Trip Reports Posts

Hotel Review: The Westin San Francisco Airport

I've had an unofficial boycott of Starwood hotels for the better part of 10 years.  I felt I was unfairly denied a wheelbarrow full of Starpoints after a lengthy stay at a Starwood property in India in 2005, and so as soon as my former employer added other chains to the "approved provider" ...
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Lounge Review: United Club at Hong Kong HKG

The United Club at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is located in the northwest concourse of terminal 1, near gate 60. From the Duty Free shopping area of the main departure level (6th floor), take the elevator to the mezzanine level (7th floor) and follow the signs for the airline lounges. The ...
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Eating Our Way Along the California Coast

You thought you could make it through an entire trip report series without a post about food?  Think again!  Especially considering said trip was through California, a hotbed of culinary excellence.  Food choices on this road trip would be a little more challenging than normal, ...
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Review: Al Maha Resort, Dubai Desert Reserve

The Al Maha Resort in the Dubai Desert Reserve is most definitely like an oasis in the desert.  I spent a ton of SPG points for our stay here, but I have no regrets, this place is really unique, and a luxurious spot in the middle of the desert.
 
Dubai Desert Reserve
We had ...

A Walk on the Wild Side at Great Cats World Park

After finishing our tour of the redwoods on Friday afternoon, we still had a day and a half to go before returning to San Francisco, since our flight home wasn't until Sunday morning.  As I was planning our route back, something caught my eye on Google Maps, not far from Crescent City - Great ...

Lounge Review: Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge at SFO

The Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge at San Francisco (SFO) is located airside in the international departure terminal, Area G. As you clear security, make your first right towards the United Club and go down the long hallway. The SilverKris lounge will be on your left hand side about halfway ...
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Hotel Review: The Historic Requa Inn, Requa, CA

Far Northern California, once you get north of the Bay Area's exurbs, is largely a collection of small towns interspersed amongst some of the most spectacular natural beauty you'll find anywhere.  The bucolic, rural character of the area is a throwback to the idyllic California of yesteryear, ...

Review: Virgin Atlantic Upper Class on the A340-600 from London to Dubai

Flying from Chicago to Dubai with a ~12 hour stop in London isn't the most efficient way to get there, but I got a good value out of some old Delta miles that we had and we enjoyed our layover in Windsor and our time at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow.

Virgin Atlantic A340-600 ...
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Walking Among Giants - The Redwoods of Northern California

In my last post, I covered our drive up the California coast, focusing on the "coast" part of the equation.  Our primary goal for this trip, though, wasn't the water, but a different aspect of nature - gigantic trees. Specifically, the coastal redwoods, the tallest of the redwood/sequoia ...

Lounge Review: Etihad Arrivals Lounge at Abu Dhabi

The Etihad Arrivals Lounge at Abu Dhabi is located in the Arrivals Hall of Terminals 1 and 3 after customs and baggage claim. Just collect your bags and proceed towards the exit. The entrance to the Etihad Arrivals Lounge is clearly marked and will be located on your right hand side. It's a great ...
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The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow

One big reason for my excitement for flying on Virgin Atlantic is based on excellent reviews of the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, their flagship lounge at Heathrow.  It is regarded as among the best Business Class lounges in the world.  After our visit to the lounge, I can't really dispute ...
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An Incredible Flight on SAS

If I could describe my SAS flight from Los Angeles to Stockholm in one picture, it would be this--

My flight simply could not have been better.
To be honest, I had some trepedation stepping onboard. Last time I flew SAS longhaul I had a nasty seatmate and Lucky flew SAS on the same ...
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Spending a Heathrow Layover in Windsor

I spend enough time of my life in airports.  As lovely as the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse is, we couldn't justify spending the entire day there. We debated going into London proper, but with each of us having been there multiple times, we instead opted to head in the other direction, to Windsor. ...
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Lounge Review: Qantas Business Class Lounge at Perth

This review is for the Qantas Business Class Lounge located in Terminal 4 (domestic departures). Located near gate 13, the new Qantas Business Class Lounge is open from 4:15 AM (4:45 AM on Saturdays and Sundays) to the last Qantas departure. Opened last year, the Qantas Business Class Lounge is ...
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Road Trippin', California Style Up the Pacific Coast

We arrived in Los Angeles in Virgin America's stylish First Class late on a Thursday, set to spend a few days in the area for my brother-in-law's wedding and to visit friends before beginning the real fun on Sunday evening.  That would involve a 6 1/2 day road trip up almost the entire length ...
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First Thoughts on Pakistan Airlines 777 Business Class

I'm finding it difficult to summarize my experience on Pakistan Airlines today from Manchester to New York in business class. On the one hand, the FAs displayed incredible Pakistani hospitality and the buffet-style main course was really delicious -- perhaps the best meal of the trip. On the other ...
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Virgin Atlantic Upper Class on the A330 from Chicago to London

While counting down the days to this trip, I was irrationally excited for the legs on Virgin Atlantic.  It has been a trendy carrier for a long time, and they definitely have good marketing to build up their brand. Of course having Sir Richard Branson as founder and face of the brand certainly ...
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Shockingly Terrible Service on Saudia

Pull up a chair, for you're about to hear a tale of woe from 38,000 feet between Colombo and Jeddah on Saudia!
As Lucky pointed out, this trip has truly shattered expectations. I expected a nice flight on China Eastern and instead it was terrible. I expected surly service on Royal Air Maroc but ...
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Amenity Kit Review: Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

This amenity kit review is based on what I received on from my flights on Virgin Atlantic in Upper Class, their business class product.  I flew from Chicago to London then onward to Dubai.  For our introductory post and description of the categories, and the 5 point rating scale, please ...

Don't Tell My Wife What Happened at the Hyatt Regency Casablanca!

Lucky and I dined at Dar Beida last night, the Moroccan restaurant inside the Hyatt Regency Casablanca. It was billed (by the hotel) as the “most authentic Moroccan food in Casablanca” but we figured it was at least the most convenient Moroccan food in Casablanca.
As it turned out, ...
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