the agents did well this week, but the winner had the edge by offering two quotes and discussing a room upgrade.


Elite resorts caribbean

Top-scoring agent each month will win use of a car for 10 days.

The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Winners under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. Elite Island Resorts will endeavour to supply the car to the agency but reserves the right to request the winning agent to collect and return the car from Essex or a central location

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