First of Two Singapore First-Class United Glitch Flights this Thursday…and help me pick hotels and a return flight!

Wow, six months really flew by! On July 9th I was lucky enough to book Singapore First itineraries, taking advantage of award availability normally made exclusively available to Singapore Airline’s own KrisFlyer frequent flyer members. The glitch was most likely due to a system upgrade, though we still don’t have a definitive answer as to exactly what happened, though United and Singapore have honored all tickets. I booked two flights during the glitch, one to Bali and one to Melbourne. The Bali flight is this Thursday!

I plan to spend a few days in Bali and then head on over to Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is one of the only countries I haven’t visited in Asia and will be my 67th country overall. I’m hoping to find a fun last minute First routing from KUL back to NYC . Points and miles at my disposal include AA miles, AMEX MR points, BA avios, Chase UR points, SPG points, UA miles, and US miles. I have tons of Delta miles at my disposal, though I’m aiming for an international first class seat (you cannot redeem SkyMiles for First Class on a 3-class cabin). I’ve been monitoring two routings on Lufthansa A380 and 747 flights as well as a Thai Airways routing, but I’m open to any exciting suggestions. I am more than comfortable waiting until the last minute in order to score an amazing ride! My backups will be Cathay, JAL, and ANA, though I’ve experienced each of their latest First offerings.

In terms of hotels in Bali, I have a few nights confirmed with a few more to be decided. Properties I’m considering are the St. Regis, W, Sheraton, Conrad, and Grand Hyatt. I already have two nights confirmed at the W and one at the St. Regis. Both hotels have absolutely ridiculous pay and redemption rates, yet after tracking the hotels daily, I was finally able to find non-refundable rates that dropped the prices by 55-60% off the regularly best available rates at each property. For my remaining nights I’m thinking of trying out the very recently opened Sheraton. It’s reasonable priced at under $150 for my dates or 10,000 points per night, plus everything is brand spanking new. I’d also take advantage of my SPG Platinum suite upgrades.  The Conrad and Hyatt certainly look very nice and are reasonably priced, but there have already been several trip reports published on both of these properties (Admittedly, I am very tempted to use my free HHonors Diamond status one last time before I’m downgraded). A nice and comfortable resort is important, though I don’t intend to spend full days on the properties as I love to get out and explore!

As far as hotels in KUL, I’m considering the Hilton (which actually looks nicer than most of the hotels but will require a quick train ride to most attractions), Sheraton, Westin, JW Marriott, and Grand Hyatt. Any recommendations?

Now, my other Singapore First flight to Melbourne was booked with the hope that the 777-300ER on the SIN-MEL leg would be swapped out for the A380 (something that happened last year), putting me in a Singapore Suite Class for over 8 hours!  Now I just need to work on return flights… For those of you who booked Singapore First tickets during the glitch, A380 swaps were also announced on the SFO-HKG-SIN and SFO-SIN-NRT routes effective December 28, 2012. However, the additions came at the expense of one of the JFK-FRA-SIN routes which went back to a B777-300ER. In any case, I’m very much looking forward to my suite class ride in February!

Check out this link for full video and pictures of Suite Class. Each individual cabin features sliding doors and window blinds, offering you the freedom to decide on the level of privacy you prefer. While the leather and wood finishes, created in soothing natural hues, enhance the sense of serenity. For the first time ever in air travel, experience the pleasure of sleeping on a distinctively designed, standalone bed; not one converted from a seat. Our signature turndown service, with fine linen and plush, full-sized pillows, ensures a restful slumber. The bed is separate for your seat and whether in our largest seat or on our most comfortable bed, you have countless ways to enjoy this unique, personal space.

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  1. The Hilton in KL on top of the train station is amazing! The executive lounge is probably the best lounge I’ve ever been in (with really nice food and wine). Also the Hilton is really easy to get to via the airport train. Just hop on at KUL and half an hour later you’re under/in the hotel.

  2. I totally agree with Wofgang, Hilton all the way in KL. My family loved the pool and the executive lounge is the best in all of Asia. The trip into the city is simple, don’t worry about it.

    I think at your age you’ll have more fun at the W but I want a trip report on the St. Regis!

  3. One of my favorite hotels is the Grand Hyatt in Bali, however if you got a great rate at the St. Regis you have to try it out. We went for lunch one day and it was stunning .I stayed at both the JW Marriott and Hilton in KL and the Hilton is much newer with far better service. Get yourself to ubud in Bali.

  4. Are you kidding, these shouldn’t even be up for discussion. Hilton KL just for the EL and W/St. Regis in DPS if you can swing them.

  5. I’ve been to Bali 3 times and I think your leaving out the InterContinental. It is one of my favorite resorts in the world. However, the St. Regis and the W look right up there and you have status with them. If you have status with IC, I’d consider them too. I actually like the Le Meriden in KUL, it is attached to the Hilton but not as modern. I care more about getting my SPG points though.

  6. EASY!!! Lufthansa 747-4 return flights w car service, divide St. Regis Bali / W, Hilton Malaysia – airport to hotel 20 mins train

    • @Wolfgang, Dennis, Emily, Brett, Marty, Ron – Wow, it seems unanimous that the Hilton is the place to stay in Kuala Lumpur, thanks for your input! Just booked the hotel!

  7. We did 4 nights at the StR in Bali as part of our honeymoon – and it is absolutely can’t miss. Try and finagle your way into a Lagoon Villa – probably the best hotel room of my life. The breakfast (included in the rate) is absolutely incredible – Kobe beef and eggs, every dim sum option imaginable, pretzel bread – I want to go back just thinking about it.

  8. We split our trip at the same two properties. You won’t be disappointed with either. I think we loved the W a little more but the st regis was more posh. you will be very pampered, including complimentary airport pickup. Have fun!

  9. LOOOOVE W Bali. We had lunch at the St. Regis and it was gorgeous as well. You can’t go wrong with either. Looking forward to reading the trip reports!

  10. I disagree about the Hilton KL. I loved the Westin and, as a gold at the time, had a great view of the twin towers, which were in walking distance. Great mall across the street. Location, location, location…

    • @PatMike – Thanks for the info, nice to have a differing opinion. My main concern with the Hilton was not being able to just walk out of the hotel and explore.

  11. Just discovered your blog and it’s a timely discovery – booked in Singapore suites to Bali in a couple of weeks. I’ve been debating W, new Sheraton, Intercontinental, and Conrad. I’ll be watching to see your report. Thanks.

    • @BFrankley – Congrats on your booking and thanks for reading! I’ll be sure to follow-up with reviews and tips on each property!

  12. We just returned from Bali last week… Of you like to get out and explore consider staying away from Nusa Dua which is like a Disney world of hotel properties. We stayed a couple of nights in Nusa Dua and were loathing to go back to the beaches of sanur with some life outside the hotel!

    Instead, I would suggest staying at the Bali Hyatt in sanur. The property was wonderful, the staff extremely welcoming and friendly, plus you have the small city of sanur right outside the gates, whereas Nusa Dua you would need to cab it to find any life!

    For food in sanur I would suggest Komilfo, which is right on the beach. Walk outside the Bali Hyatt and make a right on the beach walkway and it is about a 5 minute walk on your right. Or try Borneo Bobs Bar down the road, about a $1.50 can ride. They make good indonesia and American food if you are missing home.

    Also nevermind bargaining for shirts and trinkets, just pop into Hardy’s. it’s like a walmart in Indonesia, which sells EVERYTHING the locals do and you don’t have to worry about bargaining.

    Have fun!

    • @Jon B – Perfectly timed, thanks for the advice! I’m looking into Sanur and Ubud now to add some variety to the trip. Appreciate the food and Hardy’s recommendations! Hope you had a great time on your trip.

  13. I live in KL and while I’ve been to the restaurants at the hotels above I have never stayed at any of them. If I had to choose I’d probably go for the Westin for the location alone.

    Enjoy the trip!

  14. I used to live in KL for years and I much prefer Hilton than Le Meridien (although they are next to each other) easy access to main tourist area via taxi or LRT. If you want to be where everything is the newly opened Grand Hyatt is the place.
    As for Bali, just a little advise if you are staying at Nusa Dua & Jimbaran areas (Conrad, St Regis), there will be a heavy traffic from those areas to Denpasar/Kuta. I was staying at Conrad last week at it took me nearly 3 hours to get to the airport (normally takes about half an hour!), nearly missed my flight! But my favourite all time hotel in Bali is the Chedi Club in Ubud. It’s just breathtaking!

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