The below commentaries were written by tourists that I guided in French and Belgian destinations. In fact from 2011 to 2016 I used to work in Paris mainly for a company called "Private Tours Paris". The company owner attached a lot of importance to commentaries left by people into "Trip Advisor" and from a commercial point of view I have to agree.
The fame and fortune of "Private Tours Paris" grew exponentially thanks to it, but many travellers started to use that site to blackmail establishments (hotels, restaurants, tours companies etc.) threatening to give them negative notes and on the other hand, many tourist operators cheated by posting fake positive testimonials to attract customers.
Nevertheless it does not mean that all commentaries were/are fake but for sure in recent years "Trip Advisor" has lost its lustre and the referencial importance that once had.
The commentaries are posted in their original languages (Spanish and English) as I guided mainly in these two languages. From time to time I guided in Italian, French and Portuguese but "Private Tours Paris" still works with Northern and Southern American markets whose spoken languages are English and Spanish. Brazilians very often booked their tours in English or Spanish as "Private Tours Paris" does not have any page translated into Portuguese or other language.
"Hicimos 3 viajes con ésta Empresa. Gran experiencia."
5 of 5 stars - Reviewed 22 May 2012
En enero 2012 realizamos con ésta empresa un viaje por Normandía Historica y Monte St. Michel durante 3 dias.
Nuestro guía fue Simeone quien llego puntual por nosotros. Empezamos nuestro viaje durante el cual él fue increiblemente atento, informado, y paciente con todas nuestras preguntas. Tenía gran conocimiendo respecto a todos los temas que le planteabamos y en verdad nos llevó durante 3 dias a realizar un increíble trayecto, cambió el tour programado en base a nuestras peticiones, y en general fue una experiencia increible este es un viaje que RECOMIENDO totalmente.
El Monte St Michel una de las maravillas de Francia y como anecdota nuestro guia tuvo una gran paciencia con una de mis tias que por su edad se le dificultaba subir tantos escalones y él con mucha educación le ayudó en esa escalinata que por cierto vale la pena cada uno de los escalones que uno sube... es MARAVILLOSO ALLÁ ARRIBA.
Fue tan buena la experiencia que dos dias después recidimos con ellos mismos contratar un tour de un dia a Champagne. También nos acompañó el Guía Simeone y puedo decir que cada vez que yo beba una copa de Champagne recordare los hermosos viñedos, las casas de Ay y las explicaciones que tanto la dueña de la casa productora como Simeone nos otorgaron.
Para asegurar nuestra llegada puntual al aeropuerto para regresar a nuestro país, contratamos nuevamente sus servicios para trasladarnos al mismo. Pierre llegó muy puntual, nos llevó hasta el pie de nuestra Aerolinea y como todo el personal de la Empresa fue una persona muy educada y atenta con nosotros. Recomiendo ampliamente la Empresa Private Tour París, a Jean Claude que nos hizo las reservaciones, Simeone que con gran educación n y conocimiento nos hizo conocer más de Francia y a Pierre.
Saludos desde México
Visited January 2012
Mexico City, Mexico
5 of 5 stars - Reviewed 4 April 2015
Nuestro guía, Sim excelente, ahora es nuestro gran amigo francés, visitamos el valle de Loira y Brujas
Visited April 2015
Buenos Aires, Argentina
5 of 5 stars - Reviewed 12 June 2014
Contratamos desde Buenos Aires cuatro excursiones y dos trastados entre el aeropuerto Charles de Gaulle y el hotel. Los traslados los hicimos con el conductor Pedro que se portó como un amigo de toda la vida con nosotros, incluso nos ayudó totalmente con el equipaje y guíandonos dentro del aeropuerto.
Las excursiones las hicimos con Simeone, un excelente guía, muy amable, muy colaborador y atento a nuestras preferencias y muy bien informado sobre los lugares que visitamos
Nos llevamos una excelente impresión de esta empresa de turismo.
Visited May 2014
"Trip to Paris"
5 of 5 stars - Reviewed 2 September 2016
Chose Private Tours Paris using TripAdvisor rates and was not disappointed. Sim, our driver picked us on time and took us on a history tour of Paris. The choice of destinations and sites was ours and Sim happily obliged our every whim. We had a relaxing lunch under the trees at the Luxembourg gardens, with stop at the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Monte Marte artist's market and other venues. Even had a French lesson, to help us with our Paris adventure. I highly recommend this company strongly for their excellent service.
Visited July 2016
"Highlights of our Paris trip were outside Paris"
5 of 5 stars - Reviewed 2 September 2016
I found this tour group on TripAdvisor. They were considerably less expensive than the tour group my Paris travel agent recommended, which is always cause for concern. | booked two tours with them anyway, after reading their impressive website. Our first was with guide Francisco who picked us at our apartment and took us to Versailles for our skip-the-line
personal tour. He was completely fluent in English and was a wealth of fascinating history.
He knew the answer to every question and made it an extraordinary adventure. He gladly took scores of photos of our family and waited patiently through any delay. Needless to say, Versailles is incredible. That afternoon we continued on to Giverny, home of Monet and had delightful al fresco lunch and a breathtaking stroll through Monet's Garden and home. On the way back, we detoured through the gorgeous Normandy countryside. This was a special day. Later in the week, we took their Champagne Tour to Reims. Sim was our guide and he was also fluent in English, having lived and studied in the U.S. Sim was a great character and it was an absolute pleasure to spend the day in his company. The tour took us to Reims and the Moet & Chandon winery where we had an in-depth tour of the facility and an exquisite tasting. The town is wonderful and wish we had more time to wander the streets. We did see the Sacre Coeur Cathedral there and although heavily bombed in WW1, it was mostly restored to it's original beauty. Sim then took us for an excellent lunch in a quiet town and then on to a small boutique winery called Champagne Roger-Constant LEMAIRE. We met with the owners and had a private tour and tasting. Their champagne process is more natural and takes much longer than traditional methods. The result is an amazingly smooth champagne that is unlike no other. We brought back 10 bottles! I couldn't recommend these two tours and these two tour guides more. It doesn't get any better than this. Thanks again Francisco and Sim
Visited July 2015
Level 6 Contributor
TripAdvisor member since 2012
"Outstanding Tour - Vimy and Beaumont-Hamel"
5 of 5 stars - Reviewed 9 October 2015 via mobile
I was looking for a tour while in Paris to visit Vimy Ridge and Beaumont-Hamel. While TripAdvisor shows some, I could not find one that went on the day we were available. Finally found this one and they were great. Easy booking experience, quick answered to questions, flexible, and willing to work with me. The tour was one day and our guide was friendly, knowledgeable, and adapted to our interests. We had a great day. Thank you Sim.
Visited October 2015
"Trip of a lifetime with an exception experience! Best service ever! 5-star++++++"
5 of 5 starsReviewed 25 July 2015
My husband, 12-year old son and I utilized Private Tour Paris for a 3-day trip to Normandy beaches and St. Mont Michel. The trip was absolutely fantastic and a trip of a lifetime thanks to Private Tours Paris. Simeone (Sim) was a fantastic guide. I really can't express adequately in words how wonderful the experience was. Sim made the 3-day tour an event to remember. He was knowledgeable and accommodating. He was so very helpful! He made sure that our trip fulfilled a dream of a lifetime! I would provide a 10-star++++ rating if I could!!
We also appreciate the fantastic office staff that coordinated the event and relayed information about our son and his wishes so that the trip was even more special. Sim was sure to incorporate areas of interest for our son. We wanted this to be a dream-come-true for our son for his 13th birthday and it did not disappoint. When Sim learned that our son, Richie, enjoyed the German bunkers on the beach, he was sure to incorporate some additional bunkers that had less people and were more secluded so that my son felt that it as a true adventure to explore these areas. Sim couldn't have been better.
Sim customized the tour to accomodate our interests! All of his recommendations were perfect!
Sim was super funny and personable. We enjoyed his company. Sim's knowledge of the region was invaluable. As the farmer's strike caused difficulties in getting to Mont St. Michel, he took us to a gorgeous castle and then completed with the final battle of Normandy. These venues were excellent, and I would recommend them to everyone!
I would recommend this service to anyone. No one in our family speaks nor understands French, so Sim was there the entire time to help us order and make the travel stress free. I would highly, highly recommend this service to those who want a customized tour.
Thanks again, Private Tours Paris, for this amazing experience. It made this the best vacation that we have ever been on!
Visited July 2015
"The Perfect Private Tour of Paris and Normandy Area"
5 of 5 stars - Reviewed 10 October 2014
We chose Private Tours Paris for an in-depth day tour of Paris and a three day tour of Normandy because of the positive reviews. Julie and Lee in the office, worked by email with us for a year to design the tours, exactly as we wanted them. We exchanged many emails over the course of almost a year, and in every instance we had a quick response confirming our desires and providing welcomed advice.
We started with their basic tour definitions of both Paris and Normandy and modified them both to add the places we were interested in seeing on our trip.
Once Lee/Julie assigned the tour guides we further refined the tour schedules (with their help) so we were sure to be able to see the places that were important to us, in the time we had. Even down to the timing so we were at the correct places at the low tides (like Arromanches and Mont St Michel) for optimal viewing.
Our first tour was of Paris and our guide Gustavo picked the five of us up in a seven passenger van. With his guidance we were able to see all of what we had chosen to see on a Paris Day Tour and then some. He was open and honest about the areas of Paris and the people and he was willing to modify the tour to take in the special places we had chosen to see. Not being overly interested in the "art" of the city, we did a great, quick informative tour of the Lourve, and then spent additional time seeing other areas and sections of the city, such as Napoleons tomb. Gustavo gave us some additional tips such as going up to the Tower Montpanarsse observation deck which we subsequently did and thoroughly enjoyed the views of the city.
The next day we were picked up by our Normandy guide, Sim, again in a comfortable van, to set off to Normandy,the D Day beaches, and Mont St Michel. We began with St Eglise (as he suggested) and Utah Beach to start our 3 Day Normandy tour. Again, our guide was extremely flexible in not only taking us to the places we had hoped to see, but optimized our experience by suggesting additional locations and routes. Sim was very personable and easy to be with. He had a vast knowledge of the history of the area, and no matter where he took us he had an extreme amount of knowledge and information on Normandy. His personality fit our relaxed group, and he had a way of balancing the emotion of our D Day experience of the area with some lighter sections of the coast, to give us a balance during the days. He took us several places that we had not even thought of going, such as the Canadian Cemetery. if you want someone who hears what you want to see and "gets" what is important to you, this is the right guide for your group. His experience as an avid photographer was an added plus, as he pointed out great photo stops and was willing to take some "artistic" pictures of our group along the way. His drive back to Paris on an alternate route, was a perfect ending to the days at Normandy and Mont St Michel.
At the end of the tour, we felt we were leaving "a friend" not just a guide.
Both guides were very adept at avoiding the traffic of Paris, and confirmed that we had made the correct choice to not drive the city, since we were able to see so much more than we would have on our own.
Everyone we had contact with through Private Paris tours was extremely thorough and professional, and we would choose them in an instant again for any tour of the that area.
Visited September 2014
"Fabulous tour to Champagne"
5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 September 2014
We enjoyed a wonderful tour to Champagne area of France. From the moment we were picked up in the Mercedes Mini Van the tour was wonderful. Simeone, our driver/tour guide was very knowledgeable about the area, he showed us many interesting things along the way to the 2 Champagne Houses that we had requested to see, Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot. Simeone gave us many facts about the Champagne making process and all his information made our tour at the producers all that more interesting.
Visited September 2014
New York City, New York
"10 Days in Paris...Magnifique!"
5 of 5 stars - Reviewed 28 July 2014
We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and our experience with Private Tours was exceptional. We had a group of nine family members ranging from ages 10 to 74 and our guides were always very accommodating to our mobility and interest levels. Customer service, tours, comfort level... everything was done to perfection from start to finish!
In the planning stages, done 98% thru email, our many questions were answered thoroughly. We did not have a scheduled tour every day, but even for the off days, we were given advice on best times to go to certain sites, websites on where to pre-order tickets, etc. All of our tours were excellent. We did 8 hour Paris tour, Night Illuminations cruise (a must!!!), day trips to Versailles, Giverny, and Bruges (all completely worth the trip!) and 4 hours in the Louvre (which was perfect amount of time as the crowds were like white-water rafting).
Versailles crowd was a crush but our tickets were pre-arranged so we didn't have to wait in the lines! And we were there when the music was playing and the fountains were going, which was a nice way to see the gardens. Everyone loved Bruges despite the 3 hour drive out there. We got to see the countryside, another country, and the city was so typically European, it was worth it! Even the rest stop was a hit, fresh pastry and coffee will always forgive an early rising time and long drive. Giverny was beautiful, but again crowded with tour groups. Best part was walking through the village after walking thru the gardens & house, other tours didn't go there! Louvre was cra-azy crowded, but again pre-arranged tickets and a guide who knew her way around the layout and who knew her art history made all the difference. Night Illuminations tour was definitely a highlight - a boat ride on the Seine, then a drive through the city - how could you not??? See what makes it the City of Lights!!!
We had Catherine as a tour guide most of the days - excellent. She knew her history, her english was perfect, she was so great! and she was always looking out for all of us, especially with my parents' mobility issues. We had Sim on only two days but he was great too. Very funny and entertaining. They both had lunch with us during the daylong tours and it was nice to have conversation and just enjoy their company. However I don't want to forget Laurent and Beatrice, our husband-wife chauffeur team. Since we were such a big group, we needed a mini-bus. They drove us to and from the airport, they drove us on all of our tours, they spoke very little English, but they were so friendly and accommodating...and the vehicle was always clean and comfortable. One glich was that upon arrival, Laurent was not given the correct address of where we were staying. Even though he didn't speak English and I was just working with my 20-years-removed high school French, we figured it out quickly (thanks to having copies of emails) and all was taken care of.
Worth every penny. Absolument!
Visited July 2014
"Book early and ask questions"
4 of 5 stars - Reviewed 14 June 2014 via mobile
Spent a wonderful week in Paris and utilized Private Tours Paris for 3 separate tours. First an afternoon in Paris, then an afternoon at Versailles, and finally a full day at Normandy. The quality of the administration and the touring vans (Mercedes) are excellent. What ultimately dictates the quality of your tour is the guide. We had 3, 2 of whom were excellent (Francois - Versailles and Sim - Normandy). This company owns about 10 vehicles and has some guides retained full time. Most are independent contractors who will work for a few different companies. I would strongly urge you to question the credentials of the guide assigned as experience matters. Our 3rd guide was very pleasant and a nice person, but lacked the experience and detailed knowledge for some aspects of the tour as compared to both Francois and Sim. Doing it again, I would only book if I were extremely comfortable and understanding of their tenure and experience. These tours are pricey, especially when gratuities are taken into account. By booking early (which I did not do), you will be afforded the opportunity to decide if you are happy with the selected guide.
Strongly suggest the Versailles tour as my wife and I did this with 3 teenagers. The private guide provides a separate entrance and avoids the long line at entry. We were able to tour the entire top floor in an hour and Francois provided excellent and detailed knowledge that we all benefited from. The then spent an hour touring the gardens on our own (rented a golf cart for 32 Euros) to provide us the means the cover a large area in a short time.
Normandy was a treat. It's a long day but we were able to see many of the sites where D-Day took place. Our day was very informative and Sim shared his years of experience with us. He kept us moving at a good speed at the various stops that we selected. Sim provided a great overview and works to customize our day based upon our input.
Book early and enjoy!!
Visited June 2014
Delray Beach, Florida
"Good trip to Versailles & excellent experience in Champagne."
4 of 5 stars - Reviewed 13 June 2014
We used Private Tours Paris for a half day tour this week to Versailles and a full day tour in the Champagne region. Communication with the company was good and straightforward; a professional operation.
Our half day trip to Versailles, was nice. My wife and I are traveling with our two teenagers and wanted the experience to be easy and fun for our kids who have never been there. Our guide/driver was Pierre who was very nice and certainly knew his material. He picked us up on time, had our tickets ready and walked inside very quickly. The place is amazing. I wish I could say the kids were engaged or had any connection with our guide. It almost seemed like it may have been an off day for him, like I said, he was very nice and professional, just had that missing element.
The day after we went out (on a full day trip) to Champagne with Sim, who picked us up on time, and had our day planned out very well. Really good selection of vineyards and stops along the way. We enjoyed our day in the French countryside very much and it was an extremely memorable experience for us all. Thanks Sim!
Overall, very good experience with Private Tours Paris.
Visited June 2014
"D-Day in Normandy 12 hour tour - Great Day"
5 of 5 stars - Reviewed 18 January 2014
I used TripAdvisor to help booked my European vacation this past July, so it is only fair that I review Private Tours Paris. After quickly booking a daylong bus trip to see Omaha Beach with our local travel agent, I decided to rethink my choice of sharing this long day with 50 other people. I made the correct choice of cancelling the bus tour and booking a private tour for my family of three with Private Tours Paris. Our driver/guide Sim arrived promptly at our Paris hotel at 7:00am in a very comfortable and clean Mercedes minivan. After driving an hour and a half we stopped for a quick breakfast of coffee and croissants at a highway truck plaza. The plaza seemed new and was very clean and had clean restrooms. The plaza had a variety of fresh croissants and danishes and many drink choices for breakfast. Sim kindly helped us place our order with the clerk and we sat in a small dining area to enjoy our breakfast. We probably spent only 20 minutes total at the plaza and were back on the road to Normandy. We spent the 3 hour trip from Paris to the beaches talking with Sim about the history of the area and of WWII in France. Sim jokingly quizzed our 18 year old son on European history and about WWII during the drive. Thank goodness my son must have paid attention in his high school AP European history class because it was a joy to hear him able to converse with Sim on many topics. Sim let us plan our own day in Normandy. We chose not to stop to see the tapestry in Bayeux so we could spend more time at Omaha Beach and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. It was great not having to spend this memorable visit with a busload of people. Sim also rerouted the usual trip through the area so we could visit the sites at less congested times. We were able to stand on Omaha Beach practically by ourselves to take in this solemn historic site. Stops at Pointe du Hoc, Arromaches and Maisey Battery also was included in this trip where we walked around the sites at our own leisure. Sim picked a nice local cafe at a marina with an outside patio for us to have lunch and a drink. The food was good and served pretty quickly so we could continue siteseeing. After a great, but exhausting day in Normandy, Sim drove us back to our Paris hotel. We stopped half way back to Paris for a quick restroom break and to fill up for gas and to get a snack. Sim had us back to the hotel by 8:00pm. This day trip to Omaha Beach was probably one of our family's top highlights of our 14 day European trip and Baltic Cruise. I can honestly recommend Private Tours Paris and our driver/guide Sim for this once in a lifetime trip to Omaha Beach and the Normandy area. Todd, Judy & Brett G. Ohio, USA
Visited July 2013
"Loire Valley Castles"
5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 October 2013
My wife and I did the Loire Valley Castles with Sim, he did a really great job and was able to customize it for our needs and timing. He provided a very insightful tour both about the area and castles, as well as about French culture in general. Highly recommend him and "Private Tours Paris" we were able to book this tour at the very last minute.
Tour Date Sunday 29th September 2013
Visited September 2013
"Excellent Private Tours"
5 of 5 stars - Reviewed 18 May 2013
Excellent private tours in mini van with very good driver/guides and good value.
With mobility issues we were worried we wouldn't see as much of Paris however Private Tours Paris provided us with a mini van and we did a 4 hour Paris tour which covered everything we wanted to see. We also did a full day trip to Champagne and the best winery R.C. Lemaire the best champagne we have had cant wait for it to be available in Australia.
Our guides Marlene and Sim were very knowledge and happy to answer questions as well.
We had the best time and highly recommend this company for any tour needs and even if they don't ave it I am sure they will try and help.
Excellent service, excellent value, excellent quality, excellent care
Darryl and Elizabeth Sloman
Visited May 2013
"Outstanding trip to Mont Saint-Michel with Private Tours Paris"
5 of 5 stars - Reviewed 28 March 2013
We recently visited Paris and booked a private tour to Mont Saint-Michel. Sim was our driver and he provided a safe, comfortable and knowledge experience the entire trip. He graciously picked us up from our hotel and drove over 250 miles each way with an extremely pleasant demeanor. Once we arrived at the breathtaking island, our dream of a lifetime began. Simeone was a great guide, he informed us about the history, the spiritual leaders and the amazing invasions that were launched by the Norsemen (vikings), kings of the maritime world against the island. He provided insight into the amazing architectural buildings developed on the island. The story of Mont Saint Michel was an inspiration to the people as the collapse of the Roman Empire gave the bishops the opportunity to become the spiritual leaders. To visit the island is an enchanting experience, Simeone's rich understanding of the area made the trip wonderful. He located a perfect place for lunch, the restaurant enticed us with oysters from the bay. Lunch was fabulous as was the service. Then, began the journey thru the entire monastery, churches and historic monuments, with Simeone patiently providing information. After the tour, he allowed plenty of time to comb the stores and shops for souvenirs to remember the epic journey. I was amazed at his positive attitude and pleasantry during the long 14 hour trip. Worth every penny for the spectacular trip.
Visited March 2013