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A Much Needed Staycation at Ajman Hotel

We ended our August with a much needed staycation (uh huh, this is post is long overdue, sorry!). We intentionally didn't plan for an Eid holiday and postponed it a week later, just in time for our anniversary.

Where to stay in Thailand: The Great Residence Hotel, Bangkok

Most of you may have already known that I'm no longer based in Abu Dhabi. Yes, I just recently transferred to Dubai and as mandated by the UAE government, a change of visa entails an exit from the country. And so there, just a couple of weeks ago, I just came back from an unexpected week-long trip to Thailand, and that's what I'll try to share with you. Please don't get bored.

I was notified that I had to exit the country just a day before my visa expiration, so I had to book my flight and hotel in no time. Since it's an unexpected trip which is definitely not part of our budget, I rummaged the internet for the lowest fares and a number of low-cost carriers like Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, and EasyJet, or a travel through American Airlines, to name a few, came into the picture.

Also, since I was pressed for time, and it was my first time to visit Thailand, Kriska suggested that staying in a hotel close to Bangkok airport, with airport transfer service if possible, is the most convenient option. Keeping that in mind was what made us decide to book a room at The Great Residence Hotel.

Staycation at Arjaan by Rotana

While everyone else was busy starting the work week, I spent the first two days of it last week just as how I like it, with pure rest and relaxation. Special thanks to Arjaan by Rotana in Dubai Media City! :D

It was also very timely that my girl friend, Cat, and I haven't seen each other for almost half a year, so I tagged her along for our  much needed catching  up. And we all did this at the comfort of a luxury suite!

Dinner at Liwan Restaurant

For my first food trip in Dubai for 2016, we had it at Liwan Restaurant. Mark took me out on a dinner date to Liwan Restaurant one Friday night, special thanks to the dinner voucher that Al Ghurair Rotana gave him. :p

We've both been to the restaurant and have already experienced their buffet during Iftar, which we both liked by the way, so I was more than excited when Mark brought me back for another dinner buffet.

All-Day Dining at Murjan Cafe in Nour Arjaan by Rotana

Our Romantic Escape in Nour Arjaan came with a complimentary dinner at Murjan Cafe. Breakfast and lunch were also offered to us for complimentary during our stay.

We arrived at the hotel past lunch time and the almost two-hour travel surely made us hungry, so we went ahead to have our late lunch at Murjan Cafe after we got our things settled in our suite.

Romantic Escape at Nour Arjaan by Rotana in Fujairah

When I first got to the UAE a little over a year ago, it has been my goal since then to explore all its seven emirates. And although I've already been to Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah, apart from Dubai, I know that I'm not even a quarter of a halfway there since there are still a lot for me to explore. It is also still a work in progress considering Mark and I have more important things to prioritize. So when an invitation to try out the Romantic Escape at Nour Arjaan by Rotana in Fujairah came my way, I'm sure you know what happened next. :)

The romantic bed arrangement in our Premium One-Bedroom Suite

After an almost two-hour ride from Dubai, we finally saw the rock mountains adorning the roads to Fujairah. Located at the heart of the city, amidst Fujairah's exclusive areas, Nour Arjaan by Rotana is one of Rotana's luxurious properties in Fujairah. It is ideally located close to several tourist attractions such as Fujairah City Center and Fujairah open beach.

We were greeted courteously by the staff when we arrived at the hotel. Check-in was a breeze and we were already on our way to our suite in no time.

Arabian Flavour at the Arabesque Cafe

Mark and I have been to a couple of Friday Brunches already, but we haven't been to Theme Night dinners yet. So when an invitation to try one of the Theme Nights from Arabesque Cafe came our way, we gladly welcomed it with big appetites. :p

Photo by Eduard Daling

Arabesque Cafe is the in-house restaurant at Arjaan by Rotana in Dubai Media City. It offers delectable worldly buffets in their special Revamped Theme Nights. We got to try out the Arabian Flavour which is every Thursday night.

Photo by Eduard DalingPhoto by Eduard Daling

Photo by Eduard Daling

Burjuman Arjaan by Rotana: Our Home for a Weekend

Living in Dubai for over a year now, I've noticed how almost everything seems to be fast-paced here. People also seem to be too preoccupied with work. New structures, new attractions, and innovations seem to sprout day by day, all in an instant. Even weekends seem to just go by in a snap and I would always have that where-did-the-weekend-go-conversations with myself in my head.

I must admit that I miss having weekends at home, my HOME. I miss having laid back weekends with my family, if not having weekend getaways with Mark. Weekends where I could just sit back, be lazy, relax, eat and enjoy life's beauty. But of course, I know that I cannot always have that here anymore, because we have our priorities now. And just planning about a getaway is already a struggle mainly because of the lack of time. Going beyond the city is also not really an option for us. So when an invitation for a weekend escape at Burjuman Arjaan came my way, I gladly accepted it with open arms.

Free Uber Ride to the Royal Iftar at Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai DeiraCreek


As the holy month of Ramadan is a time of sharing, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek has yet again came up with another offer which will surely allow guests to enjoy all the comfort a Royalty deserves.

Photo by: Alex Jeffries | Instagram: @alexjamesjeffries

Iftar at Liwan in Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana

A couple of weeks back, I got to indulge into another lavish Iftar buffet, this time at Liwan restaurant in Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana. I was actually invited to the Iftar night for bloggers and media, but it's a weekday and my schedule didn't permit. Good thing Ferry was able to arrange a night for Mark, Cherry, and I on the following weekend.

Royal Iftar at Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek

As part of the hotel’s 40th anniversary celebration, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek invites guests to enjoy the vast buffet for Iftar. Mark and I have already tried their Friday Brunch and we enjoyed it, so we obliged when we got another invite for their Royal Iftar on the second night of Ramadan.

We already had our Friday Brunch at The Fish Market and Shabestan (will share more details on my next post), so we chose to have our Iftar at Minato this time. Minato is one of Radisson Blu's restaurant which takes pride of their unsurpassed hospitality and their authentic Japanese cuisine including hand-crafted sushi and teppanyaki.

Indulge your Palate this Ramadan at Medley Restaurant in Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre


Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre is ready to nourish you and your loved ones with a variety of offers to enjoy this Holy month of Ramadan.

Gather your family around the table and relish the Ramadan feast for Iftar and Suhoor prepared by Executive Chef Andreas and Chef Mama’s pan-Arabian delights, traditional sweets and savoury delicacies with a Moroccan twist. With its mouth-watering buffet and best family- friendly setting in town, Medley is the ideal place of choice to experience the true spirit of the month.

Prolong your experience at Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre’s Azure lounge by choosing your favorite flavour of Shisha from 13 different options while gazing over Old Dubai’s skyline.

Kids Are Kings Family Brunch at the Fish Market in Radisson Blu

Mark and I had such a fun experience during our dhow cruise dinner care of Radisson Blu Hotel in Deira. So when I got another invite from Radisson Blu, I knew that it would be something not worth missing out on.

We were again invited by Radisson Blu Hotel in Dubai Deira Creek a couple of weeks back to try out their Kids Are Kings Family Brunch at the Fish Market, which offers a delectable sea-worthy selection inspired by Fish Markets of Thailand.

IMG_3631 IMG_3632
Mark was still nursing an injured leg, so I had to walk him through the buffet spread first so he can choose. I was only expecting plates of seafood not until I saw the rest of the spread. The brunch is apparently a collaboration among Radisson Blu's restaurants and Fish Market is just one of the hosts.

The Big Brunch at Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara

I got to stay in Abu Dhabi for a week during my first few months here in the UAE. So I somehow got a glimpse of the city and I was also able to visit the World's Largest Indoor Theme Park, Ferrari World (alright I totally forgot to write about that, so watch out for the details in my next posts :D).

Mark has also been telling me about how Abu Dhabi is the richest among the Seven Emirates, with it's oil resources and all, but I must admit that Dubai has left me totally flabbergasted more the moment I set foot on it than Abu Dhabi has.

Dinner Cruise at the Al Mansour Dhow in Radisson Blu

Mark and I do not really go out on "romantic" dates. You know, all the dressing up, dinner  by candle light, slow soothing background music, and a romantic setting, it's just not our thing. Although I, I mean the hopeless romantic in me, must admit that from time to time I'd picture ourselves in that setting too. Ehem! Ehem!

It was also only once that I decided to arrange a "romantic" dinner for us via a dinner cruise along Manila Bay when Mark and I were still back home, but it was postponed once until it was finally put to a halt and never materialized because of the bad weather. You can read the story about it here and here. :) And since then, I decided to just let go of the idea and just stick with our usual dates. But I'm still not closing my doors. Hi Mark! Hahaha! :p

So imagine my delight when I got an invite from Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, for a dinner cruise on board their Al Mansour Dhow. And of course, the hopeless romantic in me suddenly awakened and got more excited too!

So there, last Friday, Mark and I finally experienced a dinner cruise that we never got to have back then. Seeing the Al Mansour Dhow as we were nearing the Dubai Creek already got  me all giddy, more so when we mounted the vessel.

Saturday “Pik-Nik” at The Westin Dubai

Just like in every fast-growing nations, life in Dubai also seems to be fast-paced. Living here for more than half a year now, I observed that most of the people, locals and expats alike, tend to be too preoccupied with work that they almost forget to unwind, spend quality time with their families, and "live life".

And I think it's a great idea for The Westin Dubai to try to get people back to "living life" with its Saturday "Pik-Nik".

The Westin Dubai, Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, announced its new Saturday "Pik-Nik", which launched last Saturday, March 7, 2015. Mark and I were lucky to be part of the launch along with other families. Seeing the place immediately made me feel as if we were transported to a different site, far from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

City Hotel in Ras Al Khaimah

When it finally dawned on me that I will have to live in the UAE, I told myself that aside from Dubai where I'm currently living, I should also be able to explore the rest of the 7 emirates. Of course I know there are still a lot of things that I have yet to explore here in Dubai, so my goal of visiting the other emirates will have to be achieved over time, if not sooner, especially considering Mark's busy schedule.

So when Mark told me about a body building competition that he plans to join in is being held in Ras Al Khaimah, I was more than excited! :D

Ras al-Khaimah is a Persian Gulf Arab emirate and a member of the United Arab Emirates. Its name means "Top of the Tent". The emirate is in the northern part of the UAE, bordering Oman's exclave of Musandam. It covers an area of 1,684 square km. ~Wikipedia

The competition had events on 2 consecutive days so Mark took charge in booking a hotel for us to stay in Ras Al Khaimah and chose City Hotel.

Cinnamon Restaurant in Suba Hotel

Although it was hard for me to leave my family behind, I must admit that I also got excited because of the new experiences and adventures that are in store for me here in Dubai---the culture, the people, the places, and of course, the food!

I'm very excited every time Mark asks me out on lunch or dinner here in Dubai as I'm always looking forward to share our dining experiences here in my blog. For me it's already a privilege to get to experience dining in different restaurants here in Dubai through our lunch and dinner dates, but I can't believe that there will be a lot more to it!

IMG_1353Lunch for Two in Suba Hotel's Cinnamon Restaurant

Although I've already had a number of invites for events and restaurant reviews back in the Philippines, it never crossed my mind that I'll be doing that here in Dubai. So imagine how giddy and thrilled I was when I got an invite through email for a hotel restaurant review! I immediately tagged Mark along and confirmed our presence for a lunch at Cinnamon Restaurant in Suba Hotel last Friday, January 2.

Rambler Garden Hotel in Tsing Yi, Hong Kong

We got back to our hotel after a whole day of fun at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Rambler Garden Hotel was where Missy Diva Travels booked a room for three for our stay in Hong Kong. Although our hotel was not located at the heart of the city, it is overlooking the Rambler Channel waterfront and is just a few minutes away from the airport and very near the MTR.

After confirming our reservation, we then went up to our room. Upon seeing the hotel's receiving area, which was just plain-looking, I somehow had an idea on what to expect in our Superior room.

Eagle Point Resort

Mark and I were at our house one Tuesday afternoon when he suddenly felt the urge to hit the beach. Being someone who always wants to plan things, I initially wanted to beg off, but since I also didn't want to get into an argument with Mark (and I was also excited to hit the beach), I just gave in. :p

We were choosing between Subic and Batangas, but because we've been to Subic countless of times already, we both agreed on the latter. After searching the net for some resorts, we booked and paid online and then found ourselves all set to head to Eagle Point Resort in Batangas the day after.

Follow @kriskamarie