Location: Dartford (Bluewater Shopping Centre)
Wanted: A couple in their late 60s want a relaxing all-inclusive post-winter break in January on one of the Canary Islands, but not Tenerife. They would prefer an adult-only resort with good on-site entertainment.
Budget: £1,500-£2,000

Tui Holiday Store
Bluewater Shopping Centre
90%

As I arrived, I approached the large self-service screens at the front of the store, but they didn’t work. A staff member offered me a consultation with an agent and I waited two minutes to talk about my query. I was given lots of options and got the impression that the agent had been there or somewhere similar. The agent had a positive attitude and was very enthusiastic about the destination and the resorts.

He seemed genuinely interested and offered valid solutions. The quotes were presented in a professional way. Both holidays were seven-night breaks with Tui, flying from Gatwick, including insurance and a £50 discount for that day. One was at Hotel Coronas Playa, Lanzarote, for £1,518, and the other was Hotel Suites Princess, Gran Canaria, for £1,665. The standard of holidays was very high for the cost.

Thomas Cook
Bluewater Shopping Centre
88%

I was acknowledged almost immediately and given plenty of options by a friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable agent. The recommendations matched my criteria but no extras were offered. The holidays were of a high standard for the price quoted.

The agent offered to call me in a few days to see if I had any thoughts about the quotations. Both quotes were for seven nights in Lanzarote with Thomas Cook. The first was Barcelo Teguise Beach, for £2,053 while the second was Marconfort Atlantic Gardens, Playa Blanca, for £1,311.

Kuoni
Bluewater Shopping Centre
58%

The shop was clean but the window display was rather bland. It was more than two minutes before I was acknowledged although the store was quiet. I was told there were few options as they generally deal with long-haul destinations. One holiday matched my requirements and I was told a quote would come by email, but I didn’t receive one.

She didn’t ask many questions or try to close the sale, but I got a business card. I was offered a seven-night holiday from Gatwick, flying with easyJet, and staying at the Hesperia in Lanzarote for £2,108.

Winning agent  – Andrew Baird, Travel Advisor

andrewbairdI always treat everyone as an individual and try to get to know them, rather than treat them as just another booking

Verdict:

It was a very close call between Tui and Thomas Cook, as both were enthusiastic and fulfilled my requirements. The Tui quote just won by a margin as the presentation of the quotes was better. The Kuoni agent did not seem interested.

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