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Client Blog: Doreen’s 80th birthday holiday of a lifetime to Canada

Doreen had contacted me to help plan a very special trip to Canada to celebrate her 80th birthday. We kept in touch regularly over the course of a year, talking at length about what she wanted to see and do before I had the pleasure of putting a wonderful itinerary together for her group.

I was so thrilled that Doreen had a wonderful time and her kind words, by way of a beautiful and rare handwritten review, meant the world to me...


My nephew Paul and his wife Joanne had suggested a special holiday with my friend Eileen and themselves to celebrate my 80th birthday. A lovely idea but where should we go?

Since an earlier visit to see friends in Canada and hearing all about it, the famous Rocky

Mountaineer train had been on my bucket list and I decided that this would make a perfect highlight of the celebratory holiday.

We thought about other places that would be great to experience and came up with Banff, Lake Louise, Capilano Bridge, Butchart Gardens, Victoria Island, and perhaps a spot of whale watching.

I had been given Susan’s phone number and advised that she would be able to create the perfect itinerary for us. She didn’t disappoint, producing a very exciting and memorable holiday, staying in 5* hotels from the wish list we had discussed.

We flew into Calgary, staying overnight at the Fairmont Palliser, before collecting our rental car to drive the hour and a half to Banff.

The Delta Royal Canadian Lodge in Banff is a lovely hotel and was the perfect place to celebrate my actual birthday, with very attentive staff, delightful rooms and breakfasts, and just a short walk into town. Banff is such a beautiful place surrounded by the most spectacular scenery.

Our next journey was by coach to gorgeous Lake Louise and a stay at the iconic Fairmont Chateau with magnificent views over the lake itself.

Susan had managed to get us upgraded to a Deluxe Lake View room on the Gold Level with a large bedroom with big windows overlooking the lake and glacier and a separate breakfast room. We also received pre-dinner canapes and drinks.

The following day a coach took us from the hotel to board the Rocky Mountaineer.

The train journey is unforgettable, and I would recommend it to anyone – with Gold Leaf Class you get panoramic views from your upstairs seat and dining in a separate coach plus drinks brought to your seat at any time.

We stopped off overnight at Kamloops, disembarking and staying in a comfortable hotel before resuming the journey west the following day, travelling through more unforgettable scenery before arriving in Vancouver.

A coach took us to the Four Seasons Hotel in the heart of downtown, another luxurious accommodation close to some excellent shopping facilities and restaurants.

I am glad we got to stay here as the hotel has since closed and I am told will be renovated and re-opened under another brand in the future.

We explored Vancouver over the few days we were there and thoroughly enjoyed the city and what it has to offer before travelling by boat to Victoria Island.

On arrival, we were taken straight to Butchart Gardens with its beautiful floral displays before going on to the Magnolia Hotel, our base in Victoria, another central and comfortable hotel.

The last experience of our adventure was whale watching, another memorable pre-arranged excursion.

Susan’s customised itinerary worked perfectly, taking in all the sights that I had wanted to see and each of the hotels she had chosen throughout were perfect with great rooms, food, service, and easy access to the towns.

We had plenty of spare time to explore and do other things throughout the trip – afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, a horse-drawn carriage ride and golf at the picturesque course in Banff, Capilano Suspension Bridge and Stanley Park in Vancouver, and enjoying some fabulous restaurants in Banff, Victoria and Vancouver.

I would most certainly recommend Susan; her customised itinerary was very detailed, easy to follow and provided us with some magical memories from a special trip.




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