Tag Archives: reviews

The Milelion’s RTW Trip 2017: The Grosvenor House Dubai Review

Introduction: It’s the most wonderful time of the year
A Tale of Two Lounges: SATS Premier T2 and the Qantas SIN Lounge
Malaysia Airlines B737 Business Class SIN-KUL
Malaysia Airlines Business Class Golden Lounge KUL
Malaysia Airlines A330  Business Class KUL-NRT
Japan Airlines Business Class Sakura Lounge NRT
Japan Airlines B77W Business Class NRT-LAX
The Westin LAX
The Westin Westminster
Aloft Boston Seaport
The Consolidated AA Domestic First Class Experience
American Airlines Flagship Lounge JFK
American Airlines B772 Business Class JFK-LHR
American Airlines Arrivals Lounge LHR
The Great Northern Hotel, London
Sheraton Grand Park Lane, London
Westin Paris Vendome
Courtyard by Marriott Madrid Princesa
Four Points by Sheraton Barcelona Diagonal
The Consolidated Intra-Europe Business Class Experience
Sheraton Casablanca
Royal Air Maroc Business Class Lounge CMN
Royal Air Maroc B737 Business Class CMN-ACC
Ethiopian Airlines B787 Business Class ACC-ADD
Ethiopian Airlines Cloud 9 Business Class Lounge ADD
Ethiopian Airlines Q400 Business Class ADD-DAR
Protea Hotel by Marriott Dar Es Salaam Courtyard
Qatar Airways A320 Business Class DAR-DOH
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge DOH
Qatar Airways A330 “First” Class DOH-MCT
Oman Air Business Class Lounge, MCT
Oman Air E175 Business Class MCT-DXB
The Grosvenor House Dubai
W Doha
Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge DOH
Qatar Airways B772 Business Class DOH-BLR
The Ritz Carlton Bangalore
Vistara A320 Business Class BLR-DEL
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class DEL-HKG
W Hong Kong
Touring Cathay Pacific’s HKG Lounges
Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class HKG-SIN


We will now pivot very quickly from the very worst to the very best. There’s little doubt in my mind that the Grosvenor House, though I can’t pronounce the name nor spell it properly, is one of the best properties in the Starwood chain. The property became part of the Starwood Luxury Collection in early 2010, and added a second tower to the existing one in late 2011.

Image result for grosvenor house dubai

The location might be a bit far South, but it’s near major attractions like the Mall of the Emirates (the Dubai Mall, which I personally prefer, is a bit further up North closer to the airport) and the Atlantis resort. It’s called the Marina area, and it’s maybe 30 minutes to the airport depending on traffic.

I’d heard great things about the property but always found the price too prohibitive. Normally this hotel retails well upwards of US$250, even 300+. But during summer, it’s a different story. As the heat blazes down on Dubai, tourists stay away and locals flee, so hotels cut their rates to try and drive some business. That’s how I got a rather excellent US$155 rate for two nights.

My taxi pulled up to the entrance of Grosvenor House and I wasn’t sure which tower I should check in at. One thing the property can do a lot better is directing guests who have just arrived to the check in area- it’s unlikely they’ll know ex-ante which room they’ve been assigned.

I went to the older Tower One first, where the entrance is split over two levels. On the first floor you have the concierge and bag storage area.

Up from that you have the main lobby. Nothing says you’re in the UAE like a golden jewel encrusted falcon.

The lobby, as you’d expect in Dubai, is lavishly decorated. Think high marble pillars, ornate paintings, vanity artwork.

This was pretty much the same in Tower 2, where I took these photos.

You’ll be happy to know that both Towers are connected via an air conditioned walkway (in 45 degree summer heat, you really don’t want to be exposed to the sun more than you have to) that bridges both sides.

The first thing to know about this property is that there are two towers. Tower 1 is the older one, as you might expect. There are many types of rooms here and with two towers it can get pretty confusing, so I’ll try to explain this best I can. Feel free to chip in if you’ve stayed here before too.

These are the main room types:

  • Deluxe and Superior Deluxe Rooms- Tower 1
  • Premier Rooms- Tower 2
  • Premier Junior Suites- Tower 2
  • Deluxe Suites- Tower 1
  • Premier Suites and Executive Premier Suites- Tower 2
  • Apartment Suites- Tower 1
  • Residence Apartments- Tower 2
  • Grosvenor Suites- Tower 2
  • Royal Suites- Tower 2

I was assigned a Deluxe Suite on the 36th floor of Tower One. I got two separate cards- the first for my room, and the second for the club lounge called Level 5, that was located in the other tower. This was easily one of the best club lounges ever, and I’ll cover it in detail later on.

The dramatis personae of Tower One

I got out on the 36th floor (total 44 floors in this tower) and realised the hallways were impeccably quiet. The carpet and the walls absorbed all footsteps, which was great for light sleepers like me.

You tap your keycard not on the door, but on the small dark panel by the side of the door.

Here’s the overview of the room. This is a very accurate floor map of the Deluxe Suite I’d been given. I want to point out several features before we visit them in detail- the guest bathroom, the kitchenette, the living room, the master bedroom and toilet.  The main entrance to the room is that door you see on the upper right.

It’s always a good sign when your room is large enough to warrant a guest toilet, which is exactly what I saw upon entering the room.

Past that and the room divides into two sections- the entrance to the master bedroom on the left and the living room on the right.

The room really opens up when you get into the living room. There’s a spacious couch set and the windows open out to the Dubai Marina.

On the table was a welcome amenity of fruit. This was slightly disappointing as I thought a hotel of this stature would go for something like wine.

There was a small dining area outside the kitchenette.

The kitchenette didn’t have a stove or microwave, but there was a sink. I’m not quite sure what it was for, other than to give me more countertop space for charging stuff.

A very large work desk rounded out the living room.

There was a very nicely monographed stationery kit

Which inside had a stapler set, sticky notes and a writing pad.

The master bed room had a King sized bed with the usual bedfront couch. I’ve often wondered what it’s for. I typically use it to sit when I put on my shoes. I hope I’m not using it wrong, like I did for years by using the bidet to wash my feet.

I loved small details like how the bedsheets had GH etched onto them ever so slightly.

The TV had a DVD player (who still uses those?) and digital radio.

The air conditioning controls were on the bedside, and you could control the curtains and DND sign from this panel too.

The bathroom is yet another highlight of the room. Nice sunken tub, plenty of towels (the luxury of staying in a hotel, I’m sure, comes in being able to use multiple towels to bathe. Gaia who?)

In addition to the tub you also have a large shower.

Toilet and bidet.

The marble countertop had a single sink (given the size of the room I thought they’d have put in two) and two bottles of mineral water.

Attention to detail again- the towels have GH embossed on them.

Essentials like toothbrushes, shower caps and cotton balls were provided as default. I much prefer this arrangement over what other hotels have done to cut costs by making these items available “on request” only.

The best thing about the loo? The abundant Bulgari amenities that were of the highest quality. There was bath soap and a bath teabag (yes, such things exist)

Shampoo, conditioner and body wash which were replenished daily.

As were the large soap bars in the master bedroom loo and the guest toilet.

The room had a fully-loaded minibar with easily the biggest selection I’ve seen in any hotel (except perhaps the W Seoul)

The minibar also had a whole set of drinking glasses in case you did BYOB.

Here’s a few excerpts of the room service menu so you have an idea of what prices you’re dealing with (1 AED= 0.37 SGD)

I thought about having a celebratory tipple, but was shocked to see alcohol prices this high. AED 148 (S$55) for a glass of champagne?

I mentioned the club lounge previously and I think it could deserve a separate post for itself, but to summarize I believe it’s one of the best club lounges to be found at any Starwood property.

On the first day I arrived I did Happy Hour at the lounge, where they set up a very elaborate variety of small bites.

They also serve sparkling wine. Yes it’s not champagne, and it’s not expensive, but it’s good.

Here’ s a brief rundown of the small plates on offer during happy hour.

Greek salad

Salad bar

Salmon rolls

Rice noodles with corn and sausage

Tuna salad shooters.

Fruit salad

The two hot items were both fried, which is great if you’re not on a diet.

There’s also a bread selection if you really need carbs.

The lounge has a few working stations and a high speed printer.

It also has a meeting room that you can book for complimentary use if you’re staying in a room with lounge access.

The lounge is really big, taking up about half the floor. I never noticed it crowded, not even during the breakfast peak hour rush.

Speaking of breakfast, here’s the breakfast spread in the lounge.

The first station is all about cereals, muesli, jams, ketchup, nutella and other spreads.

And with all those spreads, you need some bread.

Off topic, but I loved the way the butter was presented. It was given in little tubes that you unrolled, kind of like sweets. Sweets that give heart attacks.

Selection of fruit salad and cut fruits

Numerous hot items

And the pork corner. The UAE isn’t as strict as some other gulf countries about pork, but it has to be clearly labelled at all times.

Smoked salmon and other cold cuts

Cheese board

I really think that hash browns are one of those foods that don’t hold up well in a buffet, because most of the time they end up getting soggy. I asked the staff to help me make a fresh batch and the answer, as you would expect in any excellent hotel, was “certainly Sir”. Believe me, I have been to hotels (ahem Westin Singapore) where such tasks were either met with a  “no cannot” or with the alacrity of a man who is about to have teeth pulled.

I didn’t explore the other restaurants on premises because I was hankering for a good steak. And one of the best steak restaurants in Dubai is Rhodes Twenty10, located over in the Le Royal Meridien. This is the sister property of the GH, and there’s a free shuttle bus that runs between the two properties which are about 5 minutes away by bus (don’t brave the heat, even in the evenings, trust me)

The menu is extensive but of course you come here for the steak. The ribeye steak (why would anyone want any other cut?) was incredible. Perfect medium rare, great sear, tender insides, marbled fat.

Less impressive was the asparagus, which wasn’t seasoned at all (and cost AED30) for 3 spears.

I didn’t order desert, but a chocolate slice and a macron found their way to me with the bill.

If you’re an SPG Platinum member you can also take your breakfast at Sloane’s, the buffet restaurant in the lobby. The selection here is massive, much bigger than that in the lounge. But you can’t beat the peace and quiet of the lounge.

The photos of the food should speak for themselves so I’m going to dump them here.

 

The staff in the hotel were excellent, especially in the executive lounge. The concierge hassled Oman Air repeatedly until my bag was returned to me, 30 hours after it went missing. When Oman Air misreported the time the bag was returned, they offered to back up my account with CCTV footage if needed. However, they did back off once they saw that the flight ticket was associated with Qatar Airways (in that the e-ticket said the WY flight was a connecting flight from QR). Even though QR didn’t operate the flight, they said they simply couldn’t issue any sort of official letter in relation with something even tangentially related with Qatar because they’d get in trouble with the police…which sort of goes to show you the insanity of what’s going on in the region now where Qatar has become a he-who-must-not-be-named situation.

If you’re heading to Dubai, I hope you have a chance to experience this great property.

Great Location & Almost a 5-Star Hotel – Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong

Bino is a banker, part-time wanderer and a sometime travel writer. He is the author of the Singapore-based travel blog, I Wander, which focuses on travel guides, hotel reviews and flight reports. He believes that Iran and North Korea are excellent places for a holiday but feels just as excited when visiting the United States and Japan. Feel free to say hi. You can reach him through his Instagram at @iwanderrr


Bangkok has no shortage of Marriott Hotels with around 9 to choose from – this is without even considering the ones that integrated from Starwood. A Marriott brand that has been mostly under the radar is Renaissance. It has been around for quite a while now but never seemed to have expanded significantly. Personally, I think there isn’t much room to position this brand – given that JW Marriott already caters to the high-end and there’s Marriott for the accessible luxury and business segment. The Renaissance website makes it clear that the positioning is centered on business travel but don’t the other Marriott brands already handle that effectively? Frankly, I had never stayed in a Renaissance prior to my most recent visit to Bangkok. A quick search revealed that only 7 countries in Asia have Renaissance-branded properties and most of them are in China. There is also one in JB, but I digress.

Anyway, for a hotel within a relatively under the radar brand, the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong has a surprisingly topnotch location. It is right in the heart of the Sukhumvit shopping strip. You can walk to the famous Erawan Shrine which is just a few meters away or take the skywalk to other shopping centers like Gaysorn or Centralworld. You can even walk all the way to MBK from the hotel.

The property has been around for some 8 years now but remains thoroughly modern with a dark and sultry interior. I took one of the morning flights on the 777-200 with Singapore Airlines and arrived at noon. It was still a couple of hours before the check-in time but the associates were kind enough to check me in early.

The Deluxe Double is the base level room category in Renaissance Ratchaprasong. At 37 square meters, the size is nothing to write home about. What struck me however, were the chic interiors. Think: bold colors (plenty of purple) which add a sense of vibrance and a bathroom which is fully enclosed by glass. That being said, certain parts of the room resembled more conventional hotel setups – such as the working desk so the room could easily suit business people as much as leisure travelers.

The bathroom is graced by a standalone tub, a nice fixture considering the room isn’t particularly big. There is also a separate shower area although the toilet is notably not separated.

Toiletries are from Tokyo Milk. Admittedly, it’s my first time to see this brand used in a hotel.

I was mostly in Bangkok for business so I didn’t get to use the facilities. That being said, I thought the indoor swimming pool was fantastic. It’s covered but had plenty of open windows from which guests could appreciate the skyline of Bangkok. I enjoyed coming up in the evening for a bird’s eye view of the city all lighted up.

Beside the pool there is a relatively spacious gym with plenty of equipments and cardio machines for those with time to go for a run (I didn’t!).

One of the highlights of the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong in my view is the breakfast buffet. It’s one of the more extensive morning spreads I’ve seen with a good emphasis on local food. I particularly loved the Eggs Benedict here which is served with Thai sausages and condiments. While not strictly breakfast food, I was pleased to see Thai Iced Tea served in the buffet.

Verdict

The property likes to call itself a 5-star hotel. While I personally experienced no issues during my stay and found the room to be a welcome change from the usual business hotel, I did not think it offered enough to be at par with, for instance, Conrad Bangkok down the road or The Sukhothai Bangkok. That being said, I definitely though the location was a plus and the property had most of the creature comforts. The only thing lacking is perhaps a wow factor which one would come to expect in luxury hotels.

The Milelion’s RTW Trip 2017: Qatar Airways A320 Business Class DAR-DOH Review

Introduction: It’s the most wonderful time of the year
A Tale of Two Lounges: SATS Premier T2 and the Qantas SIN Lounge
Malaysia Airlines B737 Business Class SIN-KUL
Malaysia Airlines Business Class Golden Lounge KUL
Malaysia Airlines A330  Business Class KUL-NRT
Japan Airlines Business Class Sakura Lounge NRT
Japan Airlines B77W Business Class NRT-LAX
The Westin LAX
The Westin Westminster
Aloft Boston Seaport
The Consolidated AA Domestic First Class Experience
American Airlines Flagship Lounge JFK
American Airlines B772 Business Class JFK-LHR
American Airlines Arrivals Lounge LHR
The Great Northern Hotel, London
Sheraton Grand Park Lane, London
Westin Paris Vendome
Courtyard by Marriott Madrid Princesa
Four Points by Sheraton Barcelona Diagonal
The Consolidated Intra-Europe Business Class Experience
Sheraton Casablanca
Royal Air Maroc Business Class Lounge CMN
Royal Air Maroc B737 Business Class CMN-ACC
Ethiopian Airlines B787 Business Class ACC-ADD
Ethiopian Airlines Cloud 9 Business Class Lounge ADD
Ethiopian Airlines Q400 Business Class ADD-DAR
Protea Hotel by Marriott Dar Es Salaam Courtyard
Qatar Airways A320 Business Class DAR-DOH
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge DOH
Qatar Airways A350 “First” Class DOH-MCT
Oman Air B737 Business Class MCT-DXB
The Grosvenor House Dubai
W Doha
Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge DOH
Qatar Airways B772 Business Class DOH-BLR
The Ritz Carlton Bangalore
Vistara A320 Business Class BLR-DEL
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class DEL-HKG
W Hong Kong
Touring Cathay Pacific’s HKG Lounges
Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class HKG-SIN


You know what? I’m tired of this long drawn out tease. It’s quite clear that the entire purpose of this six week long trip report is to review the amazing Al Safwa First Class lounge in Doha, and although we inch closer to it with every report it’s still not happening fast enough.

Therefore, I’m going to skip writing a full report of the Tanzanite Lounge and just do a five photo observation. Then, I’m going to review Qatar’s very excellent narrow-body business class (I am fascinated by narrow-body business class concepts, because I’m the kind of person who is fascinated by designers having to make the most of limited resources, in this case space), which will ferry me from DAR-DOH and onto the Al Safwa. I’ve not been so excited about a lounge review since the Lufthansa FCT.

But hey, even the Israelites had to wander for 40 years in the desert before they got to the Promised Land. And that wandering for me is the delightful Tanzanite Lounge. It’s a doozy of a place. The entrance looks like that of a nightclub where wayward women with lips that drip honey and speech smoother than oil lead men straight to the grave (yes, I’m studying Proverbs now)

The inside of the lounge is no less fascinating, with tchotchkes of every sort mounted on the wall. Like this collection of pendulum clocks.

Or this water feature outside the entrance to the in-lounge loos. I imagine it’s meant to be a waterfall but someone forgot to switch it on. I once went to a toilet where the urinal trough was a huge rock feature with cascading waterfalls. It was awesome.

The color scheme of the lounge reminds me of Ethiopian Airlines. The lounge was quite crowded as it’s pretty much the only lounge in town, but I was still able to find a place to sit.

Food offerings are lackluster. Heatlamp pizza, samosas and soda are the order of the day. At least they chill their mugs.

Ok, bonus photo. The lounge has the weirdest First Class setup I’ve ever seen (it’s the only lounge in the airport so it has to accommodate both First Class and lowly Business Class denizens). There is a dining table set up at the end of the room. It has four chairs and is the only regular-height table in the lounge. On it is a small standee that says “this area is reserved for First Class passengers only”. If you sit there, the lounge staff give you table service and bring you lackluster heatlamp pizza, samosas and soda. Such opulence was not meant for mortal man.

Enough? Good. Let’s get on to the good stuff.

I’ve written about how I discovered a great way of saving money on a business class fare from DAR-DOH ($2.6K) was to fly from DAR-DOH-DXB instead ($0.8K). And then the whole blockade thing happened. But I really wanted to spend my weekend in Dubai still because I’d made plans and everything. I finally managed to rejig my itinerary to DAR-DOH-MCT-DXB, with MCT-DXB operated by Oman Air (and man, that’s another story you’re gonna wanna stay tuned for), at no additional cost. I first needed to get to DOH, and my seat on Qatar’s A320 awaited.

A word about Qatar’s A320s. Normally, DAR-DOH is operated by an A320 configured with their recliner seats.

Image result for qatar a320 business class

It’s almost silly, because this almost 6 hour flight gets recliner seats, whereas short 1-2 hour hops to GCC nations get A320s configured with full flat business class (sold as First Class).

Well, the blockade meant that Qatar suddenly had a lot more such aircraft lying around idle. And thankfully they decided to deploy them in preference of their recliner-configured A320s on the DAR route. Hey, you need as many people on your side as you can, right? What’s more, the flight is now closer to 7 hours given the detour the aircraft has to take around now forbidden airspace.

Oh, the joy. Oh, the bliss I felt when I stepped onto that aircraft. To see those B/E Aerospace Diamond seats ever so slightly angled away from the aisle like a coy maiden awaiting my arrival.

The seats are 2-2 configured, which means no direct aisle access (I will concede that direct aisle access is asking too much from a narrow body aircraft). However only three seats were occupied in the cabin.

I could not believe I was flying in a narrow body aircraft. I’d always associated narrow body aircraft, even in business class, with general discomfort. Having a proper long haul J seat in an aircraft built for short haul flights felt so naughty and yet so right. I am a man of complex emotions.

I’ll be honest- the design of the seat isn’t the best for privacy. You’re still going to see the top of people’s heads. The seats don’t have the high walls you come to expect when flying SQ’s business class.

And if you had a seatmate, simply turning your head a bit would expose them in all their dehydrated glory. There isn’t an extendable privacy divider between seats.

But, privacy concerns notwithstanding, it was still a heck of a lot better than being stuck at the back. Here’s a shot of the economy cabin, which is in the usual 3-3 configuration you find on narrow body aircraft. These seats don’t have any IFE though.

Each seat had a large, high definition TV screen.

Footspace was cramped, and this may be an issue if you have large feet.

The tray table is nice and large. Moreover, it’s built solid and doesn’t flex under pressure, a far cry from the usual whimpy tray tables you’d expect on a narrowbody aircraft.

The IFE controller is clearly a new breed too. This version didn’t have the annoying hanging issues I frequently encounter with SQ’s touchscreen controllers.

It was also stuck in Italian mode and remained like that for a long time before I managed to sort it out.

Seat controls are, in the words from Ben at OMAAT, “intuitive” (he’s gotten some criticism from commenters (commentators?) for always describing the seatrest controls in the same manner, but seriously you try writing 100 trip reports and thinking of new synonyms all the time)

There are secondary seat controls near your head. They are also intuitive.

I also liked that every seat had not one, not two but three air vents above it. And three lights. Methinks the designers had 3-3 economy seating in mind when they designed the overhead.

Yes, each seat has in-seat power and better still, the plug fits all sorts. I still can’t believe the plugs on SQ’s 2006 J seats don’t accept Singapore plug heads. It boggles the mind.

I’m not sure what brand of noise cancelling headphones QR uses, but they worked well and had very good sound quality.

I was surprised to be given an amenities kit on a daytime flight. This isn’t the premium amenities kit that QR gives out on long haul J, but it was appreciated nonetheless.

Inside there was lip balm, socks and an eye mask. Very simple.

I was also happy to be reunited with liberal rag The New York Times.

The captain came on the PA to welcome us onboard and inform us that we’d take a little longer than usual to get into Doha, on account of having to avoid certain airspace.

The DAR airport offers the opportunity for interesting aircraft spotting

I saw an Emirates plane pushing back just before us. I was so certain the pilot would get out and challenge our pilot to fisticuffs.

Can I emphasize again how awesome it is to have a virtually empty cabin? It’s probably the closest thing to flying private I’ll ever get.

We took off about 20 minutes late, but had a great view of Dar’s urban sprawl as we climbed.

And soon it was just clouds.

The crew came around to hand out bottles of water straight after takeoff. They were excellent, very professional and friendly. I think this crew was from the Philippines.

They also presented us with the menus. I do like the understated tones of Qatar’s menu. In fact, I much prefer Qatar’s choice of color scheme to Emirates. Much more classy, much less bling.

Let’s start with the drinks first. I’m going to keep on harping the point, but I was extremely impressed with the selection for a narrowbody aircraft. I tend to associate narrowbody aircraft with reduced possibilities in terms of seating, entertainment and catering. So to see a wine list as long as what I’d expect on a long haul flight was sweet.

Dinner would be served on this flight to DOH.

The crew came by to take orders for dinner plus pre-dinner drinks. Bilecart-Salmon champagne never tasted so good. It was served with warm mixed nuts.

Before long, my table was set and the first course brought.

I’m going to be honest: I didn’t like the food at all. It’s probably because I’m an unadventurous stick in the mud who thinks that the only acceptable food is Chinese, Thai and certain interpretations of Italian, but the inflight meal was the only blemish on an otherwise lovely experience.

The first course was, well, I’m not quite sure I knew what this was.

The starter of prawns left a lot to be desired. The prawns had an awful texture, the kind they get when the’re over cooked.

The mushroom soup that came afterwards was slightly better. It had cream in it but the mushrooms were a bit gritty.

I went with the briyani for the main. I’m not quite sure why. Maybe I missed rice too much. Look, I’m sure it was a perfectly passable version of a briyani but after living in India for 2 years I concluded that jasmine rice is the only acceptable rice (that and Japanese rice, of course). So I didn’t much enjoy the meal.

Fruit was a good safe choice for desert.

But I decided to go with the less healthy option too. The chocolate tart was rich and creamy.

At least the chocolates served after the meal were good.

Don’t expect any fancy features on an A320 loo (showers, one day?). You’ll even have to press your own flush button like a savage (ah, how I miss the 787’s no touch flush system)

The taps aren’t automatic either.

On the plus side, Qatar had provided an abundant number of toothbrushes on this flight.

Plus their high quality Rituals branded wash products. These are the same ones they use in their lounges, which I’ll get to real soon (I promise)

The seat of course deploys into a full flat bed, and although it’s a bit narrow it’s still a perfectly comfortable napping surface. You can select any angle you want to recline at, and fortunately if you have a seatmate the level at which your head is at makes it difficult to see him/her when fully reclined.

When dressed up with pillow and blanket it’s a good way to spend the night.

I did like the blanket that QR used- at least it wasn’t some scratchy abomination that some airlines have.

This was easily the most comfortable narrowbody flight I ever took, and the 7 hours to Doha flew by. Just before landing, I decided to test out the IFE and finally watched Logan.

I was surprised an airline based out of the Middle East would allow R rated content, but I guess because it was more of the stabby stabby kind and less of the booby booby kind it passed muster.

We landed at a remote gate in Doha,  and it was now close to midnight local time.

Qatar has special buses for its premium cabin passengers, and in this case there were only three of us to share this cabin. The buses they use for premium cabin passengers are also special buses with big seats (versus the standard ones where it’s standing room only)

You do feel pretty special with a seat like this. Again, remember that there were only three of us in the cabin, so the bus remained nice and empty.

And you’ll feel even more special when you’re in the Al Safwa lounge, which is where I was headed to next…