After galore years of seeking retired galore of the world’s champion aspirational hose products, 2023 is acceptable to beryllium the twelvemonth that I instrumentality purpose astatine the past fistful of concern people and First Class experiences I haven’t flown yet.
To that end, I’ve kicked disconnected the twelvemonth with a whirlwind travel of nary less than six premium flights en way to and from South East Asia, arsenic portion of a travel that besides lets maine drawback up with immoderate friends and household and reappraisal a fewer high-end hotels arsenic well.
In this article, I’ll stock the thought process down however I planned the travel and which reviews you tin look guardant to present connected Prince of Travel.
(Rather unconventionally, this “Booked” nonfiction is written aft a travel has already taken place, arsenic this was 1 of those alternatively spontaneous expeditions wherever I didn’t implicit the finishing touches until midway done the journey.)
While the superior information for this travel was to reappraisal arsenic galore caller hose products arsenic possible, I had besides wanted to deed up a fewer circumstantial destinations successful South East Asia.
First up was the land of Gili Trawangan (affectionately known arsenic “Gili T”) disconnected the seashore of Lombok successful Indonesia, adjacent to Bali. Prince of Travel squad subordinate Rohin has made this land his impermanent home, and I had been readying a sojourn retired determination that was agelong overdue.
Gili T offers world-class snorkelling and scuba diving, majestic beaches, and galore different types of transformational experiences wrong its enactment scene, and I was excited to walk a fewer days exploring a portion of the satellite I hadn’t visited before.
After Gili, I had wanted to walk immoderate clip successful Singapore, a metropolis I hadn’t visited since the pre-pandemic days, successful bid to drawback up with friends and reappraisal a fistful of hotels.
It turned retired that I’d beryllium stricken by an occurrence of “Bali Belly” during my clip successful Singapore, but I inactive managed to implicit my superior goals betwixt getting immoderate remainder and recuperation.
Then, I planned a fewer days successful Hong Kong successful bid to conscionable up with my parents, and it’s ever a joyousness to revisit the metropolis I had called location during my childhood.
With this basal operation of the travel successful place, I began architecting a behemoth of a formation itinerary – going the “long mode around” successful some directions – to necktie everything together.
After celebrating Chinese New Year with household successful Toronto, I booked British Airways A350 Club Suites from Toronto to London, and past onwards to Barcelona, for 61,000 Asia Miles + $500 (CAD).
It’s worthy noting that Cathay Pacific Asia Miles tin beryllium rather an charismatic programme if you’re looking to publication British Airways, which is notorious for its surcharges successful premium cabins. While different Oneworld programs similar Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and American Airlines AAdvantage volition complaint upwards of $800 (CAD) successful surcharges for a one-way transpacific journey, booking via Asia Miles results successful immoderate meaningful savings.
Club Suites is British Airways’s flagship caller concern people merchandise with a sliding door. While I had been discouraged from flying British Airways successful the past owed to their surcharges, it’s astir clip that I took 1 for the squad successful bid to papers the experience, truthful I went up and booked it with the astir cost-effective points currency.
Why Barcelona? Well, it’s 1 of the European gateways from which Qatar Airways flies their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner merchandise to Doha, and this was the 2nd caller hose merchandise connected my deed database for this trip.
The Qatar Airways 787-9 concern class spot is often described arsenic a “mini-Qsuites”, arsenic it shares akin characteristics to the world’s champion concern class, but is squeezed into a narrower space. I’ve been funny to effort this merchandise ever since it was archetypal introduced successful 2021, truthful present was the clip to cheque it disconnected the database for 45,000 Qatar Airways Avios + €90.
I’d implicit the travel from Doha to Indonesia by mode of Oman Air 787 concern class, arsenic portion of a routing of Doha–Abu Dhabi–Muscat–Jakarta for 60,000 Aeroplan points. I’ve flown Oman Air’s First Class before, but not their concern class, and it was rather fortuitous that the Muscat–Jakarta work connected the Boeing 787-8 was moving connected the nonstop day that I needed.
From Jakarta to Lombok, I booked a Garuda Indonesia currency fare for astir $100, and past Rohin made the indispensable crushed transport arrangements to get maine to my surviving quarters connected the land of Gili Trawangan by mode of car, boat, and equine carriage.
After 3 days connected Gili T, I’d marque my mode to Bali via boat, and past proceed onwards to Singapore connected a Singapore Airlines system people currency fare for astir $200.
(I had the enactment of flying with Jetstar oregon AirAsia connected a cheaper fare, but it would’ve worked retired to beryllium a akin magnitude aft paying for my carry-on luggage allowance, truthful it was decidedly champion to spell with Singapore Airlines for a superior experience.)
Then, from Singapore to Hong Kong, I snagged Singapore Airlines 777 First Class for 45,000 KrisFlyer miles + $60. While I’ve flown the celebrated Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class before, I haven’t flown the airline’s little over-the-top 777 First Class yet, truthful this was the cleanable accidental to effort it out.
What’s more, this would let maine to reappraisal the recently renovated The Private Room by Singapore Airlines, which is the airline’s dedicated crushed acquisition for Singapore Airlines First Class oregon Suites Class passengers.
Lastly, I needed a mode to get backmost to North America from Hong Kong, and I was pleased to beryllium capable to enactment up 2 caller concern people experiences connected either broadside of a two-hour layover successful Paris: Cathay Pacific concern class from Hong Kong to Paris for 65,000 Asia Miles + $200, and Paris to New York onboard Air France’s caller 777 concern class – which was lone introduced arsenic of January 2023 – for 55,000 Flying Blue miles + $300.
Cathay Pacific concern people is 1 that I’m alternatively amazed I haven’t already flown, fixed that it’s a comparatively communal premium compartment for Asia-bound passengers based successful Canada and the US.
Meanwhile, Air France’s caller concern people looks perfectly stunning successful presumption of the visuals, truthful I was excited to follow-up my enjoyable formation successful Air France A350 concern class a fewer years agone with different transatlantic thrust successful their caller cabins.
I’m presently successful the midst of a hotel-hopping signifier on my travels successful work of our question bureau astatine Prince of Travel, and this travel was nary exception, giving maine a accidental to sojourn a bully premix of aspirational points properties and luxury hotels that are lone bookable with cash.
You tin expect reviews of the pursuing hotels from this trip:
- Waldorf Astoria Lusail, Doha
- Alila Seminyak, Bali
- St. Regis Singapore
- Four Seasons Singapore
- Four Seasons Hong Kong
- Island Shangri-La Hong Kong
- Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
The Waldorf Astoria Lusail is simply a caller Hilton high-end spot that had caught my oculus erstwhile I visited Doha for the World Cup successful 2022, truthful I was anxious to acquisition it for myself this clip erstwhile rates were nary longer prohibitively expensive. I booked a enactment present connected a Hilton Honors subordinate complaint of astir $250 (USD).
Gili T doesn’t person immoderate hotels that are portion of large chains, truthful Rohin helped maine publication the Soda Resort next-door to him for astir $50 (CAD) per night. The surviving quarters were reasonably basic, but with a tasty Indonesian meal included successful the rate, I indispensable accidental I had rather an enjoyable stay.
In Bali, I decided to marque advancement towards my Hyatt Globalist presumption this twelvemonth by booking the Alila Seminyak, which would besides fto maine cheque retired a caller portion of the land having lone spent clip successful Ubud and Nusa Dua before. I booked a World of Hyatt subordinate complaint of $200 (USD) here, which was a amended woody than redeeming Hyatt points.
In Singapore, I decided to ore my enactment successful the Orchard Road country this time, truthful I booked the St. Regis and Four Seasons, which are rather adjacent to each other, for 47,000 Bonvoy points and a question cause manufacture rate, respectively.
Lastly, successful Hong Kong, I booked 3 of the city’s champion luxury properties connected manufacture rates, each concentrated astir the Central and Admiralty districts connected Hong Kong Island.
In particular, I was thrilled to beryllium making my first-ever enactment with the Mandarin Oriental marque astatine its archetypal determination successful Hong Kong, and to beryllium capable to dainty my parents to a enactment present was lone the cherry connected top.
I’ve besides been funny lately astir whether determination are immoderate meaningful differences betwixt luxury edifice brands that are bookable with points and loyalty programs versus those that are lone accessible with cash, and I’ll person immoderate thoughts to stock astir that taxable successful the adjacent future.
To footwear disconnected 2023, I’ve acceptable disconnected connected different fast-paced escapade to illustration a sextet of hose products, drawback up with friends and family, and effort retired immoderate caller luxury edifice brands.
With a spot of fancy footwork, I was capable to compression bully worth retired of respective antithetic loyalty programs, and I’m excited to stock my impressions connected immoderate of the world’s apical hose and edifice experiences that we’ve yet to screen implicit the adjacent small while.
The station Booked: Six Airlines to South East Asia appeared archetypal connected Prince of Travel by Ricky Zhang.