I had two terrible nights of sleep here and despite that I would still return in a heartbeat and emphatically recommend this hotel to anybody.
The quality of the hardware and service isn't just better than everything in Dubai, its up there with the best I've ever encountered globally. Despite very healthy occupancy by COVID standards the property almost always felt like it was ours alone. It is hard to overstate how special it is to have this feeling in a large city like Dubai.
I'm not going to lie, I've had mixed experiences with the Andaz brand in the past. I struggle to see how a hotel can be both casual and luxurious at the same time. All too often you'll find that youth oriented brands like W, Andaz and Edition are just cutting corners but still charging luxury prices...
It's been a while since any hotel I stayed at hit every single one of the basics on my checklist and that alone should tell you something.
The Waldorf Astoria DIFC is a hotel that offers a hell of a lot in a market which is arguably rather saturated already. The decor makes it a real standout amongst DIFC properties and the location makes it an ideal base of operations for a visit to Dubai...
To be able to fly at all right now is a real privilege in the current era and BA's Club Suites present you with just about the most socially distanced product you could hope for in Business Class. If you're hungry, eat before; if you're thirsty, you'll be taken care of. Right now this is the new normal and for the time being I'm ok with it...
A number of my friends happened to be gathering on my birthday weekend in Dubai. Flights were cheap, award availability was plentiful and Dubai's luxury hotels appeared to be experimenting in delivering a price as close to free as humanly possible...
I wrote about Qatar's insanely generous COVID rebooking policy back in May this year.
Qatar are now leading the pack by introducing a policy that covers travel all the way until December 2021!
The new policy isn't quite as generous as before and there are a couple of extra hoops to jump through but it still absolutely the most flexible rebooking policy of any airline right now.
I was a little sceptical about coming to the Amalfi coast. I figured that if I was ever going to enjoy a summer here it would be at a time when it was less crowded and hopefully less expensive. Neither of which turned out to be particularly true.
After months of waiting, the day of my first ever flight in Virgin Upper Class had arrived!
Wanting to maximise my time in the clubhouse I booked a taxi for 8am. Despite some pretty bad traffic, we pulled up to the gate of the UC wing at around 9:45, plenty of time to enjoy the facilities before the 1:45pm flight... only to be told that there was a technical issue with the barrier.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have mixed feelings about Virgin Atlantic. They have a general air of fun and excitement about their product but it can sometimes fail to deliver. The ground experience in J is as good or better than in F for most airlines. The catering can run the gamut from horrible to pretty damn good.
All in all this was a great flight, VS has a great ground experience although the addition of Delta elites seems to have had a negative impact during the first week of crossover benefits, the time in which we were travelling, I'm sure this will be ironed out over time.
On board, the crew were engaging, proactive and chatty. The beds are fully flat and private plus there is a decent snack menu and a bar. Also, PJs in Business Class!
At NRT we were able to use the superb JAL Business Class lounge. Having previously spent time in the ANA First Class lounge, I can unequivocally state that the JAL lounge utterly destroys it.
From the moment you see the Gold lettering on the grey slate wall, the JAL lounge's elegance is readily apparent.