Grosvenor House Dubai

After the 1.5 hour drive from Al Maha, we pulled up to the entrance and an army of hotel staff swarmed our car to assist us. A staff member personally escorted us to the check in desk while other staff took care of our luggage.

While the check in formalities were being taken care of, another staff member came to offer us a welcome drink.

Fizzy pineapple drink.

I booked the lowest category room and was informed that we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom apartment – wow. We also received complimentary breakfast and access to the club lounge for afternoon tea and cocktail hour.

Room 1313 – double lucky I guess? 😉

A powder immediately off to the left as you enter and the kitchen on the right side. Forgot to take the pic for the powder room.

Living room.

Laundry plus hallway leading to the bedrooms and bathrooms.

First full bathroom.

Bedroom 1.

Main bedroom.

Ensuite bathroom.

We tried breakfast for one day at Sloane’s. We sat inside as we didnt want to sweat on the outside patio given the summer heat. The selection was decent but could not compare to other hotels like the Westin Mumbai or the Andaman Langkawi.

Overall, a fantastic hotel with amazing service from the staff. Would definitely stay at this hotel again on future vacations in Dubai.

Al Maha Desert Resort (Part 2)

The next day we went for the archery activity. You can choose to go from 8am to 12pm on top of the hour. We decided to sleep in a little, get breakfast in the room (forgot to take pictures) and then head for the 10am activity. We went as many rounds as we could during the one hour session – definitely fun and became very competitive. 😀

The Mrs taking her turn.

And me next.

Taken by our instructor. By the end, if anyone wants to know the score, I got the bullseye twice compared to one for the Mrs. I am the greatest ever.

After being dropped back to the lobby area, we explored a little before heading back to our room.

The outdoor seating area at Al Diwaan restaurant. Cannot imagine anyone wanting to sit out here in the 44 celsius degree heat.

Enjoying the pool back in the room.

For lunch, we ordered grilled prawns plus a veggie quiche. Kept it light.

For dinner, we went a bit overboard – chicken and beef kebabs, beef biryani, grilled octopus and date dessert.

On our last day, we woke up ridiculously early for the 5.30am falconry activity.

We got to see four different birds up front – falcon, hawk, eagle and an owl.

After the activity, we headed back to Al Diwaan to have breakfast.

Soooo good.

Medium steak for me and Indian style eggs for her.

Ordered butter chicken for lunch (half eaten before I remembered to take a picture).

Ended the night with some haryali chicken kebab, grilled prawns and a special dessert of the evening which I cannot remember what it was called (delicious nonetheless).

We checked after 3 wonderful and relaxing days. Needless to say, this was one bucket list item that was fulfilled in every way. Fantastic food (although portions are ridiculously big and I am never one to complain about big portions), friendly staff and amazing service and attention to detail. Upon check out, we were asked by many staff members if we were going to come back and this was the first time I have ever heard someone at a Marriott chain ask this question. The hospitality is definitely top notch.

Al Maha Desert Resort (Part 1)

The reason why this whole trip was booked … well, 2nd reason because the anniversary was the 1st reason. Yes, lets go with that.

Hired a private car service to pick us up for 12pm.

Around 40 minutes later on the highway, we saw the sign. From there the road changed from asphalt to a rocky/sandy road.

10 minutes later and we pulled up to the security gate where the guard checked our names off the list before letting us through.

Driving through the dunes.

We pulled up to the main entrance where the staff were waiting for us. We were warmly welcomed by Mansour and he wished us both a happy anniversary. We were then escorted inside into the main lobby where we were asked to sit while they would process the check in formalities. While that was happening, we were provided a welcome date smoothie drink.

The lobby.

While the check in formalities were being done, Karlich came by to introduce himself and explain about the daily activities offered on the resort and we could do two activities per day.

Once check in was completed, we were driven on a golf cart to our suite.

Suite 38.



Living room and Bed.

Outdoor pool and deck.

A friend came to say hello.

We were hungry and ordered room service lunch. Tom Yum soup, Green curry prawns, mashed potato, some healthy salad and salmon for the Mrs.

That evening, we went for the camel ride activity.

We went through the spa area to get to the gathering point where the camels were waiting.

The staff explained how to get on and off the camels and also do’s and dont’s. It was an interesting experience as it was the first time for the both of us travelling on camel back but fun nonetheless. After 25-ish minutes, we arrived at an area where refreshments were set up for everyone to partake in. We were offered sparkling wine and walked to a quiet spot on the dunes to take some sunset pictures.

After an hour, we rode the camel back to the resort and then went to Al Diwaan restaurant for dinner. The staff welcomed us and asked us if we wanted to sit inside or outside. Since it was still warm even at 7pm, we chose to sit inside.

Breads to start.

Amuse bouche.

Scallops tempura.

Lime sorbet palate cleanser.

For our mains, chorizo risotto for her and lamb shank for me. The lamb was absolutely delicious and was fall off the bone tender.

We had to skip dessert as we were so full from the large dinner portions. As we were leaving, one of the staff gave us a take away box with a cake to celebrate our anniversary. Phenomenal service from the staff.

When we came back to our room, it was cleaned again and turned down for the night.

Courtyard Al Barsha and first day in Dubai

Since we arrived ridiculously early in the morning, we crashed at a cousin’s place for a few hours before checking into the hotel.

Located next to Mall of the Emirates and is a 10 minute walk.

Check in was efficient and got an upgrade to a Superior Room. The hotel is modern, clean and well appointed.

Good for a one night stay. Also had the best sleep ever.

We could also walk out onto a big balcony (no view though).

After freshening up, we went out for lunch at Eric’s on Sheikh Zayed Road. The original location is located in Karama at the Sheikh Hamdan colony. The restaurant specializes in Mangalorean and Goan cuisine (think South India).

Pretty nice decor and ambience.

Mango Lassi and Strawberry milkshake to start.

Potato Chop (ground beef stuffed inside mashed potato and deep fried), Kingfish Rava Fry and Chicken Lollipops. We had other dishes too but went to town on them and forgot to take pictures.

The wife decided to stay in for the night while I went out to meet a friend. Ended up at the Sheraton MOTE 5th floor bar and had sheesha.

Grape flavour.

A pint of Tiger.

View from the terrace bar.

The next morning, we had breakfast at Common Grounds at the MOTE.

Kept it ‘light’.

A quick stop at Carrefour for some snacks.

A spot of chai before getting on the road to Al Maha.

Qatar Airways Business Class – Doha to Dubai

Made our way to the B gates where our flight was departing from. The flight was initially supposed to be on a 777 with QSuites but a few months before depature, there was a plane swap to an A330. An hour before the flight, I got a notification that it was switched to a B787.

Surprised to see the Adient Ascent seat. Comfy for a one hour flight – not sure how comfortable it would be for a medium or long haul flight.

The bar at the back of the J cabin.

The cabin itself.

Was offered a choice of OJ, mint/lime juice or water as a PDB.

Another crew member came by offering arabic coffee. My meal choice was also taken – it was a choice between a camel wrap or a paneer wrap.

The captain came on with his usual introduction and announced that we would be delayed by another 30+ minutes as we had to wait for passengers from the inbound Paris flight.


This is how the flight went.

Plane went up.

Meal was served 15 minutes after take off – went with the camel wrap, tasted like chicken.

Halfway through the meal, the captain came on to announce we had begun our descent. 😀

Taxi to Terminal 1 gate at DXB.

Off the plane to immigration.

Al Safwa First Class Lounge

AKA The most wonderful place in the entire world. Some of you may like Disneyland and this is my Disneyland … except without the masses and no line ups plus it has superior service and food. Even the design and aesthetics of this place blows other lounges out the water.

Coming out of the tube and we made the long walk down to the central concourse.

Everyone wanting a selfie with da bear.

Following the signs to the lounge.

Stairway to heaven.

Our boarding passes were scanned and we were directed towards the main doors to the right of the desk.

We came to the junction where one of the staff members gave us a quick tour of the area.

We went towards the main dining area to have a bite to eat.

The view.

A member of the dining staff saw us walking towards the area and escorted us to an open table. Menus were available by scanning a QR code on the table but the staff gave us two iPads to check the menu. We couldn’t decide on what to eat, so the waiter suggested we try a sampling of appetizers first.

Lamb kofta, spinach samosas and falafel.

The Mrs went with a healthy but tasteless chicken option.

While I chose the Arabic chicken rice dish and it hit the spot.

For dessert, we went with the waiter’s suggestion of saffron cake and “tree in the woods”.

After a filling meal service, a glass of bubbly for fun time in the jacuzzi.

Heading towards the Spa and Quiet room area.

There were only single rooms available, so we each took one. I went to try out the jacuzzi while the Mrs went to crash for a few hours.


Afterwards, I made my way to my sleeping room.

Slept for a few hours and freshened up before the Dubai flight.

Taking one final look at the place before we headed out. This place is just beyond words.

Qatar Airways Business Class – Paris to Doha

Checked out of the hotel and got on our way to the airport around 6am.

The check in desks were located in terminal 2C. There were 2 desks for premium travellers and we waited while others were being helped. The check in agent who helped us was very kind and efficiently checked us through DXB. We were informed that we did not have access to the lounge but it was not the greatest loss in the world as the only lounge available for access was the American Airlines lounge.

We went through priority immigration / security quickly and into the airside area.

Fast forward to 30 minutes before departure and boarding was called.

SQ parked next to us and AC taxi-ing in the background.

8K for me and 9K for the Mrs. We were in the mini J cabin.


A lime and mint drink to start.

A peek at the menu.

Daniel was the cabin crew member serving our side of the cabin and was phenomenal throughout our flight. He was so cheerful and very helpful. We were informed by the captain that there was a small delay in pushback due to traffic congestion at CDG but we eventually pushed back.

After a smooth climb out out of CDG, the seat belts signs were turned off and the cabin crew got into action. Service began with some bubbly and warm nuts.

Lunch service began shortly after with the a salmon starter.

Seafood soup up next. Peppery but delicious.

Followed by Osso Bucco.

For some reason, the dessert course was missed by the crew for both myself and the Mrs but we didn’t mind.

The view never gets old.

The rest of the flight passed by quickly and we started our descent into Doha.

Hazy view.

Cleared our as we descended lower.

Although it was short (less than 6 hours), it was still a fantastic flight and we got the opportunity to fly the worlds best business class. Would fly this product again in a heartbeat and would definitely try a long haul flight next time.

Paris 2022 – Out and About

After freshening up in the room, we headed out for lunch. We headed out and stopped at the first restaurant we saw behind the hotel.

Chicken supreme and Beef Bourguignon. Both were divine.

We did our first anniversary photo shoot that evening around the Louvre and Tuileries Garden. The next day, we started our day at 6am for our formal photo shoot. First stop of the day is Trocadero place with the Eiffel Tower as our backdrop.

Our photographers working their magic.

The result (one of many).

We then made our way to the Louvre. Fairly quiet around 8:45am but people were lining up in the front to get inside.

Behind the main entrance with no one in sight.

In one of the hallways around the square.

After the morning shoot was done, we headed out for an early lunch.


Pasta for me and chicken breast for the Mrs.

That evening, we went over for our 2nd evening shoot to the Pont Alexander III bridge.

Finally, back to Trocadero for a night shoot at the Eiffel Tower.

Time to indulge a little – we headed over to La Creme de Paris near Notre Dame.

One with chicken and the other with ground beef.

Ending it off with sugar.

The next morning, we headed out around the Vendome area for some exploration.

First stop, some breakfast at Midore.

So much to choose from …

We then headed over to the Palais Garnier for a self guided tour.

Starting from the bottom floor and working our way up.

Stunning architecture and design.

Mrs taking in the moment.

In to the Grand Foyer.

One of the corridors outside the grand foyer.

The opera hall.

After the tour, a stop at Pierre Herme because someone wanted macaroons

On our last evening in Paris, we celebrated our anniversary with dinner at Le Train Bleu located inside Gare de Lyon station. The metro was quite easy to navigate and it took 20 minutes approximately from door to door.

Hopping on at Tuileries station.

Arriving at Gare de Lyon.

This looks like the right place.

Again, wonderful design.


Quinoa amuse bouche to start.

The Mrs with the Morel Mushroom Fricassee soup – amazing.

Green asparagus for me which was warmed up table side and served. Never seen asparagus this big.

Verdict – very tangy if that suits your palette.

For our mains, the chicke supreme for the Mrs – wonderfully moist.

For me – the roast leg of lamb and potato gratin – absolutely delicious and I did not need to use a knife to cut it.

For dessert, we shared the rum baba and it was a perfect end to the meal.

Our 4 days in Paris was fantastic – good food, lots to see and do but it was time to move on to the next portion of our trip.

Westin Vendome Paris

On the way to the Westin. Cabbie turned the meter on.

We were requested to head to the check in area while the front door staff took care of our bags.

The courtyard restaurant in the centre of the building.

Check in formalities were done quickly and we were informed our room was not ready yet. We were given a courtesy room for 45 minutes and was requested to come down after the time was up.

After 45 minutes, there was a knock on our door and one of the front desk staff came to give us the keys to our new room. I used 3 SNA certificates to upgrade to the Prestige Suite which cleared 5 days before arrival.

Stepping into the room – with the bedroom on the left and living room on the right.

Door on the right leading to the closet area and bathroom.

Living room.



Looking down into the courtyard from our room.

Le Metropolitan Hotel + First day in Paris

We arrived at Gare Du Nord station after 25 minutes and then followed the signs to the taxi stand.

Hopped into a taxi and the driver indicated it was a set prices to the hotel. I read before hand that all cabs were metered but I hesitated and didnt challenge him. After 30 minutes, we arrived but I happened to peak over and saw a meter there. I asked him why he didnt use the meter. He just lost it and started aggressively speaking in French that we either pay him what we agreed on otherwise he would take us back. I said to go ahead and take us back where he started driving haphazardly and eventually just stopped in the middle of nowhere (a bit of hyperbole) and told us to get out. Seeing as we did not know our surroundings, I asked a passerby on where the nearest taxi stand was. The gentleman was extremely helpful and he directed us using his google maps. We happened to be a 5 minute walk away from Saint Lazare station and we found the taxi stand close by. Back on the road after again and after 20 minutes, made it back to the Le Metropolitan. Ended up paying 15e plus a small tip. A far cry from the 85e that the first driver wanted to charge us. Not a great start to our trip in Paris but luckily, everything was fantastic thereafter.

The hotel from the outside.

Used a SNA certificate for the Eiffel Tower suite and it cleared a day before we arrived. The staff at the front desk welcomed us and went through the usual formalities. We went to our room and someone dropped off the luggage soon after.

Check in area plus lobby.

Suite 611. The most highly coveted suite in the entire hotel. We had to sign a form indicating we would not move the bed for social media purposes. LOL – the Insta influencers ruining it for everyone.

Front door on the right side and bed.

Standing in front of the canopy bed looking the other way.

Bathroom area behind the bed.

The view.

Just as we were about to head out for a late lunch, the staff came by to drop off a small gift.

Stopped off at the restaurant right next to the hotel.

Chicken Supreme, Tuna Salad and Green Beans.

After the meal, we walked down to Trocadero Square.

After returning back to the room, we celebrated our first night in Paris with some dessert and bubbly.

The next morning, we walked back to Trocadero square for breakfast at Café du Trocadéro.

One final look before checking out and moving to the next hotel.