Saturday, 22 November 2014

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Travel with kids - Packing tips and preparation




I've been asked quite a few times "how easy is it travelling with kids?" and my simple answer to that is its all about Preparation. Being prepared is the key to making your holiday run somewhat smoothly. 
Here's a slightly different blog from me with some packing tips for kids.

The first time I took my little one on holiday outside the UK, he was 11 months old and it took a lot of prepping. He's a few years older now and our holiday preparations gets more exciting the older he gets. 
I'm going to share with you some of my tips and preparation rituals and list some of the items we take along to make our holiday smoother.


1. Get a fun holiday countdown app.
This sets the mood for a fun holiday with kids. I use WeeMee vacation app, which you can download for free, you can also create your own avatars (mini - you) and dress them up how you want. works a charm with my son. All links below.



2. A fun travel luggage
Get a fun travel luggage that your little one can pull along at the airport, it makes children feel more involved. You can get a Trunki, or a Skyflite animal theme luggage.  It sets the right holiday mood for packing. The trunki also doubles up as a ride on, so you can wheel your child along when they get tired of walking.





3. Go shopping together for the fun stuff
We make a date out of it and go shopping together for the fun stuff, my son chooses all the fun items himself, this gives him a sense of involvement and also decision making from an early age; and you're also making fun memories at the same time.

We always pack the following items
- beach bucket and spade,
- inflatable beach ball, arm bands, swimming rings for smaller children
- bubbles (its the simple things that kids enjoy)
- Freesbies
- water-splashers
- fun swim gear



Sunday, 6 July 2014

Anantara the palm Dubai



My recent trip to Dubai this year was to the gorgeous Anantara the palm.





we kicked off the trip with the usual family shenanigans at the airport; which for me comprises of entertaining the toddler, keeping the Mr happy and that all important airport selfie.



We arrived at the hotel quite early due to our early flight into Dubai; on arriving at the hotel we were chauffeured  in by the doorman and our luggage's were immediately collected from our airport transfer. Good service after a long flight is always greatly appreciated.

The Anantara brand is a Thai inspired brand and absolutely everything about the hotel has a Thai feel to it. This is the first time I have stayed in a villa style hotel and I was swayed by the overall ambiance of the hotel.

At reception, we were greeted by a lady dressed in full Thai attire and also given some cold tom yum soup to cool down with.The reception area was gorgeous and the flower arrangements were very warm and welcoming.








          
   Tom Yum soup

       


Friday, 4 July 2014

Anantara the Palm Dubai - part 2


Following on from my first blog about Anantara the palm. Anantara The Pam Dubai - Part 1






After check in and a quick snooze we headed to the pool area; there are quite a few sections to the pool area, a shallow kids pool, adult pool and a swim up drinks bar in the center of the main pool; the pool area is big enough that you don't feel too claustrophobic. 

You also have the additional options of  swimming in the sea, or using the more private lagoons by the villas.

Pool pic



Villa Lagoons - play area 



The loungers are very comfortable and in the afternoons you are offered ice lollies to cool down from the heat. 

Sun loungers



Cabana life 




There is a beach directly linked to the hotel grounds at Anantara, from the beach you can see distant views of the popular Atlantis hotel and the Dubai city skyline. 

Beach


Thursday, 12 June 2014

Noodle House, UAE


One of My favourite spots to eat in Dubai is Noodle House. I'm a Thai food lover kinda chic. Give me Noodle house any day and I'm good to go :)

The offering at Noodle House is very authentic and the presentation matches the standard.

Noodle House Dubai Mall


Menu

Chef In Action 


Noodle house offers both indoor and outside seating so you can choose to dine indoors or watch the world go by outside as you eat ; not advisable at 40 degrees heat, but great for cooler months. :)
From the outside seats you can also see glimpses of the fountain show at Dubai Mall.

Spicy BBQ starter 


Thai Green curry

Black pepper beef


Cocktails :)


Whenever you visit the UAE try out Noodle House, they are in various locations across UAE such as Doha, Abu Dhabi and Muscat. I've also spied a few new locations opening soon in Cyprus and even Soho London. :)






Tips:
- Pick up the entertainer Dubai book it has BOGOF vouchers on all main meals at Noodle house. (Contact me if you require vouchers or would like to purchase the whole book)


Contact for more info:
 Instagram: @toluInWonderland (Follow for more pics of my adventure)
Email: toluok@gmail.com
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO4r92bMzXxQMIsL2VBcwrg


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Madinat Jumeirah Dubai - Al Muna Brunch


Friday Brunch in Dubai is not the usual 'tea and sandwiches' affair and it's definitely not for the faint hearted. Be warned; its dine, chatter and drink till you drop :):)

I've been to the Al Muna brunch in Madinat Jumeirah a few times and its one of my favourite's in the Winter. October weather is the best for the perfect outdoor brunch!

Cue the live music, Unlimited cocktails, Food from different restaurants covering a range of nationalities; from Thai and Chinese to English and Arabian and many more.All I can say is its Food heaven. #FoodforDays




Cocktails, red velvet and Creme Brulee .... Yummy


1st Round from Zheng He's Restaurant


errm is that for me.... yes please! :)






The views are equally as stunning at Madinat Jumeirah; I loved looking out into the waters and enjoying the calmness of the waters as the occassional Abra (wooden-boat) sailed by.

#iphonography





Sunday, 27 April 2014

JW Marriot Marquis - My visit to the tallest hotel in the World


My last trip to the UAE was an exciting one, while staying at Fairmont the Palm, we ventured out and explored JW Marriott Marquis hotel where the bruv decided to spend a couple of nights.
JW Marriott Marquis is currently the tallest hotel in the world; so let's just say history was made here with family. Love them to bits #FamilyIsEverything


Reception



On entering the hotel, you walk into a massive reception space with large flower arrangements and very colourful ornaments.  The hotel is definitely gorgeous but it had more of a business vibe to it; It was missing the feeling I usually get when I walk into a family hotel but I still loved its ambience.


After check-in, which I have to say went very smoothly and swiftly, we went up to the room which was equally as gorgeous as the rest of the hotel. Definitely my kind of luxury :)





Bedroom







The bedroom has a good size free standing bath - I'm a sucker for free standing baths. hehe :) :)

Bath


Shower room



JW Marriot Marquis provides a free shuttle to a few locations such as Mall of the Emirates and also Dubai Mall;  which is the biggest shopping mall in the world. The free shuttle is always a nice touch while exploring any city. Dubai mall is a 10 minute journey from the hotel which is very handy for shopping and dining. 


After check-in, we made our way down to Noodle house in Dubai mall. Their Thai Green curry is to die for......

Yummy - The way to my heart is definitely through a good Thai Green Curry :)

        


That ends my short review of the tallest hotel in the world. GoUAE #wholeNotherLevel.

I 'm already getting my excitement on as holiday season is nearly here again :):) check my blog in the next few weeks to find out where I'm off to next. xo




If you have any questions get in touch. :)

Email: toluok@gmail.com
Instagram: toluInWonderland
twitter: @ToluInWonderlan





Tips for JW Marriot Marquis Hotel UAE:
- Taxi's to get to the hotel from the Airport cost us approx. 50AED about £9 for a 30 minute drive. (FYI - Taxis are very cheap in Dubai)
- Be prepared for the 500AED hotel holding deposit per night so it doesn't come as a surprise, the money doesn't leave your credit card but its held and available again approx. 48hrs after checkout.This is the norm in most hotels when you travel abroad.
- The Entertainer Dubai book gives you 1 night free when 1 night is purchased. Bargain.  https://www.theentertainerme.com/Travel
- Dubai Mall is only about 10 mins away from the hotel, handy for lunches and dinners and also for entertaining the kids.
- Flights to Dubai from London HeathrowStansted from £270 upwards.... dependent on airline and peak/ off peak travel prices

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Melia Dubai


In my last post, I mentioned I'm now a city hotel convert after visiting Jumeirah Creekside Hotel. So I figured why not sample another 5* Dubai city hotel and see what it had to offer in comparison, so I ended up booking a few nights at Melia Dubai.

Melia Dubai hotel is the first Spanish hotel in the UAE; and its a very gorgeous hotel on the inside. Come on my journey with me and see what I have to say about our stay at this hotel. 

We stayed at Melia hotel for a couple of days when it had just opened. We initially had a bit of trouble locating the hotel as the entrance is located via an underground carpark, but we got there in the end :) :)

When we got to the hotel we were welcomed by a very friendly doorman who took our luggage and directed us to reception via a downstairs lift. I have to say his service with a smile made up for the time spent trying to locate the entrance of the hotel. I wasn't sure what to make of this when we first arrived ... But I kept an open mind. :) 

We had a Junior Suite Level room and it was definitely more than enough for 3. Hubby, Lil munchkin and myself. I could tell a lot of effort had been made on the inside of the hotel to compensate for the location. The finishing touches and bespoke decor of the hotel was superb. I'll let the pictures do the talking


Bedroom with King bed and pillow menu

 



Junior suite Lounge/Dining Area

Lounge Area

Rollaway bed and TV embedded inside the Mirror. Cool




There was a TV embedded inside the mirror which was really cool. The flag reflection on the mirror is from the embedded TV which definitely added a slick touch to the suite.

Free Standing Bath... lush

Free Standing sink


Breakfast was provided on the Level floor. A good spread was provided including fruits, ham, Cereals, Cakes and so on. I managed to grab a few shots below. #iphoneography




                                                                                                             

View at Breakfast.... Being a city hotel the views weren't the best. But the atmosphere in the breakfast room was very relaxed.

The hotel also has a Rooftop pool with panoramic views of the city and very relaxing cabanas.

We had to entertain ourselves and the lil munchkin during our stay at Melia, so we ventured out into the nearby areas and found a few activities to entertain the lil Munchkin. 
We ventured out to the Creek park a few times and watched the Dolphin show, the creek park also has camel and pony rides and a very impressive children's science world.


while waiting for the taxi on the ground floor we took a few snaps




Dolphin show at creek park... FunTimes


Outside the Creek park. Science world.



In summary we enjoyed our stay at Melia,  it definitely was a change to what we are used to in Dubai, but the modern feel and atmosphere made us feel right at home. 


This hotel provides a good location if you want to be closer to the Historic parts of dubai such as the Gold/Spice souqs, Creek park or the Dubai International Airport.










If you have any questions simply get in touch. 
Also if you would like a blog written about your hotel get in touch..... :) 

Email: toluok@gmail.com 
Instagram: toluInWonderland
twitter: @ToluInWonderlan




Tips for Melia Dubai Hotel:

- Taxi's to get to the hotel from the Airport cost us approx. 40AED about £6 for a 15 minute drive. (FYI - Taxis are very cheap in Dubai)
- Be prepared for the 500AED hotel holding deposit per night so it doesn't come as a surprise, the money doesn't leave your credit card but its held and available again approx. 48hrs after checkout.This is the norm in most hotels when you travel abroad.
- The Entertainer Dubai book gives you 1 night free when 1 night is purchased.  https://www.theentertainerme.com/Travel
- Melia Dubai website usually has stay offers on top of the already reasonably priced rooms, and if booking directly you get some credit per day to spend in the hotel. http://www.melia.com/en/hotels/united-arab-emirates/dubai/melia-dubai/index.html
- Flights to Dubai from London HeathrowStansted from £270 upwards.... dependent on airline and peak/ off peak travel prices.