Author Topic: The first DDFer to go to St. Regis Maldives, with a little Dubai to start  (Read 8398 times)

Offline CZ60

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I said I'd post it on the weekend so I'm a few days late. We are still working on the pics but I figured if I don't get started with something I'll delay into perpetuity. Having this up might push me a little harder to get the rest out.

The planning:

Dw and I got extremely lucky with this trip. The night before we found out about the new St. Regis we were looking at possible winter vacation options (we were looking at a list of Park Hyatt's as we are diamond through Feb via a status match). dw stumbled upon the Park Hyatt Maldives and begged me to go. We looked into the flight times to the Maldives and I simply wasn't willing to go that far. We were close to booking hyatt beaver creek to go skiing for a few days but we decided we’d sleep on it that night and get back to it the next night. The very next day, someone in my office told me (before Dan posted on DDMS but he presumably saw on FT DDF) about the St. Regis Maldives accepting points reservations for dirt cheap. I didn't quite have enough SPG points for 4 nights (5th free) and was on the phone with dw discussing how to get more quickly when my boss overheard the conversation and offered to book the trip for me using his points (to be repaid later). By the time I secured enough points, the rates were raised to what they are now. It pays to have a good boss.

We booked 5 nights in an overwater villa for 130,000 points (about a $12,500 value for the dates we were going). I briefly considered a garden villa so I can do C+P with my own account and not rely on my boss. Dw quickly knocked sense into me and my boss urged me to use his account to book and get the OWV.

We stalked pictures of the hotel on IG and made bowls of popcorn to read other people’s TR on TripAdvisor (really). It would be a huge underestimation to say we were looking forward to this. The place looked incredible in the pre-opening website photos and even better on IG. Jan 19th just couldn’t come soon enough. I’ve never stayed somewhere nearly as nice so I had no idea what to expect (dw has stayed at various Four Seasons before we got married) and it was better than we both expected. A tall task to live up to because we were looking forward to this vacation for 5 months!

When looking for flights, I admittedly made a HUGE mistake. We were pretty limited since we only had chase UR points (no Amex MR at all and no spg left after this trip) but we had plenty of time to get some signup bonuses and figure something else out. We didn’t do that, and in our “OMG I can’t believe we’re going” hype, we wanted to book rather quickly. If I could go back, I would but I can’t so I won’t.

Anyway we ended up using the chase portal for 1.5 in Y (I WAS A N00B AT THE TIME! And quite possibly still am…) but the silver lining is that we got the flight times and days we wanted. We booked a multi-destination ticket on the way to MLE with a 40hr stop in DXB, and had a 2hr stop in DXB on the way back to JFK. The dollar amount was about $1,000 so we used about 67,000 Chase points. We were booked in fare class X which earns 50% on Alaska so at least we got around 7,000 alaska miles out of this (combined with the 10k from the Virgin merger, we each have 17k without really doing anything). Most of you will say you’d rather pay the cash then use 65k points for that, and I’d agree with you. Unfortunately, I don’t swim in green so I wanted to save the cash I was going to use on this trip for whatever we wanted to do when we got there. I view my points as travel savings accounts so I use them when I actually get to go away.

Complete side note about my failed attempts to get J so feel free to skip if uninterested: After coming to grips that I was going to fly all the way there in economy, I panicked and tried to explore getting out of it. I wanted to cancel (I would have gladly paid a fee to have the points redeposited if it were an option) but they would only give me $800 each worth of flights on Emirates that we would have had to use by August of 2017 – and you can’t use the credit to book for others. Since I plan on going to BOB in June (how many go to Maldives and BOB, let alone in the same year!), I did not envision us using the Emirates credit by the deadline. What I wanted to do was use JAL to book the flights to DXB in J using spg (I would have signed up for 2 cards and bought the remaining points at the 1.7c sale). Anyway, I spent a few nights on the phone trying to get this done but I ultimately failed. At least I tried….

Anyway, here is the itinierary:
JFK-DXB Monday 10:40 am
DXB- MLE Wednesday 2:45 am
MLE-DXB-JFK Tuesday 9:15 am connection at 3pm
In Dubai, we stayed at the Park Hyatt with a DSU giving us an amazing suite. More on that and the rest of Dubai in the next installment…
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 05:15:46 PM by CZ60 »

Offline Dan

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Glitch was first on DDF, then DDMS after a few days of letting DDF'ers get in while the getting was good, and then FT and other blogs.
At least AFAIK.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline BarryLincoln

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Great start.  Look forward to reading more!!!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 07:04:23 PM by BarryLincoln »

Online davidmal

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Photos or it never happened.
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Offline CZ60

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Glitch was first on DDF, then DDMS after a few days of letting DDF'ers get in while the getting was good, and then FT and other blogs.
At least AFAIK.

This was pre my DDF days so if that's true, *y'all get all the credit*. (It was definitely on FT before DDMS though)

Online mochjas

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Definitely was broken here first by a lot

Offline CZ60

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Updated  :)

Online davidmal

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Waiting for this since mocha burger....
lets have the photos
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Offline CZ60

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Waiting for this since mocha burger....
lets have the photos
Ha!

They'll be worth the wait

Offline E-MAN

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Wow! can't wait for the rest

Offline sruliL

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Re: The first DDFer to go to St. Regis Maldives, with a little Dubai to start
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 06:59:18 PM »
Nice, can't wait for the pics.
Life's not about doing things good, its about doing good things.

Offline Yuey

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Re: The first DDFer to go to St. Regis Maldives, with a little Dubai to start
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 07:16:42 PM »
Sounds awesome! Can't  wait to hear more and about Dubai

Offline damaxer91

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Re: The first DDFer to go to St. Regis Maldives, with a little Dubai to start
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 12:51:21 PM »
All the way to the Maldives in Coach. That's legit Mesiras Nefesh

Offline AsherO

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Re: The first DDFer to go to St. Regis Maldives, with a little Dubai to start
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 01:02:23 PM »
All the way to the Maldives in Coach. That's legit Mesiras Nefesh

The way back erases the memories (says the guy who always travels in the back), or does it?
PGF24BMGS

Offline CZ60

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Re: The first DDFer to go to St. Regis Maldives, with a little Dubai to start
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 01:12:04 PM »
The way back erases the memories (says the guy who always travels in the back), or does it?

I'm still on a high.

I binged big bang theory and watched 4 movies while drinking a few beers (taking bathroom breaks)

I would've done the same in J just laying down

F would've been a totally different story but G-d Willing, next time :)

Dubai coming soon.. it's all written up, just organizing pics on flickr