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Context Travel, Rome

4.3
#84 of 736 in Tours in Rome
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Context Travel Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
817 reviews
Google
3.9
TripAdvisor
  • If you have a chance to take a tour from Jose, do it! He is generous with his own personal preferences and suggestions for places to eat, places to visit, and his personal background and draw to the c...  more »
  • After touring through several companies, I can say after our vacation was completed with certainty that we were so lucky to be matched with Priscila and Dimo for our tours with Context Travel. We had ...  more »
  • We did a few tours of other sites with other companies but the knowledge and expertise of the guide of our small tour with Context Travel far exceeded the others. The small size of the tour also added...  more »
Google
  • My wife and I went on several tours with Context while in Rome and had an excellent experience each time. Specifically, we greatly enjoyed the Caesar and Rome tour with Dimosthenis (Dimo). His detailed knowledge and descriptions made us see that area of Rome in an entirely different way. Would definitely recommend Context Travel tours!
  • An absolutely outstanding experience. Veronica, our guide at the Vatican, had an encyclopedic knowledge of Roman history and art, and was expert at distilling all that knowledge so it was accessible for my wife and me, and for our two teenage daughters. Highly recommend, and entirely worth the premium price.
  • My husband, mother and I booked three Coxtect Travel tours upon the suggestion of friends and we were not disappointed. Our docents were fantastic and made our trip a spectacular event not just another trip. Their expertise and in depth knowledge helped us to understand Rome and brought into context, so to speak, the life of emperors, popes and every day Romans. We love that Context Traval arranges group tours that are small. On each tour we felt like we were given the "Royal" treatment. It was a truly memorable experience. One we hope to cherish again.
  • We booked a Context tour of the Vatican a few weeks before a three day stay in Rome prior to a longer stay in Umbria. We'd read the negative reviews of Context and saw that the most frequent complaint was that Context accepts reservations for tours and takes all your credit card information while not actually guaranteeing a tour will take place at all. Apparently, all tours are "tentative" until Context decides they are not. And, contrary to what the management claims in responses to the negative reviews, that information is not given up front on their booking page, but appears in an easy-to-miss note AFTER you've submitted the booking form and all your payment information. Still, since many reviews were positive and we liked the idea of small-group tours led by scholars, we decided to book anyway. Big mistake. A day after booking, I both phoned and emailed Context and asked if our tour was still tentative, or if it had been confirmed. I received two emails and a call back from Context representatives who assured me our tour was confirmed, since we'd booked for three people and that met their minimum. However, two days before we left for Rome, I received another email saying the tour had been cancelled. I immediately called the Context office in NYC as directed by the cancellation email, and the phone was answered by a woman whose first response when I explained the situation was to laugh. She then said the Context guides were highly qualified, so if one cancelled, it was very hard to replace him or her, and that, to tell the truth, August in Europe was a terrible time. No apologies or real attempt to make things right. Despite my having told her the duration of our stay, she offered me three places on another still-tentative tour scheduled for the day after we were to leave Rome. I told her that we'd noticed that their website listed a tour at 8AM on the same day as our 9AM tour had been scheduled, and asked if we couldn't join that one. She said that there were only two spaces left on that tour and that their materials stated the tour group would be limited to a certain number (I think it was 6 or 7). I asked if she couldn't make an exception and add one more person to this group, since it was their error. Here, she hemmed and hawed and said it would only be possible if she contacted all the other tour members and asked their permission to add an additional person. Now, since this would only have meant four calls at most (and probably only one or two since the other three or four were likely one family or two couples), it did not seem too much to do to correct a bad situation. Instead, this lady suggested that two of us join the 8AM tour and that the other be added to another tour later that day. Her exact words were, "I know you probably want to be together, but what else can you do?" I explained that this was not a feasible solution and asked her to please call the other members of the 8AM tour to see if they'd mind adding an additional person. She said she would see what she could do, but it was clear to me that she would do nothing. I called around and managed to book a tour with Walks of Italy, not a great Vatican tour (though their Colosseum tour including the lower and third level is excellent), but at least it was run by a much more responsible company. When I called the woman at Context NYC back to cancel and request a refund, she was quite obviously relieved. She had not made any calls about adding us to the 8AM tour. From my experience, Context is a poorly managed company with terrible customer service and an uneven and unreliable pool of guides. While I'm sure some of their tours, when they happen, are wonderful, I would never use this tour company in the future or recommend it to others.
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