smarTours is a leading provider of direct-to-consumer, affordable travel experiences to exotic global destinations. The Company offers travelers curated, pre-packaged itineraries to over 40 destinations across the globe. By offering tours directly to consumers, the Company provides premium-quality experiences at value prices, and as a result, has cultivated a highly passionate and loyal community of repeat travelers. More than 200,000 travelers have taken a smarTours trip since the founding of the Company in 1996. smarTours is… the smarter way to see the world.
545 Eighth Ave. Suite 2250
New York, NY 10018
"Our trip to Italy was sensational! The sights, the food, the hotels and our group was fantastic! Our tour guide Ambra was the most intelligent, kind and caring woman! She went above and beyond and we are hoping that she will be our guide on our next Smartour! We have made friends on this trip that will last a life time!!! Thank you!!!"
"This was our 5th tour with SmarTours. June 6-19,2019 tour to U K was the worst of them.
On 6/24/19 I called and discussed all issues with Customer Service Rep. Ms. Pauline.
I hope, the main reasons of our discomfort and the bad taste that the tour was conducted by the subcontractor "Abbey Tour".
1. Bus was cleaned only once at the end of the tour. It was a small of the waste in the bus. It was not equipped with WiFi.
2. Hotels portage: No control over our baggage loaded in the bus; long waiting time
3. Dinners included in hotels poorly managed, no choices, underfunded.
4. Tour Director; did not escort group outside of the bus; long pleasant talk with the driver but not to the group; information was presented was dry, not entertaining and short; very limited managing skill."
"Our Tour Director, Par, was not what I have experienced on other Smartours and therefore very disappointed. He did not provide contact info for us if we had a question or issue. When we asked questions he normally said it was not important and did not answer. He did not provide background info for any city we visited. He did not seem to be concerned about our issues or concerns. He did not sit with us for any meal. He was only concerned about what suit him. When we were picked up initially, he wasn't concerned about restrooms or meals. I would suggest that Smartours look at this person before booking any other tours with him. The guides for each city were great and very well versed in the history and other points of interest. The countries are beautiful and I was looking forward to learning more about the history. I have been spoiled with Smartours and their very experienced Tour Guides in Eastern Europe, South Africa and Greece. I was so disappointed and so were so many of my fellow travelers. I know that almost everyone of the 20 people on this tour were disappointed with the Tour Director, the hotels and the overall experience. We had two people that depended on Par, our tour director to assist them with changes but that was like pulling teeth, there were people with dietary concerns that were just brushed off, as if unimportant. Overall, I will look to other companies in the future."
"1 guide with 40 travelers was unacceptable. Tour guide tried but just couldn’t handle so many people. Welcome dinner was 4 or 5 nights into tour...too late. Introductions were done while traveling on the bus so you couldn’t see who was speaking. Total waste of time. Tokyo, Kanazawa hotels were ok, others were less than expected. SmarTour was highly recommended. I was very disappointed!!"
"The communication from the corporate office was WAY TOO late in arriving prior to our departure (less than two weeks). No one could (or would) answer questions about travel arrangements prior to the trip. We were not clearly communicated with that the bus days would 10 to 12 hours on a bus for a 3 hour or less trip. The hotels were not conveniently located near the city centers or near preferred areas. The hotels were nice, just not very conveniently located.
Our tour guide was great, but the organization by the SmarTours corporate office was terrible. Won't be taking another trip with Smartours. We bailed and rented a car rather than ride the bus. We were not expecting mandatory seat rotations on the bus trip, I now understand that is customary for bus trips."
"The trip was great but Rok, the tour guide, although friendly, was lazy and instead of giving us historical information while riding on the bus to various destinations he was on his cell phone chatting away. If we asked a question he would answer however he preferred talking to his friends or other business associates. Had this been our first smart tour trip, we’d never consider taking another one. Our Eastern Europe trip’s Tour guide was very engaged with the guests and she was filled with interesting information so that’s why we chose to go to Croatia with you again. Now it’s questionable if we’ll go with your again. A bad representation for your company."
"Both our primary guide and the local guides were terrific. However, the hotels were not. The rooms at the business hotel we stayed at the first weekend were well furnished but very small for 2 people. The second resort was a wonderful property, but we were never given time to relax there. The third beachfront property rooms were ok, but we looked directly at construction.
More important was the food. The smartour meals were awful. The food was always overcooked and almost unpleasant with no alternate choice to the selected entree other than vegetarian. This resulted from having the food precooked since we had very specific set times to eat. We were rushed us in and out, perhaps to be gone by the time other diners arrived at normal time.. I would have much preferred having food cooked to order so it was edible. If the purpose of meals was for us to bond, why rush us so we can then go do nothing for the rest of the evening.
The bus quality got worse and worse, with the last bus having 5 broken seats. More important, there was no basis for a 13 hour bus ride (originally promised to be only 7 hours, The 7 hour ride was justified by calculations of arriving at airport early and waiting and luggage limitations on the planes.) I would rather spend 7 hours in air conditioned luxury involved with flying than bumping over roads in too small seats and being delayed by much construction which delay was compounded by numerous bathroom stops not planned for with the additional 6 hours. The solution: fly us and have excess luggage driven in a small van. It would have been easy to bring overnight provisions on the flight if the luggage was delayed.
The salt mines were a real disappointment and waste of day. The best activities were the coffee plantation and the Botero museums, but we were given little time at the latter.
It is my impression that this tour was wholly on the cheap. I paid the full amount, but even if I had booked early and received a discount, I would feel "ripped off" by this tour. I will not recommend."
"The tour director in Egypt is very knowledgeable in ancient Egyptology. However she needs to exercise leadership in taking care of the tour group members from beginning to the final dinner events. She delegated her responsibility to someone who lacks the diligence of head counting before start of activities. There was no follow-up or warning on the wait up calls not happening from the Hotel. The travel flights in Egypt were often too early in the morning and too intense. We all did not receive wake-up calls at 5 am and I almost missed the flight back to th US. The assigned tour director was not present to correct the mishap.
I used to have confidence in joining SmartTours in the past. I am sorry to loose such preference after this 10 days Tour to Egypt."
"1. the most ill-organized tour we have ever had...
2. egyptair in-flight services from new york to cairo and back was much below standard…
3. the welcome dinner on the first day was not up to the mark... we entered the dining room last and was seated in a corner table and not even supplied all the items that was served to others... quality of the main dish were below standard...
4. on dec 6 our second day in cairo, there was an optional half a day tour to memphis and sakkara but the cairo tour guide decided to add a new tour in the evening to go to the sound and light show in the pyramids... he decided the cost $46.00 per person, although earlier in the bus he said it would be $44.00/person... when we went to pay in the evening before the tour, he denied taking any credit card, he wanted cash $46.00 (not $44.00 as he said before) or 830 egyptian pounds/person that forced us to go to the ATM machine and get some local pounds, the exchange rate was somewhere around 17.5 pounds/dollar plus some fees... so we paid him about $48.00/person (830 pounds), which was not fair... smartour informed us earlier that optional tour payment could be made by credit card... so we tried not to carry heavy cash during the trip...
5. only one optional tour was listed for luxor on dec 11 (luxor musium), but they arranged 3 tours, 1 on dec 10 (evening luxor city tour by horse carriage $15.00 per person and 2 on dec 11 (visit banana island by boat $2400 per person and visit luxor museum $36.00 per person)... we paid luxor tour guide by credit card for these 3 tours... we were never told before about these extra 2 optional tours by smartour...
6. we never had these kind of early morning flight anywhere we visited before with other tour companies... for both cairo to aswan and luxor to cairo flights we had to wake up at 2:30 am to get ready for the flights...
7. the farewell dinner at marriott was awful... dry roasted chicken breast with mashed potato was the main course and there were no other alternative..."
"The closely scheduled flights resulted in us missing a flight and missing a full day and night of our tour. No one called from Smartours to walk us through what to do when this happened or even express concern. We each fended for ourselves in Shanghai. Given that we missed a day we had to choose between seeing the Mekong Delta or seeing the tunnels used by the North Vietnamese soldiers. Most of us wanted to do both so we were sorely disappointed.
Our guide was very good (Tommy) so this rating in no way represents the work he did. The tour was good under his guidance. At the end of the trip we once again had problems. We were told that we could use an airport lounge at a discounted rate. Someone met us at the airport, but she was not able to communicate well with the people in charge. It took us over an hour of standing around arguing with the airport personnel before we were allowed to enter the lounge. They wanted one of us to put the whole bill on one credit card. They finally relented and let us each pay individually. I commend you for the lounge idea, but the poor communication and wait was unbearable in the middle of the night.
I took out the trip insurance, and can submit my hotel bill to them. However, that does not make up for the lost day or the added stress of this poor handling of the flight arrangements. I am requesting reimbursement of the value of the missed day and the inconvenience caused me.
I have taken nine trips with Smartours and have always raved about the company to my friends. In fact two friends joined me to make this their first Smartours experience. Lucky for them they made their own flight arrangements and had no problems with their air travel. Again, the land portion of the trip was great, and I would give our guide and drivers excellent marks. I am very dissatisfied, however, with the flight arrangements."
"I've been on many tours with othe companies and was generally pleased with Smartours. However, there were things that could have gone better. Other tour companies were treated as groups at the airports which significantly reduced waiting time . You did not do this. We also had a huge group from one family which overwhelmed our group and our tour guide. We should have known about this when booking because it was a very stressful situation. Also the room for the last night was third class. The experience at the Dead Sea was deplorable. My friend and I did not get to enjoy this because the dressing room and showers were so disgusting that we would not use them. People waited for over 30 minutes for a towel and then a group pulled them out of the wagon!"
"I have contacted smart to several times a problem I had with the flight to Budapest Which was delayed and then I missed my connection Babe I missing a half day I have my first day on the tour.
Smart tours kept giving me the runaround telling me someone would get back to me and I still have not heard back."
"We have taken a number of SmarTours packages in the past and have always had a good experience. That was not the case on our recent Australia/New Zealand tour. The major problems are listed below:
- Generally there was too much free time allocated with only expensive optional tours to fill in the time. Not enough activities/excursions were included in the basic package
- Even when optional excursions were purchased it was often the responsibility of the tour group participants to find there own way to the starting point.
- There were only two meals included not counting the Farm Stay meal.
- The Farm Stay, which was supposed to be the highlight of the tour, was very disappointing. Our hosts, while very hospitable, did not actually have a farm. It was a very modern, contemporary style house which was nice but there was no farm experience. In addition we were paired with a couple who did not want lamb, or fish so we ended up with the lowest common denominator - what appeared to be a chicken from a "big box" store. We had been hoping for a traditional New Zealand dinner such as lamb.
- The tour guide was knowledgeable and enthusiastic but, being younger, he might not have been the best match for the age and interests of the older tour participants."
"I recently returned from A Taste of Spain. I was disappointed in several areas. The first night and I think the 4th night Smartours provided the dinners. Both of those nights it was "fish" that was served. Not chicken, not dairy or anything other than fish. How can that be the only one dish served? There were 12 of us out of 40 that would not eat fish. I offered to buy my dinner from the hotel restaurant and was told not allowed. How can a big hotel and tour company handle customers like us this way? I really could not believe this was the way we would be handled. I still sit here as I write this so upset and mad. I was told by the tour guide that he called his office in Madrid Smartours hires ? and they said don’t do anything. I found out you use an agency to staff this. Ask this agency how they can say that to “your” customer. Breakfasts were excellent Every day..
Another area was some of the hotels we had. Most were nice but there were two that needed to be upgraded and was told they would be written up. Example we checked in like 4pm in one night hotels stays and had to have our luggage out by 8am next morning.
This is funny, One room had two separate beds night table between. I wanted to sleep with my wife so I called down was told sorry no other room. I then went down to the front desk said I was on my honeymoon and two separate beds, and they found a king room. See if you speak up face to face.
On a very positive note the tour guide that we had who ran this trip and was with us was
Luis David Zapata Madroñal, He was very knowledgeable polished and so concerned. But he should have figured a way to get me food. I was even willing to pay. But still a guy that was so well respected. He was so pleasurable, and did his job with class and warmth. . He felt so bad that there was no way he was going to be able to substitute the fish, He and the bus driver we had were excellent.
After my letter to Smartours they said they would give me a $100 off on my next trip. I had heard OK trips from friends but don't go to Spain with them.and question the other trips, but as I said the other friends were happy on several of the others. We went with 3 other couples that have used them in the past. They were upset with this trip big time.
There is my input just a bad way to Start up a trip and review. Someone in management should have said yes get the food they want, don't ever make it fish. 2nd time fish was so bad also my wife took one bite (and she likes fish) and never ate another bit along with other people. Smartours president make that call to the company how hosted it for you.
PS what do the questions below refer to, delivery of What, Made the delivery of what, item damaged- what
See no one read the proof on this have no idea what they are talking about, do you?"
"The cruise portion was awful - very old boat and not well kept, food awful and one fellow passenger got bug bites most likely from mattress. Bus was old with broken seats. The crew was very nice and did the best with what was there. Granville and other tour leader were terrific as well as bus driver."
"Traveling with friends, I wanted to be close to in lodge bookings. Smar tours had no ability you sais to do this before hand and was left up to the tour guide to handle the logistics and he was not thrilled to say the least! We had to remind him with each destination. Also my very good traveling friend has a dietary restriction which not a choice but a medical need was never addressed by our guide at each food venue unless we inquired before hand. Needless to say he was made to feel very uncomfortable and made to feel that he was complaining at every meal. The guide diffentely was not looking out for his needs during the trip! We were constantly in need of bottled water, one would have thought that Smar Tours could have provided at least 1 bottle each day on the bus when we traveled to another venue! Also written communication on each days agenda....times,location and departure info etc. Posted somewhere, not having to be committed to memory only !!"
When a review is marked
it means Reviews.io has the additional trust signal necessary to ensure that the review is genuine. Customers reading the reviews can then use this information to help them decide which reviews are more relevant and steer them in their purchasing decisions.
If a review does not have the
label next to it, we do not have the additional information from the customer/company to verify that the review was written from the privileged user position.
Even though some reviews do not carry the
badge, it does not mean that the reviewer has no experience with the company - it just means that we could not confirm a specific purchase.
badge offers one more way to help gauge the quality and relevance of a company review.
How can I make my review "Verified"?
If we are unable to automatically verify you as a
you can email supporting documents to
so we can investigate and mark your review as
We prefer an invoice, delivery note or receipt.
When a review is marked
it means Reviews.io has NOT had the trust signals necessary to ensure that the review is genuine. Customers reading the reviews can then use this information to help them decide which reviews are more relevant and steer them in their purchasing decisions.
How can I make my review "Verified"?
If we are unable to automatically verify you as a
you can enter your email address below and we'll be in touch to verify your review.