July 3, 2016

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

Planning & Booking
American Express Centurion Lounge Houston IAH
Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Houston 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

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 Hyatt, getting there is more of a challenge than other resorts.

24,000 miles RTW - map 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.

Another look

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.  So we settled on flying Turkish business class from Houston to Istanbul and then from Istanbul to Male.  I booked these flights prior to the horrible terrorist attack last week.  While our original plan was to go into the city for dinner, (we have an 8.5 hour layover) we will likely just hangout at the airport airside to be safe.  We've flown Turkish a few times before but it's been awhile.  The CIP lounge in Istanbul is likely the best business class lounge in the world and I'm excited to take advantage (and see the lounge since the recent expansion) of all that it has to offer during our long layover.

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.

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.

While the trip was built primarily around returning to the Maldives, I'm really excited about another RTW trip with visits to Istanbul, Singapore, and Tokyo.  Stay tuned for the Planning and Booking segment coming up next.

No comments:

Post a Comment