Long-Time-No-See

It’s been a very long time since I last blogged and a LOT has happened since then. My last post was in November, I had just come back from Abu Dhabi after I had an infection in my ankle and it was clear I had to recover a little bit longer than I wanted. Instead of staying with my friend again, I decided to spend some time with my parents, my sister and her nephew back in the countryside in the house where I grew up in. Staying with my parents wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be and my nephew is absolutely adorable. It was good to be back ‘home’ even though it doesn’t feel like home again. Oh well, the joy of being a serial expat.

In November I went to New York City for two weeks, where I stayed at the Ritz Carlton Central Park. It was freezing cold in NYC and unfortunately I got yet another infection in my leg. This time even more serious and painful, than the time in Abu Dhabi. I had to fly back earlier than I wanted and went straight from the airport to the hospital. Unfortunately, it turned out that my metal plate on the fibula was infected and I needed another surgery. Just before Christmas I had another surgery in Germany where they removed the infected plate and immediately I felt much better. It’s still a long process and it’s almost May and I am still attending physic therapy two to three times a week. Just before the surgery, I signed a contract for a position in Dubai and I finally moved to Dubai in January.

Ever since I moved to Dubai, time is flying. I can’t believe it’s already the middle of May. Even though I only work part-time and have plenty of time off, it feels like I never have time. Don’t get me wrong, I am finally doing a lot again. I am socialising, I make an effort to wake up early (Well, I have a foster cat now and six kittens, so that definitely helps waking up) and I just got back into my healthy eating and living well routine. Dubai is fantastic and it was one of the best decisions to have moved here.

Ever since I left London at the end of 2014, I really struggled to blog regularly. After changing my name and rebranding in the summer of 2015, I lost my motivation to write. Of course, with the new domain my DA went down to 1 and it seemed to take forever to increase it again. I would like to start blogging again for the right reasons and not just for how many followers I have. I might be not in London anymore, but Dubai is such an exciting city to live in and I want to share more of my life in the UAE with my mainly UK based readers.

photo-1469570348996-2360676bf827

My ankle is healing very well. I am actually walking without crutches since the end of September and life is slowly getting back to normal. It’s been over three months since my accident and in the beginning of October I moved to Abu Dhabi to start working again. I couldn’t wait to return to work. Well, actually I started a new position.

One week without work is great, two weeks without work are even better, but towards the end of my recovery I started to get bored and even depressed. Maybe to be off work for ten weeks is awesome if you don’t happen to have a broken ankle and can actually do something, but under these circumstances it was hard.

Life when you are unable to walk

Most of the two months I spent at home, resting on the sofa and watching TV. I bought Apple TV and binge watched Netflix, slept a lot and gained half a stone. The first weeks after the second surgery were especially difficult. Luckily, I was in a position where I could afford to hire staff and even though I couldn’t find one person to do everything I needed, I managed to find two people to split the duties and it worked very well. While one focussed on the housekeeping aspect of things, the other person took me to the doctors, shopping and whatever else I needed to do.

Getting independent again

I was very happy when I could more things by myself after the first five-six weeks. At the beginning of September I managed to fly to London for four days and spent time with George and Maximilian. It was such a wonderful time and I was very upset when I had to leave them again. The main reason to fly to London was to see one of the best endocrinologist in London. I got some shocking news, but I feel like I am in good hands now and we started a treatment plan that hopefully will improve my PCOS.

While I didn’t enjoy being in Germany, I was happy to spend two months with my closest friends before I head off to Abu Dhabi. I knew visiting them on the weekends wouldn’t be as easy as it was when I lived in London or Lugano. It’s been over three weeks since I moved to Abu Dhabi and what can I say? I am actually back in Germany looking for a new position. Why and what’s next for me will be covered in another post soon.

Le Meridien Jakarta

A trip to Indonesia is high on my travel wish list. Of course, my first stop would be Jakarta. Should I return to the Middle East for work again soon, it’s very likely that I will visit Jakarta next year or in early 2018. I am not a budget traveller, staying in hostels is not my first choice and I try to always stay at the best hotel I can afford. I like to get the best value for my money.

One of my hotel choices in Jakarta would be the Le Meridien, it is top rated for the best value in the city and the Le Meridien brand is worldwide known for its excellence.

 

Le Meridien Jakarta Lobby

Le Meridien Jakarta

The Le Meridien Jakarta is located just opposite the World Trade Centre Building, in the heart of the Jakarta. The hotel offers large and modern rooms with free Wi-Fi. It features a large outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and five different dining options where you can choose from French, Lebanese to Japanese cuisines. Guests can enjoy live musicians at the Tiga Puluh Music Bar and restaurant.

 

lemeridien-jakarta-premierroom

Location

The hotel is only one kilometer from the Plaza Semanggi Shopping Mall and just over two kilometers from Plaza Indonesia Shopping Mall and Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall. As you can see, if you love shopping, you won’t be disappointed staying at Le Meridien Jakarta. The airport is only a 50 minute drive from the hotel.

 

Amenities

swimming-pool-night-time

The 396 rooms all have a traditional Javanese charm, a comfortable luxury bed and a spacious bathroom. The contemporary decor is equipped with the latest technology and free High Speed internet access. The Health Club with the newest fitness equipment is open 24 hours and the hotel also features a Le Méridien Club Lounge designed for business travelers.

 

LE SPA

health-club

Don’t you agree that every great hotel has to have a spa? Of course a spa is not missing at the Le Meridien Jakarta. After a stressful day at work or a long journey, you can unwind at Le Spa. Enjoy the variety of body treatments or massages. The adjoining Health Club is split over two levels and while you run on the treadmill you can overlook the swimming pool and beautiful gardens. The spa and health club also hosts a juice bar. It’s the perfect place for the health and beauty conscious. Of course facials and body scrubs don’t miss on the treatment list.

 

Jakarta

Jakarta Skyline Indonesia

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and the most populous city of Indonesia with over 10 million inhabitants. Etihad flies from London Heathrow to Jakarta with a stop in Abu Dhabi, the airline’s head office location. Many of the tourists in Jakarta are domestic tourists from all over Indonesia, it also often serves as the stopover for foreign visitors continuing their journey to Bali. There are museums around the Merdeka Square and Jakarta Old Town. Some of the tourist attractions are Taman Mini, Ragunan Zoo, Indonesia Indah and Sunda Kelapa. There is also the Ancol Dreamland complex on Jakarta Bay, including several theme parks. The local currency is Indonesia Rupiah (10000 IDR are roughly £0.63).

A stay at the Le Meridien Jakarta starts at 1666000IDR (£105) and you get great rates booking through Traveloka . You can check the website here.

Have you been to Jakarta? What did you think of the city? Please let me know in the comments below. 

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom Last month  I went to Paris for a day to meet Lix. I needed to have a change of scenery. I was inside most of the two last month with a broken ankle. Was that easy for me and my mood? No! I always have to do something. A rest for a day or two is great, but after that I am bored. It was a good idea to go to Paris and I looked at hotels that were central, not too big and whose interior design pleased my eye. In the end I chose my favourite, the boutique Hotel R de Paris in Rue de Clichy, not too far from the famous Moulin Rouge and the Palais Garnier Opera House.

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris was completely renovated in 2013 and brings together tradition and modernity ‘in the spirit of a chic Parisian apartment.’ I absolutely fell in love with the interior design and it’s by far my favourite hotel room design. I stayed at a lot of amazing hotels in the past and while their interior design has been great too, this is how I would design my bedroom at home. It comes with a lovely sized bathroom and a separate toilet.  There is a lot of mosaic in the bathroom and I am usually not a fan of mosaic. If it’s done properly, it looks amazing, but the mosaic trend has become so popular it often just looks tacky. However, the interior designer at Hotel R has done it just right. Take a look for yourself!

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

The bathroom

The bathroom offers an Italian shower with an LED chromotherapy system, dressing gowns, slippers and a range of luxury welcome gifts from Hermès, heated towel rails and of course a hair dryer. The toiletries smell so good, I actually took one set of them home.

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

I stayed in one of the Executive rooms on the fifth floor. I was lucky to have a room with its own balcony overlooking Rue de Clichy and Rue Moncey. The executive rooms are between 20-25m² and are all equipped with a high-end 180x200cm bed. The bed is so comfortable I really didn’t want to get out of bed. Unfortunately Lix’s coach got into Paris very early and I had to wake up at 6am. Next time in Paris I will not wake up much earlier than check out time. Every room has its own individual remote control heating and air conditioning, that’s a big plus for me as I love to have the AC on full-blast. It’s a non smoking hotel.

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

Hotel R de Paris - Executive bedroom

And last…

If you are planning to visit Paris, I can only recommend you staying at this hotel. Considering hotel prices in Paris, this upmarket boutique hotel is very reasonably priced. I paid 156€ for my night at the hotel. The staff at the hotel have been incredibly helpful, friendly and made my stay a very pleasant one. Would I return to Hotel R de Paris? Bien sûr!

Dubrovnik Croatia

A holiday in Croatia has been on top of my travel wish list for quite a while now and I actually planned to go for a few days in August, but then I had an accident and broke my ankle, meaning I wasn’t able to go anywhere. I never thought about going to Croatia, until a few years ago, when I saw an amazing trailer for a yacht and party holiday. Croatia with all its little islands is beautiful, there is something for everyone, whether they want to enjoy the nightlife, the nature or the Croatian cuisine. My dream holiday would be to stay on a boat and go from island to island, staying in a different place every night. My friend spent the summer doing exactly that and let me tell you, the pictures she took were breathtaking.

Island hopping in Croatia

What I love about Croatia is the beauty of all the different islands along the rocky coastline. Croatia has more than one thousand islands. Every island is different and when I go on holiday in Croatia I would love to island hop. One of the most popular island hopping route is from Split to Dubrovnik, visiting Brač, Hvar and Korčula on the way. It’s quite easy to do in that order and it also lets you see the best of Dalmatia. Several ferries take you from Split to Supetar on Brač, which is known for its white-pebble beach Zlatni Rat (Golden Cape), a known windsurfing site just outside the resort town Bol. However, Zlatni Rat is over-popular and if you prefer it a bit more quiet, Lovrečina Bay is a great alternative.

Hvar Island Croatia

From Brač you can take a daily catamaran from Bol to Jelsa on Hvar, from there you can take a bus to Hvar Town that is known for its compulsive mixture of Renaissance architecture and nightlife. Another catamaran service that runs every day, takes you from Hvar Town to Korčula. Korčula is known for the medieval towers and walls fortifying its harbor. The town’s beaches include Vela Przina, a wide crescent that’s popular with families, and Pupnatska Luka, a beautiful turquoise cove.

Korcula Island Croatia

From Korčula you can choose a catamaran or a bus ride to Dubrovnik. Visiting Dubrovnik will be a spectacular climax after all the other amazing little islands. It certainly is a great way to end your holiday in Croatia.

How to get to Croatia

It’s quite easy to get to Croatia. Daily non-stop flights depart from London to Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Split and Pula with British Airways, Easyjet and Ryanair.  I am sure a holiday in Croatia is an experience nobody will ever forget. I can’t wait to finally go to Croatia. This year it looks rather unlikely as I am also moving to Abu Dhabi next month, but it’s definitely happening next year.

Have you been on a holiday in Croatia? Where did you go and did you like it? Let me know in the comment box below. If you happened to have blogged about it, please leave your links as well. I am looking forward to hear about your experiences.