The only thing that puts me off visiting new places in the UK is the long drive. I drive all the time through work and leisure so I don't consider driving for half a day off as much of a holiday.
That was why we initially looked at short breaks offered by National Holidays to take us somewhere new for a bit of a rest, without worrying about driving,finding somewhere to park or going the wrong way.
We opted for a Beatles tribute short break in Liverpool which included dinner in a Liverpool hotel and a performance by a Beatles tribute band plus plenty of time to explore Liverpool as well.
Yes the novelty of being driven about soon wore off as we went from pick up point to pick up point before setting off for our actual destination but we have learned from that and on our next National Holidays trip, to see the Coronation Street experience, we took a few magazines and nibbles to make things a bit more interesting.
As for the hotel, the Adelphi in Liverpool had a kind of faded grandeur (it is a lovely old building in the city centre) which I quite liked and although the food was basic it was hot and tasted nice.
The price of each break has been less than £100 per person which you could easily run away with driving yourself somewhere and trying to find food,entertainment etc so I do think they are good value.
For a little break from the norm I think National Holidays do a reasonable job. I just think it's important to include the journey in the plan and take something to read, listen to, play and nibble because you could be in for a long ride.
Went on 18th October to London for a theatre break with National Holidays to see River Dance Dangerous Games at the Palladium.
National Holidays have a strange idea that Hemel Hempstead is an appropriate hotel for a London theatre trip. The hotel was good but 40 minutes drive from London which meant that by the time we had checked in, got changed & left the hotel at 4pm we did not get into London until 5.30pm due to the expected Saturday traffic! We left Leeds at 08.30 and could not get into the hotel until 2pm so had to spend an hour wandering around Newport Pagnall Services to kill time! The show was fantastic but we, a party of 9 who have travelled with them for years will NEVER use them again. The coach also left London on the Sunday afternoon at 1.30 when we had been told on booking and only on the Saturday that it would be 3.30pm - as you can imagine we didn't see much of London! Also, two ladies wanted single rooms - one paid the usual premium for a single room & got a double, the other lady was charged for TWO PEOPLE as they had no singles available!!!! I will be reviewing the hotel separately as that was good but the distance we had to travel was horrendous - we spent enough time on the coach on the Saturday to have travelled to the Highlands of Scotland as we didn't get back from the theatre until Midnight. My suggestion to you - look elsewhere!
Wonderful holiday made extra special with the driver kevin yet again, hope to see him again soon..Phil & Jan Gomersall.
JUST BEEN ON NATIONAL HOLIDAY TO TORQUAY RAINBOW HOTEL DONT GO ITS A FLEA PIT I WAS IN A ROOM DOWN LONG CORRIDER WITH LAUNDRY STORAGE ROOMS AND JOINED ON TO BOILER ROOM MY ROOM WAS UNBERABLE HOT AND NOISY DUE TO BOILER WOULD NOT MOVE ME I WAS VERY VUNERABLE ON MY OWN THERE WERE BREAKINS INTO SEVERAL ROOMS THE MANAGER WAS NOT BOTHERD HE DID NOT INFORM GUESTS OF BREAKINS I HAD TO BUY A FAN TO TRY AND COOL ROOM DOWN THE MANAGER TOLD ME TO TAKE IT UP WITH NATIONAL THEY SAY TAKE IT UP WITH NATIONAL THE NIGHT PORTER TOLD ME NOBODY STAYS IN THAT ROOM ITS VERY SMALL TOO HOT AND NOISY AND HE HATES HAVEIN TO CHECK THAT CORRIDER AND ROOM AS IT FREAKS HIM OUT DOWN THERE IN THE BASEMENT HOW WAS I SUPPOSE TO FEEL WOMAN ON MY OWN DOES ANY BODY WANT TO HOLD THERE HANDS UP RAINBOW MANAGER CUSTOMER SERVICES NATIONAL HOLIDAYS ????????? ENOUGH SAID
Picked up from Castleford bus station on the Friday at 8.20am so far so good, we get on the coach and a few other people also get on the coach mostly OAP the driver never said anything no information was given 1 were we was going what time we would arrive etc etc he then went on to wakefield and leeds and then the next we new we was in Durham never been there before, would of been helpful to of been given a map or told some information on what was in Durham whats the history, whats to see etc just told to come back in two hrs, off we went managed to find the Durham Catherdal by calling into a shop and asking the lady how to find it, an amazing place but would of been nice to have been given information and or tour guide, we get back on the coach and again nothing we arrive at the The Park Hotel cases given to us snd told yo be on the coach next morning for 9.30 again no info on Tynemouth whats to see, whats todo, the history of this amazing place just dumped really, we go and wait for the room key, we go to the room which was basic, tea basic, next morning again on coach and drives of this time Seahouses no information on were we was going first , arrive at seahouses comeback in two hrs, nice place information on the history would of been appricated and whst was there, back on the coach next stop Bamburgh Castle you can have 10 minutes here we shot of the coach only 10 mins for the most historic Castle which is amazing! Again no information, back on the coach, then itls holly island again no information two hrs this time, then back to the hotel for tea for 5pm hmm what about the rest of the day.!
The next the hartlepool queys what a waste of time oh we can have four hrs here 10mins at Bamburgh Castle and four hrs at a rubbish hartlepool oh then back on the coach and back to Castleford back 5.55 you call that three days away l don't!!
The trip was not worth the money, the coach driver had no idea were he was going or what we was doing, un interested, what donthey fo for all these hrs free in the evenings and during the time they are dumping people here and there. If these trips are like this because a lot of OAP book them they should just do trips for them!
Its the first and last time lve been with National Holidays
My friends and I have just returned from this four day break with National Holidays but were very disappointed with the trip to see the Midsomer villages, it was a long and tiring day driving to villages that were more like small towns and nothing like the pretty villages we were expecting. The first one we came to was impossible to get to the sights we were supposed to see because the roads were too narrow for the coach to turn into, so we missed out on that.The next one, Thame, was quite nice but we were told that they only thought the town hall and chippy might have been used in the programme,The next one, Ammersham was awful.It had a main street with charity shops, supermarkets and restaurants, no cafes and no pubs so we couldn't get a hot drink and it is the only "village" I know that has a tube station.We told the driver not to bother with the last one but he drove through it all the same, and all I can say is that if you blinked you would have missed it, like I did!!!!! The rest of the holiday was fine and we stayed in the Britannia Hotel in Coventry which was also fine. So if you book this trip stay in Coventry and go around the shopping area on the day you should go to the villages, you will enjoy it more.
Just had a five day holiday with National holidays which included a day trip to Bruges in Belgium. If you have booked a similar holiday or are thinking of doing so then if your offered an alternative destination like Calais or Ostende then Don't go to Bruges. Don't get me wrong, Bruges is well worth a visit but having to travel at least 7 hours on bus and ferry for a two hour visit is really not doing justice to Bruges. We spent our two hours trying to take as much in as we could but the twenty minute walk from the drop of point to the town and the same back took another 40 minutes off our visiting times, so it really was just another day travelling as far as we were concerned.
Bruges aside the trips to Canterbury and Rye Market plus the coastal route were very good and the Hotel was ok, not 5* but clean, good food (even if some of the staff were unaware of the dishes being served), and decent entertainment but believe me DONT GO TO BRUGES.
Yesterday my son and I returned from Diano Marina , the drivers Richard and Steve made the trip, always helpful and lots of fun. We stayed at the Royal Esplanade and I am sorry that place is awful, it was more like a youth hostel. The owners don't treat the guests well. I did not expect luxury but that is a 2star at best. Having to tick your choice every night for the following day was like been in hospital, the food was average to poor. The breakfast ,we gave up and went to the bakery, it was awful. the coffee was already stewed at the start.
It was clean but in need of repair ,the pool was often filthy, if the young chap on the pool spent less time on his mobile and more time taking out the twigs it would be better!
This hotel does nothing for your company, you have excellent coaches and professional drivers,the owners seemed complacent ,it is a long way to go to end up in an unwelcoming hotel. Your drivers have lots of knowledge but are let down by this hotel, its the small things like no coffee in your room, I had to by a jar , their coffee was terrible. The hotel at Metz was a much better standard and welcoming with a decent breakfast and nice bed.
Thank you for your attention, keep up the good work , there must be better hotels in Diano Marina, I did not hear any of the fifty people say a good word about the hotel!
Just done 9 days all inclusive in Diano Marina staying at Royal Esplanade Hotel.The Hotel was acceptable with decent choice of food including English for those who prefer it , personally we go abroad to eat local food . The hotel had reasonable rooms kept clean and tidy however the bath and bathroom was rather small , taking into account what we paid we have no complaints.We had several trips included including Monaco [ Good for me as an F1 fan] also Santa Margherite and Portofino and Imperia. Beautiful places made better by very good weather also not too busy at this time.We love Italy and this is our second visit with National , last year to Tuscany. Finally we would like to thank [Bossy] Brian and John for the excellent driving and service throughout the Holiday. We shall no doubt use National again. Great value .
Starting with the positive... the staff were really friendly and worked very hard under difficult circumstances. The food was quite good with plenty of choice. Bedding and towels were clean and the cleanliness of the rooms was good considering the state of the decor. The owners of this hotel should be ashamed of themselves - the entire place needs full refurbishment...the bathrooms are appalling with delapidated imitation marble plastic walls and only a shower tray with a grotty curtain and sliding door that wasn't even fixed at the bottom! Room was either too cold or too hot and the radiator was uncontrollable. We could hear people in the room above performing their ablutions...disgusting! The restaurant manager was really professional apart from not having any teeth in! Even one of the entertainers was poking fun at the state of the place.
At the end of the day this was a cheap holiday but National Holidays should think twice before using this sad place again...with a prime position like the Narrowcliff has, a great deal could be done to improve matters!
The journey to and from Newquay and the trips offered, to The Eden Project, Falmouth, Truro, Land's End and Padstowe were good - Land's End and Padstowe offered as extra at £7. Our driver, Wayne, was excellent - could do with some better jokes!
9 of us went on the all inclusive Lake Garda trip last year and had a fantastic time. Michelle and Joe our drivers were superb and very knowledgeable. Nothing was too much trouble for them. Our hotel The Virgilio in Riva del Garda was lovely and really looked after us. Yes it's a long coach journey but you know that before you set off but there's no driving so just sit back and enjoy the scenery. We enjoyed it so much that 8 of us are going on a National Holidays again to the Rhine next April and we can't wait. Some reviews have said that National Holidays cancel trips at the last minute but you have to understand if they don't get a minimum number of passsengers then it's not viable. So all of you out there thinking of booking a coach trip - don't think book!!
I have just completed a lovely Holiday with National Holidays. The drivers, Lee and Eddie were just fantastic. On our arrival we were informed that the Hotel had been doble booked but they arranged other Hotels etc for us to go to and compensated us with Thirty Euros. This was done as easily as possible and our comfort taken into account. The next day we were able to return to the Lft Hotel Austria and agaian made comfortable. We didnt have to do anything with our luggage as the hotel made sure it got to our rooms. The Lft Hotel is a lovely Hotel with very good staff. The only disapointing bit was the food was not very good or very appitising. However, this did not spoil the holiday at all. We went on to have a great few days and enjoyed the sights and sounds of this delightful country. I will definatly return and I will certainly go with Nation Holidays.
Myself and seven friends have just returned from a 4 day all inclusive Cotswolds break staying at the Royal Court Hotel, it was a disaster!!! The hotel management were not a bit interested in our coach party. On the first evening the whole coach party was wandering round trying to find the dining room for our self service carvery, but we kept being directed to different rooms,only to find them occupied, eventually we found our dining room but instead of small tables there were just four big round tables and not enough room for everyone, there was only one member of staff carving the meat so by the time the last person was served the food was cold. The following morning we went to the same room for breakfast but it was occupied by a wedding party and again the staff did not know where to put our group, they eventally put us in a room near the bar. That evening the carvery was almost cold. One morning we went to breakfast at 8am as directed and had to turn on the lights, open the curtains, find the plates and cutlery and managed to get hold of one member of staff who brought some food in, the milk and breakfast fruit was frozen solid in their containers, we were told they had been put in a faulty freezer by mistake, the bacon looked a day old and once again the food was luke warm. Another time we were allowed to use a room that other guests were also using but we were told we could only use the tables with the PAPER napkins, not linen like the other guests.
We have been on very many coach holidays in the past, with different companies, and never experienced anything quite as bad as this. We were definitely 3rd class guests at this hotel.
The rooms were fairly clean and the swimming pool was nice, though could have been cleaner, and even though our driver told us there would be the usual entertainment, there was none.
This Hotel is not fit to be open and is so poor that it can give National Holidays a bad reputation which would be a pity as the rest of the Tour "Cruise Steam and Glorious Lakes was brilliant. This hotel is one and a half hours from the area being toured and near Sellerfield Nuclear Power Station.
In the Hotels own web page it states it as redecorated etc last year. I cannot believe tha the bedroom we had was was recorated as the walls appeared to have old fashioned Whitewash on them not emulsion. They were badly stained with water marks and the floor needed the floor boards repaired as in some places theyer felt as if they were broken.
Salads were good but some of the cooked meals were inedible. We were brought a jug of water and the pouring lip of the jug was smashed and glass as falling into the jug and onto the table. When the waitress was called over by us she asked if we wanted it changed. What a stupid question. Another jug of water was brought and that had something was floating in that one.
The Toilet was difficult to flush and was reported but nothing was done about it.
The lady who seems to run it must have thought we were a coach load of naughty school children by the way she spoke to us and a lot of us were twice her age. I would like a Hotel Inspector go there and not say who they are as I am of the opinion that they would not pass it.
We're approaching our 60s and this year we'll celebrate our Ruby Wedding, but we don 't think of ourselves as being old!! We saw an advert for National Holidays and, being thrifty Northerners, we were impressed by the prices on offer. Eventually we settled on their 5 Day All-Inclusive to Eastbourne. This morning we received our 'Ticket' but there was no itinerary. So I telephoned National Holidays and spoke with a charming woman named Stephanie (always get the name you might need it if there are problems). But seriously, she was very helpeful and polite. Unfortunately she either couldn't or had been told not to tell us anything about the holiday that we didn't already know. You see we may be old, we may be Northern, but we are literate. We can negotiate the internet and we can assimilate information. But only when it is given!!
Other than to tell us our departure time, which was on our ticket, Stephanie was unable to impart any other information about our holiday. When I suggested that this was some great secret only known to the driver and given to customers when he/she had decided where we were going and when, Stephanie told me that there was a plan but they couldn't publish it on the website 'As we do so many tours.' Now I may be being a little picky here, but most travel companies offer a wide range of holidays. It doesn't preclude them from advising their customers of their itinerary. So why can't National Holidays? Too much trouble I suppose after all they are VERY CHEAP, and they say you get what you pay for.
So I decided to see if any of my Trip Advisor buddies had ever done this trip and might have an idea of the itinerary. It was probably a great mistake to look on the site, and it reafirmed what I should have done initially. Something I usually swear by when considering any holiday, long haul, short haul, or down the road. I should have checked out Trip Advisor BEFORE booking. The reviews are pretty awful. It seems this particular hotel (Majestic Hotel Eastbourne) is the hotel inspector's worse nightmare. So we're already stressed out by even the thought of our 'relaxing' little jaunt with National Holidays.
Of course the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. So I'll reserve judgement until we have sampled the joys of the Majestic Hotel and our first, and perhaps last, holiday with National Holidays. That's if we don't miss the coach.
Watch this space for an update.