On the Ground: Since Turkish Airlines joined Star Alliance in 2008, they have expanded their fleet and flight routes three-fold, focusing on bringing leisure and business travelers to Istanbul in non-stop flights from all over the world. I was lucky to be on their new Boeing 777-300ER ceremony flight, straight from the Boeing factory in Seattle to Istanbul, so we did not have the usual check-in procedures. (30/30)
Pre-flight: After finding my window seat, I began by investigating my immediate area in this brand-new plane, opening every compartment and testing every seat position; everything seemed to work just fine. The overhead compartments were very large and opened downward, allowing me to stow my bag more quickly and conveniently. The flight attendant quickly took my jacket. We pushed off from the hangar in just about five minutes. There was no wait on the tarmac, and we took off at 4 p.m. (29/30)
In-flight: Within seconds of the seat belt warning light being turned off, attendants served Champagne and orange juice. The business-class chef offered appetizers of shrimp and cucumber rolls to go with the beverages. Once I finished my Champagne, I changed into the plush slippers offered and began to explore the onboard entertainment system. Each seat has a 15-inch screen with a sharp picture and easy-to-navigate controls. There was an abundance of new-release, comedy and drama movies to choose from along with a variety of television shows and every form of music and artist. I was impressed by their export in-flight video cable that allows passengers to plug in their iPod or iPhone and stream their own music, video or movies on the larger screen. Dinner was served promptly at 5 p.m., when linens and porcelain dishes were placed on our tables. There was a choice of a traditional American dish; a pasta dish; or kebabs with baked eggplant, yellow rice and lentil soup. The entire dinner was elegantly presented and made me feel like I was already in Istanbul.
To prepare for the extreme change of time zones, the flight crew tried to create a calm and relaxing space for us. The business-class seats have a 180-degree, full-flat position that was very comfortable to sleep in although the temperature in the cabin was very warm, which caused me to become restless. The 23-inch-wide seats offered plenty of wiggle room, even with a pillow. Two hours before touchdown, the crew turned on the lights and served breakfast. The hot coffee was an excellent start to my day, and the cheese-spinach omelet and yogurt tasted fresh and delicious. Our landing was smooth, and we were greeted by many friendly Turkish Airlines employees who came to see their brand-new 777-300ER. (38/40)
The Experience: I was pleased that my 11-hour flight was enjoyable and went by quickly. The 49-inch seat pitch gave the feeling of having my own suite. Although there was no onboard WiFi service available, I was entertained by the extensive movie and music selection.
Total Score: 97/100
Accor Hotels Group announced Singapore's first Mondrian hotel will be built in the heart of the city's prominent Duxton Hill neighborhood, set to open in early 2023. The news comes on the heels of Accor's recent announcement regarding its planned venture with Ennismore, which brings together Ennismore’s know-how in building brands with creative storytelling, design and authentic experiences, with Accor’s wealth of knowledge in delivering scale, network growth and distribution.
ISN’T IT TIME? It's time to treat yourself to the vacation you deserve, and Celebrity Cruises® offers the perfect escapes. With an award-winning fleet of ships that sail to more than 300 destinations around the world, Celebrity will take you almost anywhere you want to go in style. Enjoy stunning staterooms and suites, culinary experiences imagined by Michelin-starred chefs and intuitive service. Celebrity makes sure your vacation is effortless from the start, which is why drinks, WiFi and tips are Always IncludedSM on every sailing.
Situated deep within the Scottish Highlands, just steps from many lakes and mountains, lies 57 Nord. This collection of two design-led boutique hideaways blends the region’s Norse-Gael heritage by incorporating Scottish craftsmanship, modern Scandinavian design and panoramic views into both structures.
Oslo’s Art Deco connections just grew stronger with the opening of Sommerro, housed within a historic building in the city’s West End neighborhood of Frogner. The structure itself was once the location of the city’s original electrical company, Oslo Lysverker. The conversion to urban, luxury lodging features 231 guestrooms, 56 residences, seven restaurant and bar options, and meeting and event spaces for up to 150 people. There’s also a 100-seat gilded theater and expansive wellness space, including a full-service gym and Oslo’s first, year-round rooftop pool, sauna and terrace.
At nearly 30,000 square feet, United Airlines’ newest United ClubSM now welcomes Newark Liberty International Airport travelers with its modern design, enhanced amenities, culinary offerings, locally sourced art and furniture and Manhattan skyline views. Seek airport solace at the new location in Terminal C3, near Gate C123.
Key West International Airport recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of its $100 million expansion. Roman Gastesi, administrator, Monroe County; Richard Strickland, director of airports; and others attended the ceremony and outlined details of the Concourse A terminal expansion project.
This holiday season, give your loved ones a gift from around the world to create memories that last a lifetime.
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
Lodging and hospitality company Angama announced the November 2023 opening of Angama Amboseli, an intimate, 10-suite lodge set in Kenya’s private, 5,700-acre Kimana Sanctuary, against the iconic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, located just across the border in Tanzania.