Written on: 17/03/2011
Cox and Kings cleverly market themselves as being a centuries-established and rather pukkah, traditional British company. But, in essence, they are a glorified travel agent who organise tours from their central office, and pass on the actual running of those tours to secondary agents, who are located in their trip destinations.
Our trip to South America was so-so, but there was NO Cox and Kings representative anywhere. In Peru, Argentina, and Brazil, we were solely in the hands of travel company organisers from the respective countries.
Our first disaster was on arriving in Lima. A third of the party had missed the connecting flight from Madrid because of French industrial action. When we eventually arrived in Lima, there was no one to meet us. We eventually got to our hotel to discover that the Peruvian rep knew nothing about our situation, and was happily preparing to continue the trip with the two thirds of the party who had turned up.
This was a stressful, tiring start to the trip, but we all carried on, knowing that a three night stay at Cusco, 48 hours ahead, would allow a period of comfortable recovery. We had overlooked the significance to a "change" in our hotel accommodation. Instead of a 5 star hotel in Cusco, which we saw from the outside looked very comfortable, we had been moved to a 4 star hotel, which was very, very poor, and was worth 2 stars at best. We hardly slept in our airless rooms (no air conditioning, small windows looking onto a hotel corridor, etc)
I could go on, but you get the picture. I didn't bother complaining to Cox and Kings, but I did decide not to book with them again. I can get a similar service from any run-of-the-mill, second-rate company without paying the Cox and Kings "quality" premium, and I won't be conned by their nonsensical marketing claptrap in the future.
Don't be taken in by the Cox and Kings pukkah claptrap. This is not a quality operation.