Dedicated to all my family members, friends at work, friends back from college, my brothers in the states and everywhere else, my dear blog followers and my twitter friends, dear ones and followers. Happy new year and wish you all the best of luck, prosperity and fortune in 2011.
Last week of November, I had a meeting in Abu Dhabi. This is my 2nd time to visit Abu Dhabi, and I have to say that I didn’t explore anything there at all when I went there for the first time. We were offered a couple of decent corporate rates for other hotels, but I’ve decided to stick to my Starwood Preferred Guest Program and give this property a visit. I was given a good rate for a Preferred room which included a breakfast buffet, internet access at your room during the stay, access to the executive lounge for drinks and snacks and round-trip airport transportation. The hotel is located around 45 minutes away from AUH airport depending on the traffic in the city. The hotel is inconveniently located at a traffic light and the parking space is very limited, so for those who wish to rent a car and stay at this hotel, watch out. The area around the hotel is commercial, meaning the availability of all kinds of services and food outlets. You can walk around and explore it, but be careful of the traffic. People drive like madmen in the Gulf region, not excluding UAE. The reception of the hotel is located at the mezzanine level and I had a breezy check-in. I have requested express laundry service for ironing and pressing and the gentleman at the reception desk explained that the hotel doesn’t have laundry service and it’s outsourced. That was inconvenient for me, and he tried to fix it by sending in an ironing board and a steam iron. I was given a room was pretty far away from the lifts and I hate the trip to reach it.
The following shots are of the Preferred Guest room
The room furnishing was good and up to standards. I’ve checked the room service menu and like other properties of Starwood, the rates are a bit high for regular items such as sandwiches and finger food. I think Starwood should re-evaluate their pricing. What I didn’t like about the room was the bathroom. It was not up to standards at all. No shower box and the structure of the bathroom is old. The wired connection for internet didn’t work so I had to go wireless, which was fast enough though the signal was weak. I would recommend this hotel only for business travelers staying for a night or two at maximum. Otherwise, there are other hotels which are comfortably located next to malls and shopping centers.
During my last trip to Oman in early August, I’ve visited this lounge on our trip back to KWI. There are only two lounges in MCT airport and they are Oman Air Lounge and Plaza Premium Lounge. Both lounges are located right past the immigration check point. Since me and my buddy are holders of Priory Pass card, we were allowed in. The lounge had a private isolated section for smoking, which was what we wanted. The lounge was empty, except of two travelers and a bar tender who didn’t seem interested in servicing. The lounge is very spacious and aside from the seating areas as seen below, there’s a private section in the back with sleeper seats to doze off a bit before boarding your flight. Showers were available next to the bathrooms, but they were locked for no obvious reason.
The food buffet was good. It had some Indian hot dishes including chicken curry, white rice and some vegetarian items as well. A salad bar was available and I enjoyed it the most, since I don’t tend to eat spicy food before boarding a flight. Potato Chip snacks and cookies were offered as well. Overall, this is pretty decent lounge and has a good capacity of seating as well as the general atmosphere.
Getting ready to board my flight after leaving my hotel, I’ve decided to visit The Gulf Air Lounge in DXB Terminal 1 since I’m a holder of a business class ticket. It’s located at gate 122, where it’s the regular gate for Gulf Air flights. Admittance is for Gulf Air Golden Falcon ticket holders or Gold/Silver members of Gulf Air or its partners. More info is available at Lounge Guide.
This is the entrance of lounge
As you can see, Gulf Air lounges in BAH and DXB share the same aspect of having a tent-like seating area for a taste of originality.
Gulf Air serves Hot and Cold dishes on their buffet bar, which is a lot better than those big global airlines with lousy lounges (Lufthansa), aside from hot and cold drinks as well as you can from the far right side here
The lounge was pretty quiet when I have arrived. Mainly three travelers beside me. The reading materials were limited to newspapers and business/finance magazines. They had a shower room with towels for those who like to refresh. The space is very limited here, and it did get a bit crowded after 4:30 PM.
This is a 49 seconds low resolution recording of the lounge by my old Sony Ericsson W890i
OK, since early November I’ve started this new hobby which I’ve been trying to establish for a while but didn’t seem to have the enough resources for it. I’ve started to collect miniature airplane models scale 1:600.
I’ve gotten these from KWI Duty Free market. Each model went for 3.5 KDs. They have other airlines as well, but I really liked the Gulf Air Blue and Gold models. I need to find some Asian airlines as well.
Is there any specialty store in Kuwait for this scale of models?