"4 Day Trip of Paris - A detailed review"

A review of Star Tours Ltd by QueenLCV written on Wednesday 1st of March 2017


Let me start by saying this in my view is a half-board trip designed for ‘families’ who would like a taste of Paris organised by Star Tours UK. It tries to balance a whole day of Disneyland with a cruise and tour of Paris hotspots, highlights of which are the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the gardens of Versailles.

The five key elements for me have been complimented/critiqued below:

1. The booking process:


+ Smooth online booking procedure.

+ Really helpful and friendly customer service helpline.


- Did not know which hotel we were going to stay at till a day before departure.

2. The accommodation and breakfast:

Can vary between various Novotels I’m assuming and the website states ‘Novotel Orly Massy’ or similar. We ended up at the Novotel Orly Rungis.


+ Decent room with tea/coffee making facilities.

+ A complimentary 500ml bottle of water on 2 out of 3 nights to share between 3 guests.

+ A good sized hair dryer.


- Checking in after a full day of travelling and sightseeing was a nightmare taking an hour with room keys being defunct. We had to suffer trying them 5 times (twice ourselves, twice with tour staff and once with hotel staff) before the keys were made to work!

- On top of the ordeal, despite asking online chat help and speaking repeatedly to customer services over the phone that even though we have been told to book a triple room as my son is counted as an adult being 13 years of age we would need a double bed and a sofa bed which we were told would be sorted – we ended up with 2 single beds and a sofa bed and had to exchange with the Tour Manager’s room who was a huge help in the situation.

- Breakfast. At first look having what appeared a meeting room specifically reserved for our tour group seemed a good idea until we realised we are being and I am literally having to use the word ‘discriminated’ when it came to the selection of menu available. While a regular breakfast menu just next door to us was serving hot meats, scrambled and on request fried eggs, omelettes, a variety of cheese, French bread, different types of croissants and cakes/muffins/pastries, a choice of various coffees – we had in spite of complaining and asking 3 days of cold boiled eggs, sliced bread, mouldy cheese, having to ask for butter, teaspoons, from grumpy staff who would sparingly replenish one basket of croissants to share between almost 50 people! I would like to ask Star Tours to answer this as they are the ones we paid and trusted and their staff seemed baffled and helpless and never had breakfast with us that how come a guaranteed reservation of around 50 people 3 times a week are being treated with such inequity compared to other customers?!

*Upon emailing Star Tours was told this was a deliberate budgeting measure to cut costs – a reply which I was unhappy with (cut costs by serving mouldy cheese and cold eggs?!) as it is misleading as I had made my decision based on hotel reviews which included if breakfast was decent.

- The location of the hotel was poor with views and noises of a depot/industrial park at the opposite end and motorway and rows of other economical hotels with nothing to do nearby and nowhere to walk to for a stroll or even a corner-shop/off-license, etc.

3. Dinner:

The first night was a scramble with 3 tour buses full being tried to serve under one roof and us having to wait till the others had finished, the second night as we were the last ones being served one out of the 2 non-vegetarian mains had run out, however, the third night was the saving grace as we were the first to be served and so had plenty to eat.

The menu was faultless though with a delicious variety of options when available for both vegetarian and non-vegetarians.

The facilities as in the toilets of the restaurants were lacking with just 2 cubicles and hand dryers not working.

4. The Tour Guide-cum-Driver:

A wonderful soul, approachable, easy to talk to and full of lovely trivia to share about the hallmarks of Paris and the journey itself with a kind and helpful attitude especially personally with our room keys debacle.

A tiny moan would be about his inflexibility as he seemed bound by the itinerary and we never really experienced the extras he promised if we were prompt which we were and he commended us for too.

5. The Tour itself:

Claimed as 4 day tour it is in reality a whole day of travelling on a coach with actual 3 days of sightseeing including Disneyland.

To break it down the first day is just majorly travelling with an evening cruise and dinner. There is only a service stop of 30-45 minutes in Calais.

The second day is Disneyland but ended an hour before the park closed which makes you miss out on the fireworks which take place 10 minutes before park closing.

There is a lot being tried to stuff into the 3rd day starting early with the Eiffel Tower, on to the Fragonard Museum which are the only two which are timed right. The Louvre is combined with lunch time both of which have to be accomplished within 2 hours to make it to an early dinner for the Paris by night tour. This again felt hurried and even though is treated as if an open bus tour has really short stops at several landmarks mainly visible to the driver and those seated up front with the ones at the back clueless and left out plus unable to capture photos due to the reflection in bus window and bus windows being a bit dirty too.

It’s Versailles Gardens on day 4 that makes you wonder why the tour operator would include it in the winter with the gardens bare and not a petal in sight and statues all covered up. Would they rather not have had the option of the tour group actually checking out the palace from the inside in the winter and outside in the summer or is it because the gardens are free to enter while the palace is paid entry?

There is only 2 hours of the barren gardens on Day 4 and the rest is spent travelling again in which we reached home at nearly midnight.

Overall, a good trip which could have been great as we were expecting it to be had it not have had a bad start with the check in and again the daily morning cold and poor breakfast. Still want to end on a positive note entirely because of the delightful Garreth, our tour guide and hopefully friend by the end of it whose merry and jovial outlook kept us in high spirits throughout.

* FYI This entire review was first emailed to Star Tours UK who just made a feeble apology for the keys debacle and got all defensive and making excuses for every critique made by hiding behind cost cutting and saving time – unacceptable and misrepresentative is what I made of it and would suggest to ask and keep the critiques in mind when booking with them (I did with the double bed and sofa bed and was assured twice by call centre staff but still ended up with triple room!). So much for the positive note :/.

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