New Or Old Upper Class Seats On Virgin Atlantic’s A330?

once you next travel on Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic, do you want to obtain the new seats or the old dated cabins? It absolutely was expected your Virgin Atlantic A330 Upper Class retrofit will be complete by the finish of March. The news have been provided by respected Airline Route and reported on by Business Traveller Magazine.

Airline Route now states your A330s running leisure roads away from London Gatwick and Manchester may have this new Upper Class cabins towards the conclusion of March. These paths (from Gatwick and Manchester) cover the Caribbean and, when it comes to Manchester only, solutions to Boston and san francisco bay area.

The bad news relates for Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow solutions. The A330s from listed below are rostered for some associated with the carrier’s most critical company destinations. Upper Class passengers are now planning to must wait until September/October ahead of the revised A330 Upper Class cabins can be obtained. From September 1 the following Heathrow tracks will discover the retrofitted A330s: Dubai, ny Newark, New York JFK (some services just), and Washington Dulles along with roads from Manchester to Atlanta and New York JFK. Effective October 30, the retrofitted A330s will show up on services between Heathrow, Atlanta and ny JFK. From October 31 the plan will be to roster the revised A330 for one day-to-day Heathrow to Miami solution.

The typical advice should check the situation on these retrofits during the time of booking. We reviewed everything presently experience on Virgin Atlantic Upper Class regarding the A330 which will be maybe not great. Virgin does feature in my top ten airlines on earth, but i favor the Business Class product on British Airways over Virgin’s dated Upper Class on the A330’s. You may read my report where is best overall operating; Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Vs British Airways Club Class.

Virgin Atlantic

Top 5 most useful OverWater Villas Worldwide never In The Maldives

Continuing our series of best beaches and luxury hotels across the world, this article describes the very best 5 most useful luxury overwater villas NOT within the Maldives.

You may not have realised, but you can find overwater villas or bungalows all over the world. Lately, Sandals has just launched new overwater villas within the Caribbean. Further south in Panama it is possible to stay static in some of the cheapest overwater bungalows on the planet. If you are Europe based, what about reserving into an overwater bungalow more than a Swiss Lake? Wherever you decide on, you no longer require to travel half method around the globe to have an overwater escape.

Sandals Montego Bay Overwater Villas, Jamaica

In December, Sandals unveiled its very first five all-inclusive over-the-water villas in in Montego Bay, Jamaica. They are initial honeymoon style overwater bungalows within the Caribbean (pictured above) and form the newest element of this luxury all-inclusive resort. You can find 17 overwater bungalows and every comes with a personal pool, Jacuzzi, cup floors, plus personal butler. The cup panels within the villas’ floors illuminate during the night and show ocean life swimming underneath. The deck boasts not only the little infinity pool but two outside showers, an oversized over-the-water hammock, classy white sunlight loungers plus shaded circular swing seat . The villas also have 24/7 space solution and two committed butlers. They’ll also pack and unpack your suitcases or draw that you shower with petals and champagne.

The resort itself is found only a few minutes far from the airport in Montego Bay with a free shuttle to and from. This will make the resort an easy task to reach even though it does suffer with periodic aircraft sound.

Sandals Southern Coast Resort also on Jamaica normally inside planning stages of building 12 overwater bungalows. This resort now offers 2 miles of white sand coastline plus a big selection of water sports, including snorkelling and scuba.

Together with price of per night in one of these overwater villas? Well you can book 3 nights for US$8814.10/£7115 including standard Sandals online discounts. In the event that you reserve for the week or more you could get a diminished price, but also for shorter stays it seems that the price would be around US$3,000/£2,421 per evening.

Banana Island Overwater Villas, Doha, Qatar

Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara actually paradise sanctuary, offering an alcohol-free environment, an island of beaches and indulgence. Simply 25 moments through the heart of Qatar’s vibrant capital, yet a world away, a luxury catamaran ferry will whisk you over the magnificent water to achieve this breathtaking area.

The eight two-bedroom Over liquid Villas and trio of prestigious three-bedroom Anantara Over liquid Villas offer 360 square metres of luxurious area plus 62-square-metre individual pool. Inside evenings, beds are spread with rose petals. Lighting has 10 mood light settings as well as the towels are folded into different animal shapes every night. Kissing swans and also a grinning monkey is available, all crafted from towels, hanging in the straight back of one’s restroom home.

Although you could execute a layover on a single of those overwater villas since it is really near the airport, at US$4,373/£3,531 per night, this resort isn’t inexpensive in the event that you must stay overwater. During flash sales premiere (non over water spaces) begin at US$297/£240 per evening.

Hotel Palafitte Overwater Bungalows in Switzerland

The five star resort Palafitte is made over Lake Neuchatel, perfects the overwater bungalow in pure Swiss design and opulence. This architectural masterpiece could be the first overwater villa resort in European countries rendering it well suited for a weekend break. 40 eye-catching wood pavilions stand on heaps in the pond. Each space has its own terrace as well as the overwater roomss provide direct access to your lake. Los angeles Table de Palafitte restaurant has 13 Gault Millau points is another highlight of this contemporary hotel (which opened in springtime 2014).

The advantage of the Hotel Pafitte overwater bungalows is the fact that it is an simple spot to play for just 2 or 3 evenings. Rates begin at around CHF 328.00/US$327/£263

Rosewood Mayakoba Overwater Suites, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Located near Playa del Carmen, 40 miles south of Cancun, the Rosewood Mayakoba Resort has 18 Deluxe Overwater Suites which sit above a mangrove lagoon. Each suite is large and includes a heated plunge pool. They certainly were the first honeymoon style overwater bungalows into the Caribbean. At lower than an hour away from the Cancun Airport, these overwater villas are easy to arrive at.

Minimal period online deals from US$938/£757 per evening High period online deals from US$1,708/£1,379 per night.

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora Bungalow Suites, French Polynesia

For effortless luxury in a tropical paradise, with glorious sands and majestic mountain vistas, search no further compared to the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. Snorkel amongst colourful reefs, dive with whale sharks and manta rays before coming back for your overwater bungalow with private plunge pool. Enjoy panoramic views from a deck that also provides usage of the lagoon and flake out in a personal bedroom with serene views associated with Southern Pacific.

Rates are available in at around $4,500 /£3,741per evening.

If you like to stick with the Maldives, discover my most useful romantic honeymoon resort hotels within the Maldives with private swimming pools. my 5 of the greatest luxury resorts within the Maldives, my top 5 best places to visit and my most readily useful wilderness lodges on earth.

Review: Iberia A330 company Class Madrid to Johannesburg

On January 2nd 2017, we travelled company Class on Iberia for an Airbus A330-300 from Madrid-Barajas airport terminal (MAD) in Spain to O.R. Tambo airport terminal (JNB) in South Africa. Iberia runs an impressive international network from Madrid dominating the market for flights between European countries and South America and it has recently added direct routes to key Asian and African towns, particularly Johannesburg. This year, Iberia merged with British Airways, although both air companies keep flying under their particular and well-known manufacturers.

Pre-boarding, I’d access to the Iberia VIP Velazquez Business Lounge at Madrid airport.

Business Class Cabin

Iberia’s Airbus A330-300 planes have two Business Class cabins: a sizable cabin which seats 28 people as you’re watching plane (behind the cockpit) and a smaller, more intimate cabin with only 8 seats in front of the 242 seat Economy Class cabin. Both cabins are divided from each other by way of a galley. This is usually a various design versus one you find on Iberia’s A330-200 planes where all 19 company Class flat-bed seats are located in one single cabin.

The A330-300 features Iberia’s latest Business course product (contrary to a number of the carrier’s older A340 planes, which are nevertheless built with a substandard product). The cabin features Iberia’s signature bright-red colour on television displays as you board, which contrasts well utilizing the soft grey colours of the seat cushions, tray table, and storage cabinets. The colourful pillows add a nice touch. The seat on their own are Solstys-style, fully lie flat seats placed in 1-2-1 setup, which means that all seats face ahead which every passenger has access to the aisle, even when all seats are reclined. Note that this sitting pattern implies that center pairs and screen seats have couple of inches/cm more size during sex mode than their aisle counterparts. This is usually a comparable item such as the one you will find on Etihad, Air Berlin, and Alitalia.

Follow this link for a seat map of Iberia’s A330-300.

Business Class Seat together with Best Seat To Decide On

Business Class seat includes a good pitch of 78 inch (198 cm) and width of 26 inch (66 cm). In front of the chair, underneath the large activity display screen , can be an ottoman, which becomes area of the flat-bed (whenever seat is reclined) and which allows one to expand your legs around you love to. The chair it self comes with an adjustable back and neck pillow with massage function. During the push of the key, the chair are reclined right into a fully and extremely comfortable flatbed of 78 inch (200 cm), like the footrest.

The seat’s part features the chair and inflight activity settings, the energy supply and some cabinets to keep your smaller items. The tray table is attached to the back of this chair prior to you; the table can be moved out-of-the-way to enable you to get fully up, without disturbing the articles.

What are the best Business course seats on Iberia’s A330-300?

Solo travellers should select the window seats that are A & L seats. You’ll feel extremely exposed within the C & J seats, which are more found over the aisle than the window. Partners and good friends should go for starters associated with the so-called ‘honeymoon’ middle seats (seat E and G on rows 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8).

The seats in smaller Business Class cabin (rows 7 and 8) like a more intimate ambience.

Which are the worst Business Class seats on Iberia’s A330-300?

Seats in row 1 and 7 may have problems with some noise through the galley and lavatory. We also recommend to avoid the last row of Business Class, line 8, which can be at the Premium Economy bassinet seats.If you are traveling solo, you don’t desire to be seated in another of the vacation seats, since here, you’re right by the passenger beside you. Just in case you wind up right here, there’s a divider that one may raise for additional privacy.

The C & J windows seats face to the aisle and are also much less personal since the A & L screen seats.

Amenity Kit

Trendy amenity kits are given out by the cabin crew to Business Class passengers whenever boarding is completed. They’re well stocked for Business Class: socks, ear plugs, eyeshades, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, a couple of hairbands, L’Occitane en Provence salon services and products, and a shoebag. Each chair additionally has a comfortable blanket, a decently sized pillow, and sound cancelling headphones. I’ve outlined which airlines get the best amenity kits individually.

In-Flight Dishes

The company Class meals had been great throughout the flight, both in the solution and presentation. The supper menu read the following:

Starter:
Warm bread and additional virgin oil.
Consommé.
Fresh shoot salad with feta cheese brunoise and semi-dried tomatoes.
Balsamic vinegar of PEdro Ximenz vinaigrette.
Foie-gras terrine with curly endive, pomegranate and fig jam.
Tronchon sheep’s cheese with Santa Terese quince jelly and grapes.

Principal course:
Salmon and spinach in puff pastry with creamy dill sauce.

Dessert:
Triple chocolate cake.

Iberia Breakfast:
Plain omelette.
Smoked boiled ham and chicken cold nut.
Toasts and extra-virgin olive oil.
Orange juice.
Seasonal fresh fruit.
Yoghurt.
Croissant, butter, jam.
Coffee and natural teas.

Entertainment

Iberia’s inflight entertainment system is substantial with additional than 60 movies in numerous languages, addressing a variety of genres from comedy, drama and cartoons right through to action and suspense, including Spanish cinema. Additionally up to 98 choices including television show (Spanish and international), documentaries and activities, technology and travel programmes.. There are also over 200 music choices. Iberia’s new A330 long-haul aircraft may also be designed with WiFi and GSM community, to help you remain linked by satellite with your personal device. Company Class passengers get a voucher for the complimentary 4MB of data.

Iberia Club

After supper, a little walk-up club is initiated in galley involving the two company Class cabins. It features covered sandwiches, chocolates, fruits, beverages, and containers of water.

Conclusion

Iberia recently introduced this home based business class item on the longhaul fleet, that offers excellent meals, chair and inflight activity. Definitely, the center East Airlines; Emirates, Etihad and Qatar provide a better Business Class product, nevertheless they just offer channels to South Africa via their hubs in the centre East, see my report on Emirates Dubai to Cape Town.. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic also fly to South Africa from British.

Iberia

The Ultimate Valentines present – Photos for the NASA Moon Landing

Is this the ultimate Valentines gift? Photos associated with the NASA moon landing are due to be auctioned in New York on February 14 2017 at Swann Auction Galleries in New York.

Space enthusiasts will be able to bid for a collection of remarkable images of outer space, taken from NASA’s archives.

Dating from 1965 towards 1980s, you will find 22 large-format photographs available, documenting various area missions. Most of the pictures have never been posted before. The images include iconic shots of astronauts Bruce McCandless, Buzz Aldrin, Charles Duke, and Ed White while they travelled through area, taken throughout the Gemini IV, Apollo 11, Skylab 3, and STS-41-B (Space Shuttle Challenger) missions.

A range of abstract topographical views associated with world, as witnessed from beyond its environment, may also be auctioned.

These prints would be the just known Cibachrome (Ilfochrome) prints made from original NASA positives. They range in proportions from 19.5 x 19.5 to 20 x 24 inches. Most of the photographs were taken between 1965 and 1984 and printed around 1985.

Utilizing the 50th anniversary of very first moon landing approaching in 2019, the images are required to attract bids approximately US$15,000 to US$25,000.

The auction also contains an archive of six binders containing around 280 photographs depicting Apollo Missions 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17, from launch to splashdown. Images consist of iconic views of this Apollo 11 mission showing Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong establishing base regarding Moon the very first time, the memorable images associated with the synthetic United states flag, and Armstrong’s representation in Aldrin’s helmet visor.

Additionally, there are multiple views of world as seen from star, as well as other photographs of astronauts performing clinical experiments in the moon’s area. The estimate is US$7,000-10,000.

If these costs are just a little high for you personally, i’ve come up with another 11 Valentines gift suggestions for people who love luxury travel and take a look at our personal luxury travel auction and bag your self a week-end away somewhere gorgeous.

Swann Galleries

4,500 FREE Avios From Heathrow Rewards

Heathrow benefits is offering an unusually good signup bonus. Earn 3,000 Heathrow benefits (the Heathrow loyalty scheme) by starting a merchant account and investing £150 in one single time. If you should be planning to travel through London Heathrow in 2017, you ought to join.

Invest the £150 in Heathrow in one day ahead of the end of 2017 and you’ll get 3,000 points that may currently converted to 4,500 Avios having a 50percent bonus. You’d usually get 3,000 Avios for transferring 3,000 Heathrow Rewards to Avios. Until 1st March you obtain 4,500 Avios if you convert 3,000 benefits to Avios. Otherwise the 3,000 Heathrow benefits could be converted to 3,000 Emirates Skywards, Virgin Flying Club kilometers, Etihad Guest miles and Lufthansa Miles & More.

To have this bonus in Avios you consequently need to travel through Heathrow before 1 March.

Instead you are able to redeem your 3,000 Heathrow rewards for £60 worth of Heathrow Parking, or £30 to invest on Heathrow Express, or invest it at Heathrow via present vouchers or immediate redemptions.

It really is well worth noting that there are varying bonus redemption offers which happen through the 12 months, so if you don’t accumulate Avios but do collect Emirates Skywards, Virgin Flying Club kilometers, Etihad Guest miles or Lufthansa Miles & More, it might be worth possessing your 3,000 Heathrow Rewards, just in case there’s a bonus offer for transferring your Rewards to these airline schemes.

You may also want to consider my picture overview of the brand new Heathrow Terminal 6 and I have reviewed lots of the lounges in London Heathrow in my own airport lounge part.

Apply on Avios.com the bonus points.

Review: Iberia VIP Velazquez Business Lounge At Madrid Airport

Iberia VIP Velazquez Business Lounge may be the 24 hour lounge at Madrid-Barajas airport. The airport has 5 huge terminals that handle around 50 million people per year. Getting from a terminal to a different may take up to 30 minutes, and involves a train and plenty of walking.

Iberia utilizes terminal 4 as its primary hub for intercontinental flights. Spain’s nationwide carrier has three company Class lounges in this terminal, but only one of them is available 24 hours a day: the Velazquez lounge. Since my trip to Johannesburg departed around midnight, the 2 other lounges were closed already and I ended up being directed towards to your Velazquez lounge.

The entry is concealed away within the duty-free shopping area, but once inside, it is a large, airy, rectangular, and contemporary area, with floor-to-ceiling windows along its whole length providing nice views of this runways and airport tasks.

The reception is located on extremely centre for the lounge, with lots of seating areas spreading out from there towards both ends. The design of lounge is mirrored and both edges feature a meals section, the place where a decent buffet is on display with a mixture of cool and hot items (age.g. smoked salmon, salads, pastas, chicken curry, etc). In addition, there are some self-service cafés nearby, where one can grab lighter products particularly sandwiches, cereals, and fruits.

The lounge also has an à los angeles carte restaurant (that seats around 20 individuals) plus wine club, but I’d an extremely brief connection time, so I wasn’t able to spend some time right here. The typical lounge facilities – particularly showers, company centre and free Wifi – will also be available and provided for free.

From lounge, it absolutely was 10 minute stroll to the gate for my flight on Iberia in operation Class, Madrid to Johannesburg.

Oak home No.1 Boutique Hotel – a hollywood spend time in Cotswolds

Oak House No.1 is really a luxury boutique resort within the Cotswolds stuffed packed with interesting things and wonderful artworks. These unique and opulent environments have actually attracted many celebrity guests including Martin Freeman, Peter Andre, Tim Minchin, Kelly Jones and much more. These rockstars and royalty are drawn by the immaculate and luxurious rooms while the casual and discreet environment.

Oak home No.1 is nestled in the heart of this picturesque, fudge-coloured Cotswolds city of Tetbury. This little city happens to be rich considering that the 15th-century wool trade. Today it really is packed with antiques shops, boutique B&Bs and cutsey shops offering chutneys, cheeses alongside neighborhood produce. Even Prince Charles possesses store called the Highgrove deli. Being proudly located in the centre of Tetbury, all of the neighborhood restaurants are only a couple of moments through the door of Oak House No.1, even though the resort itself is in a quiet and peaceful part of the finest Georgian square.

In this wonderful an element of the Cotswolds, you’re ideally found the Badminton Horse Trials or Polo at Cirencester Park Polo Club. Most of the time you will observe Prince William at close quarters playing a match, whilst Prince Charles plays during the Beaufort Polo Club just a couple mins away.

Actually, why don’t you guide in for a tea with Prince Charles? Its unlikely he will actually show his face for the tea, but you can enjoy their residence that is just a couple mins from Oak home No.1. Highgrove home and Garden Tours having a Champagne Afternoon Tea can be booked beforehand and generally are to not be missed.

The bedrooms at Oak House No.1 have already been re-designed to a very high standard. The walls are painted in bold tints, the furnishings are hugely upper end and invite you to snuggle fireside under a cashmere throw. During the night, sleep on the world’s best quality Frette sheets with pillow alternatives from finest Siberian goose right down to hypo allergenic.

Most of the essentials are present and some good extras; free WiFi, complete Sky TV package, including Sky Movies and Sky Sports Channels, an iPod dock, DVD/CD player, silver tea sets with teas, coffee and hot chocolate and fresh milk and water in bottles.

They will have looked at every thing at Oak House No.1. Grab a pair of hunter wellingtons and thick woolly socks (they provide these in every sizes) and wrap up for long walk across the fields to end by the fire of the regional nation pub. is not exactly what the Cotswolds is about?

Oak House No.1

Vivosa Apulia Resort – Beach & salon Paradise in South of Italy

Name: Vivosa Apulia Resort

In this essay, We review the wonderful and all sorts of comprehensive beach haven that is Vivosa Apulia Resort. Found in the heart of Puglia (Italy’s “boot heel”), the closest airport to toward resort is Brindisi – Salento Airport (BDS / LIBR) around 120 km away and Ryanair provides direct routes from Stansted from £19.99.

Vivosa Apulia Resort Review
Nestling in a pine forest into the south of Puglia lies the fabulous all-inclusive Vivosa Apulia Resort. The resort offers the perfect beachside retreat dealing with out throughout the Ionian water into the Salento region of Italy. From here you can take pleasure in the most readily useful of Puglia: crystal clear waters, wonderful food and wine and a fascinating ancient history at the nearby Ugento, Lecce, Gallipoli and Otranto.

Built out of neighborhood rock, this eco hotel blends in using the neighborhood environment. You will find 10 structures surrounded by pine woods, which host 333 rooms. The key building features a large lobby with fireplace and reading area. Additionally, there are many pubs and restaurants, a Spa and an amphitheatre.

Pool & Beach
The central pool, composed of four basins on various amounts, delivers a great spot to sunbathe. The white sand coastline is reached with a pretty course and offers a free of charge beach solution which includes sunlight beds and umbrellas. The crystal clear sea with its carefully sloping mud coastline is fantastic for children. There is also a great childrens pool

Spa
The hotel also provides lots of activities including a spa to assist you relax and flake out. The salon has a sauna, hammam, biosauna, fitness centre, lounge area and treatments spaces. The resort also offers an anti-stress programme by having a personal trainer and anti-stress advisor and a specialised team who can give a programme tailored to you.

Rooms
All rooms showcase neighborhood styling and have a balcony or terrace, private shower, air conditioning, tv, safe and hairdryer, superior and family members spaces are slightly bigger.

Food
The all-inclusive package here includes complete board (morning meal, lunch and dinner) in buffet style with treats, fruits and ice cream in afternoon. The main restaurant called Via Appia acts a buffet style breakfast, lunch and diner whilst A’ Puteca acts à la carte menu inside evenings offering Mediterranean and local specialities (it is maybe not contained in the all comprehensive package). There are 3 bars where you are able to enjoy free drinks; the beachside Scirocco, the Dolce Vita pool club and Damiano’s club lounge club, perfect for spending your nights outside enjoying a glass or two and a party regarding the terrace. Soft drinks including tea & coffee are included along side alcoholic beverages, including home wines, alcohol, national spirits and aperifs and home cocktails, served 10am-11pm.

Other Activities
There is really a running path through pine woodland, you can employ a bike, get horseback riding, take to archery and bowls as well as joining the gymnastics, aerobics, yoga and pilates classes. You can find 2 tennis courts, aqua-gym, coastline volleyball, a Simon Elliott Golf Academy providing novice and advanced level classes including sailing, ocean kayaking and windsurfing straight down within beach.

Families
A mini club offers children (3 to 12 years) a play ground, childrens pool with a slide, child pool and a specialized area in the primary restaurant with buffet service and high-chairs. The teenagers age 13 to 15 years there is an activity system available from July to August. Obviously, the personal beach is fantastic for kiddies of all of the ages therefore the night activity can be enjoyed by all the family and includes real time music or even a show.

Vivosa Apulia Resort provides sunlight filled times on a picture-perfect coastline along side all of the meals it is possible to eat and wine you can take in. With a well known anti-stress programme, a fantastic spa and enough activities to help keep perhaps the most energetic active, you will return house out of this concealed treasure of the resort feeling totally revitalised.

Vivosa Apulia Resort

Review: Sofitel Tamuda Bay Beach and Spa

Name: Sofitel Tamuda Bay Beach and Spa

A newly developed resort on Morocco’s Mediterranean coastline, Tamuda Bay may be the perfect travel location if you are buying a relaxing vacation with a great amount of sunshine, a lovely beach, great stores and restaurants and perhaps some watersports. The Sofitel Tamuda Bay Beach and Spa Hotel is ideally found for anybody considering a break here, along with the luxury accommodation and great facilities it offers being offered, you won’t need to look anywhere else. Air Arabia Maroc operates direct flights from London Heathrow to Tangier, having journey time of just under three hours. It’s around an hour plus half’s drive from airport towards Sofitel Tamuda Bay.

Hotel

It is a breathtaking searching hotel, contemporary in design by having a fresh and striking color palette and an ambience causing the beauty for the French Riviera. Having relaxed, youthful vibe and friendly staff, you certainly will feel your getaway begin from the moment you move in. The Sofitel Tamuda Bay Beach and Spa also features a wide range of facilities to help you feel relaxed and pampered, including a health centre, gymnasium, children’ property, restaurant, club not to mention a wonderful swimming pool and beach access.

Spaces

The new, vibrant colour scheme carries until the spaces on Sofitel Tamuda Bay. Whichever room you choose, you will be certain you’ll like a contemporary design, king-size sleep, free internet, LCD TELEVISION, Bose radio, tea and coffee making facilities, a minibar plus safe. The modern bathrooms provide both shower and bath tub, while each and every room also has a personal terrace. Some rooms provide a yard or pool view, although some have view regarding the sea and larger spaces incorporate a solitary sofa sleep suited to a child. The hotel has a wide range of rooms, where you can enjoy extra area, and some which boast panoramic Mediterranean views, kitchenettes, large personal terraces and whirlpool bathrooms. There is perhaps the substitute for stay in yours villa, with private pool and butler service, that could be described as a good idea if you’re travelling with buddies or family members.

Restaurant and Bar

Le Marche diverses Saveurs is open every day for breakfast, lunch and supper and will be offering a sophisticated setting with elegant, contemporary décor. The food is international with plenty of choice – Moroccan, French, Italian and Asian dishes all feature in the menu. The Koudiaz club may be the perfect spot to enjoy a drink in a cosy and relaxed atmosphere, and there are tasting plates available if you are feeling peckish. Always try certainly one of their signature cocktails.

Pool and Activities

There exists a gorgeous hot pool to sunbathe beside, and of course the beach is really a stone’s dispose of. Kids are very well cared for with many activities available, and there is a fitness center in addition to a spa offering massages and old-fashioned Hammam treatments. A marina, stores and restaurants can all be within close proximity toward resort.

The Sofitel Tamuda Bay Beach and salon is a stunning hotel in one of the absolute most desirable getaway spots in Morocco.

Sofitel Tamuda Bay Beach and Salon

DJI Mavic Pro: Best Drone For Travel? (Plus Tips & Tricks)

DJI Mavic Drone

DJI Mavic Pro Drone Review

Gear Review

Drones are incredible tools for capturing images & video in a totally different perspective. With the new DJI Mavic Pro, we finally have a drone that’s easy to travel with too!

The other day I was kayaking at a stunning blue lagoon in Mexico. To capture its beauty, I brought along a daypack filled with camera gear — my Sony A7Rii, GoPro Hero5, and the new DJI Mavic Pro.

All of this gear, including accessories, fit neatly inside a single camera backpack that I use as my airline carry-on!

The ability to pack a drone, along with the rest of my camera gear, into a single bag has been a dream of mine ever since I first started flying drones in my travel photography and video workflow.

But it just wasn’t possible until now.

DJI Mavic Pro Size

Small & Lightweight Design

DJI Mavic Pro Drone Review

Sure, there are small drones out there. And more powerful ones too. Unfortunately you couldn’t have the best of both worlds — until the new DJI Mavic Pro came along.

The Mavic has all the features of the original DJI Phantom 4, but is half the size and weight.

Folded up, the Mavic is about the same size as a Nalgene water bottle!

To make this possible, DJI really put a lot of thought into the Mavic’s design. It has four “wings” that neatly fold up when not in use. You no longer need to remove the drone’s propellers either, they fold up too.

Even the Mavic’s remote controller is about half the size as previous models. Yet DJI’s new drone still boasts about 21 minutes of flight time, speeds up to 40mph, and a super impressive 4 mile range.

With the ability to shoot 4k video and capture RAW photos, the Mavic is just as powerful as its predecessor (DJI Phantom 4). It also has front-facing optical sensors that help you avoid obstacles and prevents the drone from crashing into things.

DJI Mavic Unfolded

Powerful Portable Drone for Travel

DJI Mavic Pro Specs

Video Recording: 4K in 24/30p or 1080 in 60/30/24p
Pixels: 12 Megapixels
Max Resolution: 4000 x 3000
Lens: 28mm
Memory Card: Micro SD
ISO Sensitivity: 100 – 3200
Max Speed: 40 mph
Average Flight Time: 21 minutes
Max Distance: 4 miles
Weight: 1.62 lbs (734 g)

DJI Mavic Review

Flying the DJI Mavic

Flying The Mavic

The DJI Mavic is surprisingly easy to fly. It feels a lot like a video game. If you let go of the controls, the drone simply hovers in one place.

But drones are complicated machines too — you need to be aware of your surroundings in multiple dimensions, something most of us aren’t used to.

Before you do anything, make sure to watch all of the Mavic tutorial videos here. Then, practice flying the drone simulator on the DJI GO app.

When you finally think you’re ready, I recommend practicing with the Mavic in a wide open field until you get the hang of how it handles. Then practice some more.

The Mavic has a beginner mode that forces the drone to fly a bit slower, and limits height and distance. Use this mode while you’re learning.

Lowe Pro Camera Backpack

All My Camera Gear in One Bag

Launching & Landing

Unfolding and preparing the Mavic for flight takes less than 2 minutes. First I start the DJI GO App on my phone, connect the phone to the remote controller, turn on the remote controller, then power on the drone.

The Mavic will attempt to lock on to GPS satellites, which keeps it stable during flight.

Before you fly in a new location, remember to calibrate the compass (aka do the “drone dance”). It’s an easy process that takes less than 20 seconds

One of the drawbacks to the DJI Mavic’s compact design is that it has much less ground clearance than the Phantom 4, meaning the belly of the drone is closer to the ground.

This can be a problem if you want to launch or land in tall grass. So try to find a wide, flat base to launch it from. I actually launch it from the back of my LowePro Whistler Camera Backpack most of the time.

If you run low on battery power or lose your connection, the Mavic will automatically “return to home” using GPS.

Cameras on the bottom of the Mavic take a photo of the launch site, helping it land in the same exact spot once you’re finished. Pretty impressive technology!

DJI Mavic Drone Photos

Shooting From a Different Perspective

Image Quality

When the Mavic was first released, there were a bunch of videos saying the image was fuzzy. This is because the camera wasn’t in focus — users didn’t realize they needed to touch the screen and focus the camera first.

However this issue has been resolved, as the latest software update gives the Mavic an autofocus mode, which you can turn on or off depending on your preference.

Both video footage & still photos from the Mavic are crisp and clean, sharp enough for most video applications, especially on the web.

If you want to make high-end movies, drones like the new DJI Phantom 4 Pro and DJI Inspire 2 boast larger camera sensors which can pick up more detail in lower light. The caveat is these drones aren’t nearly as portable as the Mavic.

Battery Life

Battery life for the DJI Mavic is solid, averaging 21 minutes on a typical flight (that’s with 15% battery remaining). I travel with 3 batteries to maximize my flight time in each location.

It takes about 60 minutes to re-charge a battery, about 2 hours to re-charge the controller.

DJI recommends deep-discharging (cycling) your intelligent flight battery after every 20 re-charges, to maximize battery life. You can view how many cycles a battery has gone through in the DJI GO App.

DJI Mavic Settings

4K or 1080?

Actually, neither. After doing a lot of research on this subject, it appears that the best footage on the DJI Mavic Pro comes from recording in 2.7k at 30p.

It’s complicated, but basically true 4k video footage needs a bitrate of 100mps. The Mavic can only handle a 65mps bitrate, meaning the footage gets compressed, and doesn’t look as good.

The sweet-spot seems to be recording at 2.7k, which you can then downsample to 1080 for web, and it will still look better than shooting at 1080 directly from the drone.

Also, while the Mavic can technically shoot video at 60 frames per second, it doesn’t look very good in practice. So make sure to keep it at 24p or 30p for the best looking footage.

DJI Mavic Profile

Setting Your Camera Profile

Camera Profiles

If you aren’t planning to color-grade your video footage the default color profile settings work fine. However if you use color grading techniques or LUTs with software like Color Finale, you’ll want to adjust the color profile.

These are the settings I’ve found work best for me.

  • Profile: CINELIKE
  • Sharpness: -1
  • Contrast: -1
  • Saturation: 0

If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say color grading or LUTS, here’s more information explaining the process.

DJI Mavic Gimbal Speed

Reducing Gimbal Speed

Gimbal Tilt Speed

The default gimbal tilt/pitch speed (aiming the camera up or down) was moving too fast for me, so I slowed it down to 20 in the remote control settings. This helps you get smoother, more cinematic camera movements for your videos.

YAW Speed

The drone’s YAW is what controls its rotation left or right. I prefer to slow this down a bit, again for smoother footage. You can do this in advanced settings under “rudder control”. I changed mine from 0.25 to 0.20.

DJI Mavic Flight Modes

Intelligent Flight Modes

Intelligent Flight Modes

The DJI Mavic drone has 11 cool intelligent flight modes, software that helps fly the drone for you, to get different kinds of unique shots that are difficult when flying with full manual control.

To activate them, you need to go into the flight mode settings. You can then pause or stop the program when necessary and go back to manual control. Here are some of my favorites.

Active Track

Active Track visually locks onto a person or object, and tracks their movement while keeping them in frame. It automatically follows the subject, or you can even fly circles around a moving subject. It’s great for following bikers, kayakers, people walking, and even cars (as long as they aren’t driving faster than 20 mph).

Gesture

This is the Mavic’s “selfie” setting. Send the drone up into the air, put down your remote control (or hide it out of frame), wave your hands to get the Mavic’s attention, then gesture with your hands in a frame around your head, and the drone will lock on and snap a photo after 3 seconds. You need to switch from video into photo mode to make this work.

Cinematic

Cinematic Mode is available with the new DJI Go V4.0 App. Basically it slows down certain drone movements, smoothing out the flying for more cinematic looking shots. But it’s important to note that this function slows down braking speed too, so the drone no longer stops on a dime if you let go of the control sticks. It “drifts” to a stop — so you need to be careful near objects like walls & trees.

Tripod

Tripod Mode is very cool. It drastically slows down the speed of the drone, to about 3-4mph maximum. It too is wonderful for slow, smooth, cinematic shots. It holds as steady as possible, but still stops quickly unlike cinematic mode. It’s great for maneuvering in tight spaces like narrow pathways or around trees. I use it when I’m afraid of running into something.

Course Lock

Another favorite mode of mine is Course Lock, where the drone will fly in one direction no matter which way the camera is facing. So if you wanted to fly parallel with a moving car, but change the direction of the camera angle as you fly alongside, you can do that without altering the course of the drone’s path.

Point Of Interest

Say you wanted to fly around a particular building or monument. With Point Of Interest, you hover over a stationary object, lock on, then adjust the diameter and speed you want to fly at, and the drone will then circle your chosen subject keeping it in frame. Manually flying perfect circles around something is very difficult, this mode does the hard work for you, so you can focus on filming.

Terrain

Terrain Mode is great for flying low over a rough landscape, or up the side of a hill. The Mavic’s bottom sensors track the changing ground features, and keep the drone at a certain height over it. So you don’t have to worry about adjusting it’s altitude to avoid running into the side of a hill, it takes care of that for you.

DJI Mavic RAW Photos

Photos From the Sky

Shooting Photos

The Mavic’s 12mp camera can capture great still photos too, in DNG RAW format for those who like to post-process their images, or normal JPG. You can also shoot in manual mode for adjusting ISO, exposure compensation, and shutter speed.

There are options for bracketing images, a self-timer, and rapid fire shots.

The image sensor is the same size as the original Phantom 4, however DJI’s newer Phantom 4 Pro has a much larger sensor, about 4 times the size as the Mavic’s. This means images from the Phantom 4 Pro will come out better in low-light situations, with less sensor noise.

DJI Mavic Tips & Tricks

Press Record!

As stupid as this sounds, when I first started flying drones, I’d forget to start recording video. Maybe it was because I was so excited to fly the thing, or because I was mesmerized by the beautiful scenes it was showing me. Remember to hit record and capture that beauty!

Full Screen View

The tiny DJI Mavic controller is pretty slick, displaying flight details like speed, altitude, distance, and battery level. This allows you to switch your phone into full-screen mode (swipe up for IOS), removing the information overlay so you can concentrate on framing your shots.

Slow & Steady Movements

Racing around at 40mph in sport mode is fun as hell, but doesn’t make for great video footage. The best drone videos are smooth and steady. Small input changes can have a big effect — you don’t need to jam down on the control sticks full throttle. Plus, you can always speed things up later with editing software too.

Return To Home

It took me a while to realize the benefits of this feature. Why engage return to home when I can fly back myself? Well, the software is much more efficient than humans are. It takes the shortest path back, flying at optimal speed, saving you precious battery power. If you really want to land yourself, you can cancel it at the last minute and take control.

Catch Landing

If I’m attempting to fly from uneven ground (rocks, tall grass, sand) I’ll generally launch the Mavic from my camera backpack, and catch-land it in my hand. However I do not recommend catch-landing a drone until you have a LOT of experience flying in all kinds of situations/weather. It can be dangerous if it goes wrong.

Recovering After A Crash

Everyone crashes their drone eventually. Everyone. I’ve crashed 2 times now, once in water! If you do crash your drone, the best way to get it back is using the GPS information stored on the DJI GO App. Click on the map, zoom into where the last signal was sent from, then head over and start searching. It’s crazy how accurate it is.

Facebook Live

Did you know you can broadcast live video from your DJI Mavic to Facebook & YouTube? The video feed comes from the drone, while the audio comes from your phone. This lets you tell a story, or describe what you’re seeing, as you fly the drone live. It’s possible with a strong 3G signal, but wifi and 4G connections work best.

DJI Mavic Drone Accessories

Controller Sun Hood

DJI Mavic Accessories

Sun Shade Hood

The DJI Mavic Sun Hood helps you see your phone’s screen in full-on sunlight, cutting out the glare. Especially if your eyes are sensitive to the sun like mine are. It makes flying in sunlight much more enjoyable, so you can actually see what you’re recording.

Car Charger

The DJI Mavic Car Charger can plug into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter and charge your battery while driving. It’s super helpful during travel photography road trips, so you always have fresh batteries for flying.

ND Filters

These Polar Pro Mavic ND Filters are a bit like sunglasses for your drone’s camera. It gives professional videographers the ability to shoot video at slower shutter speeds in bright sunlight, creating a more cinematic look.

DJI Care Refresh

Like I said earlier, everyone crashes their drone eventually. It’s best to be prepared and purchase the DJI Care Refresh insurance, so when you do crash one day, you can get back to flying as soon as possible at minimal cost. Drones are expensive machines! It would suck to lose one.

Summary

With the DJI Mavic Pro, I can now fit all my camera gear into a single airplane carry-on bag. It’s also far easier to bring my drone hiking in the mountains, snowboarding, on a boat, or on other kinds of adventures.

Not only is it much smaller and lighter than earlier drones, it’s still just as fast, stable, and easy to fly too.

The convenience of the Mavic’s super portable design means I’m more likely to take my drone with me — giving my travel photography and adventure videos a big-budget WOW factor that was previously only possible from an actual helicopter.

While traveling with a drone is probably overkill for most people, if you make your living with photography or video (or want to eventually), nothing can compete with the DJI Mavic Pro for its combination of power & portability. ★

Watch Video: DJI Mavic Pro Review

(Click to watch DJI Mavic Pro – Best Drone For Travel? on YouTube)

More Information

Product: DJI Mavic Pro (click here for price)
Useful Notes: Even with a few downsides like less ground clearance and crappy 60p footage, the DJI Mavic Pro blows away the competition with its powerful features and extreme portability. It’s definitely the best drone for traveling photographers at the moment.
Suggested Reading: Remote Drone Pilot Test Prep Handbook

DJI Mavic Pro review for travel photographers. More at ExpertVagabond.com
DJI Mavic Pro review for travel photographers. More at ExpertVagabond.com

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Have any questions about the DJI Mavic Pro drone? Are you thinking of getting one? Drop me a message in the comments below!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission, at no extra cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.