Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Review of 12 QR flights - with emphasis on food

During fall 2015 we performed the ultimate test of Qatar Airways. We took 12 flights with Qatar Airways, 11 in Business Class and 1 in First Class; 4 flights were on the Airbus A320 reconfigured with flat beds, 6 flights were on the Dreamliner Boeing 787, 2 flights were on the A380.

We wanted to test the consistency of this 5-star carrier and see if they lived up to our high expectations. We have focused a lot on the food served on board as it is one of QR’s key selling points.

This trip report is in three parts:

1.       A quick summary of our experience on each aircraft/class flown

2.       A picture report focusing primarily on food

3.       Our overall evaluation of Qatar Airways premium cabins.

1. Summary

The Dreamliner Boeing 787-800

Qatar’s Dreamliner is in a 2-class configuration with 22 flat bed seats in Business Class in a 1-2-1 configuration so every guest has direct aisle access. The economy section is in a 3-3-3 configuration with 232 seats with 31 inch of pitch and audio/video on demand at every seat.

All our 6 flights were in business class on the route Stockholm – Doha and vice versa. Despite taking 6 flights on the same route in the period of 2 months we were not once served the same menu – amazing variety – great for frequent flyers.

The Dreamliner is a very comfortable aircraft to fly on. It is quiet, has better air with more moisture and a superb business class seat which is spacious and great to both work in and relax in. The only thing we cannot figure out is the placement of seats 6 E, F in between the 2 toilets in a dimly lit area of the cabin. Avoid these seats unless you want to be extremely private on the flight. Seats 1A and 1K has a much more spacious foot well and ensures a more comfortable sleep. These seats are always blocked by check in and cannot never be pre-assigned when booking your ticket but we have our ways of making sure we end up there anyway J

The Airbus 320 flat bed configured

Qatar flies two versions of the A320. One has 12 fully flat beds in a 2-2 configuration and the other has recliner seats fine for a short day flight but uncomfortable for anything else. All our 4 A320 flights were on the Doha – Male (Maldives) route and they all had the flat bed configured aircraft. QR tends to prioritize the flat bed configured aircraft for the MLE route since it is high yield. The flat bed is somewhat tight but for an A320 and flight length of around 4 h 30 mins it is super comfortable. It is incredibly soft to lie in, but lacks storage space due to the limited space in the cabin.

A320 business class screen

A320 business class seats

The A380

We flew Qatar’s A380 on the Doha-Bangkok route. The aircraft 517 seats; 461 in economy taking up the entire lower deck and the back part of the upper deck, 48 flat bed business class seats on the upper deck and 8 first class open style suites at the very front of the upper deck. In between Business Class and economy class is a bar/lounge for First and Business. It is indeed a great lounge which serves Krug Champagne on request even for Business Class passengers. We flew one flight in First Class and one in Business Class.

The A380 is by far the most amazing aircraft in the sky. It is more quite and comfortable than any other plane.

The business class seat is identical to the one on the Dreamliner but the added feature of the A380 is the bar/lounge.

A380 bar

The First Class cabin is elegant in an understated way. Seats are plush and wide. The two bathrooms are enormous. Our favorite amenity is the Missoni pajama which is soft, light and not oversized like most other airline pajamas.

The Food and Beverage selection is a clear step up from the already great business class catering. The main differentiators are Caviar service and Krug Champagne.

The only things QR could improve for their First Class is any type of special treatment on departure and arrival at their airports. No greeting, PA or special service is in place. In the cabin we would wish for more light options as it is very dark with little opportunity to control the amount of light in your individual sphere.

2. Picture report of all our flights

Doha to Male Business Class

Business class menu card



Soup presentation


Crayfish soup


Poached shrimps

Panko crumbed fish 


Pan grilled lamb

Lamb plated onboasrd

Indian style

Butter chicken - amazing flavour



Dessert from Laduree

Dessert from Laduree on all flights departing Doha
Fruit plate

Table setting - whites


Cheese plate


Breakfast in a dark First Class cabin

Amuse bouche crab cakes - First Class

Caviar with mother of pearl spoon as it should be

First Class caviar presentation

Spicy beef salad - First Class

Scallops in smoky broth by Nobu . First Class

Dessert by Lauduree - First Class

First Class wines

First Class wines

First Class staircase

First Class sest - plush and wide

First Class pyjamas
First Class Missoni slippers

Minibar in First Class

Bed - First Class
Bathroom - First Class
First Class bathroom amenities

Bathroom in First Class

3. Overall evaluation of Qatar Airways premium cabins

Qatar Airways is truly a five star carrier. The consistency in food quality and service that they showcased on our 12 flights is impressive and matched by very few competitors. We would say that in Business Class is where Qatar really shines and probably leads the game in the world. Few other airlines are even close to delivering the same luxurious experience as Qatar does on their 787, 350, 380 aircrafts. Another area where Qatar was a class leader was the wine list in Business Class. 

Unfortunately on all our 12 flights we have seen a significant downgrade of the Business Class wine list. Qatar says it is a temporary measure to clear a huge stock of Jacquart Brut Mosaique champagne that was previously served complimentary in economy class but now moved to Business Class until finished. We hope to once again be able to look forward to fantastic Champagnes in Business Class that we have come used to on Qatar.

Qatar’s First Class (only available on A380 aircraft) is solid but not class leading. It especially lacks in the ground experience with no meet and greet at any end of the journey. Onboard it is a clear step up from Business Class in space, privacy, caviar service and quality of Champagne.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Olof Jeremias gives his impressions of some Select Collection hotels in New York - and looks at a new potential property for discerning customers

The Greenwich Hotel

Celebrities GRAVITATE towards The Greenwich. At first we could not find the hotel. The porter instantly spotted us and showed us to the entrance, which is rather hidden. It is just one of the ways the hotel makes celebrities feel comfortable.

The reception is small and rustic. But after the staff welcomed us at the reception, and we walked around the corner to the lounge areas, we understood that this hotel is very special indeed!

Richly elegant and yet homely drawing room
The rooms are very authentic and personal to say the least, We stayed in a Superior Greenwich room. Each room is individually decorated, and our room had a 60s vibe. A very nice retro sofa, old wooden floors that groan when you walk, attractive personal paintings by Mr Robert De Niro (we actually met Mr De Niro at the hotel).   He is one of the owners.


Cool to know (especially for Scandinavians), if you book a Studio Suite you can request one with a sauna.

The Greenwich pool
The spa and gym area was very pleasant, with a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. The massage treatment was fantastic - and different. There is a large swimming pool and fantastic steam showers in the Ladies'/Gentlemen's locker rooms.

The courtyard

The hotel has a very nice Italian restaurant, Locand Verde, which is very popular. The restaurant leads onto the Greenwich Courtyard, with entrance for hotel guest only,

We can fully understand why many celebrities stay at the hotel; it feels very peaceful and quiet and you see few other guests walking around. Indeed it is a hidden gem in the middle of Tribeca.

For more about the Greenwich, CLICK HERE.

Next trip to New York, we definitely are going back to the Greenwich hotel.'

Dining tip 

Two restaurant that we really enjoyed,

Buddakan, Asian fusion, nice wibe

La Esquiana, Mexican food, you go down in to the basement, under a normal Diner.

The Peninsula New York

The Peninsula has in impressive facade and feels posh from the moment you step in, 

The Peninsula

We stayed in a Deluxe room, The room was spacious and comfortable, with a nice big wardrobe and built in TV in the bathroom - not the new flat style.

The new renovated rooftop has a narrow entrance but it is worth squeezing yourself into the bar section. There is an old fashioned feel, perhaps an Irish ambience in the bar. Don't expect inexpensive drinks, but look forward to a nice view and a spacious main lounge.

The main restaurant (Clement) is impressive, with very attractive interiors, and different areas to dine.


The Spa area and gym area are also very impressive. The biggest hotel gym that I’ve ever seen...

For more about The Peninsula New York, CLICK HERE.

The Knickerbocker

The hotel is situated in the middle of Times Square, a very special, buzzing location. The building is very authentic, built in 1906, while the interiors have recently been given a total makeover and the hotel relaunched.

What a place to drink champagne and feel the ambience of New York

I liked the entrance and the very good service from the hotel porters, making sure to help us with our luggage and flag taxis for the guests.

We also received very good tips from the concierge service, which is located in the entrance lobby.

We stayed in a Premier Room facing 42nd Street, The room was very modern and light, with an attractive decor and a sense of space. Amazingly, we didn’t hear any traffic or noise from outside, even though we were in the centre of Times Square. So all in all a very relaxing stay. (The Deluxe rooms face Broadway.)

The place you cannot miss is the rooftop, to feel the vibrant ambience that Time Square offers. The buildings around are very high so it is a shady atmospheric terrace,

We ordered a bottle of Champagne and 6 glasses, but our waitress poured the whole bottle of champagne into 4 glasses, so we had to order one more bottle. ;)

One can survive that in this fascinating place,

Olof Jeremias is a travel consultant at Select Collection Stockholm.