Flying the Q Suite LAX to Doha :: Believe the Hype

If you’re an aviation junkie like us, chances are you’ve heard about Qatar Airways new QSuite. It’s revolutionized and challenged traditional business class seats, and has been named World’s Best Business Class by Skytrax. Well, folks, Qatar Airlines has just brought the QSuite to LAX - and we had the honor of going on their inaugural flight from Los Angeles to Doha! That’s right - little ol’ US! We’re still not sure how we even qualified for such an incredible and momentous occasion, but that’s besides the point. Our trip was amazing. The QSuite is amazing.

Here’s why:


It’s rare that we find airplane food worth writing about, but the meals we ate while flying in the QSuite were consistently amazing. (And considering we were inflight for 16 hours each way, we tried almost everything on the menu!) Qatar Airways has an on-demand a la carte menu, where you can order what you want, when you want it. You say the word and they’ll “set the table” with white linens, fancy plates and flatware, and even a sparkling candle! Sure, the table setting is impressive, but the real winner is the cuisine. Some of the highlights were:

Signature Arabic Mezze

It’s hummus, tabbouleh, and moutabel served with freshly toasted Arabic bread - and it’s absolutely heavenly. We were blown away by how fresh it is, and how flavorful each dip was. It was some of the smoothest, creamiest hummus we’ve ever had.

Steel-Cut Oats Served With Berries And Cream

Who knew oatmeal could be this delicious? We like to joke that you can judge a place based on the quality of their oatmeal, and if that’s the case, Qatar Airways gets five stars. It’s hearty and delicious and has the perfect amount of “sweet”.

Seared Halibut

The main courses that we were served in the QSuite would easily rival a popular restaurant in LA, both in presentation and taste! The Seared Halibut was one of our favorites, served with steamed pumpkins, saffron veloute, and roasted kipflers. The fish was cooked perfectly (how do they even DO that on a plane?!), and the flavors all paired wonderfully together.

Yummy Mezze platter!


A quick flip through the extensive wine and beverage menu, and we quickly realized we were in for a treat. From the welcome glass of sparkling “Atair” Brut Rose, to “Spier” an oaky and zesty South African Chardonnay, to Bobby’s favorite, the Old Fashioned (with Woodford Whiskey and Angostura bitters), everything Qatar Airways serves is premium.


To most people, a 16 hour flight sounds a lot like hell. And we’ve been there. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a cramped space for a significant amount of time. All you want to do is lay down, stretch out, snuggle up with a comfy pillow, and SLEEP. On the QSuite you can do just that, and it makes all the difference in the world.

Not only do the seats lay completely flat, but if you’re traveling with your significant other, they turn into a double bed. We’re serious. It’s amazing. Not only that, you can close the doors on either sides of your seat for total privacy. Turn on the “DND” (Do Not Disturb) button, grab your eye mask and earplugs, and you’ve got the dream airplane situation - literally!


Cozy pajamas from The White Company, 21.5-inch entertainment monitors (with almost limitless entertainment options), and BRIC amenity kits stocked with Castello Monte Vibiano skincare products… the amenities in the QSuite are top notch. Even the restrooms are glitzy and clean - and surprisingly spacious!

The bathrooms are AMAZING!


We can’t say enough about the Qatar Airways staff. From the warm greeting when we checked in, to calling us by name in-flight (and even giving us recommendations and advice on our stay in Qatar), they truly went above and beyond in every way. We felt special. We felt valued. We felt like family. It’s not often you can say that about an airline.

There’s a reason why Qatar Airways continues to lead the way as one of the best airlines in the business, and we get it now. They understand their customers, and they aim to please. We saw this firsthand in the QSuite, and we can’t wait to see how they continue to innovate and perfect their in-flight experiences. They’re killing it already!

If you want to fly in the QSuite, but are hesitant due to the price, there are ways to cut the cost.

48 Hours in Doha, Qatar


It’s not a destination you hear about often, unless you’re a frequent international traveler. The Hamad International Airport (DOH) is one of the best in the world (currently ranked #5), and it handles more than 30 million travelers every year. That’s a lot of people!

Chances are you’ve passed through the airport once or twice during your travels, but have you ever thought about extending your stay? After having spent the past few days exploring Doha, we HIGHLY suggest you do. From five star hotels, opulent shopping malls, man-made islands, and a bustling foodie scene, this country is growing rapidly - and it’s truly a sight to see!

Here’s what you should see, do, and eat in Doha, if you have only 48 hours to explore!


We could write a blog just about the vast array of shopping in Doha, Qatar. From extravagant and glitzy malls like The Villaggio (think the Forum shops in Las Vegas, times ten), to hip boutiques and local designers, this wealthy capital has it all. Our favorite place to shop (and dine) however, is the iconic Souq Waqif.

The Souq Waqif is an open-air street market, and it’s old world Arabia at its finest. Adventure through the maze of narrow alleys and lively squares, where you’ll find everything from Beduin weavings, to handicrafts, jewelry, bronze figurines, spices, birds, bunnies, and more! Try “Karak” from a local vendor - it’s a spiced chai that’s very popular in Qatar, and we drank it numerous times a day!


There is no end to luxury hotel accommodations in Qatar - and they’re surprisingly affordable! We stayed at the elegant Shangri-La Doha, located right in the heart of downtown Doha. It averages at a little over $200/night, which is a steal for a five-star property. We loved how they greeted us with coffee and dates upon arrival, and the luxe breakfast buffet was a welcomed treat when we were up early due to jet lag!

Next time we go to Qatar, we want to stay at the Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara, located on an island just a short boat ride away from Doha. Stunning rooms, private beaches, luxe pools, dining, and more… is it too early to book our next trip back?

Stunning lobby of the Shangri-La

The Shisha Garden Bar at the Shangri-La

Tons of space at the Shangri-La. And insane views!


Oh, the food in Qatar. It’s safe to say we never went hungry, as every restaurant we went to seemed to be tastier than the last. And portion control is definitely not a thing on this side of the globe! Get ready to eat your weight in hummus, tabbouleh, baba ganoush, chicken, lamb… you name it, we ate it. (Insider tip: don’t fill up on the dips and pita bread that they serve you upon arrival - there’s at least another course or two to come!)

While we’re convinced you can’t go wrong no matter where you eat in Doha, here’s a few spots that we suggest checking out:

Al Mourjan

If the weather is nice, there’s no better spot in the city for waterfront dining than Al Mourjan. Grab a seat at their outdoor patio, order a round of refreshing “Lemon Mint” drinks (a local favorite), and enjoy their fresh and hearty Lebanese food. Take your time and enjoy the views… It’s heavenly!

City views from our table at Al Mourjan

Our crew for the week!

Love a good Lemon Mint

Spice Market

One of the most well-known and celebrated restaurants in Doha is Spice Market, a South East Asian restaurant located in the W Hotel and Residences. The ambiance alone is reason to come here, with its vibrant lights and cozy booths. However, the real star of the show here is the food - it’s flavorful, creative, and served family style. Don’t leave without trying the Cinnamon Ice Cream for dessert!

Ard Canaan

From the moment you walk into Ard Canaan, it feels as though you’ve stepped into a different world.  You get a strong sense of Palestinian culture by the food, spices, and interior design - even the bathrooms here are beautiful! Try the Ard Canaan Kibbeh and the Eggplant Fattah, and their fresh juices are delicious too! This was our first time having Palestinian food - and we absolutely loved it!


You’ll feel like royalty dining in this opulent Iranian restaurant in the heart of the Souq Waqif! From the moment you walk through the sparkling entryway, Parisa will dazzle you with its glimmering decor and friendly service. The menu is as delicious as it is extensive, and the portions are extremely hearty. Come hungry - and don’t forget your camera!

Dreamy entry to Parisa

Parisa from the second floor looking down on the dining room


You can’t visit Qatar without seeing the Arabian desert. Book a Half Day Desert Safari that will undoubtedly leave you in awe. You’ll fly through the dunes, see the ‘Inland Sea’ and the Saudi Arabia border, ride camels, and score dozens (if not hundreds) of epic photos. And if you have time during your desert excursion, stop at the Regency Sealine Camp for a dip in the Persian Gulf, and an extravagant Arabian lunch!

Taking a break from flying around the dunes!

The Arabian Sea is really salty and it’s SO easy to float! The best!


Sure, this may not be the most “conventional” attraction in Doha, but it’s an awesome way to see the city! Blue Pearl Experience offers 90-minute kayak rides around The Pearl, a man-made island off the West Bay Coast. The Pearl is one of the “Most Glamorous Addresses” in the Middle East, and features stylish yacht-lined marinas, luxury shopping, fancy residential towers, and more. You’ll see it all by kayak - and even catch a stunning glimpse of the Doha skyline.

Downtown Doha skyline in the background

Traditional Dhow boat in the Pearl


Located in the MIA Park (which is worth walking around as well) on it’s own purpose-built island, The Museum of Islamic Art is an architectural masterpiece. The exterior alone is breathtaking, and its structure beautifully mimics the Nicab worn by Muslim women. Inside you’ll find the largest collection of Islamic art in the world, a cafe, gift shop, and one of the best fine dining restaurants in Qatar, IDAM. Give yourself at least a solid hour or two to explore the museum, as there’s a lot to see!

Loved exploring the MIA with our tour guide

A Jeweled Falcon created with Gold, rubies, emeralds, diamonds, sapphires, and onyx. Insane!

A stunning carved emerald


Camel racing has been a part of the Qatari lifestyle and tradition for centuries, and since the early since the early 1970’s it’s become a competitive sport and a multi-million dollar business. Robot jockeys are strapped to the camels backs, and are controlled by their owners (driving in their cars along the track). It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s CRAZY fun to watch!!

The Al Shahaniya Camel Racing Track is an hour drive from Doha, so we suggest having a local tour guide take you there. The races are free, and run from October-February.


The sunsets in Doha are beautiful, and there’s no better spot to catch them than on a “dhow”, a traditional Qatari sailing boat. Head to the Corniche, Doha’s waterfront promenade where you’ll find an array of dhows to choose from. Simply approach its captain and barter a fee - if you’re lucky, you just might have the boat all for yourself!

Depending on how much time you have, other places that are worth a visit are Katara Cultural Village, the National Museum of Qatar, and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. And if we’ve missed any must-see spots, feel free to leave a comment and let us know!

Can’t get over these views!

We’ll definitely be back to Qatar soon - and you better believe we’ll be flying Qatar Airways when we do! (Qatar Airways offers some really enticing stopover opportunities, where you can go on desert safaris and stay at five-star hotels for a fraction of the cost! See this link for more information.)

Keeping it Simple in Bali with our Six Word Itinerary

As most of you probably know, we just got back from the trip of a lifetime to Bali, Indonesia. We were very quickly overwhelmed by the plethora (great word, huh?!) of picture-perfect resorts, world-class restaurants, and dream wanderlust destinations. In order to avoid extreme travel FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), we chose to partner with American Tourister and figure out a six-word itinerary to keep our trip focused. For Bali, it made most sense to have the following six-word itinerary…




Here we are going to share about how we lived it up with this simple, yet all-encompassing, itinerary. 




Being in Bali, it is not hard to find a spot where the surf’s up. Of the 10 days we were there, Bobby managed to surf EVERY day (even going out twice a few times)!! In Bobby's words, "the surf was big, the water was warm, and the froth level was high" (meaning Bobby never wanted to get out of the water). 


One of the best parts about surfing in Bali is that there are so many amazing spots with diverse scenery and waves. From surfing a reef while planes land over your head (Airport Rights), surfing a black sand beach in the jungle with nobody else in sight (Yeh Gangga), or surfing in front of the tiny Warung you slept in before (Balangan)... Bali surf can provide any backdrop. You can find world class barrels at Padang Padang on the Bukit Peninsula or slow rolling surf at Old Man's in Canggu. Bobby tried a little of everything, with his favorite spot being an incredible wave called Medewi. It's not as well-known as some of the other spots in Bali, so keep it hush-hush. Bobby was so excited when we got to our hotel that he was in his trunks with board-in-hand before he'd even taken his luggage to the room. Fortunately, he had the patience to settle into the room before heading out for a surf!


If you're thinking "Surf's Up", Bali may be your spot. If you want to explore all the island has to offer, the Z-Lite bag is compact (yet spacious) enough to toss in the car alongside your surf gear. You may find the perfect wave and want to stay awhile!



Rice is one of the staples of the Balinese diet. So much so that in the 9th century, the Balinese found a way to fill their sloping landscapes with rice. The irrigation system of canals, tunnels, and temples allowed for all the rice terraces, or rice paddies, to flourish... and man, are they breathtaking! 


While there are rice fields everywhere you look in Bali, not all are created equal. The rice fields in Ubud are worth a day trip, as they are so picturesque and majestic (and there is a monkey forest nearby!). We spent hours wandering through the fields, meeting the local farmers, and even having a beer with them! The beauty of the rice terraces wowed us, it's unlike anything we've ever seen before!



This may have been our favorite part of our itinerary. (And we're not talking just food... although the food BLEW us away!!) 


Speaking of which, we had some of the best food we've ever had while we were in Bali. If only we could have packed some of them up in our suitcases! ;) Everything we ate in Bali was so good, so healthy, and so cheap! One of our favorite spots was called Crate - and it was as visually stunning as it was delicious! They had everything from whimsical smoothies to savory egg dishes, and (Bobby's favorite) “The Barber” where they stack French toast, fried banana, scrambled egg, and bacon all together. AH!

Next up. Coconuts. We both had at least one EVERY day! Why not? When in paradise, and when they cost a dollar, why not rehydrate with some fresh coconut water with lime?! Definitely a rhythm we’d like to keep up at home!


A tropical treat that doesn’t feel like real life: Balinese massages. For less than $10 you can have an hour-long massage. We'll say it again in case that didn't sink in: For less than TEN dollars you can get an HOUR massage - on the beach!!! It sure is easy (and affordable!) to treat yourself when you're in Bali!


And our last tropical treat: the sun. For it’s tanning powers and the show it puts on at the end of each day. Both of us were able to bronze our bodies a few shades darker during our time under the Balinese sun. While we make sure to wear lots of sunscreen, we botha also appreciate a good tan. ;) And of course, the sunsets the sunsets in Bali are on a whole other level. The sun treated us well during our trip!

What made our six word itinerary unforgettable was that it was a solid guide, but also had some flexibility. We knew what we were looking for when it came to the surf and the rice paddies, but we had no idea what kinds of tropical treats we would discover. With such a perfect summer climate, we were able to pack our Z-Lite’s pretty light (who needs more than swimsuits, sandals, and a couple shirts) and have room for all our essentials (and some extra space for souvenirs!)

Thank you to American Tourister for sponsoring this post!

A Bali Hotel TUGU (too good...) to Be True

Let's be real. 12 days in Bali = not enough time in Bali. 


Our first trip to this magical island was SO much more than we both could’ve imagined. The people, the food, the surf... we were in heaven! For most of our trip, we stayed with some close friends and enjoyed exploring local spots that we never would’ve discovered. In the middle of our trip we gave them a little break from hosting us, and we spent two nights at Hotel Tugu in Canggu. Going into it, all we really knew about Tugu is that it had a traditional Balinese theme, and that it had some really cool art. Both were understatements.

Tugu hotels are a small, privately owned and designed luxury art hotels created from the founder’s passion for Indonesia’s romantic history. They're better classified as boutique museum hotels, all housing incredible art and antiques, and each designed with traditional Indonesian culture in mind. When we walked into our hotel, we were blown away by the massive statue in the lobby and all of the ornate decorations. But that was only the BEGINNING. 

Welcome drinks!

Heading to our room through the greenery!

We continued to be wowed by our room (coolest hotel bathroom we have ever had), the food (can we take our smoothie bowls back to America?!), and the overall vibe that forced us to unwind and relax during our time at Tugu. Read on for details…


Our Dedari Suite at Tugu was one of our favorite rooms ever. EVER. When you enter in the first door, you are in a small courtyard with a Koi pond and pathway up to the second door, which leads to your room. The room features a massive, oversized King bed (truly fit for a king), a private pool, a bathroom that ranks #1 all-time by the Traveling Newlyweds, and views of private gardens. It's like your own private sanctuary!

When perusing the room, as we always do when we first arrive, it was a bit confusing to see another locked door on one end of the room. We unlocked to find a bathroom PARADISE! An open-air bathroom with a lounging area, a sunken bathtub, amazing incense burning, and Koi fish swimming around you! We were here for 2 days, and Alli took 5 baths! How could you not?!

As for food, we hardly had time to enjoy all the Tugu had to offer. We started each morning with amazing smoothie bowls, as well as egg dishes and other small treats. Since we only had two nights here, we were mostly out on the town exploring cuisine options. Prior to going out, we would enjoy the complimentary afternoon tea and treats! Next time we will be sure to dine in Tugu’s famous dining room that is housed inside a 300-year-old Chinese temple. At the end of each evening we indulged in a nightcap on the rooftop of Ji, their Japanese Fusion & Sake Bar. Bobby loved the Kublai cocktail, and Alli the Coco Sexo. We CAN’T wait to be back here for the warm nights, the views, and these cocktails!

The overall Tugu vibe is what we will miss most, and what will bring us back quickly. As soon as you arrive at Tugu, the dim lights, the smell of incense, and the calming music instantly allow you to unwind and relax. Add the complimentary welcome massage (that's right - complimentary welcome massage - just in case you missed that the first time) and you will be in vacation mode in no time! 

Whether it was the daily tea time, the spa treatments, or just relaxing in our room, Tugu has a feel the yields relaxation. We left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, and we CAN'T WAIT to return!

How We Spent a 26 Hour Layover in Guangzhou, China… and LOVED it!

So if you are like us and you like to see the world as much as possible, you have to save money wherever you can (see our blog on traveling luxuriously without breaking the bank). If you are going by air, then plane tickets are normally a big chunk of your budget. When planning for our recent trip to Bali, Indonesia, we expected to pay around $1200 for a reasonable ticket. When skyscanning, we stumbled upon tickets for $840!!! The catch was that the trip took 51 hours. That may seem daunting, but the trip only had one stop… a 26 hours stop in Guangzhou, China. Guang-where? That’s what we said. But Guangzhou happens to be China’s third largest city, behind only Beijing and Shanghai. Whattttttt!?!?! We embraced this exciting adventure and had long layovers both to and from Bali. Here we are going to share how we spent our time, and a a few things you will need on your next trip that has a long layover. 

You Need Enough Time

This is first because it is important. If you are flying somewhere, let’s say Thailand, and you have a 7 hour layover in Tokyo, it’s pretty risky to plan on sightseeing in Tokyo. If you are leaving the airport, through customs, and have to re-enter through security, we would recommend you have at least 8 hours to quickly explore a layover destination. Along with how much time you have, it matters what time it is. If you have a shorter amount of time, it’s ideal that your layover is during the day. If you have a stop closer to our length (26 hours), ideally you arrive at night, get to sleep, and then have part of the day to explore. It will be helpful if you have an idea of what you want to do so you can plan efficiently too. We used Visit China’s Instagram to guide our planning in Guangzhou, and it help us use our time effectively! Overall, just know that your time is limited… and use it wisely!



You Need to Sleep… Preferably Comfortably (SPLURGE)

If your layover is somewhere that your currency is strong, this may be a place to splurge! Splurge or not, if you have a really long layover, it is SUPER important that you get some good sleep. Most likely you are coming off of a long plane flight where sleeping is rough, and you will be getting on another, so you need to take any opportunity to get some uninterrupted shut-eye. 

During our time in Guangzhou, we stayed at the Park Hyatt. This five-star gem is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Guangzhou, and has incredible views of the Canton Tower. Our room had amazing views with floor-to-ceiling windows, and our bed was so comfortable it was hard to ever get out. We had breakfast in the hotel and indulged in their buffet, which had traditional Cantonese food, healthy granola and fruit options, and even waffles! Consistent with the Park Hyatt brand, the food was phenomenal. Throughout the hotel was beautiful art, specifically wooden sculptures by world-renowned artist Tadashi Kawamata. The wooden pieces were inspired by Kawamata’s conception of the building as a dragon flying into the sky.  Within the hotel you can find the dragon’s legs, body, nest, and other wooden interpretations. 

We spent a good amount of time at the Park Hyatt in our amazing room, and the rest at the pool. We've stayed at a few Park Hyatt's in the past (TOKYO!), and they know how to design a pool. The pool in Guangzhou is overlooking the skyline, and the designs above the pool are similar to the architecture of the Canton Tower (which you see while you swim).  

The Park Hyatt allowed us to feel refreshed and replenished, giving us the energy to explore Guangzhou and be ready for our next flight. We hope to stay here again soon!

You Need to Rally When You Get Tired

Since you are in between flights and your internal clock is out-of-whack, you’re just going to need to suck-it-up when you get tired. Your time is short, so drink a cappuccino and keep going. For us, this happened when we were perusing the Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street. It is a long road of fun shopping, and right when we got there we both got a little sleepy. We shared a coffee, got a little snack, and pushed through. Shortly after that we saw some locals doing some really entertaining dancing and we visited the Chen Clan Academic Hall (a really cool temple), so it was definitely worth it!

You Need to Embrace the Culture

This really comes down to where you go, and what you eat. Don’t just do the most touristy things… try to find some locals and see what they are up to. After spending the night at the Park Hyatt, we got up early (to beat the other tourists) and headed to Shamian Island. This is a really popular tourist spot, but we heard that locals gather here in the mornings to exercise. Do they ever! Something really neat about the culture here is that tons of people workout together daily. Not what we imagine – at a 24-Hour Fitness, in nice workout clothes, wearing headphones and pumping iron. The locals here are dressed casual and are hanging out while practicing various exercises. It looked fun, refreshing, and healthy!

As for food, we really try to eat and experience as much as possible during our layover. We had some yummy dim sum, some delicious dumplings, delightful Cantonese fried rice, and some scary street food (we don’t even know what it was). Sadly, we did not have time for some of the truly Chinese delicacies, like shark fin soup or roasted duck. Next time!

If your travel plans allow it, we would highly recommend the long layover! Plan it efficiently, embrace the culture of wherever you are, and prepare to blitz through a destination. The goal is to see, do, and eat enough that it gives you a feel for the destination, and hopefully makes you want to come back. Thanks for the (quick) memories, Guangzhou! We’ll be back soon!