Review: Alfa Travel
Travel Service - Tour Operator/Travel Provider
Euxton Lane, Chorley , Lancashire, PR7 6AF, United Kingdom
A company that really does look after the 'Silver Traveller'
85 people found this review helpful
I was the lucky winner of the February prize of 5 day sea side holiday with Alfa Travel. I had seen their coaches around but had never used them before.
I am always wary about using a company for the first time – there are some companies I’ve used once and said ‘never again’… Debbie had assured me they were a very good company especially with ‘older’ customers. Glynis’s article also set my mind at rest.
I ordered a copy of their brochure and chose a five day holiday to Criccieth in North Wales for October Half Term. I rang to book my holiday as I much prefer to talk to a ‘real’ person as I invariably have questions to ask and it helps give a feel for the company. I was dealt with efficiently and sympathetically. Although Alfa do not charge extra for the front seats, I opted for the second row back as it gave bit more foot and leg room.
Confirmation was sent out by email along with a paper copy. Final documents arrived 2-3 weeks before departure.
I was due to be picked up at Scunthorpe Bus Station at 8.55 – a good time as it meant I could catch the bus and didn’t need to book a taxi. I was there in plenty of time. On other coach trips I am often the only person waiting to be picked up and there is always the worry the pick up may be very late, or has forgotten me… I needn’t have worried as there were soon another ten people waiting with me, travelling to Dunoon and Ilfracombe as well as Criccieth.
We have all heard stories of some companies who spent half a day just travelling around the area picking up passengers and by mid afternoon you are still only a few miles from home with a long journey ahead. Not so with Alfa travel. Holidays are booked by the region so no-one has to travel far to the interchange point. Feeder coaches are arranged with a maximum of 5-6 pick up points so even the first people only have about two hours to the main interchange point. From Scunthorpe, we only had one more pick up at Doncaster.
For the Yorkshire, Humberside and the East Midlands the main interchange is Woodhall north bound services on the M1. It is a very slick operation with Alfa staff on hand to welcome the feeder coaches, remove and sort luggage. We were kept fully informed as to what was happening, including the potentially late arrival of one of the feeder coaches.
There were four different coaches departing that morning – Criccieth, Ilfracombe, Dunoon and Porthcawl. Luggage was ticked off on a check list as it was loaded onto each coach, so there was no chance of it ending up in the wrong place. (Another unnecessary worry!)
The coach was comfortable and a reasonable temperature. There was a supply of water and hot drinks. The driver was good and attentive to our needs. We were all of a ‘certain age’ and there were plenty of walking sticks along with two wheelchairs. Alfa really does know how to look after the older passenger without making you feel a nuisance.
We had just over an hour break at Llandudno (“much nicer than a service area”) before arriving in Criccieth where we were booked into the George IV Hotel . This is a Leisureplex Hotel which is joint owned by Alfa Travel. It was an old fashioned hotel with a lot of character in the centre of Criccieth. Food was ample and equally old fashioned with bread and butter pudding and rice pudding on the menu.
We had two full day excursions and a free day – but I have written a separate review about them. Sufficient to say I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed myself. We were also blessed with four days of wall to wall autumn sunshine.
Coming home on Friday it rained – torrential rain. We had another break in Llandudno before setting off to Woodhall Services. Motorway traffic from Chester was horrendous – nose to tail and very slow moving. Along with the rain this delayed all four coaches meeting there. The drivers kept in close contact with the Alfa handlers at Woodhall so we knew what was happening. Unloading luggage was left until the feeder coaches arrived so bags were not left out in the rain. Alfa staff also made sure we all got on the right feeder service!
Drop off at Scunthrpe Bus Station was later than planned but all the time Alfa had made a point of keeping us informed as to what was happening.
There were 34 other passengers on my holiday and we soon got to know each other. Some like me were on their first holiday with Alfa but many had made multiple trips with them. They all spoke very highly of Alfa Travel and the holidays they had been on. We were soon swapping stories and checking out future destinations…
To summarise, I was very impressed by Alfa Travel and it more than lived up to expectation. The winter five day breaks represent excellent value – I couldn’t have booked accommodation for that price – but (unlike some companies) you never felt they were working down to a price.
I would definitely use them again and recommend them. They really do seem to go the extra mile to make sure everyone enjoys the holiday. In fact I am already planning on where to go next October Half Term!
85 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.
Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Alfa Travel