White Glove Service® in Action

Travel Reviews: What our clients say.

Whether you’re snorkeling with sea lions in the clear blue waters of the Galapagos Islands, or sipping sundowners on the tan-colored plains of the Serengeti, you know that we are there for you anytime.

Our 24-hour White Glove Service® guest assistance begins before you leave home with our pre-departure documents. You receive a welcome phone call after you arrive at your destination. Our WGS® guest assistance team maintains contact at various times throughout your journey to insure that your trip runs smoothly or address any problem that may arise. WGS® can be tailored to your particular needs and interests. Big Five is leading the way in guest relations for the travel industry.

We love to hear from you.

We Felt Well Looked After at Every Step – South Africa

I called yesterday to tell you what a fantastic trip we had, but your line was busy, so here it goes. Just wanted to tell you how perfectly all arrangements worked; we felt well looked after at every step and we had an absolutely fantastic trip. Kudos to Big Five. We have seen four of the big 5 only, the leopards did not cooperate, but what we have seen was spectacular. Everything was perfect: travel arrangements, accommodations, food, tour guides, and locations. I have about 800 photos and videos to bore my friends with and I am attaching one of them here, hope you will like it. 

If you want detailed feedback on anything, such as a hotel in Cape Town or a comparison between Kwandwe Ecca lodge and Madikwe Jamala, please let me know I will be happy to share.


We invite you to explore our South Africa collection where the next amazing testimonial is waiting to be made. Please contact your professional travel advisor if you are ready to tell a better story.

The very best

Big Five, fabulous, the tours that we took in Cape Town, with our driver/guide was the very best that we have ever experienced. The wine tour, beautiful!  Please let her employer know what a good job she did for us.  We loved the Cape Grace Hotel and our hotel in Amsterdam, was amazing.  The restaurant that you booked for us for New Year’s Eve, was just exactly right….beautiful walk to go there.  The Anne Frank museum, it’s a must.  I want to go back and do a safari with Big Five….we will see….


An Amazing Time in Argentina and Chile

I’ve been meaning to write you on (the clients’) feedback.


They all had an amazing time.  They thought 5 days was too long in B.A., since there wasn’t much to do.  They enjoyed the “walking” tour and bike tour.  Louise said it was a bit redundant, but I think it had to do with the weather and being very chilly.  Nonetheless they really enjoyed it.


The had a lot of fun at the Argentinian Cooking Experience.


They LOVED Tierra and thought the guides were fabulous! Their only complaint, (if a complaint), was that the dinner service was super slow.  So slow that they started skipping dessert just to gt out of there.  Louise said after such a long day out on tours to come back have dinner and wait a half hour in between each serving is a long wait.  They did tell them too, but she said it was really minor, given the entire trip.


They LOVED the Vines.  They wished they took a day away from BA and stayed an extra night there, just to relax a little more after Tierra.


All in all they absolutely loved it and everything went smoothly.  They were all very tired from so many flights, but that’s the only way, at the moment.


I just want to say thank you, so much, for all of your help during their trip.  This is the first time I’ve sent clients off on a big trip without stressing out every second making sure everything perfect, because I trusted and knew you guys were on it every step of the way, so thank you!  I will definitely use you guys first, when it comes to your destinations, and always recommend Big Five first!    🙂



Fantastic adventure in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya

We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the fabulous adventure you created for us. From start to finish we travelled smoothly with no hitches and Big Five representatives to help usher us through customs, airport transfers and more. Our drivers were both friendly and professional. (Guide) in Entebbe was so helpful and listened to our interests and gave excellent advice. Our driver in Entebbe, our driver in Bwindi and our driver in Nairobi were all wonderful. They were happy to talk to us about their food, families, traditions and language.


The lodges and tented camps you chose for us were perfect. Our hosts and guides were passionate about their conservation ethic and the sustainable practices of our accommodations. All our guides were so knowledgeable and loved sharing with us. They made finding the wildlife seem easy. The different locations you selected, both lodges and tented camps, were outstanding in their locations, comfort, staff and food. We easily formed warm relationships with the folks there. We bookended our adventure with highlights – the gorilla groups at the outset, and the wildebeest river crossing and a lion kill at the end. With so much diversity in between! Plus I got to sit in the co-pilot seat on a couple of the bush plane flights. We can’t thank you enough for everything you did to arrange this adventure of a lifetime for us.


My most heartfelt thanks for everything you have done to make the deWaart’s trip a success.  I especially appreciate the fact that I trust you to make sure they are well taken care of.

Job very well done!!!!!

Wonderful Colombia

I have heard back from two of the ladies already, and they report is that the trip was WONDERFUL!!!!!!!


They loved Big Five, the Hotels, the guides and Colombia. (Guest) was most appreciative that her birthday was remembered at the hotel with cake and champagne! She has already recommended another client to me who I am talking with today about a similar trip to Colombia in early December along the same lines, so I will be contacting you.


Expertise makes the difference

As I told you this morning, (Destination Specialist) was so patient and kind to me while he was helping me with the booking. I was clearly out of my comfort zone, and his knowledge and expertise really helped me to guide (the guests) to the exact trip of their dreams. Thanks!

Tanzania was a fantastic graduation present

Thank you for planning such an AMAZING trip for us! I am not sure where to start, except to say that each piece was perfect!


Highlights:  My nephew and I had the safari truck to ourselves (with the guide, of course) EVERY day! Yep, just he and I each camp, each day…amazing!  The weather was excellent! The food was 5-star, just like the accommodations! We really enjoyed the more private camp because it was just us and the guide doing the hike up Kilimanjaro, it was a picture-perfect day hike (we made it to the base camp). We saw an amazing diversity of animals and birds! We saw the “Big 4” (no rhinos), and many others. The hotel in Doha was 5-star, and we were downtown so we went to the mall that evening. All of our connections, etc., went off without a hitch. It was easy to find our way around. Our guides, etc., could not have been more knowledgeable or accommodating.


EVERYONE should include the two stops we did in their plans, FANTASTAC!  I have already recommended you to several folks. I think my boss will plan a trip in the next year or two. THANK YOU again for everything!


Kenya Safari the best gift

I thought you would love to hear from these clients about their Kenya trip.  Father/daughter team. This was a present for her graduation from college. They were thrilled with the process and the result. This is what they said:  The trip was unbelievable. we had so much fun. Everything went just perfectly. The Maasai people are unbelievable.  They were running all the camps we went to. We got to know them and just loved them.  The (camp) up in the  mountains in northern Kenya. It is unbelievable. It was not a driving  camp. It was a hiking camp. We got to go out in the jungle. it was fantastic. It’s so remote, it’s unbelievable. Big Five did a good job. The game — they saw all the game they ever expected. It was everything we were hoping for and more. I am just trying to figure out how I can get back over there again. We saw any kind of game that you could imagine. But that was just part of it. The people are some of the most beautiful we have ever met. Thanks for setting all of this up. It really went well!

Ethiopia was great

Ethiopia was wonderful. The lodges were so beautiful, quiet atmosphere, hospitable staff, the food, everything was great. Touring Entebbe’s local market, they experienced the atmosphere, learned about the origin of the produce. They visited the reptile village and the fishing village. The first trek was medium. And the second trek was a short hike, which (clients) requested because they wanted to do some birding. Both treks were great, and sightings including baby, juvenile and adult Silverbacks in Bwindi.


South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe

The trip was the most exciting time I have ever had and I think that I can safely say that for all eight of us who took this adventurous journey together.  The exclamations on all of the experiences ran the complete gamut of  expressive comments and reactions.  It was really wow!  And we did see everything, including a puff adder snake (small and dead, thankfully).


The accommodations were in the right order, too, the first being 5 star (omg), then we were eased into more rustic lodgings, but all wonderful in their right. I think this trip has given my family many memories to cherish and talk about the rest of their lives. I could go on and on.  Thank you for all that you did to coordinate us from our different cities to come together and just make it happen. There were a couple of slight hitches, but not hindrances.  The three way plugs used there are not UK, but the hotel/lodge folks had some for us to use. Having agents at each place to meet us was reassuring to me, especially.


It was just wonderful, all of it. And I will be happy to write something for you.  Also, will send a picture of us; I really wanted one of all of us in the first safari vehicle, but it didn’t happen. Many, many thanks!


Costa Rica amazing

Costa Rica was amazing! We had a wonderful time. The tours were top notch and exceeded our expectations! It’s hard to choose a favorite since they were all memorable. I truly was blown away by all the nature.  We hiked the Arenal to the furthest point and we had the same guide for the hanging bridges which was really nice. He was super knowledgeable with a degree in ecotourism. He knew every animal and explained the Arenal in detail…that we all feel like experts. He attached our cell phones to his special binocular device and we were able to get awesome pics. He also took his time and did a special demonstration with raw sugar cane…which we drank. It was really cool.


The zip line was great and again very accommodating guides. They helped us video along the way. We had a blast with the river rafting guides and got to know them during the ground transfer which took a total of 4 1/2 hours…but honestly it was so much fun we really didn’t mind. They prepared a typical lunch halfway through the river and you can tell they really took pride in making sure we had an enjoyable experience.


The fishing was fantastic…we did a full 8 hours and caught four yellowfin tuna which our hotel prepared for us and some other guests that night. Again, the guides were great, safe, and really wanted us to catch. So much so that we trolled all day and ran out of gas…but the captain was prepared for that as well and had reserve drums below deck.


Let’s not forget the accommodations! They were amazing with great views and super remote locations. Not sure if I mentioned but I am a private pilot and I really enjoyed the internal flights to these incredible places. Unfortunately, I couldn’t ride co-pilot but Gil took some amazing footage of the take-off and landings. It was exhilarating! The staff at each hotel was very accommodating and took extra time getting to know us. Maybe part of the Costa Rica culture…in any event we were pleased with everything. You guys did a great job and we are really looking forward to our next adventure! Thanks again for the transfer to and from Fort Lauderdale International. Talk soon.


Jordan & Egypt done right

Since I know you monitor our progress thru the whole trip, you already know we are back and had a wonderful time. Aside from all the amazing sites that we saw, I had a few short notes on the company you use: It’s hard to express our gratitude over the expertise that the Big 5 company displays in showing us Jordan and Egypt. They are simply fantastic.  Everyone from the drivers to the guides are top notch people.  The itinerary was formed together perfectly and had a lot of effort put into it.  Each day was filled with another experience and never overloaded us.

Our first guide and driver were in Jordan and they did Jordan right.  Both of them got to know us and really geared each day to make sure our interests were covered.  For example, I was very interested in the Biblical mosaic map inside one of their churches.  So our guide spend a lot more time to make sure we understood the history behind the map.  Once he got us into the church itself, he went around uncovering parts of the map that the church normally keeps covered with carpet.  This meant a lot to us and it was obvious that his relationship with the caretakers of the church was very strong.  He has a Masters in Archeology and really knows Jordan and its history.  We enjoyed his company (and the driver) very much.  At another point, the driver realized that (Guest) started to like Turkish coffee.  He then (during a coffee stop on the way to the Dead Sea) convinced the owner of the coffee stand to show her how to make the coffee properly.  So she made us all coffee on the side to the road.  At the end of the trip the driver presented us with a box of his favorite Turkish blend for her to try in the US.


These are only a small part of what we experienced, but it’s the small things that make the trip extra….


Egypt was even better.  From our experience, Big 5 has the top Egyptian guide in the country.  I think there isn’t anybody she does not know, including meeting the current president (on two occasions), has a meeting next week with the wife of Anwar Sadat, and knows the families of the security guards at various temples.  But the best is that there was not a question she could not answer.  She is simply the best—– and the support staff used for transporting us around the country is equal to her as well.  She is an Egyptian national treasure.  I expect to see her face on the 10 pound note someday or with her negotiation abilities, perhaps the 50 pound note.


I’m very grateful that you and (Agent) are working with these wonderful people and if you ever need a customer’s recommendation, (we) would love to give it.  Thanks again for all your help.


Grand Guatemala Adventure

El Mirador was incredible.  Our first helicopter ride was exciting and fun.  What I’d say about El Mirador is that you’ve got to use your imagination about the place because it’s not excavated like Tikal.  It’s so vast – 39 acropolises as compared to Tikal’s 3.  Lunch at the top of La Danta was unbelievable.  Las Lagunas has become one of our very favorite resorts in the world.  The service is impeccable.  There’s a server, who may be one of the most hospitable people we’ve met in the industry.  They have a spa which (daughter) visited on Monday…she was blown away.  And having the 3 free days was just what the doctor ordered.  The three of us don’t need to go-go-go.  Spa time, pool time, and hanging out in the incredible cabin are all up our alley. We went into Flores twice, and we super dig that town.  Remember that we requested a specific guide for El Mirador?  Well as serendipity would have it, he was at our restaurant in Flores on Monday night!  You’ll see a picture of the 3 of us with his wife and daughter.  You can’t make this up!  How does this happen in a vast country of 17 million people?


The Uaxactun experience was maybe my favorite (close to the upcoming description of the graffiti tour).  Not sure if you’ve been there…but after a ride of 25 km of terrible road conditions, you arrive in the most hospitable, wonderful village.  The ruins are awesome.  (We) enjoyed climbing the numerous accessible temples.  Our guide was knowledgeable and engaging.  We had an incredible lunch served by the matriarch of the city.  Her story is incredible.  Her husband was a business leader in the 80s, with a significant gum (as in chewing gum from the trees in Uaxatun) business…he died and this incredible woman took over.  Long story short, she took over, grew the business, and invested in Mayan art (through the black market), and has a priceless collection which we got to see!  In Guatemala City, our guide was our guide up to Lake Atitlan last year.  We became friends in our two days with her, and friendship grew in GC this year.


We’re so glad you suggested the graffiti art tour.  Our guide, who is a world-renowned professional graffiti artist, was the one of the most incredible people we’ve met in Guatemala.  His passion, creativity, and genuine love for not only his work, but Guatemala is inspiring.  The dude spent all morning with us and wouldn’t accept a tip.  I can’t tell you what an amazing experience we had on Friday. We think (daughter) got stung by a scorpion on the way home.  It traveled with us all the way back to Ohio! I wanted you to know that we were taken so very great care of the entire trip.  It was flawless.  Everyone was where he/she was supposed to be at the correct times.

South Indian adventure

I want to thank you for all the thoughtfulness that went into our amazing South Indian adventure. We have a friend who knows a photographer and writer, Stephen Huyler, who seems to be the only person , in our circle, that has been to Chetinad, and is a
regular guest at Chidambara Vilas. It was a thrill to be a guest in this magnificent home.
Our guide and out driver made our visit the first 6 days of our trip all the more special. While professional to a fault, (guide) made us feel like family as we travel the lonely roads of Chettinad looking for the perfect Chettinar mansion to visit. She is so well informed and discussed the local customs, history, cuisine, religion, architecture and arts with great enthusiasm. She was a real pleasure to spend our time with.


(Driver) was the only man behind the wheel that we would have trusted to navigate the mountain road coming down from Periyar in a monsoon storm! On that, we could not have been more charmed by the accommodation at Spice Village. Upon arrival, I asked if it was possible to stay in Sir Paul McCartney’s cottage. The manager, surprised and with a knowing smile, wanted to know how we knew about it, only to book us into the secluded cottage. It was the perfect place to read and listen to the rain as it came down during our stay there. (Being from So.Cal. where it never rains, it was a real treat for us.)


Upon check-out we told the manager that there could be some changes to their web site as it doesn’t begin to explain the property or the delicious meals that they served us while there.


Our drive down to Kerala was ambitious and we arrived in heavy rains as we boarded our houseboat for our backwaters tour. Because of the weather, we were not able to go into the small channels, but went straight out on to the lake. The crew fixed us a beautiful lunch, and we took a nap in the comfortable cabin. The captain was a very personable man, and when we told him at dinner not to give us too much food, he smiled and said that whatever we did not eat, his crew would finish! A great experience!


I don’t think we have to tell you what an amazing experience the Falaknuma was. I have clients who had been “In Residence” some years back, and told me about the carriage ride up to the Palace.  (We) are completely into granting ones fantasies, so when we got off the houseboat in Kerala, we emerged in linen suites, ready to be received by the palace Livery.
I guess it pays to play the part, because we were certainly treated like royalty. The general manager greeted us after the first day asking us how we were enjoying our stay and seeing that we were utilizing spa, asked if the hotel could pick up our next spa treatments. We were also treated to dinner, compliments of the Palace in the Nizam’s dining room, 101, for a very special meal served by our butler.


We also had a very informative day in the Palace Library with the Librarian who selected books for us as we had requested knowing more about the Nizam and his environs. (On our walk with the Historian, champagne included, we told him that we had looked on the internet for information about what the Palace had looked like when the Princess opened the doors after 40 years and who was with her. Of course it was him, and they encountered wild dogs and poisonous snakes! (We hung on every word!)


After a rose-petal departure, we returned to Kochi and the delightful guide! Having arrived later that we thought, (guide) had his work cut out for him as we commenced on a walking tour of the Fort. He was very well informed about the politics and the culture of the region and we gleaned a tremendous amount of information from him in the short time we were in Kochi. It was all the more challenging by the fact that while in India, we were on a shopping trip for our business, and stopped to look at some earrings for a client. Not finding what we needed, (guide) took us to a place that not only had what we were looking for, but we spent another hour with the merchant as well. Needless to say, this made out sunset walk on the promenade into a adventure in the night market, complete with (guide)’s iPhone flashlight app to light the way.  Entering Broyntan Boatyards room for the first time around 8:30 p.m. we changed our clothes and enjoyed a very creative meal in the Historic Restaurant. After we finished a whirlwind day and it was off to bed, a very comfortable bed indeed, for a 3 a.m. departure. Our driver, I am sorry his name escapes us, was terrific and got us to the airport on time for our flight to Hong Kong.


In conclusion, we were so happy to be working with (agency) and Big Five, the two completely got the theme of our South Indian Dream and we will never forget both of your thoughtfulness in the planning.  10,000 Thanks


Life Changing

(Clients) had an incredible time on their trip. You did an amazing job and made “trip of a lifetime” possible for this wonderful family. Thanks so much for all of your effort to make this booking a huge success. They are already looking into another trip for next year to the Middle East and I will send you the request.

On another note, the school visit was truly life-changing for them. I could not have made this possible without you and your expertise. They called me yesterday wanting to know if it would be possible to provide desks for the teacher and students and how they would go about doing this. I think they had already talked to one of the contacts that was with them about this possibility. Is there someone you can put them in touch with or can Big Five assist with this? I know this is asking a lot but I’m trying to help them – they really want to help the school.  Let me know what you think.


Thank you again – I will certainly contact Big Five for all future Africa programs!