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.
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.
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.