Any experience with

Old Mar 28, 19, 1:27 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 331
Any experience with

Planning a short trip to Asia, I found this company that would be the type of travel/tour company that I would put together if I had the druthers. The company is based out of Palo Alto, CA but has local, destination experts all over the world. They say they can put together a custom, private tour to your specific specifications (dates, interests, style of travel, etc.) and from what I can see so far, takes about a 5% mark up? They can provide as much guidance for itineraries as your are interested in or will just be the booking agent for local activities, drivers and hotels.

I already had my flights and dates booked when I contacted them. I told them my budget and what level of luxury I preferred for hotels. They asked for what I was interested in for my visit ( beach time? active adventure? History? Culture ? Natural wonder exploring?) and they put together a more efficient itinerary than I had worked out with a weeks worth of research. Plus, they offered (what I hope) is a vetted, english speaking, qualified local driver/guide for the entire stay. One of my concerns was that there seems to be a reputation in my area of travel for unqualified and "iffy" guides to be found online.

They gave me 3 choices of itineraries but told me that was a starting point and that I could pick and choose what I liked from each as long as it worked within my time frame. When I checked their hotel choices, they were accommodations that I may very well have chosen for myself anyway. Adding it all up, it was not that much more than if I had done it myself and I felt better having the security of what I hope is a reputable company while I am in a foreign land. The reviews I see so far are good. The only negative I see so far is that they do not offer itemized pricing so I can tweak what I want based on cost.

They say they have local specialists all over the world (even remote places). I have absolutely NO vested interest in this company. I just would love to hear some reviews about it from a group of well versed travelers such as FT??

Last edited by msk6261; Mar 29, 19 at 11:08 pm
msk6261 is offline  
Old Mar 20, 20, 9:46 pm
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 1
tl;dr KimKim and Morocco Off the Beaten Track use unethical business practices and will exploit you in any way possible.

I don't typically write reviews but felt it necessary to provide some insight into what to expect if you decide to work with KimKim.

We used KimKim to book a trip to Morocco a few months ago and paid in full upfront per their policy. They connected us to one of their partners, Yassine who works for Morocco Off the Beaten Track.

Fast forward to today -- we are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and all the uncertainty it brings. Even though our trip was more than 30 days out, we decided to play it safe (because who knows when the world will emerge from quarantine) and requested to postpone our trip -- not cancel, postpone. Yassine responded that there would be an additional 20% postponement fee or we could cancel and receive a 50% refund. We received multiple emails from KimKim that our deadline to decide was March 20th and Yassine reiterated this many times during our communications (this part is important).

We were a bit surprised about being charged an additional 20% (which would be the equivalent of paying for another 2-3 days), mostly because if we had booked directly with the hotels instead of using Kimkim, we would have been able to cancel within 48-72 hrs of our stay without a penalty, and asked for a breakdown of the expenses they would incur if we postponed. We didn't think it was an unreasonable request but they flat out refused stating, "We do not provide itemized summaries of our trips," and then repeated that we had two options: incur a 20% fee or cancel and only receive 50% back.

We went back and forth with Yassine and KimKim went on for a week and a half as we sought to get more clarity, and we emailed back and forth right up until the evening of March 20th (Yassine refused to jump on a call to sort this out.) During our last exchange that evening, Yassine informed us we were past the 30 day cancellation period and could either postpone with a 20% fee or cancel and not receive a refund.

I understand that we are living in unusual times and that everyone, particularly small businesses, is doing their best to manage through it. Had Kimkim and Yassine/Morocco Off the Beaten Path, provided some insight into the additional fees, I would have been willing to pay it especially since it would mean helping to keep small businesses afloat. However, the inflexibility to depart from "standard policies" given the current state of affairs, the sudden additional fees, and the lack of transparency, and then the underhanded trick of dragging this out and telling us on March 20th that we were no longer within the cancellation policy is a dirty, dirty trick and makes it clear they are exploiting the unfortunate circumstances we are all living through now.

I deeply regret using the services of Kimkim and Morocco Off the Beaten Track. They are completely unethical.
cathn is offline  
Old Jun 10, 23, 11:34 am
Join Date: Jun 2023
Posts: 2
I had a similar situation but opposite experience. We planned a trip to Japan using - for February 2020. I believe Japan was closing it's borders by then - and understanding the situation, KimKim kept our reservation on hold with no fee and with full amount in our account for future use. Fast forward to 2022 - Japan was still not open so we pivoted our plans to go to Vietnam. Our new KimKim partner planned an amazing trip for us and it was so seamless and enjoyable. The transfers (we had 3 internal flights during our trip) were so easy - having drivers was such a plus. The overall trip was amazing and unforgettable. We are trying to work out another trip with kimkim but just not sure where we want to go. I cannot rave more about the Vietnam planner, our local guides, and how beautiful the country was! 9 days was way too short and hope to plan something again soon.
tracymom27 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 23, 11:35 am
Join Date: Jun 2023
Posts: 2
100% of our deposit went toward the new itinerary to Vietnam.
tracymom27 is offline  

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