In my latest Vlog let’s take a trip to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi with its amazing gigantic building.
We’ll check out Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coaster in the world. The go karts. Flying Aces, another roller coaster with the world’s highest non-inverting loop.
And experience the Ferrari themed “Red” acrobatics and dance show.
There’s nothing business oriented about this Vlog. It’s just good fun.
It’s the second of three Vlogs from Abu Dhabi – check in soon for a review of the St. Regis Hotel Saadiyat Island.
Now it’s your turn:
What’s the most insane ride you’ve ever been on? Maybe it’s a smaller ride like the Wild Mouse at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Or a gigantic roller coaster like Millennium Force at Cedar Point in Ohio. Please leave a comment or share on social media.
Spacious grounds, wide soft sandy beach, thirteen restaurants and bars, three pools and a spa, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa is a self-contained paradise. You could stay here for your entire holiday and not venture beyond its welcoming doors.
This is Dubai with plenty to see and do though, but staying within Le Royal Meridien’s confines for a few relaxing days is a oasis for your mind and body.
Arriving in its elegant furnished lobby, check in was a breeze and a first meet with one of an army of staff whose sole aim is to give impeccable service. Staff training must be a top priority here because everyone was polite, helpful, efficient and possessed the uncanny ability to anticipate every wish.
At only 9 floors, the building is low in comparison to the skyscrapers of Dubai. We found our room in the circular tower. A suite with separate sitting room beautifully decorated and spacious. A large shower and bathroom filled with fluffy towels and adorned with multiple bottles of sweet-smelling potions.
Our room faced into the city and the marina but you can ask for a room overlooking the beach and the Palm Jumeirah beyond.
Exploring the resort we discovered expansive grounds of well kep lawns, swimming pools and sun bathing areas all leading down to the beach. Whilst it’s a public space, Le Royal Meridien has a private, fenced off section of exclusive sand and we made this our main base for our stay.
A snack bar serves each pool and the beach area so you never have far to go for refreshments. In fact often the waiter arrives just as you realise you want to order something.
They offer huge fluffy beach towels in a pleasant pastel light blue for the comfy sun beds.
The clean deep white sand of the wide beach reminded me of Santa Monica in Los Angeles, except a New York style high-rise skyline lines this particular section of coastline.
The highlight for me was the choice and variety of restaurants and bars at Le Royal Meridien.
Le Deck: Near the pool and serving Mediterranean food, my favourite dish was a Thai style chicken noodle dish with bok choi and a pleasant hit of chilli heat.
Maya: Outstanding Mexican cuisine served with mojitos and beer. Check out their tasty chicken fajitas served with warm tortillas, bell peppers, onions, guacamole, salsa roja and crema fresca.
Zengo: Offering an artful blend of asian and latin flavours, Zengo offers a stunning venue and interesting surprising food. Try the boneless chicken wings with fenugreek oil, chipotle and citrus sauce. Don’t miss the chef’s 30 vegetable stir fry. Linger after your meal in the bar and lounge decorated with the same blend of asian and latin influences.
Ossigeno: Traditional Italian cuisine with a twist. Great tasty pasta and a “melt-like-butter” medium well done steak.
Al Khaima: Arabic food served in an authentic atmosphere with traditional music and the occasional belly dancer. Fans of Shisha can enjoy a sweet-smelling smoke in this open air venue. I started with the Hummous: Crushed chickpeas flavored with sesame paste, lemon juice, sautéed meat and pine nuts. For main I went for Shish Kebab: Marinated tender lamb loin with Arabic spices, onion, parsley salad and grilled tomato.
Shades: A sports bar offering big screen entertainment and a range of burgers and sandwiches along with pints of ice-cold beer.
Rhodes Twenty10: A glamorous and intimate scene with opulent chandeliers, black chic and just a hint of lilac lined with Jack Vettrianno paintings. It’s Euro-inspired cuisine with some Middle East influence. They give you the opportunity to create your own dining experience beginning with your hors d’oeuvres to share, then creating your own main course and finishing with a classic pudding. Great steaks again.
Pizzeria: Casual dining for families with frshly made to order pizzas and pastas.
Alas we ran out of nights to sample Geales (Fish restaurant) and Le Brasserie (Buffet meals) although the latter was our morning stop for breakfast each day on the way to the beach. I loved watching them prepare fresh wafer this crepes.
The Caracalla Spa, designed with a Roman theme and infused a well-being ambience offers a holistic range of beauty treatments and unforgettable experiences for the body and mind. Set on three levels the spa is an oasis from the Dubai heat.
I struggle to find any fault with Le Royal Meridien, though the wifi was a little slow but hardly mattered given the surroundings. Excellent service, range of restaurants, ample acreage, semi-private beach and location in the Dubai marina make this a must visit destination.
A question for you: What’s your favourite place in Dubai? Please share your experiences on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn.
Every summer we usually take a week’s break in Europe. Perhaps the north of Mallorca, Portgual’s Algarve or France.
Although buckets of British Airways air miles means we could travel from Edinburgh via Heathrow or Gatwick and connect to a Club Europe flight, we’ve sacrificed the lounge access and slightly wider seats for more convennient direct flights with Jet2 or Easy Jet.
Until this year when I booked our villa in Mallorca’s Pollenca region through James Villas and they offered me a BA CityFlyer Charter.
I knew that CityFlyer use the spare capacity during London City Airport’s weekend downtime to offer charters, mainly through Barrhead Travel, and I immediately agreed to those flights and not Jet2.
The BA flights worked out at about £170 each which I thought was great value having paid nearly £1000 for three seats last year on Jet2.
Knowing that my BA silver card provided no advantage on a charter, I asked James Villas if I could pre-book seats.
They said, “No it’s not possible.”
Being a stubborn Edinburgh traveller, a quick Google search revealed a hidden BA CityFlyer Charter website where you can indeed book seats for £6 a pop.
I even had the courtesy to write back to James Villas and point out that you can, indeed, pre-book seats? They were kind enough to reply and tell me that I was wrong and it wasn’t possible to pre-book seats.
I enjoyed reading that email whilst clutching my seat confirmation with a wry smile.
For the outbound at 7.30am on a Saturday, Edinburgh Airport bulged with people. We approached the usual BA check in desks. I asked the lady managing the queues if we could we check in here? She said that the charter check in was at the other end of the check in hall.
I mentioned we were travelling hand bags only and she very kindly used her work station to print our boarding cards. Great service.
Without the benefit of lounge access we waited at the gate for BA to call the flight. Once onboard G-LCYS, one of the newest Embraer 190 aircraft in the BA fleet, we sank into our roomy 2×2 leather seats with their ample 34in pitch.
Once comfy, I heard the lady behind me moaning to the Purser that she and her husband and children had been split up at check in. The purser apologised and said that you can’t pre-book seats on BA charter services (strange that the cabin crew don’t know about the website where you can pre-book).
Anyway this lady whined to anyone who would listen about how upset she was. I was going to enlighten her about the website, but the child she was with was so badly behaved throughout the flight, kicking my seat back, that I decided they could carry on moaning.
Took off bang on time and the crew began the inflight buy on board service. You can see the menu in the photos.
I drank a giant cup of tasty Saile and Sabga Gourmet Cafe Arabica coffee, and ate a hot bacon panini. The coffee could be the best I’ve ever had on an aircraft.
The crew came through the cabin on a second run towards the end of the three hour flight.
On the inbound, with only two BA flights, check in at Palma is civilised and not the multi-queue scrum you find for Jet2 or Thompson.
My only criticism of the operation at Palma is there was no facility for hand luggage only customers. We had to queue with those with luggage – actually we might have been the only passengers travelling without checked bags. Still we only waited about 15 minutes.
Same aircraft and the same crew and the same service on the way home except I had a beer with my coffee and bacon buttie.
The moaning lady was also on the flight, and although sat with her husband and kids this time, all she did was moan about how they were split up on the flight out. Bet she’s a barrel of laughs in the pub.
Overall it was great flying on a BA CityFlyer Charter. You get the extra leg room and the professionalism of BA Mainline, with the extra quantities of food and drink from buy on board.
I’d do this over Jet2 any day.
Now it’s your turn:
Have you travelled on a British Airways Charter Flight? How do you think it compares to BA Mainline or other low-cost airlines like Jet2, Easy Jet and RyanAir? Please leave a comment or share a link to your own reviews.