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  • peckishpassport 45 posts

    Trip Report – my recent trip to Bali, Singapore, and Taipei and how Points/Miles made it happen!

    TL/DR;
    MXP – DOH – DPS: Qatar Airways Business Class – 80k Avios + EUR192
    Alila Uluwatu: 60k World of Hyatt points for 2 nights
    SIN – TPE: 27k Flying Blue Points + EUR66
    Hotel Proverbs: 37k Marriott points (35k Gift cert + 2k)
    BKK – DOH – BHX: Qatar Airways First/Business – 75k Avios + GBP150

    My outbound flight on Qatar Airways was out of Milan; Booked a positioning EasyJet out of BHX for £90 including exit row seats and bags. Unfortunately, Qatar changed the aircraft on the MXP – DOH leg from the A350 to a Dinosaur B777 with the old 2-2-2 configuration. Not quite QSuites, but I didn’t let it bother me too much. There’s nothing a So-Jennie can’t fix.

    I had an 18h layover in Doha so opted for the Hyatt Regency for £60. I’m a Hyatt Globalist so lean towards Hyatt properties over Marriott/Hilton. If you’re not too bothered about points/tier nights, you should consider booking via the Discover Qatar programme for long layovers. They have some great hotel options that are reasonably priced but don’t earn points.

    At Hamad International Airport, I was able to check out The Garden and the new Al-Mourjan Garden Business Lounge. Great lounge with tons of space and seating. If you have a long layover OR your flight is departing from C gates, it is absolutely worth the detour.

    The next leg to Bali was on the B787 with the Herringbone 1-2-1 configuration. A very comfortable 9.5hr flight! I had 9 nights in Bali split between Uluwatu, Sanur and Ubud.

    Uluwatu – stayed at the Alila Villas Uluwatu, a stunning Category 7 all-villas resort that is part of Hyatt portfolio. I used points for my stay; cash rates were £700+pn for my dates. Breakfast at this property was an elaborate affair. Food at The Warung was exceptional and reasonably priced for a luxury hotel (£45pp). Admittedly, Hyatt points are hard to come by in the UK. These points were mostly earned through actual stays and Member transfers.

    Sanur – stayed at the Hyatt Regency Sanur for 4 nights @ £95/n which I thought was outstanding value. I applied a SUA to guarantee a Suite and was booked into the Regency Suite. I also had complimentary Breakfast included as well as access to the Regency Club lounge. Whilst Sanur isn’t as popular (or busy) as Seminyak or Nusa Dua, I really liked it.

    Ubud – stayed at the Alila Ubud 20 mins away from centre of Ubud. The hotel has free shuttles into the city every 2 hours which was very convenient. I paid a cash rate of £130/n and used a SUA to upgrade to a Terrace Treetop villa. Slightly dated property, but has that authentic Jungle feel to it, and an incredible pool.

    I had an early morning flight to Singapore so decided on the Hilton Garden Inn near the airport which was only £39. For that price point, there isn’t much to complain!

    Bali to Singapore – flew Scoot which is Singapore Airline’s budget carrier. Booked ScootPlus (Premium) for £90 including bags for the 2.5h flight. Premium seats, and a meal were also included in the booking.

    Hotels in Singapore weren’t cheap for my dates. Split my 3-nights between Serangoon House (Marriott Tribute Portfolio @£125/n) and 2 nights at the Andaz Singapore (£195/n).

    I wouldn’t recommend Serangoon House as the interior is tacky and rooms are small. As a Titanium elite, I was apparently upgraded to a Suite but in actual fact, it was just a slightly larger room with Bunk double beds. I’m a fan of the Andaz brand and the Andaz Singapore didn’t disappoint. Breakfast at any Andaz hotel is always a treat, and I also loved the location of the hotel.

    Singapore to Taipei – I booked Air China Business Class using 27.5k Flying Blue points + €66 taxes (transferred from Amex) which I thought was outstanding value for a 4.5h flight. China Airlines use The Marhaba Lounge at Changi Airport which was decent, and I also managed to check out THE JEWEL prior to going through Security/immigration which was impressive even though the Waterfall was switched off. The Air China Business Class cabin on the A350 is visually stunning, and service was exceptional. It is right up there with one of my favourite redemptions ever.

    In Taipei, I stayed 3-nights at the Grand Hyatt Taipei for @£130/n. As a Globalist, I was upgraded to a Grand Suite and also had access to the Grand Club lounge. The Hotel is located near Taipei 101 which was ideal.

    For my last night, I had a Marriott 35k gift cert that I used to book Hotel Proverbs for 37k points when the cash rate was £197. This property is part of the Marriott Designs Hotel Portfolio so breakfast wasn’t complimentary for Elite members. It cost £17 and was pretty underwhelming.

    Taipei to Bangkok – I took a positioning Starlux Airlines flight to Bangkok in Economy. I paid £139 for the 3.5 hour flight in Economy. Business class was £700+ and there aren’t any Transfer or Redemption partners in the UK unless you’re earning Alaska miles. I did some Priority Pass lounge hopping at TPE; The Plaza Premium lounge as well as the Oriental Club lounge are both solid options. Lounges in Europe and the Far East are so much better than the UK ones.

    I was only in Bangkok for 24 hours so stayed at the Hyatt Place Sukhumvit for £66. I was upgraded a Deluxe Hyatt King room with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city. Also booked a 3-hour Spa package for £78 at Loft Thai Spa which I highly recommend. A little on the expensive side but the package included an Aesop Facial and a massage. Just what I needed before that long journey back.

    Saved the best for last; BKK – DOH – BHX with the first leg on the mighty Qatar Airways A380 in First Class. There is a little-known glitch where this route prices up the same as Business Class even with the first leg in First Class. It also meant I had access to the Al Safwa First Class lounge for my 7h layover in Doha; arguably the best lounge in the world! The Qatar Premium Lounge in Bangkok was also impressive. QR outstation lounges in general are very good when compared to other airlines.

    QSuites may be Qatar’s best premium product, but flying First Class on Qatar’s A380 was an absolute dream! The Al Safwa First Class lounge is extravagant and looks more like a museum than a lounge. I managed to grab a private ensuite room for 5 hours, and had two full meal courses in the A la carte restaurant.

    DOH – BHX – back on the B787 in Seat 1K this time. A pretty uneventful flight as I slept for 6/7h through this flight.

    Three weeks and Six Countries later, I’m back in the UK – a few ££ poorer and staring at a very humbled points balance. I have now flown in First Class on Emirates and Qatar A380. To complete the set, I’m flying Etihad A380 in First Class in January for my Birthday from Abu Dhabi to London! In the meantime, back to replenishing that points kitty. Anyone need a referral? 😉

    pauline 44 posts

    Hi
    How did you book the BKK – DOH – BHX leg? When I search I can find first class availability on some dates but clicking through get a message saying there is an issue with the booking – do you have to call?
    thanks
    Pauline

    BBbetter 821 posts

    Thanks for the report. Does Alila Uluwatu have access to a beach? How did you find going around the island from Uluwatu?

    Guernsey Globetrotter 651 posts

    @peckishpassport what an epic trip! Love reading about how peeps achieve the best redemptions and your detailed account is right up my street – well done 😀

    peckishpassport 45 posts

    Thanks for the report. Does Alila Uluwatu have access to a beach? How did you find going around the island from Uluwatu?

    Alila does have access to a beach but it involves several hundred steps, relatively steep in parts too.

    I stayed in Uluwatu for 2-nights, and only left the resort once to visit the Uluwatu temple, and stroll around central Uluwatu after. Used the Gojek ride-hailing app as the Alila is about 15/20min drive from the centre of Uluwatu. Traffic is horrendous in Bali as you’re probably aware; Uluwatu to Sanur took me 1h30m.

    peckishpassport 45 posts

    Hi
    How did you book the BKK – DOH – BHX leg? When I search I can find first class availability on some dates but clicking through get a message saying there is an issue with the booking – do you have to call?
    thanks
    Pauline

    I was able to book it on Qatar’s website. I recall getting a similar error for some dates. You need to ensure you pick the A380 option (double daily to BKK iirc).

    pauline 44 posts

    thanks – will keep trying

    t0m 80 posts

    Thanks for the great report! Weirdly I’ve been trying to book BKK to BHX in First on the A380. Currently pricing up as 150k Avios on the Qatar web site for me..

    Vit 173 posts

    Taipei to Bangkok – I took a positioning Starlux Airlines flight to Bangkok in Economy. I paid £139 for the 3.5 hour flight in Economy. Business class was £700+ and there aren’t any Transfer or Redemption partners in the UK unless you’re earning Alaska miles.

    Sorry to be pedantic but if I am not wrong HSBC points earned in the UK market are transferrable with EVA Air in which have multiple daily flights between the two cities. Great trip report, enjoy reading it btw.

    peckishpassport 45 posts

    Thanks for the great report! Weirdly I’ve been trying to book BKK to BHX in First on the A380. Currently pricing up as 150k Avios on the Qatar web site for me..

    I’m assuming that is due to Qatar’s Flex Award pricing which costs double the Avios. These award seats would be denoted by a Green Q2 flag on Qatar’s website when you’re searching.

    peckishpassport 45 posts

    Taipei to Bangkok – I took a positioning Starlux Airlines flight to Bangkok in Economy. I paid £139 for the 3.5 hour flight in Economy. Business class was £700+ and there aren’t any Transfer or Redemption partners in the UK unless you’re earning Alaska miles.

    Sorry to be pedantic but if I am not wrong HSBC points earned in the UK market are transferrable with EVA Air in which have multiple daily flights between the two cities. Great trip report, enjoy reading it btw.

    Not at all. Must admit I’m not familiar with HSBC transfer partners. Also, I was implying there are no Starlux Airlines transfer partners in the UK but I may be wrong.

    smblcklck 69 posts

    I’m a fan of the Andaz brand and the Andaz Singapore didn’t disappoint. Breakfast at any Andaz hotel is always a treat, and I also loved the location of the hotel.

    Thanks for the report. I have 4 nights at the Andaz in a sea view deluxe room in a few weeks, and I find myself debating whether its the right choice. How did you find the facilites/restaurant/bars/pricing overall?

    For comparisons sake a club room at the Conrad Centennial is roughly the same cost for my dates, which feels like it might be the smarter decision…

    Vit 173 posts

    Saved the best for last; BKK – DOH – BHX with the first leg on the mighty Qatar Airways A380 in First Class. There is a little-known glitch where this route prices up the same as Business Class even with the first leg in First Class. It also meant I had access to the Al Safwa First Class lounge for my 7h layover in Doha; arguably the best lounge in the world! The Qatar Premium Lounge in Bangkok was also impressive. QR outstation lounges in general are very good when compared to other airlines.

    I took a note from here as when I was messing around this morning with BA website trying to find AY flight from BKK in J, which I found nothing, I stumbled across F availability, BKK-DOH-EDI. Decided to pull the trigger and gave up the original inbound legs BKK-HKG-LHR-ABZ and the £140 cancellation fees for 2 separate booking via CX and BA. But at the end, total works out to be the same as YQ on Qatar is cheaper but of course higher in total avios spent.

    Mine is 9hrs transit at night though so hopefully manage to secure the sleeping-area at Al Safwa!

    peckishpassport 45 posts

    I’m a fan of the Andaz brand and the Andaz Singapore didn’t disappoint. Breakfast at any Andaz hotel is always a treat, and I also loved the location of the hotel.

    Thanks for the report. I have 4 nights at the Andaz in a sea view deluxe room in a few weeks, and I find myself debating whether its the right choice. How did you find the facilites/restaurant/bars/pricing overall?

    For comparisons sake a club room at the Conrad Centennial is roughly the same cost for my dates, which feels like it might be the smarter decision…

    I only had Breakfast in the restaurant which was rather busy, but I loved it. The scrambled eggs from the buffet were perfectly creamy if that’s how you like it. I also had a complimentary drink (offered to Hyatt Globalists) in their lounge on the 25th floor which is also where the reception/lobby is. There is a rooftop bar (Mr Stork) but It was mostly raining when I was there so I never got to try it. The infinity pool which is also on the 25th floor has partial views of the Marina. Overall, I thought the Hotel was good for the price point. Some of the other brand hotels were +£200 for my dates.

    If you fancy a drink/afternoon tea, I’d recommend the Atlas (World’s 50 best bars) which is right across from the Andaz. Arab street is a 10 mins walk from the hotel. I had lunch at a Malaysian/Indonesian restaurant called HJH Maimunah which I cannot recommend enough! Incredible home-cooked style dishes packed with flavour.

    peckishpassport 45 posts

    I’m a fan of the Andaz brand and the Andaz Singapore didn’t disappoint. Breakfast at any Andaz hotel is always a treat, and I also loved the location of the hotel.

    Thanks for the report. I have 4 nights at the Andaz in a sea view deluxe room in a few weeks, and I find myself debating whether its the right choice. How did you find the facilites/restaurant/bars/pricing overall?

    For comparisons sake a club room at the Conrad Centennial is roughly the same cost for my dates, which feels like it might be the smarter decision…

    I only had breakfast at the Andaz restaurant so can’t comment on any other meals. I had a complimentary drink in the lounge located on the same floor as the lobby/reception. The infinity pool on the 25th floor was great and had partial views of the Marina. There’s a rooftop bar (Mr Stork) that I also didn’t get to try as it was mostly raining when I was there. For the price I paid (£195/n), I was pretty happy as similar hotel brands were +£200/n for my dates.

    If you fancy a drink or Afternoon Tea, the Atlas bar (World’s 50 best bars) is a stone’s throw from the Andaz, and one I’d highly recommend. The hotel is also a 10 min walk from the Arab St where I had lunch at HJH Maimunah – a Malaysian/Indonesian restaurant serving comfort home cooked dishes in a diner style counter. Incredible food, and very reasonably priced. Can’t recommend it enough!

    Argoat 2 posts

    Air China is Chinese flag carrier.

    China Airlines is the flag carrier of Taiwan.

    smblcklck 69 posts

    Can’t recommend it enough!

    Thanks for the tips!

    Michael C 727 posts

    I’m a fan of the Andaz brand and the Andaz Singapore didn’t disappoint. Breakfast at any Andaz hotel is always a treat, and I also loved the location of the hotel.

    Thanks for the report. I have 4 nights at the Andaz in a sea view deluxe room in a few weeks, and I find myself debating whether its the right choice. How did you find the facilites/restaurant/bars/pricing overall?

    For comparisons sake a club room at the Conrad Centennial is roughly the same cost for my dates, which feels like it might be the smarter decision…

    Both the lounge offerings and (especially) the breakfast at the Conrad are fantastic.
    Even better (for me!), the gorgeous lobby bar with its menus (plural) for choosing your DIY G&T.

    smblcklck 69 posts

    Both the lounge offerings and (especially) the breakfast at the Conrad are fantastic.
    Even better (for me!), the gorgeous lobby bar with its menus (plural) for choosing your DIY G&T.

    It’s very tempting… I’ve now reserved both the Conrad and the Andaz while we try to decide which one to go for. Proving to be a difficult decision!

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