August 23, 2016

Hotel Review: The Edgewater Hotel - Madison, WI

This is a super-delayed review and I apologize. I actually have a couple of other hotels left to post and I'll try to churn them out in between my current Asia trip report posts.

Anyway, this was the second year in a row that I've stayed in Madison, WI to view the fall colors in nearby Devil's Lake State Park. I stayed at the Hyatt Place Madison then and wanted to try a different property this time. I checked Hotel Tonight and found a really good rate ($134 nett) for, what I think is, the grande dame of hotels in Madison.

Here was the original building of the hotel...

The plaza that connects their two buildings...

...and their new building...

August 22, 2016

Review: Conrad Bali - Deluxe Ocean Room

Here's a quick photo review of Conrad Bali's Deluxe Ocean Room. I will do the full review of the hotel in another post -- where we stayed at one of their Conrad Suites.

In a nutshell, I booked two nights at the property -- using Hilton HHonors for the first night and using AA miles for the next. Both were for the most basic room that the resort has and I was just hoping they would upgrade me based on my Hilton HHonors Diamond membership. I was thinking that if they upgrade my first night where I used my Hilton HHonors points that they will also just let the second day (which I booked using AA miles -- thus showing as a third-party booking) pass.

Upon check-in, I hinted about an upgrade and was told that, yes, I did get one. The upgrade was from the basic Deluxe Garden Room to a Deluxe Ocean Room. Not very impressive if you ask me. Anyway, I don't exactly remember anymore how it happened but I got a set of keys for one room and, apparently, the bell service who assisted us to our room with our bags also had another set of keys for another room. Basically, the bookings got screwed (in our favor, if you think about it) and we ended up with two separate rooms for two nights.

That would've been great but I was really hoping to get a Conrad Suite :-) So before I got it all squared out with the hotel, I took some photos and here they are...

August 19, 2016

Review: JOG-DPS on Garuda Indonesia Economy Class

Our flight was at 7:55am and were told that we should be at the airport at least an hour before departure time (for domestic flights), so we left the hotel at 6:00am just to make sure we avoid any morning rush hour traffic. We got to the airport 45 minutes later to a quick check-in and a fairly short security line.

The departures area was pretty packed the weekday morning that we were there...

It was lined with retail and food outlets and I think one lounge (a Priority Pass lounge, if I am not mistaken).

Male restrooms both have the squat and sitting toilets... case you were curious :-)

One by one, the flights started boarding and announcements and gates were overlapping each other that things got confusing. We never heard our flight's boarding announcement nor have seen the status change in the departures board so we were caught by surprise when we heard them already announcing our flight's final boarding...

It was a treat to be boarding on the tarmac and seeing all these planes lined up...

There's our ride :-)...

August 16, 2016

Trip Report: Yogyakarta in One Day

This was my second time in Yogyakarta. The first time I visited was back in 1997. Yes, 1997 :-) We spent a few days in Jakarta, then took the train to Yogyakarta, then flew to Bali -- only to leave Indonesia abruptly from there because of the 1997 riots already starting in Jakarta (where we were supposed to exit Indonesia from back to Manila).

On this trip, I skipped Jakarta and flew to Yogyakarta by way of Singapore. I will be heading to Bali again after and would be leaving Indonesia from there (as planned) on a more peaceful note. But that's preempting the rest of the trip report -- so back to Yogyakarta.

Knowing I really only wanted to visit the temples, I thought that two nights in town was enough as long as I had a full day allotted for the tour alone.

We arranged for a driver service through our hotel's (Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta) operator, Angsa Travel. If you are thinking of going, try to look them up as they were really easy to deal with, efficient, very professional, and most importantly, affordable.

We left our hotel at 8:00am and arrived at Borobudur Temple almost an hour later...

August 12, 2016

Review: Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta (Indonesia)

There are not a lot of chain hotels in Yogyakarta and I am one for discovering local properties but, for this leg of the trip, we still ended up choosing between two major hotel brands - a charming Accor MGallery Collection (Phoenix) hotel and the sprawling Hyatt Regency.

Hyatt Regency won for practical reasons. Although prices between the hotels in the city were almost the same at that time, the value added by being a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member, being able to use a Suite Upgrade left over from 2015, and having the stay count towards my elite qualifying count (not that I will re-qualify this year) sealed the deal.

One thing that was holding us back from finally booking, though, was that the rooms looked really dated as (insert expletive of choice here. hehe) based on photos on the internet. So we really only decided to stay here after they confirmed that I can use my Suite Upgrade -- which we were hoping would lessen the effects of the age of the room :-) For reference-purposes the room we were upgraded to is the Regency Suite King.

Anyway, we arranged for an airport pick-up through the hotel and I am glad we did because, not only was it cheap, we also avoided the chaotic arrivals area of the airport with hoards of people trying to get your business.


After a security check and a welcome lei, we walked past the lobby...

 ...and was brought to the Regency Club for Check-In...

August 8, 2016

Review: SIN-JOG on SilkAir Business Class

After the final screening at the departure gate we went straight to board the plane...

I was pretty excited to try SilkAir as I have never flown it before. I know that the hard product is nothing to be excited about but it was a short flight and I just wanted to experience the service and flying a new airline.

Flight#/Route: MI154/SIN-JOG
Date: February 28, 2016
Depart: 3:40pm
Arrive: 5:05pm
Duration: 02h 25m
Seat: 2A
Aircraft: Airbus A320

Here's their Business Class seat...

August 5, 2016

Review: Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge - Changi Airport Terminal 2

Even though I redeemed Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles for our flight to Yogyakarta, the flight was actually going to be operated by their regional subsidiary, SilkAir.

SilkAir flies out of Changi Airport Terminal 2. Here's the Economy Class check-in...

And here's the check-in for Business Class...

After a quick check-in, we then proceeded to immigration. I just wanted to point out that security at the airport seemed very lax then. Usually, someone mans the entrance to immigration and chooses people randomly for the x-ray screening. This time around, there was no one there and people were just going straight to immigration -- then, eventually, airside without their carry-ons being x-ray-ed even once. I know that there is a final check at each departure gate but I feel like there should be an initial screening before people can go inside the main terminal. But I digress.

Anyway, we finally made our way to the upper level where the lounge is located...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...