Malaysia – August 2012

Malaysia Airlines 777 Business Class review – MH141 – Kuala Lumpur to Sydney

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

The research and booking of this flight should have been straightforward, but ultimately proved to be a royal pain. A one way Business Class flight at the lower Enrich miles level comes in at 34,000 Enrich miles – as I wrote recently, Enrich is fast becoming my go-to scheme to consider for great value long-haul Business Class redemptions. For myself and my travel companion, I had initiated a transfer for the necessary 68,000 miles from American Express over the phone with Amex. Continue reading…

Around Langkawi – The Four Seasons Langkawi resort and The Andaman Langkawi

Four Seasons Langkawi resort and The Andaman Langkawi

For 24 hours of the 48 I spent in Langkawi, we decided to rent a car to explore the island a little. After a bit of a drive around, looking at some views and checking out some of the more popular tourist beaches, we decided that at face value they didn’t seem much different to our nice, peaceful beach at The Westin so changed tack and consulted the guide book in search of some locations for some decent evening drinks.

First up was The Four Seasons resort on the North East of the island. This was well really well hidden away, and very quiet and peaceful. To get to the hotel reception you had to walk through a series of buildings, all of which were going for a Moroccan feel.
Continue reading…

The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa Review – Langkawi, Malaysia

In planning this Malaysian trip, I knew I was pretty keen to see something fairly typical for Malaysia – a resort, on an island, with some nice beaches. The Westin Resort in Langkawi looked like it would fit the bill nicely.

As a Starwood property it was relatively straightforward to burn 4,800 SPG points plus $90 per night for a Cash and Points stay, in lieu of standard room rates that were in the $250-$300 AUD per night mark. It would be 12,000 SPG points per night for points only.

I got in touch with the reservations team after booking to see what my options were for an upgraded twin, rather than a standard double room. Continue reading…

Lone Pine Hotel Review – Batu Ferringi, Penang, & Exploring Penang

Batu Ferringi Beach Penang - Lone Pine Hotel

For whatever reason, no chain hotels really caught my eye for our stay on Penang Island. In the end, I decided to go for the well-reviewed Lone Pine Hotel on Batu Ferringi beach, as it looked like a decent place to stay, at a good rate.

I booked through American Express partnership with Hotel Club. This earns 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar, and was a great reminder that you can seek out non-chain hotels and still earn a decent return on your points spend, if you look in the right places. Continue reading…

Crowne Plaza Changi Singapore Airport Hotel – quick stay review

After getting off QF9 and clearing immigration, I took the Changi inter-terminal monorail over to Terminal 3 and found the Crowne Plaza pretty quickly.

I wasn’t really in the room for long and headed out to Singapore for the day, so this isn’t a review, as such – but the Crowne Plaza was a pretty nice to stay, possibly the nicest airport hotel I’ve stayed in. But given rates are consistently in excess of $250 AUD / night, you’d hope so. Continue reading…

Qantas A380 First Class Review – QF9 Melbourne to Singapore

Melbourne - Singapore Qantas A380 review

I was researching my plans on how to get up to Malaysia from Sydney, and when this opportunity presented itself I couldn’t pass it up. I was yet to fly Qantas First Class on the A380, hadn’t been to the Melbourne First Class lounge, and the 90,000 points needed for this flight were sitting in my account. I booked this as an Any Seat Award, paying an extra $100 or so to accrue around 10,000 points and some status credits.

Wandering off from the lounge about as late as possible before boarding (I was enjoying the food and drink too much), I was one of the last 2 or 3 First Class passengers to board, after a long queue on the air bridge with Economy passengers – both First and Economy use the same forward door. Continue reading…

Qantas International First Class Lounge Melbourne Review

I had been planning a trip to Malaysia for a few months – after snagging this First Class seat with points as an Any Seat Award, I then began to construct the rest of my itinerary – Sydney – Melbourne on Qantas (paid domestic economy), connecting to QF9 to Singapore in First Class; a night in Singapore followed by a quick hop to Penang for 3 days, Langkawi for 2 more, Kuala Lumpur for one and back to Sydney on Malaysia Airlines Business Class.

The first time I was in a Qantas First lounge, it was thanks to a Qantas’ ‘sorry’ invite. This time, it was a fully fledged First passenger, flying from Melbourne to Singapore on QF9 on the A380 – and I was happy to be able to try out the Melbourne First Class lounge as a result.
Continue reading…