Tania Massia, ON, Escorted Castle Tour, Ireland, October 2016
I just got back from my second Escorted Ireland Castle Tour with Sheenco Travel, and my vacation was as wonderful as it could be! The accommodations were fit for royalty, and the our group was blessed with sunshine on most days! Our driver Mark was extreamly knowledgeable, and he was more than happy to accommodate us when we wanted to visit nearby locations that weren’t specified on our itinerary! That’s a major advantage to going with a slightly smaller tour group. My favorite castle was Ashford Castle, and getting to do the Falconry was a major highlight in the trip for me! The Giants Causeway was breathtaking, as were all the great views along the coastline! Thanks for another amazing adventure through Ireland! I look forward to returning again someday! 🙂
Tania Massia ON
Jeff Linzer, GA, Chauffeur Driven Tour, Ireland, September 2016
Once again Sheenco Travel came through with a wonderful getaway for us. We really had a great time. The hotel in Dublin was very nice, the service was very good, and breakfast excellent. We were able to go and do the Guinness Connoisseur experience. This was really very interesting and it was fun being able to go into the private bar and actually pour a pint or two on our own. We then went to Arthur’s pub on Thomas Street for dinner. Our driver/guide, Paddy picked us up bright and early next morning and we started on our adventure. We did get to drive along some of the very narrow back roads which I really did enjoy. The Cliffs of Moher were very beautiful. Staying at the Lough Inagh Lodge was among the best surprises we had. I would highly recommend this as a principal stop for your guests staying in that part of the country. The Lodge was wonderful, the people were outstanding as was the service, and the food was just outstanding. On our first night we became involved with the discussion with the group sitting next to us. This one older gentleman in the group was particularly thoughtful and perceptive as we talked about a variety of issues. After he left the table one of his dining partners asked us if we knew who he was, we said no, and he said the gentleman’s name was Seamus Mallon. He had come up to Lodge to do some fishing. I can see why he is so highly thought of. One of the fun finds was stopping in the little town of Clifden. We only spent a short time there but I think this would be a fun place to stop for lunch and do some shopping. We did stop at the Connemara Marble Visitor’s Centre in Moycullen and picked up several very nice pieces. Paddy had told us a lot of good things about Kylemore Abbey including what a great meal there known to serve. Apparently all the tourist buses stop there. Instead of a special place with good food it was a tourist cafeteria with nothing particularly special about it. We did not have time to visit the gardens only to stop for lunch. Perhaps visiting the gardens would make this stop worthwhile but I would not recommend it as a meal stop. Paddy was very nice and had some very good stories and great jokes to tell. All in all we really had a very wonderful time and hope to be able to come back and visit your beautiful country again very soon (though we may have to mix a little side trip to Scotland in with that). Again thank you to you and your team for giving us a wonderful time on our vacation.
Jeff Linzer, GA
Christine DiMartino, FL, Custom Self Drive, Ireland, September 2016
We had the most amazing trip. The weather was great everywhere we went. We even had sunshine on the beach the day we went horseback riding. The navigation system in the car was key in getting us everywhere we wanted to go. The accommodations were great. Of course the castles were amazing. They upgraded us to the kings suite in Clontarf Castle and my husband had an experience with a long past guest (ghost) that kept him up half the night but it’s fun to talk about now. Several people have asked us how we planned such an amazing adventure and we were most happy to share your agencies name. Thank you so much for helping make our fabulous memories!
Christine DiMartino, FL
Barbara Stewart, VA, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, September 2016
Everything went very smoothly. We enjoyed Belfast more than I thought we might. The Titanic museum was great. And the Europa was very comfortable and helpful. Danny was SO good – we all enjoyed him immensely. We spent Saturday with our relative and although he was much different than 16 years ago, Danny took it all in stride. They ended up singing Johnny Cash songs for us – a duet!!! And Portrush was a fun place to be. The City Hotel was not as nice but we understood why it was in the best spot to walk places and we were able to shop in the Craft District. The Hilton at Dublin was a disappointment as the girls had a bed and 2 sofa beds, why not 2 beds I don’t know. Our oldest put the 2 mattresses together and it was OK as it was just one night – someone on the staff was helpful and told us of a small town nearby where we found a lovely restaurant for dinner!! The weather could not have been better and Danny took us to a favorite place of his on Sunday, the Slieve League Cliffs. We had a picnic and loved it. I don’t think that the trip could have been any better, just longer!!! Thank you all so much, especially Colin who was very patient in helping me plan. We will surely recommend you to friends wanting a great trip to Ireland!!!!
Barbara Stewart, VA
Michael Mullan, VA, Custom Self Drive, Ireland, September 2016
First of all the overall logistics were fine…No hiccups in pickups and drop offs etc. The drivers were excellent..respectful and good company as well as flexible and good humored. We would be glad to have them again. The hotels were a mixed bag. The Camden Court was, for our taste, charmless but adequate. The Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore was potentially very attractive but despite its spectacular location our stay was influenced by the fact that there was a constant thick fog which eclipsed the view of the ocean. In the absence of the views the hotel was modern and efficient but very much in the Spa/resort model…not really our thing. However we did have a nice trip to Waterford and helped the local economy by purchasing several presents from the glass workshop. We had a pleasant trip over to Kenmare with a stop in Cobh and Bantry. The Hotel at Sheen Falls was really special with a great view of the waterfalls and an elegant atmosphere just to our liking.The town of Kenmare was not too crowded and we took advantage of a fine evening to stroll through the streets and do a little shopping. The sightseeing around the ring of Kerry was very attractive despite changeable weather for some of the more spectacular scenery. The drive up to Galway was straightforward with a quick view of Limerick and surroundings. Bunratty castle was a pleasant surprise. I thought it would be crowded and touristy but it turned out to be quite interesting. We were able to take in the Cliffs of Moher and the weather helped us get good views of the panoramas. Glenlo Abbey was a very nice surprise since we had been spoiled by Sheen Falls. It was very tasteful and relaxing .. certainly worth a second visit. We did some nice local touring focusing as we had all along on houses and gardens and enjoying the scenery. We had a lovely trip to Kyle Abbey in excellent weather. The trip up to Donegal took us through Yeats country and we did the usual Yeatsy visits with great interest since we are both big fans.We really enjoyed the scenery in that part of the world. As rugged as it is it has a particular charm and is very evocative. We were looking forward to Lough Eske hotel since it appeared to continue our experience with Sheen Falls and Glenlo. However, we were quite disappointed to discover that not one of the rooms had a view of any lough. The hotel in Belfast was a letdown from the excellent country hotels we had been enjoying ..but adequate. We had a wonderful trip around the coast in great weather including the typical sites.. Giant’s Causeway etc. Scenery was spectacular..We left the hotel and were able to take in the Titanic museum which was very interesting and then on to Newgrange to see the neolithic sites which was really fascinating. The less said about Clontarf Castle, the better. Comfortable rooms and decent food to be sure but the decor for our taste was a jumble of styles that do not mesh well. Still, it was close to the airport so we got there promptly. So..all in all,a very enjoyable trip. We were particularly impressed about the great neatness of the places we visited. This idea of town to town competition for cleanliness and tidiness is a great idea. Every little town was impeccable and the scenery was a treat.
Michael Mullan, VA
Kathryn Nechanicky, SC, Custom Self Drive, Ireland, September 2016
Overall, we had an amazing time. The Ashling hotel was a great step off place for us to begin our Ireland journey. The staff was highly professional, and very welcoming. Though your offices were closed for the weekend, I still received an email confirming that we had to pick up our rental on our own, which was helpful. Ballyseede castle was phenomenal. The staff went above and beyond when we arrived. Esther especially made us feel right at home! The Lodge at Ashford was great. Our accommodations and wait staff were wonderful. The castle itself was exceptionally beautiful. We forgot to make arrangements for the falconry school, so missed out on that, but the gardens made up for it. Lough Eske Castle was equally as phenomenal as Ashford. From the staff, to the accommodations we were highly impressed. I think we would list this as our favorite or our tour. I even visited the spa, and enjoyed a relaxing massage. The girls were very friendly and courteous throughout my entire experience. Ballygally Castle was our next stop, though we made our experience enjoyable. The reception upon our arrival was less than friendly. We were told even before she looked us up that our room was not available and made to feel as if we were an inconvenience. When we came back we had a different greeter and she was much kinder. I would say we did not interact with the staff here as we had previously done in our other accommodations. Even the staff at our continental breakfast made us feel as if we were a nuisance. The bartender, even though extremely busy with weddings both nights, served us with a smile on his face and kind words! Our last stop, the Clontarf Castle was interesting. We arrived on a date that they were hosting an antique show. Which normally, no big deal but parking was horrendous. Their lot was clearly not built for the show and guests of the hotel. But the staff made up for it for sure. In short, the small synopsis your company provided on our day to day travels was great. Though we didn’t always follow your suggestion, we did use a lot of them. In general the staff were all friendly at our locations, with the exception of Ballygally. We highly thank you for your fantastic trip. We will recommend you to anybody we know going to Ireland, and will use you in the future if we choose to return! Your staff was always friendly with us when we had questions.
Kathryn Nechanicky, SC
Nancy Hagerman, ON, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Scotland, August 2016
My husband and I had a wonderful trip to Scotland. I am so glad that I came across Sheenco Travel on my tablet and that I followed thru. From my first contact with your company until we were taken to the airport to come home, all the planning and the actual experiences turned out extremely well. The accommodations you suggested for us were great. Our favorite was the Glengarry Castle Hotel, Invergarry. Our room was very attractive, comfortable, and huge; the food was delicious, and the setting of the hotel was simply spectacular. We also really enjoyed our stay at the Carlton George Hotel in downtown Glasgow. The location was perfect for walking the pedestrian only streets, and for catching the hop on hop off bus. The decor in our room was very smart, especially the tartan tile in the bathroom. It was very pleasant in the roof top restaurant, and of course the complimentary drinks in our room was a nice touch. Although the art deco architecture of the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness was interesting we would have preferred being in downtown Inverness, where we could have stepped outside and strolled by the shops, restaurants, etc. This is not important because we weren’t catching a plane or train; but the hotel missed giving us a requested wake-up call 2 mornings in a row. (The one thing I forgot to take was a travel alarm clock). Also the room was the strangest shape, not much wider than the length of the bed. However the bathroom was modern with all the amenities. One of our favorite experiences was touring the Royal Yacht Britannia and having afternoon tea on the ship. I want to tell you how wonderful our driver/guide Grace Anne Coyle was. From the morning we met I believe we all felt very comfortable together. She played a big part in our enjoyment of the trip in the Highlands. Her personality, knowledge, a d driving skills were perfect for the job. All of the arrangements made for us, such as having the special ‘ambulatory disabled’ card for special entry into the Tatoo, worked perfectly. We are very happy to recommend Sheenco Travel to our family and friends. In fact, I’ve already been asked how we planned such a fantastic trip. Many thanks to all of you at Sheenco Travel.
Nancy Hagerman, ON
Holly Vandehei, ON, Custom Self Drive, Ireland, August 2016
Thank you for a wonderful trip; I could spend an hour writing about all the wonderful experiences, here are some of the highlights: We enjoyed having a private transfers to and from the airport- this made our arrival and departure stress free, and Nigel provided a very warm welcome and a lot of into about Ireland and Dublin that we greatly enjoyed. While we were sad to leave, it was nice to see him again upon our departure as we know we would have a safe journey back to the airport with no delays. The rental car was super! Volvo V40, very sporty, great fun to drive and provided plenty of leg and luggage room when our friends hopped in for our week in Northern Ireland. We were really please and happy that we did not take the rental agents suggestion to spend an extra 20euro per day for a BMW. The accommodations. Wow. We loved all of the Hotels/Castles you arranged. Each one was unique but all were very well appointed, clean, roomy, friendly staff and well located. I have to say Ashford was definitely the highlight (as expected). In retrospect, 2 nights may have been in order. We got an extra surprise when our friend who lived just outside Cong had her brother, who works at the hotel, deliver chilled champagne to our room; so the whole experience was really great. Also really enjoyed dinner in the dungeon. We appreciated that in all the accommodations, you arrange rooms with great views, its the little things like that which made this a memorable vacation. We did the 90 min extended tour at the Falconry school- and that was a real highlight. Would definitely recommend that to anyone staying at Ashford. As for things that were not so great. We did find that there were a LOT of unruly children literally running around the bar at the Parknasilla Resort quite late at night, and we just couldn’t brave the pool till after 7pm when it was adults only. I would recommend a heads up to future guests who may be on vacation without the kids that it is a very family friendly resort. But the rooms were beautiful and we really enjoyed touring the trails, also a great starting point for the Ring of Kerry so I did quite enjoy the stay there. Sheenco definitely deserves the title of a Luxury tour company and we hope to travel with you again in the future!
Holly Vandehei, ON
Shelley Cluff, MI, Custom Self Drive, Scotland, August 2016
While it is fresh, I will make some comments on our wonderful trip! Corrigeur Lodge was amazing! James was THE best to work with as he had suggestions for sights to see and how to travel there. We really appreciated his input and he was so very accommodating during our stay. Dalhousie Castle: we could have stayed here longer! What an amazing experience! The staff was wonderful, the food incredible, and we loved how they went above and beyond to answer questions for us. Truly a great experience. Rusacks Hotel was very nice. We weren’t there long enough to have much interaction, but enjoyed our time. Holyrood hotel was nice too. Not remarkable, but not bad. We did have a poor experience with the restaurant. We showed up 10 minutes before the end of the breakfast and the host was quick to tell us that breakfast was almost over and made us quite uncomfortable for showing up during their advertised hours, but toward the end. They even were vacuuming the restaurant while we were there. Military Tattoo: WOW! Cuillen Hills: our room was unswept and had a dirty napkin on the tea tray. They corrected it, but it was a shame to have that first impression. Otherwise, the view is killer and worth the drive. Kincraig Castle: another experience in remarkable service. We appreciated them as well and had a wonderful stay. Everything went smoothly and even with the loss of Leslie’s purse, your organization helped to resolve that as efficiently as you could. Thank you for making this once in a lifetime trip everything we expected. We will recommend your company!
Shelley Cluff, MI
Cassandra Goldstein, IN, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Scotland, August 2016
Last year I contacted Sheenco travel by email about a possible trip to Scotland. I had been on their web site and saw that they arranged tours in Scotland. I had recently finished reading the 9 volume Outlander series and dreamed of seeing the beautiful country-side myself. Soon after sending the email. I received a call from Colin Grant, a travel consultant with Sheenco who carefully interviewed me about all of my wants, needs and desires concerning a trip to Scotland. By early November he had submitted a beautifully detailed itinerary to me that my husband and I quickly approved. Colin was so very responsive and attentive to all of my questions and desires. He only cautioned me that we had not set aside enough time for all I wished to accomplish and that turned out to be true. However, that simply means we must return. Our first hotel in Scotland was the Holyrood near the Royal Mile – quite comfortable and well situated. Our driver/guide, Lloyd Smith met us our first morning and I cannot begin to describe what a charming, knowledgeable young man he is. We shared our backgrounds and found many things in common. We told him how we wished to “tweek” the itinerary (I HAD to see the “standing stones”) and he told us how he thought the drive from Invergary to Inverness might be more interesting by going west so we could see the coast. Everything worked perfectly and he always knew the BEST place for lunch. Our first day with visits to Hopetoun House, Blackness Castle and Firth of Forth were wonderful and Lloyd was so helpful as he got to know us and our interests. He was able to advise us on the amount of time to spend at each stop based on our interests and the amount of energy we had. Glengary Castle in Invergary was our favorite accommodation – again a reason to return. While in Inverness we did the boat tour on Loch Ness, Culloden Field and Center (could have spent all day) and a visit to Clava Cairns to see the standing stones. The Rocpool was an interesting combination of friendly and luxurious and an added visit to a music store in Inverness gave me insight into the local musical culture (one of my requests of Lloyd). It was a long drive back to Edinburgh but we loved the stops at Falkland and Culross. Our final castle Dalhousie was beautiful but do you know; castles don’t have elevators? Seven flights up with 2 50lb suitcases. Poor Lloyd! He was a very brave young man! Everything about our trip was beautiful and “life-changing”. Thank-you Sheenco, Colin and Lloyd. You and Scotland will forever be in my heart.
Cassandra Goldstein, IN
Joanne Carlon, NJ, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, August 2016
Thank you so much for all of your help with our trip! Everything was wonderful – the hotels, the itinerary and especially our driver/guide, Mark Lyons. Mark definitely made this trip extra special for us. He was knowledgeable and funny and made our days memorable. We would definitely recommend him to any of our friends, as well as request him when we hopefully make a return trip. There were so many more things we would like to see – I’m sure we will be back someday soon. Thank you again for a vacation we will remember forever.
Joane Carlon, NJ
Richard Cook, FL, Escorted Castle Tour, Ireland, August 2016
We had a wonderful time on our Castle Vacation. I am sorry we didn’t fly in a day ahead to get over our jet lag and just do very little. Dave, our driver/guide, was fabulous. He was knowledgeable, witty and smart. All our accommodations were very nice, and the food and service were excellent. On the day we went to the Giant’s Causeway, we stopped later at a castle ruin to explore. This could have been left out. It was too much for one day. Another reason we enjoyed the trip so much was because it was a small group of six people. That was great. All the tours were interesting. We thought the Irish people were so lovely and friendly, which added even more to the value of the trip.
Richard Cook, FL
Allen Lev, FL, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, August 2016
We just completed a fantastic week in Ireland arranged by Sheenco. It included six days with a tour guide/driver and van, and eight nights booked at hotels. The rooms were exactly as requested, all four or five star establishments. We complement our driver, Mike Dooley. He placed Ireland in an historical and cultural perspective with stories and visits to the appropriate spots. We were rarely on a schedule and could stop for as long or short a time as we thought appropriate. We were traveling as a group of four with very different physical prowess. Mike found places for the more active to hike or golf while the others were able to move at a more leisurely pace. We were always able to find appropriate places to eat, without being tied to a specific spot. Our van was roomy and extremely comfortable, but with one of us in the third seat, we would have benefitted from a speaker device. We were able to enjoy the countryside without ever having to navigate, or more important, worry about driving on the left side. Sheenco promptly responded to our requests, emails, and telephone calls.
Allen Lev, FL
Eliot Gilbert, TX, Custom Chauffeur Driven Golf, Ireland, August 2016
Everyone had an “INCREDIBLE” time. The itinerary was wonderful, as were the hotels, golf courses, sightseeing and dining recommendations. In addition, Kenny, our driver, really made the traveling part of the trip very enjoyable and easy. Even the small issue with the size of the van was handled quickly and professionally by your staff and the van operator. Please thank your staff for giving us such a great experience, and memories for a lifetime. I’d also like to thank you for helping my daughter arrange to have a fantastic cake made in Ireland and delivered as a surprise for my birthday during our tour. We will certainly recommend Sheenco, and would not hesitate to use your company again.
Eliot Gilbert, TX
Tom and Mary Jean Walker, FL, Custom Self Drive, England & Scotland, August 2016
Overall we want you to know our trip was great and thanks to your arranging our accommodations. The first stop, the Kensington Hotel was fabulous…we were given a king bedded room and I must say the beds and pillows at the Kensington are the BEST. The bathroom floors were heated, windows opened important to us) The staff at this hotel was marvelous, the dining room food delicious. What a great location. We next took the train to Edinburgh, and it was a packed, busy day, and at first we did not have a seat reserved but after the first hour the wonderful conductor, Rachel, found us two seats in the same car but not together, so all was well. The Caledonia in Edinburgh great; the beds and pillows wonderful…all was new and very 2016. Food was good…tea here was especially delightful. The next journey by car to Invegarry was difficult because we had two flat tires by the time we got to Fort William. The scenery on the way, Lochlomond etc breathtaking. A call to the RAC and help came immediately … put the car on the truck and us in the front cab of this huge lorrie and off we went to Invegarry. Invegarry, what can I say…the most beautiful scenery, faboulous people, fabulous food, great hiking…overall peaceful. The room was large… clean…not very updated but this did not matter when we were surrounded by such lovely people n such a lovely place. After two days the lorrie appeared again and took us to Inverness airport where we gave up the car. Hertz said “no worries” you had super coverage and his quote “you could have driven it(the car) off a cliff and it would be covered”. We taxi’d back to the Kings Mill Club…wonderful beds, pillows and delightful bathroom. People here kind, generous and welcoming. Food very good as well….we rested and walked, hiked around town etc. Train to Aberdeen and to Norwood House. Train ride uneventful…reserved seats…journey was not first class but we did receive money back from the ticket counter people. Norwood house very very nice. New very large room and bath…loved the area..took bus to town and walked a great deal. If we were to go to Aberdeen again we would take tours to the various castles close by. The desk receptionists were very nice, Vicki and Laurenn, but overall the staff very cool. The hotels main focus is selling weddings; everyday the bar and library were filled with people trying to book weddings and service to hotel guests was non existent. …. food service especially lacking, but food was good. We enjoyed our stay there anyway and would stay there again as it is close to Robert Gordon University where Tom had some meetings. This is where I left my phone. We could not exit the hotel’s front door and our luggage etc was carried, pulled by the two women, and us through reception rooms and hallways to reach a fire exit to the car park….it was in this maneuvering my phone must have dropped and did not double check when we got into our taxi. Through immediate phone calls to them I asked them to express the phone to me at Dalhousie Castle. Well the staff did nothing.Though I called and tried everyday to make something happen. It wasn’t till I called Sheenco (Clare) (Nicola) did any positive action happen and for this I am forever grateful. Thank you again. Dalhousie Castle was our last stop and it was 3 grand days were spent there. The first night was spent high up in the castle in a super large room very plain and ordinary décor but great–72 steps to get there…loved it. The next two nights were spent in the themed room you reserved for us and this was extremely nice although a smaller room. We had a great time exploring this castle. A little quirky, higgledy piggly as you put it, but fun. The staff was great, and the weddings that took place while we were there were so lovely and guests could come and go and do whatever and the weddings just went on around us. Andrew their bag piper was most interesting and their desk people very competent in their jobs. We mostly hiked and were fascinated by the falconry. I spent lots of time with the birds. Their Kylie and Garreth who run the falconry love their birds and take such supreme care of them. This was special. So on 8/15 we flew home….flights wonderfully uneventful…all is well…and we cannot thank you enough for planning this trip..we want to go back to Scotland and spend more time in the highlands. We would definitely use your services again whenever we decide on our next Scottish trip.
Tom & Mary Jean Walker, FL
Steven Whitten, AL, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, August 2016
All went wonderfully. Our driver/guide, John Joe, was fantastic. We covered about 18 counties, about 13 castles/manors/abbeys, Cliffs, sheep farm/dogs, mountains, lakes, hawks and ruins. Ashford Castle was definitely a highlight. I don’t recommend Fitzpatrick too much; it’s ok, but it is not being well maintained and the staff is very green. The driver for airport transfer was also very very good. John Joe could not have been better. Want to use him next time too. We will be back to cover the Southern area and Ring of Kerry. Maybe this Spring.
Steve Whitten, AL
Sherri Patterson, IL, Custom Self Drive, Scotland, July 2016
We had a wonderful time and were real lucky with the weather for the most part. All of the Hotels were clean and quiet which is always a real plus in my book. The George Hotel was lovely. I would go back there for sure. The Norwood Hall Hotel was nice and conveniently located. The Drumossie was conveniently located just outside the Inverness City Center and was nice. The restaurant choices also were good. We had a Volvo station wagon which was quite nice for all of the touring that we did. We saw lots of castles and walked quite a bit. Of all of the cities, we all loved Edinburgh the most, hands down. There was so much to see and do there without a car. Aberdeen was my least favorite city. More industrial and dirty. Just my opinion. The hotel made sense location wise to drive out into the country to visit castles and one distillery. Sean toured two distilleries in the country, the other being your suggestion Edradour. We went to the distillery Royal Lochnager right by Balmoral Castle which we also toured. We definitely did not allow any grass to grow under out feet! We all enjoyed our experience so it was a win win! Thank you for assisting us in planning this trip to Scotland.
Sherri Patterson, IL
Stephen Pettit, TX, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, July 2016
I think I speak for the entire family when I say that the ground side of this holiday was spectacular. All of the transport arrangements went perfectly. The cars were great and the drivers were even better: punctual, friendly and informative. The accommodations were well chosen and well run. (Having managed a 5 start resort in the Caribbean for over a year, I can say this with some authority, having seen how it works from the back of the house.) My personal favorite was Ballynahinch, but everyone has their own view. In all it was a great success. Our thanks to you and everyone on your team.
Stephen Pettit, TX
Dana Hoffman, IN, Custom Self Drive, Scotland, July 2016
We had a wonderful trip. The accommodations were lovely. The car rental was easy and the itinerary was good. We visited 5 castles, fairy pools on Skye, Culloden and the nearby standing stone circles. We also took a day trip to Thirlestane Castle, the home of the Maitlands, which is my mother’s family.
We went to the Highland games in Invergarry, which was a great day. I really have nothing negative to say about the trip. Thank you so much for your help and I will call you when we are ready to come to Ireland!
Dana Hoffman, IN
Heather Tesdal, IL, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, June 2016
I wanted to let you know how amazing it was. Also that having Sheenco as our travel company made everything perfect. Our accommodations while in Ireland were above expectations. And would return or recommend the hotels to anyone! Ashford Castle is spectacular. I felt like royalty. Our transportation while there was also perfect. Having a private driver is the only way I would recommend as well. Just perfect. Our drivers were all fantastic but got very attached to Dan. The people of Ireland are the friendliest I have ever met. And the food there is simply amazing. We also felt extremely safe. I have recommended your company and Ireland to many people. Thank you so much for giving us the best trip.
Heather Tesdal, IL
Mary Butler, CT, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, June 2016
We had a wonderful trip to Ireland and loved experiencing the different nuances in each area that we visited. Kenny our driver was great; informative, sense of humor, flexible and struck a good balance of professionalism and friendliness. Would recommend him highly. Our first stop was Trump Doonbeg – as much as I hate to admit that we stayed at a Trump property, the accommodations, staff and cuisine were all exemplary. They also offered complimentary shuttle to and from town so when Kenny was done late in the evening it was a nice option for returning to the hotel. Our next stop was Ballygarry House – again it was lovely…nicer than expected. The staff was very friendly and helpful, the pub/ restaurant was bustling on a Sunday evening and our waiter was a riot. The rooms were very nice as well. Our third stay was the castle where there was a slight glitch in the rooms but that was followed up by Ruth and taken care of right away. Pros of the castle: unique experience with more personality than a regular hotel (dogs, ponies and donkeys led to the charm), we liked the various main floor rooms to have drinks or tea, sit by the fire, play chess, lovely room decor, pretty grounds. Cons: our room was on the lowest level so not really any view of the lovely grounds, Wifi didn’t work well, breakfast didn’t start till 8 which wasn’t great for golfers heading out early. Actons hotel was perfectly situated for all we wanted to do in Kinsale, rooms were nice – the only negative was that we were on the first floor so although there was a harbor view, the first thing you noticed looking out the window was the roof in front because you were right on top of it. I’d suggest requesting higher floors for your clients in this location as with the castle. Our final stop was the Brooks Hotel in Dublin…lovely. Smaller room but perfect for Dublin in terms of central location and the staff was wonderful. The guys loved all of the golf courses they played – they got more wet on some than others but the experience was unparalleled. Thanks for a great vacation!
Mary Butler, CT
Joe Cheung, HK, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, June 2016
The Journey in Ireland was wonderful. Our driver/guide Nigel was exceptional. He talked and explained the surroundings and showed us around places even if we couldn’t stop. He managed to re arrange the itinerary to show us what was most important to us and we had a good time. He brought us to the hotels by around 6pm each evening which still left us some time to relax at the hotel or castle and also enjoy breakfast rather than rushing to go. Nigel showed us what a professional tour guide is like. We loved him. He is what we are expect when we pay for a luxury travel services.
Joe Cheung, HK
Stephanie Miller, TX, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, June 2016
Thank you Sheenco for helping us plan an amazing 12 night trip through Ireland (Dublin, Kinsale, Kenmare, Dingle and Cong (Ashford Castle)). Skeptical in the beginning, we are so glad we opted for a chauffeur driven trip. Mike Dooley knew all things “Ireland” and he was a very enjoyable companion on our trip. Not to mention his ability to navigate the winding, narrow roads! Mike made our trip much more memorable – he took us to places off the beaten path and ensured our every comfort. He is a true professional and always made thoughtful suggestions to enhance our itinerary. Sheenco Travel was also able to book excellent rooms with stunning views at all of our hotels. The rooms (and views) at Ashford Castle and the Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare particularly exceeded our expectations – they were absolutely top notch! We loved our destinations and are in awe of the beauty throughout Ireland. All of your representatives are very helpful and a joy to work with. Our trip went off without a hitch and we would highly recommend Sheenco Travel to anyone travelling to Ireland. Thank you and your team for such a memorable family trip for the Miller family.
Stephanie Miller, TX
Elizabeth Burgess, TX, Custom Self Drive, Scotland, June 2016
We had an amazing vacation in Scotland. Thank you for all the arrangements and assistance. The personal transfer driver met us in the arrival hall, just as you said he would. He was well dressed, very friendly, drove safely and had plenty of space for us and our luggage. He was a wonderful start to our travels. The Holyrood Hotel was beautiful. They were prepared for us, and were able to get us into our rooms within 20 minutes of our arrival at 8:00 am!. The hotel was beautifully restored, comfortable beds, plush robes and slippers, complimentary newspaper. They had a lift and everything was nicely accessible for Grandma in a wheelchair. The staff was wonderful about getting us taxi’s, the breakfast was either a buffet with cereals, yogurt, fruit, and pasteries, or a hot meal of eggs, meat or porridge. We ate one dinner in the dining room, it was delicious and well presented. Picking up the rental car at Hertz was a long process. The office was busy and we did have to wait about an hour. However, they were friendly and the Ford Galaxy worked out well as far as space. It was a challenge driving a larger car on the tiny roads in Edinburgh city center, but once we got out of the city, it was fine. We did our entire trip on one tank of diesel. We drove from Edinburgh to Stirling, to Fort William, to Glengarry Castle. The recommended sights were helpful and corresponded with our plans also. Close to Stirling Castle and battlefield is the William Wallace Monument – very worth our time (we are big history buffs, and love the movie, Braveheart), and the Castle Doune (used in Monte Python and the Holy Grail and Outlander the Series). Doune was one of my personal favorites. They have an audio tour narrated by Terry jones of Monte Python and the hero from Outlander. Glengarry was Amazingly beautiful. The staff was very friendly, grounds were fantastic and lots of fun to explore. The castle ruin on site was fascinating. It was all I could do to keep my teenagers from climbing the fence to go explore. There was one flight of stairs to our room, but the steps were even and the banister was solid so Grandma did not have any trouble there. We ate dinner in the dining room and were pleased with hamburgers and seafood. On Wednesday, we went back into Fort William and took the Jacobite train to the west coast and back. It was another highlight. Not only are we huge Harry Potter fans and enjoyed seeing the Hogwarts Express model, but the scenery was beautiful, and we had a chance to meet other passengers to talk and get a taste of Scottish culture and politics. Our drive from Fort William to Inverness was also amazingly beautiful along the shores of Loch Ness (we kept watching for Nessie, but she was hiding). Our hotel in Inverness was another highlight. I was surprised when our final itinerary changed from Drumhousie Hotel to Lochlardil Best Western. It was an excellent choice. Lochlardil is a 20 minute walk to city center and was set in a safe and well light neighborhood of beautiful homes. My teenagers walked downtown and explored the riverside parks safely and easily. Our room was perfectly accessible with a walk in shower with grab bars for Grandma, excellent beds and great water pressure. The staff was so friendly and small. Our porter was also our waiter for dinner and bartender in the evening, then our waiter for breakfast. Everyone was happy to give us directions and ideas for shopping. Breakfast was another beautiful buffet with cereal, eggs, meats, yogurt, fruit, and pastries. The dining room at dinner time was also tasty and well presented. We had salmon and pasta, and burgers all to everyone’s liking. As we drove around, we found Drumhousie on the southeast corner of town. It is a beautiful setting, but Lochlardil was much closer to the activities we were interested in. In the Inverness area, city center had a good pub scene with lots of live music and crowds, but certainly not as large or expansive as Edinburgh. There was a nice mall with stores like we have in the US, but for more local wares, the choices were pretty limited. The Colloden Battlefield and Museum were also well worth our time. Our drive back to Edinburgh included a stop at the Blair Athol Distillery which was my son’s favorite part of the trip, and a stop off at Beatrix Potter’s summer home where she wrote Peter Rabbit in Dunkeld. It was cute, but not what I was hoping. The garden was flowers and grass, instead of Mr. McGregor’s vegetable patch. Dalhousie Castle Hotel was our last stop. The setting and castle are beautiful but honestly, was probably our least favorite. It was poorly accessible, four steps up, then a flight of stairs, then two up, four down, two back up and two down to get to our room. All the steps were uneven, floors uneven, and poor, or no banisters. Grandma had a hard time. The porter came to help, but was not as quick or attentive as the Inverness staff. We had dinner in the Dungeon dining room. It was very tasty but presented with small portions, with long delays between courses (longer than any of our other Scottish meals), the dining room was hot and stuffy. Our bedroom was nice, good beds, but not an accessible shower, only a deep tub with one grab bar and inconsistent hot water. The grounds were nice and there was a falconer on site, and a castle tour which had to be booked ahead of time. Returning the rental car went smoothly, and we returned home without incident, souvenirs intact. Thank you for arranging beautiful accommodations. Everything went smoothly and we had a wonderful time!
Elizabeth Burgess, TX
Jill Esham, KY, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, June 2016
My family and I had a wonderful experience in Ireland; both with the destinations and with our tour guide, Mike Dooley. First I’ll talk about Mike. I can’t say enough about his wonderful personality, his knowledge of Ireland, his promptness and communication skills. He helped us adjust our plans as needed; stopped as needed for bathroom breaks, bank stops and even a phone store to replace a broken phone charger. He went above and beyond to drop us off close to the entrances in locations where my mother (89) wouldn’t need to walk any more that necessary. I would travel with him anywhere. He was great. The itinerary was also great. It was well thought out to provide a broad exposure to Ireland’s history, architecture, city and rural, scenic wonders, etc. We enjoyed the various accommodations; all different and all served great breakfast. Ashford Castle was the cream of the crop, unlike anything I’ve stayed in before. We took advantage of its boat tour, falconry class and archery, which made for a very memorable day. Irish whiskey in my morning porridge — what a treat!! Overall, I’d give our experience 5 stars out of 5. I would recommend Sheenco Travel to anyone. Thanks for a wonderful experience.
Jill Esham, KY
Donna Milord, IL, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, June 2016
We had a wonderful time in Ireland! Both Colin and Nicola did a wonderful job in assisting me with the itinerary and making arrangements and accommodations. I especially enjoyed that we were close to “the action,” in Dublin, Killarney and Galway. We were able to walk everywhere and take advantage of the miraculous weather. Our favorite hotel was the Killarney Park – superb! Our driver, Dominic, was wonderful! We were so happy to have him guide us and make recommendations throughout the trip.
Our last evening and overnight at Clontarf Castle was a terrific way to end the trip. We had a wonderful meal and felt like royalty! Sincere thanks to all at Sheenco Travel!
Donna Milord, IL
Judy Rochette, BC, Custom Chauffeur Driven, Ireland, May 2016
Can’t say enough good things about the itinerary you chose, and Jerry Horgan, our driver/guide’s ability to tweak it for us. I can’t think of a single major problem. The Galway Hotel was so concerned about scaffolding outside our windows that might affect our views that they gave us free tickets to the show Trad on the Prom. Fitzpatrick Castle – loved the big stone balcony for each room – we all walked up to the tower on the hill behind the castle then returned for afternoon tea (very yummy) on the balcony (and/or beer). Had supper in town at a pub. Slept like a log that night with the windows open and the ocean cooling the room. Buried myself under the down duvet. The lady giving the guided tour at the Rock of Cashel was very funny and droll. The description of the restoration work makes you realize how difficult it is to keep these heritage sites intact. Blarney Castle needs many days to see it all well! When I’m on vacation I like having quiet time… and Ballyseede Castle was that. From the resident dogs to the open access to coffee/tea in the lounges and the surrounding green space (comes with ponies and donkeys! 🙂 ) it was a pleasure. The staff were top notch in their smiles and desire to please and provide service. We had supper here the first night – good value for price and the food options were tasty and broad enough for all. From Ballyseede on the first day we went to Dingle rather than the Ring of Kerry as we wanted to fit other things in and going to Dingle meant a shorter “circle”. We went over – think it was Conor Pass – reaffirmed why I didn’t want to drive. 🙂 We went out the coast far enough to see the Skellig’s (did I mention we had great weather? We could actually see the Islands), and visited a rock shop in the area for “acquisitions” by the geologically interested in the group (ie. most of us) of local marble, etc. Had lunch in Dingle – amazing fish and chips and chowders. In Killarney we went to Torc Falls and spent some time in town – did some shopping. Back to Ballyseede for supper. The next day we stopped briefly in Adare then headed over to Bunratty Castle and Durty Nellie’s. The Cliffs of Moher were gorgeous and powerful and it was raining a bit here – gave “ambience”. Then 15 minutes later it was again gorgeous weather for prowling around rocks and ruins in the countryside too. We saw the Burren area – Jerry wouldn’t let me kidnap a pony foal – said it wouldn’t fit on the bus… sigh… The Galway Bay Hotel was more modern than Fitzpatrick or Ballyseede. The rooms were ocean view and comfortable. We had a fast supper in the lounge the first night in order to make the Trad on the Prom show (which we did enjoy!). Again, good food for the price. Don’t have too much else to say about the hotel as we didn’t really spend much time in the hotel since we were out touring quite a bit. Kylemore Abby was visited by some while others went for a walk/hike in the Connemara National forest nearby. Stopped off at Ross Errilly Friary afterwards. We went into the nearby town of Cong and prowled the Abby and town though. Jerry tried to arrange a “sheep hugging/border collie working the sheep/peat cutting” experience but we weren’t able to get to the site before the farmer had to return to his fields.. Returned back to Galway for supper. The breakfasts at the Galway hotel were satisfying! On the last day we spent a couple hours in the morning in Galway (the story of the Magdalene women is tragic) then headed towards Dublin… and managed to get Jerry sidetracked to Clonmacnoise then dredged his knowledge banks/history for info on the peat industry and he actually found us an off-the-beaten path place where we could go fondle some turf. I think we need to come back…
Judy Rochette, BC