Where do I begin... We booked our flights in June of 2012 for our trip in May of 2013. Then I started researching for a tour company that could offer us what we wanted for a small group tour for about 10 days. I came upon COS (City of Sultans) and decided based on all the wonderful reviews that we would get what we wanted from them. We had 2 days on our own in Istanbul when we transferred over to the tour hotel. The hotel was lovely and in a great location ( the Aprilis Hotel) , staff were excellent, good simple fare for breakfast. Our guide Eren Bolek picked us up and took us about for the 2 days of scheduled sites. He is a lovely fellow who is very knowledgable about the historical places we visited. If he chats about a hamam he goes to, go, run as fast as you can there with him. It is lovely!
After our 2 days here we were flown off to Kayseri to make our way to the Cappadocia area. We were to stay at the Peri Tower Hotel but there was a change and we stayed at the Dedeman Hotel instead. I will say it was mediocre at best and upon speaking with COS they were apologetic and rectified the situation as best they could. Cappadocia was a highlight of the trip at this point and our guide Bayrum was very pleasant and well informed. We also experienced some transport issues but City of Sultans upgraded us to a private driver/guide for the rest of tour . Now at this point we were a little concerned that there were too many changes and although all the challenges had been met with speedily resolve we hoped for the rest of the tour to be uneventful.
This was not to be, on our departure from Cappadocia we were driving towards Konya when a car ran a stop sign and we were involved in a very bad car accident. This accident was not our drivers fault. I sustained scrapes bruises and whiplash while sister suffered a lateral fractured sternum , broken ribs and bruising .So this is where COS and their staff sprang into action. We had 2 staff from the City of Sultans Cappadocia office drive 2 hours to Konya from Nevsehir to be in attendance at the hospital since our guide Esra was injured as well. These 2 reps stayed with us in emergency until well after we were admitted . You would now think we would then be left but not forgotten , you would expect some contact, phone calls etc, offers to help here and there. This too was not to be. The COS Istanbul office dispatched Charlie to us. He arrived at 10 at night without even a toothbrush. He took over, sent me off to a very lovely hotel nearby while he stayed on a chair in my sisters room for the night. This allowed me some recupe time for my injuries. My sister spent 3 nights , 4 days in hospital and the routine never varied, for me that is. I did the day shifts and Charlie did the nights but he also did all the running around during the day for tests, translating, getting international SIM cards and only ate when he could, the list is endless.
Finally after 4 days we were cleared to leave and Charlie was able to get us a flight to Istanbul. Charlie returned with us. They arranged for us to stay a the Aprilis Hotel again and it was perfect. We had 4 days left to regroup and rest before we would catch our flight home. This too was not to be, the insurance company required further medical reports for the airline in order to allow us to travel. Once again COS stepped up, Charlie picked us up in a lovely vehicle and drove us to a hospital, we were met there by Ozgur Ates, the Managing Director for MTI of which COS is a subsidiary. These 2 stayed with us, took care of translating and made sure we got the care and attention and well as the paperwork required to proceed onto a flight home. They returned us to our hotel and they stayed for the results, Faxed and scanned them off to the insurance company. They have organized another trip to hospital for our day of departure to get a required injection that is needed for my sister to fly and are taking us to the airport and making sure everything goes smoothly for us. They and the company has made sure we have had nothing to worry about at all except the expected concerns for our health.
Now, was this the holiday we planned, No way! Would we have wanted anyone else in our corner through out this ordeal , Not a chance! We could not have anticipated the extent , expense and care and attention that City of Sultans have done for us. We were treated like royalty and experienced a truly unbelievable act of kindness . We were made to feel that we were family and treated as such .
This is quite a lengthy review, more like a story but it needed to be told. IF you are wondering if City of Sultans is the tour company for you then do not fear, the tours are great but when it got tough because life threw us a curve ball then they were there and that is something you can't decide by a price tag or by whats on an itinerary. And as a final note to Charlie, you were a treasure, always accommodating, never a grumble. you made it all happen and we could never had done it all without you. you are AWESOME ! Final words to all "travel safe out there!"
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