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December 23, 2012

Hi Judy,

I just want to let you know that my trip was fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Everything went according to plan, not a single hitch.  I loved the Galapagos and loved Peru!!!!!! 

I loved Hotel Mansion de Angel as well as Sol y Luna!  CAPC was lovely in both Cusco and Puno (not sure why the on-line reviews were not good).  Inkaterra was lovely too (especially the grounds). 

I can't wait to have you help organize my next trip! 

Thanks again. 

Happy holidays, and all the best for 2013

Beverley  [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

[ LARC's Response: ]

WELCOME BACK BEVERLEY,

I WAS WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU, JUST IN TIME TO MAKE MY HOLIDAY HAPPY!  MERRY CHRISTMAS AND CAN'T WAIT TO PLAN YOUR NEXT TRIP.  HUGS, JUDY
 

November 20, 2012

We have arrived from sea level of the Galapagos back to Quito and over 9000 ft. We are on our way to Cotapaxi National Park.  Cotapaxi is the tallest active volcano in the world at almost 20000 ft.  We horseback ride up part of the volcano tomorrow and then head to the jungle. 

Galapagos was great - swam with sharks fish beautiful sea floor and of course playful sea lions.  Saw all types of iguanas the blue footed booby the nasca booby many finches and the albatrosses were amazing.  We saw sting rays, sea turtles mating (swam with them a lot) giant tortoises mating and much much more. 

We loved Mansion de Angel and Quito.  Miguel and his group have been great.  Cormorant was first class - really only got two effective days on ship as were up at 5am on last day for 630 departure.  Galapagos Safari Camp was great. 

Couple of notes to pass on to Miguel - when go to Middle of Earth advise clients to have sunscreen and a hat when leave hotel or in itinerary.  There was a mix up either by Cormorant company or in the information they received from LARC - they apparently had us booked back on Aero Gal on Nov 17 straight from ship. I had asked Katrien at GSC to confirm our flights on Nov 18 and when we returned back that day she had pulled a rabbit out of the hat and got us on the last 2 seats today.  She saved the day

Anyhow all going great - looking forward to the rest of the trip. 

Happy Thanksgiving

Ken  [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

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September 11, 2011

Hello Judy

We returned from our Galapagos / Machu Picchu trip a couple of weeks ago. Here is a huge thank you to you and the Latin American Reservation Center for arranging an absolutely outstanding trip. 

We were delighted with the LARC arrangements throughout -- especially the Mansion del Angel hotel in Quito (at which we stayed 3 times during the trip) -- our stay was absolutely wonderful.  Please relay our thanks to the manager, Lupe, and staff – who made us welcome and superbly comfortable.  The hotel is absolutely beautiful and the service was excellent. 

Tours were outstanding and we had perfect weather through-out (I’m not sure whether that was your doing or not).  All tour arrangements were beyond expectations -- we were met at every stop, our boarding passes, etc. were pre-printed -- we had a private tour bus with driver and guide and the guides were entertaining and informative. 

Please thank David, our tour guide through Quito, for excellent service. 

A special note on the service by Peru Chasquitur – they were flawless and beyond expectations in every way. 

Our guide in Lima, Miguel, was terrific.  We did not have time for much beyond the Gold Museum, but Miguel was entertaining and engaging. 

Our guide through Cusco and Machu Picchu, Clara, deserves special attention. She was absolutely outstanding in every way.  My wife was walking with a cane (we put off her knee surgery for the trip) and Clara went out of her way to assist and allow time for each tour. Knowledgeable and informative would be an understatement – she was just wonderful throughout and handled every detail expertly and a positive disposition.  In short, Clara takes the experience from good to great.  She was outstanding and will be fondly remembered as a highlight of our trip.  Please relay our heartfelt appreciation and thank you to Clara. 

I would be remiss if I did not also mention Edgar, our driver in Peru. He was exceptional – after the first couple of narrow, winding roads up the mountains I knew he was a rare find – always patient, prompt and providing excellent service.  I can’t say enough good things about him – and was I happy when he showed up at 4:30 AM to take us to the Expedition Train – great service! 

On our second day at Machu Picchu, we were guided by Manuel, who hiked Wayna Picchu with us.  We pretty much knew what we wanted to do the second day and had our day planned, so we did not spend as much time with Manuel, but he was an excellent companion and we really appreciated his company and informative dialogue on the hike.  I do want to thank you all (especially Peru Chasquitur) for scheduling our second day at Machu Picchu – which gave us an opportunity to hike a little and revisit some of the sites. 

I think the best example of excellent service by Peru Chasquitur was when we boarded the bus for our trip to the airport in Cusco, the agent (Diego?  I think, but I am not sure) handed us our boarding passes for the flights to Lima and Quito!  This is just one example – the service was always great. 

We had a fantastic trip and wish we had spent more time in Ecuador and Peru. We found so many things we wanted to see and do – we will definitely plan a return trip! 

Again, thank you (LARC) and Peru Chasquitur very much for the terrific tour planning, arrangements and guides.  We were delighted with the service.  I would definitely recommend LARC!

Walt, Susie, Kiff, and Joy
  
 
[Last names withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]

 

August 26, 2011

Hello Judy 

We returned from our Galapagos / Machu Picchu trip a couple of weeks ago. Here is a huge thank you to you and the Latin American Reservation Center for arranging an absolutely outstanding trip. 

We were delighted with the LARC arrangements throughout -- especially the Mansion del Angel hotel in Quito (at which we stayed 3 times during the trip) -- our stay was absolutely wonderful.  Please relay our thanks to the manager, Lupe, and staff – who made us welcome and superbly comfortable.  The hotel is absolutely beautiful and the service was excellent. 

Tours were outstanding and we had perfect weather through-out (I’m not sure whether that was your doing or not).  All tour arrangements were beyond expectations -- we were met at every stop, our boarding passes, etc. were pre-printed -- we had a private tour bus with driver and guide and the guides were entertaining and informative. 

Please thank David, our tour guide through Quito, for excellent service. 

A special note on the service by Peru Chasquitur – they were flawless and beyond expectations in every way. 

Our guide in Lima, Miguel, was terrific. We did not have time for much beyond the Gold Museum, but Miguel was entertaining and engaging. 

Our guide through Cusco and Machu Picchu, Clara, deserves special attention. She was absolutely outstanding in every way.  My wife was walking with a cane (we put off her knee surgery for the trip) and Clara went out of her way to assist and allow time for each tour.  Knowledgeable and informative would be an understatement – she was just wonderful throughout and handled every detail expertly and a positive disposition.  In short, Clara takes the experience from good to great.  She was outstanding and will be fondly remembered as a highlight of our trip.  Please relay our heartfelt appreciation and thank you to Clara. 

I would be remiss if I did not also mention Edgar, our driver in Peru.  He was exceptional – after the first couple of narrow, winding roads up the mountains I knew he was a rare find – always patient, prompt and providing excellent service.  I can’t say enough good things about him – and was I happy when he showed up at 4:30 AM to take us to the Expedition Train – great service! 

On our second day at Machu Picchu, we were guided by Manuel, who hiked Wayna Picchu with us.  We pretty much knew what we wanted to do the second day and had our day planned, so we did not spend as much time with Manuel, but he was an excellent companion and we really appreciated his company and informative dialogue on the hike.  I do want to thank you all (especially Peru Chasquitur) for scheduling our second day at Machu Picchu – which gave us an opportunity to hike a little and revisit some of the sites. 

I think the best example of excellent service by Peru Chasquitur was when we boarded the bus for our trip to the airport in Cusco, the agent (Diego? I think, but I am not sure) handed us our boarding passes for the flights to Lima and Quito!  This is just one example – the service was always great. 

We had a fantastic trip and wish we had spent more time in Ecuador and Peru.  We found so many things we wanted to see and do – we will definitely plan a return trip! 

Again, thank you (LARC) and Peru Chasquitur very much for the terrific tour planning, arrangements and guides.  We were delighted with the service.  I would definitely recommend LARC! 

Walt  [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

August 01, 2011

Judy, good afternoon. I've been remiss in not getting back to you after returning to CT. on 07.19.  My wife says you're a miracle worker.  Our trip went flawlessly. All the connections and flights were punctual and Aerogal is a great airline.  We got snacks and drinks on the 45 min flight from Guayaquil to Quito, and beer and wine was no charge.  Our drivers and guides were courteous, very friendly and especially informative on the sites and sounds of Quito and Imbabura Province.  We actually hired them for a free day in Cotacachi and surrounding areas.  It was $10/hour.  I couldn't believe it.  They also, didn't drive like the local population does.  Thanks God for that.  The locals are wacked out drivers. 

The Beluga and the Galapagos were better than we ever could have imagined. The crew and food were worth the trip on their own, but our naturalist, Juan, had to be the best one in the Galapagos.  We, and and the 14 others on board, truly enjoyed our daily trips onto the islands as well as the snorkeling around the islands and the insight he provided before, during, and after every trip. Now that we've been there, I wish they'd close it down so no other tourists could go. 

Kudos again on the La Mirage and Mansion del Angel.  Our first two nights at the Mansion we were the only guests they had I finally realized.  Didn't matter, they didn't cut back on the staff or service or not open the kitchen as some other hotel might do, we had 4 or 5 people at our beck and call at all times. The bad part is now my wife expects it at all times.  I'm exhausted.  I need a vacation.  La Mirage was just the same.  What a beautiful setting, and the grounds...  it's like going to a botanical garden, and you get to sleep there.  Food and service, 1st class.  When we got home I suggested we should go backpacking for a couple of days.  Diane laughed, looked at me and said, go ahead, I'm calling Judy.  Thanks girl.  Where to next? 

Stephen  [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

[LARC Response:] 

I am still laughing at Diane's last comment!  You go girl!

I have lots and lots of places to send you, I can keep you busy traveling to South America for the next ten years and you still won't have seen it all! Thanks so much for the feedback, that is how we can assure our future clients of the top notch service we strive to provide. 

All the best, Judy
 

June 08, 2011

Hello Judy, hello Caleb,

I am glad to report that I am back in Germany safe and sound.  Well, actually not glad - I had a really really great time in Galapagos, I loved every minute of it and if it had been up to me, I would have stayed another 3 weeks J J.  

I'd like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to both of you for your help and support.  Especially with the sudden itinerary-change, really great that you helped me there so quickly!  I enjoyed my time in Isabella, you were very right to recommend it, Caleb!  We did the tour to Los Tuneles and had close encounter snorkeling with the penguins, it was great fun J  

The hotels were all great; especially the Aventura was really lovely.  Great to see how well it was all re-done after the blow it took with the Tsunami, really very nice.  Staff there was most helpful and very kind, so I had a great time.  

The diving was also nice. Just one question concerning that: From what I learned the way this works is that basically every operator connects with the other operators on the island and then one of them does the tour to a certain destination that day, correct?  It's just something we'd need to advice our customers of, that's why I'm asking.  Is there any way of knowing in advance who will operate the tour that particular day?  

It's too bad we didn't get a chance to meet personally. But if you do get by Bremen again make sure you let me know - I'll have a large Becks ready for you ! J  

As for the part in Quito, I absolutely loved the Mansion del Angel!! Really a very nice place, I'll make sure I'll promote it to by best ability J.  The tour was also very nice and informative, got a good impression on Quito and what to recommend for our clients.  

Thanks you very much again!  

Best regards from rainy Germany  

Melanie  [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

March 21, 2011

Judy, 

Thanks for your patience in arranging our trip.  This is our last night and we are staying in a fabulous room at Mansion del Angel.  The accommodations at all the hotels have been outstanding.  La Mirage was my wife's favorite.  She loved the country atmosphere and the small towns.  Galapagos was an adventure.  If I can advise another traveler interested in outdoor adventure I would recommend they do a cruise.  The Royal Palm was great.  Puerto Ayora was busy and fun.  Tortuga Bay beach is a must.  The walk to the beach in the sun was tough on the wife.  Enjoyed the Colonial Town area in Quito.  Heading out to a couple of museums.  Give you more when I get stateside.  

Carl   [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.] 
 

[LARC Response:]

F.Y.I.  CARL, TSUNAMI WARNING LIFTED FOR GALAPAGOS, NO SUSTAINED DAMAGE-HAVE A GREAT TRIP! 

RGDS, JUDY
 

February 20, 2011

Hi Judy, 

My stays at Mansion del Angel and La Mirage were the best yet.  

I tried the Cofan spa treatment in addition to the Equatorial Energy treatment and, of course, Esthela's purification.  All were fabulous.  

A special menu for Valentine's dinner was the best dining experience that I
have ever had.  

Thank you for all your help.  I told Jorge and Michel that I might come back
next February...  

Nancy   [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

February 17, 2011

Dear Judy, 

A VERY belated message to thank you for planning such a fabulous trip for Phyllis and myself. Has to be one of my best vacations ever.  After being delayed by a day due to the snow storm in St. Louis, it was pretty rushed and crazy Friday and Saturday.  But then the schedule provided a bit of down time here and there.  It was still anything but restful, getting up every day at 6:30 and not eating dinner until 8 pm (that was my only complaint with the schedule - it's too late to start a 4 course meal when you have to rise so early).  But we had a fabulous experience on the boat - I would recommend that one to anyone.  The staff were all so pleasant and helpful, and were lucky enough to connect with a wonderful group of people (mostly English) in our group - we all bonded and it was sad to leave!  But a week is definitely enough, particularly at that pace.  

La Mirage is as beautiful as you had said, and Mansion of the Angels was lovely also.  Again, we didn't have enough time in either place so it was a bit hectic, which is probably why I ended up coming down with a nasty bronchitis the day after I returned home.  We needed more time in both cities, but I needed to get back to class and Phyllis became very homesick.  I am hoping to return to Ecuador in the not too distant future - I loved it!  I had to laugh that all the people we met were going to the jungle, rain forest, etc before and/or after , and we went to a spa!  But I'm not sure Phyllis could have done those things - she found many of the walks too rigorous, although she loved the trip also.  

The guides, the people who transferred us, everyone was wonderful and took good care of us.  The young man who took us on our tour of Quito was very sweet, but he didn't seem to know much about what to see and do outside of the prescribed agenda.  It was a little heavy on churches.  I just have to remember to do more homework before doing something like that so I can be part of planning the tour.  

I wish that you were a travel agent for other areas besides Latin America, but when I'm ready to return, either to Ecuador or elsewhere, I'll be calling you.   Meanwhile I'm passing on your contact info to other people.  

Thanks again, Judy - you are fabulous to work with!  

Kay  [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

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April 26, 2010

Judy- 

Thank you so much for helping us organize our stays at Mansion del Angel.  The hotel was absolutely beautiful.  I think we took pictures of every single room.  It was like a museum.  The people that work there are extremely gracious and attended to all our needs.  They arranged for taxis when we were in need and they were always very pleasant and priced reasonably.  

Our trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands was incredible and your assistance help to make it so.  

Warm regards, 

Barbara and George [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
  

[LARC's Response:] 

BLESS YOU BARBARA & GEORGE,

IT ALWAYS HELPS US TO KNOW WHAT OUR PASSENGERS THINK ABOUT OUR PROPERTIES, AND IT IS OF COURSE VERY NICE TO HEAR SOMETHING PLEASANT. THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO GIVE US YOUR KIND FEEDBACK. BEST RGDS, JUDY
 

March 03, 2010

Judy ... Returned from Ecuador on Sat. night.  Both the Mansion [del Angel] and Mirage were outstanding.  Another great place we stayed was Hacienda Zuleta.  You should see if you could rep them here. I think their website is www.zuleta.com.  Thanks for your help.  

Glynn   [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

January 16, 2010

Dear Sr. Espinosa, 

My husband and I had a very wonderful visit to your country of Ecuador a few weeks ago.  Mansion del Angel is an elegant and most comfortable hotel. You and your staff were so kind to take care of us making recommendations and assuring us of an enjoyable and safe trip. 

We are hoping to return sometime and just wanted to thank you for your part in forming our favorable impression of Ecuador and its people. 

Happy New Year to you.

Sincerely,

Angela and Brian  

[Last names withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

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December 29, 2009

Hi Judy,

We're back from a great trip.  The hotel switch - Mansion del Angel - worked out fine.  Great rooms for us in an empty new hotel.  Wonderful service people
there, btw.  Highly recommended. . . 

. . . thanks Judy!

sherry
   [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

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For Clarity: 

Comments posted above here refer to the new Mansion Del Angel.

Comments posted below here refer to the old Mansion Del Angel.
 


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March 21, 2007

I am happy to provide this report to you on our trip to Ecuador that was planned using the services of LARC. When we began planning our trip we knew that we wanted some advantages of a tour but also wanted an individualized travel plan. We worked with LARC tour agent, Judy Martin, who helpfully and pleasantly helped us to craft a travel plan that was perfect for us. 

Essentially, we designed 4 mini-trips within our overall tour of Ecuador using Quito as our base. Judy arranged lodging, guides and side trips for us, including transfers to and from airports and hotels, when necessary. 

First, we arrived in Quito for a few days where my daughter, Leah, is working as a teacher at El Colegio San Francisco de Quito. We stayed at the Mansion del Angel, which had a lovely rooftop cafe. 

Next, we then headed to the Southern Highlands to the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca. We stayed in the Crespo Hotel, which we loved. From there we took three main side trips: Ingapirca (Inca ruins), Cajas National Park, and the lovely villages and markets of Gualaceo and Chordeleg. 

After four fabulous days in Cuenca we flew back to Quito. We stayed at La Rabida Hotel, a quiet and clean place with a very helpful staff. While we loved Mansion Del Angel and Crespo for their ambiance, La Rabida felt "like home." 

Next; when we headed to the Oriente very near the border of Peru for a trip to the Amazon Jungle and Kapawi Eco-Lodge and Reserve. This was an amazing trip! After 4 or 5 awesome days we headed back to Quito. 

We took a day trip to Cotopaxi, the world's highest active volcano, and to the incredible hot springs of Papallacta. Back on Quito and La Rabida, we did several things on our own such as visit Quito's Old Town, the Golden Church, Cafe Mosaica high above the city for a cocktail at dusk, the Guaysamin Museum, and visited the markets and street venders. 

Lastly, we headed north, stopping at Calderon and other small villages arriving at our final destination of La Mirage, a gorgeous place with gardens, birds, extraordinary cuisine, and an amazing spa. We also visited the leather town of Cotacachi and the grand market town of Otavala. 

It was definitely a whirlwind 3 weeks but the plan was perfect for us to be able to see most of the country, stay in a variety of great hotels, have expert guides and efficient transfers, and be able to "tour" Ecuador just the way we wanted to. The tour guides were very professional and knowledgeable and fun to be with. Thank you Judy for your patience, humor, and perseverance in working with us to create the perfect South American vacation! You are the best - we felt like you truly took a personal interest in making our trip exactly how we wanted it to be. And it turned out BETTER than we expected as a result of all our planning together. Without a doubt, we will certainly use your services again. Thanks so much! 

Gera 
 
[Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]

 

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July 15, 2005

Dear Donna,

What a great trip.  All the arrangements you made came off with out a hitch.  Every time I arrived at the Quito Airport our car and driver were there to greet us.  Monica and Raphael were most gracious and brought two
vehicles to carry all the baggage.  They also arranged dinner for us one night at La Ronda.  Raphael drove us over and picked us up.  Was reasonable in his charges and always prompt and on time.  The hotels were clean comfortable and offered very personal service. 

Del Angel always had our rooms available and ready.  Our luggage that we did not take out to the Galapagos was left in our room and they stored it and put it back in our room when we returned. 

La Mirage was wonderful.  We had the spa to ourselves and used it extensively.  I did a lavender soak and massage, a Swedish massage, and a facial. All were wonderful.  We thoroughly enjoyed La Mirage.  The meals
were a treat in themselves.  The wine list was good and we have no complaints. 

The planning and reservations that LARC did for us were professional and crisply carried out.  We could not have ask anymore from you and Judy, the hotels, or the drivers. 

Thank you for making our trip such a success.


Mack
[Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

July 07, 2005

Correspondence between LARC and a happy customer: 

------------------------------

June 27, 2005 

Mr. F., 

I feel so ditzy.... think I neglected to inform you to look for the Mirage transfer person just outside of the airport, they will be holding a sign that says Mansion del Angel or your name.  All of the staff is very nice.

Donna 


------------------------------


June 30, 2005
To: LARC

You may feel ditzy but the recommendations you gave me are not.  The plans have been running like a Swiss watch. La Mirage is everything you said and more.  It is beyond wonderful.

Mack
  [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]


------------------------------


June 30, 2005


Mack,

We are thrilled, knew deep down that you were the special kind of people who would appreciate La Mirage. After all a fellow scotch drinker always has impeccable taste.  I hope the rest of the trip is just as wonderful for all of you.

Donna / Judy

PS May we post this (we will of course omit your name and email address to protect the innocent) on our web site?


------------------------------


July 01, 2005
To: LARC

By all means please feel free to post. We are back at the [Mansion del] Angel and everything continues to run right on schedule. I had a facial and a Swedish massage yesterday afternoon and it was wonderful.

Tomorrow we are off to the [Galapagos] Islands and will let you know how that goes when I get back to the USA

Mack
  [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

January 10, 2005

Hi Judy

Thank you for helping me with Galapagos trip.

I thought [Mansion del Angel] was a gem and enjoyed the hotel, one I will definitely recommend to clients.

I liked La Mirage and thought it was an excellent location. The room and food were excellent. The spa left something to be desired and I expressed this to the person in charge. The staff was excellent.

The Eclipse was wonderful and the food was excellent. Better than I had on the Isabella II. The staff, the ship etc. were excellent.

So you can see I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thank you

Donna
  [Last name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

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April 16, 2004

Hi Matt - We are safely and happily back from Ecuador (actually it's been a week of readjustment). I wanted to let you know that it was an outstanding and very successful trip. The logistical arrangements were excellent and the stress level gratifyingly low. As you may know, the Galapagos cruise is quite busy with early wake up calls and twice daily expeditions, so it is more an active than restful event. The Explorer [Galapagos Explorer II] was a good choice. The cabins were indeed very comfortable and the guides excellent. (I gather the Metropolitan Touring boats may have a higher level of attention to service than Conodros, although we found it fine). In particular, the kids had a great time befriending one of the younger guides and will probably stay in touch with him. 

One of Alec's classmates was on the boat for the second part of the trip and we got to know her family, as well as a family from Florida with a girl Annabel's age and a number of other very nice people. The weather was great, the water warm for snorkeling, even at Isabella. I think the snorkeling, which literally included swimming with sea lions and turtles, was the high point. Lots of breeding activity among the boobies, frigate birds and iguanas made the shore visits very interesting. On the whole, I think this may be a better time to visit than the summer, when it's cooler and foggy.

The highland part of the visit was outstanding and we're very pleased to have done that as well. Mansion del Angel is a charming hotel in perhaps the best location for touring in Quito. They gave us the best rooms (as did La Mirage). The Metro Touring guide (Andrea) was very pleasant, knowledgeable and accommodating to our interests. The Old City has really been improved in the past few years and gives none of the impression of danger that the tour books suggest. We had plenty to see there on Sunday, including a procession complete with iconic statue and accompanying band. Two high school students introduced themselves to us and invited the kids to address their English class, which we did first thing Monday morning - 30 teenage girls who were very impressed
with Alec. It was a great opportunity to go beyond the normal tourist fare.

The Mitad del Mundo was definitely worthwhile despite our doubts. It came with a very nice lunch overlooking a volcanic crater and the ethnographic museum was worth seeing. Papallacta was a bit disappointing because of poor weather (it was of course the rainy season in the rain forest, but it was cold as well as rainy). The cabin was
charming and we enjoyed swimming the hot springs and a short hike. We left a few hours early given the weather and attractiveness of Quito.

La Mirage was outstanding. It really is one of the best hotels we've been to anywhere; very glad we arranged for three nights, which went very smoothly. We were the only guests on first night; some of our shipboard friends arrived the next two nights. The service was absolutely superb, the rooms and grounds were great, the food probably the best we had. Our shopping exploits were also a major success, topped off by Alec having a long leather "Matrix" coat (if you get the reference) custom made by an accommodating family shop in half a day for
$95. The hotel supplied another excellent guide/driver team and we all agreed this was the perfect end to the trip.

So thank you for all your efforts to pull it together for us on such short notice. I'm sure we'll continue to be in touch. Everyone sends best regards.  

D.   [name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

January 14, 2004

postcardsforyou.com

Read: On A Magical Journey to Ecuador 
- Story and photos by Sheila Shalhevet
Reprinted by permission of PostcardsForYou.com and the author.  
 

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September 8, 2003 

Hello Judy,

I wanted to share with you a letter received from The B.'s [name withheld] during their travel, I am so glad everything is going exceptionally well for them:

Hi,

I am A.B.'s [name withheld] assistant and she requested that I forward you the following note and she would also like you to pass on this info to Judy:

She wanted you to know that the people have been wonderful.  They have taken care of everything and been more than helpful.  In fact, they instructed them to get off the train at POROY rather than Cusco since its faster to the Monistario Hotel (something she thinks that both you and Judy would be interested in knowing for future travelers).

They also upgraded their room in Cusco to a suite and even got the hotel to lower the price.

Also, could you and Judy see if there is any way that they can get a suite at the hotel in Quito [Mansion del Angel] as P. [name withheld] would like that much better and its their last stop.  They would like the suite (if possible) for all of the days that they are there.  

Please confirm with me that you got this email and let me know about the suite upgrade in Quito.

Thank you,
S. J.
   [name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

June 23, 2003

The trip was great.  The only problem is that it rained every day.  La Mirage is beautiful although I do not think there were too many other guests.  Mansion Del Angel was equally beautiful.

We never went to the restaurants you suggested but rather walked to an Italian restaurant near the hotel recommended by the concierge.  I do not remember the name but it was an intimate quaint place and the cook was very bubbly. I had the best pasta with the most perfect sauce.  Again we were the only diners there. I would recommend it and it is close to the hotel.

LanChile was great but i have to say the minute I walked into the terminal at JFK I felt as if I left American soil. Very weird feeling.

Thanks for everything.

F.
  [name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

April 19, 2003

Hello...

I am at an internet cafe in Ecuador and looking to make arrangements for a trip to Cuenca (hotel, flights, etc) from Quito. But don't know if you are open today, Saturday April 19. If you get this message today, please reply to [email address withheld]...
Thanks...by the way, the arrangements at Mansion del Angel were perfect! Great place!

A. D.
[name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]

[Note from LARC's Webmaster:  LARC's office is open: 

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM    Monday through Friday.

However, there is usually a LARC professional in the office for at least part of  the day on Saturdays and Sundays to check email, phone messages, and to deal with any time-sensitive issues that might arise.]
 

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November 18, 2002

Dear Judy,

We are finally back home in Israel after nearly six months away from home.

I must thank you for sending us to La Mirage. It was absolutely perfect. We were the only ones there and George and Michelle treated us like royalty. They upgraded to a luxury suite and made us feel as if we were personal guest.  The accommodation and food was exquisite. We also totally enjoyed [Mansion del Angel] where we were also upgraded to a suite.  We stayed an extra two days in Quito.  In both places the service was impeccable and we have only you to thank for this.  Kevin and the other driver were wonderful.  Everything went as smoothly as we could want.  It was truly a dream vacation.  Unfortunately we then had to stay in a three star hotel that the University arranged and paid for us in Guayaquil where my husband was working.  Talk about making an adjustment.

So please accept our thanks for all your effort and know how much we appreciate it.  It was a truly memorable experience.

Regards,

S. S.
   [name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

June 6, 2002

Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know the honeymoon was wonderful. Mansion del Angel was great, as were La Mirage and [a rainforest resort whose name we aren't allowed to post for legal reasons]. At most of the places we were just about the only guests there, so we got more than our fair share of attention. Also, Kevin was a great guide and we were always glad to see him on our several arrivals to Quito.

Thanks for all your recommendations!

D.
  [name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

January 12, 2002

Hi Judy-

You may wish to pass along these compliments to the owners:

"However, Mansion [del Angel] was an exception. In fact, I am not sure I have ever received a better level of attention and service at any place I have ever stayed anywhere. And the way it was furnished, it was fit for a queen! "

[name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]


"The Mansion del Angel was lovely "

[name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
 

January 12, 2002

"The Mansion del Angel was lovely "

   -- [name withheld]
 

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June 8, 2001

Dear Judy,

Thanks to you, we had a phenomenal time in the Galapagos and mainland Ecuador. Our naturalist guide, Franklin, was not only very knowledgeable about the flora, fauna and geology of the Galapagos, but also showed tremendous pride and respect for the islands. The crew of the Beluga was extremely gracious and attentive. When we came ashore at our first visitor site, North Seymour, and were surrounded by Blue-footed Boobies and Great
Frigates, we discovered that the batteries in our camera were dead and the spare ones we brought were dead as well. Franklin immediately contacted the captain on the boat, who found extra batteries in our room and personally brought them to us in another panga boat. We were extremely grateful and impressed.

We lucked out in that our boat was not full (8 passengers for the first four nights and then just four of us for the remaining three nights) and Jeff and another passenger, Alan, even had a chance to play soccer with the crew and the locals from Floreana.

Rafael, the driver for La Mirage, was very professional and we enjoyed the drives with him from the airport to La Mirage, the Saturday market at Otavalo, the local villages, and back to Quito, stopping for lunch at Hacienda Cusin.

La Mirage was the perfect place to come to after being on a boat for a week. We loved our suite, which exceeded the size of our Manhattan apartment. The La Mirage staff was very attentive. The new Shaman treatment at the spa was a unique experience and something I would recommend. Thank you for the lovely bottle of wine. We met a couple from California during our stay at La Mirage, and it was clear that their travel agent did not provide them with the caliber of service that LARC provided to us.

Mansion Del Angel was a welcome oasis in an otherwise bustling Quito.  Jeff came down with a bad stomach bug (requiring paramedics to come) and the staff went above and beyond for us - running to the pharmacy for medicine, walking me to bank (just to be safe) and showing great concern for us.

We have recommended your services to a number of people already and will continue to do so.

Thanks again!

Best,

D G T
   [name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
  

May 31, 2001

It’s not often that one comes across a bed & breakfast loaded with character in the middle of the hippest part of town, but that is exactly what Tiffany and I discovered upon checking into the Mansion del Angel in Quito, Ecuador. Having just arrived from Panama during week three of the Ultimate Honeymoon Adventure, this tastefully decorated converted mansion provided the perfect base from which to explore the bustling metropolis.

Decked out with Roman statuettes and elegant fountains, the Mansion del Angel just oozes old-world charm. It seemed to have far more character than most of the generic chain hotels we passed while exploring the city. Although we enjoyed every minute of our stay there, probably the highlight for us was eating breakfast in the rooftop atrium while watching the sun rise over the distant hills surrounding Quito. This was the life!

The Mansion del Angel offers the best of country living in the heart of Quito - a perfect combination for honeymooners.

[name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]
   

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June 21, 2000

Thanks from me, Ken and all the participants on our Galapagos  (diving) trip last month. Everyone had a great time, and the side trips made it a great trip. The four who went to MP (Machu Picchu) thought it was a good trip. They took the train but decided to walk part of the way: they were told it was a 2 hr. walk, but it took them 6 hours. They laughed about it.  They report the hotel in Cuzco was first rate, as was the hotel at MP. We connected up with Aggressor Fleet without problems. They have a rep in Guayaquil now, who took care of all the transfers.

TAME had a baggage maximum of 20 kgs. One way, the rep talked them out of 400 lbs. of excess baggage charges, and we tipped her well. The excess baggage charge is $1US per pound. Coming back, they allowed us to air cargo the excess, which went on the same flight for a lot less money: 300 lbs. for about $30.

The only real problem we had was on the Continental flight home. They insisted they would only take 2 checked bags at 70#, in spite of the fact we pointed out to them that we had paid excessive baggage charges on the way in (the plane was half empty on departure). They gave us no alternatives. We finally talked to the supervisor, who quietly advised us to take the extra bag with us. Once at the airplane ramp, they said they were too big to go on the plane, and checked them for us (without charge).

The Sierra Madre Hotel was quaint and acceptable. However, they have 5 floors and no elevator. The hotel people were very nice and helpful, and allowed us to leave our dive bags there while we went to Otavalo.

La Mirage Hotel in Otavalo was superb. The hotel was empty except for one other couple. The hotel said that they had very low occupancy in May and June: most of their business comes in the summer and during the holiday season. The food was the best ever, and they had a good selection of Chilean wine.

La Mirage tells us that they also have a hotel in Quito, in the same area as the Sierra Madre, called the Mansion del Angel. It is small, with only 8 rooms, but the same quality.
The tour arranged by the hotel was great. We bought sweaters and wall hangings and blankets at the Indian Village (what a way to live). The Indian Market was fun to see. The leather shop had quality merchandise which would have cost hundreds in the US, and bakery shop was interesting. We bought and bought and bought.

Once again, thanks for a great trip, and for putting up with our complicated demands.

   [name withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]

   

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