All posts filed under: experiences

The best balconies in Dubai

When I got the chance to visit the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai in Business Bay I jumped at it as I had been aware of the repositioning that the brand had been going through globally and I wanted to see how this was brought to life in Dubai. I will fill you in on what I found around the hotel in other posts but I needed to share the guestrooms as they have the best balconies in Dubai !!! I checked out both the suites and guestrooms and they are gorgeous. The guestrooms are spacious, with all the bits I love about hotels, the crisp white linen, light streaming in the windows and a place for everything and everything in its place.  The carefully curated furniture gave a feel of visiting a friend’s new home and the art was simple, camel focused and appropriate for Dubai with a really fun twist.  It plays along that fine line of being a business hotel and one for leisure and I would be quite chuffed for a stay …

Louise Sur Cour – a must stay in Brussels

Guesthouse by name, getaway by nature.  This four room guesthouse owned and hosted by the charming Dimitri Parimeros, who painstakingly restored every inch of the building over a five-year period, is a must stay if you are heading to Brussels. From the street Louise Sur Cour looks like any other residence on the road but when you step through the over height doors it is something else.  You are greeted immediately by one of Dimitri’s own contemporary resin/fibre optic sculptures before entering into the main living room where you can enjoy a book in the sitting area and take breakfast in the large dining space.  As soon as we arrived Dimitri was kind enough to share with us a map of Brussels, pointing out allsorts of places that he thought we might find interesting along with a quick call to a great restaurant for dinner.  As he shows us to our room the story of the house unravels and so do the tales of the interesting pieces that are within it. There is a stunning …

A few days in Brussels – my favourite things to do

With tickets to U2’s last tour concert in Europe in our hot little hands we headed to Brussels for a four day summer break.  We had a fantastic time and I have picked out some of my favourite things to share with you: Getting to Brussels This will depend on where you are coming from but as we were coming from Lac du Bourget in France we decided to take the train.  About six hours from arriving at the station in Aix les Bains to getting to our guesthouse, with a one hour change-over in Paris meant that the afternoon of travel was very easy going – work was done, magazines were read, coffee sipped.  We booked through SNCF and travelled on the TGV and Thalys lines – both of which were great, although the latter had a really good meal service included as well. Getting around Brussels Walking, walking, walking – our feet were really all we needed.  We took all of five metro rides the whole four days we were there. Things to …

Warming up the industrial look at Arrows & Sparrows

Having been to Arrows and Sparrows before for a lovely breakfast to celebrate a dear friends birthday we decided to head back and try it out again.  The café is tucked away at Emaar Business Park down at the Greens with easy parking and both indoor and outdoor eating. As soon as you walk in you get this feeling of how casual and comfortable the café is.  Very industrial with lots of greenery makes the air feel fresher straight away. The space is anchored by concrete – blockwork on the walls, polished concrete floors and walls and a large slab bench for the coffee machine.  It sounds all a bit much but the way it has been fitted out softens and warms the space so it feels like a spot you wish was in your neighbourhood. I am currently loving the use of black framed glazing to create room dividers and it is done really nicely here.  If you are keen to try this in your home I would suggest using smaller window panes as …

A weekend getaway to Mumbai

There is nothing like organising a spur of the moment getaway and we decided that Mumbai would be the perfect spot for just that.  We booked our flights, a very manageable 3 hours from Dubai, booked our hotel – the InterContinental Marine Parade and got on our way. I had heard great things about the hotel and this rang true from the minute we arrived.  Welcomed in, our early check-in was available, we settled into our room quite quickly, grabbed a coffee and headed out to explore. The room itself is spacious, with fabulous views across Back Bay.  What I really liked was the timber floors and panelling – it gave richness to an intentionally simple room.  The bathroom was white/grey marble with a window into the bedroom to provide a feeling of openness an connection. Being walking distance to most key tourist spots was also a huge advantage as we spent two days wandering the streets – visiting India Gate, catching a ferry across to see the Elephanta Caves on the island of Gharapuri and having …

Our happy place …. Al Maha Resort

At key moments in our lives we have gone to Al Maha Resort to take stock of how blessed we are and recharge in preparation of a change to our everyday life, whether that be a new job, new babies it is the place that we go. Only a short drive from Dubai the resort is set in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and once you are in the heart of the resort you can see nothing but desert all around.  To get the full experience we always opt to park at the gate and be picked up by one of the field guides.  It is always nice to have a chat on the way in, find out what is happening in the resort and have things (and animals) of interests pointed out on the drive in.  This is where the experience begins…..

How to visit the Dubai Street Museum in Satwa

We live near Satwa, one of the original areas within Dubai, and like anyone who has lived in this neck of the woods at some point in their time in Dubai – we love it!!!! There are local eateries like Ravi’s (for amazing Pakistani food) and you know you are pretty much guaranteed to find anything you are looking for in the clusters of hardware, DIY and textile stores that line Satwa Road – some are such treasure troves that I just enjoy having a nosey to see what they have. We use the main thouroughfare, 2nd December Street (which used to be called Dhiyafah Street), almost daily  and have watched the boring walls of the apartment and office buildings disappear  at the end of last year giving way to Dubai Street Museum’s large scale artworks that speak about Dubai in one way or another. We have been saying for ages that we need to go for a walk so we can take our time to really look at the art rather than just having a quick glance while sitting at the …

A weekend away at Zaya Nurai

I have been wanderlusting, thinking back to amazing trips that we have done and are well worth sharing.  A while back I wrote an article about our poolside time at Zaya Nurai Island and I thought it was about time I let you in on what the rooms were like. One of the refreshing things about the island is that the standard room is in no way standard – we were in a Beach Villa and it was lovely!  You are welcomed into a standalone villa that is very simple in design but shines due to the selection of textures and accessories dotted around the villa.

A night at the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah – Bucket List – Tick!

My husband and I have bucket lists – things we want to see, restaurants to eat at, bands we want to see live, and places to stay.  One of my places to stay was the Burj Al Arab Jumeriah in Dubai.  We always said before our time is up here we will go stay.  Well that time came around sooner than expected as a birthday with a “0” at the end arrived and I was surprised with a couple of days of relaxation at this iconic hotel.  My husband planned it all and whilst I had an idea that this was the plan I could only guess the details.