Definite Staycation Edition 2

This whole lockdown holiday crap is just getting more confusing here in the UK as we will now be fined £5,000 for going to the airport to be turned back, meanwhile the Times newspaper reports 10,000 travellers per week entering the UK of which 4,000 are tourists. What the bloody hell is going on when somebody from sodding Peru which is rampant for this new plague is allowed entry when they fill out the corona form saying that they have come to see Big Ben, it’s covered in scaffolding for repairs you dick. So while this is going on we can’t even pass wind within 6 feet of another person on a park bench without being arrested and to top it all where in gods name are they staying! It wouldn’t surprise me if they were allowed out on a day trip from their quarantine hotel to the joy of all the lefty swan hugging green save the world oddball Greta Thongbirds

Anyway onto the next place I will not be going to boost another economy, though I do include anywhere ending in istan and that is China but I admit we have been there to see Pandas, Terracotta Army, Great Wall and such like some years back. Apart from the sights nothing changed our minds that it is mainly full of spitting, hawking, smoking, nose picking and I mean serious excavation in full public view, with the concentration of a masters degree exam from Oxford University ignorant peasants who before COVID populated any of the designer outlets in Harrods or any other designer label shop in Knightsbridge the majority doing one or all of the previous mentioned interests.

The country while interesting is the pits, not only for pollution and smog but also China Airways, who’s idea of a timetable is thought up by someone with fewer brain cells than a retarded Panda. As for food well what a laugh that was. Again even going to a good restaurant in Beijing that sells more duck than anywhere else on the planet is a real third world experience as it’s very difficult to enjoy with earth shattering nose clearing, where unfortunately no handkerchief is involved just get it back down the throat to save on laundry, then there’s the view of people tumble drying their food, mouths wide open so you can see all the different stages of mastication.

Then after all that you then have to weigh up the problem of their elected government wanting total world domination and pretty soon they will want to claim Mars the Moon and anything else they fancy. I know you can’t blame most of the populace as the government does it’s best to quell anything that might change its status quo but I admit I have no intention of returning and there really is no need to as I can experience the whole culture every time we pop into the shops in Knightsbridge.

Definite Staycation. Edition 1

Our esteemed government has now decreed that us Brits will not be travelling abroad until August and that it is illegal to leave our green and pleasant land unless we can prove its essential. Meanwhile any Tom Dick or Harry can waltz in here pretty much un-aposed regardless of lockdown, quarantine and ten years imprisonments imposed by my dicks bigger than yours government ministers laws which don’t seem to apply to many. Apart from all this bluster we have booked and looked at future vacations but the one I definitely won’t be doing in the future regardless is going to Qatar for that raucous feast of football called the World Cup.

I was lucky to attend 1966 as a boy but was unfortunate to attend South Africa’s awful footy feast from start to finish, and those bloody annoying droning plastic bugles nullifying any atmosphere but did help keep me awake from the mostly boring fare unfolding on the pitch.

So onto the controversial site of Qatar and the short conversation with the wife that I have no intention of going on holiday to watch this whatsoever. I mean who in their right mind would want to go ?, and in the world of football who the bloody hell are Qatar, it’s a bit like saying QPR are playing in the Champions League and no normal person would turn up. I did a stop over in Qatar from SA after the World Cup and unless the regime has changed I have no idea or comprehension as to how this place is going to control football fans though I must admit some of them don’t deserve any human rights. People complain about the cost of a beer in London well just wait until you see the ball breaking prices over there. Will they actually open the beaches and allow half naked, bald, fat and tattooed blokes to frolic and fight hurling chairs and empty bottles at each other. In a country so in favour of human rights getting banged up in one of their but fuck motels might be an eye opener cure all to some.

Apart from (even in winter) the appalling temperatures are going to render the matches to walking spectacles as I can attest to the heat after spending five years in Jeddah and playing in a local European company league out there until the Saudis said they would ban it unless we let some local teams in, then they got really arsed when we kept beating them.

God knows what the hotels will be charging as there high to start with without the usual price hikes for a World Cup. I got told off for wandering into a salon in the Four Seasons wearing shorts, maybe it’s changed since I don’t know to be honest and actually don’t care. Since a couple of European teams have taken what amounts to a futile stand against the slave labour and deaths caused by building the stadiums I would be really impressed and supportive of our national team and FA (yes it does stand for that) if they said stuff your tournament.

Rant over and I might bore everyone by droning on about other places I have been contemplating not going or going back to since this lockdown year.

Booking.com Moan

At long last we can start looking for an escape thanks to our numerous UK data driven medical professors who never once actually realised that most of the population either insanely bright, sensibly normal or born clinically dim really didn’t give a shit about Chris Whitty’s next slide or any of the mind bending statistical graphs of death and destruction, along with the majority of MP’s who I’m not sure fit into any of the mentioned categories. I no longer wish to see inside an ICU hospital ward every night on the impartial (lefty swan hugging) BBC news along with people going on about their family deaths, Jesus Christ who in their right mind would want to share something as personal as that with millions of bloody strangers on a national TVchannel. So I now get to the point. Whilst hitting the internet searching for a decent hotel we soon noticed that what ever search you put in ie: top ten luxury hotels, top boutique hotels etc you always end up at Booking.com. No matter what you stick in as soon as you go to book, whumph you end up in booking.bloodycom.

Even going onto that fairly useless Trip Advisor (you need to really look at people’s expectations and what their used to) whatever you click on goes to, you’ve guessed it Booking.com. It now seems that this outfit own the worlds entire booking system and that every hotel needs to be signed up to it to survive. It’s so bloody annoying when the bullshit flag appears that 2,4,6 or however many people are looking at this site or have booked it in the last few minutes. Well it might force some dopey twat into thinking “my god I must book before all the rooms are gone” after seeing the other annoying only two rooms are left, but it just seems to piss me off and many others I have spoken to as well. Plus I don’t seem to be able to check where the people who post reviews have stayed elsewhere as there all usually 9. something, so have no idea of what they usually stay in or expect, you can on Trip Advisor but then again that’s owned by Booking.com.

You may ask how this dopey idiot doesn’t know this and the answer is we usually look for a hotel and phone our account person at AMEX and get them to book the whole thing which is a lot more sensible as if it’s an AMEX hotel some benefits are usually thrown in, ie: upgrade where possible and $200 credit on food booze or spa stuff plus I don’t get to increase my blood pressure getting sent somewhere on the internet I don’t want to go and I’m not talking about Shitsville resort on the Costa whatever but a bloody web site I’m not interested in telling me how wonderful it is, with AMEX flights likewise and insurance are included, pretty sure this option on said web site is not included and I’m not going to find out if I’m completely wrong as I just can’t be arsed to fart around looking the boring stuff up.

So rant over and we’re back to three hotels which AMEX are looking into in Greece and my whole input has been looking at hotels web site photos, menus, wine lists so missing out all the bullshit of pushing you into it as if it’s booked it’s booked move on.

Sorry Not Interested

Along with the rest of us we have been nowhere except for these people called influencers whatever the hell they are. I’ve seen the head lines in the papers without actually reading the complete articles and am still wondering what exactly is the point of these people to anyone above 30+. I guess they are all promoting Dubai (Disney for adults). I also admit that I have no idea as to where or what they are staying in except that the mirrors have got to be large for self admiring narcissistic beings. Don’t get me wrong I have no beef with these characters as they may be nice people and I don’t know them and fair play to them if no mind of my own types are actually influenced by their “I get paid for this review in some way or another”. Nothing wrong in that except that it’s always a five star brilliant review with loads of aren’t I beautiful photos, but why do all the girls look like Eastern European hookers ?.

Which brings me to answering the question of an influencing person “how have I managed to get in some of these places?”. Quite simple “I paid to stay in them”. No I don’t get freebies, no I don’t do social media or have an online presence I only write this for a couple of friends who asked to read this and don’t have a web site apart from this platform where a few people I don’t know have actually read my dribble. Also yes I have stayed in many more places more expensive than written about over many years of travel but as that was years ago why bother mentioning as they have probably changed beyond imagination and I don’t see the point of making it all up. As to the original question the majority of places we go I just can’t imagine why they’d entertain or need some teen/twenty year old who has an adoring public who take their word as gospel and are either that age or younger so are probably unable to pay that amount of money unless mum and dad are loaded.

Also why do you want to write about a place you’ve never been to ?, surely asking me about my stay and thoughts and putting this on to your crowd funding site I guess improves your rating and hoped for freebies, but the easiest way is cut and paste what I already said, who’d know, I wouldn’t and that goes for anyone else I know in my age bracket.

Crockers

Henley Upon Thames

We have now been here twice for lunch and have had to cancel dinner due to lockdown. Personally I would be thinking it’s got to be good if someone’s been that many times in a short period of time and was disappointed that they had to close down once again to which I hope that whoever is behind this has enough patience and spare cash to reopen whenever that may be.

Henley is a rather strange place, it’s regularly lauded as the place to live in the home section of the Times which is something I’ve always thought of as strange. Although there’s plenty of money knocking around and it’s vastly overpriced to buy in, on top of that it suffers from a complete dirth of good places to eat. Don’t get me wrong there’s plenty of choice but nothing that’s actually good or worth bothering about if your into food but Henley does suffer from a lot of old money that doesn’t spend, and a lot of fur coat no knickers brigade.

Crockers has a choice of dining rooms. At the front is a bar and bistro type set up, walk through and you pass a room which is an open table type set up which serves modern French/English and another further into the building which does food with a slight Asian twist.

The Kitchen @ Crockers

Must admit it’s great sitting there with a glass of something watching your food being prepared and the chef and the others were happy to interact with us making it a great casual atmosphere. The wine list is I think a bit lacking but it’s an expensive thing to have stocked so we asked if we could bring from our own cellar which was no problem and £30 corkage seeing as they open it serve it and have to wash the glasses was fine and we got to drink quality wines with the food. Everyone eats at the same time and I think it’s full at fourteen covers but the second time we went there was only the four of us as people for some strange reason had cancelled that morning, why I have no idea fear possibly, but they do have the screens up separating people and actually have less than the normal number of seats at the moment.

Masked Bandits Preparing Food

Food is excellent and the whole menu is a tasting menu. I have heard the usual tiny portions expensive and all that but that’s the usual pile it high sell it cheap brigade, but we all measure quality and value differently. We could not fault anything on the menu as everything was perfectly cooked and the flavours were excellent. Also the timing of each dish was perfect as well, nothing hurried and no long gaps in between courses. Each dish is also accompanied with a description of how it’s cooked by the head chef without being overly long and convoluted. Personally we thought £90.00 per person for the food was incredibly good value and really good quality. There’s no point in going into each dish and what it was as just go and make your own mind up.

All in all a great place to go to and way above anything else on offer in the area can’t wait for it to reopen.

Midsummer House Restaurant Cambridge

Michelin 2 Star Restaurant

SET MENU £225 per person


This was one of the restaurants that both of us had assigned as a must do place for a number of years after watching Daniel Clifford cook and assemble food on Professional Master Chef and then later as a judge giving his views and insights on what would improve other chefs dishes. So as we had a horse running at Fakenham we decided to stay the night in Ely and taxi to the restaurant as it’s on the way and seemed a good idea.

We arrived in the dark staying at Poets House in Ely about 30 mins drive. Not sure if you can drive directly to the restaurant as the taxi driver had to drop us by a bridge and said you have to walk over to the place. No problem at all as it’s literally right next to it. The building itself looked Edwardian/Victorian and impressive with the inside lights on, we never actually saw the insides as we were taken into a conservatory which I gather is the main dining room and not sure if the rest are some sort of private function type booking rooms. The conservatory is like the majority of these extensions a dated plastic bit stuck on the side of a building. Whilst we don’t put a lot of importance on decor as were more interested as to what’s on the plate as long as it’s clean and functional and the food is good what else do you need. The conservatory at Midsummer is just like what your parents would have done in the 1970’s and to really stand out could do with a total revamp but again this all comes down to personal taste and I’m not sure what constitutes modern in the burbs to the majority.

The welcome was good and the staff were all excellent, in fact the service is faultless. All dishes were explained fully and with interest and the glass of complimentary Krug was a very nice touch, again I’m sure they don’t serve spirits or a larger so if your a complete odd ball and don’t like Krug (sorry if your one of those out there) your shafted. Like all or most Michelin Star places it is devoid of atmosphere and people talk in hushed whispers as if anybody is interested in their conversation. The staff like I said earlier are very good as the American couple next to us ordered a half bottle of white wine. The sommelier was excellent pointing out that it was a sweet wine (Sauternes, I saw the label), the guy not wanting to look a complete Wally said that’s ok until he tasted it. It was handled brilliantly and he ended up with a glass of red something and his wife drank the white so whatever floats your boat is fine.

SET MENU

Well let’s start with why we were here, the food and wine.

With a glass of Krug in hand it was onto the wine list which I had looked up prior to booking and had picked an ok Burgundy I say ok as 2 star prices are stratospheric. What a disappointment the wine list was very short and only had two red Burgs kicking off at £190.00. There is an equally uninspiring wine flight which is heavily pushed at £135.00pp and contained nothing either of us wanted to drink. The reason for the list was given due to the plague ravishing the country and the sommelier said he only had a few days to cobble this together. During this conversation over wine it turned out they had other wines in the cellar but at these prices I didn’t even bother to ask as god knows what a village Morey Saint Denis or a Gevery might be.

Small appetisers appeared with the usual detailed description which were very nice but nothing exciting and a bit old hat to be honest. The sweet breads were perfectly cooked but both of us missed the Tandoori spice. Next we had the two fish courses served the other way round for an explained reason which both of us lost the will to live. Perfectly cooked fish but neither of us could differentiate the sauces as both were very similar to an old fashioned Beurre Blanc and again both of us missed the subtle bits in between. Next up was the beetroot which yes we could taste but unfortunately the minuscule bit of venison tartare was just a bit of texture as the beetroot killed everything else. Pigeon was perfect and I was looking forward to the excited explanation of the incredible jus made with the livers. Problem was I’ve had larger injections of liquid from a Vicks nasal spray. By now we were a little disappointed, not with the cooking but the lack of flavour. Again looked forward to the Baron Bigod cheese but what we tasted was truffle in some sort of creamy sauce which neither of us liked or actually ate and again no idea where or if the other ingredients existed. Skipped the sorbet as this just ruins any wine left and we went for just one desert, as to be honest the meal was starting to become a waste of calories I ate half of and left the rest so ordered two glasses of Krug which we were told was £65 a glass which I already knew as we had two extra before the meal arrived and needed to kill time waiting for the taxi.

All in all a rather disappointing experience. Can’t complain about the cooking as fish meat were perfect but not at all memorable or exciting. This whole restaurant thing comes down to personal taste but I’m sure that this place would not last six months in London as for £900.00 including our wine champs etc is dearer than Tom Aikens Muse in Belgravia but about ten years or so behind. I guess being in this place there is no other viable competition and we thought the whole place was existing on past reputation and I wish we had gone fifteen years ago. Maybe Mr Clifford needs to visit a few places to see what’s actually happening in the big world.

Alisya Beach Villa Mandarin Oriental Bodrum Turkey

A 7 BED ALL EN-SUITE VILLA WITH PRIVATE POOLS SEA VIEW AND PRIVATE BEACH

From £10,970.00 per night

So where do you start with a place like this as it’s not going to be the usual normal place someone will just rock up and stay in, and the price is not a typo error that I normally can’t be arsed to alter so live with it. I guess the best start is what most would think the oddest room which in this case happens to be the fully fitted kitchen with its oversized wine cooler/fridge, obviously these guests are serious piss heads. Well the normal guests here (and I mean that broadly) bring the staff and the private chef to do the cooking, as my private chef dosen’t get paid an actual wage at these prices neither of us were going to lift a finger.

Fully fitted kitchen

Entrance

This is quite cool as you are driven by golf buggy to enter through a long cobbled drive to a very large entrance porch and door which are a larger version of the individual hotel rooms up the hillside which have the same external finish and very similar interior decor in fact the Villa is a hotel room on East German Olympian steroids.

Unfortunately locating a normal size room, keys for an oversized door was not proving easy

Large imposing building

Bit of a sweeping driveway

Once inside the hall way is an impressive expanse of marble flooring and timber walls, ceiling to floor glazing and glazed stairway. Two flights of stairs lead to an upper hallway mirroring downstairs though strangely the ceiling to floor windows have net curtains which seem a bit naff and once drawn back you wonder why they are nafly there as privacy is not exactly a problem. This seemed a bit of a strange design concept making it seem not only naff but a bit cheap as well. Anyway figure that one out yourself with the photos.

Curtains, reminded of you mothers ?

Slightly naff curtains ?
Entrance hallway suitcases not included and not designer

Lounges

Well there is a choice, a fairly cavernous room with dual aspect ceiling to floor glass opening out onto a very large pool and deck. Furnishings are very similar to most of the rooms or suites in the hotel but again blown up to Gulliver size. TV is large but could be bigger don’t laugh it seemed a valid point at the time what with sitting twenty feet away. The Villa does lack what I thought would be obvious and that was a surround system or something like Sonos and at this price I imagine not many people would appreciate removing themselves from a sofa. Within this cavernous open space is also a dining area and table able to seat ten, again I don’t suspect that the staff eat with the guests so they either breed an awful lot more than normal folk or have an awful lot of brothers and sisters.

Lounge Area
Dining for Ten ?

Bedrooms

Five of which are varying sizes apart from the master which is for whoever is paying for this place. Again furnishings are exactly as in the rest of the place and all are on suite. The bathrooms are the one thing that are different with marble tiles and larger showers but with more room to play with they are done beautifully.I took pics of all but can’t see the point of putting them all up as the only difference is size so if your at the bottom of the family heap you get a smaller one. One thing we did notice is that the free Aqua di Parma toiletries which again are a larger size than you get in normal rooms had all been nicked by the previous oligarch which proves richer people are no different to normal folk meaning I paid for it so I’m having it. Room service were quick to replenish us and help to replenish our homeward bound goodies.

Bathroom
Shower unit

Enough of the insides you could just go on for a very long time about details but there are not a lot of minuses to be honest, so onto the outside space.

There’s acres of it, well quiet a lot. The pool deck is larger than some holiday home hotels and the pool side furniture is some of the best we’ve come across. Never actually counted the number of towels we had littered about but it’s like the place would need it’s own private laundry facilities again manned by the servants. Apart from the pool directly outside the Villa there is another larger one beyond the lawn, your own private garden nearly as large as a modern housing estates outdoor space put together. A hedge row separates you from the private beach which being private is used by two other villas. The sun loungers state that these are reserved for Mr so and so and you are able if you want to converse with the other oligarchs if you want to. The sea view was actually of a couple of large private cruisers parked across the bay so thought sod this we’ll stay by one of the pools, in fact we used both. One large glaring error of this place is the service road which obviously goes to the hotel laundry and storage area as there is a pathway on one side of the Villa which was used all day and constantly by small golf buggy trucks carrying stuff, the problem being that these were two stroke engines and not electric carts so the racket is truly bloody annoying. Again I was surprised that there was no outdoor speakers or music system

Pool deck
Outdoor furniture
Garden area with glass balustrade. Other pool and beach beyond

This is not something we stay in often and to be honest not sure it’s worth it unless it’s for a large party of friends. Has a few faults which at this price could piss you off but then maybe we’re a bit weird.

Nobu Hotel Marbella

On entering reception first impressions are “no expense spared. Check in was lovely, fresh cool towels and drink if wanted all very swish and cool. Our first room, no it was a good room had to be changed for reasons I will explain later. The whole place is a bit weird as it’s like a hotel within others. Nobu is actually hived off from two other hotels as far as we could make out and it’s very confusing to know where one starts and the other finishes. The main advantage of Nobu is that you can wander onto anyone else’s pool but they couldn’t do the same but after seeing the other pools on the complex ( the whole place is called Puente Romano) you really wouldn’t want to sit in what is a package holiday type complex.

Ok so onto the room and on first impressions it’s fine. The whole place was obviously some sort of basic apartment complex as the external architecture makes this quiet obvious but with a lick of paint and new doors and windows it looks fine. Inside the room (suite) was long and a little narrow but was laid out as best as it could be. Bathroom was well fitted with bath and shower, double sink unit all good quality and good white towels. Bed was large and comfy, good linens and pillows. Long couch though not completely comfortable flat screen tv and coffee machine which was not a Nespresso but an Illy machine functional and ok but not as good, so all ok on that front so far but a major problem became evident that night.

We booked the Nobu restaurant as we have eaten in the London edition. The restaurant and various other eateries of which we didn’t partake are set around a sunken type plaza which seemed to be populated by half the worlds population of under 30 year olds as were the rest of the clientele eating in Nobu. Very quickly it came to light that this is the posers place to eat and for the girls to actually wear as little as possible though in many cases there was more flesh on my lobster than on some of these females. The food to be honest is ok but not a patch on London and for what it’s worth bloody expensive for very little. We had a great table at the back in the corner which is great for watching the posing floor show but you also get the feeling that the old people are kept out of mind and sight. On leaving it’s very difficult to walk through the plaza which is stepped and which also doubles as seating, this was full of kids enjoying themselves which was great but did put us off fighting for a drinks order. Back at the room the major problem became evident. Most of Nobu’s rooms actually face onto this plaza and these kids party throughout the night, we still had the sounds of screaming girls and grunting blokes at 3.30am, not something I want to pay £650.00 a night for. Full marks to the bloke on reception the next morning as his first look at the state of us was boy you must have consumed vast quantities of alcohol, but no we were just knackered after two to three hours of broken sleep. Obviously it wasn’t the first time this had happened to him and luckily there was a couple of other suites available so we took the one furthest from the plaza. Do make sure if you book here get a room by the private pool it is quiet and you don’t hear a thing, you might have a bit further to walk to breakfast but believe me it’s worth the effort. This room was also called a suite and the furniture is all the same, well it was in the rooms we saw but this one didn’t have a bath just a shower. Bit strange calling it a suite with this omission but it is what it is.

Bed good linens fine
minimalist type decor plus what to do with left over bits of wood after renovation

Ok so the decors not the most inspired I’ve seen but like I said it’s comfortable and functions ok. We faced a road on the complex but is was very quiet and this block of rooms were right next door to the pool.

All in all it’s a strange place as it caters for people fairly well off but gets a large splattering of youngsters who you have no idea what they do for a living or cash, maybe but probably wealthy parents who spoil them but never spoilt them with an education beyond Hello magazine and being a moronic spoilt dickhead. Still liked the place and have been back, like I said a real odd place.

Hotel Palacio Miramar Malaga

Difficult to know where to start with this one as being desperate to get away you could call this a rush booking without the normal checking involved, ie like checking Trip Advisor and reading the reports but making the cardinal mistake of not checking where these people had actually stayed on previous trips so we had no idea of what the previous Mr & Mrs think is fantastic or expensive possibly making this one of the most luxurious or crappy hotels on the planet. This is where Trip Advisor can break down as you have no idea of people’s expectations or what they are used to and the insights of what they deem expensive, cheap or luxurious seeing their previous entries of where they’ve been is an important factor in choosing your destination.

We booked for a week knowing Malaga is on the Costa del Brit but the hotel did look quite beautiful which it is. On arrival the street is a bit grubby and looked a bit of a down market area but the hotel sits behind a high wall and gates with plenty of trees. It really is an impressive building and has been renovated extremely well. Doormen were extremely efficient as were the receptionists. Check in was fine but I really don’t need Speedy Gonzalez rattling out a complete run down of all the bars, restaurants, spa and god knows what with the opening closing times which is all forgotten a nano second later when all I want after two airports and a BA flight is a shower and a beer, what could be more impressive is if they can do this at the same speed in English.

Impressive Foyer

Really can’t remember what room we booked but the blonde was not impressed, think it was a deluxe double which was not large so it was off to see what else was on offer. I have no idea why my social secretary hadn’t booked a suite in the first place It’s so much easier but at least we got to see two different suites. Good idea this turned out to be as one had a balcony with a garden view. Ok this is off to the side of the hotel and garden view it is not. I’m no green fingered Capability Brown, but a six foot square concrete area with a tree in it does not in my mind constitute a garden. While not having expectations of seeing the hanging Gardens of Babylon or herds of Wilderbeest wandering through the Serengeti this so called garden is a bit of a shall we say a let down. The suite we chose was a sea view one, no balcony but not bothered with having one or not. So first the view. Obviously the room below is possibly the Presidential suite as the balcony is large with four sun loungers. We looked out over the pool which is quite small for the size of hotel but unfortunately your eyes are drawn to the horrendous architectural apartment block overlooking the entire hotel area and according to the banner hanging from the balcony, floor 7 I think,is for sale. Anyway the room was very good, great size and nice fresh decor. Usual flat screen, mini bar and bonus coffee machine not Nespresso but Illy. Asked the maid for more coffee capsules and fresh milk which was no problem and no extra charge, also what time would you like turn down surprised us but was very welcome. Bed was comfortable and linens while not the quality of Four Seasons or Aman hotels were good. Bathroom though was incredibly narrow so don’t know why a bit more of the very large room wasn’t hived off to make it a bit more comfortable. It’s well appointed with double vanity unit and glass sliding door to the loo but the bath is also very narrow, so any woman (not being sexist here) who has child bearing hips or a bloke with a big arse and a belly may find it a little bit tight. The shower power was good but as with all these type of hotels the flimsy glass doors let the shower flood the floor also passing one another was a bit like turning into a pervert on the tube.

Good sized room
good sized bed and very comfy
Narrow bathroom. Bath is behind the door which won’t open any further
View of the balcony below and that wonderful apartment block

One other part of the view was the sea view but, they don’t tell you or show on any photos that between you and the sea is a four lane dual carriageway. No problem from the room as we couldn’t hear it with the windows shut so sleep was undisturbed and the place was quiet.

Breakfast is rather difficult to asses as due to COVID panic, service was limited to you having to queue for everything. Again staff were lovely but the whole thing is a bit like a motorway service station and so is the decor and atmosphere but the cortado coffee’s were excellent, couldn’t be bothered queuing so settled for banana and yoghurt, but like I said they were doing the best they could.

Onto the pool deck. Well we were early and had no idea of hotel guest numbers as the place seemed pretty quiet so had our choice of sun beds, not sure if there’s any poolside service but I went in search and found a pile of towels. Everything seemed fine apart from the traffic noise from the other side of the wall which was I imagine sunbathing next to the A40 at Perivale. Also loads of people started arriving the first was a bloke (parent) wheeling his baby up and down which is fine but with the whole bloody pool deck to choose from you set up next to us, really. Mate there’s over forty to choose from and you pick these not only with a baby but three other toddlers, have you not heard of Netflix or birth control. We moved. Couldn’t figure out why the small glassed off area was filling up ?, it’s the kiddies pool area but no kids it’s full of adults, that’s because people with baby’s or little kids don’t use it they use the adult pool. These were obviously seasoned guests and knew where to go for a bit of peace and quiet though when this pool area is full the screaming and shouting competes with the traffic noise from the road, nothing relaxing about this five days to go ? No way.

View back to hotel From pool

Also with having had dinner the night before and deciding it’s ok but quite basic we weren’t eating here again. The food while cooked well was a little boring and expensive for what it was as was the wine list. Staff tried really hard but it’s obvious they have never actually been to a top end restaurant nor had the management who trained them and the whole thing is just like posh food for people who eat M & S ready meals, nothing wrong in that but it’s all about what you perceive is quality and what your used to.

Small pool with 4 lanes of traffic other side of that wall

View Of pool and sea early morning from room

Interesting clientele here, a mix of Northern Europeans and loads of fat bald Brit body art lovers in their fifties (that includes the women as well) who obviously think that covering their outsized wobbly bits to look like a sheet of Osbourne & Little wallpaper makes them more attractive and looking at us thinking why are you here ?, don’t worry we’re thinking the same. Had a gander and a quick drink at the roof top bar. All ok but be careful as all the seats were wet from humidity and hadn’t been wiped down due to not enough waiting staff, didn’t hang around long enough to see how busy it got but was fairly comfortable at the time.

Sleeping was fine and soundproofing throughout must be excellent as never heard a thing all night.

Thanks to our girl at Amex sorting out a slightly more exclusive 5* hotel elsewhere we were gone the next day. Full marks to this hotel as they said as you don’t like here we will not charge you for the rest of the stay. Incredibly generous I thought as I was expecting at least 50% Of our booking to be charged. All in all a very mixed bag place, it is a much higher standard of hotel than many Costa holiday makers would expect and I can see why it’s been called posh and outstanding by some. For us it’s a bit off the crossbar nice rooms and service but very amateur in other respects.

Roof top bar

Why review hotels/restaurants you’ve Obviously never been in ??.

Been receiving and reading a few posts/blogs or whatever there called and deleting them from people who not travelling are writing articles on hotels and restaurants that make it so obvious that they have never actually been inside the place. Maybe through boredom (like me) were all writing for the sake of it, but I’m sorry to say that this pisses me off worse than lockdown or stupid pointless linesmen, refs, Neanderthal stewards and the “this teams shit” know all seated behind us at Loftus Road.

THE RESTAURANT CRITICS (in general)

Eg, If your writing an article on a Michelin starred restaurant (which we have visited a few times) it pays to not always accept what the menu says on the web site as a said article described the establishments menu from many many months previous to the said date of going there, read seasonal produce as this place would never serve those vegetables or that meat at that time of year. Also a complete absence of wines or wine list was a little strange as we’ve never seen a table without wines being served or with benefit of the doubt you’re tea total, or the cheapest wine starting at £95 a bottle may just have deterred you to have half a larger.  All very nice giving it full marks for everything but again we’ve never found a place completely faultless, a few have been close but generally for around £400 + for two there’s always a niggle that you can turn into a joke or turn a blind eye to. Surely the food is the most important number one reason you picked it ? not the wonderful ambiance and the decor. These are irritations, what’s actually on the plate tastes and textures, or does it all go cold before the perfect picture is taken and you’ve done the self important touch up thing. So do please try reading various food writers to get a better idea of the cooking and what your talking about, the food then the decor, service and other diners. Do read a larger selection of critics and do find Jay Rayner who is a great restaurant critic and if he finds a negative he goes for it as no one finds anything this perfect even if the waiter irons your shirt before dinner. Do more research on where the place is before describing what you think or gleaned from the internet as parking in Kensington and Chelsea or Westminster do have different parking restrictions, so no not all of central London is the same and no it’s not by a park its a square which is private gardens for residents only, ok maybe the street lights were off and it was dark so easy mistake, but I implore you to buy a Euro lottery ticket or start gambling seriously as you must be the luckiest person ever born to not get a parking ticket or be towed as pretty soon Mr Khan will start charging pedestrians who stop on the pavement for too long. Anyway enjoy wherever you eat but please don’t try to boost numbers or whatever the reward is by writing about a place that is way beyond your financial means and comprehension and don’t  actually live in the area or possibly within 200 miles of it.

THE HOTEL CRITICS (in general)

Ok interesting reading but it’s clear you read Conde Nast Traveller as your go to upmarket publication. I could be very wrong but why have you started posting about hotels supposedly visited a year or so ago blowing a cool £12-14,000 whilst everything else and places visited are more backpack year out stuff or a 5* Tui package holiday. Possibly your the bloke who sat having breakfast in the Mandarin Oriental Marrakech boring the girl you were trying to impress about how these places give you free accommodation so that you can boost the bookings on your blog page, (really). Oh please give us a break. Does anyone think that the Mandarin group needs an up his own arse instagramy kid to give a review to boost bookings ?, at £1,300 a night and is one of the best hotels in the world that we’ve stayed in, funny enough never saw this kid again and the restaurant manager had no idea who he was as he was a walk in as far as he was concerned (bet he didn’t get laid after that porky) so lots of dick heads out there.

Again lots of writing about the journey to the destination,  again I wonder why you are going to spend 5 grand on four days not including lunches, drinks evening meals and then travel by camel train. It might be your thing but why book luxury and travel in something that takes animals to the abattoir,  sorry but your a complete weirdo. One report omitted to say that if you stay at this hotel and book a suit which we did,  as the writer supposedly did, you are met from the plane and taken through the VIP line at customs so why would you pay this sort of money to queue (sort of) with the populace in a sweaty no air conditioned shed (airport) and not get the hotel limo with scented towels and cold drinks with a driver who has discovered soap, personal hygiene  and clean clothes on the other side with your luggage to follow. It’s included in the price, but if you’ve arrived with the local goat herders to save a few quid I guess it’s easy to get missed. So do read the full report though I do know that some of these journalists haven’t actually visited and have just called the place for a chat and winged it. So if it’s not in a fake report you wouldn’t know.

So that’s it, I hope not all reports are taken as gospel for someone to find out what an expensive mistake they’ve made. I may moan but do say wether it’s worth it or not at the end but seeing as most places we eat or stay are very expensive though anybody who goes  to these places probably wouldn’t  reads this internet stuff.