Mystery Shopper: A couple's long weekend in Dublin

Mystery Shopper: A couple's long weekend in Dublin

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Image via Tilman Ehrcke /

Location: Merthyr Tydfil, Mid-Glamorgan
Wanted: A couple are looking to spend a long weekend in Dublin in June.
Budget: £800

The Travel House, Newmarket Walk

I was greeted within a minute by an enthusiastic and extremely patient member of staff, who ascertained my budget and what I’d like to do in Dublin. She had excellent knowledge of the city, as well as of the prices for various activities.

I was offered a three-night room-only break with Thomson for £780, including transfers and flights, staying at the Maldron Hotel Parnell Square. There was also a B&B option for £860. No brochure was available, but I was given a printed sheet featuring the quote and information on the Dublin Pass.

The agent did not attempt to close the sale, but I was encouragedto return the next day to book.

Thomson, 124 High Street

I was welcomed with a smile. While the agent was helpful, she was a little mechanical in her approach. I was recommended a three-night break staying at the Ballsbridge Hotel with SuperBreak for £876, which was overbudget.

The agent showed an interest in the attractions I wanted to visit, but did not ask many questions. The overall experience in this store was slick but not very personal.

The Co-operative Travel, 36 Victoria Street

It took a couple of minutes before I was acknowledged. The agent who served me was helpful and polite, but could have been more upbeat and inquisitive.

A three-night holiday with Flexibletrips was suggested, staying at the Best Western Plus Academy Plaza Hotel, costing £735. The agent was clued up on Dublin, with an extraordinary knowledge of bus routes. The agency was let down by its exterior appearance.

Winning agent
Anne Murphy

I am the branch manager of our lovely shop in Merthyr Tydfil and also a senior branch manager looking after several other agencies in the Travel House Group. I have been in the travel Industry for nearly 30 years and worked for Travel House for a long time.

I love working in such an exciting environment, especially for an independent as I am not governed as to which operator I can use. Finding someone’s perfect holiday is my passion, something I have never lost in all these years of trading.


Two of the agents found a break that was close to the budget, but the Thomson agent recommended an option that was too expensive.


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