Laurus Travel is one of the few China tour operators recommended by Frommer’s – you can find us in every edition of Frommer’s China guidebooks. The editors selected us based on their own independent research. Their professional integrity cannot be bought.
Below are two letters to Frommer’s from their loyal readers about their positive experiences with Laurus Travel. It is important to note that we never did and never will ask our customers to write to Frommer’s. Nor do we offer or even hint at any reward to customers who are kind enough to tell the editors how they think of Laurus Travel.
Professor Lawrence Shepard’s Letter to Frommer’s
Sunday, October 24, 2010
To: Frommer’s Travel Guides
Re: Frommer’s Travel Guide to China
My wife and I have always relied on your guides for independent travel over the past 40 years. However, we recently decided to take a tour to China. We saw the name of LAURUS TRAVEL mentioned in your China Guide and followed up. The experience was exceptional, even for people who aren’t used to the constraints of a tour. Please see my comments below, directed to Laurus Travel.
We appreciate once again having had benefit of Frommer’s Guides and urge you to continue to feature Laurus Travel in your China Guide.
I have no connection with Laurus Travel or its employees except as a client.
Davis, CA 95616
[Professor Shepard’s home address, phone and fax numbers as well as e-mail address were included in his letter to Frommer’s.]
From: Lawrence S [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, October 24, 2010 4:07 PM
Subject: Recent China Visit
Laurus Travel, Vancouver BC
Dear Julius and Heidi:
For over 40 years my wife and I have travelled independently in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, usually renting a car and making all the plans ourselves. We appreciate the spontaneity associated with independent travel since, especially the flexibility to stay in one place longer if one finds it to be more interesting. With that background, we approached the prospect of a travel tour with the usual hesitations: Would we see what we wanted to see? Would we be forced to see what we didn’t want to see … for example, shopping expeditions? How articulate, informed and committed would the guide be? Would our fellow travelers be punctual and compatible? Would the low per-day cost after allowing for airfare be reflective of substandard accommodation and/or meals? Would we be nickled and dimed at every turn for tips or expenses not covered by the tour?
On all counts, our expectations were exceeded. Most importantly, we found your colleague and our tour guide Steven Shi exceptionally well educated–and passionate–about Chinese culture, politics, and history. His speaking style is engaging and quietly humorous, devoid of the embarrassing little claims and stories with which day tour guides have stretched our credulity over the years. In addition to his profound knowledge, he exhibited conspicuous enthusiasm, sincere personal warmth and disarming social skills in his interactions with tour group members. Our reaction to Steven was shared by all members of the group, who we found to be people we could identify with: interested and interesting people motivated to learn more about China and appreciative of the opportunity. Based on our research about the three cities we visited, the sites Laurus Travel had chosen for us to visit reflected our personal priorities. Moreover, the accommodations and meals surpassed our expectations by a large measure so that what Laurus Travel promised it delivered in every respect. We appreciated your pre-trip information and the opportunity to pay tips once up front through Steven so that, except for hotel incidentals, shopping we initiated and tipping Steven, we hardly touched money. Finally, we appreciated your efforts in the Vancouver office to secure last minute airline reservations that met our needs at low cost. It also impressed us that you were able to provide connections for three members of our group who wanted to end their visit to China by visiting the village they had left many years ago.
Thank you for your service.
Letter to Frommer’s from Jean de Vera
Small Group Travel to China with Laurus Travel
Open letter to Frommers Travel
May 14, 2013
I recently planned a travel trip to China with several friends. Prior to the trip, we did extensive research on the Internet, looking for the best company, itinerary, accommodations, group size, and price. We reviewed more than 10 companies in detail prior to selecting Laurus Travel. Since we found Laurus from your online site, we felt we should let you know about our trip. Hopefully, you can make the information available to other travelers.
We decided that Laurus’ 21 day China Highlights Tour best met our interests. We traveled with them for three weeks in April 2013. Now that we’ve completed the trip, we all agree that we could not have made a better selection than Laurus!! From our first contact with them, they were extremely responsive to all of our questions and requests. Their small, highly efficient office was able to provide very personalized service and response I haven’t seen from other companies. Calls to the office were always answered immediately with none of those annoying phone trees. Emails got responses within hours, if not faster. And, since they know China intimately, they are able to provide much better answers to any questions we had along the way.
While in China, we were taken care of at every step. Since we had only a small group at the beginning of the trip, we did not have an overall “country” guide who traveled with us from city to city but did have local guides at each location. In all cases, our local guides were there waiting for us at the airport with clearly marked signs. All of them had great in-depth knowledge of their local area and were able to provide extensive history and cultural information. All spoke very good English. The guides would also go out of their way to accommodate any special needs and to deal with any issues. We had two individuals whose luggage was “delayed” by the airlines (no fault of Laurus). Our guide continually checked up on it and personally picked up the missing luggage at the airport. If we had any special requests for meals, etc., they were handled easily. And, by having local guides at each location, we were able to sample different specialties of the area. Toward the end of the trip, we joined up with another small Laurus group on a different itinerary. At that point, we were large enough to have a country guide, as well as local guides for each location. As an added highlight, our country guide turned out to be Julius, president of Laurus Travel, with whom we’d spoken several times prior to our trip.
Because Laurus offers so many China itineraries, we were able to select the one that best matched our interests. Their policy of “no forced shopping trips” was also much appreciated. They also provided a mix of organized tours and free time which also worked well for us.
All of the accommodations provided by Laurus were first-rate and in great locations. All hotels truly are 4 and 5 stars!! And, on the Yangtze river trip, Laurus went more than a “step above” providing us with Executive level package that included a private dining room, upgraded meals, free wine with dinner, laundry service and internet. We were more than pleased with those arrangements!!
It’s hard to find enough good things to say about the way that Laurus conducts their business. We are grateful to Frommers for connecting us with this company.
Jean de Vera
San Jose, California
China tours recommended by Frommer’s