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Had a brilliant experience, I even had to change my trip dates due to unexpected health issues and the staff could not have been nicer about it. They changed all the arrangments and sent me updates...Read on
Having travelled with Exoticca (first 2 weeks of February 2023) and now having spent 2 fruitless weeks pursuing a formal complaint, I strongly advise avoiding this company at all costs. Based on my...Read on
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8 day trip to morocco
Had a brilliant experience, I even had to change my trip dates due to unexpected health issues and the staff could not have been nicer about it. They changed all the arrangments and sent me updates every step of the way, really looked after me. I will be using them in the future and strongly recommend them.
13 Days (nearly) Sri Lanka ...amp... Maldives
Having travelled with Exoticca (first 2 weeks of February 2023) and now having spent 2 fruitless weeks pursuing a formal complaint, I strongly advise avoiding this company at all costs. Based on my experience, your documentation / itinerary will be misleading, subject to late change and the quality of your accommodation will be vastly below expectations and the price paid. Thereafter, Exoticca will continually fob you off with references to small print and simply tell you to take matters up with the local agent, from whom they will have procured the holiday (and clearly with who you will have no contract).
We paid £9,316 for an Asian holiday (Sri Lanka and the Maldives) with 11 nights ‘in Destination’ having paid the additional cost of (their words) ‘Luxury Category Hotels’. The warning bells should have sounded when my itinerary described it as ‘13 nights in Destination’. I now have written confirmation from Exoticca that they class a night on a plane as being a night ‘in Destination’.
The more fundamental problems started the week before I left for the holiday, when I noticed that all four of the Sri Lankan hotels had been changed from my previous itinerary without any notification to myself whatsoever. It was only by chance that in downloading the Exoticca App shortly before leaving, that I even noticed the change. I duly complained by phone, prior to leaving, and was told in no uncertain terms their ability to change the hotels is in the small print in the Terms and Conditions so there’s nothing I or they could or would do about it. Failing to even actively notify a customer that 80% of their hotels have changed is, to my mind, simply unacceptable.
Having previously taken holidays throughout South East Asia, circa £9.5K is an expensive holiday and we would have expected that the three 5-Star hotels and two 4-Star hotels were of the highest quality.
In short, the Sri Lankan hotels were simply of an unacceptable standard for a holiday of this value. Problems included: air conditioning not working... cockroaches in the sink... very tired, old fashioned rooms... mouldy curtains... multiple broken items (sink, shower, shower curtain, toilet, safe, phone)... and appalling / inedible buffet food (no ala carte food at any of the hotels). Particular lowlights were the Tourmaline hotel in Kandy, where were the only guests staying in the entire hotel for 2 nights and we were offered an in hotel meal choice of either fish and chips or pasta and tomato sauce, or alternatively they would take us to another hotel for a buffet. At The Palms in Beruwala (comfortably the worst of the worst), we endured a karaoke party in the adjacent room until 04.30 in the morning despite numerous requests to reception to intervene, which they failed to do.
Having now reviewed the cost for 2 people staying at each of the Sri Lankan hotels (Arie Lagoon, Tropical Life, Tourmaline ... The Palms) the position is, as can be seen on multiple hotel booking sites, that 7 of our 11 ‘in Destination’ nights cost a total of £395 out of a holiday costing just under £9.5K. This is simply a complete rip-off and wholly disproportionate to the type of holiday accommodation we should have expected for the money paid.
Our experience of dealing with Exoticca throughout the events described above was terrible. Effectively it was left with me and the local agent to try and make the best of a bad job. On a cost for cost basis, this is the worst holiday experience I have ever had.
Having now pursued a formal compliant for circa 3 weeks, Exoticca have now confirmed to me in writing, that what they describe as a 4... or 5... ‘category’ hotel on my itinerary, has nothing whatsoever to do with its official rating, it is the TripAdvisor score. No where on any of my holiday documentation is this stated and the information presented is patently misleading. Clearly, a TripAdvisor score is directly influenced by the cost paid. I might have ranked some of my hotels slightly higher if paying £50 per night for 2 people. I wasn’t. To date, they offered me a £120 credit off my next Exoticca booking, eventually increased to £300. No thanks – AVOID!