Tag Archive: swiss airlines

My friends from NY, “The Marmelade’s”, have decided to go to Barcelona for a week during spring break.

I went to Barcelona couple of years ago, and loved it, so I decided to take Swiss (better than easy jet) on Friday to join them.

I had the feeling to be in Turkey, as almost each passenger had two bags, and we know you are allowed to have only one. They indicate the flight to be 1h30 minutes… but actually the flight is not more than 45 min and the company spends the other 45 minutes to measure and weighing the bags. They also take away the extra ones.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t this the job of the check-in? I guess they are more concentrated to check on their makeup, than check in your luggage 

Finally, when I arrived at Barcelona, took a cab for the hotel. The distance from the airport to The Hotel Arts is 35 minutes, but I think in Spain people start the week-end early, cause we had huge Friday traffic jam at 2.30 pm. Let me tell you these Spanish know how to live, between good weather, the amazing food, quality naps and long week-ends, no kidding they are smiling more than the Swiss… they have a better life.

It took me more than an hour to arrive at the hotel, and another 50 minutes to arrive to the restaurant and join my friends. Let me tell you for a 45 minutes flight, I left home at 11 am and arrived at my destination (the restaurant) at 4 pm… Thanks god it was yummy ;)

I will talk about the food a bit later, let’s step back a minute to talk about my hotel.

The Hotel Arts Barcelona is one of the most popular hotel in the city. Owned by the Ritz Carlton group, it is situated in the marina of Port Olimpico. The hotel is literally steps away from the beach. Did I tell you all the happening restaurants and bars are on the beach????

….and minutes away from the city center (if no traffic).

The hotel is very modern, with great rooms. The down side… at the lobby they offer you water and candies all day long. Excuse me who goes to Spain to drink water and eat candies… even kids want to experience more exciting things.

Another thing that I should point out… I understand they are all about the service, they want to satisfy the customer and get feedback to improve… but they should stop harassing their guests… especially when you put a “do not disturb” sign on your door. I received two calls: The first one was to make a satisfaction survey during my nap…

And the second one was from housekeeping. Apparently they saw the do not disturb sign, and wanted to make sure that I don’t want them to open my bed…. Guess what I am already in bed, and if I put the sign out, it is “NOT” to be disturbed….

Ohhh, and without forgetting the several e-mails that I received since I left the hotel, from the general manager and from the satisfaction survey.

I know I am a “VIP”, but it kind of feels that the hotel is my new harasser, lol. What would have happened if I were a real celebrity? Will I find someone back In Geneva to ask my experience at the hotel?

Joke aside, the hotel is great and I will definitely return there. I checked out the new W hotel while I was there, beautiful, but too impersonal. Hotel Arts is modern, but has also this comfy style that makes you want to hang out.

Today I am finally flying to New York…. I don’t know why, but I love long flights.
Swiss Airlines doesn’t have the best service, but I always take it because they have direct flights from Geneva to New York.
My routine on the plane is simple; I read highly intellectual magazines (Gala, Voici, People, Us weekly) before take-off, than I order my food and ask for my glass of wine… and continue to drink wine with my food. By that time the movies start; so watch the movie while I dine… then I ask my big bottle of water, take my sleeping pills and sleep until an hour before the plane lands… I know: it is the perfect organization :)

Whenever I land to New York, I have a feeling to be back home; the smells of the city, the traffic, the yellow cabs where you are never sure if you will survive to their bad driving or smell.

And the minute that I arrive home, I need to unpack and go out to do my emergency shopping, this is if I didn’t organize a Fresh Direct (online very good quality grocery store) delivery… Once these tasks are done, I am finally ready for New York. I meet friends for drinks and dinner…. and more drinks. come on, I need to catch up and fight my jet-lag, and the best way is to be up and partying my first night ;)

So last night after my routine, I met my best friend at 44 ½, which is located on 44th street and 10th avenue, so not very far from my apartment.

For the funny story; my friends and I have been kicked out from that restaurant couple of years ago. It was the first and last time it never happened to me. As my best friend used to live around the corner and knew the owner; we all went for the Easter brunch.
All our orders came wrong so we sent them back; all our bloody marys where too spicy so we complained about them… and finally our check was wrong… so we sent it back 3 times. I can see why they got annoyed with us, but it was really not our fault.
So when my friend explained to the owner all the problems that we had, and try to help him to do better next time; he asked us to leave his restaurant and he refused our money. I don’t know what went wrong. Some blamed on me as I criticized the bloody marys by saying, “I guess the bartender is in love with Tabasco” … come on would you kick someone out because of that comment????
So we banned that restaurant until last year, where my friend told me to give another shot. Since then I have been once or twice… more because of the location than the food…

So last night I was nicely surprised with the great quality of food. We were not very hungry so we ordered 3 appetizers to share.

The Tuna Tartare

Crab cakes, tuna tartare and spinach salad with poached eggs. Yummy.
First of all, they managed to get rid of all the onions and shallots that I cannot digest, then they presented well, and they were simply tasty…

And when my friend told the owner that we really loved the food, he came and thanked us, and sent us a desert. I guess you complain they kick you out; you compliment they send you a desert.
I am giving you good tips or not ;) hahahha

Joke aside, it was a great experience… and I have to admit, my relationship with 44 1/2 started very bad, and gets better every time I go. And normally restaurants gets worst with years.

If you are in the neighborhood, give a shot …