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Dubai by Way of LondonMay 14, 2008 By: David Eisen
Please pardon any nonsensical or discombobulated language as yours truly is blogging to you live from the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel, one of two Jumeirah properties in London, on no sleep. That's right: A seven-hour flight from Newark, NJ, to London was done without one wink of shut eye.
It's not that bad though; I was flying, for the first time in quite a while, on a plane that actually felt nice and left a nice taste in my mouth after disembarking. "You're joking?" you may ask. But I'm not. In 2008, there still are some carriers that make you feel human; not like a piece of cargo.
I am speaking of Silverjet, the all-business-class carrier that currently operates three planes with destinations that include Newark, London and Dubai (I will eventually end up in the latter). Think of SIiverjet like this: It's any business-class cabin, but spread out through the entire length of the plane. In all, there are 100 seats.
From the get go, Silverjet provides an easy and fluid flying experience. Your first stop is Silver Lounge, where you can log on to free WiFi; sit down and read a newspaper; or enjoy any beverage of your choice with a snack (I had a Coca-Cola and a couple finger sandwiches, if you must know).
From there, it's right to your plane and off. Onboard the environment is very pleasant as each pod is outfitted with its own entertainment system and a seat that can contort in any amount of positions. Silverjet employs a mobile entertainment device that you can place on your dinner tray. I actually didn't mind the fact that you had to set it up yourself, connect the adapter and plug it into the outlet. Only problem: When it was time to do this, the cabin was darkly lit, and I saw many people struggling to set up their unit. The units have multiple movies and TV programs to watch, all of which you can pause, rewind or fast-forward to your heart's content. I watched Dan In Real Life, a romantic comedy starring Steve Carrell. Not a bad watch, especially if you love the sappy stuff. Not that I do.
We were given three choices for our dinner meal. I had a lovely salmon fishcake with wilted spinach that was served on a restaurant-quality plate. Great touch!
I would say that of the 100 seats onboard, maybe 70 were filled. That would be great on a commercial liner, but matters not when you already have enough space. I hope their loads climb higher, or maybe it was just a slow night.
In any case, we made our way to Luton Airport, then took a ride into London, which felt almost as long as the flight.
Our first stop was the Carlton Jumeirah Hotel, then the Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel, which is right around the corner in Knightsbridge. The former has 220 rooms and 14 suites and is the definition of full-service luxury, with a large health club, two restaurants and even an indoor pool. For your high-roller clients, book the President's Suite at only $12,000 per night. Though book far in advance as in many cases some sort of Prince is occupying it.
Its sister property, Lowndes, is a bit more understated, a boutique by definition. We had a beautiful lunch there, which would have been even more enjoyable had I not lost my appetite somewhere over the Atlantic.
Yours truly is off to Dubai this evening to check out more Jumeirah properties. Temperatures are forecasted to reach around 105 degrees; so if you don't hear from me within the next day or two, chances are I've melted. 'Till next time...