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.
Overall we had a very enjoyable stay in NH Collection Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi and would highly recommend a stay here to anybody considering a visit to the Amalfi Coast.
The hotel doesn't work with influencers in the way that Le Sirenuse, Casa Angelina, Villa Franca do and as such people aren't really familiar with its expansive grounds, outdoor gym and clifftop infinity pool. I sincerely hope that this review goes some way towards remedying this.
Santa Maria Novella train station was almost unrecognisable when we entered. It honestly looks like the zombie apocalypse has hit and the military have taken over.
The station has been sectioned off with barriers and arrows have been placed on the ground to ensure that passengers only walk in one direction. There are armed police on regular patrol and temperature monitoring stations set up to scan every passenger that boards a train...
This stay exceeded all of my expectations, so much so that on our first morning, after having one of the best sleeps of my life, I decided to cancel our stay at Portrait Firenze. This meant foregoing a visit to one of my favourite cities in the world, in order to extend our stay here to 5 nights.
Since becoming one of the worst hit countries at the very beginning of the COVID pandemic, Italy has seen a massive reversal in its fortunes.
It is now one of the safest countries in all of Europe and has seen a steady influx of tourists, willing to adjust their behaviour in order to enjoy the piazzas, galleries and trattorias without the crowds.
Rome was our first stop on this trip and as such it became the gauge by which we measured the rest of our time in the country.
From today until August 26th 2020 you can buy Alaska Airlines with a 50% bonus. Their best bonus this year.
Buy a flight with money: the price is high.
Take that money, turn it into miles and buy the flight with miles: The price is low.
It's been a long time since I visited ANY hotel that misses so many of the basics. Even 4* airport hotels which I spend a single night in will tick all but one (with feather pillows and separate shower and bath being the most 'at risk').
To visit a hotel that clearly regards itself so highly yet falls so short on even the basics is an unusual experience. Cognitive dissonance reigns supreme at the Rome Cavalieri hotel.
The Club Europe hot meal was never particularly great but much like the Concorde Room, I miss it now it's gone. We can eat hot food in the lounge and at restaurants and all airline meals are individually wrapped anyway, so why aren't BA serving hot food?...
For a First Class passenger this lounge doesn't necessarily feel like a huge compromise. I'd much rather spend time here than the dilapidated old Concorde Room in Terminal 5. Nevertheless, the a la carte food could do with some serious improvement and the spa seems like a bit of an afterthought.
From the moment we stepped on board this was a truly magical experience. I truly doubt I will ever top the wow factor of first setting foot in the First Class cabin and seeing the Apartments in the flesh.
The service throughout was pro-active, pre-emptive, warm and humorous. Perfectly balanced.
The lounge is ok to pass a couple of hours. The decor is bright the staff are helpful, the coffee is decent and the wifi works well even when it's full. It sure as hell isn't worth paying $100 for though unless you have 4+ hours to kill.
In stark contrast to Etihad's regional competitor Qatar, there was no separate priority bus for Business Class passengers, we were crammed in like weekday commuters on the Yamanote circle line, with temperatures outside north of 35 degrees. Thankfully, the aircon was working!
Still I cant deny it it, I do love bus gates when it's sunny and humid outside. There's an undeniable holiday feeling about the whole process when the weather cooperates.