Posts Tagged With: 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

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

Hanging Out With Jay-Z; Singapore Airlines Suites A380 NRT-LAX

INTRODUCTION:

Ok so after two flights in the past 24 hours on Singapore Airlines in Suites Class on the A380, this was my final leg flying SQ 12 from Narita, Japan to Los Angeles. I really had a great flight from Singapore and was excited for the last leg and getting home to the family. But let’s just cut to the chase did I rub elbows with Jay-Z’s bettter half? Sadly the answer is no, she wasn’t on the flight :(. Yes he was, and no I didn’t hang out with him. He did acknowledge my presence when we were deplaning in LAX, but that was really it. The suites are so darn private I only noticed him  a few times when I walked past his seat, and when he walked by mine to use the facilities. Next time I’m hoping to see Beyonce damit!

After a short layover in Japan, I re-boarded the plane and was greeted by the purser and staff and escorted to my seat. I was immediately asked for my drink order and my luggage was again stored in an empty seat, this flight was 7-12 so I didn’t have to squeeze my roller under the ottoman.

I’ve got to be honest by this flight I was a little tired. I had flown 17,000 miles  and 7 segments in five days and spent two short nights in hotels. I was ready to head home, but also ready to enjoy my time on this flight. I guess what I’m trying to say is this, I was tired of taking pictures and just wanted to enjoy the flight, so if you want to get a more detailed review of the seat and service please check out the last review.

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Ahh the usual pre-departure drink

 

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Categories: a380, Airlines, Around the world, Singapore Airlines, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Hot Towels and Champagne Singapore Airlines Suites Class A380 SIN-NRT

 INTRODUCTION

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Singapore Airlines First Class Check in

After a short but restful night at the Sheraton Towers Singapore, it was time for the long but ever so exciting journey home via SQ 12 SIN-NRT-LAX. After a short cab ride from the hotel I was dropped off at the First Class check in. I had no idea that this even existed at Changi Airport, on all my other travels on Singapore in First Class I’ve always been a transit passenger, so I’ve never had the chance to use this entrance let alone know it existed. It’s located right before Terminal 3 and there are signs for it, but just let your driver know and they’ll hook you up.

Even at 7 am there were staff out front ready to help you with your luggage and escort you to a check in desk. Here they would take your bags, check you in and print all necessary documentation. All of this is done in a quick, painless and welcoming environment. It was definitely a nice way to get checked in. I know other airlines have similar services, but I’ve never had this luxury before. Continue reading

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

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.

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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

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

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

Review: Conrad Koh Samui Amazing Hotel, Less Than Amazing Service

Conrad Koh Samui Amazing Hotel, Less Then Amazing Service

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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As part of our around the world trip we decided to go to Thailand and the island of Koh Samui. Since I’m a sucker for Conrad Hotels, we chose to stay at their property. Over the years we’ve been spoiled at other Conrads in Bali, Maldives, Singapore and Hong Kong to name a few. Basically over the years, I’ve gone to their website looked at the hotels in their portfolio and tailored my vacations around them. That’s how much I love this chain. Granted because it’s a Hilton Hotel Group I like to stay at them because I can earn points, use points and get my Diamond benefits like free breakfast, Wi-Fi, upgrades and lounge access. In many cases, the properties are pretty expensive and without my points we’d just not be able to afford to stay at them.

After a very very long trip to get here (if you’re curious about how we got here check out the rest of the trip report) we finally arrived. The view from the check in reception lobby was just as spectacular as advertised. Conrad is located on the Southwest side of the island about 45 minutes from the airport along the coast. Because it’s situated on a very large hillside or mountain if you have to hike it, you have incredible views and virtually unobstructed views. The check in desk is situated at the top of the hill, and surveys all of the resort. Which gives you a glimpse of what the incredibly beautiful hotel has to offer.

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The incredible view from the check in area

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Categories: Around the world, Hilton Hotels, Hotels, Review, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Review: Thai Airways Domestic Business Class- Bangkok to Koh Samui (USM) and return

Review: Thai Airways Domestic Business Class- Bangkok to Koh Samui (USM) and return

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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Our whirlwind trip half way around the world was almost at an end. We had finally made it to the country of our vacation and were on our last flight to Koh Samui, Thailand. We’ve had so much fun getting to Thailand, and were just excited for our last trip. We had landed in Bangkok and had one and a half hours to connect to our domestic flight.

Prior to our flights we had to navigate the airport, and this is where Thai Airways excels. Where Lufthansa has an amazing inflight product and an incredible lounge and terminal in Frankfurt for First Class passengers. Thai has always been known for their incredible ground service at their hub airport Suvarnabhumi for first class guests. What they may lack in the air they make up for here. When you land and leave the jet way they have a golf cart and driver to escort you to your next point. Whether that’s customs, baggage claim or the lounge and spa depending on your layover.

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Our chariot through the airport

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Categories: Airlines, Airport, Around the world, Food, Thai Airways, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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