What People are Saying
The comments below are those of Paris Luxury Tour clients who have experienced our private Paris tours, day tours from Paris, France guided tours and wine tours in France. Most are willing to share their experiences directly with prospective clients by phone or email, if you would like to contact them directly. Let us know who you would like to reach and we will request their permission to provide you with their telephone number or email address.
July 21, 2018
We want to let you know how much we enjoyed the three-day Loire Valley Châteaux tour* you provided to the four of us in June. From the planning phase and throughout the trip your experience was evident and resulted in a vacation we will never forget.
So many things to highlight: the chateaux you recommended, the hotel you found for us, the restaurants you arranged, your knowledge of French history and culture, the ease and comfort of the van, and your attention to all the details of the tour. In combination, all these features made this tour our best holiday decision.
We want to particularly mention the Hotel Au Charme Rabelaisien in Amboise, the lunch at the Auberge du Bon Laboureur in Chenonceaux, and the visit to Loches. Each was extraordinary in its own way. We are happy to recommend Paris Luxury Tours to others who want to relax and enjoy “la belle France.”.
Thank you for your efforts and assistance, we are completely satisfied. It would be great to have another opportunity to join you and Paris Luxury Tours for a similar experience. We wish you well and hope our paths will cross again.
Thanks so much and best wishes,
* Day 1: Châteaux at Blois, Chambord & Cheverny; Day 2: Châteaux at Chenonceaux, Le Clos Lucé & Amboise; Day 3: Château at Loches & Azay le Rideau plus gardens of Château de Villandry
July 12, 2018
From an online reference my wife contacted Paris Luxury Tours to pre-arrange a customized two-day visit to Normandy and the D-Day battlefields. We received a very prompt reply from Shahin Akhavi, who explained the various options and prices associated with the kind of tour we desired. Shahin is an articulate, professional and very friendly businessman who was extremely helpful during the planning process.
He always responded to our electronic inquiries and was quick to provide very flexible choices for what we wanted. When we received his original plan, there were cities that my wife had already seen and did not want to revisit, and there were specific sites on the battlefield that I wanted to see. Shahin took our inputs and redesigned the tour accordingly.
He kept in touch over the several months preceding our trip to France, sending us a revised itinerary with a time line for the stops. He included recommendations for a hotel for our required overnight stay and also offered up several dining options for us to choose from. When Shahin arrived the day of our tour, he helped load our heavy suitcases (we had packed for a two-week France excursion) and we set right off. He immediately described what the plan was for the day, including bathroom breaks, touring Rouen, and lunch nearby, all the while deftly navigating and maneuvering through the quagmire of morning Paris gridlocks, calmly talking about what we were to see on the road ahead.
Shahin has a remarkable knowledge of his topic. I should mention up front that being Persian-born with France as his home does not affect his English. Shahin’s language skills are downright remarkable; I never had a problem understanding him as he spoke. We had explained to Shahin beforehand that I have some mobility issues and that my walking abilities at times can be severely impaired (though I am not dependent on a wheelchair). Shahin always took my limitations into account. He would explain the walking distances in near exact meters (!) for each upcoming stop and offered options where I could sit and wait as my wife pressed on.
On the way to Rouen, Shahin touched on such wide-ranging subjects as the French agricultural industry, the geology of the Normandy region, and historical events ranging from the 100 Years War up to the D-Day invasion. Personalities, architecture, society, religion – – – the man is a veritable Philosophe, with the entire Encyclopédie lodged in his head. Joan of Arc? Here’s the real story. The differing spires of the Rouen cathedral? Here’s the curious answer.
When we finished our tour of Rouen slightly ahead of schedule (partly because I simply could not do all the walking the city demanded), Shahin suggested that we have lunch in the small coastal town of Honfleur, instead of our pre-scheduled target. Shahin of course already had a couple of restaurant suggestions and we ended up at a wonderful, delicious place. The staff apparently knows him well from previous tours – – – and this appeared to the be the case in wherever we stopped. In fact, it appears that most of the French population of the Normandy province knows Shahin.
We pressed on to the D-Day sites (which were divided between our first tour day and then the second); during the drive Shahin told one story after another about the invasion and its history. I carefully marked his accuracy; my hobby is military history and I’ve read volumes on D-Day. Shahin knows his stuff and he knows how to connect the written history with the actual physical locales as you drive through them and make stops. Pegasus Bridge, the British and Canadian beaches, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Rommel’s’ dams and beach obstacles – – – the man is a book on two legs.
Again, for specific stops Shahin would tell us that “if you want to go there it’s about 400 meters; this site is 100 meters from the road but a difficult climb, this museum features these artifacts and displays, etc. etc.” For our overnight stay Shahin sent us to a very nice, comfortable hotel.
The second day we hit the American beaches which posed some physical challenges for me personally, but I was able to see all that I wanted. We had planned to visit Pointe du Hoc, but it was obvious to me as well as Shahin that that challenge would be a bridge too far. By the time we reached the American cemetery, I was pretty much burned out. Shahin, as before, let us set our own pace and call it quits when we had had enough.
We then hit the road back to Paris where Shahin remarkably asked us if we preferred to have him drive slower or faster! I’ve never had any guide ever make such an overture. This led to a detailed discussion of French driving practices (or we should say more accurately the lack of French driving practices), the hideous fatality rate of French motorcyclists (several of whom signaled their displeasure with us as they roared past), and so on.
Needless to say, we got back to our hotel safe and sound, close to our planned arrival time. I was somewhat saddened to see Shahin take his leave. If you are looking to book a Normandy tour, take a look at what Paris Luxury Tours has to offer. You will not need to look any further. This was a Five Star experience.
John J. Yurechko and Jane T. Haltmaier
Locust Grove, Virginia
June 16, 2018
Four of us recently returned from a two week vacation in France. We travelled through the Bordeaux region followed by a few days in Paris and we wanted to fit in a trip to Normandy. Friends had highly recommended Paris Luxury Tours (www.parisluxurytours.com) for the Normandy excursion. We contacted Shahin Akhavi and he provided us with a reasonably priced, comprehensive plan for a day trip to the US sector of Normandy D-Day sites for June 4, 2018.
Shahin met us at our hotel promptly at 0700 in a very comfortable vehicle – plenty of room for the four of us. During the ride to our first tour stop in Sainte Mere Eglise and throughout the day we were uniformly impressed by Shahin’s encyclopedic knowledge of the prelude to D-Day and the order of battle on both sides. Because we were totally absorbed by his “lecture” the three hour travel time was a non-issue.
Because the D-Day Anniversary was approaching, Sainte Mere Eglise, home of the Airborne Museum, was coincidentally the site of myriad WWII vintage U.S. military vehicles and re-enactors. This timely display and the museum visit were very impressive. We went to Utah and Omaha beaches. While walking the beaches and through extensive German fortifications, Shahin continued to provide facts and figures that helped us understand the details of the allied invasion and German response. I should note while on the beaches Shahin ignored the chilly wind and rain. Shahin selected a great restaurant for lunch, the La Marée in Grandcamp Maisy, where we dined on fresh fish and local beverages. After lunch we visited La Pointe du Hoc where elements of the 2d Ranger Battalion scaled the cliff to neutralize German artillery batteries (elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment were also there on that day). Our last stop was the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, where more than 9300 Americans are buried and the names of more than 1500 MIA are inscribed on the walls. This should be on every American veteran’s bucket list. Once again and throughout the trip, Shahin’s commentary provided the insightful details that made the tour very enjoyable and instructive. On the return trip to Paris, we learned more about Shahin and that for a while at least, we were “neighbors” in Rhode Island! We returned to our hotel at about 2030. It was a great day trip made more enjoyable by Shahin’s commentary. I can sincerely endorse Paris Luxury Tours without exception for value and an outstanding tour!
American cemetery of Colleville sur-Mer
Locust Grove, Virginia
June 12, 2018
My wife and I would highly recommend Shahin and Paris Luxury Tours with one small caveat: don’t ask for a standard tourist experience. Where Shahin shines is in arranging tours that cater to your interests. This isn’t limited to just sites or activities, but extends to dining preferences. Shahin did a great job in achieving the right pace for the tour [Three Day Tour of Normandy]. It was fast enough so we were able to do a lot. At the same time, it was slow enough so we were able to relax and really enjoy the experience. We liked his service so much, we are thinking of using it again next year….
May 31, 2018
My wife and I would like to express our appreciation for the way you made this trip to the Champagne region so special [Classic Paris Luxury Tour of Champagne]. You took care of every detail and kept us informed all along the way. There were no surprises, as everything was explained to us perfectly and well in advance.
You even arrived precisely on time (actually a bit early!). Once the tour started, you allowed us to set the tone of the day. We got to know each other better and learn more about Paris, French history and certainly a great deal about Champagne. We very much enjoyed your conversation, knowledge and company.
The first stop was in the city of Reims, and you helped us understand its importance not just to Champagne, but also to French history. We walked to the cathedral, drove around to see the highlights of the city and the great Champagne houses and ended at Lanson for our private tour. You did a great job selecting that house for us.
Cathedral of Reims
After the tour, we went to lunch, and the restaurant you chose was excellent. The grounds were beautiful and the food was top notch. Next, we went to Epernay to tour Philipponnat, another great selection consistent with what we wanted to see. Before arriving, we stopped at Hauteviller to see where Dom Perignon worked at making Champagne and at the abbey. We drove around the village, which was beautiful and had many opportunities to stop and take photos of the picturesque area.
Vineyards and view of the village of Ay near Epernay, Grand Cru sector
The tour at Philipponnat was excellent as well. We saw one larger house and one smaller boutique, just as we had asked. On the drive back, we very much enjoyed the conversation which went beyond Champagne. You are a knowledgeable, intelligent, friendly person who helped make this day wonderful.
We would love to work with you again.
Susan & Bob Brody
May 29, 2018
We completed the tour with Darius on Sunday, May 27, 2018 [Day Tour from Paris of US sector of Normandy D Day sites, with drive over Pegasus Bridge].
This email is to advise you how completely satisfied and pleased we were with the guiding and companionship of Darius on that day. We found him to be very pleasant, engaging and knowledgeable. We intend to recommend him and your company in the future should we called upon to do so and to use your services again should the opportunity arise. Thank you and Darius for a job well done.
Robert H. Smith