Our choice of hotel in San Francisco was carefully picked, from a long list of preferred properties, shared by dear friends who live in the valley. Laveena was very keen on a luxury hotel with an ideal location, close to all the fabulous designer stores in San Francisco. For me, a perfect balance of elegance and sophistication were of immense importance.
For our Summer vacation this year, we flew to San Francisco, via Dubai, on an airline we both love – Emirates. To us, the Dubai based airline, represents the pinnacle of ‘luxury in the skies’. And we were lucky to have been given a taste of this celebration of sheer luxury at the First Class Lounge, where we were welcomed by the very lovely Anabela Lopes, who manages the lounge and is in charge of attending to VVIPs. She has assisted the likes of Britain’s Royals, Hollywood Stars, Emmy Award winning singers, politicians and other famous personalities. Anabela, spent time with us at breakfast and regaled us with fun and interesting anecdotes about her experiences with many a well known celebrity. Waiting on us at breakfast that day, was Nikhil, who was polite and attentive to our every need. His commitment to serve with a smile, well reflected the high standards of service at Emirates. We were also introduced to Damia, the catering supervisor, who provided us a detailed explanation about the wide choice of cuisines on offer to lounge guests and I must admit, we were more than impressed. A senior officer with emirates, Iype walked up to our table and said that we had an appointment for two persons at the spa at the first class lounge. How absolutely delightful. Later, Anabela and Iype, walked us around the very comfortable lounge, after which, Laveena and I were offered the privilege of boarding the A 380 aircraft to San Francisco, before the other passengers.
For the Easter weekend this year, Laveena and I decided to fly to one of our favourite cities in the world, Dubai. We booked tickets on ’flydubai’, an airline which ticks all the right boxes with regards to, ’value for money’, ’comfort’, ’punctuality’, ’service’, ’entertainment’ and ’quality of food and wine choices on board’. Our onboard experience was yet again flawless and we found the standard of service to be nothing short of 5 star. The careful care and attention showered on all passengers in the business class cabin, was deeply appreciated. The chief cabin attedent, the very charming, Aness Charfi Nv Compte and Priyanka Kadam the ever smiling stewardess, had no idea that we were travel writers and yet, both were genuinely sensitive to every need of ours, committed to make our flying experience, even though a short one, a truly memorable one. From the generous servings of a fine French Bordeaux, to a steaming hot cappuccino and repeated visits with trays of delicious chocolates, they made our flight to Dubai, special.
It was in 2017, that the magnificent Soneva luxury brand came into our lives. Given our penchant for travel and luxury brands, I was appointed as a Soneva Ambassador, a title and an honour which I proudly embraced. And with Soneva, came an introduction to a precious jewel in Thailand, Soneva Kiri, located in Koh Kood, one of Thailand’s largest, but perhaps least developed islands. It had everything that I was looking for to make my 50th birthday, truly memorable. A luxury resort, located on a remote island in Thailand, accessible by a private jet and speed boat, set amidst a jungle of lush green trees and surrounded by an inviting calm blue ocean.