Author Topic: Honeymoon- Japan (PH/Andaz Tokyo, RC Kyoto), Singapore(IC, MBS) & StR Maldives  (Read 3833 times)

Offline beastieb

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Started planning a Honeymoon to Japan, Singapore, and the Maldives almost 2 years ago as we had started building up points and award certificates. We got back from this epic trip a few weeks ago and I put this report together and thought I should post it here.

Flights were all on SQ booked on points. It was 425,000 total for round trip for the two of us and about $1400 in total taxes and fees. LAX-NRT Business, NRT-SIN First, SIN-MLE-SIN Business, SIN-NRT-LAX First. I had the first leg LAX-NRT waitlisted in First but it never cleared.

We had 17 nights in hotels, of them 14 nights were paid for by an assortment of Points, Points+Cash, or CC Award Certs. 3 nights we paid cash as we were staying in places that had no award programs. Breakdown and trip report is below.

LAX – Star Alliance Lounge – This lounge was pretty great; it had a roof top patio, tons of comfortable seating and a pretty decent food and drink selection (it even had a noodle bar). Hung out in here for about an hour before going to board.

Singapore Airlines LAX-NRT Business Class – Had the bulkhead first row of business class in the mini cabin on the new version of SQ Business class on the 777-300er. The seat and service was better than any domestic first class and probably quite a few international ones as well. Did a book the cook for one meal and the regular menu for the other, both of which were great and we both ate and drank quite a bit. Service was excellent. The bed was super comfortable and we forced ourselves to get some sleep so we wouldn’t be too jetlagged once we got to Japan.

Andaz Tokyo – King View Room – We had the first 3 Nights in Tokyo here, booked with CC award certs. This is probably one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed at. It is so well designed, and really is a beautiful hotel. You get whisked up to the 51st floor and get seated and provide your passport and credit card and they checked us in. I have Discoverist status and they upgraded us from a standard King to a view King. Everything can be controlled from the switches next to the bed and it was an amazing view of Tokyo from the room. Service here was excellent, breakfast here was great as well which we ended up having twice. The concierge also assisted with making some tough reservations when I emailed them in advance.

Park Hyatt Tokyo – We did two nights here, one in a standard king room with an CC Award cert, and the other Cash+Points with a Diamond Suite upgrade. While it was a beautiful hotel, after staying at the Andaz I have to admit this was a bit of a letdown for us. The property was just dated and everything looked a bit worn down. The standard room was a bit of a bummer after the Andaz. That being said, you could tell the service was here was just a slight notch higher than at the Andaz, but barely. I was a bit surprised they didn’t just put us in the suite for both nights so we didn’t have to change rooms-- they offered to at a cost of $300++, but it just didn’t seem worth it. They did however move our luggage to the suite for us while we were out and about for the day. The suite was quite impressive and enormous, but it still had the dated worn feeling of the rest of the hotel. Service here was top notch, cover charge for the New York bar was waived, but we really only went up there for one drink. Did room service breakfast here one day and it was nice, but didn’t try the main breakfast here.

Gora Kadan – Paid for this one. It is a traditional Ryokan in Hakone complete with Kaiseki dinner and a breakfast, with an in room hot spring bath. Everything here was amazing and very needed relaxation of the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Since this was one of the three nights of hotels we actually paid for we really splurged on them.

Ritz Carlton Kyoto – 3 Nights here paid with Marriot points. It was supposed to be 210,000 points but after a series of various events we somehow got extremely lucky and in the end we were charged 140,000 points. This hotel was impeccably done; it was just gorgeous. Somehow as we pulled up in a Taxi they knew who we were and whisked us inside in to check-in. Again we were sat down in a lobby area and check in was taken care of and then they took us to the room. I think they upgraded us to a view room here as I am gold and it was our honeymoon. They also had a plate of Pierre Hermes macaroons in the room for us when we came back after the first day out and a little thing that said happy honeymoon. The breakfast here was excellent and so was the late-night wagyu beef burger we had in room service. Location was great as well; we walked around a lot and it was only a few minutes walk to get to the metro. Service here was top notch.

Benesse House Naoshima – This one we had to pay for, there are no award hotels on the island and this property was epic. We stayed in an oval room. The room was kind of basic, but the service great, but bottom line is the architecture can’t be beat. We were also allowed access to the museum after hours which was pretty cool and had a free shuttle to the sites on the Island.

JAL Airlines Economy TAK-HND – We booked this with Avios. It was 9,000 Avois total for both of us and about $10 in fees. Just a basic domestic economy seat, seemed to have more space than most domestic US economy and didn’t have to pay for drinks. It was an hour flight and we just wanted to save on the 6 hours on the train it would’ve taken to get back to Tokyo.

Andaz Tokyo – We did another 2 nights here with CC Award certs. We had left 2 bags at the Park Hyatt and only traveled to Kyoto/Naoshima with one suitcase so we wouldn’t have to carry much on the trains. They transferred it over to the Andaz for us for a nominal fee. When we checked in they had put us in another view room upgrade this time on the other side of the tower so we could have a different view; nice touch. Our bags were waiting for us in our room when we got there that evening. We were hungry and wanted some Sushi, and since it was Sunday they said most of the good places were closed but their restaurant on the top floor was open. We went up there and while a bit pricey it did not disappoint. While we didn’t have quite the same selection of the Michelin star sushi we had earlier in the week, the quality of the fish we did have was just as good.

Singapore Airlines NRT-SIN First Class – Wow, just wow. Business class was already an amazing experience and this was just another level, maybe even too much. There were 4 first class seats on the plane and 3 people taking care of us, and 2 first class bathrooms. They knew our names, knew it was our honeymoon, Dom or Krug, huge seat, huge screen. Food was excellent, we didn’t take Pajamas on this leg or try out the bed as it was a daytime flight and we just feasted, drank, and watched movies. They regularly checked on us by name asking if we needed, and would constantly refill our Krug.

Intercontinental Singapore – Heritage King Room that was paid for with points, it was 50,000 IHG points. Although, for some reason a few days after our stay the 50,000 points were refunded to our account, have no idea why. After the previous hotels we had been staying at it was a total let down. But we got in late and were checking out early the next morning. Looking back we should have just booked the Crowne Plaza at the airport for that night. The hotel felt pretty dated even though it had went through a recent renovation and we were put in a heritage room that overlooked the interior of some mall. They did upgrade us to a Deluxe corner room and it was larger than what we had booked and had some honeymoon treats waiting for us in our room. We were glad we were only here one night. Service was ok, but check-in and check-out here took a bit longer that what things were like in Japan.

Marina Bay Sands – Orchid Suite View – Paid cash. This building is just amazing, with the three towers and a pool spanning the top. The place is huge. The suite was awesome and you could see both side of the city from the room with floor to ceiling windows. Great living room area with ample seating and an amazing view. The bathroom had a tub right next to the window and they drew us a bath with rose petals while we were out and well as gave us a honeymoon cake. We also had access to the pool and club 55 which had free breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening drinks and canapes with alcohol and more amazing views. The grounds around the property were also incredible. The interior of the room felt slightly dated but was still great. I don’t think we needed more than two nights in Singapore.

Singapore Changi Airport - First Class Lounge Terminal 2 - After checking in to our SilkAir Business flight went to the lounge, as we entered we had our First Class NRT-SIN boarding pass as well and since we came in less than 48 hours before they escorted us to the First Class lounge. Here we had some great food and quiet time before it was time to board.

SilkAir SIN-MLE Business Class – This was originally a Singapore Airlines flight but it was canceled and moved to their code-share with SilkAir. Seats were kind like a domestic First Class with comfortable recliners and it was just a 4 hour flight so no big deal. The food was not nearly as good as Singapore Airlines business class.

St Regis Maldives Great Lounge and Sea Plane– This was all on points with the initial loading of the property it was loaded at like 32,000 points for a night in an over-water bungalow so it was 96,000 points for 3 nights. We still had to pay for the sea plane transfer and food, but there was no way we would normally be able to afford a property like this. As soon as we got through immigration we were whisked away in a nice van with wifi with a couple other people that were on our flight also staying at the St Regis to their Sea Plan lounge. Very nice small lounge with snacks and drinks and excellent service. We had to wait here for about 90 minutes for our seaplane flight. They took care of all the check-in process here, took our order for a welcome drink and showed us a video intro of our butler. When it was time for the sea plane they took us back to the van and drove us the 30 seconds to the sea plan terminal. All the while they handled our bags. Boarded the seaplane and off we went on a 45 minute flight to the island. The flight flew by and it was nothing but beautiful views.

St Regis Maldives Arrival - There was a light rain as we landed, all the butlers were at the jetty waving and welcoming us in. They had umbrellas out and covered us as we went under the reception area. Our butler introduced herself, gave us our welcome drinks while we waited a moment for our handbags. Someone else whisked our luggage away. Our butler took us to a golf cart and took us straight to our over-water suite. She gave us a quick tour of the island in the golf cart, this only took a few minutes as it is pretty small.

St Regis Over-water Sunrise Suite - Everything was really nice and very well done--the whole suite is controlled by an ipad, TV, shades, blinds, lights, DND, etc. There was a bottle of champagne on ice waiting for us, a bowl of fruit, and all sorts of snacks. It was real nice to relax here after the go go go of Japan and Singapore. There really aren’t words to describe how beautiful the Maldives is. The deck space is expansive with the plunge pool, 4 over-water hammocks, and table to sit at, 2 sun chairs, and a large sun lounger, plenty of options on where to relax in your suite. Of course there were stairs down to go straight into the water. Food on the island was great, but pretty expensive, we probably spent 400-500 a day on food.

St Regis Departure - Initially we were told the last seaplane on our departure day was 230PM, our flight out of Male was 11PM, so we were a bit bummed. Turned out at 230PM they said there was some issue and we would be at the resort until the 5PM plane which was much better. They let us stay in our room until it was time to depart. About 15 min before it was time to leave our butler came to pick us up in the golf cart and take us to reception. This was the first time we had been to reception, just finalized the bill and then got on the golf cart to go the few hundred feet to the jetty. The sea plane was mostly full and only us and one other couple got on here. A quick 45 min flight back to Male and we were greeted with by the St Regis reps who shuttled us back to the great lounge.

St Regis Great Lounge pre departure - As it was only just passed 6PM and we had an 11:30PM flight we were offered 3 options. 1. Relax in the Great Lounge until we needed to check in to the airport. 2. Hop on a boat to Male and they would provide us a free tour of the island. 3. Go to the Male and they would arrange for us dinner reservations. We opted to stay in The Great Lounge, as we were both pretty sweaty after the sea plane flight. There was a shower in the lounge that had all the amenities of the hotel so we freshened up there as we knew we had 30+ hours of travel ahead of us. We were given sandwiches, and non-alcoholic drinks. And after a couple hours it was time to head to the airport. As we walked out of the lounge the St Regis Bentley was waiting for us and we got to ride it for the 5-10 min to the airport from the seaplane terminal. The St Regis Rep guided us all the way through check in and up to security.

Singapore Airlines MLE-SIN Business Class - This flight was on a 777-200, the business class was angled lie flat seats. We were in the bulkhead and had plenty of space. It was significantly better than the SilkAir flight on the way out to MLE but not nearly as good as the 777-300er. For the 4 hour flight redeye it was fine though. Service was great, and we tried to stay awake for most the flight as we began to adjust ourselves back to PST.

Changi Singapore Airport - We landed and were first off the plane, our bags were interlined from MLE to LAX and we headed to the Private Room. There were a few groups of people making their way in to the lounge and most people were just getting scanned and let in, but as soon as an attendant saw our first class boarding passes they escorted us back to the private room through the business and then first class lounge. We didn't have that much time so we decided to be seated in the restaurant area ordered some great food, unfortunately as it was early the full menu wasn't available, but what we had was good. When it was time to board an attendant came to us and said our flight was beginning to board and we should head down there.

SIN-NRT Singapore Airlines First Class - At boarding we were greeted and offered Dom or Krug. Also, were offered pajamas and slippers and had our book the cook lobster thermidor confirmed. As soon as we were in the air we changed into our pajamas which were surprisingly comfortable and lounged. When it was lunch time we were still pretty content from eating in the lounge but also wanted to get some rest so we asked to skip some of the courses. Of course they obliged but also seemed genuinely concerned we didn't want more and wanted to make sure we were happy. Everything was great and the 7 hour leg flew by, and we didn't end up having them put the bed down on this leg. As we landed and got to gate there was some commotion about VIP something and people were being brought up to the other 2 people in First Class. The door opened and we were motioned to go off first, there was a delegation of people in suits and security with ear pieces in the Jetway obviously wondering who we were and where were the VIPs. Coming in to Tokyo you have to go through security before you can go into the lounge and reboard the plane. We quickly got to security and were told to wait, a few seconds later the VIPs were whisked through all the security and after their whole group and the waiting delegation went through we quickly got through security and went to the ANA Suites lounge.

ANA Suites Lounge NRT - Low key lounge, with excellent service, there was a buffet and some made to order food options. Curry, Ramen, Hamburger, a couple other things, we had the curry which was pretty good. Plenty of drinks to choose from and a nice view of the tarmac. We had about an 90 minutes in here before it was time to re-board.

NRT-LAX Singapore Airlines First Class - Boarded quickly and as we walked on the plane they checked our boarding pass and we were escorted back to our seats and promptly offered more Dom or Krug. More Krug please. It was a new crew from the SIN-NRT leg and they asked us if we wanted another set of PJ's which we accepted. For this leg we did not book the cook and we had a wagyu steak, and some chicken thing as part of our 5 course meal with satay, lobster or caviar appetizer, salad, soup, dessert and cheese course. We asked that the meal be served as soon as possible as we wanted to sleep and get better adjusted to LA time. Meal service was great, and then we went to change into our PJs, by the time we were done changing our beds were made up. We asked the attendant to wake us up 1030AM PST and we were fast asleep in no time. I have never slept so well on a plane. Sure enough 1030AM PST came along and felt a gentle touch on our shoulder. As we were getting situated they brought over a tray with a Happy Honeymoon Cake, some Singapore Airlines teddy bears, a card signed by all the flight attendants and of course offered more champagne which we turned down. Went to change out of PJs and by the time we were back our beds were made back into seats. The level of service in first class is just absurd. Shortly after landing in LAX and after 33+ hours of traveling we made it home.

This was the trip of a lifetime and a lot of effort and research was put in to make it that way. Now just need some more vacation time to see whats next.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 08:31:34 PM by beastieb »

Offline BarryLincoln

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Super impressive... particularly from someone with a 35-post count...  Look forward to seeing pictures...

Offline johnshek

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Super impressive... particularly from someone with a 35-post count...  Look forward to seeing pictures...
+1 well detailed and organized. Both elaborative and concise.

Offline yoohoo

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Did you take any pix?

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Nice TR, thanks for taking the time to write it up, would appreciate some pictures.
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Offline Dan

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Awesome TR, thanks for sharing.
Now we need pics!
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Offline mmgfarb

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Awesome TR, thanks for sharing.
Now we need pics!
+1 would love to see pictures
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Offline beastieb

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Unfortunately we really didn't take all that many pics. I will go through and upload some shortly.

One thing I forgot to mention that really wowed me with SQ service though, on our first leg LAX-NRT, I didn't realize I left my macbook charger in one of the many storage places in the J class seat. By the time we got to the hotel I thought I didn't even remember if I actually did bring it. 12 days later when we were departing NRT it was sitting at the first class check-in counter for our NRT-SIN leg. I couldn't believe it.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 04:12:07 PM by beastieb »

Online mochjas

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Super impressive... particularly from someone with a 35-post count...  Look forward to seeing pictures...
its amazing the knowledge you can get lurking around for a year

Offline mmgfarb

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its amazing the knowledge you can get lurking around for a year
+1000
"JS [is] a fetid cesspool of unvarnished linguistic manure, with lots of useless drivel and post-padding." -Moishebatchy

Offline beastieb

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Offline Denverite

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its amazing the knowledge you can get lurking around for a year

Super impressive... particularly from someone with a 35-post count...  Look forward to seeing pictures...

And even more impressive is his one HT you see was for the info about the SR having points booking for only 30k a night (since you had to call to book and nobody else bothered)!!! It was in some random trip planning thread and I just re-posted it to the Maldives thread, all heck broke loose, Dan made like 10 bookings for himself along with any of the other people on the thread sitting on SPG points before Dan posted it on the main page AND scooped Lucky!!  ;D

So seriously beastieb, what a spectacular trip (one of the best I've ever seen put together on DDF), thanks for sharing the info and writing up the TR and before you get to 70 posts can you pretty please give us another Hat Tip like your first while planning your next trip!!!  :P

Offline beastieb

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And even more impressive is his one HT you see was for the info about the SR having points booking for only 30k a night (since you had to call to book and nobody else bothered)!!! It was in some random trip planning thread and I just re-posted it to the Maldives thread, all heck broke loose, Dan made like 10 bookings for himself along with any of the other people on the thread sitting on SPG points before Dan posted it on the main page AND scooped Lucky!!  ;D

So seriously beastieb, what a spectacular trip (one of the best I've ever seen put together on DDF), thanks for sharing the info and writing up the TR and before you get to 70 posts can you pretty please give us another Hat Tip like your first while planning your next trip!!!  :P


Thank you!

And for those interested in the the St Regis Maldives, I have seen some reports that it's currently bookable at 58,500/night for an OWV which is way better then the usually 90,000. Not sure how long that is supposed to last.

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Thank you!

And for those interested in the the St Regis Maldives, I have seen some reports that it's currently bookable at 58,500/night for an OWV which is way better then the usually 90,000. Not sure how long that is supposed to last.

Wow, that's over a third off the normal 90k price and at $2500+ a night for a room so that's a solid redemption.  Do you happen to know if that rate already includes 5th night free or people could possibly book 5 nights for only 47k?  Who knows you might get your second HT before 40 posts!  ;D

Offline beastieb

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Wow, that's over a third off the normal 90k price and at $2500+ a night for a room so that's a solid redemption.  Do you happen to know if that rate already includes 5th night free or people could possibly book 5 nights for only 47k?  Who knows you might get your second HT before 40 posts!  ;D

Chatted with an SPG rep, and right now OWV are bookable for 58,500 a night, and confirmed with the 5th night free 5 nights would be 234,000 points which is 46,800/night. Seems like a fairly reasonable option if you have the points.