Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts gets between the sheets with launch of new ‘Sleep individually different’ room concept on World Sleep Day

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The world’s first pocket spring bed with adjustable firmness is the star of the Swiss hotel company’s all-new ‘Sleep individually different’ room category, launching on 17 March

  • Personalised comfort
  • An individually different bed
  • Complete darkness
  • Total silence

Ivarsson added: “The rooms offer a tailor-made sleep like no other. The new beds and our customised rooms adopt the latest technology to help guests personalise their environment, creating optimal conditions for deep sleep. As the first global hotel operator to introduce a room category that offers a bespoke sleep experience, we are an industry pioneer, catering to consumer demand for personalisation to a level never witnessed before.”

Mattias Sörensen, the founder and CEO of YouBed also believes that Mövenpick’s new room concept is revolutionary within the hotel industry.

“Studies reveal that nothing has a greater impact on customer satisfaction than a comfortable bed. Given that all guests have different comfort needs, it is groundbreaking that Mövenpick now offers rooms with a one-bed-fits-all solution. Each guest can also fine tune different parts of the bed, to achieve a really perfect personalisation”, he said.

The ‘Sleep individually different’ rooms, which are priced at just €15 more than a standard room, offer several complimentary amenities such as sleeping masks, ear plugs, lavender pads and black-out stickers that cover lights on electronic devices. Guests in ‘Sleep’ rooms can also tuck into free slumber-inducing goodies such as herbal teas and Mövenpick chocolate.

To create the ideal environment for rest, the rooms are located in quiet areas of the hotel and are kitted out with night curtains for total darkness and special high quality natural bedding. Neck pillows and allergy-free bedding are available too.

More information: www.movenpick.com/sleep

Celebrate the beautiful culture of Oman with Atana Hotels

Atana Shereen Shabnam

For ultimate relaxation, Oman is the best place to head out to in the Middle East – from here in Dubai, it usually takes me a minimum of 6 hours to get Muscat so going to Musandam or Khasab is even faster. I love Khasab and Musandam as it reminds me of the tranquility back in Fiji and now I have more reasons to enjoy peaceful weekends with the new Atana Hotels in the area.

Travellers will be delighted to know that Atana Hotels will operate in Oman, focusing on traditional Omani hospitality at an international standard, in the Governorate of Musandam, Khasab, Oman. With two diverse hotels, Atana offers a gateway to the delights of the Musandam peninsula for families and adventure-seekers and a window into the diverse culture and traditions of the community.

Guests at Atana Hotels will find that the culture of Oman, interwoven with contemporary elements is celebrated from the design and layout of the buildings, clustered around a courtyard and ‘oasis’, to the Omani flavours in the restaurant, enhanced by the cultural activities on offer in the hotels.

Enjoying colourful landscapes, spanning green mountains to azure seas; its welcoming people and their communities, Atana Hotels supports local initiatives and the community in a variety of ways.

Newly introduced for 2016 are weekly cultural nights at Atana Musandam, featuring Omani artists and musicians showcasing their work with an Oud player and local ladies demonstrating the preparation of traditional Omani desserts, with the opportunity for guests to sample the unique flavours as well as learn how to prepare the recipes handed down through generations.

Toiletries provided in the rooms and suites are sourced and produced in Oman by Al Husn Toiletries, and the laundry bags are hand-crafted by local women from the Khasab Women’s Association, supporting the colourful textile cottage industry which is still very much part of the local community.

For added ambience, Omani’s in traditional dress light torches around the courtyard at sunset, guests can relax over coffee and dates whilst listening to the performance of an oud player, indulge in henna painting and breathe in the scented aromas of the bakhour (perfumed incense) spread around the courtyard to greet the starry nights of the region.

 

Egypt Tourist Authority Launches New Campaign

 

ETA-Arab Campaign - Red Sea Riviera 1

I love travelling to Egypt and some of my most memorable holidays have been in Assawan, Luxor, Horgada, Sharm Al Sheikh and of course Cairo. My favourite will always be the Nile cruise though. To drive more people to experience the charm of the beautiful, history laden nation, the Egypt Tourism Authority (ETA) has unveiled a new campaign titled “This is Egypt” (#thisisegypt),

In a change from previous ETA campaigns, #thisisegypt will be digitally-led, focusing on peer-to-peer advocacy and under-pinned by digital media spend, whilst traditional advertising methods will form a secondary promotional level.

Targetting the Arabic traveller from the Middle East region, #thisisegypt will harness the power of digital in a region where internet penetration is 5.8% higher at 48.1% than the world average* and social media sites such as Facebook play a significant role in 88%** of internet users’ daily lives.

The campaign focuses on personalising the Egyptian experience by encouraging the wider Arab audience to consider the variety of holiday which can be enjoyed in Egypt from a vibrant city break in Alexandria or Cairo to luxury beach getaway in Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh. The campaign will highlight past-times which particularly resonate with an Arabic audience from shopping and dining to enjoying luxury accommodation and exciting nightlife.

ETA-Arab Campaign - Cairo

The campaign will highlight Egypt’s touristic destinations into four main geographic attractions: the Nile Valley, the Red Sea Riviera, the White Mediterranean and the Western Desert. The four destinations will be promoted across different audiences and seasons based on each of the targeted markets’ unique attraction points.

The hashtag, #thisisegypt, originally began as a grass-roots movement developed by Egyptians, but now will be adopted and refined by the ETA to boost tourism by portraying an experiential and authentic image of the country to the world.

The three-year campaign will focus on attracting and engaging diverse audiences, with a focus on millennials*** who are driven by personal experience, passion and adventure. Recent studies have shown that millennials take a higher number of trips annually compared to other age groups, driven by the aforementioned factors. Millennials also have the highest level of influence in their respective communities, which indirectly affects the travel decisions of their peers – upon which this campaign heavily relies.

The campaign comes as Egypt continues to work around the clock to enhance safety and security procedures to ensure the well-being of all travellers. The country recently passed an assessment by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with inspectors from Russian, Dutch, Emirati and Italian airlines, and is also collaborating with delegations from the United Kingdom, Germany and Russia to implement the strongest security measures possible. As it launches the #thisisegypt campaign, Egypt has pledged to do all that is possible to provide all visitors – internal and external – with a safe and enjoyable experience in the country.

A Jazzy Culinary Affair

Abu Dhabi is hitting all the right notes with the launch of JazzArabia the Middle East’s first jazz radio station at p&c by Sergi Arola, creating a unique ambience at the hotel as the new restaurant complements food and beverage offerings with distinct sounds that gets guests in the mood before their arrival with the sounds of the night and then following them home.

Top radio talent broadcast live from a custom-built studio inside this Spanish tapas restaurant by acclaimed two-starred Michelin chef, Sergi Arola. Through broadcasting a blend of mainstream, Arabic and Latin jazz music, JazzArabia can be streamed live or via the JazzArabia app, which is available for download from the app store on all smart devices.

As a Fijian I love dining with live easy music and welcome JazzArabia.com bringing a new element to the overall dining experience that perfectly complements the sharing concept at the restaurant.

The quirky infusions served at p&c by Sergi Arola certainly goes well with the casual, easy listening blend of music. With the growing social dining concept in the Emirate, trying new experiences with food and music is always welcome for food connoisseurs.

JazzArabia will also air the works of jazz legends, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and the more contemporary Michael Bublé and Diana Krall, meaning there is something for everyone. Leslie Nachmann, a world gold medal winner at the New York International Radio Awards, will be chief presenter. She currently presents on JazzRadio Berlin and on regional and national TV in Germany.

Artists featured on JazzArabia include all-time greats Frank Sinatra, alongside such contemporary jazz stars as Michael Bublé, Diana Krall and Natalie Cole. Crossover artists will include Amy Winehouse and Sade.

Latin greats will include Gilberto Gil, Brazil’s former culture minister, Tito Puente, Astrud Gilberto and Chick Corea. Arabic jazz will feature such artists as Ahmed Abdul-Malik, Anouar Brahem and Rabih Abou-Khalil. Rather than having separate programmes for each genre, JazzArabia will mix the different music styles.

p&c by Sergi Arola is a signature restaurant at Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi. A first in the Middle East for the Michelin-starred Chef Sergi Arola, the standalone restaurant brings an eclectic experience, pitting cutting-edge modernity against a traditional backdrop of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Shereen Shabnam

NEW EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF FOR TRADERS HOTEL, QARYAT AL BERI

Traders Hotel Shereen Shabnam

Food lovers in Abu Dhabi can now head to Traders Hotel to experience culinary delights by Ricky Rimenda Agustiana, the new Executive Sous Chef who brings more than seventeen years of varied culinary experience to the capital from across the globe.
Prior to the appointment he was at Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, at the award-winning Pearls and Caviar. With previous Shangri-La experience Ricky knows the standard that has to be upheld throughout the company and outlets.
Ricky comes to Abu Dhabi with five years of experience from Dubai, UAE, where he worked in a luxury 5-star resort and excelled in his role. Before relocating to the Middle East, Ricky worked in Asia and the USA where he gained invaluable culinary experience. Ricky started his career in Singapore and Indonesia, before relocating to New York. Following two years in the Big Apple, Ricky was promoted to Chef de Partie in the sister company in Florida. Let me know what you thought of his culinary creations.

Ocean Spray Craisin Recipes for Ramadan

As the editor of 3 Menus of the Master coffee table cookbooks, I love getting recipes and would one day like a career that keeps me longer in the kitchen. This Ramadan, check out some awesome recipes from Ocean Spray – delectable!

Shereen Shabnam Craisin Muffins

Cranberry muffin

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tbs Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Egg (large)
  • 4 tbs Butter
  • 1 Cup Cranberries

Method

  • Keep the butter at room temperature to soften
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Mix butter and sugar
  • Slowly add eggs until all items are properly bonded
  • Add all dry ingredients
  • Add cranberries
  • In muffin tray decide mixture into 1/4 cup batches
  • Bake for 15 minutes

Cranberry and Oatmeal Cookie

Ingredient

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 2 cups Instant Oats
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda

Method

  • Keep the butter out at room temperature to soften it.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Sift the flour and baking soda.
  • Combine all ingredients together in large bowl and mix with hands.
  • Roll small balls with dough and place on baking tray with baking paper.
  • Press down the balls and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Shereen Shabnam Goats Cheese and Craisins Chutney

Goat Cheese and Cranberry Chutney

Ingredient

  • 4 Apples
  • 5 Cups Cranberries
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Dates
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/3 Cup White Vinegar
  • Baguette Bread
  • Goat Cheese

Method

  • Chop onion, apples and dates.
  • Sauté onion, apples, dates and cranberries with butter in a deep pot.
  • Add sugar, spices, vinegar and orange juice to pot.
  • Bring to boil then reduce flame and let simmer until chutney consistency
  • Cut baguette bread into thin slices and sprinkle with olive oil.
  • Bake in the oven until dry.
  • Cut goat cheese into rounds.
  • Put goat cheese on cracker and broil in oven.
  • Garnish with chutney.

Cranberry and Eggs “En Cocotte”

Ingredient

  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbs Cream
  • 2 Slices of Beef Bacon
  • 1 tbs of Cranberries
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Chop the bacon and cranberries.
  • In a pan cook bacon and cranberries together.
  • Strain bacon and cranberries and let it cool.
  • Whisk eggs, cream and seasoning.
  • Mix all ingredients together and put in an individual oven pan.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Shereen Shabnam Salmon with Craisin Salsa

Roasted Salmon with Cranberry Salsa

Ingredient

  • 1 Cup Cranberries
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1/4 bunch of coriander
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 Salmon filet

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • Chop onion, cranberries and coriander.
  • Mix with olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Season salmon and seal on the pan.
  • Finish cooking salmon in the oven.
  • Garnish salmon with cranberry salsa.

Cranberry and Almond Rice Pilaf

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Cranberries
  • 1 1/2 Cups Basmati Rice
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 Cup Slivered Almonds
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

  • In large pot sauté onions with olive oil until they become translucent.
  • Add cranberries and rice and stir until rice is covered in oil.
  • Add chicken broth and seasoning.
  • Bring to boil and cover.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and keep until rice is cooked (about 22 minutes).
  • Stir in almonds.
  • Garnish with cranberries.

 

 

New summer offers by Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah

Shereen Shabnam Kempinski-Palm-JumeirahIts hot and I just feel like staying in a luxurious room all day fasting, reading and chilling while fasting – so I started looking at local hotel offers not that my work schedule will allow even a day off but loved the pictures from Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah – They just unveiled new offers for the summer for guests from the UAE and other countries including lower prices on suites and villas and free breakfast.
The offers, which are valid until September 2015 , also involve large discounts on services at the SPA and other facilities as well as internet, children’s club and free transport to and from Emirates Mall.
The hotel is ready to receive families and other guests from the UAE and the remaining GCC countries to enjoy summer and spend quiet holidays in a luxurious atmosphere, according to the hotel’s general manager Mr Alessandro Redaeli.

Alessandro Redaelli (2)Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah, the fourth royal-style building on Jumeirah Palm, comprises 244 suites and pent houses, has an advanced SPA, a large number of restaurants and bars, other facilities, as well as a clean 500-metre beach strip. If I do decide on a staycation in the next 2 weeks, this place is definitely an option.

Kempinski Palm Shereen Shabnam