Luxury Mountain Resort: Fairmont Tremblant

Summer is my favourite season to travel in! Now that restrictions are lifted within Canada I’ve been doing a lot of exploring. This past August long weekend Sashien and I were hosted at the beautiful Fairmont Tremblant, a luxurious mountain resort located at the foot of the Tremblant Peaks in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. I had visited Mont-Tremblant a few times but never stayed at the Fairmont Tremblant before.

The Hotel

Fairmont Tremblant truly is a luxury resort with its numerous pools, restaurants and activities. It’s situated in a prime location right in the heart of the pedestrian village and at the foot of the mountains. The hotel offers all the amenities of a world class luxury resort with its 314 guest rooms, including 62 suites. Many of the rooms offer breathtaking views of the mountains and are spacious and comfortable. I especially liked the rustic chic look of the room which offered a lovely mountain view.

The Fairmont Tremblant has something for everyone, whether you’re looking to stay active or just relax. The hotel offers four outdoor pools and an indoor pool, hot tub and dry sauna. We especially liked relaxing by the outdoor pools and enjoying a cocktail. You can also eat your lunch outside at the Veuve Clicquot terrace just next to the pool. The terrace offers beautiful views of the pools and pedestrian village. There is also an onsite spa that offers all the luxury treatments. If you’re looking to keep fit during your stay the hotel offers a 24 hour gym.

One thing that truly stands out at Fairmont Tremblant is the hospitality and attention to detail. All staff at the hotel were so friendly and welcoming, they truly made us feel special. This level of service is of course synonymous with the Fairmont brand.

The Activities

I wasn’t joking when I said there’s something for everyone at Fairmont Tremblant! The hotel has an extensive activities guide that changes with the seasons, as they are a year round resort. If health and wellness is what you have in mind you can of course check out their outdoor pools and nordic baths or opt for a massage at Moment Spa onsite.

If you’re in the mood for something more active the resort offers its own activities such as Yoga, Guided Nature Walks and the Studio Elmt training room. They also have activities for families like the tipi and bonfire experience and games room. For adults 16 and older there is a billiards room as well. With their location in the Laurentian mountains the hotel also offers lots of opportunities for hiking and biking. Not sure which activities to try first? Create your own adventure with Fairmont Tremblant’s Mountain of Activities offer.

In addition to the activities in the resort there’s also lots to do in the area surrounding the hotel. You can enjoy a 360 degree view of the mountains from the panoramic Gondola, check out the Birds of Prey show or even try out the climbing tower. During the winter months there are ample ski trails surrounding the resort and you can even ski into the hotel. We took a ride on the panoramic Gondola and enjoyed a lovely view from the top of mountain. The gondola ride was so relaxing and you can purchase a round trip ticket right at the hotel. Another relaxing thing to do is to take a walk around the pedestrian village, we took a few morning and evening strolls around the area.

Dining

One thing I love almost as much as fashion is food and Fairmont Tremblant did not disappoint! There are many dining options to choose from. If you would like to dine at a restaurant the hotel offers options such as Ricochet Cafe and Terasse which is also home the the Veuve Cliquot terrace and champagne bar during the Winter and located close to the ski-in ski out access to the pool. For more formal dining you check out Choux Gras Brasserie Culinaire which offers a dinner service Wednesday to Sunday. The hotel also offers in room dining.

Sashien and I enjoyed a lovely breakfast at Le Comptoir, which is also open for dinner daily. The restaurant boasts beautiful views of the gardens surrounding the hotel and the service and food was impeccable! If you’re looking to unwind with a cocktail or in the mood for apres ski drinks then you must check out Axe Lounge Bar! Located on the same level as Le Comptoir, this lounge is open every evening and offers lovely views of the pedestrian village and the pools. It’s a great place to relax and take in the sights of Mont Tremblant. We had a relaxing evening there and I would highly recommend it. The lounge bar does not take reservations so I recommend going in a bit earlier in the evening.

The Verdict

We really enjoyed our time at Fairmont Tremblant. It was such a relaxing getaway, we felt like we were in another country. The hotel and scenery were so beautiful and picturesque. It was a truly luxurious stay. We will definitely be back! If you haven’t visited Mont Tremblant before then this is a must visit destination. The Fairmont Tremblant is the perfect place to stay in Mont Tremblant as it’s close to attractions, activities and the pedestrian village. I would gladly recommend this hotel to anyone looking to visit Mont Tremblant. The location, service and accommodations are unsurpassed and it is a true testament to the Fairmont brand. A big thank you to the team at Fairmont Tremblant for hosting us on this stay, we had such a lovely time!

Summer Staycation:The Westin Ottawa

Can you believe we are halfway through Summer already? I’m back with a new staycation destination! I’ve lived in Ottawa for over 25 years and the Westin Ottawa has always been a notable landmark. I stayed at the hotel for the first time earlier this year to celebrate my birthday, and I was delighted when we were invited back for a weekend staycation.

The Hotel

Centrally located on Colonel By Drive in downtown Ottawa, the Westin Hotel is close to many great attractions in our nation’s capital. The Parliament of Canada is just a few steps away from the hotel and so is the vibrant Byward market, full of restaurants and boutiques.

The Westin Ottawa is also connected to the Rideau Centre shopping mall and guests can access the mall without ever having to go outside. Also located close-by is the Shaw Centre, which makes the Westin a popular choice among business travellers and tourists alike.

The Rooms

The rooms at the Westin are quite spacious and comfortable and offer ample room for relaxing as well. The hotel features traditional guest rooms, deluxe rooms, junior suites and suites. I was so excited to stay in a Deluxe King room with a Parliament view.

The room featured a sweeping view of downtown Ottawa against the backdrop of Canada’s Parliament buildings and a spacious seating area to sit and enjoy the view. The room also included comfy terrycloth robes and complimentary wi-fi. All deluxe rooms are located on higher floors as well.

The Amenities

The Westin Ottawa offers guests many amenities in addition to their generously sized guest rooms. The hotel features an indoor saltwater pool and outdoor terrace featuring views of downtown Ottawa. There is also an onsite gym called the WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio which includes Peloton Bikes.

Don’t feel like working out indoors? No problem, the hotel has a RunWESTIN program and can provide you with a running map to guide you through downtown Ottawa. Don’t want to run alone? You can join a running group led by a RunWESTIN Hotel Running Concierge who will lead you through a three-mile group run. The group run takes place every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning at 6:30am from April to October. To join just meet the concierge in the lobby.

The hotel also has two squash courts that guests can take advantage of. If you’re like me and forgot to pack your workout gear there’s no need to fret, the Westin has partnered with New Balance to provide athletic shoes and apparel during your stay, for a small fee. I believe the fee was just $5 during our stay.

If swimming, a gym and running are not your thing you can explore Ottawa on a bike through the BikeWestin program. Guests can rent BWM bicycles for $10 each at the front desk. This is a great way to explore Ottawa and give back to the community as all proceeds are donated to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Dining 

The Westin Ottawa offers two restaurants for dining options. For breakfast guests can check out Daly’s restaurant located on the third floor of the hotel. This restaurant is currently open as a grab and go option during the week and open for seated dining on the weekend. Their Sunday brunch is a popular favourite among Ottawa locals.

We enjoyed a lovely a la carte breakfast at Daly’s and enjoyed the view of downtown Ottawa along with our food. The portions here are generous and filling, so remember to bring your appetite.

For dinner or drinks, the Shore Club restaurant is located on the ground floor of the hotel. I’ve visited this restaurant many times and it’s a family favourite for cocktails!

The Verdict

Whether you’re living in Ottawa or just visiting the Westin Ottawa is a great choice for a staycation or vacation! It’s centrally located and close to many Ottawa attractions and offers great amenities and guest services. Sashien and I really enjoyed our staycation and we actually felt like we had left the city, it was so relaxing.

Right now the Westin has a Staycation package that includes the following:

  • $20 meal credit at Daly’s Express per night
  • Upgrade to Parliament View Room
  • Valet parking

Reserve your staycation here.

Thank you to the Westin Ottawa team for hosting us on this gifted staycation. We’ll surely be back 🙂

Holiday Staycation at Fairmont Montebello

It’s the holiday season! My favourite time of the year. I love Christmas in Canada as we almost always get a white Christmas 🙂 This year I wanted to really get in to the holiday spirit so we went on a little pre-Christmas staycation. Sashien and I were so excited to be invited to check out Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello located in Montebello, Quebec. This hotel is breathtaking and a truly unique Fairmont property. I’m excited to share all the details about our stay!

The Hotel

Located in Montebello just 70km away from Ottawa, the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello is the largest log cabin in the world. Built in 1930 the hotel is a year round resort celebrating 90 years this year!

Chateau Montebello is a great celebration of Canadiana and each of the hotel’s 210 guest rooms pay homage to the local culture and Quebecois life. The hotel ambiance is rustic chic and this is seen in both the room decor and the overall layout of the hotel. In 2019 the hotel underwent a $17.5 million renovation which included 102 newly renovated more modern rooms. We stayed in one of their newly updated rooms but if you’re looking for more rustic charm the hotel has many other room choices as well. More information about the rooms and suites can be found on their website.

Our room was spacious and we were still able to experience the rustic feel of the hotel. We loved the sitting area and the large windows. We enjoyed some champagne before dinner in our room and relaxed in the sitting area.

The Activities

The hotel is a year round luxury resort and offers a wide range of activities for any of our four seasons here in Canada.  The hotel does charge a resort fee to cover these activities which includes a long list of fun filled adventures for the whole family.

When we visited the resort we were especially excited to visit the aquatic centre. We spent an afternoon by the pool and enjoyed the hot tubs. The hotel also includes a gym and tennis courts. There’s many outdoor activities at the hotel as well such as volleyball, canoeing and basketball in the Summer and dogsledding, skiing and snow shoeing in the winter.  Walking and hiking trails nearby the hotel are open year round. Sahsien and I enjoyed taking a walk by the water and exploring the area surrounding the property. A full list of  summer, winter and year round activities can be found online. In the summer months the hotel also features a yacht club.

The hotel offers a range of dining options. Some restaurants are season while others such as Aux Chantignoles are open year round. We had all our meals at Aux Chantignoles and we especially enjoyed our breakfast and the views from the restaurant.

The Verdict

Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello is beautiful all year round but it is absolutely magical during the Holiday season. There’s no better way to get in to the holiday season than enjoying a glass of wine or hot chocolate by their six sided fireplace.Visiting Chateau Montebello really put me in the holiday spirit. The whole hotel is decorated for Christmas and it looks spectacular. Fairmont Montebello has a wide range of offers for the holiday season and beyond.  I highly recommend checking out their Early Christmas, Country Christmas or Holiday Getaway packages.

We had a lovely time and a truly relaxing experience at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello. Thank you to the staff for hosting us and making our stay a memorable experience. We will definitely be back!

Staycation at the Frontenac Club

Have you joined the Club? I recently discovered a hidden gem just an hour and a half away from Ottawa. The Frontenac Club located in Kingston, Ontario is a beautifully restored and renovated boutique hotel. Once home to the Bank of Montreal in the 1840s the building itself boasts a rich history and stately architecture.

Since its origins as a Bank the Frontenac Club evolved to become a well known B & B in Kingston and although it was built in the 1800s the building has only had four owners in its 175 year history. The Club went through a massive two year renovation beginning in 2018. This Summer the next chapter of the Frontenac Club began as it  reopened to the public, presented as a chic and sophisticated boutique hotel.

Sashien and I were invited to stay at the Club and we were so thrilled to visit this Kingston stalwart.

The Hotel – First Impressions

We arrived at the hotel on Friday evening and as soon as we turned on to King Street we couldn’t help but notice the majestic building that is the Frontenac Club. The grey limestone facade which is updated with modern and vintage elements coupled with accents of greenery around the edges make this building stand out from the B&Bs and period houses down the street.

We loved how convenient the parking lot and back entrance to the hotel were. Located at the rear of the hotel is a beautiful courtyard with outdoor seating and a water feature. This would be a great place to have a coffee in the morning.

When we entered the hotel we were impressed by the modern touches such as the lighting, decor and overall ambiance of the place. The Frontenac Club makes quite the first impression.

The Rooms

The Club boasts 20 guest rooms all of which have their own character and unique features. We stayed in the 1000 islands suite which was in the Cartwright Wing of the hotel. This was on the upper level of the building. This room has views of the 1000 islands  and lake Ontario from the windows along with exposed limestone walls. The room was very spacious and had a large sitting area complete with a gas fireplace. One touch I found particularly special was the fact that the room came with a full bar complete with bar tools and glasses. You could definitely make yourself at home, mix yourself a drink  and enjoy it by the fireplace in this room.

The Bathroom was spacious and modern with almost a European feel to it, complete with luxury bath products by Gilchrist & Soames of London

Some other notable spaces in the hotel are the Ondaatje room, named after Sri Lankan born author Michael Ondaatje which features a separate writing room with a bar. The Locomotive Suite which is the largest suite in the hotel is home to the largest bathroom in the hotel along with a generous sitting area and views of downtown Kingston. Another interesting space is the Backstage room that features a turn table and records from The Tragically Hip. All rooms at the hotel are modern, luxurious and give you major big city vibes.

The Frontenac Club is a pet friendly hotel with all pet rooms located on the first floor of the building. The staff love animals and your pet will be treated like royalty; with a special welcome, treats, a door sign that says Dog on Vacation and a bed reserved specially for The Dog. I would definitely bring my Yorkie Chloe on a visit to the Club I’m sure she’d love all the attention.

The hotel also has all COVID-19 precautions in place. Masks are required in all common areas such as hallways and stairwells. Amenities such as towels and glasses, and food orders are delivered to your door. Staff do not enter the room for room service however you can request any replenishments you need. We felt really safe and well taken care of at the Frontenac Club and had no concerns regarding safety measures.

The Food

The Bank Gastrobar is the newest space to open at the Club. This chic lounge makes you feel like you’re in New York City! The decor and ambiance at The Bank are the epitome of modern elegance combined with old world grandeur.

The hotel also serves its breakfast at The Bank daily from 8 am-10 am. Our first morning at the hotel we were served Eggs Frontenac probably the fanciest hotel breakfast I’ve had in Canada. The Club always offers a great starter with their breakfasts as well; on our second morning we were treated to poached pairs in syrup topped with greek yoghurt, what a delicious start to a meal.

In the evenings The Bank offers a great selection of cocktails and a host of  fine dining dinner options. The cocktail menu is quite sophisticated and divided in to two parts; Club Classics, a selection of signature cocktails and The Vault Series, a cocktails curated to The Club’s ever-evolving list of unique whiskeys & gins to build their twist on the classics.

Our first evening at the hotel both Sashien and I ordered from the Club Classics menu, I was feeling quite adventurous so I ordered a drink called Something Sexy, the ingredients weren’t listed on the menu so I let the bartender surprise me. I certainly wasn’t disappointed as this drink was lovely and came topped with dried rose petals. Sashien ordered The Boulevard Split which was a heavier drink, definitely something I’d call a gentleman’s drink.

The Bank also features a private dining space called The Vault which actually was one of the vaults used when the building was home to the Bank of Montreal. This intimate dining space is perfect for a smaller group event such as a wine tasting or even a private date night. We got to dine in the vault for our Saturday night dinner and the Chef certainly delivered. The food was in a word amazing! I ordered the Confit Pork Ribs and Sashien had the Pan Seared Beef  Tenderloin. Both dishes were cooked to perfection! We also ordered some drinks with dinner. The bartender listened to our preferences and created some great cocktails for us. My favourite cocktail is the Kir Royale so he created a drink for me with pomegranate liquor dubbed the Pom Royale. Sashien’s drink of choice is an Old Fashioned and he got to customize his drink with his choice of whiskey, the bartender also added in some Charcoal bitters for an added touch to the drink. Speaking of whiskey the Vault also boasts a grand whiskey cabinet which is both a design feature and a restaurant element.

The Verdict

The Frontenac Club features contemporary style mixed with old world elegance. One of the newer features of the hotel is a rooftop patio featuring water views and a great city scape. We loved sitting outside and enjoying some fresh air. You can also bring a glass of wine upstairs and enjoy the sunset as guests are encouraged to relax in this great outdoor space.

We absolutely loved our stay at this boutique hotel and can’t wait to visit again. I would highly recommend The Frontenac Club to anyone who enjoys the finer things in life in a warm and welcoming setting. Besides the beautiful architecture, modern style and renovations, what makes the Frontenac Club a true gem is the staff and the service they provide. The attention to detail and the care they extend to all guests is unparalleled; arguably the best service I’ve received at a hotel in Canada. I cannot say enough good things about the Frontenac Club but don’t just take my word for it, check it out for yourself! Room reservations can be made through their website and if you’re in Kingston just for the day you can also book a tour of the hotel and stop in for a quick drink at The Bank.

A big thank you to Sean and the team at the Frontenac Club for this unforgettable gifted experience.

 

 

Fontana at the Biltmore Hotel

Hello again! I’m back from my mini vacation in Florida and I’m excited to share a few posts about my experience there. The first post I’ll be sharing is all about the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida; a city located about 20 mins away from Miami. We visited Miami and Fort Lauderdale on this trip.

I came across the Biltmore Hotel by accident when I was looking for some nice restaurants for us to visit for lunch and dinner. I noticed Fontana, the hotel’s Italian restaurant while I was searching for restaurants on OpenTable. What first got my attention was the location and ambiance.

Fontana

Fontana specializes in Italian cuisine and offers a service for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also offer a Sunday Brunch. The restaurant has an indoor and outdoor dining area, with a large fountain in the middle of the outdoor courtyard surrounded by palm trees. I put in a special request for a table outside and they accommodated us with a table right next to the fountain. It was so nice to enjoy a meal outside with the fountain in the background. The courtyard has a covered high ceiling and open arches that allow a cool breeze to waft in and out of the outdoor dining area.

The restaurant offers a large choice of items on their lunch menu but of course we opted for pasta, because who goes to an Italian restaurant and doesn’t try the pasta. The staff were really helpful and accommodating, allowing us to customize the dishes to our liking. For example if there is a certain type of pasta or sauce you enjoy you can mix and match off the menu.

As it was quite warm that day we decided to avoid alcoholic beverages and opted for some freshly squeezed orange juice, a Florida special. It sure lived up to the hype.

The Hotel

The Biltmore Hotel was constructed in 1926 and the building has a vintage tropical flare to it. I thought it was a spectacular property with sprawling gardens, numerous fountains and a golf course on site. The hotel premises span over 150 acres and is home to a 271 room resort. One striking feature of the Biltmore is the architecture which has Italian, Moorish and Spanish touches.

We took a walk around the hotel and got to see the pool and some of the gardens. The hotels boasts the largest hotel pool on the East Coast of the United States. This place truly is a tropical paradise. The interior of the hotel has a vintage luxury feel to it and is decorated in a classic style. I would definitely visit this place again and possibly stay there.

Although the hotel has numerous restaurants and dining options, one thing I’d love to try is the Afternoon Tea service in the hotel’s lobby.

If you’re ever in Miami then the Biltmore is definitely worth the short drive to Coral Gables.

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California Trip Highlights

If you’re following me on Instagram or Facebook you probably know that I was in sunny California two weeks ago. I’ve been so busy since I got back that I’m just getting to this highlights post now.

We had a great time in California and enjoyed a much needed break from the cold weather. It was my first time there although my better half had been there many times before.

We were there for 5 days so we decided to plan out each day and make an itinerary to maximize our time there. We were able to fit in so much in to our short time in California so I’ll only be sharing some of my highlights.

Our first day was set aside for travel and actually getting to Los Angeles. We stayed at a hotel on Sunset Boulevard which was a great location for us with many food spots and easy access to other areas of the city.

Day Trip to San Francisco

We decided to take a semi-private flight via a company called Jetsuitex and I really loved this experience. Jetsuite has its own hangar at Burbank airport so you skip the long lines and intimidating security checks that you deal with when flying commercial. You basically arrive about 15 minutes before the flight, sit in a lounge and board when the plane arrives. The on-board amenities are great too with a full bar services along with healthy snacks. After this relaxing flight we spent the day exploring San Francisco and headed back to LA in the evening.

Dinner at Nobu Malibu

We spent our third day exploring downtown Los Angeles and headed to Malibu for dinner. We’d heard really good things about Nobu Malibu so we decided to check it out. We loved this Japanese restaurant. The view from the patio was great even at night. The service was amazing as well, probably the best I’ve had at a restaurant.

Rodeo Drive

How could I go to L.A. and not visit Rodeo Drive right? I was totally having a Pretty Woman moment here. I absolutely loved this part of the trip. We had a great time walking down Rodeo and checking out all the posh shops. Throughout this trip we also treated ourselves to some stylish rides. For Beverly Hills we rented a Porsche using an app called Turo. It’s an affordable and convenient way to rent a car of your choice.

Another highlight of this trip was the food. We literally ate so much all the time. My favourites were fish tacos, happy hour treats and of-course a hamburger from In-n-Out! We also checked out the rooftop restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria. I really enjoyed this rooftop as it had awesome views of the city and the hills.

I hope you enjoyed our trip highlights. Have you been to California before, if so what was the best part of your trip? Leave a comment and let me know.

Dubai Diaries Part 5: High Tea at Burj Al Arab

Tallest atrium in the world

Selfie before heading up to the Skyview Lounge

Welcome bubbles and dates

Shrimp salad

Quiche

Savoury sandwiches

Lemon sorbet

Sweet treats

Burj Royale – signature cocktail

View from the top

My trip Dubai was probably one of the most memorable adventures I’ve been on. The last post in my Dubai Diairies series is all about my High Tea experience at the most world’s most luxurious hotel the Burj Al Arab.

High tea at the Burj Al Arab was quite an experience. This hotel is probably the most opulent and luxurious place I’ve ever seen. In order to get inside the hotel you either need to stay there for a cool price of $1900 CAD a night (based on booking.com) or have a reservation at one of their restaurants. There’s security at the gate to verify your reservation, so sneaking in is not an option 😉 Once inside you can take some time to admire the lobby and the gold detailing on practically everything. If you wait long enough you can see the fountain show – the hotel has a large fountain on the second floor of the lobby which keeps a beat and periodically shoots a huge stream of water up the at ceiling. This ceiling is probably the highest I’ve seen in my life and the hotel is said to have the world’s tallest atrium.

I made my reservation for tea at the Skyview Bar but there’s also a high tea serving at a restaurant called Sahn Eddar which is located in the atrium of the hotel. The Skyview Bar is located on the 27th floor of the hotel. I’d highly recommend the Skyview Bar over the atrium restaurant as the view is spectacular. However there is a minimum age requirement and you have to be 21 to enter the bar.

The high tea consisted of 7 courses (pictured above) and came with glass of sparkling wine. I was happy to get a window table which needs to be reserved in advance. Aside from the food and tea offerings the Skyview Bar also has a list of signature cocktails. I opted for the Burj Royale as it was reminiscent of my favourite cocktail the Kir Royale. I really enjoyed my high tea at Skyview Bar and it was truly a unique experience. It’s definitely a once (or twice) in a lifetime thing and I would strongly recommend it 🙂

 

 

 

Dubai Diaries Part 4: Desert Safari

 

You can’t go to Dubai without going on a desert safari! On my fourth day in Dubai I decided to be really adventurous and go out to the desert! This excursion was so much fun! There are many different safari companies to choose from and you can easily book your excursion ahead of time, in fact I’d highly recommend it. I booked mine through a personal contact but you can find desert safari packages online.

My excursion started around 3pm in the afternoon, typically a desert safari can last about 6-8 hours depending on what activities you select. We were picked up at our hotel in a range rover and drove about a 45 mins to an hour to get to the desert. Our first stop was a well known tourist stop where you could try out some ATVs, buy a souvenir or get dressed in a traditional Arabian headdress. I decided against the ATVs as it was raining a bit the afternoon of my excursion so the sand was a bit wet. Can you believe it, I actually saw the rain in the desert?!

Following the ATV stop we headed in to the desert for some dune bashing! This was the scariest and most fun part of the excursion. Dune bashing is like being on a roller coaster ride that lasts 30 mins or more! Here’s the part where your seat belt really keeps you from being thrown around the SUV. If you have a back injury or are prone to motion sickness then dune bashing may not be the best activity for you and you can choose to opt out of it when you book your excursion and choose a package that doesn’t include it. I typically never get motion sick or dizzy on roller coasters but this experience left me feeling a little disoriented. As some of my friends were feeling a little dizzy we decided to stop and take some photos in the desert. The fresh air really helped alleviate any discomfort brought on by the dune bashing. After that it was time to head to a nearby Bedouin camp for dinner.

Our third and final stop was the desert camp. There were a number of different activities at the camp including camel riding, dressing up in traditional clothing, shopping for souvenirs and henna tattoos. We settled in for a desert BBQ dinner followed by a Tonoura Show and Belly Dancing.

I really enjoyed my afternoon out in the desert and would recommend the desert safari excursion to anyone.

Pro Tip: You can opt for a private or shared safari excursion. I chose the private package and it was $300 USD which we split between 3 people. This price included pick and drop off at the hotel in a private SUV, dune bashing, camel rides and dinner.

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Dubai Diaries Part 3: Old Souk

I’d heard that the markets in Dubai were something I should not miss! On day three in Dubai I decided to check out the Old Souk or old market. I stayed at the Radisson Blu Deira Creek which is located across the street from the creek itself.  I went for a walk in Creek Park and noticed that there were water taxis going across the creek. On a whim I decided to grab a water taxi (called an Abra) and visit the Old Souk. The taxis are very inexpensive and the ride is very pleasant. The trip over to Old Souk reminded me a bit of a water taxi ride along the grand canal in Venice. I enjoyed the architecture and the older buildings in Dubai.

Once I got the to my stop it was time to explore the market. Old Souk is truly an experience. There are so many people walking along the narrow streets lined with vendors and shops. It’s a busy place with many vendors calling out to tourists to come see their wares. You certainly get hawked at and shouted at but it’s all part of the experience. The market has many different kinds of shops ranging from spice and sweet shops to souvenir and clothing stalls. There’s also a few places to grab a quick bite to eat.

I decided to dress more conservatively on the whole while in Dubai. For my day at the market I chose a black jumpsuit from Forever 21 paired with this trendy pom pom bag. I found these cute block heels at The Bay which complemented the jumpsuit perfectly. Although it was the Winter in Dubai the sun was still out and rather strong so I decided to bring a sunhat with me 🙂

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Dubai Diaries Part 2: At.Mosphere

Forever Rose – inspired by Beauty and the Beast

First Course – Beet Salad with Chocolate Soil

Main Course – Beef Tenderloin

Signature Dessert- Sauteed Bananas with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Lava Cake

 

I arrived in Dubai on my birthday (Feb 28) and it was quite late so I decided to have my birthday dinner on March 1st. I wanted to go somewhere special. I discovered a restaurant called At.Mosphere through an internet search. Located on top of the Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world, this restaurant is on the 122 floor and is the tallest restaurant in the world!

The view from the top is truly spectacular as you look down on the night lights of Dubai.  At. Mosphere is a must do in Dubai (in my opinion). It’s literally the best view in Dubai. The restaurant contains a lounge and dining room and offers dining options for high tea, cocktails, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My birthday dinner was truly an experience to remember. The waitstaff at the restaurant are expertly trained and offer great recommendations regarding the menu options and things to look out for as you sit by the window. One thing to keep in mind is that the restaurant comes with a minimum spend. The prices are listed on the website and tables located near the windows have a higher minimum spend. A typical meal with cocktails and dessert will cost you around $300 but it is well worth the splurge. I chose a 3 course option for dinner but the waitstaff are very helpful in making recommendations according to your preferences. Our waitress had some great tips for us regarding the menu (you can choose from a 3, 5 or 7 course meal as well as a la carte options) options and even recommended a dessert that wasn’t listed on the menu. It was fantastic! She also took us around the front of the restaurant to see the dancing fountain show (located at the Dubai Mall).

At.Mosphere has a strict dress code of smart elegant and most diners were dressed in formal attire, although I did see a few gentlemen in short sleeved shirts. For my outfit I decided to go all out and wore this fabulous red gown 🙂 I figured it’s better to be overdressed than under-dressed. The moment I saw this dress in the window I was reminded of Julia Roberts’ red opera dress in Pretty Woman 😉 I found the perfect necklace to complement this dress at Unique Accessories. It added just a bit of sparkle and didn’t overpower the dress. If you’re looking for a truly unique and elegant dining experience then be sure to check out At.Mosphere at the Burj Khalifa.

 

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