July 31, 2016

Introduction Part Two: I'm Going Going, Back Back to Maldives, Maldives

Introduction Part Two
Planning & Booking
Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel
Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Business Class New York (JFK) to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines A330-300 Business Class Istanbul to Male
Transfer from Male to Conrad Maldives
Conrad Maldives
Transfer from Conrad Maldives to Male
Singapore Airlines 777-200 Business Class Male to Singapore
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Singapore
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge to Singapore
Singapore Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Singapore to Tokyo (HND)
Andaz Tokyo
ANA Suite Lounge Tokyo (NRT)
ANA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo (NRT) to Houston
American Express Centurion Lounge Houston (IAH)

I've updated the post below based on changes made to our itinerary.  I'll post the Planning & Booking section in the next week or so.

I've eluded to our upcoming RTW adventures in posts about the brand new Houston Centurion lounge as well as getting the most out of Hyatt Gold Passport points.  We're leaving next month and the trip is almost complete so figured I'd provide a bit more of a teaser in the form of an introductory post.

We were in the Maldives last year and just loved it.  There is something completely magical about the remoteness of it all.  There's no denying the fact that it's an incredibly challenging to get there.  Especially from the US.  But once you are there, it's the most beautiful place on earth (at least that I've seen).  So we set out to return later this summer.  While we loved the Park Hyattgetting there is more of a challenge than other resorts.
Our 23,000+ mile RTW itinerary (courtesy of the Great Circle Mapper)
There are limited points options in the Maldives.  You're really limited to the Park Hyatt, Conrad, Sheraton, and W.  A St. Regis will be opening later this year.  I had a large stash of Hilton HHonors points burning a hole in my pocket as well as 2 free weekend certificates thanks to the Hilton Reserve card.  So we decided on the Conrad which is supposed to be outstanding and just a 30 minute seaplane ride away from Male.

A trip to the Maldives requires a fair amount of coordination as there are only so many flight options to Male.  We flew Emirates during our last trip and while I would have loved to do that again, Alaska made that a bit of a challenge.  To make the most of our time off work, we'll head to Newark after work before overnighting at the Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel.  In the morning, we'll Uber over to JFK to catch Turkish Airlines TK4 afternoon service to Istanbul.  This will get us into Istanbul early the next morning.  We'll have a 21 hour layover to do some sight seeing, eating, and generally enjoying what is one of the most wonderful cities in the world.  Our flight to Male leaves very early (2AM) the next day so we'll head to the airport late the previous night to spend a couple hours in the Turkish Airlines CIP lounge.  The lounge is generally regarded as one of the best business class lounges in the world.

After our stay in the Maldives, we'll head to Tokyo through Singapore via two Singapore airlines day flights in business class.  We'll have approximately 12 hours on the ground in Singapore.  At the moment, our plan is to spend the night at the airport but we may head into the city if we're feeling up to it.

Once in Tokyo, we'll have about 40 hours on the ground.  Certainly not near enough to explore the world's biggest city but we hope it's enough to love it enough to return for an extended trip.  We're both confident that will be the case.  We're both on the fence in terms of where to stay.  We have both the Andaz and the brand new (opening 7/27) Prince Gallery hotel booked.  We'll make a decision based on opening reports early next month.

23,000+ miles of flying - almost 700 miles less than our previous itinerary

On the way home, we'll depart from Narita (NRT) on ANA's 777-300ER service to Houston before catching a United flight home to Denver.  The ANA flight will be our only first class segment of the trip.  All in in all, this trip is over 24,000 (when you include the seaplane flights to the Conrad) miles of flying around the world!  That's roughly 1,000 miles further than our last round the world adventure.

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