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  • Hotels,  luxury travel,  Travel

    The Five Best Hotel Loyalty Schemes

    As brands fight for our ever diminishing travel dollar, and travelers become more budget savvy, there has never been a better time to be a member of a hotel loyalty program. While you can expect discounted room rates and a chance to earn points for free nights,  not all programs are created equal – some offer more freebies for your membership. Here are my top five loyalty schemes and what you can expect to gain from them: Ritz Carlton Rewards/Marriott Rewards/Starwood Preferred Guest Now these three giants of the hotel industry are in the process of merging, you can link your accounts for extra earning power as well as match…

  • Hotels,  luxury travel,  Qatar,  Travel

    Finding (and Packing) the Perfect Carry On For Your Next Getaway

    For many, choosing your next vacation destination is the easy part. Finding your perfect carry on suitcase or luggage? And what to pack? Well, that’s as difficult as avoiding any social media/real life conversation about Game of Thrones. Your travel bags are a special kind of accessory – they stay with us through thick and thin, though flight delays and lost in transit moments, through big city streets and far flung destinations; vacations and staycations. With a couple of decades of traveling under my belt and many, many hits and misses, I now have my packing and carry-on routine down pat. My essentials are: Headphones – sometimes you just want…

  • Five Reasons Why...,  Hotels,  Ireland,  Travel

    Five Reasons Why Dublin Makes the Perfect Summer Getaway

    Without delving too far into the implications that this story makes about my current age, I last visited Ireland around 22 years ago as a young, starry-eyed Australian lass. I took the ferry from France, it was a long and choppy crossing but it was very exciting to get a stamp in my then freshly minted passport. “Where are you from then young lady?” the Immigration agent at Rosslare asked. “Australia? Well, it’s changed a lot since when your ancestors probably left here!” (His correct assumption being that my ancestors were Irish and convicts). Fast forward to July 2017 and I am standing at the Immigration counter of the Dublin…

  • Hotels,  luxury travel,  Travel

    Seven Hacks to Ensure You Have the Best Hotel Stay Possible

    I have to be honest, I am a five star gal. I love a good hotel and all the trimmings that come with it. And who doesn’t? But we all know the five star life comes with a five star price. And while I don’t mind paying for the experience, I also want to ensure I get value for money. With hotels facing competition from the likes of Airbnb and similar, they are working harder than ever to get your business. I’ve compiled my seven best “hotel hacks” for getting the best price, a nice room and even some extra benefits for your next stay: Pay for Club Floor Access As an…

  • Doha,  Hotels,  Qatar

    Four Great Eid Staycation Options in Qatar

    Not everyone has the luxury of being able to travel this Eid period. Work, family and life can get in the way. While I am fortunate to be able to travel this year (destination to be revealed soon!), I will still be adding a couple of days in Doha on at the end to ease myself back into work and enjoy the city. Luckily there was some great offers around at the moment, with hotels in the city and beyond keen to welcome locally-based guests in light of current issues. A couple tips before you book: Call the hotel and ask if there are special offers or packages. You may…

  • Cafes,  Doha,  events,  food festival,  Food Trends,  Hotels,  Qatar

    Future State – A Round-Up of New Doha Restaurants to Look Forward to in 2017

    So that escalated quickly. The year 2016 I mean. There I was, all fresh faced and excited on January 1 and now, here I am, bedraggled and bereft at the end of December. A lot happened in 2016 on the Qatar foodie scene. Some great,some not so great, and some a little bit of both. While it was a stellar year on the opening front, we have a lot to look forward to in 2017. Even Frommers has listed Doha as a top destination in 2017, citing its diverse dining scene as a reason. Here is my round-up of what I am excited about in 2017 (besides Netflix new schedule): The New Belgian Cafe I have…

  • Cafes,  Cheese,  holidays,  Hotels,  life,  Love,  Qatar,  Restaurant Review,  Restaurants

    Money Matters – Making the Most of Doha’s New Look Dining Scene

    You can put it down to a long and slow summer break, the timing of Ramadan this year or maybe just fatigue, but people in Doha aren’t spending what they used to on going out. I’ve been hearing stories of near empty dining rooms for brunch at some of the best restaurants in town. And, being actually able to get a seat at happy hour. Despite what they tell you, times are tough. We all know that the lack of enthusiasm for spending money on the niceties of life is more deeply rooted in the Great Reckoning of 2016 – when oil prices plunged and some hard business decisions were…

  • cocktail view qatar
    Doha,  Food,  Food Trends,  Happy Hour,  Hotels,  Promotions,  Qatar,  Restaurant Reviews,  Restaurants,  Travel,  wine

    The Happiest Hours in Doha – UPDATED

    *Due to popular demand this post was updated in May 2017. Hic  My love of Happy Hours extends back to my university days (sometime in the 1900s) when the Wentworth Bar at Sydney University offered $1 cocktails. They were brown and sticky and frankly lethal, but a great deal. From what I remember. In a city where a good meal can cost upwards of QR500 for two, Happy  Hours are the way to have a great night out and still have some change for the car ride home. I must applaud some of the big ticket hotels in this city for embracing this idea – based on the theory that customers…

  • Accompaniments,  Cheese,  Cooking,  farmers cheese,  Food Trends,  Hotels,  India,  Media,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Paneer to the Action

    The thing about cheese, is that it’s actually really simple. Milk, a souring agent and time is all it takes to produce a simple white cheese. No complications. It’s when you start adding things like flavor, smokiness, rinds that things get complicated. Kind of like relationships. Except they don’t have rinds.Well, you know what I mean. I’m glad to have introduced my friends to the power of paneer and Indian cheese. It’s to the point where we actively seek it out, like DVD copies of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. We had a couple of brushes with this cheese on our recent trip to Mumbai. This included a unique paneer salad…