Reviews of Emerald Custom Tours

Since we started the company in 2004 we've taken care of numerous clients, most of whom have stayed in contact and are friends. Most of our new clients find us through 'word of mouth' and this is always a great way for us to meet new guests. Below are some of our recent reviews. We've hundreds of these and it would be a challenge to post all here on the page. Chances are we have a previous client who lives in your city or state who will be glad to speak and share their experiences and advice to guests considering their booking with us.

Emerald Custom Tours - Review from Debbie Austin - September 2019

Dear Garreth,

Just wanted to write a quick note to tell you what an amazing tour of Ireland we had! It was a trip of a lifetime and, other than the flooding in Houston that delayed our arrival, was absolutely perfect. Your staff took care of all the last-minute changes, rebooked hotels and communicated regularly assuring everything would go smoothly. Eamon was amazing, to say the least. He made our trip even more enjoyable with his knowledge, historical presentations, political explanations of Ireland, his wit, humor and willingness to change the itinerary if we suggested something and his engaging personality. He was the best guide we have ever had.

Thank you and your colleagues for a wonderful experience.
Debbie and Bill Austin
Mark and Kathy Eyring

October 2016
Hi Emma,

We had a fabulous trip. Eamon was exceptional. He is very personable and shared so much knowledge. We will absolutely recommend Emerald Elite and Eamon. 
We were very happy with our hotel accommodations. Thanks so much for everything. 

Barb Allen

July 2016

Hello Eamon,

The Kirkseys are all home in hot and humid Houston missing the cool and misty weather of Ireland.  It is my greatest indulgence to plan wonderful holidays for our family, and I was working on itineraries and hotel reservations when I came upon some excellent reviews on trip advisor for Emerald Elite and decided to contact Garreth.   What a great decision it was.  We usually rent a property when we travel with the family, and I had a bit of a panic when we arrived in Ireland wondering how we would handle the "touring" aspect of the trip.  What a bore it could be, but traveling with you was never boring and I thank you for that.

And, Garreth, we will, of course,  send a glowing report of our trip into the ethers of the internet, but if you have other suggestions please let us know how we might let others what a fine company is Emerald Elite.

Thanks for the memories!


September 2016

Hi Gareth,
We had a really great trip and I thought the arrangements super, and echo Doug Watson's comments. I should also add that Rolly's (sp?) bistro that you so kindly arranged for our first night was a perfect fit for an early jet lagged dinner.
Eamon Hegarty has to be the best guide in Ireland; he got to know us better and better with each passing day and his jokes, histories, songs and humour were absolutely pitch perfect for our group. I have already recommended Emerald Elite (and Eamon) to my friend so I'm sure you'll hear from him in due course; and there will no doubt be others as we were all unanimous in our praise of your firm and of Eamon.
Pam and I would not hesitate to book another trip with you, and hope to do so again, perhaps in '18 as next year looks busy already.
Well done!
Frank and Pam Ellsworth

July 2016

Dear Garreth,

I wanted to say THANK YOU for the amazing trip you put together for my husband, myself, and our friends. All my hopes for this trip and my husband's 50th birthday happened with the help of your time and work. This trip was definitely everything we wanted and so much more. I am sorry we did not get to meet you, would have loved to buy you a drink. I don't know if you knew but I had spoken with several different travel agents before speaking with you and you were the first one to tell me this trip might be possible. Then you helped make it possible. Everyone agreed it was the trip of a lifetime. We could not believe the distance we traveled and all the sites we were able to experience. We are all trying to pull our pictures together from our trip which will be so much fun to view all together. 

I wanted to share some of our highlights with you. Starting with Eamon. Eamon was the best surprise of our trip. Phenomenal!!! I can't say enough as to how wonderful his company was, every recommendation he made was excellent, the history he provided, the sites he showed us, and the care and coordination he provided the guys with golfing. It was a definite pleasure to meet him and have him as part of our trip and memories. You said he was your best man and you were not kidding!!!

The guys LOVED golfing at Old Head with all in agreement that they will definitely return. John has golfed many places around the U.S. and in other countries and ranked Old Head in his top places. Gary, John, and Scott all stayed in St. Andrews one more day and were able to golf the New Course. Though some were more disappointed than others not golfing the Old Course, the total trip experiences made the disappointment pass quickly. It was nice that the Old Course was closed on Sunday because the guys could walk the course and take pictures on the Bridge. Great timing! The Club House was very helpful in locating clubs for the guys who stayed the second day as who knew it would be hard to find right handed clubs. 

We understood that no one was going to compare to Eamon, but the big differences between Eamon and Jim I think would have been easier if we knew ahead of time what to expect. Honestly, after we spent some time with Jim and he explained what services he expected to deliver (basically just driving) we were good. Jim did inquire what we wanted to see, reviewed our itinerary, brought us some pamphlets on places, and brought us to some places he knew of. While the guys golfed the Jubilee course Jim drove us to several small adorable harbor towns, he tried to get us to a woollen mill but it was already closed, he was flexible as our plans changed, and helped accomplish some missions we had, taking a picture of a Heilan Coo, finding an official Stirling Football shirt which we could not find in Stirling so Jim drove us to the Albion Stirling Soccer field where we met the Team Chairman who opened the field and store to us.  I think Jim was also more comfortable around his area of Scotland. We had to laugh as we could not stop from asking questions about sites we passed and Jim was honest to say either he did not know or our favorite response was when we asked when something was built and he said "in the past". Way too funny which gave us many laughs days after it occurred. So Jim may not be the travel guide expected, but he was a good driver, appeared to care that we had a good time, and was a nice man to have on our travels. I wanted you to know this as I know there were some misunderstandings between us all in the beginning.

The hotels you reserved were excellent. The locations had access to everything we wanted and needed. The variety of hotels was great from the small feel of The Royal Hotel in Portree, beautiful palace feel in Pitlochry with a lovely herb/flower garden, breath taking view from our room at the Trident of the harbor, an old city hotel feel in Dublin to the modern feel of the Apex. The service at the Mont Clare was outstanding! Everyone was super friendly, helpful, and went out of their way to accommodate everything. Just a note, at three of the hotels, The Trident, The Royal Hotel, and Apex there was confusion about if our bill was paid in full and it took some time at each place sorting this out. The Royal Hotel asked about your tour services as they were not familiar with Emerald. We raved about your services in case you wanted to follow up with them. One thing we did not realize was that most hotels in Ireland and Scotland did not have a/c.  A learning experience for us all, but all good. Apex had fans for everyone in each room.  Best Western we had to request in advance but I think 2 rooms were able to obtain fans. There was a great night man, known as Bubba, at the Best Western that opened the bar for one last drink after we returned from watching the Euro Game. He gave us a private tour and history of the place. Loved it!  Again, amazing memories made. Oh, another thing which I know you don't have any control of but wanted to let you know about. And honestly Gary and I were fine, but there was a big difference in the room sizes at the Scores hotel which actually worked out well as Jamie and John had the biggest room and at that part of the trip it was good for them to have more space. Ha Ha!!! Also, the breakfasts at all the hotels were great. A definite plus, thank you for working this into our package. And the Mont Clare still offered this for a reduced rate upon arrival so everything worked out perfect. 

I can't express to you how much I appreciate your time, your patience as I know there were many changes with people dropping out and joining, your coordination, expertise, and making this dream trip happen. 

Take care and thank you again,

pilar and gary krawchuk