The most important testimony to our success at delivering memorable experiences from our events, travelling with us or simply from reading our guides is that of our past clients. Our dedication to providing a truly rewarding experience is reflected by the fact that the majority of our clients return to us — and refer their business clients, colleagues, family and friends to Martin Sloboda’s Team; there can be no better endorsement!
„One of the big surprises of my travels this summer has been Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. I spent a day visiting Bratislava with Martin Sloboda, a local tycoon of a guide. He writes the town’s dominant guidebook, shoots the photos for postcards, organizes the visits of the luxurious Tauck tour groups when their Danube cruise ships dock in town, and is the local tourist board’s choice for an escort when a VIP visits. He’s a fine example of the youthful energy and leadership responsible for the success story of Slovakia.“
“Let me add my “thanks’’ to the words already expressed in the emails Lesly sent to you. Travel is not about checking off blocks on a bucket list and life is not about the number of breaths you take. It’s all about those moments in life that someone wrote, “take your breath away.” It is about the experiences that grab your body and soul and remain with you forever. Meeting my cousin Juraj and standing in the house my g-g-grandfather built was one of those moments. Some of my friends and family say it was luck that we had this experience. I’m not a great believer in “luck.” As a doctor friend of mine said, “chance [luck] favors motion.” None of it would have happened without your professional skills and talent. I thank you all….and I thank the hungry Slovakian deer who dug up Juraj’s potatoes. Please feel free to refer potential clients to us. Not all of them will meet their relatives in a Slovakian potato field, but they will have Slovakia’s foremost professional/expert guide.”
“Martin, This is beyond my wildest dreams for my dear friends. I have tears in my eyes as I read this, because I know how it feels to find one’s ancestral home and have a tremendous feeling of “belonging”. THANK YOU so much for your hard work and ingenuity in finding the relative, and I do believe that Kaye and George will come back with Mitch and Lesley in the near future. Their son had a very serious heart attack, and they just moved to Florida, so they were not able to make this trip. They will be so sorry they missed the fun. Cheers and thanks so much for your kindness. This is the sort of trip that dreams are made of, and this is the reason I love my job so much.“
“I must tell you how much Charles and I enjoyed meeting you and what a wonderful and interesting experience we had in Bratislava. We are aware that we barely scratched the surface as far as all there is to see, do, and learn about Bratislava and Slovakia, and we would definitely like to come back. You are a very intriguing, extremely talented, and hardworking person, and the history and stories you share are captivating. You have done a remarkable job building your business and telling people all that Bratislava and Slovakia have to offer. We wish you continued success.“
“Huge thank you for arranging so many incredible interviews the past two days. You went over and beyond expectations and I really appreciate everything you did. I promise to do my best to get these articles published and help bring more tourism business directly to Bratislava and to you. I hope to have the ability to mention you in one of my newspaper articles as a contact for in depth, expert tours. Bravo to you for all of your connections, knowledge and love of Bratislava.“
“Thank you so much for making Slovakia the highlight of our entire trip. Because we only have 2 thumbs each, we are giving you a 4 thumb score for your professionalism, kindness, thoughtfulness as to how you treated us and conducted yourself on our visit. What we experienced in the villages was very special. The Zlaty Bazant and Pilsner Urquiel beers on draft were the best. Even better than the German beers. We liked the Slovak Varieto Rizling Rynsky as the best wine of the trip. Is there any way to order wines from the wine shop/restaurant that you had stop at for the wines? We ate at all 3 of your restaurant recommendations, and would like to go back there this weekend. Unfortunately we are thousands of miles away. We will have the memories for a lifetime.“
“Our ‘Off the Beaten Path’ tour was a highlight of our time in Vienna. It was great to be picked up at the train station, and our driver was so friendly and pointed out sites of interest along the way. Nora was just the best! It’s obvious she has a passion for Slovakia and Bratislava – we learned so much about the history of the country and city. The tour route gave us a terrific overview of the old town area, so we felt comfortable wandering on our own after our tour. We loved the architecture Nora highlighted, and especially appreciated her taking us to see the tapestries in the city hall. She was just FUN to spend a couple hours with! We took her suggestion to have lunch at Savoy at the Carlton, circled back to purchase honey, chocolate and the sesame seed filled pastries, and went to the UFO bridge to admired the views before heading back to Vienna. What a great time and a wonderful memory!“
“We used Martin Sloboda’s tour company based on Rick Steves’ recommendation. One simple email exchange and we were in business. Our guide, Nora, was truly outstanding. Her knowledge of historical detail, her insights into the “why” behind what we were seeing, and her wonderful sense of humor set her apart. Pricing was very fair for the value received. We would highly recommend Martin Sloboda tours for visitors to Bratislava – there is a lot to see in this city that most visitors miss!“
“Joan and I are still talking to each other about the wonderful day we spent with you in Bratislava. You made us feel almost a part of your family as you not only showed us the beauty of the city, but the history of it in the context of your personal experience. By far the best touring experience we’ve had in our extensive world travels. Thank you sincerely.“
“Big thank you to Nora Grancay for taking the time to walk us round the Old Town and taking in the two breweries. She was informative, amusing and obviously loves her city. The city is lovely and the breweries were even better! It was valuable at the start of a break so we knew our way round over the weekend. It was also good to try some of the local food which went well with the terrific beer! Highly recommended and if you get Nora as your guide you will not be disappointed.”
“Dear Martin, We are home safe and sound from the trip of a lifetime thanks to you and Eva. We are still dreaming about it. It’s not every day that you get to stand on the land where your grandmother was born! This was due in large part to Eva who gained the trust of the ladies in Hlinik to unlock their gates and open their doors to strangers from America. We intend to send a glowing report on you and your company’s performance to European Sojourns, the company we used to set up our trip. Thank you for everything.“
” Martin, we have had a terrific time since last we saw you. Brando is a terrific young man and we enjoyed our time with him ver much. He is knowledgeable and charming. Fascinating visit to skansen, Bardejov town, the wooden churches at Krive and Hervatov. Today we visited the Macik Winery for a tour of the 13 century cellar, wine tasting, and delicious lunch of golubtsi. We would highly recommend this to anyone. We are very, very happy and grateful for your excellent arrangements. Thanks for doing such a good job with the weather,too. Glorious spring.“
“We booked a 3-hour tour which was plenty of time to see the old town, castle, and cathedral. Our excellent guide was Maria; she was knowledgeable and personable. She told us that she loves her job, and it showed. Our conversations as we walked allowed us to ask questions and hear personal stories that helped us appreciate the sights and understand the history of Slovakia. Very informative and enjoyable.”
” Dear Martin, how can we tell you how much this day meant to us? Wow! What a meeting of the minds! It has been a highlight of the 12 trips that we have made together. We feel like we took a first rate course at Slovak University given by a distinguished professor. It was a great pleasure from start to finish.“
“Martin, I just wanted to thank you again for taking such good care of my guests, and for being willing to give up your free time to guide them around the city. They came back raving about how wonderful you were. Thank you so much for doing this – it meant a lot to them (and helped me out too!).“
” I just wanted to express our satisfaction with the services of your company and in particular with your and your colleagues guide services. We received excellent comments from participants both for the sightseeing and for the dinner part of the program. We work with many travel agencies during our programs organised all over Europe and I have to admit that there are very few of them providing such a high level service as you do. Thank you for your cooperation and services! “
” I just wanted to pass on my thanks for a fascinating tour. We certainly got to understand a lot more about this country and Bratislava. Your knowledge is amazing and none of what you said was the same as the information you told me when we went down with the class. What must be in that memory is mind boggling! I know that my colleagues were equally impressed, because several have told me so. You are a great ambassador for the city and the country, and your kindness in giving up your time is much appreciated. You obviously have a passion for the history of Slovakia and this shone through. So thanks once again.“
” Eva has probably told you of the amazing day we had in Vrbove. I wasn’t sure what we would find before we got there, but it turned out to be an experience beyond expectations. Being able to meet many of the townpeople, including some distant relatives, was enjoyable and educational. Their friendliness to us was instantly noticed. Eva, of course, was the primary reason we were able to be so readily accepted. We would not have been able to establish a rapport with the people without her help. Perhaps we will return for a follow-up visit in the future.“
“We want to thank you for providing us with enough beautiful memories to last a lifetime. We really had a wonderful time. Your excellent service made us feel like royalty. We really appreciate all that you did for us. I also hope to develop a meaningful long-distance relationship with my relatives, and thank you for helping me to start this new journey. I bought several children’s books in Bratislava, and continue to work on learning Slovak.”
“I just wanted to thank you again for the excellent tours you gave us. We came away not only impressed with your country but with you. Our time with you was delightful, informative and never to be forgotten. You made our time in Slovakia unforgettable. You are so articulate, knowledgeable, easy to be around.”
„Thank you for sharing your knowledge and yourself with us. We saw your pride of Slovakia and your family. Your recall of dates and detail along with energy, self-confidence and sense of humor enriched our trip. Best in your business! “
„You did a wonderful job planning and executing our trip. Your personal touches and personality made the trip! You are the BEST! We wish you all the success and happiness. If there is anything we can do to help you, just let us know. Enjoy your well-deserved vacation with your family.“
„Words cannot express our gratitude for your help in allowing us to experience our heritage. Some might say that we were “lucky” to have stumbled upon our relatives. We feel that life presents lots of opportunities and it’s what one does with these opportunities that creates the “luck”. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.“
„Martin, thank you so much for your efforts in locating my family and in giving us such a great tour. The real test was that our daughter Clare gave our two-day tour with you a negative number on the Boredom Scale which is a real compliment. Following your recommendation, we went to the market in Bratislava and bought several jars of the honey. Our friend’s daughter in the Czech Republic loved it so we enjoyed it every morning. It was well worth the trip to the market. Thank you again.“
“Now that we have been home for a couple of weeks from our trip to Slovakia, we realize that we owe you a very big thank you for making it such a special and personal experience. Our ride through the Tatras and climb to the top of the Spis Castle were magnificent. The visit to my grandfather’s village of Budkovce was very emotional for me and my daughters and you determination to find any remaining Samudovsky’s there was appreciated. The icing on the cake was having you introduce us to the US ambassador to Slovakia while touring Bratislava. You were very professional and enlightening during our discussions on politics and economics. Again, thank you for making it such a wonderful trip. As I also promised, I have been telling everyone about Slovakia being such a beautiful and progressive country. The pride of success and achievement shows everywhere, especially in Bratislava. You have to be very proud to be part of it and I know that my daughters and I came away with a renewed pride in our Slovakian heritage.”
“We took a day trip to Bratislava from Budapest and did a private tour of the Old Town and castle with Martin Sloboda, the tour guide mentioned in the guidebook. He was great, very approachable, he explained a lot about the recent history of Slovakia and his English was fabulous. We truly enjoyed our guided tour with him. He recommended the Chocolate shop in the Old Town and that was the best hot chocolate I have ever had.”
“Dear Martin, We are now safely home in Chicago having avoided almost all of the volcano problems. I cannot thank you enough for the remarkable day we spent with you. Peter was particularly moved by finding the gate and house in Modra. Last night, he got out an very old illustration that had hung it his parents’ home for many years. We were able to compare the drawing with our pictures. Peter’s health has been in question for some time so going to his beloved grandmother’s home was by far the most important part of our trip. Again, thank you.”
“Thank you for your wonderful and educational tour of your great city of Bratislava, Slovakia with my wife, daughter and myself. We enjoyed it very much and appreciated your time and effort. It was great meeting you and I am glad I bought your tour book guide on Bratislava after we met, because it filled in any details of the wonderful sights that you showed us. Hope all is well with you and your family.”
“Martin, thanks again for a wonderful tour! Lunch at the bank restaurant was great, and we pumped some cash into the Bratislava tourism economy! We bought your Bratislava and Slovakia tour books, and an American couple next to us at lunch inquired about them so they probably bought one also! I did check and Rick Steves mentions you twice in the Bratislava section of his Vienna Tirol guide. I will scan pages when we get home and send to you. Thanks again, we will be in touch about a longer trip for Mark and myself. Take care!”
“I thought I should write to thank you for our very informative visit to Slovakia with you as the guide. I/we very much enjoyed and appreciated not only your English language capabilities, oral and written, but your in-depth knowledge of Slovakia (and the world)–which together enabled our conversations to range widely over historical, economic, and social topics….
We appreciated too that you had your representative diligently search for the aforementioned birth certificate when it was not found in the archives for Stara Lubovna… I was pleasantly surprised that you found some of my relatives still living there—relatives who extended their hospitality very graciously, while you acted as interpreter….
In sum, I am voluntarily and highly recommending you as a guide for anyone wishing to learn more about Slovakia, perhaps especially for someone who wants to gain some greater understanding of her/his ancestral roots.”
“Dear Martin – Just wanted to reiterate how much we enjoyed meeting you and having you guide us around Bratislava. What was most fascinating was getting a full grasp of the history and politics. Your being such a great advocate for your country has undoubtedly gotten lots of folks thinking. Just goes to show one person really does make a difference! And given what we read in the paper at the end of the week regarding the bruhaha w/ the Czech Republic, we felt like we were well informed and could discuss among ourselves much more intelligently how ridiculous the insult to Slovakia was given the history and relationship between the two countries. We will be rooting for the continued success and development of Slovakia and would be happy to give you a tour of London if you ever come here or of New York City if/when we return!”
“I just wanted to say again how much we appreciated having you as our guide and translator on our trip to Slovakia. It was absolutely exhilarating and will provide us with an ongoing connection to our heritage. I’m hoping that my children and their children to come will stay in contact and again visit Bardejov. Perhaps our paths my cross again.. It has been a pleasure!”
“Your “ears should be ringing”!! This is an expression we use when we pay compliments about someone. Last evening my wife and I met with the rest of the family. I shared with them our adventure and what a rewarding life experience I was able to share with my sons. Your name was mentioned several times and to how none of this would have been possible had it not been for you. You are in employ that fits your personality perfectly. I can honestly say that you are the only correct mention by Rick Steves Slovakia!! I wish you well. “
“Thanks again for showing us such great time in Slovakia, we will cherish these memories for many years.”
“I am still somewhat still in awe over my experience in Saris with you. Your name comes up in conversation several times a day. Needless to say, how much you impressed my sons as well as myself. Sonia is correct, you do not have a job more an adventure! Thank you, thank you for such an unforgettable sojourn of which is only encouraging me to return for a longer visit. Do you recommend any software for me to learn Slovak? That would fulfill a life-long intention and now I have the motivation to learn Slovak. I wish you well and God’s blessings on your beautiful family.”
“Just a note to let you know that I really enjoyed my time with you in your country while on the Danube river cruise. You came on board our boat and told us about the history and the current political status of your country. This was one of those pleasant surprises you get when traveling to different locations. Your country has a bright future if there are more talented, intelligent young men like you there in politics. The future is bright for those that are willing to take a hold of responsibility and make important day to day decisions that determine their own destiny. You impress me as that type of person, willing to take risk and also be responsible. It would be wonderful to spend more time in Slovakia and see more of the country on future trips.”
“All three of us were very, very pleased with the trip and your itinerary! Thank you for the great job that you did for us. Everything we saw was fabulous and well-chosen. You did an outstanding job of organizing everything! Your selection of castles and other attractions for us to visit was just perfect. Once again, I thank you very much for arranging such a lovely tour for us. We were all very pleased and we had a great time getting to know Slovakia better.”
“Just a short message to thank you for the excellent service offered to us on both occasions. All tours were really very detailed, and the restaurants recommended were really great, in particular the Paparazzi. Forward my greetings also to Jana, for her great service.”
“We wanted that write and thank you for our tour of Bratislava. You were most informative, so very helpful to us with the train tickets, and we enjoyed our time with you. You made Bratislava come alive for us. We were certainly glad that we included it our itinerary. We also have voted the Marrols our favorite hotel on our journey. All in all, Bratislava was just a great experience. By the way, we did eat at the Argentina Steak House and it was as good as you said. Thanks, and best wishes to you in all your endeavors.”
“We could not have done this nor enjoyed the experience nearly as much without your help Martin! You are wonderful and we will never forget you or all your help. We agreed that we felt most “at home” when we were in Slovakia. The villages that we visited, our time in Spisska Nova Ves and our stay in Bratislava was comfortable and comforting. It felt like we belonged there. When we were leaving Prague on the train, I kept wishing we were headed back to Bratislava rather than Vienna. I know that we will be back! Our accommodations were perfect, all of our guides were great! They all were very knowledgeable and wonderful to spend time with. Thank you for Slovakia – you have many wonderful reasons to be proud of your country.”
“Sharon and I made it home safe and sound. We want to thank you very much, for making our trip to Slovakia so fantastic.”
“You have been a gift in my journey of life. My mother’s life here where it all began came to life for me. I could see her running through the streets singing, I could see her walking up church aisle with her candle. Thank you for all of your efforts – the hotel, the interesting fact – filled days of touring & most especially the drink in the Stork Pub. I told you I heard storks would bring you good luck. I hope to keep in touch with Miroslav & you, too. I will keep you + your family in my thoughts & prayers. May health & happiness be a big part of your future.”
“Just a quick note to thank you and Jeanette for all your help these last couple of days. You do a great job and I will use you in future trips. My trip to visit the family could not have gone any better.”
“I just wanted to thank you again for the tour of Bratislava last week. I think it was a great success and everyone was very impressed with your knowledge and also with the city itself. Nobody had been there before but a number have said that they would like to visit again. I know that your guide book sold well that afternoon!”
“I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much my sister, Mary, and I appreciated your help while we were in Bratislava this past September. Our trip to Mikulcice and Tesice was one I will always remember.”
“Thank you again for all the organization and hindsight information on Slovakia, we all enjoyed it very much. The rally has been an enormous highlight, we went to the Hungaroring and finished in Budapest as 2nd in total. Will come back to Slovakia perhaps next year, and sure will tell you when.
Best regards, also to your team”
“Bev and I want to thank you for making our trip to Slovakia most wonderful. We have many pictures we would like to share with you. So impressed with your knowledge and great personality. You really made our trip something very special we will treasure forever. Visiting the castle in Smolenice was like a dream come true for me. Martin, your guidance and help with hotel accommodation, Opera tickets, and restaurants was amazing! Thinking of you and our grand trip, the highlight of the year…”
“Many, many thanks to you for making our trip to Slovakia so wonderful! My only regret is that we didn’t have more time, but we will come again and will certainly see you in the future.”
“You are a terrific guide, so personable, fun and so knowledgeable as well. Thank you for taking us to sooo many novel and historic sights. It is all flooding back to me as I write this: the plaque on the building where Mozart gave his concert at age 6; the glass factory showroom; the countryside; fields of sunflowers; the stately manor homes; the Palffy castle. I have recommended your tour agency to friends, family, etc. and will continue to do so. I would love to return to those villages again someday, to sample the harvest wines, to enjoy the countryside…. Again, many thanks for your help and expertise!”
“We just arrived back in Canada on the 18th, and were about to send you a note to thank you for the arrangements with Suzanne and Peter. Both were very good, and recommend them highly. Thanks again for all your advice and help, the trip to Budkovce was the highlight of the trip.”
“My apologies for the delay in writing to thank you for your time in showing and explaining the history of Bratislava and the surrounding area during my recent visit. I was very impressed with your knowledge and would have no hesitation in requesting the services of your company should we bring a group to Bratislava. I loved the atmosphere also it is so unspoilt. I do hope that doesn’t change! Will be spreading the news to our clients in 2004 to hold their events there. Many thanks once again.”
“We’ll never forget our wonderful trip and your constant attention to us and our needs. You made it the trip of a lifetime.”
“I recently returned to my home in South Africa after an extended visit to Europe and the UK. The highlight of my tour was undoubtedly the short stay I had in Bratislava, and this was in part due to your excellent guidance which I want to thank you for. Your professionalism and knowledge of Bratislava and its history were most impressive, and I congratulate you. I have also read and much enjoyed your Pictorial Guide to Bratislava, and I hope that one day I will be able to return to Bratislava and spend much more time there. Thank you for making my short visit all the more enjoyable.”
“The Proctors had a wonderful time and you certainly took very good care of them. I am going to send a letter to ….. telling them that I worked with you through …. and what a great job that you did. I certainly know who to contact in the future for Slovakia, you are truly an expert. Thank you very much for all your care and expertise. I look forward to working with you again.”
“Thank you for your kindness and attention to detail. We had a wonderful stay in Zilina and Bratislava. Best wishes to your future.”
“Thank you for the most personal tour we’ve ever enjoyed.”
“Many thanks for sending your book to all the journalists on the Rail Europe press trip. And also, thanks for being such a wonderful guide in Bratislava. I am enclosing the articles that have been published so far as a result of the trip. You can see that they are all extremely positive and enthusiastic about your country. I hope everything is going well for you. And I hope to return soon to Slovakia.”
“Just a quick note to say I got back OK and the trip was wonderful…. thanks to your coordination! It went off without any problems and each of the guides was great. Real individual personalities! I plan to contact the Slovak Spectator, just as I promised, to see if they will accept a testimonial-type article about my trip through you. Not that you need the press! But I want to do it. I will also contact the community district and send out a note to the University of Washington, Slavic Studies Dept to advise them to use your service if any of their people are planning trips to Slovakia.”
“We are so proud of Slovakia, the newspapers, magazines and television media in the U.S. did a great job covering the summit meeting in Bratislava, quickly following was coverage of a sporting event held in Bratislava. There are also advertisements for tour packages through Bratislava. You have done so much to promote this beautiful country, we are so proud of you also.”
“Last summer my Slovak wife and I visited Slovakia for a few weeks and traveled around the country. We were guided by your excellent guide on Slovakia and on Bratislava. Compliments for the text and the illustrations. But it struck us that this guide is not available in the Dutch language, although every year more and more Dutch people go visit Slovakia. At this very moment in the Netherlands there are very few guides in Dutch on your country, only one or two. None of them are so beautifully illustrated.”
“Just a quick note to say what a good time my family had in Slovakia last week and how much we appreciated your efforts to make our stay so interesting and enjoyable.”
“Many, many thanks to you for making our trip to Slovakia so wonderful! My only regret is that we didn’t have more time, but we will come again and will certainly see you in the future. You took some wonderful photos with my camera, and I am grateful for that since it allowed me to enjoy my time with my relatives. Good luck with your future endeavors in Bratislava. I’m sure you’ll do well — you’re a smart and resourceful person.”
Why Martin Sloboda and his team?
- At Martin Sloboda we feel lucky to be in employ that fits our personality perfectly.
- Our passion for Slovakia, sense of humor and personal touch create memories of a lifetime.
- Thanks to our professional approach, profound knowledge and attention to detail our guests receive a very personal experience.
- We work with carefully selected and highly qualified guides who meet high personality requirements in order to build a powerfully successful team.