Based in Dublin

Simon Armstrong

It's Nice To Meet You

I feel I’m lucky to work in an industry that has allowed me to travel extensively and I've made full use of it! I've trekked the Inca Trail in Peru, lounged on the beach in Mauritius, tasted the freshest sushi in Tokyo and partied the night away in Rio at the Carnival.

With many years experience in the Luxury, Leisure and Business Travel sectors, I’ve developed an unparalleled knowledge of some of the top resorts and hotels throughout the world, as well as the best airlines to get there!

As a Travel Counsellor I’m available at a time and place that suits you and that doesn’t revolve around normal business hours. I can tailor-make your very own bespoke holiday to whichever part of the world you’re interested in, so please don’t hesitate to get in contact by phone or e-mail.


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Whatever your holiday needs I'm here to help you, so simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact details on and I can get things started for you:

My Blog

I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.

Wonderful Hong Kong!

10 June 2019

I used to live in Hong Kong, so I know it very well. It is one of my favourite cities and there is nowhere in the world that matches the dynamism, uniqueness and sheer energy of the city. The first impression you get is that there are a lot of people here! When you head in on the train or car transfer from the airport to the city you see a huge amount of apartment blocks. Not just one or two, but groups of ten or twenty 40-storey buildings all lined up. There’s not a lot of space in Hong Kong, so land needs to be used wisely! There is an age-old debate as to where to stay. In Kowloon or the Island? To be honest I don’t think there is a right answer to this. Both have their merits and with the amazing MTR underground train system, you’re never more than 20 or so minutes from where you need to get to anyway. It’s comprehensive, efficient and cheap. Also because of the level of traffic it’s often the fastest way from A to B too. A really good way to see the main areas of Hong Kong Island is to jump aboard a tram for only $2 (20c) per journey. Head to the top deck, front seat and watch it all go by. If you see anything you like the look of you can jump off, go explore, and then jump back on again. For example, you could start in Kennedy Town in the west. A traditional area with lots of small businesses and a little taste of the way Hong Kong used to be. It’s a great location for restaurants to grab a bite before your journey. You couldn’t get two areas more different as the next district the tram travels through is Central. Asia’s financial powerhouse where huge gleaming buildings occupy the skyline. The famous Lan Kwai Fong nightlife area is close by, a maze of small streets filled with bars and restaurants. It’s also the terminus of the Peak Tram which has been taking people up Victoria Peak since 1888 for stunning views of the city. Next up. Wan Chai. It’s neon, loud and brash. There are plenty of market stalls dotted around the area, but Wan Chai’s 'toy street' has the largest concentration of stalls and shops. Selling everything from live turtles, flowers and toys, to vegetables, meat and live seafood, the market streets are full of character and offer a fascinating glimpse into life in this bustling neighbourhood. Causeway Bay is further along the tracks and a bit more refined, it’s considered a microcosm of the whole city. A shopper’s heaven with huge mega-sized department stores and many notable local-style restaurants. Also, home to Times Square. Not quite as big as its American counterpart, but a glittering and exciting place all the same. Another must-do in Hong Kong is the Star Ferry. It’s the best way to get those photos of the instantly recognisable Hong Kong skyline. It runs well into the evening, so I’d recommend a trip after sunset, so you get to see the city lit up in all its glory. A memory that will stay with you forever! Once over in Kowloon, the first part to greet you is The Promenade. A cluster of Hong Kong’s top museums and performance facilities. Places I’d mention specifically are the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Space Museum and I highly recommended both. The designer shops of the 1881 Building are worth a look around too, even if it’s just window shopping! It’s a gorgeous building. It was the Old Marine Police Headquarters and one of very few examples of historic buildings in this part of town. A walk-up Nathan Road gives you a real flavour of this part of town. Those iconic neon signs stretching into the middle of the road leaves you in no doubt as to where you are! If the walk gets a bit tiring, the MTR runs up the length of the street, so jump on and let the train take the strain! I recommend one of the many night markets along here if you’re out and about after dark. My favourite is Temple Street and make sure you bring your appetite because the street food is delicious! A lot of people when they think of Hong Kong, they think of skyscrapers, crowds, shopping and you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s all that’s here. If I said you could go beach hopping, head out hiking in the hills and visit remote fishing villages, would you believe me? That’s the relatively hidden part of Hong Kong which is Lantau Island and it’s just a half an hour ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of Central. It’s a fascinating city and I could write double what I have above and still not even scratch the surface so get in touch if you’re in need of more holiday inspiration!


08 September 2016

My first trip after starting my career in travel was to Peru. Somewhere I’d always wanted to go so I booked as part of a group, which I found was a great way to see as much as I could of a country in a relatively short space of time. As an independent traveller it is also a great way to meet new people. I arrived, as most people do, in Lima and my hotel close to the Plaza De Armas, which houses the Cathedral, Municipal Palace and Presidential Palace, where the changing of the guard can be seen at noon daily. Some people skip on to their next destination but I think Lima is worth a couple of days exploring on its own, especially if museums are your thing as it has some of the best in South America, including the Gold Museum and Museum of the Inquisition. The Catacombs below the San Francisco Church are worth a visit too. If you get a chance, head to Miraflores for restaurants and nightlife. We took an early flight to the city of Cuzco the following day for a bit of acclimatisation before doing the Inca Trail. It’s a city that’s easy to walk around with every modern amenity and geared to tourism. It takes a while to get used to the lack of oxygen in the air as you’re over three kilometres above sea-level! There are various ‘Boletos’ that you can buy that will include entrance to all of the sights in the area. The Sacred Valley is another step up altitude-wise at 3800 metres above sea-level, the centre of the old Inca civilisation and the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo. It was built by an old Inca emperor back in the 15th Century and it’s pretty impressive in its scale so we spent most of the day exploring the region. You’ve three options if you want to see Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail which starts at KM82 (82 kilometres along the railway from Cusco to Aguas Calientes) and treks high up into the mountains passing the Inca ruins before finally arriving at Machu Picchu for sunrise on the 4th day of the trek. This is the one I did and believe me the 4 days trekking is worth it for the sunrise at the end, it’s such a spectacular sight. Just the names of the ruins alone are exotic Llactapata, Runkurakay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca to name a few. Other options are the Lares Trek which is about a quarter shorter than the Inca Trail but the advantage is that there isn’t a permit system, so if you’ve missed out on the Inca Trail for that very reason it’s a good alternative and you’ll get to see some gorgeous little traditional villages as you trek through the Lares Valley. The third way to visit Machu Picchu is by train to the town of Aguas Calientes, then a bus to the top. The most luxurious train is the Hiram Bingham which is operated by the Belmond Group (formerly Orient Express) which harks back to an earlier era. Oh, and don’t forget your Dinner Jacket for the dining carriage! Next stop…the Amazon. Which I think was the place I was most looking forward to. It always conjured up the unfamiliar to me. Unusual plants, weird looking creatures, colourful birds and it didn’t fail to impress. We arrived by plane into a rather sultry Puerto Maldonado for our speedboat ride to the conservation lodge in the middle of the jungle, where we learnt about the projects that they were involved in. It’s one of the richest places in the world for biodiversity and that’s why it’s of such importance. We embarked on our tour of the jungle very early the next morning due to the midday sun being so intense. In the space of 5 or 6 hours we saw a huge amount of wildlife, from hand-sized spiders to caimans floating in the river. Multi-coloured parrots and lots of different types of monkey, most of which I didn’t know existed. The Squirrel monkey is just one example. After leaving the Jungle behind we headed towards Arequipa, otherwise known as the ‘White City’ due to the huge amount of marble used in its construction. The Old Town is one of many UNESCO World Heritage sites in Peru and has some beautiful colonial-style buildings. It’s also home to the ornate Church of the Company. The local market is full of places to eat lunch and I had some of the best Ceviche (raw fish cured in citrus juice and spices) there. Also fruit and vegetables that I’ve never seen before and haven’t since! In a land full of superlatives, next stop was Lake Titicaca, at 3812 metres above sea-level, it’s the highest navigable lake in the world and home to the Uru people who have made the lake their home with the construction of islands made of reeds. We were lucky and they staged one of their famous dragon boat races when we there. Puno is the main city where you reach the islands by boat so you’ll probably be staying there before and after a trip to the lake. It’s a small enough city. Be sure though to visit Kuntur Wasi viewpoint. Believe me when I say it’s worth the 700 steps to the top! Our group headed back to Lima for one final night together before going our separate ways. You really do meet some great people on these tours and when you spend almost three weeks together through thick and thin it’s all part of the experience and you’re sad to see them go. For more information on Peru, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


08 September 2016

Arriving into Ho Chi Minh City from the airport is not for the faint hearted! You really feel that you’ve been thrown in at the deep end with the sea of mopeds heading down the street (7.43 million at last count!) and the sheer noise of the place. We arrived at the hotel as part of our Luxury Bespoke Tour and settled in for the night as we had big plans for the day after. We started off the following day, meeting our tour guide Dinh who took us out in his cyclo (probably the best way to describe it is a bicycle with a human sized basket on the front) and visited all the must-see sights in Ho Chi Minh City; the General Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral, both classic examples of colonial architecture. We then headed off to the impressive looking Reunification Palace where the official South Vietnamese surrender was signed in 1975. Last but not least the War Remnants Museum, which houses all the old military equipment from the Vietnam War. It also gives you a different slant on the story of the war too from their own (often differing from ours!) perspective. The Mekong Delta was next on the list, two and a half hours drive from the city. It’s one of those must see places and the ‘rice-bowl’ of Vietnam. The colourful markets, the friendly locals and also where certain species of animals have been rediscovered long after they thought were extinct. In a few years’ time the whole region will be fundamentally altered due to several damming projects in the pipeline. Go see this biological treasure trove whilst it’s still there. After a drive back to Ho Chi Minh City, we caught the short flight to Danang which is the closest airport to Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of my favourite spots in the whole country. It’s recognised as an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port, with influences of all the nations that have made their mark on this phenomenal country. Nightlife and restaurants are around every corner and it has a real buzz about it. The drive north of Hoi An is spectacular. It’s one of the highlights of Vietnam. It’s not called ‘Ocean Cloud Pass’ for nothing. Approximately 120kms down the road it descends across the Perfume River into Hue. Hue was the national Capital between 1802 and 1945 and contains many important historical buildings, especially in the Imperial City. The food in Hue is said to be some of the best in Vietnam, but watch out, it can be quite spicy! We boarded our overnight train at Hue Station after a couple of days in the ‘Imperial Capital’. Whilst the carriages aren’t what we would describe as luxury, they are adequately comfortable and an ideal way to cover the nearly 800kms to the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. Hanoi is a lot less frenetic than Ho Chi Minh City and home to some fantastic museums, such as the Fine Arts Museum and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. Also don’t miss the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake. If you’re an early bird you’ll catch some of the local residents practicing traditional T’ai Chi on the shore. On the coast about three hours east is probably Vietnam’s most visited attractions. Halong Bay, which is often listed as one of the natural wonders of the world and is another of Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. The vistas are simply stunning and the Halong Violet boat is the ultimate in luxury, with only 6 individually themed cabins decked out in 1930’s style and floor to ceiling windows to make the most of the views. After 2 nights on the Bay it was time to head back to Hanoi and our flight home. We found this way of travelling ideal as although we personally stuck pretty much to the suggested itinerary, the bespoke nature of the tour meant that if we wanted to add/take out bits before booking then we could make the trip truly our own. A wonderful country that is undergoing immense change whilst it embraces a more capitalist future. Go before it changes too much!

My customer stories

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Excellent knowledgeable service from Simon. He invested the time to get the break we wanted at a price that worked. I really appreciated his genuine interest in putting together a great break for myself and my wife. 5 stars.

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We booked our honeymoon with Simon and found him to be very helpful and accommodating. As it's our honeymoon, we are very particular in what we want to do and places we want to stay; regardless of the amount of changes we made Simon was always patient and understanding. He was easily contactable always even when he was away on holidays. He made the process so easy and I would highly recommend him!

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