Testimonials

"Better late than never! Right?!"

 

 

Dear Fellow Travelers,

 

We wouldn't be so presumptuous to say that this Gentleman "found his calling" in platinum tour guiding, or in historic interpretation, or in comedic entertainment, or in intuitive humanity, or in instinctive navigation,‎ or in spiritual leadership, because all of these qualities and more would serve Oren well in any profession, but we ABSOLUTELY say that we're super-glad we found each other!

 

Oren quickly (like in 10 seconds) got us past the embarrassing fact that it took us 55 years to make our first and certainly not our last trip to Israel.

 

"Better late than never! Right?!"

 

It can't be our last, because with SO much upside to touring with Oren, there one significant downside: ‎He only does Israel.

 

It's an understatement to say that we wouldn't want to tour Israel without Oren, because he's spoiled us rotten (not an easy feat), so we don't want to tour anywhere in the world without him.

 

Emet‎ on Oren: He pushes or pulls and goes deep or shallow at all of the right times, he arrives early and stays late, and "gets lost" with or without you, sticks to or strays from the plan, as you like. 

 

‎Little things mean A LOT: Only a mensch of the highest order would mysteriously customize the in-vehicle snack selections, including the basic local beer that we were on-a-mission to find. 

 

Big things matter too! When he'd take us right to the limit of our lazy sedentary physical capacity‎, he'd put both palms out and say: "You stay here and I'll be right back with the car in 10 or 15 minutes!" 

 

Coordinating many moving parts in the background shouldn't go unnoticed or unappreciated:

 

From ‎making time to check in by phone and in person with our angels from Mabat, to keeping the secret and making our 30th anniversary vows happen at The Davidson Center (archaeological park at the corner of the Western Wall‎) with the gift from dear friends back home of PERFECTLY CHILLED Veuve Clicquot. 

 

Todah rabah sir, for making this note so easy to express, and for making our first homecoming all of that!

 

With most profound kavod,

 

May 2018, Lucy & David, Scarsdale, NY, USA

 

 

 

Don't see Israel without Oren

 

I know, I know.. it doesn't sound good, but this is a copy-paste review from TripAdvisor (including the title):

 

Hard to know where to begin-except that to say 2 weeks in Israel with Oren was beyond EXCELLENT! We were 2 couples, new to Israel. Our trip was elevated 10x by having Oren as our extraordinary guide! From the moment he picked us up at our hotel-ALWAYS on time-we knew our time spent with him would make our trip. Our van wax exceptionally clean, stocked with snacks and water, Wi-Fi-a speaker to make his voice heard-and very comfortable! Although we had an itinerary, Oren arranged our time to maximize sites, knew how much time to spend staring at a mountain (you know what I mean) took care of any missteps-like a mix-up in hotel rooms, etc. He knew the best, authentic, clean places to eat, hang out, when to rest, when to move, etc. He SIMPLY TOOK CARE OF US IN EVERY WAY! He made sure we experienced far more than our itinerary-beyond our dreams. I could go on and on, and knowing Oren, he would love it. But for now, I can say that none of us would return to Israel without Oren by our side! Just contact him-you will have experiences that you have only thought of-he has an extraordinary network. Oh, and after we had departed, and there was a mix-up in our schedule that had nothing to do with Oren-he took it upon himself to leave his family to take care of us-unbelievable! We have the highest regard and praise for this man. Thank you, Oren-for showing us your wonderful country-Israel!

 

April 2018, Linda & Lary Reib, Sacramento, USA

 

 

 

Me, the K's and Mabat

 

We were fortunate to have Oren Sollel as our private guide for eight days of our recent journey through Israel.  Oren is very knowledgeable and gave us a thoroughly delightful experience.  

Going in, we were somewhat apprehensive about spending over a week in close contact with a stranger.  But Oren is a very comfortable guy to be with.  He’s neither too intense nor too laid-back, he’s an easy conversationalist, he has a fine sense of humor, and he invariably seems to be in a good mood.  

He’s also very flexible and very responsive to his guests’ likes and dislikes.  He’ll begin throwing out ideas for improving the travel experience as soon as he picks up on what his guests do and don’t go for.  He’s also very reliable and very attentive to all the details of our itinerary.  We’re pretty experienced travelers and are used to handling details on our own, but it was great to have Oren around to handle that stuff and let us relax and enjoy our trip, knowing we were in good hands.

It also became obvious to us that Oren has an impressive set of contacts around Israel.  From time to time he set up meetings with some of those contacts, enhancing our trip all the more.

Our comments about Oren wouldn’t be complete without mentioning how he came to be our guide.  We planned our trip with David Bellin and Lindy Ganon at Mabat Platinum Touring Company.  Mabat fixed us up with Oren.  A perfect match all around.  Mabat did an outstanding job planning and organizing every last detail of our trip, and personalizing it in ways they understood would appeal to us.  And they were always available to us throughout our trip in case we had questions or wanted to make changes along the way.  There was never a moment when something didn’t go right.

We would wholeheartedly and enthusiastically recommend Mabat and Oren to anyone traveling to Israel.

Wayne & Lenore K, Chicago, IL, USA

 

April 2018, Wayne & Lenore K, Chicago IL, NY, USA

 

 

 

Mother and Daughter

   

Mail sent to the travel agency Mabat Platinum:

Good morning Esther....

 
I wanted to take a moment and thank you and David Bellin for a wonderful trip.  We worked with you thru our NYC travel agent Anita Brown. 
 
From the moment we landed in Tel Aviv, ( 11/1/17) Mabat took over.  Your expeditors upon our arrival and departures were terrific.  They were extremely efficient and clearly knew the ropes.During both arrival and departure, there were easily more then 700 people going through security in each direction.  My mother and I were beyond thrilled that we did not have be part of the "other" process!!   Our trip was further enhanced by our tour guide Oren Solell.  Oren  was outstanding.  Mabat could not have selected a better guide for us.   Oren is incredibly knowledgable and an absolutely lovely person.  He easily establishes rapport with his clients and quickly figures out "his audience".  He then adjusts his vast knowledge to his audience.  We so enjoyed being with him as we traveled thru Israel.  He brought so much to our trip.   I also want to thank you personally.  Throughout the trip, i always felt that if there were any problems at all,  i could easily reach out to you for answers.  You were very available and very "on top" of our itinerary as we moved through Israel.  On the whole, our trip was outstanding and i believe it was because of Mabat!
 
We will be back to Israel and will only work with Mabat.  My sister and her family will be coming in the next year and will surely work with Mabat.   Please feel free to refer others to me if you need any recommendations.
 
Thank you again for everything
Louise Levy

 

November 2017, Louise Levy, NY, USA

 

 

 

The Fisher man & woman

   

Dear Oren,

We really enjoyed being with you! You are great at what you do!

Yo gave us a terrific education on places & things we never knew before.

We are serious about opening our homes to you and your  family  any time!!

We are family now!

 

November 2017, Cathy & Stepehn Kuper, Huston TX, USA

 

 

 

 

Mother and Daughter

   

Hi Oren,

Thanks so much for your kind note and for a fantastic week. We had a wonderful time and my mother really enjoyed herself. You helped to make this a very special trip for us. I will send you and email when I am home to get connected to your newsletter. 

All the Best and thanks again!!

 

November 2017, Rachel & Mimi Pollock, UK

 

 


Wild week

 

Oren

Thank you for making our trip to Israel a truly incredible experience and so "Special".

You are the best (They added 2 hearts, but I couldn't find a way to put it in... just use your imagination...).

 

October 2017, Dawn & Barry Lesitner, NY, USA

 

 

 

 

The trip of a lifetime!

  

We recently got back from a 2 week vacation to Tel Aviv, Jerusaelm and various sites in the north.

We can't say enough about working with Oren. Our agenda was so well planned (and it even included a few surprises along the way).

Oren picked us up every morning at our hotels, was attentive to every single detail and went over and beyond each and every day. (Including a full tour to every Super Pharm in Israel so we can care for our daughter's bee sting).

Oren's knowledge about all of the sites was perfect. He was able to read our minds and knew when it was time to move on or if we needed to spend additional time at any one location.

We miss him dearly and look forward to our next visit to Israel. Next time, Oren, let's just make it a food and wine tour!!! (this guy knows all the right places to eat!)

 

August 2017, Bari Cohen and John Malandruccolo, USA

 

 

 

Maccabia Games

  

Oren -

Thank you, thank you, thank you! It was a pleasure riding with you and getting to know you over the past couple of weeks. Your kindness, knowledge, insight and witt were greatly appreciated and truly made our visit all the more pleasurable and meaningful.

We wish  you and your family well

Fondly,

Pam & Bob

 

August 2017, Pam and Bob Schumer, USA

 

 

 

Crazy Hot Day



Firstly may I say that over the years and on many travels -  we have had numerous guides. 
OREN was perhaps the finest we ever met .  He was friendly articulate FUNNY
Thoughtful and perfect in every way.
Thank you for that.

 

July 2017, Michael Arnold Vitelli, USA

 

 

 

Father and Daughter

 

The Father:

Thank you for an excellent tour on Tuesday.
We were very pleased that the Hotel recommended you.
We wish you good luck and  we will send Clients to you if we can.
yours sincerely, and many thanks from
Robin Harries


The Daughter:

Bethlehem and the Dead Sea all in one day. His car was very clean and comfy. Oren accommodated my needs and questions, as well as my 80 year old father's. He knew the answers to everything and tailored the day to our requirements perfectly.

 

June 2017, Robin Harries, Oxford UK

 

 

 

2 great weeks

 

We recently came back from 2 weeks in Israel and had a fantastic time. We were fortunate to have Oren as our guide and often commented that we couldn't imagine going to Israel without a guide, particularly Oren.

Oren has a bountiful amount of knowledge about the history of Israel, the archeology of Israel, where to eat (fun places that were easy and delicious), how to get around ( I would never recommend driving in Israel without help) and where and when to go to museums, important destinations, and fun facts about everything from food, to politics, to entertainment.
We would recommend Oren to anyone going to Israel and we intend to go back and once again hit the road with Oren to all new places perhaps bringing along other family members. Thanks Oren for a great trip!

 

May 2017, Amy Marcus, USA

 

 

 

The Ozzie bunch

 

Oren

Thanks for your messages and thanks for everything, especially your knowledge and sense of humour!
Jackie, Chad & Cassie

 

Hi Oren

We're home - VAT & VIP all went well& all the flights!
Thank u again for showing us the best taste of beautiful Israel!

 

May 2017, Jackie Bobrow, Australia


Art & Mike

 

We were fortunate enough to be introduced to Oren whilst on our trip to Israel.  Oren took us to Jerusalem for a day tour and he exceeded our expectations! He was very thoughtful in planning his route and offered plenty of historical facts that helped carve out lasting impressions about Jerusalem and Israel.  We particularly loved Jerusalem's underground tunnel tour that he helped organize and the special trip to try local humus from one of the market vendors.  He even took many photos of us to help preserve the memory of our visit.  Highly recommend. Thank you, Oren! Toda Raba!

 

Art and Mike.

 

August 2016, Art & Mike, USA

 

3 generations (Second timers)

 

Dear Oren:

We have been home a little over a week, and Israel feels like a dream- it seems so long ago already.

Thank you again for an extraordinary voyage- it was a trip of a lifetime and I will forever cherish my time with Lara and my Mom, enhanced of course, with YOU, as our wonderful guide.

Our last day, Saturday was terrific. It began with a visit to the King David Hotel (where we did our last formal bathroom inspection- we gave it a B+- Mamilla was nicer…) and then we took a walk to the Arab Market where, we took our time shopping and exploring.  We had a marvelous dinner at Chakra.

Thank you again and thanks for your kind offer about bringing us something from Israel when you visit here in the Fall.

We will certainly keep that in mind.

Please let me know when you plan to be in NYC- perhaps we can meet up!

All the best to you and your family.  Thank you again.

 

July 2016, Barbara Innamorati, USA

 

3 generations and a Bar Mitzva

 

In case we havent told you, we feel we were very lucky to have had the pleasure of you  to teach us and to let  us  experience  the beautiful  country of Isreal.  

Without you the experience  would have been very different.  

Your abilty to adapt judge and react is very unique and people need to be made aware of what value you can add to their  trip and what you have done for our trip  and our memories.  

No doubt we will stay in touch: Terry  in a few months, me in a few more months and Amy as well.

Thank you very much we will write you a testimonial  for your  website  and will advertise  you in the cookbook as discussed.  

Let me know if you  need anything  specific you would like us to write,

Keep well and kind Regards

 

December 2015 throguh January 2016, Russel & Terry Diamond (and the whole gang) Sydney, Australia

 

October 2015 (NOT) Risky Business

 

Mail sent to Mabat Platinum Tour Operator and was later sent to me:

 

Hi David,

I just wanted to give you some feedback on our recent trip to Israel through your company, Mabat.

My cousin and I went on this trip to Israel – – it was our first. Between us we traveled the entire world --Africa, Asia ,the South Pole, South America, Europe – – you name it and we've been there. But this trip ranks as one of our favorite ever.

When we landed in Israel, all of the trouble began between the Palestinians and the Israelis. To be honest, as you know, we were a little bit worried. As it turns out I could not have felt more comfortable and more safe in this country.

First, Isreal itself clearly takes care of its people and the contrast between the United States, where there's plenty of trouble, and Israel is incredible. But I think the real success of a trip came from our guide, OREN.

Just to start with safety and security, Oren is constantly on the phone or his Internet following up with all the news of the day and making sure that he made adjustments in our itinerary as necessary. He talked us about what was happening, where it was happening, and explained what the country was doing in response. We were right in Jerusalem during all the trouble and we saw everything without boring from one second about our personal safety. If you just read about this in the news you get a completely false representation of what's really happening. In actuality, I'm positive that there's less trouble going on here then there is in our hometowns --Chicago and Baltimore.

Of course, our trip was not just about the trouble. Oren made sure we had the most remarkable trip imaginable. He showed up at night when he wanted to take us someplace that wasn't on the itinerary, he transported my cousin's nephew ( who lives in Israel) when he needed a ride--he stayed with us if he thought we needed a local escort after hours… just gave it 100% every day all day. We got an incredible historical and actual perspective of the country. It was a perfectly planned trip and I would not have changed a thing.

I waited 62 years to get here, and I can't even contemplate that I almost changed ( and missed) this trip of a lifetime because of my perception of the trouble in this country. While the situation is horrible and upsetting as a human being, it was a non-issue as far as our security and in fact was very helpful in understanding the political dynamics that Israel faces.

If any of your future clients want to email me with questions I hope that you will refer them to my attention. Also, I hope that you will assign Oren to anyone coming if he's available because I can guarantee they'll have the best trip.

Thanks again, 

 

October 2015, Karen Williamson and Lori Zazove Israel, USA

 

September 2015 Rocks around the clock

Hey Oren,  

 

What can I say?  You hit the high mark all day, everyday on our journey through Israel!!!  

 

For 5  FULL days you brought us to Israel and Israel to us.  Your knowledge, skill, humor, patience, and sense of adventure are exceptional.

 

Not only did we get to visit the places that we had always wanted to see in your country (for me it was archaeology; rocks and more rocks,lol) but once you got to know us better-our likes and dislikes, you fashioned our tour with some wonderful surprises, that as you had thought, turned out to be a couple of the highlights of our trip.

 

We will always happily remember this trip and will enthusiastically recommend you as the "go to" guy in the beautiful country of Israel.  

 

As it is said, 'travel is the best education.'  You made it an adventure.  

 

Thank you so much.  

 

Warm regards to your family.  

Be well.  Eric and Bruce 

 

September 2015, Eric and Bruce, Palm Springs, CA, USA

 

August 2015 - 3 short (great) days

Hi Oren!

 

I hope all is well with you and your family.  I wanted to thank you for being a wonderful, entertaining and patient guide.  I know my crew was tough, but I want you to know that I left them on the rooftop pool at the Ritz for the last 3 days of our trip and wondered around the streets of Tel Aviv on my own.  I took your advice and went to Sarona which was so beautiful..the market place is amazing and the shops were fun.

 

I then ended up at some huge circle with shops all around and met wonderful people and shopped and walked until even I was ready to drop!  I also went into the old city on my own and on my way back I saw the all white German settlement you told us about.

 

I told my travel agent to send people to the Bullet factory and Ilana Goor Museum.  Those were awesome.

 

Again, a heartfelt thank you from all of us.  We were lucky to have you as our guide.  Stay well and, by the way, it is in the 70's here , sorry to rub it in!!

 

All the best,

 

Marci

 

August 2015, The Garson family, USA

 

July 2015 - 1 Grandma and 2 happy grandsons

Hi Oren

Just a few lines to tell you how much we appreciate the 3days we have with you.

I had tours with other guides and yours was the best so far. I know it's not easy to cater to  children and grown up. You have managed to show us places that my grandkids and I enjoy.

Even though we had long drives and long days, you kept your cool. Always kind and professional.

I am planning to come again next year,this time with some friends. Will love it will you will be available .

Will let you know when I have the date.

You can give my name as a reference. 

 

July 2015, Mimi and the youngones... USA

 

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