. UAE PHOTO DIARY .
Happy Sunday everyone. I’m currently (and far too quickly) edging towards the end of my 11 nights in the UAE, it’s been a brilliant trip and so I thought i’d take the opportunity to post a bit of a photo diary today with some snaps from my trip. Now first up a little apology, I actually haven’t taken my DSLR out with me any evening or on any trips when we’ve left our hotel to explore the two cities, it’s far too heavy & so I’ve opted for iPhone pictures instead. So these pictures are actually from the two hotels we’ve stayed in, firstly the Eastern Mangrove in Abu Dhabi and the incredible Park Hyatt in Dubai (probably the most fabulous hotel i’ve stayed in). If you fancy seeing more pics from my explorations out of the hotel grounds then make sure you check out my twitter feed and my instagram, as i’ve been snapping away and sharing mostly on these.
So our trip began in the first class lounge in Heathrow T5, my first time flying first class and my first time enjoying the Concorde lounge (or the Millionaires Club as it’s apparently coined). The lounge is everything you’d imagine about a first class lounge, champagne on tap, delicious food, more magazines than you could possibly read in a 7 hour flight, a spa, a sleep room and just generally beautiful decor. You can check out some pics I took in the lounge here, here and here. The flight, if at all possible, was even better. An experience like none other, oh how the other half live. I’ve only ever flown business twice before in the past, but never first and it was just unbelievable. If only I could afford to fly in this style all the time. Tea & champagne on arrival, canapés after take off and a three course lunch served whenever you fancy. Followed of course by cheese & biscuits, a whole box of the finest chocolates and more champagne to boot. I spent the flight enjoying the food and drink, chatting with the lovely staff and watching The Fault In Our Stars (which i cried from start to finish watching, and gave myself a migraine) as well as The 100 Year Old Man Who Jumped Out Of The Window (a book i’d bought to read but not quite got round too, fabulously funny & a lovely story). After a little food coma enduced nap on a full length flat bed (we were given PJ’s to boot) I woke up and attempted the delicious afternoon tea on offer. By this point sadly my migraine had taken over and my belly was so full my dad had to eat most of it. But all in all, an utterly fabulous and quite unbelievable experience, and a real treat too!
. ABU DHABI – EASTEN MANGROVES .
We spent the first 4 nights of our trip in Abu Dhabi, we stayed in the Eastern Mangroves hotel, slightly away from the busy Corniche which sits along the main road and has beach access. Our hotel was situated in the mangroves along a conservation strip, with views back over the city. It was beautiful and very relaxing! We spent most the days whiling away the time and relaxing by the infinity pool, drinking apple mojitos & enjoying the fresh fruit and cold towels bought around by the staff throughout the day (plus testing out the best lunch dishes). The evenings were spent trying out some fab restaurants and bars, and enjoying a bit of the luxe life, mixed with a couple of evenings spent in the hotel restaurant. My favourite meal in Abu Dhabi was at Aqua, which is at the Rosewood Hotel. A recommendation by a friend (and i’ve been to the various London restaurants a few times myself), fabulous Italian food, sat outside with views over the bay! We also had cocktails at Rays Bar on the 62nd Floor of the Etihad Towers (seriously vertigo inducing) before dining at Tori No Su (a highly recommended japanese restaurant) as well as a cheeky little drink in the Hidden bar in the Rosewood. Abu Dhabi appears to be more of an up and coming city than Dubai, which is relatively established now in it’s own right. A great trip and lovely chance to explore somewhere new, but 4 days is plenty as Dubai is the real show piece i’d say!
. DUBAI – PARK HYATT .
We travelled to Dubai early in the morning to make sure we made the most of our 6 nights here. Arriving at the Park Hyatt was a pretty special experience, 5* in it’s true true sense! The hotel itself is a hidden sanctuary amongst the high rise towers and bustling roads, surrounded by a golf course and beautiful blue creek & yacht filled harbour, with plenty of grounds to make you feel like you’re in the middle of the most remote, beautiful island. The hotel reminds me of a safari with it’s beautiful wooden detailing and rustic charm and decor (I love these big bowls, the pretty tiled stairs and colourful walkways). I think it’s one of the best hotels i’ve yet to stay in, and as a keen traveller and luxury fanatic that says a lot (the pictures truly don’t do it justice). It’s my dads favourite hotel in the world too! I’ve spent most my days here (we’re on the 5th today) creating my own little wonderful regime. Waking up around 830am, heading to breakfast for a leisurely hour of tasty cuisine and plenty of tea, followed by some relaxation at the calm and tranquil pool (and a spot of lunch too) and evenings spent exploring various parts of the city & dining with family friends who live here or in the neighbouring countries.
The breakfast here is quite exquisite, a menu full of your favourites and a pristine buffet jam packed with freshly produced goods & anything you could possibly fancy. You can check out some of my breakfasts here, here, here and here. We’ve spent evenings at Dubai Mall, a serious mall for all shopaholics. You think of a brand, it’s there (it even has a shark tank too). Having cocktails at the Address bar facing the quite spectacular Burj Khalefa (the tallest building in the world at an absolutely mad 828m tall), exploring the old town souks, dining at my dads favourite golf clubs, and this evening will be spent checking out the Madinat & The Mall of Emirates (i’m still yet to buy anything … wish me luck)! We’re hoping to spend the evening tomorrow at the Emirates towers having a cocktail and watching the sun set, keep an eye out on my instagram for that.
But one of the most fabulous experiences we’ve had in Dubai so far had to be the Dubai Friday Brunch which I talked about in Fridays post. A full day full of champagne, seriously fine cuisine and great company. Dads friends joined us for brunch, a spectacle which kicks off at 1230pm and managed to run dutifully on until at least 10pm for us. I’ve not really seen anything quite like it, at £120 a head you can imagine the experience and quality is pretty special. I filled my boots with freshly grilled lobster, langoustines & scallops, indulged in hog roast pork belly & every possible roast joint of meat you can imagine, dabbled in shellfish delights & stuffed myself with a lot of sashimi. I ate until I couldn’t eat anymore, everything was so delicious I went for a little and often approach, a small tester of each of the amazing delicacies being knocked up by chefs on the spot. A rather unexpected treat was an entirely separate room for puddings, talk about a charlie & the chocolate factory experience. I haven’t really shared many pics from the day (i was far too busy enjoying myself) but you can get a little taster for what I ate here and here.
So there we go, a little taster for what i’ve been getting up to. I’m sorry I don’t have more pictures of being out and about in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to share, but make sure you give my instagram a little nosy as i’ve been posting lots of snaps there each day, and of course my twitter / Facebook. I’ll be sure to share some pics from the Madinat this evening and any purchases I make at the Mall of Emirates.