Author Topic: Phuket, Maldives, and London  (Read 1001 times)

Offline shauly

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Phuket, Maldives, and London
« on: February 05, 2020, 01:35:13 PM »
For this trip report, I'm not going to bother reviewing any airlines or lounges. There's no information I can provide that isn't available many times over.

I am lucky enough to have a wife that let's me travel solo and with friends throughout the year. We finally had an opportunity to take a vacation together, so I knew I had to go all out. I knew she'd always wanted to go to the Maldives, so it seemed like that would be a good fit. We had about a week and a bit to go, and I thought we'd probably get bored in the Maldives for that long, so I had to find somewhere else to go for a few days. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Phuket, so that was an easy choice as well.

I booked Elal business class on the 787 to Bangkok for 75k QF each and $30 in taxes. Then I booked a revenue connection on Thai to Phuket for $60 each.

I've been to Phuket several times, but always with the boys. Previously we had stayed with the Diamond Cliff, which I think is a great value. It's close to Chabad, the rooms are nice, and I'm very comfortable there. But since the second half of the trip was going to be in the Maldives, I had to do better. After doing a lot of research, I settled on The Naka Phuket, which is a Marriott Design Hotel. I didn't even realize that until after I had chosen it. There was availablity for a standard room on points, but I wanted the High Bay room so I ended up booking it outright for about $500 a night for two nights.

To get from Phuket to Male, the quickest option was on Bangkok Airways via BKK. Etihad has great rates for PG but they couldn't see the space. I ended up calling Cathay, and was able to get it booked. The great part was that because HKT to BKK only had economy, it took the price down from 30k to 27.2k each.

For the hotel in the Maldives, I chose the Waldorf Astoria. I had a few Be My Guest certificates from a botched stay in Beverly Hills a while back (they were valid for a year, but Hilton was kind enough to extend the validity), and I planned to use those for part of the stay, as the middle nights I needed weren't available on points. I booked the other nights for 120k HH a night, and tried getting the certificates applied for the middle two nights. I had a lot of trouble, and left it after a few hucas. The next morning, I took a look and those nights were available with points, so I grabbed those as well. I called Hilton to get the three reservations combined, and bizzarely the rep insisted that since I was only booking four nights, I should book the night before as my fifth night free so I could check in early. I tried explaining that I'll be checking in whenever the hotel picks me up from the airport, so it won't really help, but she insisted.

For our flights back to Israel, I originally booked MLE-SIN-ZRH-TLV for 132.5k SQ + around $300 each. A few weeks later, my wife asked me if we were stopping in London at all on the trip. I checked, and there was Emirates available from DXB to LGW in F, and MLE to DXB was available in business. I booked my seat with 95k JAL that I had left from a previous trip, plus $450. I called Emirates to hold a seat for my wife, and they were able to see MLE to DXB in F for her, so I booked her in F the whole way for 125k EK + $450.

We were arriving into London at 6am, and I found a flight on the new BA A350 leaving at 9:10pm which I booked for I believe 32.5k BA plus $300 each.

We were arriving into Gatwick and departing Heathrow, so I arranged with Airportr to pick up my bags in Gatwick and check them into BA in Heathrow. It was 70gbp for four bags, but there was a 15% off code for giving them your email.

I'm sitting in the BA Galleries lounge right now waiting for the last leg to take us home after a very enjoyable trip. I have a ton of pictures to upload from a million different devices, and an endless amount of good things to say about the Waldorf, and I look forward to sharing it all very soon.

Offline mmgfarb

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Re: Phuket, Maldives, and London
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 01:53:41 PM »
Nice start! It's been a while since one of your TRs, looking forward to the rest.
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Offline aj8280

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Re: Phuket, Maldives, and London
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2020, 01:14:05 PM »
Any drone footage?

I need drone footage!

Give me the drone baby!!


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Re: Phuket, Maldives, and London
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2020, 02:13:17 PM »
Sounds like a grand start to a great tr To be continued?