News Blooper

Post by Mark

Its more fun watching this without knowing what to expect so I won’t say anything about it. [YouTube]


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Al Mayass Restaurant Caught on Fire

Post by Mark

I just found out today that there was a fire at Al Mayass. I don’t know how I missed this but I guess it happened while I was in London. Hope it wasn’t too bad.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Wataniya Airways Seats

Post by Mark

Some of you requested pictures of the seats, I took some shots today on my way back. The one above is of the first class seats while the one below is of the premium economy seats. Also below is a picture showing the amount of legroom in the economy class. I am 1.86m and as you can see there was plenty of room for my legs. Also the economy class seats have power sockets.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

First flight with Wataniya Airways

Post by Mark

As I mentioned in my previous post I flew with Wataniya Airways to Dubai tonight. It was a very comfy flight since I flew first class. They are my clients so if I say they’re amazing many of you won’t believe me so I will just talk about some of their features.

When you get to the Wataniya Airways airport (Sheikh Saad Terminal) you will be greeted by a Wataniya Airways employee that will check you in while you wait in the first class lounge. When its time for you to board a Wataniya Airways employee will come to you and take you through emigration and then a private car will drive you to the plane. It feels like you’re traveling on a private jet basically.

The seats of the plane are very comfy, look great and are designed by Recaro who are known for their racing seats. First class have a very cool inflight entertainment system which consists of a huge 10.6inch touchscreen. Other than the on demand video the coolest feature has to be the fact you can plug in your iPod or any video device and watch your movies on the planes 10.6inch screen since it has RCA inputs which are located on the side of the seat. A power socket is also available. Finally you can currently send SMS’s and use your phones Internet connection while on the plane which was the first time I experience that. This is a feature available to everyone on board not just first class. Also by next month you should be able to make voice calls with your phone from the plane.

When you land in Dubai you are then guided through the airport by Marhaba employees. They are hired by Wataniya Airways for all their passengers not just first class to offer any kind of assistance needed. Overall a pretty great experience, I love their private airport. Because its just for Wataniya Airways there isn’t any kind of crowd and everything works a lot quicker. Will post pictures of the airport in a few days. If anyone has any questions regarding my experience you can post them in the comments and I will try my best to answer them.

Oh and one more thing. The duty free shop is digital, you flip through the products available for sale on your touch screen and you add whatever product you want into your cart. The flight attendants then bring you your items. I thought that was also pretty cool.

Update: Turns out in flight voice calls WON’T be available next month.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Out again!

Post by Mark

I am at the airport leaving to Dubai. I get back tomorrow morning but the interesting part is I am travelling first class on Wataniya Airways. I already know what to expect on the flight since they are my clients and so I am mostly looking forward to try their on flight features like smsing from my phone while in the air or checking my email with my blackberry. The inflight entertainment system also should be really cool. Will post pics once I get to my hotel room later tonight.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

One Nation Under CCTV

Post by Mark

I finally spotted a Banksy work while in London. I should find out where the rest of his stuff is located and go check them out live since I find this more interesting then visiting boring museums. For more details on the above work and better shots check this [Link]


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Paul Smith – 13 Park Street

Post by Mark

This is my favorite branch of Paul Smith in London (and anywhere else for that matter). The interior is very cozy and contains a lot of random items which aren’t available in any other branch. Supposedly its Sir Pauls favorite store because he gets to display and sell artifacts and products found by him from around the world. If you’re in the area (its right next to Borough Market) its worth visiting.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Review: easyHotel Paddington

Post by Mark

Last year when I traveled to London and Paris I found the hotels to be very expensive. They ate away a large chunk of the vacation money along with the plane tickets. This year with the cheap British Airways tickets there was a good chance the hotel budget would even exceed the cost of the plane tickets so I started searching for a solution. I needed an affordable hotel that had the following:

– Internet Access
– Location close to Oxford Street
– Location close to underground
– Cleanliness
– Security
– Modern looking

I found a ton of cheap hotels in London but none fit all my criteria and majority had gotten negative reviews on TripAdvisor.com. By chance I found out about a new easyHotel branch that had opened up in Paddington late last year and most if not all the reviews online were positive.

easyHotel is a no frills super budget hotel. To keep its prices down the rooms contain only two very essential things.. a bed and a bathroom. Thats it. No closet, side table, shelves, carpet, phone, mini bar, or anything else non essential. There is a flat screen TV but you have to pay for the remote control and thats the only amenity. According to the reviews online the hotel was very clean and in an excellent location so I decided to give it a shot. Four nights cost me only KD79 which is around KD20 a night. Compared to KD60 a night I paid for a normal room in an average 3 star hotel last year, this was a steal.

I took the regular subway from the airport to the hotel. It was around a 45 minute journey. I had an Oyster card which I recharged to use for a whole week (zone 1 & 2) so I paid only 1.5 pounds to take me from Heathrow to Paddington station which is a 2 minute walk from the hotel. If you don’t have an Oyster card the cost is around 4 pounds for a ticket.

When I arrived to the hotel I was given a choice of either a room on the 3rd floor or one in the basement. Since I wanted a bit of sun light I opted for the 3rd floor room. This meant I had to carry two bags (mine and Nat’s) up 3 flights of stairs since the hotel doesn’t have a lift. The bags were light on arrival so that wasn’t a problem but after all the shopping the bags more than doubled in weight so carrying them back down was exhausting and I nearly busted my knee. Once we got to the room I was actually impressed. Yes, the room is very tiny but it was spotless and bright. There was barely enough room to fit two bags side by side on the floor at the foot of the bed but even without any bags two people can’t move around the room very freely.

I liked the room and I really liked the hotel. I don’t think I can stay in the room for more than five days and with all the shopping we practically filled up all the floor space with bags but it was actually fun. We would get to the room late, watch a bit of TV, sleep, wake up early, leave the room and not come back until it was very late again. So really the room was serving its purpose. They had a special offer and gave us the TV remote control for free, there was also cheap wifi at 20pounds for a weeks use, AC/Heating was available surprisingly and best of all the hotel is a 2 minute walk from Paddington station and around 6 buses from Oxford Street stop right in front of the hotel. The hotel staff were also very friendly and helpful. Last day we were planning to take the Heathrow Express to the airport (16 pounds for a one way ticket) when the hotel employee advised us to take the Heathrow Connect (approx 6 pounds for a one way ticket). Turns out the Heathrow Connect is around 15 minutes slower but less than half the price so even more savings!

The final score I would give the hotel is a 4 out of 5. Its a very very excellent value hotel, just be prepared not to expect much from it in terms of size and amenities. I highly recommend it and will definitely be staying there again myself.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I am back!

Post by Mark

Expect a few posts about London before everything gets back to normal around here.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

London is Cheap

Post by Mark

Everything is on sale but even without the sale London is cheap. Last year when I was here 1KD made I think like 1.6 pounds but now it’s like 2.6 although I’ve noticed when I use my credit card the exchange rate is like 2.3 pounds. Our hotel room is tiny as expected but will post pics and more once I get back to Kuwait since I am posting from my iPhone now. There was barely enough room for our luggage but with all our shopping bags things have gotten more… interesting. I think two more bags and we won’t be able to get into our room but I am loving it.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter



Contribute

If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
[Email Me]