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Marina Courtaut

Can you think of a better way to live adventures than traveling?
When we travel we open our minds to new experiences and learn new cultures by making the destination we visited our home for a short time. My job as part of the Espiritu Travel team is to ensure that after your trip, you will always remember that destination as another one of “your home”. I am passionate about designing trips that include the highlights of Spain and Portugal, including small places that go beyond the conventions and show the authentic culture of the place.

I am Spanish by birth but my father is from France so my heart is divided. My passion for traveling came from my parents, who have shared their trips around the world with me. Since then, I haven't stopped, always looking for authentic experiences that help me understand the culture of the place I visit. I have had the opportunity to live in the state of Michigan, in Amsterdam and in Paris, and I have traveled through many of the corners of the world and in my country Spain, the cradle of the Flamenco Art.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"We specialize in trips to Spain and Portugal as well as Cuba. In both countries, we have our own offices so we can create all types of tailor-made trips; culture, art, history, culture, architecture, gastronomy, outdoor activities, nature-based, small groups, off the beaten track"

How did you get involved in travel?

"Since I was little, I've had the opportunity to travel through wonderful places and I was always amazed at the exchange of cultures that occurred while traveling, whether traveling as part of a group or solo. I decided to start my career as a professional in the world of travel at the age of 19 when I started studying the Tourism degree in Madrid. Since then, I have worked in different roles in the tourism industry: in travel agencies, as a tourism consultant, and in hotels. In addition, I studied the Master “International Tourism Management”. As part of the Espíritu Travel team, I continue my trip through the tourism industry as a local Travel Specialist in Spain and Portugal."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"It is difficult to choose an experience of all the lived one while traveling ... it is like choosing a favorite song, so difficult!

But if I had to choose one I think it would be the one I lived during the Holy Week in Malaga, it was not the first time I visited Malaga but it was the first time I saw a procession. Malaga is a beautiful coastal city in southern Spain.

I was shocked with the magic of the city during these holidays, especially when the processions happen at night. The city is silent and the music of the orchestra touches you in a magical way accompanied by the light of the torches carried by the brotherhoods.

Regardless of the religious character of this party, it is moving to see how the Spanish live Holy Week."

Marina is part of the following groups: Spain Travel Agents, Portugal Travel Agents
Santo Domingo's Columbus Park
Family trip to the Dominican Republic - 7 Days

Enjoy the family trip of a lifetime over seven days on the Dominican Republic's south coast. You'll do it all, from snorkeling around offshore islands to visiting mysterious caves to off-roading around some of the most stunning white-sand beaches in the Caribbean. You'll also get active on a bicycle tour of Santo Domingo's historic sights, go starfish spotting in natural pools, and even spend time with playful squirrel monkeys.

Discover the pristine beaches on the Dominican Republic's southwestern coast, near Paraíso
Explore the Southwestern Dominican Republic - 7 Days

This packed seven-day itinerary will take you to some of the most beautiful and remote locales in the Dominican. It includes relaxing on white-sand beaches, hiking through national parks, visiting remote farming villages, and experiencing hidden gems most tourists never see. You'll also spot plenty of wildlife throughout the adventure, from iguanas and exotic birds to crocodiles and pink flamingos.

Mountains in the Domincan Republic
History, Culture & Adventure in the Dominican Republic - 7 Days

Get ready for seven days of highlight tours and off-the-beaten-path adventures in the Dominican Republic. In Santo Domingo, you'll tour the historic streets of the oldest city in the Americas, followed by horseback riding and river rafting in the highlands. Then, after lazing on sun-kissed beaches on the north coast, you'll hike to romantic waterfalls and soar over the treetops on a zip-line ride you'll never forget.

Go on foot or by horseback to the Limón waterfall in Samaná, Domincan Republic
Explore the Northern Dominican Republic - 7 Days

This great escape to the north coast of the Dominican Republic packs a lot of adventure in just seven days. Around the city of Puerto Plata, you'll explore colonial history, laze on white-sand beaches, and hike to romantic waterfalls. Then, on the unspoiled Semaná Peninsula, you'll embark on quad adventures, trips to hidden beaches, and discover the best snorkeling spots along the coast and offshore islands.

The Dominican Coast
History, Culture & Adventure in the Dominican Republic - 5 Days

Get ready to stroll the streets of the oldest city in the Americas: Santo Domingo. This is just the first first of many adventures you'll enjoy over five action-packed days that include the highlights of the Dominican Republic. You'll see it all, from the Spanish colonial fortresses in the south to the white-sand beaches in the north—plus stops along the way for hikes to romantic waterfalls and to visit national parks.

Samaná
Active Adventure in Samaná - 5 Days

Get ready for nature excursions and beach life in one of the most romantic, unspoiled regions of the Dominican Republic: Samaná. This peninsula has it all, from rainforests and waterfalls to secluded white-sand beaches. Over five days you'll discover the highlights on various hikes that will take you from coast to jungle, where you'll visit laid-back towns, mangrove forests, offshore islands, and everything in between.

Recent trip reviews for Marina

Fabulous trip to Paris and Barcelona!!! · Spain - Jun 3 - Jun 11, 2022

Traveler: Annette S. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

How lucky we were to find Marina!!! I was not familiar with kimkim prior to this trip but it was a blessing to find and work with Marina. She has a lot of first hand knowledge of both cities and she was patient as we worked through organizing various groups of family members in both places.

Our time in Paris was exceptional. In addition to seeing the usual sites we had a day trip to Versailles and Giverny. The tour guide was wonderful and the driver gave us a nice stress-free ride... read more

How lucky we were to find Marina!!! I was not familiar with kimkim prior to this trip but it was a blessing to find and work with Marina. She has a lot of first hand knowledge of both cities and she was patient as we worked through organizing various groups of family members in both places.

Our time in Paris was exceptional. In addition to seeing the usual sites we had a day trip to Versailles and Giverny. The tour guide was wonderful and the driver gave us a nice stress-free ride during a very busy traffic time. Our accommodations were fun and different - the hotel was actually a barge on the Seine River. We would not have found that ourselves.

The bullet train to Barcelona was fantastic - totally the way to go. It was comfortable and a good way to see the countryside. Our accommodations just off Las Ramblas were top notch and the tapas tour for our group of eight was delicious and fun.

Thank you, Marina!! We look forward to many more trips in the future and will look first to kimkim for planning.

Hotel Reviews

Hotel OFF Paris Seine 4*

Paris

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Comfortable accommodations and convenient location. It was a fun place to stay and very different from the large impersonal hotels.

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Hotel España Ramblas

Barcelona

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Very comfortable rooms, excellent breakfast and terrific location.

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Activity Reviews

Seine Cruise

Paris

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Marina suggested taking this tour around sunset, 10 PM when we were there, and I concur. To see the Eiffel Tower lit up a night is fantastic!!!

Private Walking Tour of Paris

Paris

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Highly recommend a guided tour of the area surrounding Notre Dame. We learned a lot about the history of Paris and saw parts of the city we would not have seen on our own.

Guided tour of Montmartre

Paris

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Terrific tour and wonderful guide. There was a mix-up on the timing and she ended up coming back later in the day. Recommend having a guide for the section of Paris - so much history around the artists and of course the beautiful Sacre Coeur!!

Day Trip to Versailles & Giverny

Paris

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Wonderful guide and terrific driver. Perfect day for our group of four. Loved both Giverny - truly a highlight for Monet admirers - and, of course, Versailles is amazing. Many of the fountains were running and the palace was crowded but beautiful. Our guide navigated us through expertly!!

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Tapas Culinary Experience

Barcelona

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Wonderful three hour tour with four stops. The food was fabulous, the restaurants all had a different ambiance and no one left hungry!!! Highly recommend.

Food

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Laura

Go For It! · Spain - May 28 - Jun 3, 2022

Traveler: Laura W. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

My mother wanted to see the Rolling Stones in Madrid. I stumbled upon kimkim online trying to figure out how many days to spend in Madrid if we decided to go. I was feeling overwhelmed with work and other commitments and did feel like I had time to plan a trip. I looked at the reviews and thought this sounds a little too good to be true. Then I looked at reviews of kimkim overall. I thought I'll fill out this questionnaire and see. Much to my surprise I got an immediate response from... read more

My mother wanted to see the Rolling Stones in Madrid. I stumbled upon kimkim online trying to figure out how many days to spend in Madrid if we decided to go. I was feeling overwhelmed with work and other commitments and did feel like I had time to plan a trip. I looked at the reviews and thought this sounds a little too good to be true. Then I looked at reviews of kimkim overall. I thought I'll fill out this questionnaire and see. Much to my surprise I got an immediate response from Marina.
I appreciated Marina setting up 2 calls prior to the trip to discuss the itinerary and make some slight adjustments. The calls also helped clarify a couple of potential mistakes we might have made with regards to pick up points, trains, etc.
Our driver, Ivan reached out to me before we left the U.S. with details on where he would be in the airport to pick us up. I thought that was very nice.
We arrived at Hotel Oscar and the staff was so friendly and helpful. The hotel room was much larger than we expected. It was clean. The breakfasts were wonderful. It seemed to be in a great location. It was perfect for us.
We did a Tapa's tour the first evening. We had a bit of trouble getting to the meeting location. However, it was our first time in Madrid and in hindsight we should have taken a taxi. We were late, but between Marina and our fabulous guide, Lindsey we caught right up with the group. We had such a fun group. It was the perfect introduction to Madrid. Not only did we enjoy great tapas and drinks we got to visit with other tourists. Lindsey was full of useful information about Madrid. I feel like she really went out of her way to show everyone a good time.
We had the good fortune of being in Madrid the night Real Madrid became the champions!!!
The following day we had a walking tour of Madrid with Geza. Geza was outstanding. He was exceptionally knowledgeable and such a wonderful person. He told us about Saint Isidro, the Patron Saint of Madrid. Since it was a Jubilee Year marking the 400th anniversary of the canonization of the patron saint of Madrid his remains were on display in the Collegiate Church.
He said the lines to see him would be long, but he checked on them anyway. Much to our surprise the line was not bad, and we decided to go into the Cathedral and see him. This was such a treat and the last day he was to be on display. Later we walked upon a breathtaking procession for St. Isidro. It was something special. Geza suggested a restaurant for us that was wonderful at the end of the tour. Later that afternoon we were lucky enough to see The Real Madrid show the winning cup at Plaza Mayor. Geza told us they would be there later in the day. We did not think we would make it back there, but when we got out of Mass we were in the heart of the celebrations. It was very exciting.
The next day was our day trip to Toledo. We fell in love with our guide, Manuel. He was a wealth of information. Having grown up in Toledo he added a personal touch. I am glad we toured the Royal Palace and went to the Prado later in the week because Manuel’s history made those come to life when we went there. We did the zip line which I highly recommend.
We went to an olive grove for an olive oil tasting. Honestly, I expected this to be a small store with them “selling us” superior olive oils. The olive grove excursion could not have been more different. This is a truly authentic experience. Laura is amazing and we certainly have a greater appreciation for good olive oil now.
I sound like a broken record when it comes to our guides, but they were truly incredible.
Unfortunately, we could not make our trip to Segovia. We let Marina know and she invited us to a rooftop bar for a drink for my mother’s birthday. It was a beautiful evening, and we appreciate Marina’s thoughtful gesture. Marina also assisted us in insuring we got the right Covid tests to return to the U.S.
I could continue, but I will never get this posted.
I have recommended kimkim to friends and family. I look forward to returning to Spain and hopefully Portugal using kimkim.

Hotel Review

7 Islas Hotel

Madrid

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

We stayed at Roommate Oscar.

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Activity Reviews

Day Trip to Toledo

Spain

Overall Rating
Activity Review

We had a wonderful day. Lunch was delicious. The Cathedral is a must if you are anywhere close to Toledo. See my full review for more commentary.

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Manuel is the best!!!
Quality of Experience

Madrid Tapas Gastronomic Experience

Madrid

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Fun night out and great start to trip. Enjoyed learning about the different tapas and how to order them.

Food

Quality of Experience

Privately Guided Visit of Madrid: History, Culture & Architecture of the Capital of Spain

Madrid

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Geza was a delight! He is extremely intelligent and fun.

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Visit to an Olive Grove & Tasting

Spain

Overall Rating
Activity Review

This is an authentic working olive grove. We found it very interesting. We have a whole new respect for quality olive oil.

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Working with Marina Courtaut of Espiritu Trav... · Portugal - Jun 4 - Jun 11, 2022

Traveler: Michael B. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Working with Marina Courtaut of Espiritu Travel was an absolute pleasure. During all the planning she was responsive and very helpful. She listened will to our interests and planned a vacation to match our needs.

During this vacation there were a couple of mishaps related to transfers, however, having Marina and Espiritu Travel on the other end of What’ App was very helpful. We simply advised Marian of the issues and she worked to get them corrected.

The first situation was that upon... read more

Working with Marina Courtaut of Espiritu Travel was an absolute pleasure. During all the planning she was responsive and very helpful. She listened will to our interests and planned a vacation to match our needs.

During this vacation there were a couple of mishaps related to transfers, however, having Marina and Espiritu Travel on the other end of What’ App was very helpful. We simply advised Marian of the issues and she worked to get them corrected.

The first situation was that upon arrival in Portugal the car to transport the 5 of us to Porto fit only 2. It took about an hour, but the transfer vendor returned to the airport with a van to accommodate us all. The second situation occurred when the vehicle to transfer 5 of us from Lisbon to Lagos was also only for 2 people. While it took more than 2 hours to fix this, eventually a van arrived to transport all of us. Through out all of this Marina was engaged and provided information. Additionally, she took responsibility for the mistakes and accommodated us financially. I adhere to the wisdom that “people remember how you made them feel” and Marina made us feel that she deeply regretted the problems and worked very hard to rectify them. That approach left our family feeling satisfied and not unhappy with the service.

May 28
Due to the delay leaving Lisbon airport the pre-arranged plan for lunch in Coimbra no longer worked (too late in the day) however our driver found us a place to stop for lunch and that worked out well.

The Hotel Teatro in Porto was very nice. Upon arrival they did not know one of the rooms was to be configured as two twin beds however the were easily able to fix that; our 2 sons were sharing the room.

We had dinner that night at one restaurant recommended by Marina – DOP – and it was lovely.

May 29
Bluedragon Bike Shop did not know that we had prepaid for 5 for a guided bike visit of Porto. However, we put them in touch with Espiritu Travel and that was communicated. The Bike Shop charged my credit card and refunded the money in Euros. Our bike guide, Ana, was young and not very knowledgeable about the city. While very pleasant and nothing “went wrong,” she did not know as much as we have come to expect from city guides. FYI, the itinerary lists “water” as one of the things provided; it was not.

May 30
Our guide Pedro was terrific and our day trip to the Douro Valley was very nice. The boat tour wasn’t overwhelming, but not a problem either. Not sure I would recommend it to others. Pedro took us to a lovely restaurant for lunch and we all enjoyed the experience, however it was not, as the itinerary said, “”at a famous Quinta.” We also visited just one winery; the itinerary says, “visit traditional wineries.” We thought we would visit more than one.

May 31
The Lisbon hotel Duque de Loule was very nice. Turns out not as centrally located as we might have wanted, but as I recall that was due to the 3 rooms we needed, and another hotel being fully booked.

While we were making the 3-hour trip from Porto to Lisbon, at 10am, a person called me to say we were late for our 10am guided tour of Lisbon. However, we had no such tour scheduled; in fact, our tour was for 2:00 pm that afternoon. Marina was again very responsive. She learned that the company had mixed two tours and moved ours to 10am. Marina reassigned us to another tour vendor with a guide named Daniel at 2:30.

Daniel was a lovely young man, age 23, and while he did his job, it was clear he did not really know enough about the city and its history. We enjoyed him and our 21-year-old son and he had lots of conversation, but he was not the most informative tour guide. Daniel also provided us with 2 restaurant recommendations, and we ate at both places. It was nice of him to do so and helpful to us.

The pre-arranged Fado dinner this night was a very good choice.

June 1
Our day trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril was with a guide named Marta. She was very good; our family felt she was our best guide of the trip. We enjoyed both the pace of the day and the information. Unfortunately, the next day Marta shared she tested positive for COVID. None of the family tested positive, however, one should expect guides test themselves daily before taking a group out for a day in an enclosed vehicle.

June 2
As mentioned, the transfer to Lagos was not smooth, however Marina got it all fixed and made the offer to buy the family dinner in Lagos, which certainly made us all feel like she really cared about our experience.
The Cascade Resort did not have our rooms ready upon arrival however they shortly did, and the property and our stay there was terrific.

This night we had the Sunset Experience tour, not with Pedro as noted, but rather with Luis. We all very much enjoyed him and the tour. He was clearly passionate about the Algarve and his home area. Just to note, the itinerary mentioned binoculars however he did not offer any.

June 4
Our transfer from Lagos to Lisbon airport was fine. We left an item at the Cascade Wellness resort and Marina was very helpful in efforts to retrieve it and have it sent to our hotel in Lisbon upon our return a week later. Side note: the package did not arrive in Lisbon in time for us to take it home with us to the US. However, the front desk at Hotel Portugal was very helpful. When the package did arrive, 2 days after we left the country, the Hotel communicated this to us by email and connected us to a shipping company that is mailing us the package.

Our rental care pick up at the Valencia airport with Sixt went very smoothly.

Marina booked us at the hotel Hospes Palau De La Mar at my request. This boutique hotel was fine for us. It was in a nice neighborhood on a busy, but pretty street, and within walking distance of the Old City. When they brought us to the room they had for us the staff could not get the air system to work so they immediately moved us by their own choice to a different room. The hotel breakfast was very nice and they had outdoor seating.

June 5
We drove to Albufera easily but did get lost looking for the meeting spot for our boat tour. With a phone call to the boat operator, we received directions and we found the meeting spot. Our guide Anna was delightful, and she recommended a restaurant for paella. She made the 1:30pm lunch reservation for us and we thoroughly enjoyed the meal at El Redoli. Also, she led us to the bird preserve (flamingos), and we walked the paths, very nice. We drove a bit and walked to the beach.

This afternoon we chose on our own to do an historical walking tour of Old Valencia with GuruWalk (no fee; gratuity only). This 3-hour walk was excellent, and we learned about Aqua de Valencia (as a bonus); a drink we thoroughly enjoyed.

June 6
This morning we experienced our Local Market and Paella Cooking Class with “My First Paella” and it was very well done. While the attendees are obviously all tourists, the guide/cooking team was very funny, thoughtful, and instructive. We had fun and would recommend it.

This afternoon we had a private bike tour of Valencia with Jose. Bikes were provided by DoYouBike Rental. Jose was very nice and informative. We visited some of the places we had seen on our walking tour the day before but enjoyed the repetition, and we went inside to some places we really wanted to visit, including L’Almonia (archaeological artifacts), La Lonja and climbing one of the city’s old towers. We rode through the Turia Gardens (very nice) to the Science and Arts center, also very nice but we did not enter any buildings by our own choice.

June 7
We visited the Valencia beach and then drove at noon to Javea, stopping for lunch along the way. The Nomad Hotel was wonderful. The room had a beautiful view; Marina chose this hotel, and it was an excellent choice. The service as very good. Breakfast was delicious. We had dinner the first night at the hotel restaurant outdoors on the promenade and it was very nice.

June 8
We spend the day at Cala Grandella, beautiful beach spot 30 minutes away. As the beaches are mostly rocky, we chose to purchase 2 inexpensive beach chairs (which we left behind). A really nice hotel amenity would be to loan beach chairs to guests.

June 9
We chose to return to Cala Grandella having booked a 2.5-hour kayak tour with Siesta Advisor. We found the service and the kayak tour excellent. That afternoon we explored the nearby town of Moraira, for lunch and sandy beach. Great services (restroom and changing) at this public beach; very family friendly (lots of young children) and mostly European vacationers.

June 10
We drove to Valencia mid-day, stopping in the morning to see the castle in Cullero and then lunch near port in Valencia. Car return and flight to Lisbon were fine. We flew Vueling Air and had to pay quite a lot to check our luggage. While this was a surprise, it is understandable. The taxi from Lisbon airport to Hotel Portugal was on our own, which was fine. The Hotel was well located near the old district of the city and lovely.

June 11
The hotel room and the breakfast were very nice. They stored out luggage. They arranged to help us with our missing package. We would recommend this hotel due to location. Our transfer to the Lisbon airport was pre-arranged, on-time and fine, as was our flight home.

Hotel Reviews

Hospes Palau de la Mar

Valencia

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Marina booked us at the hotel Hospes Palau De La Mar at my request. This boutique hotel was fine for us. It was in a nice neighborhood on a busy, but pretty street, and within walking distance of the Old City. When they brought us to the room they had for us the staff could not get the air system to work so they immediately moved us by their own choice to a different room. The hotel breakfast was very nice and they had outdoor seating.

Cleanliness & Comfort

well appointed and cared for rooms
Staff

Front desk and porter very pleasant and helpful
Authenticity & Character

its very modern in style
Location

Depends on how near beach or near old city you want to be

Nomad Xabia Port

Javea

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

The Nomad Hotel was wonderful. The room had a beautiful view; Marina chose this hotel, and it was an excellent choice. The service as very good. Breakfast was delicious. We had dinner the first night at the hotel restaurant outdoors on the promenade and it was very nice.

Tips for future travelers

While it is very eco-friendly (and the room lighting not great) there were both couples and families and it is right on the promenade so well located

Cleanliness & Comfort

room and common areas very nice
Staff

very helpful front desk and restaurant personnel
Authenticity & Character

Lots of character which appealed to us
Location

beautiful view of Med

Hotel Portugal

Lisbon

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

The Hotel was well located near the old district of the city and lovely. The hotel room and the breakfast were very nice. They stored out luggage. They arranged to help us with our missing package. We would recommend this hotel due to location.

Cleanliness & Comfort

very nicely cared for
Staff

very helpful front desk
Authenticity & Character

it is modern and that appeals to some; we enjoyed it
Location

very close to old part of city
Activity Reviews

Panoramic Albufera Cruise

Valencia

Overall Rating
Activity Review

We drove to Albufera easily but did get lost looking for the meeting spot for our boat tour. With a phone call to the boat operator, we received directions and we found the meeting spot. Our guide Anna was delightful, and she recommended a restaurant for paella. She made the 1:30pm lunch reservation for us and we thoroughly enjoyed the meal at El Redoli. Also, she led us to the bird preserve (flamingos), and we walked the paths, very nice. We drove a bit and walked to the beach.

Transport

we drove ourselves and got a bit lost
Guides, drivers and staff

as noted, very helpful
Quality of Experience

the guide was knowledgeable and helpful, the experience unique

Local Market Visit and Paella Cooking Class

Valencia

Overall Rating
Activity Review

This morning we experienced our Local Market and Paella Cooking Class with “My First Paella” and it was very well done. While the attendees are obviously all tourists, the guide/cooking team was very funny, thoughtful, and instructive. We had fun and would recommend it.

Food

great fun participating in the cooking and then eating what was made
Guides, drivers and staff

very friendly
Quality of Experience

the staff

Valencia Seightseeing Bike Tour

Valencia

Overall Rating
Activity Review

This afternoon we had a private bike tour of Valencia with Jose. Bikes were provided by DoYouBike Rental. Jose was very nice and informative. We visited some of the places we had seen on our walking tour the day before but enjoyed the repetition, and we went inside to some places we really wanted to visit, including L’Almonia (archaeological artifacts), La Lonja and climbing one of the city’s old towers. We rode through the Turia Gardens (very nice) to the Science and Arts center, also very nice but we did not enter any buildings by our own choice.

Guides, drivers and staff

our guide was excellent
Quality of Experience

It is a very nice way to explore and feel the city
Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Michael,

Let me start by thanking you for taking the time to write such a detailed review from your trip. I appreciate your kind words and I will pass your comments to the team.

It has been a real pleasure helping you plan your family trip and I am glad that you could finally enjoy it after having to postpone the trip.

The incidents with the transfer from Lisbon to Porto on the first day and the transfer from Lisbon to Lagos were a big mistake by the transport company. We tried to give... read more

Hi Michael,

Let me start by thanking you for taking the time to write such a detailed review from your trip. I appreciate your kind words and I will pass your comments to the team.

It has been a real pleasure helping you plan your family trip and I am glad that you could finally enjoy it after having to postpone the trip.

The incidents with the transfer from Lisbon to Porto on the first day and the transfer from Lisbon to Lagos were a big mistake by the transport company. We tried to give you a solution as quickly as possible so that you could continue your trip as planned but I am very disappointed on how the transfer company handled the error. I apologize again for the inconvenience this has caused your family during your trip.

I am glad that over all you have enjoyed all your visits and that the guides have contributed in one way or another to add value to your trip. I am happy to know that you liked the gastronomic recommendations that your guides and I gave you!

It is good to know that your stay in all the hotels has been as expected and I appreciate your comments about each hotel.

Again, thank you, Michael for taking the time to write such a detailed review of your trip and all your comments about each activity, service or hotel. Warmest regards, Marina

Carly

Dreams of Dominicana · the Dominican Republic - Jun 7 - Jun 14, 2022

Traveler: Carly M. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

I cannot say enough good things about the Dominican Republic! KimKim always gets me in touch with the best travel specialists for unique, culturally-centered experiences. Marina and her team made me feel very well taken care of and safe while visiting the DR solo! From my drivers to my tour guides, everyone was an absolute pleasure to be around. They embraced me and made sure I had an amazing experience with every activity.
Mosquito Boutique hotel staff was unforgettable and I will... read more

I cannot say enough good things about the Dominican Republic! KimKim always gets me in touch with the best travel specialists for unique, culturally-centered experiences. Marina and her team made me feel very well taken care of and safe while visiting the DR solo! From my drivers to my tour guides, everyone was an absolute pleasure to be around. They embraced me and made sure I had an amazing experience with every activity.
Mosquito Boutique hotel staff was unforgettable and I will definitely be back to Las Terrenas very soon!
If you haven’t used KimKim for your vacations, you’re missing out! Can’t wait for my next one!

Hotel Review

Mosquito Boutique Hotel

Las Terrenas

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Love this place!! The restaurant and hotel staff made me feel very welcome. It was alive on the weekends and very chill during the week. I also love all the friendly cats and dogs on site, they kept a solo traveler company :-)

Tips for future travelers

Minimal wifi in rooms

Cleanliness & Comfort

Rooms were pristine
Staff

Took care of me!
Authenticity & Character

The staff was super friendly and vibrant
Location

Right on the beach!
Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Carly! Thank you SO much for writing such a detailed review and for your kind words! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your trip to the Dominican Republic and I am so glad you had such a fantastic trip :) The Dominican Republic is a true paradise and I am glad you got to discover the island. I will share your kind words with all the team! I look forward to helping you plan another adventure in the future! :) Warm regards, Marina

Cynthia

All guides were incredibly knowledgeable as w... · Spain - Jun 8 - Jun 14, 2022

Traveler: Cynthia M. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

All guides were incredibly knowledgeable as well as courteous and helpful. read more

All guides were incredibly knowledgeable as well as courteous and helpful.

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Cynthia, thank you so much for your feedback and for your kind words! It's been a pleasure helping you plan this trip to Portugal and I hope you return soon! I look forward to helping you plan another adventure in the future! :) Warm regards, Marina

Marina was wonderful and very responsive thro... · Portugal - Jun 7 - Jun 17, 2022

Traveler: Sarah E. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Marina was wonderful and very responsive through the entire process. I was a little dissapointed in having to upgrade two hotels used during our stay. However, Marina was quick to help resolve and get us where we needed to be, however the additional expense durning the trip wasn't ideal. I think perhaps discussing more room options and cost differences would be helpful during the reservation process and expectations of hotel quality and location should match the travelers desires. read more

Marina was wonderful and very responsive through the entire process. I was a little dissapointed in having to upgrade two hotels used during our stay. However, Marina was quick to help resolve and get us where we needed to be, however the additional expense durning the trip wasn't ideal. I think perhaps discussing more room options and cost differences would be helpful during the reservation process and expectations of hotel quality and location should match the travelers desires.

Hotel Reviews

Cascade Wellness

Lagos

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

We absolutely love our experience at Cascade Wellness Resort. It was exactly what we were looking for!

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Hotel HM Balanguera

Palma de Mallorca

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

I was not happy at all with the location of this hotel. It was very far from the beach or any location we would be wanting to visit. It was a big step down from the hotel in Portugal and after a full day of travel we were very disspointed to say the least. We ended up moving to another hotel which was much preferred.

Cleanliness & Comfort

We had a top sheet on the bed with no other blanket. It was also very small for two travelers that are not a couple. The pool area seating was soiled and felt dirty.
Staff

Staff was very friendly.
Authenticity & Character

Location

H10 Duque de Loule

Lisboa

Overall Rating
Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

It was a lovely hotel and the breakfast was wonderful.
Location

We could walk everywhere vs having to pay for an Uber.
Activity Review

Private Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

Lisbon

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Nuno was a wonderful tour guide! We loved this day and we were able to see so much of the area.

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sarah, thank you for taking the time to write a review! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your mother/daughter trip to Spain and I appreciate your suggestions regarding the hotels, we will include more information about each hotel :) I will be more than happy to help with a future adventure :) Best regards, Marina

Gregory

Fantastic trip to Portugal and Spain! · Spain - Jun 8 - Jun 14, 2022

Traveler: Gregory J. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

We had an amazing trip. The whole experience from initial contact to the return flight home was memorable. Working with Marina was easy and quick. She is very knowledgeable and listens very well to what her customers want. She was very responsive and the tours, hotels and trip planning were fantastic. The first night stay in Obidos in the Castle was an unforgettable experience. The next day our guide Sandra in Portal was really good. Deep knowledge of the city and region and fun and full of... read more

We had an amazing trip. The whole experience from initial contact to the return flight home was memorable. Working with Marina was easy and quick. She is very knowledgeable and listens very well to what her customers want. She was very responsive and the tours, hotels and trip planning were fantastic. The first night stay in Obidos in the Castle was an unforgettable experience. The next day our guide Sandra in Portal was really good. Deep knowledge of the city and region and fun and full of energy. Recommend her to everyone. The next day tour and river cruise on the Douro River was great. Such a beautiful area and Rui our guide was very flexible and accommodating as well as knowledgeable. The drive to Lisbon was nice and Marinas suggested stops were great. Lisbon was wonderful and our guide Jose was again knowledgeable and very nice. Our cooking class with Lucilla was one of the high points of our Portugal experience. So much fun. The next day trip to Cascais, Sinatra and Estoril was very beautiful and nicely done. Our guide Paulo was fun and knowledgeable and was an excellent driver as well. The trip to Lagos was also beautiful and the caves and grottos incredible. The next part of the trip into Spain was also perfect. The flight to Bilbao was as planned and Bilbao was a very nice surprise! The area is beautiful and lush and green. The Guggenheim did not disappoint and the Food and wine tour with Ellie was great! The drive to Pamplona was again beautiful and the city was great. Then in to Magical Madrid. Our hotel was right on the Plaza Mayor and could not have been better. Geza our guide was very good and showed us all around the old city and Royal Palace including the changing of the guard. Our side trip to Segovia was very nice and the day trip to Toledo by train and our guide was very good as well.
We really enjoyed the trip, the food, the wine, the hotels and the guides. Congrats to Marina and her team.

Hotel Reviews

Hotel Ercilla de Bilbao

Bilbao

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Beautiful gem right in the heart of the city. Great service and staff.

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Gran Hotel La Perla

Pamplona

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Let the hotel park your car. They gladly park it and retrieve it promptly.

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Beautifully restored and updated.
Location

Right on the main square

Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid

Madrid

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Great location!

Tips for future travelers

Please give more details on where to park.

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Gregory, thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to write such a detailed review! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your trip to Portugal and Spain and I'm so glad you enjoyed every part of it, it is what our team always strives for. I will share your kind words with our team in Portugal and Spain :) I am thrilled that you chose us and I hope our paths will cross again when planning your next adventure. Warmest regards, Marina

Libbysimmerman@hotmail.vom

We had a fantastic mother/daughter trip to Sp... · Spain - May 28 - Jun 3, 2022

Traveler: Libbysimmerman@hotmail.vom S. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

We had a fantastic mother/daughter trip to Spain. Marina and Kim Kim arrangements made it most enjoyable.

Tapas tour was great. Our guide Lindsey was accommodating, engaging and lots of fun!

Geza (our walking tour guide in Madrid) was terrific! We were on this tour the day after Real Madrid won the European championship —so excitement was in the air. He explained many historical facts and interesting nuggets of information we would have never known about on our own.

We... read more

We had a fantastic mother/daughter trip to Spain. Marina and Kim Kim arrangements made it most enjoyable.

Tapas tour was great. Our guide Lindsey was accommodating, engaging and lots of fun!

Geza (our walking tour guide in Madrid) was terrific! We were on this tour the day after Real Madrid won the European championship —so excitement was in the air. He explained many historical facts and interesting nuggets of information we would have never known about on our own.

We took a train to Toledo for a city tour and zip line experience. Manolo, our guide, was also exceptional! City and cathedral were beautiful! He seemed to know almost everyone in the streets of Toledo. We especially enjoyed the many insights he had about the overwhelming artistry of the cathedral.
Our olive oil tasting gave us the opportunity to meet Laura (one of the most hard working moms in Spain😊). She and her husband work the olive grove that’s been in her family for many, many years. They’ve transitioned to organic and how “hands on” the complex process is to make organic Extra virgin olive oil.
I could go on and on it those are a few highlights of our 5-6 day tour.

Thank you Marina for all your patience, many helpful suggestions and tips.

Hotel Review

7 Islas Hotel

Madrid

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

We stayed at roommate Oscar Nice large clean room Great breakfast Friendly accommodating staff Someone at front desk was fluent in English

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Activity Review

Day Trip to Toledo

Spain

Overall Rating
Transport

Prompt and pleasant
Guides, drivers and staff

Previously mentioned
Quality of Experience

Most everything
Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Libby, thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to write such a detailed review! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your mother/daughter trip to Spain and I'm so glad you enjoyed every part of it, it is what our team always strives for :) We are thrilled that you chose us and I hope our paths will cross again when planning your next adventure. Warmest regards, Marina

Our Guides were great and they presented oppo... · Portugal - Apr 4 - Apr 13, 2022

Traveler: Sara D. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Our Guides were great and they presented opportunities and activities that we wouldn't have gotten on to connect with on our own.

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sara, thank you so much for taking the time to do a review. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Portugal. It was my pleasure to help you plan this trip. Marina :)

Portugal Excursion · Portugal - May 27 - Jun 3, 2022

Traveler: John T. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Every facet of the trip was organized and executed in the most professional manner possible. Most importantly we loved the agenda, tours, and tour-guides. We will absolutely be using KimKim again.

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi John, thank you so much for taking the time to write your trip review! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your trip and I'm so glad you enjoyed every part of it :) Warmest and sincerest regards, Marina

Jim

Multiple destinations in Spain · Spain - May 14 - May 24, 2022

Traveler: Jim O. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

We had a wonderful experience on our trip to Spain. It was great to experience the culture, language and diverse history of various locations in Spain. Marina was very patient and helpful during the booking process. She was able to quickly give advice when we missed our train in Madrid. I'd also like to recognize the efforts of Vanessa at the Petit Palace Puerta del Sol for her repeated efforts to find us dinner reservations. We had personal guides in each city and all added tremendous... read more

We had a wonderful experience on our trip to Spain. It was great to experience the culture, language and diverse history of various locations in Spain. Marina was very patient and helpful during the booking process. She was able to quickly give advice when we missed our train in Madrid. I'd also like to recognize the efforts of Vanessa at the Petit Palace Puerta del Sol for her repeated efforts to find us dinner reservations. We had personal guides in each city and all added tremendous insight and knowledge to what we were seeing. Special mention to Linda in Madrid, Yolanda in Toledo, Elena in Segovia, Ferran in Sevilla, and Sergio, who spent all day driving us around Andalusia, on our day trip to Ronda.

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Jim! I really appreciate all your feedback and I'm delighted to read that you had such a good time and enjoyed all our guides. It was a real pleasure to host you here in Spain! I will share your kind words with our team in Spain :) Warmest regards, Marina

Tyler

Our culinary and wine tour of Portugal was ex... · Portugal - May 14 - May 25, 2022

Traveler: Tyler H. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Our culinary and wine tour of Portugal was excellent! Our specialist was always available for communications and everything went very smoothly. This was our second trip with Kimkim and they go above and beyond. It won't be our last! read more

Our culinary and wine tour of Portugal was excellent! Our specialist was always available for communications and everything went very smoothly. This was our second trip with Kimkim and they go above and beyond. It won't be our last!

Hotel Reviews

Dear Lisbon - Palace Chiado Suites

Lisboa

Overall Rating
Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

H10 Duque de Loule

Lisboa

Overall Rating
Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Exe Almada Porto

Porto

Overall Rating
Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

The Wine House Hotel - Quinta da Pacheca

Lamego

Overall Rating
Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Tivoli Lagos

Lagos

Overall Rating
Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Activity Reviews

Culinary Experience

Porto

Overall Rating
Food

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Get to know Porto by E-bike

Porto

Overall Rating
Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Private Porto Cooking Class

Porto

Overall Rating
Activity Review

This was one of our favourite experiences. Vitor and Andre were great and we had a blast!

Food

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Wine experience in the Douro Valley & River Cruise

Douro Valley

Overall Rating
Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Private Cooking Class

Douro Valley

Overall Rating
Food

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Evening of Fado

Lisbon

Overall Rating
Food

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Rural Gastronomy Experience

Portugal

Overall Rating
Activity Review

The location was nice, but it was 100km from our hotel. The food was minimal and we didn't eat with the local family. Dialogue with them was also minimal. This is one I would have skipped.

Food

Quality of Experience

Private Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

Lisbon

Overall Rating
Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Get to know Lisbon with a Local

Lisbon

Overall Rating
Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Sunset Sailing Cruises in Traditional Boats

Lisbon

Overall Rating
Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Wine Tasting & Lunch at a Portuguese Quinta

Portugal

Overall Rating
Food

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Boat Trip to Benagil Caves

Portugal

Overall Rating
Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Tyler, thank you so much for taking the time to write this review! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your trip and I'm so glad you enjoyed every part of it, it is what our team always strives for :) Warmest and sincerest regards, Marina

Robert

Portugal and Spain 2022 · Portugal - Apr 27 - May 4, 2022

Traveler: Robert B. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Marina was outstanding in our quest to get to Portugal and Spain. She listened to our feedback and am made adjustments as needed. Marina’s quick responses took the worry out of planning our trip. Once we arrived in Lisbon, it was clear to us just how much work Marina put into our trip. From the food and historical tours to the highlight of the trip of cooking a dinner with a Portuguese chef we had an outstanding week. Thank-you Marina and Kim Kim. You are a top notch travel agency. ... read more

Marina was outstanding in our quest to get to Portugal and Spain. She listened to our feedback and am made adjustments as needed. Marina’s quick responses took the worry out of planning our trip. Once we arrived in Lisbon, it was clear to us just how much work Marina put into our trip. From the food and historical tours to the highlight of the trip of cooking a dinner with a Portuguese chef we had an outstanding week. Thank-you Marina and Kim Kim. You are a top notch travel agency. Most importantly….you have our gratitude.

Hotel Reviews

Dear Lisbon – Bordalo Palace Chiado

Lisboa

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Nicely appointed historical hotel. Made us feel a part of the culture.

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Exe Almada Porto

Porto

Overall Rating
Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Activity Reviews

Lisbon Culinary Experience

Lisbon

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Denielle was an incredible tour guide. We’re pretty sure she knows everyone in Lisbon and they knew her! Food was great, drinks were great and she made us feel a part of this awesome culture.

Food

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Private Porto Cooking Class & Market Visit

Porto

Overall Rating
Activity Review

This was the highlight of our trip. Vito and his staff not only attended to our every need, he ensured we were involved in every aspect of our experience. Vito’s talent, passion, and negotiation skills ensured we had the best ingredients! The fish market was great!!! Once arriving at his kitchen we were quickly immersed in an awesome culinary experience of which every aspect was carefully choreographed with passion and fun! The sea bass, crab and shrimp main course was outstanding! The fish soup was even better. Vito never hesitated to give us credit for cooking our own dinner, but we all knew better. Without his passion for quality ingredients and free spirit for fun -it could have been just another dinner. Vito has our strongest recommendation. If your passionate about great food and making new friends, this the experience for you. . We consider Vito and his staff family now. Thank-you for all you do!!

Food

Transport

Vito drives an awesome old Land Rover. Unfortunately…he won’t sell. 😀
Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Privately Guided Tour of Porto

Porto

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Tomash or Tommy was incredibly knowledgeable about every aspect of our tour. More importantly he was a blast! Tommy made our day with him very fun and we learned many things about the incredible city of Porto. Touring with Tommy is highly recommended!

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Privately Guided Tour of Porto

Porto

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Tomash or Tommy was incredibly knowledgeable about every aspect of our tour. More importantly he was a blast! Tommy made our day with him very fun and we learned many things about the incredible city of Porto. Touring with Tommy is highly recommended!

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Robert, thank you SO much for taking the time to write this review with such detail! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your trip and I'm so glad you enjoyed every part of it, it is what our team always strives for :) I will pass all your kind words to the team. I look forward to helping you plan another trip in the future. Warmest regards, Marina :)

We will be back PT! · Portugal - Apr 7 - Apr 15, 2022

Traveler: Sue T. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

This trip was curated well. I would give it 5 stars had the hotel in Lisboa have been better. Turim Restoradores was well situated however, the rooms are painfully outdated. My bathroom was so narrow( and dirty on our last night). Both rooms' temperature was not regulated and when asked, we were told that there is NO AC just heat. I'd hate to be in that hotel in the summer. Imagine dreading going back after a full day of walking(I would have given 5 stars otherwise)As a tour company, I... read more

This trip was curated well. I would give it 5 stars had the hotel in Lisboa have been better. Turim Restoradores was well situated however, the rooms are painfully outdated. My bathroom was so narrow( and dirty on our last night). Both rooms' temperature was not regulated and when asked, we were told that there is NO AC just heat. I'd hate to be in that hotel in the summer. Imagine dreading going back after a full day of walking(I would have given 5 stars otherwise)As a tour company, I think the hotel tax should be included in pricing. While I was told it was mentioned in the agreement, that the hotels in different cities/countries charges different rates(isn't the tour company's business to know it, after all you picked the hotel)Its not much but that's besides the point.
Our first taste of the city was a Tuk Tuk tour, unfortunately the guide was late and lacks the desire to make the trip personable as he darts around the city. I was the told by him that he is not a native(which is fine) but only on the job for 2 months(I can tell, he was rambling off points of interest like it was in a tour guide book). Thankfully for the next two days, Rosa(walking food tour) and Marta(Sintra/Cascais) were both fantastic. The guide in Coimbra was also very informative.
Hotel in Porto was a refreshing change from Turim. It has been tastefully updated/front desk was informative and helpful/breakfast spread was amazing! First adventure, motorised bike tour. Thankfully our family of 4 weren't novice bicycle riders. I think if one was new to biking, it would be challenging(not due to the hills) for all the difficult terrain and navigating through tourists in the area we when through. Food and cultural tour was so-so, not once was port served/Apparently that would be a port tasting tour(one would think that both food and port is combined) after all wine was served. The day excursion to Duoro Valley was fantastic! Nelson our guide made our trip very memorable. Obidos was just so so beautiful(at least 3 hours needed with lunch). Alas our last night was back in Turim. Having to compare the accommodation of Eurostar Porto to Turim was a hard pill to swallow on our last night in beautiful PT.
Marina as a guide was attentive and very quick to address any issues/questions during the planning and while we were there. As a tour company, I'm certain you would want to know the condition of the lodging your guests are put in. I write with no malice. In life you win some and lose some. Being in the service industry myself, I'd like to know the good and the bad as only then improvements can be made.

Hotel Review

¡NO USAR! Turim Restauradores Hotel

Lisboa

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Location-Great. Accommodation was ok. No regulated air. NO AC only heat. Made sleeping through the night challenging. Breakfast spread has seen better days. It was included in our reservations, otherwise I wouldn't pay $15 euros for it.

Tips for future travelers

Do not stay if you like AC

Location

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Activity Review

Lisbon by Tuk-Tuk

Portugal

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Just not the right tour guide. While we were waiting, another guide(from the same company) was way more pleasant.

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Sue, Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I am pleased to hear that enjoyed your visit to Sintra, Douro Valley, and the gastronomy tour with Rosa. However, I am sorry to hear your stay at Turim Restoradores was not as expected. We always want travelers to be comfortable and enjoy their hotel stays, I would have gladly changed the hotel for you if I had known. It was a pleasure helping you plan your family trip to Portugal. Warmest regards, Marina

We really had great tours and guides. The coo... · Spain - Apr 13 - Apr 23, 2022

Traveler: Margaux Z. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

We really had great tours and guides. The cooking class was lord of fun with great instructors. Jospeh our hiking guide and Pedro our 4x4 guide did an excellent job as well. The can Alberti was an excellent hotel with great service read more

We really had great tours and guides. The cooking class was lord of fun with great instructors. Jospeh our hiking guide and Pedro our 4x4 guide did an excellent job as well. The can Alberti was an excellent hotel with great service

Hotel Review

Casa Albertí Boutique Hotel

Mahón

Overall Rating
Location

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Activity Review

Boquería Market Visit & Cooking Class

Barcelona

Overall Rating
Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Margaux,
Thank you for your review. It was a pleasure helping you organize your dream trip to my beautiful country! I really appreciate all your feedback and I'm delighted to read that you had such a good time and enjoyed all our guides. It was a real pleasure to host you here in Spain! Warmest regards, Marina

Incredible Trip to Portugal! · Portugal - Apr 8 - Apr 14, 2022

Traveler: Rich E. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Had an absolutely amazing time thanks to the great planning by Marina. Hotels were fantastic as were the guides that were arranged. The driving trip to Sintra is a can’t miss event and our guide Rui was incredible, making it feel like a trip with our Portuguese cousin. All our other guides (Miguel and Pedro in Porto) and Felipa in Lisbon were top notch.
Truly had a great experience thank you Marina! read more

Had an absolutely amazing time thanks to the great planning by Marina. Hotels were fantastic as were the guides that were arranged. The driving trip to Sintra is a can’t miss event and our guide Rui was incredible, making it feel like a trip with our Portuguese cousin. All our other guides (Miguel and Pedro in Porto) and Felipa in Lisbon were top notch.
Truly had a great experience thank you Marina!

Hotel Review

Hotel Portugal

Lisbon

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Very nice hotel. Great service. Very central to all key Lisbon locations

Tips for future travelers

No controllable AC

Activity Review

Private Day Trip to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril

Lisbon

Overall Rating
Activity Review

The guide really makes the trip. Rui was our guide replacing Nuno at the last minute. I couldn’t think of a better and more enjoyable person than him he was terrific!

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Rich, thank you so much for taking the time to write a review! It was a pleasure helping you plan your family trip to Portugal and I am thrilled that you had such a fantastic time :) I will pass your kind words to all our team in Portugal. I look forward to helping you plan another trip in the future. Warmest regards, Marina :)

An amazing trip to Portugal! · Portugal - Apr 3 - Apr 10, 2022

Traveler: Hillary P. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

We really enjoyed everything that was planned. All of our guides were great. Sintra was probably our favorite outing. The accommodations were perfect. The hotel in Porto was very beautiful but it was a little far from everywhere we saw or ate. It felt like it was a 20 minute walk everywhere we went. It would have been nice to be a bit closer. The hotel in Lisboa was in the perfect location. There was no way to change the weather. As we could see a couple of days in advance that there... read more

We really enjoyed everything that was planned. All of our guides were great. Sintra was probably our favorite outing. The accommodations were perfect. The hotel in Porto was very beautiful but it was a little far from everywhere we saw or ate. It felt like it was a 20 minute walk everywhere we went. It would have been nice to be a bit closer. The hotel in Lisboa was in the perfect location. There was no way to change the weather. As we could see a couple of days in advance that there was a 99% chance of rain, I should have made a backup plan in Porto. It would have been fun to do the tile making or cooking class instead of just walking around the city seeing more sights. Really everything else could not have gone better. We appreciated the restaurant recommendations. It was so nice to be able to check in with you with questions. You were very accessible and easy to work with. Thank you so much for helping us have such a wonderful trip.

Hotel Review

Rossio Boutique Hotel

Lisbon

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

This hotel is in the perfect location. It is centrally located and close to almost everything we wanted to see. It was clean, had a good breakfast and the staff were nice to work with. The rooms on the Main Street are noisier but our room that wasn’t on the Main Street was quiet.

Location

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Activity Reviews

Lisbon Culinary Experience

Lisbon

Overall Rating
Activity Review

This exceeded our expectations. The food was good, the guide was knowledgeable and interesting. We learned a lot about the history of Lisbon, the different neighborhoods as well as tasted good food. We even went back to one of the restaurants later in the trip.

Food

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Sunset Sailing Cruises in Traditional Boats

Lisbon

Overall Rating
Activity Review

It was a beautiful way to see the city. We really enjoyed it. The employees were nice and accommodating. It felt like it could have been a little shorter, just because it was chill. We were there with our kids and it felt like we watched people get more and more drunk. It would be nice if there was an option that didn’t involve wine, maybe geared for families.

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Sintra Heritage Hike

Portugal

Overall Rating
Activity Review

We loved this outing! Our guide Susannah was wonderful. She was happy and fun to talk to and very knowledgeable. We loved where she took us to the castle and palace and the way down through the forest. She made us a yummy picnic lunch which we really enjoyed. We would highly recommend her and this excursion.

Food

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Get to know Porto by E-bike

Porto

Overall Rating
Activity Review

This is a great way to see Porto. The bikes make it so easy to get around and see a lot of places. Our guide was fabulous. She knew a lot and was fun to inerrant with. We highly recommend.

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hillary, thank you so much for taking the time to do this review! I am glad to read you enjoyed your family trip to Portugal despite the weather. You will have to come back to do the Hike to Peneda ;) I will pass your kind words to all the team in Portugal, it's been a pleasure helping you plan your family trip to Portugal. Warmest regards, Marina.

Lynn

A Stellar First Visit to Spain · Spain - Mar 26 - Apr 2, 2022

Traveler: Lynn K. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

This was our first experience planning travel with kimkim and we will definitely use you again. The trip was really flawless due in large part to Marina and the kimkim team listening to what we thought we wanted to do and acting on, and enhancing, our ideas. Our local guides in Madrid (Geza, fun, enthusiastic, knowledgeable), Cordoba (Olivia, extremely knowledgeable, loved her visual aides), and Sevilla (Raul’s love of the city and the Alcazar really came through), were OUTSTANDING. Each... read more

This was our first experience planning travel with kimkim and we will definitely use you again. The trip was really flawless due in large part to Marina and the kimkim team listening to what we thought we wanted to do and acting on, and enhancing, our ideas. Our local guides in Madrid (Geza, fun, enthusiastic, knowledgeable), Cordoba (Olivia, extremely knowledgeable, loved her visual aides), and Sevilla (Raul’s love of the city and the Alcazar really came through), were OUTSTANDING. Each hotel was more charming than the last and I am ready to move in permanently to the H10 Casa de La Plata in Sevilla. Gorgeous lobby, great room, A+ staff. The hotel staff in Madrid were also top-notch. We found the tour and olive oil tasting at Hacienda Guzman to be another highlight: our guide there, again, knowledgeable and engaging. But the overarching positive was Marina and her hands-on attention to every detail. She anticipated everything we needed and was readily available via messaging, even phone, on the occasions we needed anything while we were there. Marina helped us have the perfect introduction to Spain. We are grateful to have had her guidance throughout the trip.

Hotel Review

Hotel H10 Casa de la Plata

Sevilla

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Location, lobby, room, bathroom, breakfast, staff members, were all exceptional. You really cannot improve on the location: walkable to so much shopping, dining, sites.

Tips for future travelers

Be aware that it is not accessible by car. Your taxi/Uber driver will need to drop you about a block or so away and you will walk through the narrow streets to the hotel.

Location

Cleanliness & Comfort

Perfectly clean.
Staff

Very friendly, professional, accommodating, spoke excellent English.
Authenticity & Character

Beautiful decor, elegant and updated.
Activity Review

Visit an Andalusian Olive Oil Estate

Seville

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Our private tour guide was engaging and knowledgeable. The tour and tasting were both so enjoyable.

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience

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Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Lynn! Thank you SO much for writing such a detailed review and for your kind words! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your trip to Spain and I am so glad you had such a fantastic trip. The olive oil experience is one of my favorites visits in Spain and I am glad you enjoyed it too. I will share your review with our team in Spain ;) It's been wonderful working with you to plan this trip to Spain and I look forward to helping you plan another adventure in the future! :). Warm regards, Marina.

John

Portugal Trip · Portugal - Feb 15 - Feb 24, 2022

Traveler: John Q. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

We had the best time! All of our guides and transfers were amazing. Thank you Marina for helping us book an amazing trip. You were the best.

John and Donna

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Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

John and Donna, thank you for taking the time to do the review! It was my pleasure helping you plan your family trip to Portugal and I am thrilled that you had a fantastic time in Portugal. I look forward to helping you plan another trip in the future. Marina :)

Marina was a wonderful trip planner! She was ... · Spain - Dec 20 - Dec 25, 2021

Traveler: Mika K. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Marina was a wonderful trip planner! She was knowledgeable about the cities in Spain we wanted to visit, offered detailed guidance, took care of all the details and was exceptionally responsive. She selected hotels that were perfect for us and provided all the resources and information we needed to have a wonderful trip. She checked in with us all week, even on Christmas day! Thank you, Marina! read more

Marina was a wonderful trip planner! She was knowledgeable about the cities in Spain we wanted to visit, offered detailed guidance, took care of all the details and was exceptionally responsive. She selected hotels that were perfect for us and provided all the resources and information we needed to have a wonderful trip. She checked in with us all week, even on Christmas day! Thank you, Marina!

Hotel Review

H10 Casa de la Plata

Seville

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

Beautiful, clean, fresh, excellent service, amazing location.

Location

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Mika, thank you so much for such a fantastic review and kind words! I am pleased to read that you had a blast and have left Spain with lovely memories of your family Christmas trip. It certainly was a pleasure to help you plan this trip and look forward to working with you in the future. Have a lovely end of the year! Marina :-)

Marina was great help in selection of cities ... · Spain - Nov 15 - Dec 15, 2021

Traveler: Jim and Carol D. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Marina was great help in selection of cities and help along the way. Our first stop in Girona was magnificent and Carmen was an elegant host.

Salmanca was also excellent. Hotel Rector was amazing.

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Jim and Carol, thank you for taking the time to do the review! I am pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay at Girona and Salamanca. It has been my true pleasure helping you plan your trip to Spain. I look forward to working with you in the future. Marina:-)

Amazing trip to Portugal · Portugal - Oct 18 - Oct 29, 2021

Traveler: Amanda D. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

We had an amazing time in Portugal!  Marina was wonderful; we absolutely could not have planned this trip without her help. While we were in Portugal, the support we received from Karin was also so helpful.  I will definitely use KimKimin in the future.

Some of the highlights included: 
-Porto was a favorite! Thanks to Nelson, the day trip to Duoro Valley was one of the best activities/days that we had on our trip. Nelson went above and beyond to ensure we enjoyed the day, learned more about... read more

We had an amazing time in Portugal!  Marina was wonderful; we absolutely could not have planned this trip without her help. While we were in Portugal, the support we received from Karin was also so helpful.  I will definitely use KimKimin in the future.

Some of the highlights included: 
-Porto was a favorite! Thanks to Nelson, the day trip to Duoro Valley was one of the best activities/days that we had on our trip. Nelson went above and beyond to ensure we enjoyed the day, learned more about Portuguese history and culture, and saw sights we may have missed otherwise.  I honestly cannot say enough good things about Nelson; he was absolutely wonderful.  

-Also the tour of Porto with Sara was great.  Sara did a great job taking us to some unique points in the city.  Additionally, she assisted us with restaurants and other recommendations in the city.  Sara is really lovely.  

-The day trip to Sintra was also a fantastic experience.  Sintra is magical and Marta was wonderful.-The Lisbon walking tour was also very good.  This tour helped us understand so much about the history of Portugal as well as see a lot of the city.  Our tour guide Filipa had a great personalityand kept the tour interesting. 

-Lagos is absolutely beautiful!  While we enjoyed the Catamaran, we really enjoyed the Sunset experience with Pedro.  This activity allowed us to see the surrounding areas outside of Lagos and understand just how much more there is to see and do in the Algarve region.  Pedro really did a great job; he was very personable and made the whole experience really fun.

Other:
-It would be good to mention that flat shoes are required for pretty much all of the streets in Portugal. :)
-The Tivoli hotel in Lagos did not meet expectations.  While the rooms were clean, the service and the breakfast were lacking.  For example, every time we went to get towels for the pool, the front desk did not have any available. This is not a hotel I would stay at in the future. 

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

I don't have words to respond to this review! Other than wow and thank you so much for taking the time to write such detail. I am so pleased that you had such a fabulous time, it is what our team always strives for. I really appreciate your comments about the Tivoli hotel, I will make a note of that! It certainly was a pleasure to help you plan your trip to Portugal and look forward to helping you plan another trip in the future. Marina :-)

Great 3 week trip to Spain · Spain - Oct 10 - Oct 30, 2021

Traveler: Amanda A. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Marina worked extremely hard to put together a last minute trip to Spain. We were traveling with our 6 yo son, and she was able to incorporate family friendly activities and tour guides that included fun stories and activities for kids. Great communication, friendly, responsive, and professional. We had a great trip and highly recommend Marina and Karin. Thank you!

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Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Amanda, thank you for this review and for posting all these great photos! :) I am so please you had a blast and have left Spain with lovely memories of your family trip. It certainly was a pleasure to help you plan this trip and look forward to helping you plan another trip in the future. Marina :-)

Our trip was absolutely wonderful, and it's h... · Portugal - Oct 18 - Oct 31, 2021

Traveler: Kay L. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Our trip was absolutely wonderful, and it's hard to say what our favorite part was. Marina was absolutely fantastic in helping us plan our trip, and responded quickly and kindly when we asked for changes. A few standouts...4x4 adventure near Porto, Douro Valley wine tour, day in Coimbra, Knights Templar tour in Tomar, lunch at the olive tree farm near Evora. Overall an absolutely amazing trip! Thank you again to Marina, and to Karin for serving as POC for one week.

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Kay, thank you for taking the time to do the review! I am so pleased that you had such a fabulous time, it is what our team always strives for. It was my pleasure helping you plan your trip to Portugal and look forward to working with you in the future. Marina :-)

Anadalucia 2021 · Spain - Oct 23 - Oct 30, 2021

Traveler: Chris C. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Marina put together a great itinerary that met my goal of lots of active time out of the cities, while still seeing the cultural highlights in each place I stayed. All of the guides were very good, but a Rachel who was our guide for Caminito del rey was truly outstanding.

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Chris, thank you for taking the time to do the review! I am pleased to read that you had such a great time in Spain. It has been my true pleasure helping you plan your trip to Spain. I look forward to working with you in the future. Marina:-)

Marina was great! · Portugal - Oct 4 - Oct 17, 2021

Traveler: Amanda R. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Marina designed an amazing trip for us! She really understood what we were looking for and went out of her way to deliver. She was also very easily accessible during our trip to help us navigate any hiccups or last minute changes. Would definitely book with Marina again!

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Amanda, thank you for taking the time to do the review. It was my pleasure helping you plan your family trip to Portugal and I am thrilled that you had a fantastic time in Portugal. I look forward to working with you in the future. Marina :-)