Iguazu is one of those places where it’s easy to choose your accommodation. Not too many options, and one that’s stands out from the rest: the Belmond das Cataratas. Located on the Brazilian side and within the national park, you get privileged access to the falls before the park opens to the public. Keeping in mind how crowded the falls can get during the day, that’s a very big plus. Don’t bother booking a guided tour of the falls though, it’s unnecessary. Unlike the Argentinian side where you have to choose from many different paths, on the Brazilian side there is only one easy and clearly marked path that starts right in front of the hotel. In my next article I will debate the pros and cons of each side of the falls. But for now let’s focus on the hotel itself.
What I liked:
the location right in front of the falls and within the national park
the amazing pool (especially at night)
the hotel’s very nice tropical garden and its beautiful birds
the great breakfast on the poolside (and caipirinhas a bit later)
that feeling of serenity and loneliness right next to a highly touristic attraction
What I disliked:
the somehow old-fashioned and not so over-the-top rooms (nice bathrooms though)
a strange moldy smell in the rooms…!
the lack of signalization in the corridors (that place is huge and you get easily lost)
Buenos Aires has the right size for a nice few days’ city break. Quite European (especially for the architecture), yet with a very South American soul. I recently spent there 3 days and hired a guide (Jessica) from BuenosTours. Can’t but recommend her! Let’s see the places I discovered.
Duque hotel in Buenos Aires may be the accommodation with best value for money I’ve ever been to. Located in the neighbourhood of Palermo, it’s a charmingly small and cozy boutique hotel. City center is easily reached with a metro ride.
What I liked
the intimate atmosphere
the lovely garden and sitting area around the pool
the beautiful entrance
the location in trendy and quiet Palermo
the friendly and smiling staff
What I didn’t like
for 130 USD per night, there really isn’t anything to complain about…!
Having had an outdated business class product for long, KLM finally caught up other main airlines with lie-flat seats and fresh-looking business cabin (on selected aircrafts).
Their Dreamliner’s herring-bone configuration is great for privacy (+ direct aisle access from every seat!), but not that nice when travelling with a companion (where BA’s “yin yang” configuration is perfect). KLM’s use of beautiful dutch Delft Blue pottery for tableware is a nice touch. You also get a miniature porcelain house at the end of the flight as a souvenir (which is in fact a small bottle of liquor, and quite tricky to open…). I found the crew very friendly (especially in comparison with TK). Food wasn’t the best I’ve had on long-haul business class, but totally decent. During service try their signature Flying Dutchman drink (great as an aperitif!). Access to self-service drinks during flight could be improved (it was easier to use economy class’ self-service bar than finding an attendant to ask for a glass of water… ). One big minus was the non-functioning wi-fi (both ways). I’m totally ok with the fact there isn’t wi-fi on a plane, but if you decide to offer this feature you have to make it work properly.
Whereas I wouldn’t pay for KLM’s old business class, the new one is worth the extra money on long flights. It’s funny though how fast long-haul business class products are evolving. Lie-flat seats haven’t been around for that many years and some airlines (I mean Delta and Qatar Airways) have already announced the upgrade of their business class cabin with suites (previously found only in Middle Eastern carrier’s first class)…! Let’s see how far this evolution will go.
Escape the hustle and bustle of hectic French Riviera to the charming village of Mougins, only a few minutes away from Cannes on a hilltop. There French chef Denis Fétisson runs two different restaurants and I recently had lunch at one of them, called La Place de Mougins. Lunching in gourmet restaurants is a great way to enjoy those fine venues’ fancy menus in a faster (and less expensive) way. At La Place de Mougins dishes were as good as they look, so let the pictures talk: