Mystery shopper: South Manchester, a long weekend for mature travellers

Mystery shopper: South Manchester, a long weekend for mature travellers

Location: South Manchester
Wanted: A group of active 60-70-year-olds from a University of the Third Age group want a long weekend in Europe, preferably as an escorted tour, but with some free time.
Budget: £750-£800pp

Fiveways Travel
97 Macclesfield Road, Hazel Grove

94%
Displays at the well-presented shop were easily readable and I was greeted with a smile. I was offered two quotes to Amsterdam; the first was for two twin rooms and two doubles, B&B, at Hotel Jan Luyken, with private transfers flying KLM from Manchester with tickets to the Van Gogh Museum from April 18. It was £789pp for twin rooms and £1,060pp for sole occupancy. The second was three nights at Hotel Jan Luyken or NH Carlton Amsterdam, with easyJet flights and transfers on April 17. Extras included the Keukenhof Gardens, Anne Frank House and other museums. The agent was very knowledgeable, provided thorough information to take away and was mindful of my needs and the group’s interests.

Thomas Cook
25 Woodford Road, Bramhall

85%
I received a warm welcome from well-presented agents in a clean shop. A Shearings tour of the Netherlands was suggested, flying easyJet from Manchester on April 22. It was £689pp and included two double rooms and two single rooms, B&B, at the Best Western City Hotel, Gouda, a day in Gouda and at Keukenhof Gardens. The advice was good and the agent was really friendly, but I would have liked more than one quote.

Prestbury Travel
34 Bramhall Lane, Bramhall

78%
The shop looked inviting, had a good brochure display and the agents were friendly and welcomed me with a beaming smile. I was shown the Ospreys Holidays brochure and the agent suggested Amsterdam. Three nights’ B&B at Hotel Jan Luyken and easyJet flights from Manchester with tickets to the Van Gogh Museum, was £675pp from March 11-14. The interaction was good, but it took a few days for the quote to come.


Winning agent

Jayne Joy, manager

“Older groups tend to be more flexible, not just with dates but with price. They are usually more open to suggestions too, you can be talking Europe one minute and the next you’re in the Himalayas.”


Verdict

The Netherlands was destination of choice all-round. Fiveways offered more flexibility and greater choice than its rivals, all of whom impressed on customer service.


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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