Monday, December 01, 2014
I recently went to a private American Thanksgiving event at the Seashells Resort in Julai'ia (formerly the Kempinski Hotel). It is a beautiful property (on the sea, stretching inland) with walkways and orange walled villas with water features and foliage. I've been to many events there over the years and it is always a tranquil and relaxed atmosphere (and very nice open-aired cafe).
I've got to say, they NAILED the food for T-day. Stuffing was light and fluffy; real sweet potatoes; Brussels Sprouts; corn bread (ok, it was close, but still not quite there...), real gravy.... really good/authentic staple foods; turkey cooked to perfection. NO stuffing log! Yippee. And real cranberries in the cranberry sauce! I was pleasantly surprised to say the least; and so were the other guests in attendance..
So, I walked (at that point, "waddled" after an enormous plate full) over to thank the F&B Manager, Mike Soubhieh. I had met him on previous occasions, but usually mess up simple names like his. (Next year, I'll remember.) I complimented him and told him, 'Not to be insulting, but my dog's name is Mike.' Without skipping a beat, he said, "Are you Desert Girl?!" (Confused, I thought for a moment that I was still under the spell of the food-coma I was in.) But he called me out.... I usually don't 'fess up to the alter-ego, but I made him promise not to tell anyone, confirming his suspicion.
What a small world and the wonder of those little ironies that make it all so interesting!
Mike (the F&B Manager, not the dog...) said that he had read my post about Thanksgiving the day before and had sent his kitchen staff out in search of ingredients, starting at 5am; going to multiple stores in search of items I had written in the post. He said that he wished that I had posted it 2 weeks earlier. I was really humbled by the honor - and it came as a gift; one of those ones you hold onto and remember for a long time to come.
It is always fascinating to me to discover that someone has read my blog. I guess that at this point, it probably shouldn't, but it still does. And it still comes to me as a blessing from above: Life is about a series of connecting dots, and its always somewhat ironic how and when they are drawn together. We're all on the web of life, and what you do over there somehow connects and vibrates to the edges on the other side in ways you can't comprehend. It was one of those times.
So, to these latest dot connections: I'm sending a special shout-out to Mike and Chef Bassel (who had to work extra hard because of my post - sorry, dude!) and lovely Sales Manager, Alia. They are always super-nice.
I feel like I owe them, since I first posted about how Godawful the service was (years ago) at the Seashells, things have really changed a lot under the current management.
Beyond the above, Seashells staff members on all levels SMILE and say "good afternoon" or "good morning". Imagine THAT! Even the ones who look like they might not at first glance surprise you. The guy who was sweeping the stairs stopped what he was doing and turned around to greet me with a smile. That is a lot different from the tongue-lashing I got from a manager there years ago. That just makes me happy.
If you ever have an event, consider calling them. I'm now sure that they will do whatever it takes to make your event a positive experience. If you are out for a drive on the weekend, you can go visit their coffee shop or restaurants. Take 30 or 40 down to exit 245 and bang a right at the T. It will be down about 3 miles on the left. It's about a 30-45 minute drive (depending on how fast you drive).
Trip Advisor Reviews HERE