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“Used then for a city tour of Quito and Otavalo--not impressed”

Metropolitan Touring
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We are Ecuador's leading tour operator, with over 64 years experience in travel. We own and operate three boats in the Galapagos Islands as well as one hotel. Our holding group also owns Casa Gangotena in Quito and Mashpi Lodge in the cloudforests northwest of the capital. We are also a regional company with offices in Peru and Colombia.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed March 21, 2014

We came to Ecuador for the Galapagos and booked through a different company. Our company offered Quito tour extensions (half day tour of Quito and a full day tour of Otavalo). We didn't know what company they were booking through until we got here. I wish we would have used TA and just booked ourselves. A couple of the many disappointing things include:
1-We received no information about the tours ahead of time. I had to work really hard to find out what time I was supposed to meet the guide on the morning of the tour. When the guide picked us up the details of the tour (length of time, etc) was all new information to us. She asked us -- didn't Metropolitan send you anything? At least a map? Nope.
2-The guide really makes it or breaks is. Our guide was only OK. We also had her for both tours, which was disappointing. She didn't really have any passion for Quito and it felt like she was reading a script when she told us about things. Also, she would leave out really key pieces of information so a lot was unclear. We would sometimes have enough information to ask a question that would help to clarify the explanation. But, if we didn't we were out of luck.
3-It really felt cheap. For example, the half day tour was only 3 hours, including a 20ish min drive from new town to the first thing. The guide kept saying, oh, there is so much to see in Quito and would then rattle off a bunch of things that I couldn't keep track of. If there is so much they could make it an actual half day tour (which seems more like 4-5 hours) or at the very least give you a piece of paper with the top attractions, a map that includes them, and some information that would help you find these things on your own. On top of this, each tour started 5 min late and ended 5 min early.

Overall, we just really felt they could have done better.

1  Thank kangaroo2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dominic_Hamilton, Public Relations Manager at Metropolitan Touring, responded to this reviewResponded March 25, 2014

Dear past guest,

Many thanks for taking the time to give us your candid feedback about our services. We are disappointed that your time in our care wasn't up to our high standards, and apologise if you felt that the quality of the organization of the tour and the guiding wasn't as you expected.
We would like you to know that we have looked into your case and have resolved the following:
a) we will revise the operations organization and processes for extensions to tours such as yours, so that all guests have all the information they need at all times.
b) we will take your complaint to the guide concerned and ensure that she improves certain aspects of her guiding in the future. She is a guide of long-standing with the company and this is the first time she has received any negative feedback - something we take very seriously.
c) we are reviewing the literature that we give guests (as per your suggestion of a map and/or 'top attractions") and thank you for your feedback.
d) we have recently worked on several new tours of the city of Quito which we feel give guests a more profound and stimulating experience of the historic centre, in particular. We are confident these will improve the overall satisfaction of our guests.
As a gesture of good faith, we would like to extend a complimentary city tour for two - "Live Quito Like a Local" that we have recently developed - in the event that you wish to return to Ecuador, or if you have a friend or family member who is travelling to the country in the near future.
Again, thank you for your valuable response which helps us to take corrective measures and ensure everyone comes away from our country as its ambassador for the future.
Sincerely,

Dominic Hamilton
Head of Communication - Metropolitan Touring - dhamilton@metropolitan-touring.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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221 - 225 of 291 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2014

I took a the M/V Santa Cruise in October 2013, which is a fine ship and cruise, and stayed at the Finch Bay Hotel, an attractive hotel, for a night afterwards. However, it is worth pressing on exactly what you are getting before confirming a trip with Metropolitan:

1) I learned about Metropolitan Tours because I was traveling with my nine year old daughter and looking for a Galapagos cruise that had a program geared for children. Metropolitan markets the M/V Santa Cruz as "a particularly good option for families wishing to visit the islands, with it’s variety of accommodation and special children's activities...the 'Young Pirates' program, for 6-12 year olds, makes sure children have a fun time whilst allowing adults some free time. There are special children's menus, earlier meal times and children's activities including handicrafts, Galapagos movies, puzzles and stargazing.” Unfortunately, once on board I discovered -- possibly because of the season -- no such program existed. I asked repeatedly about the program and was assured that someone would take care of it. When I showed the above description of the program to ship staff, they acted surprised. Finally, on the third night of a four night cruise, I was contacted and told that a hurriedly arranged short session would be made available for children in the library on the following afternoon. That was it. This bore no resemblance to the promised activities.
2) I enquired about staying in the Galapagos an additional day and was recommended to stay at the Finch Bay Hotel, which is owned by Metropolitan. I asked about the distance to the airport and was told it was about an hour. When I saw an itinerary that suggested I would need to be transferred first to the airport before getting picked up to go to the Finch Bay I called Metropolitan and was assured this was a mistake. When my assistant sent an email a similar answer was given. In fact, from the where the boat docked, transport to the Finch Bay entailed two busses, two boats and a car, much of it on public transportation. The journey would be over two hours in total in total time even if we didn’t need to wait for the Finch Bay representative to collect others on arriving flights at the airport. We obviously would not have undertaken this ordeal to spend a few hours at the Finch Bay if we had simply been told the truth about what was involved and the time it would take.

3) When I sent an email to Metropolitan detailing these complaints on returning to the US, I received no response whatsoever

3  Thank jonathan k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

When booking a trip to Aruba from Ecuador, the personnel of Metropolitan Touring did not book our reservation at n the Riu Hotel and we had to spend hours begging for a room. We had paid for this trip two months in advance and found ourselves at the merci of the people from Riu to place us somewhere!!!!!! Horrible experience!!!!! Not the first time either!

1  Thank Cecilia1014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

Our experience with Metropolitan was wonderful, from start to finish. The helpful staff helped guide us through the Quito airport, over to the Galapagos, where we met Valentin, our excellent guide. We took three excursions - North Seymour and South Plaza islands by boat and the Charles Darwin Research Center. The trips were unforgettable and comfortable, accompanied by a delicious lunch prepared and served on board. When my wife got seasick on one of the trips, Valentin could not have been more caring, checking in on us and helping guide us through the experience. We had to leave most of our luggage in the care of Metropolitan and the Finch Bay hotel when we flew over to Isabella island. We were nervous but did not have to be - our luggage arrived at Baltra airport, on time, and ready for our flight home.

Thank jejharrington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dominic_Hamilton, Public Relations Manager at Metropolitan Touring, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2014

Many thanks for your kind words about our operation and about your experience in the Galapagos. It's great to know you had such a good time and appreciated our company's efforts. We'll be sure to pass on your review to everyone concerned. Thanks!

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Reviewed February 23, 2014

We were recommended La Pinta by friends and our 7 day trip exceeded all expectations. The boat was very comfortable with large cabins. The size ( max 48 people but visits to islands/snorkelling etc were in small groups of 8 to 10) worked very well. Not too large or too small. A cosmopolitan mix of passengers from all continents. Food excellent and plentiful. The guides were outstanding, friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and sensitive to passengers needs. The perfect cruise to see the wonders of the Galapagos.

4  Thank Steve t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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