Author Topic: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR  (Read 11894 times)

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2020, 04:30:40 PM »
January 27-28 STR Bangkok.


It took us an hour to arrive at the STR Bangkok with some traffic towards the end. They quickly took all our stuff from the cab and brought us to the 12th floor where the reception is. It's really a beautiful and tall building and was happy to spend just a FNC of 35k for it.








I previously had the check-in in the app for the Met suite as a platinum member and was pretty excited about it because usually they give an upgrade to the deluxe room only. We arrived at the reception and they brought us cold towels and drinks.


The check-in process took a bit too long and then he tells me that we got the deluxe room. I show him my app where it shows the Met suite, he makes a phone call to let me know that I can get the suite only at 3 pm but the deluxe room is ready for us now. It was only 1 pm so we just took the deluxe room, besides that the view is much nicer in the deluxe room. On my way out, the chef Dwayne Krisko comes towards me telling me that he has some salads from the Kosher restaurant for us.
I emailed the hotel a few weeks before to inquire if they can take care of the Kosher food from the Chabad restaurant with delivery and I'll pay them directly. They replied to me positively but I didn't follow up with it.
Now I felt a bit embarrassed that he went to order for me already from the menu. I told him that I really appreciate it and please send it and bill it to my room. He insisted that the hotel wants to offer it as they want to satisfy me etc. That was nice! We had a chat there, he told me that he came 2 months ago to Bangkok and he worked in many hotels around the world and also in Miami so he's a bit familiar with Kosher food.
We went to the room, showered and ordered 2 burgers and the roast beef teriyaki. I placed the order by WhatsApp (found online) and paid with a link. Total was 1120 Baht including 150 for delivery.
Our room (1704) was right on top of the pool with a nice view of the golf park.






The food was ok but we were starving.




I also ordered from JCafe some sandwiches for the next morning breakfast, and a friend from Chabad in Bangkok brought it to me since he had to pick up some American sim cards from me.
In the afternoon we went for a stroll in the nearby park, it was nice and quiet and the baby was sleeping in the stroller.






We also went to sit next to the pool and I took my daughter for ‘hakofos’ around the pool for who knows how long.




It was our first day in Asia and I was so impressed by how everyone from the staff personnel were smiling and trying to play with my daughter. They all were nice and patient.


We went then to the Happy hour cocktail and told them we want the Platinum menu. It's a cocktail menu to order without any price complimentary for platinum members and up. We took 2 drinks and went to sit outside with the same view from our room.






When we came back to the room our Butler prepared us a nice surprise in our bathroom and we were thrilled.




In the meantime they brought us the salad that the chef ordered for us. We ate them later, it was fresh with lots of dressings on the side.
We didn't have time to visit Bangkok and we were too tired for it. That day was just to get a break from the flights and to catch up a bit with the jet lag before going to Koh Samui. I also gave my Butler that day 8 dresses to press complimentary for platinum members and they came back the next morning.


The room was spacious with a large bathroom open to the room with slide walls. We loved the room but weren't too excited because we knew where we headed the next day.




In the morning we woke up early and went to breakfast to get some fruits, veggies, fruits juices and smoothies.




They were very nice to us, especially towards my daughter. We ate after our sandwiches in the room and made ourselves ready to check out.


Flight with Bangkok Airways was at 11:30 am so we left the hotel at 9 with a taxi from Grab.
My daughter threw up in the car but nothing that we couldn't handle… the ride was shorter than the previous day. That ride was 735 and I gave the driver extra for the incident.
We checked in our luggage, we had more than 50kg but they didn't say anything (we were allowed 20+20+10).
We went to the Blue ribbon lounge with the PP card, just to have a quiet place for ourselves (because there's nothing more than that there).
We boarded on time, the plane was full but everything goes smoothly and fast, unlike other countries. We had fruits in our 'KSML' which was funny. (Why do they serve a free meal in a short hour flight?!)


At USM we had to wait a long time for our suitcases, DW & daughter went for a troll in the small airport and I was melting in the heat.
But who doesn't like small airports?




After our suitcases came we went towards the parking and the Conrad driver waited for us with the Conrad sign.


(someone was holding this sign... I was confused because it didn't say Conrad on it and the booking was on my wife's name anyway...)


He gave us cold towels and offered us water in the car. As I requested in the email they had a cute car seat waiting in the car, because I love when the hotel doesn't forget small details.






Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2020, 04:35:26 PM »
What is your Instagram user name?
Take a guess
Same as my DDF username

Online Moshe26

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2020, 05:52:12 PM »
I didn't know it could get better than the IG stories!  Love all of the info.
and whatsapp status ;)

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2020, 07:21:14 PM »
Hey @CR check out the Kosher meal on Bangkok Airways :D

Offline CR

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2020, 08:25:40 PM »
Hey @CR check out the Kosher meal on Bangkok Airways :D
:) Nice! I guess its all the Kosher food they can come up with without getting a Kosher vendor.

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2020, 09:08:06 PM »
:) Nice! I guess its all the Kosher food they can come up with without getting a Kosher vendor.
LOL!
That's what I wrote on Instagram.

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2020, 11:28:07 PM »

Before I continue with the Conrad Koh Samui I need to put a small introduction.
A few weeks before our trip I was scrolling the threads of all kinds of goodies that DDF'rs were selling on the GFST board. I saw then a thread for Aspire credit ($250 credit at any Hilton resort) selling at 50% and lower. I know that they changed recently their policy for advanced purchase rate which can be one of the factors for this low price but I was still very impressed. I figured that I can pay all the Kosher food and the activities straight from my room folio and prepay the hotel in advance with third-party Aspire credits. Many people might not be so comfortable doing so but I took the challenge, especially that the reward was very attractive. I emailed the hotel in the beginning asking them to charge 2 × $250 and they asked me to fill up a form with the cardholder picture ID and the picture of the actual CC. I filled up everything and ask them to charge me the equivalent amount in Baht. I did it for 6 cards in total ($1500) and then the hotel told me that this is the maximum amount allowed from third parties cards.
I paid these credits between 40-45% each, which is a ridiculous amount for what I can get with them. Since I had the opportunity to get everything for cheaper, I figured I'll spoil my wife with a huge 2 story villa and a separate bedroom for our daughter for our stay. We didn't really need the 2 extra bedroom but mostly for the fact that the villa has a living room and a kitchen (and so much bigger). I emailed the hotel for an upgrade to the 2 bedrooms and they quoted me 10000 Baht inclusive. I asked them to upgrade us for 3 nights out of our 5 nights (I figured that they will be willing to give us the 2 remaining nights for free and it came out that I was right). I also need to mention that when I was prepaying by email, the hotel mentioned that in case of unused credit, they will not reimburse to the credit card but rather they will give me the money in cash with a 5% fee. I knew previously that the hotel was giving cash to their guest and then charging their credit card so this wasn't a surprise but rather a confirmation that it can work the way around (paying first [at 45%] then cashing out [at 95%]).
Because I and my wife signed up in November for the free Aspire credit card, I realized that I can basically enjoy the upgrade and the Kosher meals, etc. at a very small cost as you'll see later. (I might take off this section if readers find it too informative so enjoy it before it's gone...).

January 28th, Koh Samui.
I choose the taxi from the hotel directly and not from (the cheaper) Mr. Samui as everyone recommends on FT because it's actually cheaper with the Aspire credits that I previously loaded to my room folio (that's it, now you know why everything is charged through the hotel directly...). The cost for the ride is 1500 Baht per way or 3000 Baht round trip from the airport to the hotel inclusive (prices in this hotel could be inclusive or before charges and taxes so I'll try to make it clear every time. Usually, when it's not inclusive, it's 10% charge + 7.7% VAT +1% city tax which basically means that you need to add 18.7% on top of the gross amount). I choose the cheapest option for the hotel ride and this was already very nice, a brand new sparkling Toyota SUV with only 6000 KM on the counter!


There were cold towels and free water, as well as a good reliable Wifi (much better than my slow 2G speed from T-Mobile).

The ride to the hotel takes about an hour, there's only one road for the island which is a ring that goes around all the island. The airport is on the east side of the island (near Chabad and main beaches) and the Conrad is on the west side of the island, and basically on the opposite side. Traffic can be slow when too many trucks are on the road as the road can go uphill many times and it slowdowns trucks.
Just before arriving at the hotel the driver has to go up the hill that is very steep and narrow so 2 guards have to coordinate to let only one driver at a time go up or down. (Any driver can go up but you'll probably be very amused to drive the steep hill).




We arrived at the hotel around 2 pm and they took our passports for the check-in process. They brought us cold towels and drinks and we sat in the lobby which is located on top of the hill.




The view from the lobby (or anywhere in the hotel)




The lobby itself is open to the outside and there are few chairs and couches along the glass wall that looks at the resort and the ocean.




They also brought a lizard and a starfish toy for my daughter and she was so happy (especially that she slept so well in the car...).


Our butler was Natt and she was really great towards us the all stay as I will point out endless of time. She told me that we got room 501 as requested in the email. The reason I requested this one is that is the more isolated 2 bedroom and there's nothing to its right.


I told her that we'll appreciate if we can keep the 2 bedrooms for the remaining of the stay and she told me that she will try her best. She took us on a buggy to our room from the reception which was a short ride since the 2 bedrooms are in the high up section of the cliff.


I'm not gonna describe the villa because many here already did but let me just put here a video tour so you can all see by yourself.
"
"



Monogrammed bathtubs, pillows sleepers and bib.












She gave me her Whatsapp number and told me to ask her anything through this channel. She also gave us 8 vouchers for free drinks at Azur bar (by the pool) because of our Diamond status. (Most of the things that I'm writing here weren't new for me as I've read the whole thread in FlyerTalk about this hotel, yes the effect of surprise is nice but I like to know everything in advance and play accordingly).
Although we knew exactly how the room looks like, we were really excited just from the view. It's not just a luxury room that we felt like fancy guests, it's the magnificence of nature opening up in front of your eyes and you can see it from the garden, the living room, the master bedroom... anywhere! It filled me with emotions and excitement, I knew at this exact moment that it was all worth it. (funny story, one of the nights I posted on Instagram a lapse time of the sunset from my GoPro and someone asked me and I quote, "How did you find this specific location with amazing sunset view?" you get my point).
I was pretty amazed that it's already afternoon and we didn't feel tired after only 2 days being on another time zone (because right now, 5 days after the trip writing these lines - I'm still jetlagged...) I guess the excitement kept us awake.
At this point, the Kosher food that I ordered the day before arrived, I went to the microwave, cleaned it and boiled water for a couple of minutes then heated the food.
The way it works with the Kosher food from Chabad; the hotel offers free breakfast from Chabad for diamond members for all the guests in the villa (yes, even for my 18 months old daughter). We can order from the meat or dairy restaurant an item for each. It needs to be ordered the day before, before 11 am. Around 12 pm the shuttle from the hotel stops at Chabad and pickup the breakfast for the following day. Anything you want to order from Chabad (through the hotel or Chabad directly) can be delivered at the same time at no charge. If it's requested for another time or the driver left already, then there's an 800 Baht charge which is the same amount that the restaurant itself charges. The hotel has an older version of the meat menu and 1 or 2 items are more expensive, otherwise, it's the same prices and prices are inclusive but I don't think we got points on this kind of spending.
There's someone responsible for the 2 kitchens and he always can help via Whatsapp. I didn't pay a single time during my stay for the delivery fee and always made sure to place my order on time. When the driver was coming back around 1-2 pm, he had our lunch and dinner and also breakfast for the following day. I asked my butler to always bring us all our food straight when it arrives and not to keep it, we were then storing it in our fridge and warm it up later with the microwave.
We got that day a burger, Pad Thai and a chicken breast salad. The burger was much better than in Bangkok and my wife liked the Pad Thai and salad.


After we unpacked and enjoyed looking for the many aspects the villa has we went for an hour swim in our pool, it was relaxing and enjoyable to see our daughter having so much fun.


We went after to the Azure bar to get the free drinks and sit at the pool. We called a buggy to go to the main pool/bar and they came pretty fast. (Usually, we didn't wait more than 3-4 minutes although the hotel was at 80% occupancy.)




Because every room/villa here has its own pool, no one really hangs out in the main area unless they want to eat in the restaurant. We were in the highest season of the year (right after the Chinese new year), and it always felt empty (besides breakfast).








Back to our villa for sunset


After spending some time there we headed back to our villa and went to the shower. My daughter was already tired so I put here to sleep and she fell asleep in minutes. That was actually a big relief because I was afraid that she will feel uncomfortable in this new place and this is the first time she has her own room beside at home. Turned out that to have the 2 bedroom was a big game-changer for our 5 days. After she was sleeping and closing her doors, we basically had the whole night for ourselves. Yes, even with a baby - isn't as bad as you think...
I had to catch up with some phone calls to the US and then went to sleep for a long quiet night.

Offline Dan

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2020, 11:58:52 PM »
Fantastic TR so far, keep it coming!

One of these years I'll make it out to USM. Going when you have one kid is smart. Exponentially harder with each additional kid.

I never know what mixed drinks/ingredients are OK to order, would love to hear more about that.
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.

Online mmgfarb

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2020, 12:03:47 AM »
Awesome!
"JS [is] a fetid cesspool of unvarnished linguistic manure, with lots of useless drivel and post-padding." -Moishebatchy

Offline CR

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2020, 08:57:28 AM »
Amazing trip report, brings back memories of our trip to the Conrad Koh Samui. We were actually in the same villa / 501 as well. What a great experience!

Offline israshot

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2020, 10:30:45 AM »
Amazing trip report, brings back memories of our trip to the Conrad Koh Samui. We were actually in the same villa / 501 as well. What a great experience!
Hey, someone wrote me the same thing yesterday on Instagram .

Offline CR

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2020, 01:01:39 PM »
Hey, someone wrote me the same thing yesterday on Instagram .

Wasn't me  :) , but they don't have that many 2 and 3 bedroom villas - as per the manger we spoke to in the summer.

Offline iluv2travel

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2020, 10:13:22 PM »
One of these years I'll make it out to USM. Going when you have one kid is smart. Exponentially harder with each additional kid.

Or you leave them with a babysitter  ;).

Offline Z56

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2020, 12:34:14 AM »
Hey, someone wrote me the same thing yesterday on Instagram .

👋🏻
“I have nothing in common with lazy people who blame others for their lack of success. Great things come from hard work

Offline lakewood34

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Re: Bangkok, Koh Samui, Singapore and Maldives TR
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2020, 01:41:41 AM »
Fantastic TR so far, keep it coming!

One of these years I'll make it out to USM. Going when you have one kid is smart. Exponentially harder with each additional kid.

I never know what mixed drinks/ingredients are OK to order, would love to hear more about that.
that's only true when they are younger once they are older (mid teens )it can actually be easier as they help with everything