Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kaleidoscope, Atlantis, The Palm

How everybody's past few weeks? I hope you had a great time. Mine was the usual stuff - office, home, my mini-ME, a few errands here and there. A new fuschia pink and black flats from Brands for less. Of course, I am still going over gaga with my Iphone 5, well not the phone per se, but Instagram. I love the editing part of it. I don't want it to be one of the food porn in instagram so I don't post  until I find something really nice. Its almost end of the first month of the year and nothing exciting with my life as yet. But I intend to make this year as fruitful as possible.
Anyway, my mini-ME, my friend and I had the time of our lives in Atlantis when we enjoyed a sumptuous meal cum sight seeing of the main attraction of the place, none other than the huge aquarium.


Here you can also find branded stores.

The best part of it all is the buffet dinner we are about to experience in Kaleidoscope.

Our table setting,

Not full enough yet - but we saw some people waiting at the entrance.

This is definitely gonna be another gastronomic binge

Love! Love! Love

She's my starter
my second favoriteplace: Desserts area
More sweets
Something fruity?
I'm only so so on Breads though

Its all about food.

Buffet is Love.

I need to walk a little outside and saw the giant seashell

The aquarium is everywhere,

Just like a palace?

Beauty everywhere. One of the places a must-see.
All the best,

Friday, January 11, 2013

Applebee's Galore

Further to my previous post, I am back with my follow-up entry about Al Ain. I want to share with you where we took our dinner after we went down from the top of Jebel Hafeet. I actually just saw the sign when we were still on the road and it was one of the common sight in Sheikh Zayed Road (SZR) that I get to see but never had the opportunity to visit and try.
So we had an impromptu dinner in Applebee's.

The name doesn't really sounds like a restaurant, right? The servers were very accommodating. I don't know if its just me, but I feel that the people here were all nice and we really get to meet a lot of friendly people in Al Ain - most of them were Filipinos of course, but there were still some other nationalities. My mini-ME may won an award for being Miss Congeniality for being so friendly and adorable. She get to talk to different people in all places that we've been. She calls every one of them her friend. So it is essential for the sometimes anti-social me to smile every once in a while when people treat her so kindly.

Anyways, the first area that caught my attention while waiting for our foods are the design on the walls. The lightings added a little drama to it.

and this old school lantern

I remember the movie "Tangled" when I saw this - arrgh! that film that we always watch at home
I also like the bar area
Oh, without further ado - I would like to introduce to you our latest food trip.
Brocolli Soup - They added cheese on top.

Far-ouT ordered for me, Strawberry Mojito (AED 23) - Fresh strawberries and mint with mojito flavored syrup, fresh squeeze lime juice, sugar and soda minus the alcohol

Unfortunately, Alcohol is prohibited in UAE. We don't have the luxury of drinking anywhere which is sometimes good but you may miss it from time to time though. There are only few places where they allowed alcohol drinking.

They've got big servings of food and we were almost full when we ordered the appetizer sampler (AED 61.00) - Mozzarella sticks, spinach and antichoke dip, cheese quesadilla grande (these contains beef bacon) and boneless wings.

This is Sizzling Asian Shrimp Stirfry (AED 65.00). Sizzling blackened shrimp top this skillet full of rice, broccoli, red pepper, sugar snap peas, water of chestnuts, mushrooms, carrots,  and bok choy. Drizzled with sweet, and spicy sauce, and topped with crispy wanton strips and cilantro.

Imagine my reaction when I saw my meal, this can be good for two. I was already full from the appetizer so I wasn't able to finish it. We brought it at home to finish - the wanton was not crispy anymore but I still finished all of it.

 Far-ouT had their Southwest Chicken Pita (AED 39.00). Its grilled marinated chicken breast stuffed and rolled in a pita with chipotle mayo, lettuce, bacon slices, and topped with Pico de gallo. Served with a refreshing avocado ranch on the side.

He also wished he didn't ordered anymore, he only finished the fries and took home the pita.
The leftovers were a treat at home. Before wrapping up our meal, we saw a bunch of entertainers roaming around the mall with music that my mini-ME enjoyed watching
Haha! Was not fast enough to capture the front and ended up with their backs already.
We still have a pending Al Ain Zoo to visit. Until next time
All the best,

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Side trip in Abu Dhabi: Al Ain Rotana, Hotel

Two days before my 33rd birthday, we were already on our way to Al Ain as part of our weekend getaway. Actually, Al Ain is not part of my Top A-List since its not one of the Emirates but rather a second largest city of Abu Dhabi but I always wanted to visit Jebel Hafeet - I heard so much about it as one of the tourist spots.
I was choosing between Mercure Grand Hotel and Al Ain Rotana, although the latter was a little bit more expensive than the former, I made reservation few weeks back from Al Ain Rotana because it is closer from most of the establishments in the City whilst Mercure was already closer to the top of Jebel Hafeet.
We arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon - the hotel was pretty busy at that time, we waited for a few more minutes to get accommodated but we weren't able to have our rooms till almost 5:00 PM. It was so far the longest waiting time ever to get check-in in a hotel. Some of the receiving staff were apologetic but we were really getting frustrated, all tired and hungry so we decided to go to the nearest mall and eat lunch. Good thing, the hotel was located in the heart of the city, it was easy for us to find food.
We got a few missed calls and was able to  receive a call saying that our room is ready to be occupied so we head back to the hotel. Finally, after few hours wasted. I got the view from afar.

I like the balcony that we have, if only we have more time to just relax and enjoy the scenery. Read a book perhaps.

This was the first place I checked when we got in, I didn't notice the welcome note from the hotel. How thoughtful. Although, this didn't appease the feeling I had earlier. Not to mentioned that I even witnessed a Customer Service Officer mutter something to the Filipina receptionist which is really annoying. Doing that to someone especially in front of a customer is not acceptable.

Anyway, on another note: like the bed?

What about the this area? Neat but nothing special.

The usual hotel. Oh by the way, Al Ain Rotana is a five star hotel.

Something tells me that being in a lower star hotel gives you more service than a five star one. Just an opinion.

I like this one - where you can put your luggage

But of course, my favorite area in a nice place is the bathroom.

I haven't showed you yet the outside right?

There is still Christmas spirit all around the area even if it is already January. The front of the hotel

A giant Christmas tree in the middle of the reception area,

and Christmas lights everywhere

A coffee shop cum bread house style? Haha

Wow the glass roof!

Grand piano.

I like the piano touch, minus the pianist. We took some photos as well and my MINI me started to play with it - someone came near us and told us not to use it, in a not so nice way. This made me annoyed all over again. I mean, come on! Hello, Customer satisfaction, if you don't want guests to use it, you should know how to say it without offending someone, I'm sure you have done this a thousand times before or is it just me?

Again - Let's just enjoy the weekend and avoid anymore annoyance from this hotel. At the pool area.

Gosh, I just forgot take photos to share with you a Jacuzzi on the side bummer, but they have one, some swing and slides for the kids too.

That is the bar which is a common sight in most hotels

Oh, I'd like to share with you a nice idea that I only saw from Al Ain Rotana hotel. The pool bar menu shaped in a diving fin.

Neat, right. After our swimming, we head back to the hotel, refreshed ourselves and rest for a while. Then we drive our way to Jebel Hafeet during the night - the best time to visit the place. We weren't lost on the way, but we just don't know where we were headed, we had a few twists and turns, even pass by a park where a lot of people spend a starless night.

Then just go with the flow and finally find our way to the top

A sight to behold from Jebel Hafeet.

You can know more about the place from this information. Just click on the photo for a better view.

We only spent a few minutes on top, it was really freezing already and our tummy is giving us the mumbling. We had our dinner in Applebee's - a restaurant that I always wanted to try but never had the opportunity to do so until now. But I will give another entry for the same on another post.

The breaksfast buffet is what I am always looking forward to, as I mentioned a lot of time already.

The main buffet area

Tea pots! I like tea pots, nice touch.

Our table setting

The floors are the coolest. Tables and feet...on the rocks!

My experience with Rotana Hotel was not the one I was expecting from a five start hotel but then again, you can never go wrong with the facilities and amenities they offer. I would still recommend you to consider them on your visit to Al Ain. Maybe, ours, and the other guests arrived at the same time as we did, was a not-so-very-often incident. I can still forget that glitch. Besides, our fellow Filipinos will always top my most accommodating and friendly people in the world.

Al Ain has a lot to offer and I still have some pending posts to blog. See you again soon.

All the best,