On the Ground: The ticket agent was prompt and courteous. Within five minutes of lining up at the Cathay Pacific first-class check-in, I was en route to security. (30/30)
Pre-flight: Focused on televised news in the lounge, I’d lost track of time when a hostess reminded me it was time to board. After quickly passing through the First/ Business gate and into the Boeing 777-300ER, a lovely attendant led me to my First Class Suite, an impressive piece of airplane real estate stretching the length of three windows and enclosed by a waist-high wall. As she hung my jacket and stowed my carry-on in my suite’s floorlevel cupboard, I realized that with no overhead bin, the high-ceilinged space felt lofty. After proffering a flute of Champagne along with an embroidered pouch containing indigo blue Shanghai Tang pajamas and slippers, the attendant introduced the features of my seat. An ottoman doubles as a seat for visiting colleagues when not incorporated into this big bed in the sky. A drop-down armrest expands the seat width and serves as a side cocktail table. The fully adjustable seat with its four-way lumbar support and massage feature easily accesses techie gizmos, including a pull-out 17-inch TV with premium headphones to enjoy the on-demand audio-visual programs, 110-volt plugs for my computer, plus ambient mood and reading lights. (29/30)
In-Flight: Soaring over clouds while feasting on caviar and smoked salmon, fragrant mushroom soup, grilled lamb chops with mustard cream sauce accompanied by a heady Domaine Jacques Prieur Beune Champs Pimont Premier Cru, I began to feel slightly decadent, like a lord in my own condo in the sky, with servants. Satiated, I worked a while on my computer before donning the elegant pajamas and reclining into movie-watching mode. After three films and a snack of fragrant barbecued duck noodle soup, I transformed my seat into a cushy flat bed measuring 36 inches wide and 81 inches long — big enough for a 6-foot-3-inch guy.
Coddled by a couple of pillows and puffy duvet, I dozed off to wake six hours later to the aroma of brewing coffee. With 55 minutes to landing, I was willing to forgo the last refreshment. “Eat, you need energy for Hong Kong,” insisted the motherly attendant, reminding me that all meals are prepared to order as she fastidiously organized my choice of savory chicken.(39/40)
The Experience: After a 15 ½-hour non-stop flight that left me rested beyond belief, Cathay Pacific’s first-class service proved as perfect as long-haul flying gets. Passengers on connecting flights could refresh in the lounge with a shower or bath in a private cabana.
Total Score: (98/100)
The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”
The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Pride Month is in full swing and to celebrate the community, make a colorful cocktail everyone will enjoy. These colorful ingredients will get the party started during Pride or any time of the year. Start this recipe the night before to create the rainbow ice cubes.
Up Norway, Norway’s travel curator, partners with sustainability experts to offer travelers a new tour. The Discovery Route, called the “world’s most sustainable journey,” combines personal wellness with the wellness of the environment.
Driving into Dallas during a rainstorm, we were eager to arrive at our destination. The valet parking at Marriott Dallas Uptown is underground and ideal for inclement weather. We took the elevator to the lobby and made our way to the registration desk. The staff wore masks, but still managed to convey a warm greeting. On the wall behind them hung a colorful piece of art made partially from reclaimed wood that depicts neighborhood scenes. The new hotel covers an entire block in a residential area and opened earlier this year.
Business travel is on the brink of returning, according to three new reports. The latest monthly Traveler Confidence Index developed by Travel Again shows business traveler confidence soared in May, with 42 percent now fully ready to travel, up from just 20 percent in April. An additional 31 percent are planning some type of business travel for summer, with 74 percent willing to travel domestically for business in the next 90 days. However, employers may not be as ready, with only 22 percent of business travel respondents with current business travel plans.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Although travel restrictions are beginning to lift, many Americans aren’t ready to travel yet, but still want to get out and explore something new. WalletHub, a personal-finance website, recently conducted a study to find out the best cities for a staycation this summer.