Customer reviews: Holidays in North Africa and the Mediterranean
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop and, where necessary, improve our services and ensure our all holidays continue to be the best they can be.
Eveyone who travels with Headwater will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assesment of all aspects of their all holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their all holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
By Mrs Merry on 28/11/2016
Excellent service from start to finish. Quality accommodation. Gozo was a lovely island & we managed to explore every inch with the information provided.
By Ms Hamilton on 11/11/2016
Hotel Ta Cenc was a massive disappointment and does not provide anywhere near the 5 star classification and is generally grubby with poor attendance and hospitality. Hotel Kempinski is more like the standard expected in hospitality, service facilities and efficiency as expected from a five star rating.
We expected a quite island for cycling in Gozo but it really is quite and urban spread with some heavy traffic that are not appreciative of cyclists ad pedestrians. Our pick up driver to Gozo (a local) was rude drove very fast in roads that needed much more caution especially with cyclists, pedestrians and moreover children. Footpaths are not consistent hence the need for caution. It must have been one of our worst paid for private transfer!
By Mrs Smith on 11/11/2016
A lovely holiday apart from the Rep. She did not understand what headwater holidays involved at all and was only interested in promoting what she could book.
By Mr Lay on 11/11/2016
5 star hotel rating is over generous, though location is superb. Lounge, multiple pool facilities, and ambience are good. Plumbing is of sixties origin and need upgrading. Food of good quality and well presented. Al fresco eating would be unpleasant if you had a cat phobia, though indoor dining was always available. Hotel courtesy bus proved very useful and was complemented the excellent public service buses. Walking was enjoyable and not too strenuous. As birds were migrating, finch hunting was evident on most clifftop walks prompting frequent shot gun blasts and diversions round bird netting traps. Overall a good location for walking with a variety of routes and places to visit. .
By Mr Carr on 31/10/2016
An ideal way to explore the country at a relaxed pace. You'll stay at a mix of hotels all with their own individual highlights and character. All very friendly.
By Rev Rees on 13/06/2016
A wonderful mix of relaxation and activity on the walking/ cycling holiday. Everything was well organised and we thought the hotel in Ta Cenc was fantastic. Gozo is definitely a place to go back to.
By Mr Bauld on 03/06/2016
Gozo & Malta, a great combination for peace & tranquility & great walking opportunities in Gozo at Ta Cenc plus all contrasting attractions of Malta!
By Ms Coates on 03/06/2016
Walking with confidence and accommodation with comfort.
By Mr Page on 18/05/2016
Cycling tougher then expected because of strong winds on most days and volume of traffic. The write up suggested a Gozo that disappeared a while ago but a cycle way round the island is being developed. Hotels lovely and distances appropriate, terrain tough in places because of
steep hills and strong winds
By Mr Price on 04/05/2016
Everybody very helpful
By Mr Emms on 28/04/2016
really nice holiday but the food at the Kempinski trattoria was really poor- all freezer to fryier type bought in concoctions with nothing on the menu that appeared to have been bought in fresh and we really struggled to choose anything we would wish to eat. On the other hand the cocktails there were excellent!
By Mrs Dick on 28/04/2016
Gozo was an unexpected delight but because of its small size the cycling is VERY limited. We added on a day in Valetta which was lovely.
By Mrs Jennings on 26/04/2016
Walking notes were excellent, the hotel was very comfortable if maybe a little formal for us. We had no problems getting around the island but it was very windy while we were there and some of the cliff edge walks were a little scary
By Ms Burrow on 18/04/2016
Gozo is rather small to provide long enough cycle rides. We did not expect wind and would have found it helpful to be told about how windy it can be. It was a lovely holiday with enough variety to keep us interested. The Cornucopia food was very disappointing and the breakfasts unappealing.
By Mrs Simpson on 18/04/2016
Very comfortable accommodation. Good walking. Quiet. Excellent bus service from outside hotel to all parts of island. Suited us well for relaxing walking break.
By Mr Sargent on 23/03/2016
Gozo was an enjoyable destination but rather limited for a seven day visit in comparison to some of your other holidays.
By Mrs Monk on 23/03/2016
very well organised. Routes for walking and cycling ensured that all the items of interest were covered on this small island. Wonderful hotels.
By Ms Day on 21/03/2016
A very enjoyable holiday, that matched our expectations derived from the description of it in the brochure.
By Mrs Quant on 16/03/2016
The hotel was excellent - beautiful surroundings and facilities. The food was varied and plentiful and you were spoilt for choice with local dishes included. The staff were very friendly and Gozo is a lovely unspoilt place where you felt safe to walk in the countryside and enjoy the wonderful scenery. It was a place to relax and unwind. The walking routes took you through a lot of different scenarios and gave options to visit sites of interest.
By Mr Butler on 16/03/2016
Nice hotel with friendly staff. Coastal walking was good. Some of the walks involved long stretches on road, and although there is not much traffic, this is quite tiring.
By Mr Hawley on 15/03/2016
Gozo is a great place to cycle; the people are very friendly, the food and wine great and there is much to see. You might like to include a side trip when you are going through Munxar on your way to Sannat. Take the road to the Sanat Cliffs as you leave Munxar. The road is new and rises gently for about a Km. Wonderful views of the Sanat Cliffs and across to Xlendi Bay. Retrace your way back to Munxar and continue on to Sannat and the Hotel Te Cenc. It is possible to walk from the cliffs directly to Sannat on a track, but we did not try cycling the tract.
By Mr McNab on 09/03/2016
Gozo is a small island but packed with interest. We loved the Hotel Ta Cenc, its architecture, location, friendly service and very good food. The walks were excellent and took us from quiet villages to fantastic coastlines through terraced valleys. It was sunny and mild and just what we needed after a very wet and very windy winter..
By Dr Blain on 11/01/2016
Gozo is a great destination for some winter sunshine offering good opportunities to cycle and walk both inland and by the sea. The quality of the bikes was particularly good.
By Mrs Simms on 14/12/2015
Holiday was well organised by helpful staff. Flexibility on departure airport is a big plus.
By Mrs Furlong on 01/12/2015
Overall a very well thought out holiday, allowing us to cover most of the island of Gozo. Generally good food and comfortable hotels.
By Mr Kirby on 27/11/2015
The Es Saadi hotel was excellent but suffered from road noise if the room was at the front, the food was good but with poor portion sizes, the Karam Palace hotel was good, slightly noisy, the buffet dinner lacked variety, the Palais Asmaa hotel is in need of some renovation, the food OK but nothing special. The walks were as described except for the 7 1/2 mile from Amizmiz which started with a long up hill drag and finished with a steep down hill over very rough ground, not good with tired legs.
By Mr Smith on 27/11/2015
It was a very enjoyable holiday with a good mix of walking, culture, fantastic scenery and relaxation time.
By Mrs Tomlin on 17/11/2015
walking instructions need to be precise but overall an excellent experience; well arranged and high quality.
By Mr Elcome on 16/10/2015
Although Ta Cenc is a lovely hotel with a great location it cannot be really classified as a typical 5 star/top of the range hotel; the bedrooms/bathrooms are rather dated, there are not staff always available to help/advise. We had to search for things rather than them being provided. Hotel staff were friendly, the food particularly the breakfast buffet and in the restaurant (il Cantra) at the beach were excellent. Having stayed in a number of 5 star hotels this isn't one. However, we really enjoyed ourselves at the hotel and had no complaints.
Gozo was a lovely surprise (the lovely weather helped!) with pretty villages, friendly people and a very efficient bus service. However, overall there is too much walking on roads; we recommend that people use the buses to avoid some of this (a 15 euro pass for 12 trips was great value and we could use it on Malta) There are also additional walks we were told about including one of the best walks we did from Gharb up to the coast and then along to Marsalforn which is part of the coastal walk; there is a brochure called the Gozo coastal walk - perhaps George could have told us a bit more about where to get bus passes, other walks and local information and a bit more about the hotel. Whilst pleasant we had the impression he has done it so many times before he has become a bit stale!
On Malta the Phoenicia is a great location; it has a 5 star appearance but the breakfast buffet wasn't as tasty as Ta Cenc; the serving staff, while many of them, were not too attentive to our needs. It did not have the same friendly feel as the Ta Cenc - there was no personal feel, they were going through the motions rather than making any real effort.
If you want any clarification of the above please let me know; hopefully this 'summary' adds a bit of colour to the ratings above. Overall we all had a really great time and would recommend it to anyone but people need to know what to and what not to expect.
By Mrs Hunter on 13/10/2015
Gozo was lovely for cycling and walking - people were helpful and friendly. Hotel facilities were excellent otherwise and staff very helpful.
By Mr Latham on 13/10/2015
Gozo is a lovely location. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the island and will likely visit again to see more. We'd be unlikely to stay at Hotel Ta Cenc again though ...
Hotel service was a mixed bag - front desk were ok, bar/restaurant were good, housekeeping were good.
Room was poor. Mould on the walls and a very strong smell of damp which was reported to reception but they were unable to do anything and there was no offer of an alternative room. Our clothes smelled of the damp by the end of the week as well. The kettle leaked, and was replaced. A leg fell off the bed, and was promptly repaired by staff. The room and hotel in general was tired-looking and really needs some TLC.
Food in the main hotel restaurant was ok, but we needed a change after about 3 or 4 days. Breakfasts were very good, though. Make sure you try the honey rings!! An evening meal at the Kantra restaurant was excellent, despite the stormy weather.
Charging for wifi in the rooms feels like nickel and diming the customers in the 21st century.
By Rev Pearson on 06/10/2015
A lovely way to get to know a charming island, in a luxurious hotel. Gozo is easy to navigate around and the paths have been upgraded recently. A very enjoyable and relaxing holiday.
By Mr Bell on 06/10/2015
Lovely hotel on the beautiful island of Gozo. Natives very friendly!
By Ms Morgan on 25/09/2015
I love Headwater but his route was not good. Maybe the person putting the walks and cycles together did not have English as a first language? Gradients were misleading. For the fist time with Headwater we were lost every walk and cycle.\misleading instructions like 'at the open room' or' at the rock kernel' - whathatat does that mean?. A simple right or left would have helped!
The map details George gave us were dates 2007 - las updated.
Happy to help. Send us out again and we will re write for you so others can follow....just and idea.
By Mr Gould on 25/09/2015
Gozo has an excellent climate, rocky terrain, welcoming people, lovely island for walking, but sadly short of sea swimming places.
By Mrs Campling on 23/09/2015
Headwater take the pressure of organising your holiday off you and have never disappointed us in their attention to detail.
By Dr Gompertz on 15/09/2015
A great holiday.. enjoyable as other HW holidays we have had!.
A little too hot...perhaps we should have waited for 2 weeks later in September.
By Ms Griffin on 14/09/2015
September is a poor choice for a walking holiday on Gozo. The interior is typically very hot and humid and the landscape very dry and baron. There are few trees on the island and the sun beats down on you all day. The coast is lovely and there was, at times, a small breeze, but most of the suggested walking routes are not coastal. We were told by locals that the landscape is lovely and green, with lots of wildflowers, around May,and the temperatures more suitable for walking. Ta Cenc is a comfortable hotel but more like a -4 star hotel, rather than a 5 star.
By Ms Marshall on 24/06/2015
Gozo is a little gem and the cycling there was a great experience, if a little bumpy, and windy, at times. The holiday would have been perfect if it had included a couple of nights in Valetta at the end, not added on, but included. It was strange, only doing 6 nights. Or, start in Valetta, sight-seeing, then relaxing on lovely Gozo. The hotels may have Maltese star ratings, not ours. Ta Cenc should be 4-star, the Cornucopia only 3, but the Kempinski 5, as you would expect. They were all so different though, and it was great to stay in them all.
By Ms Stewart on 17/06/2015
Wonderful weather, hotels and food. However, the route guides were occasionally confusing, which meant we could not relax as easily as we have on other holidays. It would be more helpful if the route guides gave clearer and precise instructions. Too often there was interesting but ultimately superfluous information. Additional descriptions could be in brackets. Breaking down the instructions and numbering them or bulleting them would also be clearer, rather than a paragraph of prose, mixing description with instructions. It would be useful to always have distances between decision points. Sometimes it was impossible to know if you had missed a significant building and were on the wrong track because it was difficult to know if it was just around the corner or half a mile away.
By Mr Bauld on 17/06/2015
Excellent. We enjoyed the combination of great walks during our peaceful relaxing stay at Ta Cenc on Gozo and our extra nights at the Phoenicia enabling us to explore the fascinating city of Valletta.
By Mrs Moran on 15/06/2015
It was a very relaxing holiday and the Ta Cenc hotel was fabulous.
By Mr Fennell on 28/05/2015
A very enjoyable experience overall; the hotel is very comfortable and the food is first class, but some of the directions for walking in the quarry areas in the west of the island are wrong or inadequately explained, so some trial and error was involved.
By Mrs McGoldrick on 21/05/2015
The holiday was great and we would go back to Gozo.
We did have some difficulties with the directions, they were not always as clear as they could be. We have been on walking holidays with Headwater before and have found the directions fairly easy to follow.
By Mr Mitchell on 18/05/2015
Delightful walking week in very pleasant hotel.
By Ms Elliott on 13/05/2015
This was the first holiday of this type that we have taken. I have had some health issues so was concerned that this might be a problem, but there was complete flexibility regarding which walks we could do, and the grading of the walks was so accurate, that this simply wasn't an issue. The hotel was really lovely, the briefing from our holiday rep was extremely useful, and all the travel arrangements worked perfectly. We are very impressed and are hoping to be able to take another holiday with Headwater in the Autumn.
By Mr Goodall on 13/05/2015
lovely hotel, beautiful location and scenery, reasonably demanding walks.
By Mr Edwards on 07/05/2015
The holiday was well planned and organised but, because we were in one hotel, we had the flexibility to change the order of the walks to suit ourselves. This meant no pressure to be at a certain place by a certain time - very relaxing.
By Mrs Poynter on 25/04/2015
Excellent well organised holiday
By Mrs Tuck on 20/04/2015
Excellent holiday, Gozo in the spring is a great place to have a walking holiday. The hotel is first class, very welcoming and good service and food
By Mrs O'Hare on 13/04/2015
An opportunity to get close to the spirit of Gozo, travelling slowly under your own steam. This is not a holiday for cyclists who want to cover great distances, since the hotels are close together and the island is tiny. Nor is it suitable for novices, despite the 1-bike rating - we felt this was perhaps not appropriate, since although distances are small the tracks and even roads are rough and gradients can be steep. But it is a hugely enjoyable way of seeing all kinds of things in depth, and the hotels are really well chosen. We would recommend extra time at the Ta' Cenc since one night on arrival and one night before departure don't really give you time to do justice to the surroundings or hotel facilities. We booked an additional five nights at the Hotel Phoenicia in Malta and while this was a very different and more conventional few days, we really enjoyed this too. There is so much to see, do and absorb in Malta and the Phoenicia is perfectly located by the City Gate and bus station in Valletta to make it easy to get around. We would like to give a particular mention to the friendliness of the Maltese and all the hotel staff.
By Mr Crook on 09/04/2015
Much prefer guided walking holidays - I could have put together this package myself.We got lost a few times as the island is very well signposted and it would help if there was a few suggestions where you could go to the toilet and eat/drink.On one of the walks it should be emphasised you need to take a packed lunch.The hotel though excellent in many ways had dinner too late[7pm onwards] which meant you couldnt go anywhere else say for a folk evening or pub quiz because they started about 7.30.As the hotel didn't have anything on in the evenings unless you missed dinner[which we did] you were a bit trapped at the hotel.The rep didn't make any suggestions as to what was on in other locations - the pub quiz on Friday in Xlendi was really good and there are some excellent restaurants there to eat.
By Mrs Hayes on 18/03/2015
I felt we were well looked after by Headwater staff and those in the hotels we stayed in.
By Ms Smith on 13/03/2015
Very well organised, most enjoyable holiday!
By Mr Cunnah on 02/03/2015
It was as described and very well organised and thought through
By Mr Grimshaw on 09/12/2014
Fabulous holiday taken at last minute. Winter sunshine and incredible scenery made Gozo a big delight. Loved the easy leisurely way of life and the friendliness of all Gozitians was amazing.
By Mr Smith on 28/11/2014
A very good week's walking with opportunities to see the culture and history of Gozo, whilst accommodated in a comfortable hotel of good standard. The local people are most welcoming and helpful. The only dark cloud is the continuance of the Maltese habit of shooting small songbirds, which is no longer necessary 'for the pot'. Any open area is blighted by the presence of pathetic looking men in camouflage clothing, sheltering in stone hides, waiting to shoot small birds trapped on the ground by their wires and nets, using large bore shotguns. The sporting etiquette of only shooting a bird that is flying, and thus requiring some skill, most certainly does not apply! Walkers must be continually aware of wires that stray across footpaths and the potential field of fire from these hides.
Dear Mr Smith,
Thank you for taking the time to write in with your feedback. It was lovely to see that you enjoyed your week in Gozo, taking in the sights and sounds this unique region has to offer .We were also sorry to read of the upset the bird shooting caused you and Mrs Smith. Please be assured that we have passed on your comments to our local agent and have asked them to highlight your feedback to the necessary governing body in Gozo.
By Mr Balme on 26/11/2014
Ta Cenc was a lovely friendly hotel with good food. Beautiful situation. We had a Trullo room lovely.
Kempinski was very proud of itself, tried a bit hard in some ways. The chef had left and we had 2 meals that were raw not medium cooked ( slow cooked duck and slow cooked lamb). The waiter told us that the kitchen staff were managing without him, we wondered!!
By Mrs Henderson on 03/11/2014
A brilliantly planned holiday made even better by our exceptional guide, Rachid, who spoke excellent English, gave us just the right amount of information, answered all our questions and was genuinely friendly, kind, caring and had a very good sense of humour. We felt it was especially important in a country like Morocco to have the way smoothed by the guide in places such as markets, cafes and hotels. Abdul, our driver, was also excellent - very careful, cheerful and reassuring throughout. We were very lucky to have such a good group. By chance seven out of the eleven of us were involved in the visual arts!
By Mrs Blake on 03/11/2014
Disappointed because Headwater had informed us that an area (the Kantra bay and cafÃ©) would be unavailable because of filming - only to arrive and get message that whole swathes of land were inaccessible and our Day 1 walk wasn't possible. (We were able to walk the start of the route, but then had to turn around.) Film unit security was spread across a wide area from close to the hotel, and we were challenged regularly by security personnel if we got anywhere near to the unit. We hadn't been given to understand that the restrictions would be so all-enveloping. We believe filming will continue until November.
By Mrs Newman on 29/10/2014
We were a little worried that Gozo would be rather limited due to its size but the cycling was excellent and there were lots of uphills to stretch us. We added additional excursions into the suggested routes to make the cycling days a little longer. The hotels were superb and it was lovely to come back to a welcoming choice of pools at the end of each day. Only niggle would be the variable availability of the internet - except at the Kepinski which had excellent coverage.
By Mis Baldwin on 22/10/2014
The only issue we had was with the vegetarin food selection at the Kempinski hotel. The selection for vegetarians was very poor, most of the resturnats were closed while we were there and the vegetarian selection in the open resturants was vey restricted. We found ourselves ordering food we didn't really like because it was the only vegetarin choice on the menu. Very disappointing. The food and staff at the Ta Cenc were fantastic though. We were treated better than the meat eaters. We could have anything of either the daily special menu or the a - la - carte menu and they offered to cook us anything we wanted if we told them in the morning what we fancied. There was no need to do this however as the food was the best I have ever had in any hotel I have stayed at.
By Mr MacKenzie on 01/10/2014
Well organised, lovely hotel and location. Good well described walks. Very good holiday. Thoroughly recommended.
By Mr Marroney on 01/10/2014
Walking in Gozo is almost too good to share. By turns breathtaking (cliffs) and relaxing. Returning to Ta Cenc every day was bliss.
By Mr Morgan on 17/06/2014
Well organised with in-depth knowledge of the island
By Mrs Turnbull on 12/06/2014
Gozo was a great island to explore on foot. The local bus service was excellent and buying a weekly ticket was excellent value. The walks along the cliff tops were spectacular. The hotel was lovely and the pools a perfect place to relax aftrea days walking.
By Mrs Reynard on 09/06/2014
A good mix of exploration and relaxation, cycling is a brilliant way to explore Gozo.
By Mrs Hayes on 05/06/2014
this was wonderful holiday based in an amazing hotel with superb facilities
By Mr Pilgrim on 04/06/2014
Arrangements were excellent and the hotels on Gozo were outstanding.
By Mrs Duncan on 03/06/2014
Can trust the organisation and information
By Mrs Bryan on 29/05/2014
Fabulous hotel with excellent facilities, food and staff. Gozo is great for walking as it is so small. Beautiful views and lovely wild flowers. The bus service is excellent and very cheap - a weekly season ticket is only 6 euros 50. Very good comprehensive walking notes which were usually very clear, but we did have a couple of incidents where they could have been better explained. Our boat trip to Comino was great - the Blue lagoon is beautiful.
By Ms Thomson on 27/05/2014
Gozo is a delightful little island with beautiful scenery and flowers. Ta Cenc was a totally relaxing place to be and the staff were excellent.
By Mrs McQuin on 21/05/2014
Beautiful setting, no hidden extras, peaceful.
By Mrs Gittins on 15/05/2014
A relaxing cycle holiday with short distances but rather hilly. Hotels superb with lovely pools and relaxation areas.
By Dr Walsh atkins on 28/04/2014
Was not sent any walking notes which was a problem. Hotel had none and Rep-George- in his 60 second briefing- was uninterested in this. After some nagging he sent me some notes-but they mainly concerned the cycling holiday based in another hotel which with 24 km cycles etc was not that much use. Sorted myself out eventually as I managed to get hold of a good map which had good walking routes linked to bus routes which was great. Hotel excellent and travel arrangements fine.
By Mr Drew on 16/04/2014
We had a refreshing, relaxing time. It's great to be able to rely on the directions, and to arrive at two luxurious hotels at the end of a day of fresh air and sunshine.
By Mrs Tulloch on 16/04/2014
Gozo definitely worth visiting.
By Mrs Preshaw on 14/04/2014
One of the best walking holidays we have had. Easy route notes to follow which took us to every corner of a small island using good local buses to get us to and from the walks which did not start or finish at the hotel. We were based at a superb luxury hotel with a fantastic relaxed atmosphere with superb views of Malta and bedrooms in a fantastic garden setting and overlooking the pool. The friendly staff and the service they gave were in a class of their own as was the breakfast buffet and the choice of dishes for dinner each evening was also excellent.
By Mr Dodds on 12/04/2014
We found Gozo quite charming and we believe we visited at just the right time of year - we do not think we would go any later because the holiday was enchanting principally because of the spring flowers and scenery at this time of year . Also the hotel was probably just sufficiently busy but not overcrowded which it might well be later in the year . The principal attractions of spring flowers, easy walking , friendly people and an excellent hotel made for a memorable 7 days
By Mr Bailey on 06/04/2014
Really well operated and organised.
By Dr McClean on 28/03/2014
We were looking for a more relaxing walking holiday and this was perfect. We have had many holidays with headwater and the standard is always good. I have introduced friends to this company.
By Ms Wager on 26/03/2014
Gozo is a lovely unspoilt Island - very green with lots of wild flowers in early spring.
The Ta Cenc Hotel has a wonderful location. The staff are very friendly and helpful.
All in all a most enjoyable weeks holiday
By Dr Banks on 26/03/2014
Ta cenc was a lovely hotel, very comfortable, big rooms, good food, friendly and helpful staff. Walks in Gozo were beautiful around the cliffs and through the valleys but some of the road walking was less pleasant and unavoidable.
By Mr Grant on 25/03/2014
The hotels suffered from grade inflation - they were 4* (in Marrakech) and 3* for the others. At the El Saadi we had no cooling in our room even though the outside temperature was 32 degees C on arrival. At the Karam Palace one night we had no hot water and the loo leaked. All hotels had cool swimming pools only usable by the hardy. Breakfast was poor at the Karam Palace and at the Palais Asmaa (but there are probable no better alternative hotels to use in Ouarzazate or Zagora). Otherwise, our main guide Rasid was very helpful, but our half day guide to Marrakech was more interested in taking us to carpet or spice shops who would give him a pay off than in showing us the sites of Marrakech.
By Mr Kalfayan on 23/03/2014
Excellent destination (Gozo) for gentle walking at this time of year. Great feeling of solitude, some days we hardly saw anybody else out in the countryside. Very friendly staff; whole island seemed safe, easy to get around, welcoming, low-key. Excellent views, wild flowers, dramatic coastlines, interesting archeological sites.
By Mr Davidson on 21/03/2014
Over all very good. Hotel Es Saadi was disappointing re AC in the rooms;there was only heating!. We were told that it was still winter by the desk,then another story was that the management decided not to put the AC cooling on. The rooms at the front were very noisy from traffic and because of the heat we had to decide between noise and heat. Result was little sleep for the nights we were there.
We therefore would hesitate before recommending the holiday for this reason.This is a shame because it was excellent apart from this.
The licensed guide for Marrakesh was very poor.
There should be another walk on the final day rather than a free day ,or the option at least..
By Mr Blain on 20/03/2014
For what we required-an escape from rain and winter dismal Ta Cenc was fine,and the walks laid out in your leaflet were easy enough to cope with for an oldie (84) like me who can no longer cope with real peaks and the tougher walking of middle age. Returning daily to the warm water pool and jacuzzi was a real bonus. But and we think you should Know this, Ta Cenc is getting a bit tired. Staff were delightful and the room very comfortable, BUT the lighting was abysmal if you wished to read in bed. Plumbing too was poor-no pressure on sink taps and infuriating variations of temp in the shower:quite dangerous in fact as nearly scalding water gushed unexpectedly. Infuriating when it ran bitterly cold We complained but it wasn't fixed. There was also a a 60 euro miscalculation on the bill which to be fair was rectified with good grace. No wonder that the owner Mr Borgon turned on max charm while we were waiting to be taken to the airport.. Just a tad complacent all round we thought.
Dear Mr Blain,
Thank you for taking the time to complete our on line questionnaire and for the feedback you have provided.
We were pleased to read that you enjoyed your holiday and found the walks suitable for your level of ability. It was also good to see that you enjoyed the facilities that the hotel has to offer.
I am sorry however that you had some issues with the maintenance and plumbing in your room. We have passed on your feedback to the hotel, they have offered a sincere apology to you and Mrs Blain and have assured us that they have fixed the issues you had reported. Including replacing the light bulbs for brighter ones and fixing the pressure issue in the bathroom.
Please be assured that we do realise how important it is to maintain our high standards of accommodation and service, and we do appreciate we cannot afford to let our standards slip.
We will continue to monitor this hotel to ensure that the high standards that both our customers and Headwater expect are maintained.
We would like to thank you for bringing these matters to our attention, and apologise most sincerely once again that you had cause for complaint.
By Mrs Murphy on 08/03/2014
You did it again, a fabulous chill out holiday in a delightful hotel. So quiet and peaceful, helpful, friendly staff could not have done more for us. The scenery and flowers were fabulous a great time of year to visit. The first time we have been to hotel where all the gym ans health centre equipment worked! Walks fantastic well done, we did not get lost.
Buses fabulous and punctual so easy to use I was a bit put off using them for the walks ,but so easy and cheap, punctuality could teach the uk something.
We would definitely return.
By Mr Cousins on 28/02/2014
I enjoyed seeing the authentic Morocco not just the main tourist sights, there was too much travelling in the minibus between destinations.
By Mrs Buckham on 22/11/2013
An amazing trip which took in so much but be prepared to spend a lot of time travelling.
By Mr Johnson on 22/11/2013
We thought the holiday was excellent: very interesting, well put together; good hotels, walking and sightseeing as described.
We have already recommended it to friends.
We have put a 'No' to future holidays with you only because we now know that we have discovered you too late. We are too old (75 & 73), or at least insufficiently fit and active, to properly take part in the walking tours without holding others back. A great pity, but that is where we are.
Thanks for an excellent holiday. May I suggest you save advertising costs by deleting us from your mail shoots. Best Regards, Chris Johnson
By Mr Horton on 21/11/2013
Excellent accommodation and location for a walking holiday outside the peak summer.
By Mrs Moss on 13/11/2013
Beautiful hotel in excellent position. Very good and easy bus service on the island, limited hotel courtesy bus in the winter, but the bus stop right outside the hotel makes it easy to get transport into Victoria. Staying in the one hotel makes for a more relaxing holiday, walking as much or little as you want to.
By Mr Bell on 13/11/2013
This was our first walking holiday with Headwater - we had previously had cycling holidays - and it was very enjoyable. The fact that it was a one centre holiday we particularly enjoyed because it gave us flexibility in what we chose to do - we particularly wanted to have a day in Malta for instance . The Hotel was excellent with very good facilities and superb food. For anyone wanting a flexible holiday - as much or as little exercise as you want - this is well worth considering.
By Mrs Belcher on 07/11/2013
An excellent destination for coastal scenery, swimming and snorkelling if you don't mind the bird shooting.
By Mr Tyler on 01/11/2013
Excellent hotel and very good food. We saw nothing of the local representative at any point.
Some of the walking instructions were confusing and we got lost twice - once on the Ta Pinu and Lighthouse walk and once on Fungus Rock and Azure window.
By Mr Thompson on 28/10/2013
Very well organised and accomodation excellent. Gentle trip - as described. Met expectations and had a very good time
By Mrs Smith on 02/10/2013
We were charmed by the single-storied hotel set so sympathetically on the cliffs. The layout of the rooms and the terrace gave a feeling of privacy not found in a conventional hotel. The staff, particularly the cleaners and in the restaurant, were very friendly and helpful. Considering there are no signposts or markers for walkers on Gozo we thought the route notes were pretty good. You must be careful, but as long as you ensure that what you are seeing exactly matches the description in the route notes you really shouldn't go wrong. The weather was a little warm for us in September but we bought the 7-day bus pass and cut two of the walks short by getting the bus at villages slightly before the end of the walk. It also meant we were not tied to the times of the hotel courtesy bus and we would recommend purchasing it for the flexibility it provides.
By Mrs Arnold on 25/09/2013
Hotel was fabulous. We had not realised it would be so hot, or the landscape so barren at the time of year we had chosen so I would advise potential travellers to do a bot more research than we did before booking!
By Mr Causey on 11/08/2013
Good variety of different places and activities with an opportunity to meet local people in their varied environments. Our guide and driver were excellent, and this helped to make the trip an extremely positive experience.
By Ms Tippett on 16/06/2013
I spent a very pleasant week exploring Gozo on foot, and undertook all six of the supplied walk routes. The route descriptions were at times excellent, at times difficult to grasp. Informal discussion with another 'headwater' traveller staying at the same time as me revelead they had similar problems, so I don't think it was purely me! I did not find the map supplied particularly useful, and actually ended up buying a cheap basic map from the local representative in Gozo whilst I was there. Maps are individual, and I realise what did not suit me may suit others. The weather was very hot. The sea breeze helped, but I agree with Headwater that this is about the latest in the summer you could undertake these walks - particularly towards the middle of the day.
The hotel has super staff and a relaxed feel to it, is in a stunning situation and has a nice layout with individual bungalows. There are some features that are not the standard which I would expect from a five star hotel. One of these I brought up with the hotel at the time, and others mentioned in the feedback at the end of my stay (a holiday is, after all, meant to be relaxing and not a series of complaints). The room was spacious but the bathroom was very dated (painted murals on the tiles suggest it had not been refitted since 1991) and there was a large crack in the sink in the room. The small spa on site had a changing room and showers. In these there was a lot of green and black mould on the tiles of the shower area. I mentioned this to the hotel spa staff at the time and the next day it was better but not gone. This disappointed me from a five star hotel. The package had half board included, something I would not normally choose. On several nights, particularly over the weekend when we arrived, service was very slow and meals arrived looking like they had sat around for a long time. The waiting staff were, on the whole, excellent, but the food was disappointing. I also found the four courses included too much every day, and would have preferred to have some days without dinner at the hotel so I was free to explore local restaurants. I was asked to specify dietary requirements (no fish in my case) with Headwater but the hotel seemed unaware. On days when the antipasti were fish, I always had to say I did not eat fish. Sometimes I was offered an alternative, sometimes not. Hotel guests are advised local water is safe but unpalatable, however the still bottled water I therefore ordered with dinner each night was charged for, and at over 3 euros a bottle I thought this was a bit much. Do they expect those on half board to just not drink anything with dinner?
Finally, transfers were very efficient. Paradoxically, on the way out I had a large minibus all to myself, yet on the way back I was squashed in the back seat of a normal car with two other guests I did not really know (slightly embarassing as there was not much room) as a normal taxi was taking 4 of us to the airport.
Overall I had a great time and would definitely visit Gozo again, but was a little disappointed with the details described above, given then star rating of the hotel and cost of the package.
By Mrs Currie on 02/06/2013
Good walking across the island with some wonderful scenery. Need to pay very close attentin to the route notes as there are no waymarkings. Found the notes for the walk to Fungus Rock and th Azure window difficult to follow and ended up having to make a detour. No problem with the other walks although notes could be clearer. Very good local bus service for getting to the walks. Excellent for seeing wildlife including insects, lizards and non venomous snakes.
By Mr Smith on 30/05/2013
It is some years since we have used Headwater, having previously travelled with them to over 30 itineraries since the company was first formed. It was reassuring to find that standard were fully up to the excellent levels we have always experienced.
By Mr Previte on 07/05/2013
We greatly enjoyed Gozo and our stay at Ta Cenc. The hotel staff were extremely good and the hotel very comfortable. The bedrooms, with en suite bath, very quiet and secluded. The breakfasts were very good, the dinners not so good. Would give dinner B ; adequate but not imaginative. The wine was extremely expensive. Perhaps if we had had the 'a la carte' dishes the food would have been better, but that would have added considerably to the cost of the holiday.
The local buses are good, mostly punctual but occasionally a bus does not turn up. There is always another one. Buses may be very crowded in the high season. Worth getting the weekly season ticket. Check bus numbers as some of these have changed since Headwater notes published.
By Mr Eele on 24/04/2013
Exceeded expectations. Great choice of Hotels and locations. Guides and maps need updating a bit and checking. There are new island cycle signs that were confusing as we were not on these routes all the time and they were only mention in the briefing not in the notes.
You just had to concentrate a bit harder than expected on occassions.
By Mrs Urquhart on 13/04/2013
Enjoyed the freedom of doing as we pleased. I would not recommend it for first time cyclists. Loved the friendliness of the Maltese people.
By Mis Warby on 30/03/2013
Extremely well organised, went without a hitch. Travelling as a solo lady this was most welcomed & not once did I need to think of any plan B's!! I also felt totally relaxed with everybody I met & did not have to worry about my safety.
I would not hesitate to recommend it other adventure minded ladies!
By Mrs Dunn on 30/03/2013
March was a brilliant time of year for a walking holiday in Gozo. We had almost continuous sunshine but temperatures of 15-17 degrees made for comfortable walking - any warmer and it could have been a struggle at times as there's little shelter on many of the walks. The scenery was fantastic and we really felt we got to know Gozo in the week we spent walking round it. The walks were of comfortable length and enabled us to spend time admiring the scenery, both coastal and inland. A thoroughly enjoyable, peaceful and relaxing holiday.
By Mr Whalan on 23/03/2013
Admin prior to the holiday was poor but we got it sorted in the end. Hotels were very good, food excellent and Gozo is certainly worth a visit.The people are so welcoming. Roads are very very poor and sprung seat pins for the bikes would have made a big difference, If you have them take them! The gel saddles provided are not enough!
By Mr Mullin on 23/03/2013
The holiday does seem a touch on the pricey side however the half board at the 5 star hotels and the lovely food makes up for it. I had a great time.
By Mr Harding on 23/03/2013
A real surprise package. Gozo has everything in a small area. The people are very friendly and helpful. The bus service is excellent, and the scenery and walks are very tranquil yet quite dynamic with the sea at every turn..
Ta Cenc hotel was well positioned for all activities yet in many ways remote from the town.Whether we ate in the hotel, in the towns or at a beach bar the food and service was very good.
By Mr Stevens on 23/03/2013
A superb holiday with flexibilty for as much or as little walking as we wanted.
By Mr Higdon on 16/03/2013
Found Hotel Ta Cenc, to be really fantastic. All staff were so friendly and welcoming. Very professional. Lovely hotel set up - bar and restaurant super. Very unspoilt island. All the transfers from airport to ferry to hotel and back - a pleasure.
By Mr Harper on 09/03/2013
I did not stay at the Cornucopia but i heard it was below standard.
State of roads and tracks very poor. Not really cycling terrain. Thankfully most of the steep hills had a good surface.
Lovely island which I think more suitable for walkers.
Preferred Ta Cenc to Keblinski as a hotel but food at Ta Cenc not 5 star standard.
Zlendi (especially) and Marsalforn nice lunch stops.
By Mrs Lewis on 09/03/2013
This was an excellent holiday. Well scheduled - guide was friendly,helpful and well organised. Driver was helpful and very safe. The guide that took us round Marrakesh was not so good - he was late and not as informative as he could have been.
The hotels particularly the one in Marrakesh were excellent.
One of the walks was a bit more than a one booter we thought, although it was a spectacular day and we loved it.
We didn't seem to have any real notes for the holiday other than that in the brochure. We would have liked a more detailed itinerary - if nothing else to remind us of the names of places etc when looking at our photographs!
By Mr Williams on 02/03/2013
Positive experience of an organised holiday. Cycling in Gozo is not challenging and gives plenty of time & opportunity to see the local sights.
By Ms Taylor on 02/03/2013
It was a good experience, seeing a lot of the country that other tours would miss. Walks were varied and suited to our abilities.
The only problem I had was with one hotel room that had previously been used by a heavy smoker. I spoke to the domestic staff about it and they made an effort to improve things.
By Dr Millward on 02/03/2013
It was one of our most enjoyable headwater holidays. The sun shone everyday and it was perfect weather for walking. We enjoy going off season and avoiding the crowds. Ta Cenc is the best Headwater hotel we have stayed at with an excellent restaurant and service. Malta really loves Britsh tourists and everyone speaks English. A very welcoming destination.
By Ms Bull on 02/03/2013
Ta' Cenc was a fantastic hotel for location, service and food and peace and quiet in February - exactly what we wanted. Opportuntiies for walking were wonderful, although definitions of flat may vary!
By Mr Burgoine on 26/02/2013
Others taking a similar holiday in the hotel did not have access to Headwaters walking notes - until they complained and got copies.
They were more likely to use Headwaters in future, since they had not used the company before.
By Mrs Cassells on 26/02/2013
This was a great holiday. We walked every day, and had time for some sightseeing as well. We very much enjoyed the comfort, food and ambience of the hotel ta Cenc.
By Mr Evans on 19/02/2013
the hotel Ta Cinc was advertised as a 5 star hotel but did not live up to that standard in respect of accommodation and food. I recommend that you remove th 5 star from the brochure then customers will not have such high expectations of the hotel and consequently will not have to cope with the disappointment.
This was our 6th holiday with Headwater and is the only one that we would not repeat due to the hotel. We would go back to Gozo but would stay in a different hotel.
Thank you for your feedback on the Ta Cenc, we have been working with this hotel for many years and it is a real surprise that it didn't meet expectations. The hotel has undergone an extensive renovation programme over the last couple of years and the feedback we've receive is generally very good indeed. I can assure you however, that your comments have been noted, and forwarded to the Programme Manager in order to be raised with the hotel.
The last thing we ever want is for people to return home disappointed and we offer our sincerest apologies if this was the case. We will be monitoring feedback for the Ta Cenc very closely over the coming weeks, and if we feel there are any areas that require improvement, we will work with the hotel to rectify this.
By Mr Broughall on 24/01/2013
Excellent hotel, beautiful location, stunning scenery, warm,sunny weather, friendly and hospitable islanders
By Mrs Cardy on 24/01/2013
Hotel Ta Cenc is very well located, in a lovely situation with views, and the most delightful staff.
New Year was a good time to visit - it was so quiet and tranquil, and we had sunshine. We wondered whether we'd like it so much with lots of people round the pools etc.
By Rev Dawson on 17/11/2012
We found Gozo to be a very friendly and relaxing place. Altough it is only a small island there is plenty to see, so we were never bored. The bus service is admirable and cheap although some routes are diverted from time to time because a lot of money is being spent on fettling up the roads here. The villages are quite closely spaced so you will find quite long stretches of walking down village streets.
Hotel Ta Cenc was a really good hotel. It sits very low on the skyline and sort of merges into the landscape. The facilities are good, the rooms are large and the staff is friendly.
Adjacent to the hotel there is a large area of bare limestone containing some of the famous cart ruts. This wild area abuts some of the highest cliffs on the island and falls gently towards the hotel's own private cove.
It does have a lot of gentlemen with shotguns traipsing around on it murdering the local bird population early in the morning. This grates a little, but it seems to be an integral part of the local way of life, and we didn't come abroad expecting everybody to be like us, did we?
By Mrs Sheriff on 30/10/2012
The hotel/accomodation was a pleasant experience. Gozo has some picturesque qualities. The brochure promised gentle cycling but there were many climbs, the roads are badly potholed and there is a lot of vehicle traffic. It is best described as a walking/cycling holiday unless you are young and fit (see below).
By Mrs Wheeler on 30/10/2012
Please read the comments below with the knowledge that the holiday was an adventure and made enjoyable by my travelling companions.
This holiday would have been better if we had had a rest day at the beginning of the holiday before leaving Marrakech, and one less rest day at the end.
There is a great deal of mini-bus travel, and on poor roads, in this holiday. I feel that this should be spelt out in detail in the literature to give the potential traveller all the information before they book.
Our driver, Lahsen, was a brilliant driver, taking great care of us in town and on country and mountainous roads.
The whole group, all 7 of us one after the other, went down with some sort of bug which included fatigue, nausea and upset tummy. I would suggest that the holiday literature tells travellers to be extremely careful about hand hygiene and not eating salads - delicious though they were!
In my experience of travelling in hot climates, activities are completed before about 12noon and resumed after about 3 -4pm. We oftern walked in the hottest part of the day.
By Mrs Mitchell on 30/10/2012
The reason for the low enjoyment mark was the entire group went down one by one with 'La tourista' or a tummy bug. Not nearly enough is made of this risk in your brochure. It cost most of us 3-4 days of our holiday and no doubt you will be hearing from others about this.
It was generally agreed that we will have caught it at one of our lunch stops on the way to and from Zagora. Even Rachid suffered and he reckoned it was likely to be the salads.
Between Ouarzazate and Marrakech we stopped twice. A dirty village and we entered through a butcher's shop - flies everywhere and filthy. Every meal started with a finely chopped salad, delicious and we were all hungry. Just too tempting and we disobeyed all the rules.Follow that with a greasy tagine and it's a recipe for disaster!
By Mr Smith on 30/10/2012
Hotel Ta Cenc was an excellent hotel with first class service and very good food. Gozo is a lovely island with much of interest and friendly, helpful people.
By Mis Turton on 06/10/2012
The hotel was first class with friendly staff, idyllic setting, lovely food and good facilities.
Gozo is small and once you have your bearings it is not difficult to find your way around.
It was unseasonally hot for the end of September (31 degrees) so walking was very hard work with no shade. I therefore only did one walk and then used the local buses to get around. I should think that in appropriate temperatures the walking would be very enjoyable.
Despite that it was one of the most relaxing holidays I have ever been on - it would have been great to stay longer!!
By Dr Lewin on 29/09/2012
You should advertise more for honeymoons! We had a wonderful time and were treated really well at all the hotels - the suite at the kepinski was amazing!!!
Only issue was getting from hotel in malta to ferry terminal - I think we should have had transport through headwater for this - I appreciate we choose to have the extra nights but still.....
That said the return journey was very smooth from hotel in gozo across ferry to malta direct to airport.
Bikes not bad but a few issues with clunking gears etc but overall fine.
By Mrs Preston on 24/09/2012
Unfortuntely one of us was unable to cycle due to an accident post booking, however the holiday was not spoilt. One of us travelled with the baggage the other cycled. cycling on your own was easy and the locals very friendly, especially when a puncture needed mending (even though their help wasn't really req'd). George our rep was efficient deliering spare tubes when needed and everything went very smoothly. The Cornucopia hotel is definately a little faded and not up to the other hotels but this wasn't a problem and the food there was excellent.
The cycling was a little hilly for novice riders and the roads a little worse for wear (hence the punctures)but it was a lovely relaxing holiday with excellent food, weather and people. Also the journey by ferry to Gozo was a particular delight.
By Mr Harrison on 24/09/2012
It was relaxing and as described, lovely location and great food. The suggested walks were varied and flexible with plenty of local interest.
By Mr Dixon on 23/06/2012
We had a wonderful holiday on this tranquil and unspoilt mini island. Sadly we were unable to do the cycling element of the holiday due to illness but still enjoyed every moment.
By Mrs Cryer on 16/06/2012
We love Gozo and the Ta Cenc - this was our second visit and we will return.
By Mr Close on 11/06/2012
Gozo is in a time warp. Please don't tell anyone about it. The cycling distances are not too great, which means there is plenty of time for detours, and Gozo is the place for detours.
By Mrs Pearson on 11/06/2012
A very enjoyable experience as it was our third with you we had a good idea of what to expect.
By Mr Wasley on 11/06/2012
Gozo was brilliant.
By Mis Howell on 11/06/2012
We enjoyed a relaxing holiday. Whilst we enjoyed the excellent restaurant service and location of the hotel, we did feel that our hotel room was not value for money. We paid an extra £406 for a Trullo and whilst the location & space was great, there were a few things which were not up to scratch: a musty smell greeted us, there was thick dust visible under the drinks cabinet, the edge of the duvet (not cover) was stained with what looked like blood, the cupboards/drawers smelt very musty and the bathroom was very tired & in need of updating. The spa also needed a little updating, i.e. the doors to the steam room & sauna did not shut properly and the steam room was looking tired.
By Mrs Westall on 25/05/2012
The accommodation and friendliness of everyone we encountered made the holiday
By Mr Ward on 19/05/2012
Gentle cycling was an wonderful way to view this delightful island.
By Mr Morgan on 19/05/2012
First rate. Gozo was so different. People charming.
By Mr Thorpe on 12/05/2012
all that we hoped for
By Mrs Watts on 12/05/2012
We had a very pleasant holiday but we were not able to complete the walks.
By Mrs Griffiths on 28/04/2012
Just fine. We had a lovely holiday and the hotel is very good. They coped very well when we had 2 rats fighting in our roof...
By Mr Hart on 17/04/2012
One of the best walking holidays we have had.
By Mr Stead on 05/04/2012
A superb holiday.
only 2 problems were 1: that the guide seemed remote at times,and was very reluctant to impart information which made us ask lots of questions which he didn't seem to want to give more than a very basic answer.However, the driver more than made up for the introverted guide 2. I obviously hadn't read the brochure properly as I hadn't realised that it was expected of us to add on £100.00's worth of tips:ie £50 each for driver and guide at the end of the holiday.I would have preferred that this was included in the package price upfront instead ofit being put into brown envelopes at the end of the holiday. the amount suggested came from the guide as an accepted amount for the driver. it was brought up by a member of our group rather than by the guide himself. I would certainlt tell any future would be travellers with this holiday that this was an uncomfotable stealth tax.
By Mr Wragg on 31/03/2012
Absolutely superb - even the weather was excellant!!!
By Mr Fussey on 31/03/2012
Good introduction to Morocco
By Mr Huddart on 26/03/2012
Well balanced taste of different aspects of Sothern Morocco.
By Mr Whittaker on 18/02/2012
By Mr Haines on 12/01/2012
Well up to your normal high standards
By Mr Webb on 00/00/0000
Highlights of Gozo Cycling was a great mix of undemanding yet adventurous cycling, covering much of the island, with excellent 4-5* hotels giving plenty of time and space to relax. The front-suspension bikes were well-equipped with panniers, the logistics of luggage transfer very straightforward, and the briefing and accompanying detailed notes on itineraries were very good. Don't expect smoothly tarmac'ed roads, and be sure to take cycling helmets, as these are not provided 'for safety reasons', confusingly! We are glad we booked a extra few nights at Ta' Cenc to begin with, as well as some time in Malta before flying back, as these were effective 'bookends' in terms of winding down by the pool(s). Gozitans are naturally warm and friendly people, island life is rural and unhurried, and the traffic certainly not as manic as Malta: overall, a very pleasurable enjoyable holiday!
By Mr Stevens on 00/00/0000
Hotel Ta' Cenc is comfortable and friendly. Gozo is a good winter walking destination varied walks and very friendly locals. Excellent local bus service. The Citadel in Victoria was well worth a visit (allow several hours). Disappointed to see so much bird trapping activity on the coastal walks (perpetrators not quite so friendly).
On Malta we explored Valetta (busy and pricey) and Mdina / Rabat (not as busy as expected) worth seeking out the catacombs in Rabat.
Hotel Grand Excelsior large and somewhat impersonal, food and drink in the hotel is expensive. A lot of roadworks nearby at present and a stiff walk up into Valetta centre (where the outside catering opportunities are).