Asia

Review: Sheraton Inchon

TRIP REPORT INDEX: AROUND THE WORLD IN FIRST ON THE A380

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I was in Seoul, stranded for 24 hours and needed a hotel pronto. My first choice was a Sheraton property due to constantly chasing platinum status. There are actually a lot of SPG options in Seoul, but due to not wanting to take a 45 minute or longer bus/cab/train ride to a more central hotel I chose the closest one, the Sheraton Inchon Hotel in the Songdo International Business District. I really had no idea what to expect, but TripAdvisor gave it pretty decent reviews, and I was hopeful. Continue reading

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Categories: Around the world, Asia, Hotels, Starwood Hotels, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Walkabout: Central Park Songdo, South Korea 

I had an unexpected overnight in Seoul, South Korea, while jaunting around the world. After securing a hotel on the day of arrival, something my OCD would never allow me to do. I had a free morning to explore prior to my flight home. Since I had not even planned on being in Korea, I had not researched anything to do, although the DMZ it tops on my list. Sadly, there was just not enough time to o that.

I stayed in the Songdo area which is a 10 year new International Business District, that was wholly built on 1500 acres of reclaimed land from the Yellow Sea. Across from my hotel was a really beautiful green space called Central Park, that apparently covers 10% of the IBD. It’s surrounded on three sides by majestic modern skyscrapers and the sea on the last side. Running down the middle was a meandering river, tons of hiking trails and just a lot of open space.

I had a great time wandering the park and enjoying a chilly 40• March morning.
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Panorama of the park from the central bridge Continue reading

Categories: Asia, Photography, Travel, Travel Blog, Walkabout | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Trip Report: Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class Shanghai-Singapore

INTRODUCTION

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There she is

After flying 12,000 miles traveling from SFO-LAX-BOS-SFO-ICN-NRT-PVG, I finally was getting ready for the penultimate part of my trip, the beginning of my around the world trip in First on Airbus a380’ s. In this case I was starting my journey in Shanghai, China flying Singapore Airlines Suites Class to Singapore. From there I’ll fly back to Narita and then onwards to Los Angeles, all on SQ a380’s. Needless to say I was incredibly excited, sure I’ve flown a handful of a380’ s previously, but getting a chance to fly on my favorite airline in their flagship Suites Class, was the cherry on top of the sundae.

I arrived at the gate about 10 minutes prior to boarding and there were three boarding lanes (sorry I didn’t get any snaps) one for coach, business and then suites. The former two had healthy lines but suites was empty, which was expected since the cabin was only 3 of 12. This definitely was going to make for a really nice trip. Besides that, since they have different boarding doors with 1L exclusively for Suites guests once you get on board you only see your fellow guests and the staff working the cabin. In my case it felt like it was 2 ½ crew to one guest, not bad huh? Continue reading

Categories: a380, Airlines, Around the world, Asia, Singapore Airlines, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Trip Report: ANA 787 Dreamliner Narita – Shanghai

Introduction

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There she is, my first time….on a Dreamliner.

 

I’ve been on a whirlwind trip over the past few days. To recap I started in Boston and flew First Class on United Airlines to Seoul via San Francisco. I then flew Asiana short haul Business Class to Tokyo Japan overnighted there at the Narita Hilton. So today I was flying my first 787 Dreamliner. I had the pleasure of flying ANA, the launch customer for this new class of plane created by Boeing. I’ve never tried hard to fly this plane, but sine its first revenue flight in October 2011 I’ve really wanted to check it out. This plane is groundbreaking in that it’s made of multiple composite materials, has a more open feel due to the Sky Interior, larger windows with gradient shading feature and also boasts a cabin pressurization of only 6000’, normally planes are pressurized at a higher level than that. This is supposed to make people feel more refreshed when flying long distances. Additionally with its increased fuel efficiency new long thin routes were hopefully going to materialize.

Continue reading

Categories: Airlines, ANA, Around the world, Asia, Travel, Travel Deals, Trip Report | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Review: ANA Business Class Lounge- Narita

INTRODUCTION

Be sure to check out the introduction if you’re interested in reading about my Around-The-World Journey visiting six countries, flying over 42,000 miles in first class (except for two very short segments) and having the opportunity to experience Singapore Airlines Suites Class and Emirates First Class.

Review: ANA Business Class Lounge- Narita

After a short layover at the Narita Hilton I headed back to the airport for my flight to Shanghai-Pudong Airport. Because of my Star Alliance Gold status with United Airlines I had the opportunity to visit the ANA Business Class lounge. In Terminal 1 they have two lounges satellite 4 and 5, 4 is only for First Class guests and 5 has two sections (Business Class and Suites Class). In this case I went to 5 since I was in Business Class.

As Business Class Lounges go ANA at Narita some of my favorites. They are open and expansive, offer copious amounts of food choices, an incredible beer machine, and a killer noodle bar.

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The ANA Business Class Lounge

Continue reading

Categories: Airport, ANA, Around the world, Asia, Lounges, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: Hilton Narita

 INTRODUCTION

REVIEW: HILTON NARITA

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Lobby water fountain

After a very very long day of traveling from Boston to Tokyo, via SFO and Seoul I finally arrived at Narita Airport. After a quick walk through customs and a jaunt through the arrivals hall I was finally outside. This was my first breath of non-airport air in over 1 ½ days. Ouch. I had booked one night at the Narita Hilton for two reasons it was close to the airport and was really cheap for some reason on the night I was there. I landed at 9:30 PM and had a 9:20 AM flight the next day and I wanted to be sort of close to the airport. Initially I was more interested in staying in a downtown hotel or one at Tokyo Bay, but after researching the many options to get to these properties, the time it would take and the cost I thought it best to stay closer to the airport. In fact a lot of the bus services seemed to end service for the night between 9-10 PM and the last thing I wanted to have to do was take a cab. I would gladly take a train but with most of the hotels I wanted to say at taking over an hour to get to via train, I was just not interested. Continue reading

Categories: Around the world, Asia, Hilton Hotels, Hotels, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Koh Samui: The Cutest Little Airport In The World

Introduction

Cashing in my last 300,000 United miles

American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco

Flying First Class on Lufthansa Seattle-Frankfurt

Rubber Ducks, Cured Meats and VOSS – Lufthansa First Class Lounge Frankfurt

Flying First Class on Thai Airways also on the a380

Thai Airways Domestic Business Class -Bangkok to Koh Samui

Conrad Koh Samui Amazing Hotel, Less Then Amazing Service

The Cutest Airport in the world – Koh Samui

Asiana Regional Business Class- Bangkok to Seoul

Asiana a380 Seoul to Los Angeles

Visiting Thailand and the island of Koh Samui

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We loved this little airport is was so cute. It reminded me of what HNL was like in the early 80’s. I remember when I was 8 getting off a Pan Am flight on the tarmac and begin greeted with a lei. Although no lei’s here we did come straight off/on the tarmac, and the airport was open and just super cute. Bangkok Air petty much rules the place, but Thai, Silk Air and a couple other airlines have flights here weekly. Continue reading

Categories: Around the world, Asia, Lounges, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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