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.
My plan was to maintain my body clock on Asian time, whilst living and working in London. I would be visiting the gym at 4am and getting to sleep by 7pm (work permitting).
Having completed my RTW I was going to fly back to Asia
The cabin itself is the star of the show. In this respect my expectations were truly exceeded. Photos just don't do it justice. Sure, Suites have been around since 2007 so the IFE is a little slow and there are a couple of small scratches on the surfaces. OVerall though the hard product is just spectacular.
All in all, the Air China lounge doesn't have a lot going for it. If you're connecting it's worth heading there to use the showers. Otherwise, given the quality of F&B available in the terminal, I'd probably skip this lounge and go in search of some xiao long bao (Shanghai dumplings) in the main terminal area instead.
Overall this flight was fantastic. I ate well, drank my fill of Krug, rocked out, slept soundly and got to talk about planes with people who knew what I was talking about ?
The service was next level. Silly good. I felt unbelievably well looked after. I think that once you fly SQ F, it becomes very difficult to review other carriers' F in isolation. Make no mistake, this is the high water level, the benchmark, the apex of passenger service in the airline industry.We talk a lot on FT about aspirational products, if I ran an airline this would be my aspiration: deliver service as good as SQ - because it is the best, bar none.