What Our Clients Are Saying

Everything on our trip went smoothly, all details such as transfers and pickups were covered perfectly by Marylou, the rooms were fantastic, and as a result our entire family had an amazing vacation. Can't wait to book our next trip through Marylou.
Mark H | Agent: Marylou Calnin-Sek
Mary Lou was very helpful in arranging a cruise, shore excursions, ground transportation, tours, and special meals for our large family group. She is a winner!
Windy City Gang | Agent: Marylou Calnin-Sek
We have used Lake Forest Travel and Marylou for several international trips for our family of 6. Without exception, the travel planning and execution is superb. Marylou understands our preferences and designs travel plans consistent with those preferences. She provides extraordinary customer service, helping with all aspects of our travel. For this trip, she helped us decide on an area based on a few we had narrowed down, and then set everything up to match the award travel we were arranging for the international flights. She carefully worked with us and A&K (patiently, through 5 drafts of the itinerary) to make sure everything was just right. We highly value her insights and recommendations. She is extremely prompt at getting back to clients. We also really appreciated her helping check mis-information we received from United when our return flight was significantly delayed and likely to be cancelled. It helped us make the decision to take a different flight. Marylou is the best!
6Wynns | Agent: Marylou Calnin-Sek
We chose Dyane to plan our honeymoon to Hawaii. She is very responsive and knowledgable. She was able to work within our schedule and budget to plan the perfect trip. We plan to work with her for future trips!
Steve | Agent: Dyane Shanahan
Denise helped us plan an incredible trip to Europe. It was my first time going overseas, and I am so grateful she had everything all planned out and taken care of for us! We were fully prepared, and owe that all to Denise! She made sure we knew local customs, currencies, and must-sees in each city we visited. She was also readily available not just in the weeks leading up to our travel, but during as well. She is dependable, friendly, extremely well-organized, and comprehensive. We will absolutely continue to book all of our vacations through Passionate Pursuits Travel!
EvanS | Agent: Denise Schwab, CTA
Denise's recommendations could not have been better. We stayed at two properties on this vacation, both were fabulous, and couldn't be better situated as far as location. She is one of the better travel agents have ever worked with. She knows her stuff but is not pushy. Denise is efficient, thorough, professional and courteous. I would highly recommend her and will be using her again.
Anastasia | Agent: Denise Schwab, CTA
Denise is the ultimate travel agent, she was concerned for every detail and did well in putting it all together. She also helped plan our 6-week in Europe trip last summer. We stayed at great hotels and all flights were well arranged.
Pjg | Agent: Denise Schwab, CTA
Denise was amazing and helped plan the most unbelievable honeymoon for us in St. Lucia! We could not have asked for better service or a better trip. It was the vacation of a lifetime and Denise helped make that happen!
honeymooner1216 | Agent: Denise Schwab, CTA
While we usually book our domestic, short, business and pleasure trips ourselves, this time I asked Monica if she could help a quick weekend trip. She was as prompt, thorough, and helpful as with our longer, more complex, international trips. I am so appreciative of all that she does to make our travels easier and enjoyable.
KJ | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Our Belize trip was beyond wonderful. Weather was incredible, water was warm and crystal clear, and seafood was unreal. I highly recommend staying at Mata Chica if you want to disconnect from your digital devices and enjoy resort life. Staff called us by name and always made sure we had everything we needed. Snorkeling is a must. Affordable pricing and just a short plane ride away.
Sarah B | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica and her staff always provide me with excellent service. Monica knows how my husband and I like to travel and always finds us the perfect spot. I can often times be indecisive, but she always is patient and very responsive with my requests for pricing, etc.
laura12 | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica's organization and wisdom of travel and accommodations made our European trip absolutely effortless! It was perfectly planned and we felt welcomed and pampered everywhere we stayed! A+
CSRS103 | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Our trip to The Ritz Reserve in PR was A-Mazing!!!! Thank you Monica for helping to make our trip so fabulous! All 12 of us agree - the BEST trip ever... The resort is the nicest I've ever been to in the islands....the service is impeccable...can't wait to go back!
Sheri | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
We have traveled with Virtuoso many times in the past, but this was the first time we were given a room upgrade- Very Nice!. As always enjoyed all other amenities that comes with booking with Virtuoso (hotel credits, breakfast, late check-out, etc.)
S&E | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica and her team are amazing! Always over deliver. Love working with them, and will continue to have them help with my travel needs! Smart, kind, responsive, understanding of our needs, etc, etc.
Jennifer | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica listens to our objectives and interests for our trips and offers detailed recommendations that meet them. Her communication and follow-up are outstanding. She is a pleasure to work with during the planning process. And during the trips, I know that everything will go smoothly because of her meticulous planning.
Kevin | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica is a super travel agent. She most recently planned our trip to Antarctica. She was knowledgeable, responsive and efficient. The trip involved a number of complications (including substitution of one of the travellers, travel delays due to fog in Antarctica, and other issues). Monica successfully navigated through all of these issues and produced for us the trip of a lifetime. We are very grateful to her and we can now add this recent trip to a growing number of trips that we have made with Monica. We plan on using her as our regular agent.
Bob | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica always works hard to make sure my family has a wonderful vacation. She always spends time helping us stay at the best hotels and then works hard to get us room upgrades and more to enhance our vacations. She is wonderful!
laura12 | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Trip was planned perfectly. Was able to get the best room on the location with many additional amenities. Booked the same trip again a week after the return.
Sean | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
We have worked with Monica over the last 10+ years from our honeymoon in Italy, to family getaways in the States. Monica is wonderful to work with, has so many great suggestions, unique experiences and always has great food recommendations!
Ashjoy | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
We live in Arizona but will always use Helen and Monica from our days in Lake Forest back in the 1980's. We wanted something special for our wedding anniversary so chose Cabo San Lucas because it was two hours by plane and we had never been. Monica guided us to the One & Only Palmilla, recommended restaurants and arranged our flight. The experience was spectacular and the care given by Monica and the Lake Forest Travel team was exceptional. We will always be appreciative clients.
P&J | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Helen has helped us with our travels for over 10 years. She is friendly and extremely competent. Helen has always let us know which are the best hotels, where in the hotel to stay (e.g. at the Hassler a garden room to avoid the noise), and has always arranged for excellent drivers and guides. Using Helen we have travelled to Europe 11 times, to South America, New Zealand, Egypt, US trips and numerous cruises. This particular trip was to Egypt and Rome. I had trepidations but Helen had recently been there and encouraged us to go. Glad she was persistent as Egypt blew us away. Helen arranged everything and it could not have been smoother. In Rome I wanted a driver/guide to take us to a couple of hill towns in Umbria and Tuscany. Helen arranged for a guide that surprised us by serenading us with a guitar and harmonica medley whilst at lunch on a terrace overlooking Montepulciano. I have nothing but the highest regard for Helen and trust her recommendations implicitly. 
Savvy Traveler | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
The Hotel d'Angleterre was closed for two years for complete renovation reopening in 2013. Booking thru Virtuoso resulted a a room upgrade to a junior suit that was fantastic. Service was outstanding as well. So what can we say - Helen and Gwen did it again!!!
RDC | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen Varri was a joy to work with and the trip was designed around our interests and capabilities. The fact that our traveling companions live thousands of miles away was no problem. Everything was arranged and we had first-class accommodations at every city we visited. We benefitted from Virtuoso upgrades to a junior suite at two different hotels. It may have helped that we were near the end of the summer season in Switzerland. When we checked in at the Ville d' Este on Lake Como, we were met by a woman who knows Helen very well and we were treated very well, as well. The same thing happened on a previous trip when we were met by the manager of the group on hotels in Lyon, France who told us of having lunch with Helen 2 years before. I highly recommend Helen Varri and the services of Lake Forest Travel Bureau.
FEH | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Monica and Vanessa at Lake Forest Travel did a terrific job in organizing our trip for our family of 6. They contacted hotels and offered guide services and allayed my fears of a Greek economy collapse affecting our trip. Their knowledge and recommendations are invaluable.
ChrisQ | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Helen rocks! She never disappoints, always anticipates and follows up to make sure everything has been taken care of. I've recommended her to many friends because she's terrific!
Cher | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Munich and Salzburg were terrific. The Kempinski was very lively and the location is the best. The Hotel Sacher was wonderful and our room had a gorgeous view. The Lungarno is our favorite location. We had a wonderful room with an enormous patio. Castiglion del Bosco was a lovely, relaxing Tuscan treat. We had a room that could have passed as a small house. You could have parked a smart car in our shower. The golf course was really special and we had a great wine tasting on the property. We were there of 5 days, which may be a bit long for people who are anxious to have a lot to do. The biking is very difficult and hilly. We day side trips, which filled out our time there. The 2 restaurants were excellent. Porto Ercole is beautiful. As expected, the resort is extremely high end. The 2 restaurants were ok, but over-priced and the service did not compare to CDB. The room was nice, but furnishings seemed dated. The Sofitel in Rome gave us a fantastic upgrade. Very nice staff.
Janet | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
My family and I planned a trip to Santa Barbara through Lake Forest Travel and were absolutely delighted with the options, suggestions, and personalized service that we received. Our four-day family vacation was such a huge success, no doubt because of the smoothness of the schedule, the outstanding cuisine of the selected restaurants,, and the attention to detail in such areas, for example, as the forward planning for spa appointments, the excellent choice of an outdoor restaurant followed by wine tasting experiences, and the specialized ambiance of one of the finest hotels. We are excited to anticipate future trips that will include outstanding experiences as a result of Lake Forest Travel's "outstanding personalized service"!
J75 | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
I had a great time in Ireland. Friendly warm people and spring arrived as we were there, a much needed treat. The Westbury was a good city hotel, good location and easy to walk everywhere...nice amenities. Ballyfin was fabulous, wonderful staff, it was great being there with a few other guests... felt like our own private estate. The aghadoe was poor... the lobby and halls were dark and smelly. They tried to improve things for us but fortunately we were out of the hotel most of the time. The k club was delightful, but our stay was too short.
Molly | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
She was very insightful when we had questions about specific honeymoon locations. She knew a lot about each location and would respond in a timely manner.
Austin | Agent: Gwen Pullman Trucco
Gwen was professional in every way and very enjoyable with whom to work. She kept us informed at each step in the process and her document preparation was meticulous. We loved our hotels and enjoyed the Tauck Rhine Cruise on their new ship. She was very responsible to select our BA seats for us on both ends of the flights 24 hours ahead of time. We could not pre-select them without an extra fee since we wanted to book through AA. Gwen was a delight and we were always very confident that she would send us in the right direction.
Debbie C | Agent: Gwen Pullman Trucco
Because of illness, it was necessary to cancel my trip. Gwen had been a tremendous help in putting our trip together. She worked hard and put together a great trip for my wife and me. After I had to cancel, she continued with heroic efforts to help us with our trip cancellation insurance claim. We believe that we can arrange to take our trip later in the year and would not consider going to anyone else for help.
Jack | Agent: Gwen Pullman Trucco
Gwen was extremely helpful in arranging reservations at the Oberoi hotels in India. I had already made the reservation, but in talking to Gwen found out LF Travel could take over the reservation. It was not a simple process, but she persisted. She was also able to secure a breakfast and lunch for our third party in the room. The hotels were amazing, hard to describe how perfect the properties were and the service. I wish we could have stayed longer at the hotels, especially the Oberoi Rajvilas. The luxury tent villa was such a treat for us. At the hotel we did the cooking class, which was a lot of fun, interesting ... and delicious. thank you for your great service!
Marietta | Agent: Gwen Pullman Trucco
We have never used a travel agent before and I am so appreciate of Gwen and Lake Forest Travel for this first experience. Gwen was so helpful in planning our last minute trip to Europe. All documents and materials were provided with explicit details. We had 6 plane stops plus rented a car and drove across three countries. She really listened when I was explaining what are wants and needs were for the trip. We have not experienced any issues with the trip and it was very smooth. Gwen was also so helpful and kind with all of my questions before we left (as there were many). I had everything I needed at every stop. I know I couldn't have planned this trip with Gwen's help and assistance. We will be returning customers!
Donelle | Agent: Gwen Pullman Trucco
Gwen totally identified the perfect property for us to stay in at Costa Rica. The condo and the amenities fit our family expectations above and beyond. We had a wonderful time at Los Suenos Resort. The nearby activities were plentiful for us to pick and choose from. Thanks!
SAVvy71 | Agent: Gwen Pullman Trucco
Marylou was so kind and courteous throughout the planning process and she was incredibly thorough and meticulous with all the trip details. Furthermore, she checked in during the trip to make sure all was ok with our hotels. I really enjoyed working with her and appreciate her amazing professionalism. Thanks!!
Kim23 | Agent: Marylou Calnin-Sek
Marylou: Everything was PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Including your smile!!
BOB | Agent: Marylou Calnin-Sek
The Four Seasons Gresham Palace in Budapest was an excellent choice and I am glad Marylou recommended it. The service was outstanding and the rooms were beautiful. I was very impressed that Marylou contacted the hotel prior to our arrival to make sure all was in order and that we be given the best service possible. Great job Marylou!
TL | Agent: Marylou Calnin-Sek
I have stayed at number of Four Seasons properties for conferences and vacations over the years and this one had the most sincere hospitality. We were there for a field hockey tournament and needed to be near ESPN zone, but only wanted a taste of Disney. This was the right choice. The Italian restaurant was amazing, the pool has a great lazy river and the adult pool was beautiful. The hotel is only one year old and in great condition. The rooms were not large, but that was ok - we were at the pool, the parks or the tournament. No need to rent a car - they have drivers waiting to take you to your destinations for a small fee which ends up costing not much more than a rental car. Request Daniel and he will get you to wherever you need to go and you just pay him at the end (instead of through the hotel where they may tack on a service charge). Great stay!!!!
Sue | Agent: Marylou Calnin-Sek
Mary Lou was adept at coordinating flights and travel within Spain and routing different family members to their destinations outside of Spain. We spent the night in a different city every few days so her bookings and advice enhanced our travel experience We stayed for the second time in the same hotel in Madrid that Mary Lou originally booked for my daughter and me 5 years ago. We love it and will always stay there when we go to Madrid. I always contact Mary Lou for travel in and outside of the U.S.
AKB | Agent: Marylou Calnin-Sek

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