Welcome to JarvisMarcos.com, a thorough and extensive database of my travel reviews.
I fly over 100,000 miles per year in First and Business class cabins and review every new product that I try. Similarly, I review almost every luxury hotel and airport lounge that I set foot in
I book the majority of my travel using sales, promotions and a variety of other tricks - often leveraging the power of hotel points and airline miles. If I use a special technique of any kind to book a travel experience, I'll mention it in the review.
This means that hopefully you'll have all the tools you need to book your own amazing trips too!
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Back in 2016, when I first visited this lounge, Etihad was at its apex. Apartments were still a very new product and the lounge had only been open for a couple of months. The glow of invincibility surrounding this company was palpable, everybody wanted a piece of them.
The dining experience we had here would easily have cost upwards of £250 per person in a top London restaurant and would have been worth every penny!
The Park Hyatt is located on a prime stretch of white sand, alongside the St Regis, on Saadiyat Island. It is only 30 minutes from AUH or around 80 minutes from DXB airport. Although Abu Dhabi is a thriving metropolis, the beachfront area is a lot more sparse than Dubai and approaching the hotel it felt as if we were miles away from the nearest city. Quite a different feeling to the densely packed area of resorts, clustered around The Palm.
Qantas has one of my favourite First Class products in the world. I had been looking forward to stepping onto one of their A380s again for quite some time. Nothing beats that feeling of finally being welcomed aboard and taking your seat in a cabin you've been dreaming about for months on end.
The refurbishment of this lounge has been a great success. The transformation is truly remarkable. What was previously a laughably dated looking lounge has become an elegant, well lit and classy venue. The food remains as good as it always was and for a business class passenger the drinks offered are well above average. Emirates treats its business class passengers very well indeed.
As far as BA lounges go, this one is pretty good. The lounge is clean, the service is great and the variety of high quality food is truly excellent. I loved the setting of the bar but the cocktails could definitely use some work. Similarly boarding from the lounge is a nice idea but the execution fell a little flat, once we filtered into a line of Economy passengers downstairs.
Whilst this is one of the best BA lounges I've ever set foot in and nothing was massively wrong with it I wasn't wowed. When it comes to lounge refurbishment programmes, AA is very much the dominant partner in this transatlantic joint venture.
The new bedding is a vast improvement as is the new tableware. The food is not much better than the old Do&Co catering on this route but then again LHR-JFK is BA's flagship service and has always received an extra level of care and attention.
If BA can roll both the Do&Co and White Company partnerships successfully, fleetwide, they will go some way to undoing all of the harm that has been done to their reputation after the last three years of cost-cutting. Add in a new seat due in 2019 and then the only issue that remains is the poor quality of the lounges.
BA don't exactly have an easy road ahead of them but for now at least, it appears that things are moving in the right direction.
Realistically this might be a Top 10 First Class product but in order to crack the Top 3 BA would have to make some serious changes. Of course, this would probably come at a higher cost, with less opportunities to redeem miles for the experience.
BA's A380 First Class offers an experience truly worthy of the name. It is very pleasant, relaxing and comfortable. However BA falls short of being truly spectacular. Given what other airlines are doing with their flagship products these days, it seems a shame that a once great airline isn't aiming to beat the world.
Having luxuriated in the sheer opulence of the Singapore Airlines cabin on this route, I would gladly pay 2k+ to fly to Singapore with them. The memory of each flight with SQ is a delight that lasts a lifetime.
Would I pay £2k to fly BA? No chance.
The cabin decor is drab, bland and uninspired. The only thing about the experience that feels premium are the cheese biscuits and the Fever Tree tonic. There is close to zero storage space around the seat. Aisle seats are completely exposed, no more private than economy. Middle seats can lead to bizarre and uncomfortable sharing scenarios, whilst window seats require stepping over other passengers in order to escape.