In August, 2011, our family of six, including our two daughters and their fiances, had the great pleasure of taking a vacation in Croatia, expertly organized by the team at Tasteful Croatian Journeys. Wanda Radetti and her staff listened closely to our interests and needs, and put a great trip together for us, with lovely hotels, efficient and courteous land travel, knowledgeable city guides, and even the helpful connection to family on a coastal island. We had sea view rooms overlooking islands and the old city of Dubrovnik, and an extremely comfortable hotel within Diocletian’s Palace in Split which even had an original Roman wall in our hotel room. We had drivers take us on day trips from Dubrovnik to Kotor and Sveti Stefan in Montenegro, and from Split to the spectacular Plitvice Lakes National Park. Guides in these locations were arranged and waiting for our arrival. The highlight of this very special Tasteful Croatian Journey, that only Wanda with her extensive professional experience and personal relationships could have made possible was an unforgettable week on a magnificent 57 foot Beneteau luxury sailing yacht cruising the Dalmatian coast and visiting the wonderful islands of Hvar, Vis, Lastovo, and Korcula. Sebastian, our skipper, and Gaspar, his young first mate, were absolutely extraordinary: excellent sailors, great guides, first class chefs, and wonderful, fun-loving people to be around. Our idyllic days consisted of breakfast, sailing to a quiet cove for a swim, a delicious multi-course lunch with Gaspar’s family’s Slovenian wines, an afternoon sail to a local marina, and a great fish dinner in the marina restaurant. While we were not obligated to include Sebastian and Gaspar in our dinners, we enjoyed their company so much that their inclusion was an obvious enhancement to our experience. To top this off, Wanda was able to help connect us to my wife’s father’s Croatian family on the island of Korcula, with whom we had a wonderful visit. All in all, this was one of the great vacations of our lives (certainly the best of our childrens’ lives), and the job done by Tasteful Croatian Journeys was instrumental in the success of the trip. We can recommend them wholeheartedly.
Jeffrey Gaynor, California
January 10, 2012, Condé Nast Traveler
Wanda and her staff at Tasteful Croatian Journeys allowed my two daughters and me to have a completely enjoyable and worry-free experience in Croatia in July of last year (2011). All parts of the trip – guides, hotels, cars, drivers and restaurants – exceeded our expectations. Working with Wanda and her staff was easy: during the planning phase they promptly updated any changes we made and then they checked in with us throughout the trip to make sure we had everything we needed. Our first hotel in Trieste, Italy was fabulous; my daughters and I truly adored our amazing room in an exquisite and grand hotel. Not wanting to change hotels every day, but eager to explore Croatia, we were quite happy to find that Wanda had booked us for most of the next week into a very comfortable hotel with spacious rooms and fabulous Adriatic views that I still keep as background on my cell phone. My teenagers were happy being on the water and having a pool. We all enjoyed the convenience of walking into town to shop and sample the many good restaurants. Our personal driver and local tour guide picked us up each day to show us some neighboring towns and historical treasures – even my teenagers enjoyed sightseeing with them! We would have happily stayed even longer just to soak up the ambiance of the Istrian peninsula. A highlight of our trip was our visit to the Plitvice Lakes which my daughter had researched prior to our trip and which was what drew us to Croatia initially. The beautiful turquoise lakes and waterfalls in the middle of a forest were breathtaking – no wonder it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site! Our local driver, Cedo, and I discussed how Tasteful Croatian Journeys had sent us to all the best places —including some that most people who visit Croatia never get to see. Wanda definitely listened to me during our initial conversations and then used her own vision and expertise to create the best vacation we have had in years – very relaxing and carefree, yet full of new experiences and special memories. I have already recommended Wanda and Tasteful Croatian Journeys to two of my friends and would highly recommend them to anyone else looking for a luxury, tailor-made “journey” in and around one of the loveliest parts of Europe. We can’t wait to go back and see more.
Karen Edwards, Maryland
February 13, 2012, Condé Nast Traveler
Thank you so very much for the recommendation for Tasteful Croatian Journeys! We recently took a two-week vacation to Dubrovnik and the Istrian Peninsula of Croatia. Croatia is a beautiful country with literally hundreds of breathtaking sights to see. And I sought the help of a highly recommended travel agent to help guide me through a myriad of options. It was probably the best travel decision I have ever made.
Wanda Radetti was impeccably astute in her planning and her recommendations for us. She listened closely to our preferences and turned our vacation into a sublime experience. Beautiful, charming hotels, sophisticated restaurants and breath-taking locations greeted us everywhere we went. Wanda arranged personal drivers for us who were polite, punctual and fluent in English. Before we left for Croatia, we received a wonderful travel packet including our itinerary and her lyrical notes to us on the history and spirit of each site we visited. After reading her historical background notes and walking the cobblestoned streets, I felt the sense of awe that years of antiquity provide.
As the capital and historic jewel of the country, Dubovnik is spectacular for history buffs, photographers and gourmands alike. Its coastline and harbor are dramatic and we especially loved the abundance of fresh seafood. I have fond memories of sitting in a quaint alfresco restaurant after a busy day, eating mussels and drinking crisp white wine, while boats entered and left the scenic harbor.
The Istrian peninsula is varied and stunning. It was a continuing delight in each of the towns and villages we visited. The people were kind and the beauty of the Adriatic Sea unforgettable.
We were cordially welcomed by name in each place we visited. It is hard to say enough about the magic that Tasteful Croatian Journeys and Wanda created for us! I have recommended Ms. Radetti and her staff to friends.
Lynn Gardner, Albania
February 24, 2012, Condé Nast Traveler
Thank you to Conde Nast Traveler and your readers for helping us select the perfect trip planner for a recent trip to Croatia in July 2012. From reading previous reviews on Conde Nast Traveler, we contacted Wanda Radetti at Tasteful Croatian Journeys to enquire about a custom journey to Croatia. We are 3 well-traveled women in our 50’s/60’s who are always interested in the unique and different. We also prefer to work with native travel planners for whatever region of the world we’re heading to. From the reviews in Conde Nast Traveler, Tasteful Croatian Journeys sounded perfect. And it was. Wanda instantly understood the exact type of trip/traveling we prefer. With just a couple of phone calls and a few emails, she had designed a trip that sounded perfect and covered much more than we expected. We traveled for 19 days throughout Croatia and into Slovenia and Northern Italy. Every hotel perfectly matched the style I told Wanda we preferred, our guides and drivers were all professional, friendly and (best of all) fun. We didn’t feel we were listening to a history lecture on tours, we felt like we were seeing a new place with new local friends. Tasteful Croatian Journeys designed a good mix of short 2 hour guided city walks with longer day trips throughout our journey. On Wanda’s recommendation we had a charter sailboat for 6 days of our journey and it was absolutely fabulous! (and something we hadn’t even considered before talking to her). We started our journey in Split where we met up with our boat, then sailed down the Dalmation coast to Dubrovnik, where we very reluctantly debarked. The boat was luxuriously comfortable for 3 guests and the Captain (Sebastian) and First Mate (Gaspar) were a delight. The motto of our trip from them was “As You Wish My Ladies” – they made sure our every wish was delivered… from isolated swimming coves, to wonderful small restaurants and even a spa stop. We hated to leave the boat, but the rest of our trip was just as good. Every stop was beautiful, clean and charming in its own fashion – just as Wanda had promised. We visited Dubrovnik, Montenegro, Zagreb and Lovran in Croatia; Lake Bled in Slovenia and Trieste in Italy. We can’t pick a favorite part, because we loved every stop. The trip designed for us was a perfect “taste” of several different areas. Just enough to entice us to want to return and see more. We’re all very experienced travelers and we know the work, coordination and effort that goes into making a trip like this appear “seamless.” We appreciated that our days were effortless only because there was a lot of effort behind the scenes by the team at Tasteful Croatian Journeys. From the perfect selection of hotels, restaurant recommendations, tours, guides, drivers and even Wanda’s own concerned local Croatian Concierge checking on us just to make sure we were fine during the trip – Wanda Radetti and her team at Tasteful Croatian Journeys could not get higher marks from us. The trip was a dream from start to finish. We’re looking forward to future travel with Tasteful Croatian Journeys!
Pamela Solvang, Texas
August 6, 2012, Condé Nast Traveler
My husband and I recently returned from a trip to Croatia’s Dalmatian coast which was a collaboration between my travel agent, Barbara Spero at Tzell travel, and Ms. Radetti’s group. While I can’t say enough positive things about my travel agent, with whom I have been working for years, I would also like to provide some very positive feedback about working with Ms. Radetti’s group. First, I want to make a general observation – that Croatia should be more of a presence in the American “consciousness” about European travel. It is beautiful and exciting and offers a great deal of variety, the people are open, friendly and helpful, and for the time being, it is affordable! Although we only had ten days and therefore focused on the lower Dalmatian coast (i.e., Split, Korcula and Dubrovnik with a side day trip to Montenegro) the country offers a much more extensive opportunities to include things we did not do – biking, hiking, natural wonders, etc. Ms. Radetti and her group put together a highly organized series of events, transfers and tours, with excellent hotels in each location that met our needs and were to our taste (small and quaint), from The Marmont in Split, to the Lesic Dimitri Palace in Korcula, to the Grand Villa Argentina in Dubrovnik. Her tour guides were extremely well-informed and very personable, and her travel notes, which comprised all aspects of the trip except flights, included historical overviews that provided a good deal of perspective. All restaurant recommendations were also spot-on. Our only complaint involved the air travel; Air Croatia is not particularly reliable, and of course there are no direct flights from the US to anywhere in Croatia, and there should be ( it would certainly boost tourism from here). All in all, Croatia is a wonderful destination and we highly recommend Ms. Radetti’s group, Tasteful Croatian Journeys.
Nancy Payne, New York
September 17, 2012, Condé Nast Traveler
I am writing to tell you of an absolutely wonderful travel experience that my wife and I recently enjoyed thanks to a travel agent we found through Conde Nast. By way of background, I should tell you that my wife and I travel two to three times a year, mostly to Europe but also to South and Central America, Africa and the Middle East as well as domestic US locations. We enjoy high end properties and rely on private guides to ensure we get the most out of our visits.
In July of this year we decided to plan a trip to visit Slovenia and Croatia around our anniversary (September 2nd. We tend to be last minute types). Having taken a wonderful trip in January that was planned by a Conde Nast award winning travel agent, we decided to tap you as a resource for this trip and were fortunate to find Wanda Redetti of Tasteful Croatian Journeys recommended to us. I immediately emailed Wanda and asked if she would be able to help us plan our trip which, of course, she was happy to do.
Over the course of about two weeks time, Wanda worked with us to plan, what turned out to be, an absolutely wonderful trip. Wanda began by asking questions about past trips we had taken, our interests and our travel style. She then presented a suggested itinerary and worked with my wife, by telephone and email, to tweak and adjust it as necessary until we were completely satisfied with the arrangements. Throughout the process, Wanda was professional and courteous of course but, most important, also helpful in making suggestions that enhanced our trip. She was a pleasure to work with.
As for the trip itself, it went perfectly. We visited six cities in eight nights (we like to cover a lot of ground when we travel) and everything worked exactly as planned. Drivers who transported us from place to place were pleasant and professional, private guides were knowledgeable and interesting, hotel staff were welcoming and accommodating and, all in all, things could not have gone better. Perhaps best of all, Wanda provided us with an in-country contact person who coordinated everything behind the scenes during our travel. While we only spoke with Iva once during our trip – and then just to say hello, not to address any concern – it was comforting to know that she was watching over our trip and ensuring that all went well.
Given our experience, I highly recommend Wanda Radetti to any of your readers who may be considering a trip to the same area. We had a wonderful trip thanks to Wanda’s planning and arrangements and I am confident that any of them will as well.
Bruce Jakubovitz, New York
October 10, 2012, Condé Nast Traveler
Wanda planned a customized journey for us (my husband and my parents). We went end of May 2012 for two weeks. It was a fabulous trip! Wanda and her team planned a trip of a lifetime. Every recommendation was superb – from the hotels, restaurants,sights, guides, drivers, etc., etc. There is a local concierge, so if you have a problem, they are on the same time zone and so helpful. My father had a medical issue and she was in touch with us every day and helped find a doctor.
Croatia is a beautiful country, especially the coast. Two of our favorite places were Istria and the island of Korcula. Our trip wouldn’t have been the same had we not used Wanda. I highly recommend Tasteful Croatian Journeys to all Conde Nast Traveler readers. They will have amazing memories!
Karen Herman, Florida
October 25, 2012, Condé Nast Traveler
We travelled with our 2 sons (7 and 10 years old) to Croatia in June of 2013. Wanda at Tasteful Croatian Journeys created a wonderful and meticulously planned experience for us. Over the course of a few efficient phone calls, Wanda listened to our interests, provided thoughtful suggestions (all of which proved to be great) and ultimately devised an itinerary that met our objectives.
Our itinerary over 10 days brought us from one end of Croatia to the other and included a day trip to the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. At each location she arranged a just-right hotel (down to the room), an informative, nice, punctual and English fluent guide, and always punctual, safe, incredibly polite drivers. She carefully thought through the best times to tour cities, take ferries and so on, as well as great stops as we travelled from place to place. Wanda’s attention to detail is second to none. She knows the individual guides, drivers and rooms at hotels. Wanda has a concierge on the ground in Croatia, who phoned us twice in Croatia (at a perfect, non-obtrusive time) to ensure we were happy and our needs were being met. When we returned, Wanda sought feedback on all aspects of our journey and asked specific probing questions to ensure that she continues to provide a great experience going forward.
We highly recommend Wanda and Tasteful Croatian Journeys to anyone planning a trip to the beautiful country of Croatia.
The LeBlang Family, California
July 2, 2013, Condé Nast Traveler
We just returned from a wonderful trip to Croatia and Slovenia in early June planned by Wanda. We took our 3 college age children with us and had an adventure through Croatia and Slovenia. Our children have travelled overseas with us since 2000 and this year our daughter mentioned that we should go to Croatia! CROATIA??? Where is Croatia?? As a long time subscriber to Traveler magazine, I immediately looked up travel agents in Croatia and found Wanda. What a gem she is! Wanda worked with us on an itinerary and made suggestions based on the information I gave her about our interests. The hotels were beautiful, the tour guides were informative and fun. Best of all was the boat we chartered in Split and took to Dubrovnik. My husband’s sister and her spouse joined us for the boat trip and it was great. Everything exceeded our expectations, the hotels, food, tours and most of all the boat. Such memories we now have and the kids have stated that it was one of THE BEST trips we have ever done together. I have recommended Wanda to all our friends after they view our pictures and tell them ” You HAVE to go!” Thank you Wanda again for the incredible and lasting memories you helped to create for our family.
Sharon G., Virginia
July 23, 2013, Condé Nast Traveler
My 4 year old daughter and I recently used Wanda’s services on a trip to Dubrovnik this past July.
My daughter and I left my husband in Cannes, France after we spent a wonderful 5 days there. My husband had to return to work. I decided to travel on to Croatia with my daughter. I was a bit concerned with how I would manage this trip alone and was also unfamiliar with Croatia since this was my first visit. I decided to read through your “best travel agents” section of one of my recent Conde Nast magazines and found Wanda’s information. I contacted Wanda and discussed my plans with her, the restrictions of traveling with a 4 year old, not wanting to fly more than one place (Dubrovnik) but wanting to experience as much of the region as possible, and not feeling comfortable with driving ourselves. Wanda immediately understood what I was looking for and put together the most amazing itinerary for us!
She set up drivers to take us everywhere, we literally had no worries, they also had car seats in the cars so I didn’t have to drag a seat from the states. She also set up personal walking tours in towns as well as gave us fabulous recommendations for sights, restaurants, etc. Lastly, she picked a fantastic hotel for us on Peljesac (I was using Hilton points to stay in Dubrovnik). Given that I didn’t know much about the region except Dubrovnik, Wanda guided us to visit the Peljesac peninsula with a stay in Orebic and trip to Korcula. What a treat! It was probably the best part of our trip (although everything was so wonderful). Without Wanda’s guidance, I would probably not have thought of visiting this area near Dubrovnik. She also set-up an amazing day in Montenegro, again with a great driver and sights/meals planned the whole day. Again, another favorite part of the trip! My daughter and I ended up having the best experience ever, with no “hiccups” or problems. Wanda made sure all the staff she used were the most professional and responsible. Everyone was on time and courteous. They all even interacted well with my daughter and were very gracious when she had “her moments” that only a 4 year old can have. I really can’t say enough about how wonderful everything was!
Overall, I think I gave Wanda a bit of a challenge with travel with a young child and limited time and flexibility. She made it magical and a very easy and enjoyable schedule. I have told all my friends about how using a great travel assistant is truly worth the money because you can never replace the experiences and care that you receive!
Julie Sievert, Illinois
October 31, 2012, Condé Nast Traveler