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 and have reviewed the majority world's top onboard products for this blog. If you think that premium cabin travel is out of reach, read on to learn the tricks I use to fly around the world.
I also love visiting luxury hotels and resorts. I have reviewed a wide variety running the range from Park Hyatts and Ritz Carltons bookable with hotel points, right through to some of the world's most exclusive brands like Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and Aman.
Finally, I am a firm believer in the fact that the purest expression of a culture is in its cuisine. I love to eat and have written at length about some of my favourite restaurants around the globe.
If you want to explore our planet in style, you've come to the right place.
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When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.
When I saw an airfare from Tunisia to Vietnam flying a combination of Air France and China Southern (both for the first time!), with the possibility of an extended stopover in Paris for £650 per person, round trip - I booked instantly. No questions asked.
There's a lot to like about Garuda as an airline but one thing is abundantly clear. The Business Class is so good that First feels slightly disappointing in comparison.
The tableware, hot towels, food, drink and amenity kit are almost identical between the two products. The IFE is just as antiquated in both cabins and is well overdue for an upgrade. I found the service to be professional and well intentioned but somewhat lacking in warmth. The crew didn't go out of their way to make proactive suggestions or engage in conversation in the way that I've encountered on JAL, ANA, Cathay or Singapore - airlines which are natural competitors for Garuda.
I had high hopes for this lounge. Garuda are regarded as one of the best airlines in the world and are famed for their ground services. Having a PA throughout the pre-departure process is fantastic but once you get to the lounge it all starts to unravel quickly...
This may well be the most insanely luxurious trip I have ever taken, using miles and points.
From the moment that I first laid eyes on the press release for Etihad's apartments, I knew that I would have to find a way to try this product as soon as humanly possible. The idea of having a bed, armchair, fridge, lamp, widescreen TV, wardrobe and vanity area for every passenger in First Class was just unimaginably amazing. I had a horrible feeling that Etihad would limit availability or crank up the price to some ridiculous level (like Singapore did when they first introduced suites to the market), however none of that turned out to be the case.
We were first off the plane - as were our bags - so we found ourselves in a totally empty customs and immigration hall. After a quick check of our passport and putting all of our bags through a scanner (because the resorts sure as hell don't want you bringing your own booze when they can charge you $30++ for a glass of wine ;) ), we were out in the warm breeze of the arrivals area.
Whilst I've previously gushed over the amazing atmosphere at Koh Samui airport (very close to another favourite Conrad property of mine), the seaplane dock at MLE takes the whole holiday airport concept to another level!
Everywhere you look there are excited people smiling, laughing and taking pictures. Everybody is dressed for the sunny weather, including the pilots and ground crews who sport a uniform of flip flops and shorts alongside their short sleeved shirts.
Our Conrad host walked us to the edge of the dock and offered to take a picture for us before sending us on our way.
Although it was quite disappointing to find out that we hadn't been allocated an upgraded water villa, we got a beach villa which perfectly matched the criteria that I sent to the hotel ahead of our stay. I was seriously impressed by this, as I can only imagine the degree of complexity that goes into giving every person the room they want, especially when people are constantly coming and going and the resort stays at near 100% occupancy throughout the high and shoulder seasons.
In fact, there is a $1Million prize available to anybody who can prove the underlying mathematical theorem for solving (and indeed fully explaining) this type of problem
During our stay at the beach villa, our island host Naeem kept in constant contact with us. Each morning at breakfast he would check in with us to see if we had any activities planned and whether he could organise any dinner or lunch reservations for us. On the first morning he asked how we slept and I mentioned the super loud air conditioning plant next to villa 208. He said he'd ask the engineers if there were any issues and would report back.
One of the major advantages that the Conrad has over other Maldivian resorts is its sheer size. There is undoubtedly a charm in being able to walk around your entire island resort in five minutes but I imagine that after a couple of nights things start to get pretty boring.
With ten different bars and restaurants to choose from, all with their own unique identities and cuisines, the Conrad does not suffer from a lack of options. There are also tennis courts, two infinity pools, numerous watersports and several beaches, as well as a house reef.
If you are staying in a beach villa you'll be located on the Main Island whilst the majority of the water villas are across the water on the Quiet Island. Either way, you'll probably find yourself moving back and forth between the two islands throughout your stay, although most people tend to have a favourite...