Monday, December 17, 2018

Spotlight

Personal Recommendations

Its the height of summer and we are well into Ramadan and I am sure most people must think we are mad but we decided to pack up the kids and head up to Jebel Ali Beach GolfResort and Spa for the day. We had enjoyed a fabulous July day out at their Sister Hotel, Hatta Fort in July so excitement levels were high and we were not disappointed.

I, of course was the first one to arrive at the Hotel and headed straight out onto the beach and pool area, all 128 acres of it!! Yes Jebel Ali Beach Resort and Spa is huge and can be seen quite clearly making its mark on the coastline when you drive towards it. I first visited the Hotel not long after it had opened in 1987 (I think), at that time it was miles out of town, not these days, a mere 20 minute run from Al Barsha.

The Toffee One arrived shortly after myself and we settled ourselves at the freshwater pool, I really was surprised at how busy the resort was considering the time of year. The fact that it is the Holy Month of Ramadan makes little difference as the Resort is exempt from the restrictions we have to follow outside of the resort. The freshwater pool has a fabulous little bar in the pool, would be a shame not to try it out!! fruit cocktails all round served by Robin who even though he was dripping in sweat had a smile on his face.

The Silver One showed up and it was time for lunch. We headed indoors to La Fontana, a beautiful little restaurant which was serving a fabulous all you could eat lunch, there was an extensive salad bar with soup and assorted breads, along with a hotplate with roast lamb and mashed potatoes, a pasta station and of course the dessert station for 145 dhs. We all chose various options and enjoyed it immensley.

It was time to head back to the pool, and much to The Silver One's surprise some peacocks turned up so off she went to take some photos, this girl is quite literally fascinated with peacocks and has gone back up to Hatta Fort Hotel today to see theirs!

Jebel Ali Beach Resort and Spa has so much to offer, it is exactly what it says on the label, a resort, there is so much to do up there and to really do it justice we are going to have to go back in the cooler months so we can check out the stables, the Marina, the Golf Club, Joumana Spa, Palm Court, DiVAZ floating restaurant and the other15 restaurants it has on site!!!

Thank you Jebel Ali Beach Golf Resort and Spa we had a wonderful day out and will be back again later in the year.

For more information on access to the hotel please click here

Facebook Twitter

You may remember last summer we stayed at the Grand Millennium in Abu Dhabi and it was absolutely wonderful, there is a link to that article here.

Yesterday we checked into the Grand Millennium in Tecom, Dubai. This isn't the first time we have used the Grand Millennium, we watched it being built and have been regular visitors to the hotel for events, my husband hosts seminars for his Company there. I have attended regular networking events there as well. Today however I realised that the hotel is a 5 star hotel, I had honestly assumed that the hotel had a 4 star accreditation as that is how it has alway felt to me.

We checked into the hotel yesterday, all very straightforward, then headed up to the pool area which is on the 18th floor, excellent view over to Palm Island it has to be said. We ordered lunch, my husband ordered his regular hotel lunch favourite of fish and chips, when it arrived it looked like a kids meal, three pieces of fish with frozen chips, I am guessing the fish was frozen too. When you see a menu offering fish and chips you expect a fish as opposed to fish bits? I have to say my prawn and tuna salad was very nice though. The price tag of 60 dhs for the fish and chips was in my opinion over priced for what was served.

Later in the afternoon we ordered two desserts, both arrived promptly, both weren't what they said on the menu. I questioned this and was told the Chef didn't have a copy of the menu hence some bits were missing? We were given two bowls of complimentary ice cream instead, a welcome cooler in this weather.

We had dinner in Atrium, we felt rather special we were the only diners in the entire restaurant. As Club Grand Members we were availing a 400 dhs dining certificate, otherwise we would have probably chosen to dine in Dante (Italian). Mitten had chicken nuggets and chips (frozen ones), to be honest her meal was better than the fish and chips at lunch time. My husband opted for the lamb curry which he said was superb. I had steak and surprise surprise frozen chips, at a hefty 120 dhs for the meal I was rather hoping that they might have managed to peel a potato. It was at this point I realised why the Atrium restaurant was empty and the other outlets bustling.

Mitten opted for a creme brulee, we had had the same at lunch time at the pool which was absolutely fabulous, however the one that evening was entirely different, wrong consistency etc.

The hotel in my opinion is a business hotel, don't get me wrong whilst it is not marketed as a family destination families are made more than welcome. The rooms have a business feel to them, the toiletries are Aigner Leather which is a male range of toiletries. There is nothing feminine about the hotel at all, it is all rather overly structured, it's counterpart in Abu Dhabi is the exact opposite.

I have stayed at various 5 star hotels in the region and you expect a certain standard, the Millennium Al Barsha doesn't meet that standard. Nice enough hotel, but who wants to have their hotel described as nice ....

Its the ultimate water park destination all year round but imagine my delight to find outthat during Ramadan therewill bespecial opening hours and reduced rates!! yes from the 5th of August Wild Wadi will be open on Friday and Saturday from 12 Noon til Midnight!! there isa special entry price for those of you whoattend the parkfrom 8 pm til Midnight; general entry of 155 dhs, and 130 dhs for little ones (under 1.1m).

I can feel aGirls on Tournight out tocelebrate Ramadan with our friends at Wild Wadi!

Twitter and Facebook

Enjoy!

Yesterday was a very special day in the Armani Household, Mr Armani was celebrating his birthday and for the first time since his childhood he was able to celebrate it with his Brother who is here on holiday.

A few weeks earlier The Girls had decided that it was about time we got out of town and had a little break in the Mountains, and to check out the delights of one of Dubai's oldest and most established Hotels. Hatta Fort Hotel was chosen as the desired destination and the plans were laid for the first Girls on Tour outing. As you can imagine these are never straight forward and it turned out the that The Silver One was incapable of driving in a straight line to Hatta and had to join forces with The Toffee One, both of them were late I might add, after having accused me that I would turn up in my Pyjamas if we were to leave any earlier than 9 am.

The Armani family left promptly at 9 am, and headed via the Al Khail Road in a very straight line to Hatta, we passed through a tiny little village called Madam which I felt was rather appropriate when I think of the two lady friends I had joining me. It is a rather pleasant drive and takes just over an hour to get to the Hotel. When we arrived at the Hotel we were greeted by the lovely Sheldon who looked after us all day. We chose the Rock Pool to spend our day at Hatta Fort Hotel as it is definitely more geared towards families and has an air conditioned indoor games room.

Sheldon introduced me to Romy, I had to smile, The Toffee One's Mother shares the same name, I am a great believer in fate and I just knew everything was going to be perfect. Following a couple of hours in the pool and catching some sun we ordered lunch, amazing menu with a good children's menu too. The food arrived and we headed down to our table which was beautifully set out and had AC chillers directed over it. Romy was fabulous and made sure we were all happy with our food, which we were, there were no left overs that day. After the meal Mr Armani was presented with a platter of Birthday Cakes, yes a platter, one big chocolate cake and another 12 invidual cakes for us all to share.

After lunch The Girls decided it was high time to go and investigate this jewel of a hotel, nestled in the Hajjar Mountains. We were not disappointed, it turns out that Sheldon is not only in charge of the pool area but also looks after the peacocks and the aviary at the Hotel. The peacocks were fabulous and the Silver One decided to hunt out some feathers to take home as a memory of a fabulous day.

I had the opportunity to meet the General Manager of the hotel, who shared with me lots of special facts and history about the actual hotel, but I am going to keep those secret for now, as I am planning on having an overnight stay at Hatta Fort Hotel just so I can explore every single one of its hidden delights.

Before we left the hotel we had a quick guided tour of the Aviary and Sheldon showed us the new baby peacocks who had been born just two months previously. I can't recommend this hotel enough for a day trip, it is the perfect destination for families and couples too, as there are two pools to choose from, the one a the main hotel is recommended for couples only.

You will also be happy to hear that day entry into the hotel is very reasonably priced at just 50 dhs for adults and 30 dhs for children (under 12's), valid weekdays (until the end of September). Entry during the weekends and public holidays is the same but there is a gate entry fee of 50 dhs for adults and 30 dhs for children which is redeemable against food and beverages.

What more can I say, fill up your car, and don't forget your passports as there is a new Oman border control point on the Hatta Road, and head to the Hajjar Mountains for a day you won't forget, at one of Dubai's best kept little secrets .... Hatta Fort Hotel

Facebook and Twitter

GA and the Madams

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to an event hosted by Ponds Arabia at the Kempinski Hotel. I have always been fascinated by the the Cosmetic Industry and if I am totally honest would loved to have worked in this field, but alas it was never to be.

Mitten and I headed over to the Kempinksi Hotelto meet Team Ponds and their wonderful Dermatologist, Dr Lillian Khan. The Ponds People not to be confused with Pans People, who were a dance troupe in the 70's, certainly know their stuff when it comes to skin care. They have the most amazing skin analyzing machine which takes a picture of your skin and determines what state of "health" it is in, checking for fine lines, hydration and sun damage. Very impressive. After a consultation with Merlin one of their fully trained Representatives it was decided that the Gold Radiance range is best suited to my skin type. I am currently trialling this range and will be reporting back with the outcome.

The good news however is that this service isn't just available to those who were lucky enough to be invited to the event, you can avail of it free of charge at Carrefour in either Mall of the Emirates or Deira City Centre. Take some time out to go and have your skin assessed, I am sure you won't regret it.

Facebook and Twitter

GA

First day of Atilla's holidays and were up at 6.30 am prompt, showered and ready and up at the Dubai 92 studios by 7.45 am!!! Why? I was getting the pleasure of waxing Catboy's legs. Did he deserve it? yes? Those of you who follow both of us on Twitter will know that he has over the last couple of years peristently ribbed me about my age, and trust me revenge is sweet and it will take place later this year when he turns 40.

Anyway back to the task in hand. In an attempt to get more likes on his and GeordieBird's fan page he set the challenge that ifthey had 1000 likes by Thursday morning last week he would get his legs waxed. Little did he realise the power of sharing pages on facebook and everyone went to town on both facebook and twitter to ensure that they would listen to him having his legs waxed live on air. This was too good an opportunity for me to miss, I had to be one of the listeners to do the deed and inflict the pain!!

It didn't happen last week, he was down with the dreaded lurgy, but this morning he dragged himself into the studios where were able to record the experience live on air. It was great fun and well worth the early start to the day.

There will be a video going up later on their blog site. Catboy you took it like a man, and thanks for letting me be there to witness the entire experience live!! You were such a good sport you let me do it twice!! God help Geordiebird if they hit the 1500 by this Thursday!

From the minute you drive past the personalised Cadillacs lined up outside the Jumeirah Beach Hotel you know you are go to experience something special, something magical. The Bell Boys in their fabulous co-ordinated attire are buzzing to help, always with a smile on their face.

Last weekend I stepped into the foyer of this magical haven for a much needed weekend break. I was greeted with a smile from the lovely Swapnil, the Duty Manager and whisked off to my room for an express check in. Imagine my delight to find I had been upgraded to a Club Room and there on the table right infront of my Burj Al Arab view was a box of Godiva Chocolates, a massive fruit basket and a bottle of something red. Could things get any better? yes, the door bell rang and in came a bouquet of my favourite flowers. It's the little things like this that really make a girl happy.

Once you check into Jumeirah Beach Hotel you are entitled to an array of various different benefits for the duration of your stay, Wild Wadi of course being a major attraction when you are spending your weekend with a particularly active 7 year old. We wasted no time and headed off to Wild Wadi, which you all read about a couple of days ago. A few hours of being scared half to death later we headed back to the family pool and the Sinbad's Kids Club (every Mothers dream). Mitten loves Sinbad's, it's safe, overstaffed and has excellent facilities including a small, shallow swimming pool for the toddlers.

As we had a Club room were were now to enjoy the benefits of being able to use the Premium Leisure Club which is basically a small hotel inside the main hotel if that makes sense. It has fabulous children's facilities, computers, play area, face painting etc. For the grown ups there is a complimentary bar with cocktails and canapes pre dinner and an afternoon tea available from 3 - 5 pm each day. The Premium Leisure Club has an amazing gym (I didn't use it, no surprises there), and access to the Excutive Swimming Pool, which is beautifully located on the beach right near my favourite Dubai icon, The Burj al Arab.

We dined at the Dhow and Anchor that evening, but I am not going to go on about that too much as they really do deserve an article all of their own. Suffice to say they serve the best Fish and Chips and Steak and Ale Pie in the UAE and that's a fact.

Following a good nights sleep in a bed fit for a Princess with a Godiva chocolate each on our pillow we were up with larks and watched the sun slowly light up the magnificent view we had from our window. Then the best treat of all, Breakfast at Latitude!! if you haven't had a Jumeirah breakfast, then simply you haven't lived. The breakfast buffet is the biggest buffet set up in terms of sheer size and the volume of choice that I have ever seen in a hotel. Mitten indulged in the chocolate fountain, how decadent is that!!

Suffice to say we repeated everything all over again and were sad when Saturday came so quickly and we were checking out of Heaven and heading home, I can't complain though, not everyone can see the Burj al Arab from their villa, but I can!

I want to thank the Jumeirah Group for being who they are, for making my weekend such a magical experience, and especially for Staying Different ....

Twitter and Facebook

More Articles...

Page 5 of 13

5
Content View Hits : 1029106