Mystery Shopper: Cardiff, Dominican Republic holiday for four friends

Mystery Shopper: Cardiff, Dominican Republic holiday for four friends

Wanted: Four friends want to go to the Dominican Republic in February or March for 10 days staying in at least four-star accommodation. They are interested in excursions.
Budget: £6,500

Thomson, 8 Queen Street

I was greeted within a minute and offered a drink. The agent was enthusiastic throughout. I was offered an all-inclusive holiday with First Choice, flying to Punta Cana on a Dreamliner with Thomson Airways, departing on February 19. We discussed a few hotels but the agent’s suggestion of the ClubHotel Riu Bachata seemed the best.

It cost £4,920 for four people for two weeks, which was cheaper than for 10 days. I was given a list of excursions to take away to discuss with my friends and told I could book with a rep on arrival. Excursions included boat rides, Santo Domingo and trips into the hills. Airport hotels, parking and seat upgrades were also mentioned.

Virgin Holidays, 14-18 St Mary Street

I was shown Virgin Holidays’ Caribbean & Mexico brochure but I didn’t feel the agent was very positive about the Dom Rep. I was offered flights from Heathrow to Punta Cana via Paris CDG with Air France on March 18, returning via New York with Delta.

The SunScape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana was the suggested hotel and the total price for four was £7,161. I was told I could ask about excursions on arrival.

Thomas Cook, 26 Grand Arcade

The shop was tidy but one of the brochure racks was empty. The agent did not take my details and asked me to come back with my travelling companions. I had to push to get a quote.

I was offered an 11-day trip, flying Thomas Cook Airlines on May 7 – at least five weeks after the requested date – and staying at the Be Live Collection Punta Cana, priced £4,419 for four. I was told excursions should be discussed in resort.

Winning agent

beckyBecky Hughes, travel advisor

We take our customers on a journey and I’m glad my enthusiasm shone through. If you talk through excursions, it helps customers plan their holiday.”


This week’s winner stood out for her enthusiasm and for creating a buzz about the holiday. She displayed good destination knowledge and showed a genuine interest in Mystery Shopper’s requests.

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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