"The places we stayed and the dinners we ate were all wonderful!"
"We absolutely LOVED Ireland — the people, the countryside, the pubs, the pub food, the music, etc. etc."
Thank you for the wonderful Failte Music Tour with Tara O'Grady
My husband and I had a really wonderful time on Tara's Failte Music Tour. Thank you for the expert tour organization. Our driver and guide, Matt Nolan was the best. He was friendly, kind, gracious, helpful, attentive, and was a terrific guide pointing out the various sites as we drove along the Irish countryside. Tara says she's planning another tour for next July 2017. Sign us up! We'd love to go back.
All the Best
Cathryn & Mitch
I just want to add that your attention to detail has me overwhelming impressed. During my 20 years of visiting Ireland I've been on several really great tours (and several in Italy as well) but none of them come close to the careful thoughtfulness you have provided to us. Starting with the booking process, followed by the travel bag and detailed tour booklet, to the travel tips/info documents attached in your last e-mail, you have more than exceeded my expectations...and the tour has not yet begun.
You have done a grand job.
All the Best
Mae W, New Bern, NC
It was great to meet you finally, and tour with Joanie and friends. We can't thank you enough for putting together our fantasy Ireland tour. Everything went exactly as planned for us, and we are now home after our last few days in Kilkenny, Waterford, and Dublin.
Everything went like clockwork from beginning to end, and we had a blast. It was so nice to have a few more relaxed days at the end to explore around on our own, all with your many helpful suggestions.
We haven't traveled a lot, and so I can't help worrying about all the details and uncertainties, but we in fact saw all the sites we hoped to, with countless extras you plugged into the tour, and all the transportation worked just as you described. I am aware of how much work you did both in advance and all along the way. We hope you were able to relax and enjoy some moments yourself along the way!
Thank you, Thank you. Thank you! We had a great trip!
Gale & Barbara
Dear Niall -
Just a note of sincere thanks from Kenzo and myself for the fantastic Joanie Madden tour. It was brilliantly planned and executed, and as an experienced project director I can appreciate the effort that went into every detail.
Although we were initially concerned about the number of people on the tour, this posed no problem and actually provided more opportunity to connect with interesting people. Ken and I were talking last night and agreed that we received superb value for our money, given the music, accommodations and amenities, interesting activities, and expert tour guidance/driving. Well done!
Libby T, Houston
I must say that my parents are still walking on air over their fantastic trip which I could not have facilitated without you! Mere words cannot describe their experience which is a memory that will be cherished forever.
My mom is still talking about her trip and how wonderful it was! I must thank you again for your time, patience, expertise, and genuine care and professionalism in taking care of my unique request.
I am thrilled that they had a truly memorable experience and I owe it all to you. I will certainly without hesitation have you take care of my families trip which will be in the very near future.
Kevin Leahy - our driver/guide went above and beyond his job in truly showing my parents around due to his knowledge and connections.
My folks said that he did a wonderful job and felt upon their departure that they were leaving a relative and not an employee behind. Again many thanks to a perfect job well done!
William & Kathleen G, Rockville Center, NY
Well this update is long overdue, but I thought I'd sent you a note to let you know how things went. I hadn't!
We had the absolute trip of our lives!!!! From start to finish it was just fantastic. Sam drove like he's been driving on the left for his whole life.
I think my favorite place had to have been Hayfield Manor, but honestly, each place was my favorite in some way. I can honestly say, we didn't have a bad meal, drive or day of weather. Sun for most of the trip, with splashes of rain that passed quickly.
Thank you so much for all the tips and for arranging our stays at all the amazing hotels.
We couldn't be more happy with the experience or the memories we made.
Tara and Sam W, Arlington VA
I am back from Ireland & it was a great trip!!! I love it there and definitely want to go back & see more! Thank you for coordinating our trip... the places we stayed and the dinners we ate were all wonderful! We LOVED Dingle!! I can see why you would want to retire there!!
We had a wonderful trip! We love Ireland!
Thank you again!
What a fabulous trip. People were tremendously helpful and it was so beautiful and cool.
Danny our bus driver was exceptional. The bus made everything easy. I missed his driving while we were on our own.
The Malton was the best for such a big group. We ate at one of the best restaurants ever any where in Doolin it's called the Roadford restaurant.
Best restaurant meals fishy fishy in kinsale, macs in Kilarney, O'Grady's by the Pier in Barna Gallway and road ford in Doolin.
Overall great trip thanks for all your work. Summers in Ireland sure beat Texas.
Kate A, Dallas TX
Just rolled in after the most incredible vacation. Its going to take us a couple of days to recoup, go thru all the photos we took, and start to sort our thoughts but we'd love to meet with you sometime soon. The accommodations were wonderfully diverse, showing a broad range of what Ireland has to offer, our driver/guide was fantastic -- he was perfect for us.
We had an incredible time, met some amazing people, and had some unexpected surprises that were beyond expectations. Couldn't be happier with the trip -- you did an amazing job! I'll let you know once we get a chance to sort thru our photos. Thanks so much again. You are awesome!
Patrick, Janet and Family, Warrenton VA
Thank you so much for writing and for your kind wishes — we appreciate them so much!
We had an absolutely incredible time on our trip! We loved both cities so much and were able to see such amazing places and enjoy so much that London and Dublin offered!
We got really good at riding the Tube in London and were able to see and do so much there! One thing that we loved, and we wanted to recommend that you add to your list of activities, is the Fat Tire Bike Tour. We took the "Royal London Tour" and it was a really fun 4-hour bike ride tour through the city and parks. The tour guide was amazing and told the coolest stories about all of the sites we stopped to see. It's pretty affordable for what you get and I think your customers would love it. We would definitely do it again! We also really loved Camden Town and I think that was the kids' favorite place of all in London. We did a lot in Trafalgar Square and visited many of the museums, and then of course saw Parliament, Big Ben, Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, and all of the tourist spots. The hotel was beautiful and the rooms were so nice...as was the breakfast each morning! It was outstanding service there!
Dublin was such an incredibly fun city and we really enjoyed walking around there and getting to learn where things were. We found an outstanding vegan restaurant called Cornucopia and ate there at least five times. So if you ever have other vegan clients, I would highly recommend that place! The people in Dublin are so friendly and cool and we would love to go back again to re-explore more of the city. We rented a car for two days and went out to the country. One day we visited Jerpoint Abbey, Kilkenny Castle, and Dunmore Caves (which was incredibly cool and the tour guide was excellent), and the other day we went to Trim Castle and took the tour and walked around the beautiful grounds there. We REALLY enjoyed getting to meet your awesome brother and had a great time talking to him. He is such a wonderful person and was so friendly and helpful! Please thank him again for us and let him know that we really appreciate all that he did for us! Oh, and he told us to call you "Mr. Aer Lingus" — he he. =)
We took a ton of photos, so I'm happy to send you anything that we can. Would you like photos of locations we visited, or of our family, or both? Just let me know and after the Thanksgiving holiday, I'm happy to email you some from our adventures.
We really want to thank you for your excellent service throughout this entire process. From start to finish, you have been absolutely outstanding, beyond helpful, friendly, and professional. We would recommend you to anyone and hope to get to plan another trip in a few years and will most certainly be using your services when we do!!
Thanks for everything, Niall!! I hope you have a wonderful holiday.
All the best.
Jinxi and family, Los Angeles CA
This is a tardy but heartfelt thank you for all of your help a few weeks ago when I was making plans for my trip to Ireland. Your advice, great follow-through and connections to your brother were just what I needed to lower my stress level. The train trip went smoothly, your brother was welcoming and delightful and the trip was just what I needed to clear my head.
Jodi G, Lexington
Good Evening. We are still recovering from jet lag. It is easier going east then coming back west.
We had an absolutely fabulous time. We did not let the first night's problems dampen our spirits. All worked out well. We also know we would not have had such a good time without your support, knowledge, information and guidance. The hotels you picked were great. Going premium on Aer Lingus is the only way to cross "The Pond."
Thanks again Niall for all your information and work. When we meet, we will have more information and pictures to share.
Tom and Donna C, Alexandria VA
We had a wonderful time in Ireland! I definitely have some photos to share, but haven't had time to download them yet. I will do so in the next week or so.
All in all, the tour was perfect!!! Pat was terrific. He listened to what we talked about and asked about, and went and found certain things we asked about. It was not your typical tour and we saw things that I believe tourist normally would miss because Pat knew about them.
Wednesday was really the only day we weren't thrilled with which was more based on not having the long drive expectation set before hand. We thought we were doing something else and than spent a majority of the day in the car. I believe this was the case because my father asked Pat about stone circles and he found one that was out of the way of the main highway, but on the way to Kinsale. We did not mind this, but wish we knew the day would be spent in the car. Other than this one minor thing, it was the perfect tour for us.
All our bookings went smoothly and there was not one issue. Every hotel was ready for our arrival and I thought Pat really stood out here. He never dropped us off at the hotel and left. He ALWAYS walked in and made sure our reservation was on record and we had our keys in hand before he left. He also drove around each city to point out pubs and restaurants and provide us with an understanding of where the hotel was and what was in walking distance. To me this was an extra step he took to make sure we had everything we needed and were comfortable with our evening plans. I felt that this was above and beyond what he had to do.
Truly this was a dream come true for my parents and this trip was amazing! I can't thank you enough for your help and will definitely pass the good word on about you, your company and Pat too. I'll send some photos soon.
Keri G, Quincy, MA
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, for all your help with our wonderful holiday in England and Ireland. Everything went off without a hitch thanks to your excellent planning. Jim handled the driving quite well, although it was a bit nerve wracking at first, but we managed just fine. We absolutely LOVED Ireland — the people, the countryside, the pubs, the pub food, the music, etc. etc. We truly had a wonderful time, and used your notes to a great degree every day.
We got in almost allof the important "must see" sites you recommended. We really loved the club class on the Irish Ferries from
Hollyhead to Dublin — such fun and a great way to arrive in Dublin.
All the hotels were terrific, and very much to our liking.
I think we are in agreement that our absolute favorite would have to be the Dingle peninsula and The Heaton Guesthouse, although all the others were great too. Heaton's was just a step above the rest, in our opinion, and the Dingle coast was so wonderful. We truly enjoyed our day driving along Slea Head drive and stopping at all the beautiful historic ruins, beehive huts, etc. We enjoyed talking to Cameron so much, and he mentioned that he would be meeting you soon when you go for a meeting there. Please tell him again how much we enjoyed the guesthouse and their amazing hospitality. We also were just blown away by the Cliffs of Moher, and the Burren was an amazing and unexpected treat as well.
I could go on and on, but I'm tired and still a bit jet lagged.
Thanks again for putting together such a wonderful trip for us.
PLEASE feel free to use us as a reference anytime — we'll be happy to sing your praises.
All the best,
Nancy and Jim M, Raleigh, NC
We are back home safe and sound and just wanted to thank you so much for all of your help in planning our trip to Ireland. We had a fantastic time, and we have you to thank for that. We especially appreciated your communication and help with switching our flight to Shannon last week, and each time we checked into a new inn or hotel, we kept saying, "Niall did us right!" Highlights of our trip were definitely the music, pubs, and gorgeous countryside of Doolin and Dingle, staying in the Waterford Castle, and exploring Dublin.
Now that we've been to Ireland once, we're already saying that we would love to go back and revisit Dingle and Doolin, as well as head north to Galway and Connemara. :)
Thank you again for everything, Niall. We found the people of Ireland to be just as lovely as the landscape, and we have you to thank for introducing us to it and making it all so easy.
Marti and Eric S, Reston, VA
We could not have done it without you, Niall!
Four girls + 4 women set out for our first trip to see our "Homeland". We all left the Emerald Isle happier than we ever could have imagined !
Our trip got a "jump start" when the airline called the day of departure saying that our flight to Shannon was cancelled. What a welcome surprise to be met at the airport by Niall who got us on a wonderful Virgin Atlantic flight to London. Other passengers that were to be on our original were gobbling for seats on various airlines while we were enjoying a movie en route to Ireland (with a brief stop in London). Not many travel agents would do that , trust me! I was a Flight Attendant for many years and I can assure you that Niall's service was far beyond what was expected !
Now, when we arrived in Ireland, we elected to have a "driver" and did know what to expect from the vehicle or the driver. Our "coach" was an brand new, air-conditioned Mercedes "bus" that would seat 30 people. The windows had curtains and each of us had several "rows to ourselves. (Great for naps en route).
Our driver was right out of a movie. He was as Irish as could be and so polite. He had 8 woman to keep happy, God Bless Patrick O'Leary !
One hotel was nicer than the next! The breakfasts and brown bread for lovely !
Niall worked with us on what towns we wanted to visit and his advise was wonderful. We loved Dingle, Kinsale, Dublin, Galway, Killarney ! It was wonderful to have flexibility with the driver. The day we were supposed to see the Blarney Castle, it was raining so we chose to do something different and went to kiss the Blarney Stone the next day!
I know Niall had nothing to do with this, but we only had 2 days out of 10 with rain! : ) Thanks to Niall and Caddie Tours, it truly was the perfect trip -ERIN GO BRAGH !
Thanks so much for the memories we will cherish forever, Colleen Erin Mollo Joanne
Jackie, Christie, Rosemary, Constance, Oakton VA
We had a wonderful time. Your planning was perfect and made the trip much easier than I expected that it would be. The accomodations were 5 star and we had several meals that were the best that I have ever eaten. Everyone was expecting us and the vouchers worked perfectly. They covered what was expected ane our upgrades were expected (golf cars, etc). There were no negative suprises and several positive ones. I gave your extra cards to several other tourists so they may contact you. I will highly recommend you.
We had a wonderful trip and really appreciate the thought and planning that you put into everything.
Mark J, Dallas TX
Ireland was amazing. The trip was wonderful. We loved all of the places where we stayed. Top on my list was the Brooks, Waterford, and Muckross! The manor house in Cork was a beautiful hotel, and the Dromoland Castle grounds were magnificant. I think we moved around too much so the only thing we would have done differently is stay at one place for 2-3 nights. The drive around the ring of Kerry was also beautiful. We really liked the people and would not mind retiring in ireland if we could afford it!
My dad had the trip of a lifetime, so thank you for your help. Pat will send you pictures!
Robyn R, DC
It was love at first sight with Ireland. What a marvellous landscape the West has to offer, and all the adorable Easter lambs!
The weather was truly bad on Easter, even the locals said so. For that we couldn't walk around the Burren as planned (that's left for the next visit) but Doolin has really great music in its pubs, that made up for it. After Easter it cleared up and got really "lovely" as everybody stated. We enjoyed Kilkenny very much and most of all the Dingle peninsula.
And your accomodation choices have been really great: you got us all the rooms with the best views, thank you! Breakfast is exceptionally good in the River Court Hotel in Kilkenny and in the Dunaree Guesthouse &mdassh; A+!!!
We'll send some pictures, too. Thanks again for the perfect organization and the next trip to Ireland is already in mind.
Antje & Roger B, Silver Spring, MD
The trip was fabulous! What a wonderful country. We even saw quite a bit of sunshine.
We loved the Brooks Hotel in Dublin,wonderful service and a great location. We were able to check in early which made all the difference in our day. I would highly recommend Heatons in Dingle. The owners were more than helpful ,fresh baked scones and breads,easy walk to town,and their son has now begun serving dinner. He is a wonderful chef! They told us that they aren't able to afford advertising so they rely on word of mouth. The Dingle peninsula was by far my favorite place. We had the most fabulous gourmet dinner at Gregan's Castle in the Burren. We were happy with every place we stayed and have really decided we love the guest house atmosphere small and inviting. We loved the owner at Ahern's ,John, He made a point to sit and talk and was very helpful.
Overall a wonderful experience. Thank you for all your help.
I will forward some pictures when I get them on the computer. Jet lag and getting back to work have made this week hard.
Joanne B, Chicago IL
It was a wonderful trip and have no complaints whatsoever, the B & Bs were well chosen - especially Helen and Andy in Dublin. They were GREAT! The trip was well-planned and well-executed, and we ALL had a great time. Seems the prices have gone up a bit for meals, etc. but guess that is to be expected - they're going up everywhere. What a shame about Waterford and all the loss of jobs! Also Aer Lingus had some major layoffs while we were there also but that had nothing to do with your excellent trip-planning! As always it was very well done.
Thanks so much for everything, Best regards.
Susan S, Bethany Beach DE
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Thank you for the welcome home e-mail. We had a truly wonderful time visiting your homeland. What a grand country!
The weather was close to perfect, the food really great and the people could not have been more helpful and congenial. We had so many magical times. Once a young man at the gas station saw we were lost and he said we should follow him and he would take us to Kensmare. When we saw what a great city it was we stopped and sure enough he stopped and got out of his car to see if we were alright — amazing.
The Castle was a special time and the highlight of the trip! The scenery was great and we learned so much-New Grange, Beehive huts, the Oratory etc etc. The info you included was very useful. We did get the card at New Grange which then saved us alot of money-good tip.
Dromoland, St. Judes, Killowen and Athlumney Manor were our favorites and if you would like more detailed observations about any of the B&B's etc, please let me know.
We hope some day to return to Ireland and thank you for helping us plan our first trip there,
Joan H, Silver Spring MD
Fantastic 10 days........didn't much care for the NY departure just for the hassle, and this time we had no luggage on arrival in Dublin. They soon found it and sent on plane from Atlanta. I realize that we needed to do this to get the dates. Southwest was fantastic as usual. We did get to Dingle Peninsula and Slea Head with great weather but gave up Ring of Kerry due to time. Of course had to go through the Burren, and got to Clifden on Connemara.
The B&B;s were awesome, the food gourmet. Best B&B - Andy in Dublin and Jimmy at Nellie Dee's stand out but others were all great.
THanks so much for planning such an AWESOME trip.
Once again - THANKS for a phenomenal 1700 km trip with all kinds of sights and adventures.
We had a wonderful trip to Ireland. We were very pleased with the hotel & B&B's we stayed in, the Mont Clare, especially (for it's proxmity to the sights in Dublin, the breakfasts, and its 19th century atmosphere), and the Shraheen House (for it's extraordinary cleanliness and the host's proactivity in giving us recommendations on what to see, how to get there, and the best times to go). I got your cards - I'll put them in the mail by Friday.
We also enjoyed our stay in the Bunratty B&B (Parkhouse?)- the hosts had a 9-day-old baby(!), but they never skipped a beat. The accommodations and the service were very nice. BTW, I didn't realize til late in our trip that I should have given them 2 vouchers for our 2-day stay. I only gave them one. Should I mail them the other one? I don't want them to miss out on whatever benefit may come thru the vouchers).
All in all, we had a very pleasurable and memorable vacation. Ireland is certainly one place we would love to go back to. We got a lot of sightseeing done, but there's still so much more to see. Thank you again, so much for all your help and for all the brochures you sent us. All of it helped to make our trip one we'll remember for the rest of our lives.
Warren & June M
Teresa and I just wanted to thank you for putting together a great tour. At no point were we disappointed with anything that you had done or recommended. Even though a bit rainy (and we expected that and enjoyed it as part of the Irish experience) we had a great trip. We wish that we'd had a chance to meet you in person, and will be giving our heartiest recommendation of your services to several folks who have expressed an interest in a future trip.
Bob and Teresa O'Neill
What a wonderful trip we had...and due in no small part to your pre-trip preparations and suggestions on the best places to visit that would meet our interests. You adapted quickly to our request to stay away from the big towns and focus on Ireland's historic treasures and the "great out of doors." As we understand it, the weather was a little wetter with a little more wind than the locals were use to for October (due to the tail end of hurricane's Rita and Wilma) but it did not daunt our spirits. Nor did it daunt the spirits of those that were sharing their homes and towns with us. Almost everyone we spoke to for any length of time--be it the owner of the B&B or the felllow standing next to us in line at a grocery store--all expressed hopes that we were having a good visit in their country. They also wanted to know how long we were to be there and what we had seen. It made us feel very welcome. And the choices you made for the B&Bs were great. The houses were either within walking distance of numerous restaurants and pubs or were in such beautiful settings that we did not mind having to make a short hop by car to get in to town.
We were lucky to enjoy a total of four nights of traditional music--one at Harry B's in Dublin and then a night in Doolin and two nights in Dingle. Dingle and the Dingle Pennisula proved to be our favorite stop. Though every town had its special personality, we thoroughly enjoyed the countryside and the personality of the town and the people of Dingle. While in Dingle I was lucky to purchase a hand-made bodhran from a local craftswoman. She and I had some time to visit and she even gave me a quick lesson.
We had every intention of adding kayaing and some major mountain hiking to our agenda, but the weather did not permit it. However, we did have plenty of opportunities to experience incredibly beautiful and dramatic scenary. We even made it over to Inishmore and enjoyed a blustery bike ride out to Dun Aonghasa and its surrounds. And as I touched on earler, we found no shortage of historic and archaeological sites to explore.
I could go on for a very long time and still not fully express what a great trip we had. Oh, and self-driving added considerably to the overall experience. After a few false starts we became very adept at navigating our way around on the numerous unmarked byways. Though driving on the left side of the road from the right side of the car on the very narrow, winding roads did put a bit of a strain on our marital bliss from time to time--the driving also became second nature.
Again, thank you for your part in making this trip possible and successful. As you might guess our "to do" list was longer than we could actually accomplish during our two-week visit. So we have already decided that we will be going back. And when the time comes for that return trip--we will be in touch.
Cynthia and John D
We've been very busy since our return, however, we wanted you to know that it was more than we ever expected.All you hard work went without a hitch.
Airlines, hotel, and B & B's were super with exception of one B & B. The B & B in Doolin was just so-so. Very basic with zero frills. Ireland was absolutely wonderful and we took advantage of as much as we could fit into a day. Every day: up early, breakfast, and off to explore what was on our itinerary for the day. Most days we found a Pub to finish our day in fine style. Your suggestions and directions were very helpful. Bill did bring his GPS as a back-up and I navigated. What more did Bill need?
Again, THANK YOU for all your help in making our holiday a smashing one.
Hope all is well with you and your family.
Carol and Bill
I can't begin to thank you enough for all the time and effort you've put into making our itinerary for our trip. We've just received the care package you sent with books, directions, discounts etc. Your efforts are truly indescribable. We are looking forward to this trip more than ever. Much of the dread of traveling is the planning and making sure you see everything the country has to offer and you've done all the leg work. We can't begin to thank you enough, really! Thank you, thank you, and thank you.
Andrea, Desiree, Stephanie and Maria, Austin, Texas
Hey Niall, we just wanted to thank you for the great trip.
After booking my own trips for years, I've got to tell you this is the way to do it.
The places you picked for our stay were first class, the owners could not have been more hospitable. The rental car was the perfect size for the four of us, it had plenty of truck space. It was a memorable trip for my wife and my in-laws'. It was great running into your sister in Dingle, what a small world. We will book with you again. If you need a reference just let us know!
Mike and Linda, Springfield Va
Now that John and I are back home and rested from our travels to Ireland and the New England states, we submit the following comments about our Ireland trip:
Both of us throughly enjoyed the tour. The drive through the countryside was beautiful and informative. Richard is an excellent bus driver as well as an excellent tour guide. We were so impressed of his knowledge of Ireland and its history. Passing that information os to us, as we cruised along, made all the difference. His "believe it or not" stories, along with his signing, was enjoyed by all on the bus.
What we liked about Caddie Tours, is there were no additional costs (aside from your noon lunch which we were told about in advance). Other tour companies have "side trips" which cost extra money if you want to go on them. With Caddie Tours, what you paid for is what you got.
The hotel accomodations were more than we anticipated and the meals were superb. If we had any complaint it would be the 3 hour plus wait at Dublin Airport before being transported to our hotel.
Thank you for all you did to make our trip to Ireland so memorable.
John and Jerry