Palácio Estoril : Meeting my team at the James Bond Hotel

Lisbon won “Europe’s Leading City Destination 2018” award and guess where Scrapinghub decided to hold our next meetup?

Yes, You guessed it right, We met again in Lisbon, Portugal back in November 2018 at the Scrapinghub annual get together. And we all spent about a week in one of the coolest hotels in Europe, Hotel Palácio Estoril!!! (Take that, Mr. Bond!)

The very same hotel where Ian Fleming found his inspiration for the plot of his first novel Casino Royale. The Hotel Palácio was also James Bond’s hotel in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

So I prepared for days as usual… trying to find that balance between bringing enough stuff to cover a trip which is supposed to take about a week…

…and failed miserably and ended up packing a luggage full of cloths.

My travel companions.

As usual I was driven to the airport by my little sister. My parents were there as well.

I jumped on an airplane as one should, and landed in Dubai…

…where I had to run across the airport to catch another airplane that flew me to Lisbon, Portugal.

No matter how busy I was trying to not miss my next flight, I did not forget to take the occasional selfie…

Priorities, people!

So I landed in Lisbon and the guy who was driving me to the hotel said there’s another Scrapinghubber coming at the same time… Turns out he had thought my five part name as two different people! 😐
(Yes, I have 5 names in my passport… Yes I know! “The Names Bond, James Bond.” Not going to be me.)

Can’t believe I ruined this shot! I thought my Nokia X6 (Nokia 6.1 Plus) Would be capable of handling the low light situation there, I was clearly wrong! 😐

Next morning I went to the four seasons restaurant at the hotel and joined Pablo, Daniel, Agustin and Alexander for breakfast.

Me, My Team and The Gran Hotel Elba Estepona

Yes, you read it right! After almost 3 years of working together totally remote, I finally got to meet my awesome colleagues at Scrapinghub back in November 2017 when we had our first ever company get together in Estepona, Spain.

Estepona Sunrises are to die for.

So my flight was around 10:30 pm and I was driven to the airport by my little sister two hours before. She has staff access there and knows everybody so I got the total VIP treatment and the whole process was super comfortable for me.
(Of course It did help that I had all the documents in proper order, as airport security is no joke, no matter how important of a person you are :D)

City of stars forever!

I was just about to step outside of the window for some fresh air when I saw the warning sign =)

I was driven from Malaga airport to Estepona by this wonderful gentleman with a BMW… BMW’s are somewhat of an elite vehicle in Sri Lanka and I had not been in one until this so I was pretty thrilled to have that experience.
It was a comfortable drive; took about 45 minutes to the hotel.

Finally we came to Elba Estepona! It looked just as magnificent as I imagined!

Main entrance was this really cool rotating door which kept the inside of the hotel away from the cold air outside.

To be continued…

As I came out of the hotel, my ride to the airport arrived and the chauffeur put all my luggage into the back of the vehicle. I turned around and took one last look at the magnificent main entrance of the Gran Hotel Elba Estepona, where I had both the most wonderful time with awesome people and also indulged in the luxuries of solitude and quiet with a view that is absolutely out of this world, and whispered to myself “Until next time!”

And then I jumped into the vehicle that was going to take me back to the airport, This time, another Sri Lankas’s favorite, a Mercedes…