Showing posts with label Sheraton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sheraton. Show all posts

August 18, 2016

Review: Sheraton JFK Airport

Introduction Part Two
Planning & Booking
Sheraton JFK Airport
Lufthansa Business Class Lounge JFK
Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Business Class New York (JFK) to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Istanbul Arrivals Lounge
St. Regis 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)

We had a debate a few days ago about the merits of landing at Newark at 1:30AM and staying at a Newark airport hotel (as we had planned) and taking an Uber to JFK in the morning or suck it up, take the Uber at night when traffic would be light and stay at a JFK hotel.  JFK was the more expensive option but likely the most logical.

So we changed our plan and used an Amex offer ($50 off Sheraton spend of $250 or more) to bring the cost of the room down to $200.  We arrived around 2:45AM and left around 9:30AM it was a quick (and expensive) stay.  We could have used 10,000 points but I'm generally getting 2.5 cents+ per SPG point so decided to pay cash.  I did earn almost 250 SPG points from the Uber right from Newark to the hotel (3x points during SPG stays for Gold members).

I didn't take any pictures of the hotel given the short stay, but I would recommend it.  The room was clean, recently redone, and the bathroom was actually pretty nice for a Sheraton.  The best part (for me) was that the hotel sat directly under the flight path so I watched planes from bed this morning which is a real treat.  Some of you may find that as a con but definitely a pro in my book.

The shuttle (shared with the Hilton Garden Inn next door) was quick and efficient (leaves every 30 min 24 hours a day) and took about 8 minutes to get to Terminal 1.

February 6, 2016

First Class Birthday: Planning & Booking

Planning & Booking
Sheraton Gateway Hotel Toronto
Air Canada 767-300 Business Class Toronto To London (LHR)
Andaz Liverpool
Etihad Airways Business Class Lounge London
Etihad A380 Business Class London (LHR) to Abu Dhabi
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways Premium Lounge Abu Dhabi
Etihad A380 First Class Apartments Abu Dhabi to New York (JFK)
The New York EDITION

I've been grounded since November when we returned from our round the world adventure.  So I am really excited to get back in the air and travel somewhere.  Once we had our Etihad First Class Apartment booked from Abu Dhabi to New York, we just needed to build a trip around it.  We decided on London for a few days prior to Abu Dhabi and New York.  It's been a few years since we were in London and it's one of our favorite cities in the world.  So it was an easy choice.  Here's how I booked everything.


Given our day flight from Toronto, we needed to get there the night before.  There's a Sheraton attached to Toronto's Pearson airport which couldn't be more convenient.  I was able to book a AAA rate for $122 USD which seemed like a deal to me...thanks to the strong USD.

We'll see if we can make a change to Lufthansa first class within 15 days of departure.  That would certainly be more fun the Air Canada business class.  Either way, we'll be happy.

In London, we decided to stay at the Andaz which cost 75,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points, transferred in from Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

In Abu Dhabi, we settled on the Park Hyatt.  We arrive early in the morning (1AMish) and depart early the next morning (3AMish) so I booked two nights to guarantee we can be in the room the entire team.  Not the best use of points/cash but we'll be comfortable and given the overall cost of the trip, made sense.  I booked one prepaid night at a rate of $220 USD.  The second night cost 10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points and $125.

In New York, we'll be staying at the New York EDITION for a total of 80,000 Marriott Points.

In total, I used 85,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points and 80,000 Marriott points.  The cash outlay will be $467 for 8 total nights.


The flight from Denver to London cost us 140,000 United miles and $18.  London to Abu Dhabi on Etihad business class cost 60,000 American AAdantage miles and $530 in taxes and the dreaded UK premium departure tax.  We received 6,000 miles back for holding the AA Platinum Visa card.

The Etihad first class apartment flight cost us 170,000 AAdvantage miles after the 10,000 mile rebate.  We also paid $73 in taxes.

To get home, we paid cash for a United flight from LGA to DEN.  While the flight actually cost $410 for both of us, I paid with my Citi Prestige card which rebated $250.  So the total cash outlay was $160.

In total, I redeemed 140,000 United miles and 226,000 American miles.  We also paid $781 in taxes, fees, and airfare.


Despite the heavy departure tax in London, I still put together a pretty sweet 8 night trip for less than $1,250.  I redeemed a total of 531,000 points and miles for all of the flights and hotel nights.    That compares favorably to our previous trip where we spent 654,000 points and miles and more than $2,100 in cash for a 9 night trip.  Stay tuned for the individual trip report segments coming next month!

January 9, 2016

First Class Birthday: Introduction

Planning & Booking
Sheraton Gateway Hotel Toronto
Air Canada 767-300 Business Class Toronto To London (LHR)
Andaz Liverpool
Etihad Airways Lounge London
Etihad A380 Business Class London (LHR) to Abu Dhabi
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi
Etihad A380 First Class Apartments Abu Dhabi to New York (JFK)
The New York EDITION

I realize I still have a few trip report segments to finish for our last trip to Singapore but I'm so excited about this trip, I wanted to get the Introduction post out.

I've already posted about booking Etihad's First Class Apartment and will probably be posting about the experience several times before/after the trip.

Since the timing worked out, we decided to make this a trip to celebrate my birthday.  Emily's excited as this is a step up from last year's flying east to get west adventure.

Trip route - courtesy of the Great Circle Mapper

We'll leave after work Friday evening taking United's direct service to Toronto.  The flight arrives late and we have another flight the next morning to London so we'll spend the night at the Sheraton Gateway which is connected to the airport.

The next morning, we'll take Air Canada's day flight (often called the CEO flight) from Toronto to London.  The flight leaves around 8AM and arrives around 8PM.  Pretty perfectly timed to be able to minimize jet lag and get to sleep upon arrival.  I'm still hoping we'll be able to upgrade to a Lufthansa First Class flight (connecting through Frankfurt or Munich) but that would be a last minute change if at all.  If not, we'll be perfectly fine in AC business class and I'm excited to review an option that is widely available on points in advance.

We are both really excited to check out the Andaz Liverpool in London which is located in London's East Side.  We both loved the Andaz in Amsterdam and it will be great to check out another Andaz property in Europe.

After a few nights in London, we're off to Abu Dhabi via Etihad's A380 business class.  Again, I'm hopeful that a couple of First Class Apartment seats open up (only 10,000 more miles each) but it will be cool to review both the business and first class apartment cabins on the A380.  

In Abu Dhabi, we'll spend a couple of nights at the Park Hyatt before heading to the airport for 14 hours in our first class apartments!  We're mixing it up a bit - staying a couple nights in New York before returning home to Denver.

Nearly 17,000 miles of flying

All in, this will be nearly 17,000 miles of flying and a couple of new airlines to review!  I'll post the Planning & Booking segment prior to our departure as well as a couple other posts about Etihad.  Stay tuned for another great trip report!

May 4, 2014

Suite Trip to Bali: Introduction

Planning & Booking
Sheraton JFK
Asiana 777 First Class Suite New York to Seoul
Asiana First Class Lounge Incheon
Asiana 767 Business Class Seoul to Bangkok
Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
Thai Airways Business Class Lounge Bangkok & Royal Orchard Spa
Thai Airways 777 Business Class Bangkok to Bali
Four Seasons Bali at Sayan
St. Regis Bali Resort
Exploring Bali
Singapore Airlines 777 Business Class Bali to Singapore
Conrad Singapore
Exploring Singapore
Singapore Airlines The Private Room
Singapore Airlines First Class Suite Singapore to Los Angeles

We are rapidly approaching our next big trip to Bali and Singapore and getting pretty pumped.  We originally booked this trip for February of this year but had to move it due to a family commitment.  More on this during the Planning & Booking post.  I'm posting this a bit early to motivate me to write a complete trip report this time for your enjoyment.

The change actually worked out for the best.  We are now taking the trip at the same time as our second wedding anniversary so while it wasn't the original plan, we now have a pretty "suite" anniversary trip booked.  Plus the weather is better in Bali in July vs. February.

Four Seasons Bali at Sayan Pool

Over the past few years, I've put together half a dozen "big" trips for Emily and me and also helped a few others do the same.  But I have to say this is the best I've ever done in terms of destination, itinerary, use of points, etc...

The route to Bali and back - 23,309 miles in the air

We knew we wanted to go to Bali and it was just a question of when to go, how to get there, and where to stay.  I knew that I wanted to fly Singapore Suites First Class (with the famed "double bed") on one leg of the trip but I knew that scoring two tickets would be challenging.  What I didn't know when setting out to book this trip was that we would end up in suites first class (defined as a seat with a closing door) on both legs of the trip - all made possible with miles and points!  We also decided to break up the trip with a couple of nights in Singapore before flying home.

Next, I will cover the specifics of the booking process, miles/points used, and itinerary so you can think about how to take your own trip to Bali!