FLIGHT CHECK: AUSTRIAN AIRLINES

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FLIGHT CHECK: Austrian Airlines

Vienna – Bangkok, Business Class

OS 25 VIE-BKK B772

(Configuration: 38 / 24 / 244  Aircraft: OE-LPD

Check-in: not applicable (transit from Zurich)

Boarding: *** 3/5*

Inflight Service: Food and Beverage: **** 5/5* 

Cabin Crew: **** 5/5*

Comfort: ****4/5*

Flight Time: 10.02 hrs

On-time performance: STA 1420 // ATA 1512  +0.52 minutes

Impressions:

Inflight service was very pleasant with a nice responsive cabin crew and delicious food service (I experience this high standard on all of my Austrian Airlines flights). The amenity kit makes a nice impression first as it is re-usable as a shoe bag but the contains make a cheap impression and are disappointing.  The flight was delayed and neither the gate  staff or the flight crew gave an explanation as to why. As everybody knows that flight delays are very common these days I still find it necessary for every flight to at least give a reason why. 

Disembarkation and baggage delivery at Bangkok airport was very quick. I was able to leave the airport one hour after landing including all immigration and Thailand Pass checks. Good experience! 

https://www.austrian.com/xx/en/business-class

LOUNGE CHECK: AUSTRIAN AIRLINES, VIENNA

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The Business Class Lounge in Vienna offers a nice view onto the tarmac but the design is more like a canteen than an exclusive Lounge. Food offering was mediocre and very limited. Most tables do not have power sockets. There is only one small toilet and two showers available inside the Lounge.

I found this Austrian Business Class Lounge to be underwhelming and lackluster.

FLIGHT CHECK: SWISS INTERNATIONAL AIR LINES

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Zurich-Vienna, Business Class

LX 1582 ZRH-VIE Airbus A220-300

(Configuration 12-128) Aircraft: HB-JCG

Check-in: ***** 5/5*

Boarding: **** 4/5*

Inflight Service : Food and Beverage ***3/5*  / Cabin Crew: ***** 5/5*

Comfort: *** 3/5*

(European standard business Class layout with middle seat left free)

Flight Time: 01.20 hrs

On-time performance: STA 1910 // ATA 1940 -0.30 min

Verdict: 

My original Austrian Airlines flight got cancelled and I was able to quickly re-book via Chat-bot on the Austrian App. Check-in bags were re-labelled and smoothly transferred to the new flight. No waiting times either at the Check-in counter or at the Security at Zurich Airport. Friendly charming Flight Attendants. Small cold meal with drink service plus refills and warm beverage service available. 

https://www.swiss.com/ch/en/homepage

LOUNGE CHECK: SWISS Alpine Lounge, Zurich-Airport, Switzerland

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The SWISS Alpine Lounge is located in Zurich Airport Terminal 1 Concourse A. I originally intended to visit the SWISS  Business Lounge, but at the entrance I was informed the lounge was crowded, so I walked over to the new SWISS Alpine Lounge.

Indeed, this lounge is much quieter than the others at Zurich airport. That  might come down to how hard it is to find. It is located at the entrance of Concourse A (left of the Transit counters).

This is a pretty impressive lounge with a cool design in warm wooden colours and many typical Swiss decorative elements. 

I found this a very nice place to spend time, with friendly staff and a small open kitchen where a “daily hot menu” was prepared freshly for every guest. 

The SWISS Alpine Lounge is open to business class passengers of the Lufthansa Group.

(SWISS, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines) 

CAPSULE HOTEL ALPINE GARDEN, ZURICH-AIRPORT, SWITZERLAND

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Directly opposite check-in 1 is the Capsule Hotel Alpine Garden with 144 capsules in 8 bedrooms, separate bathrooms, a small spa area with 2 hot tubs and a café area for breakfast, drinks and snacks or just to relax.


This airport hotel is ideal for late arriving tourists and business people, holiday travellers who have no connection to the airport in the morning, stand-by crews, delayed transfer passengers and so on. For these guests there are currently only very expensive overnight accommodation close to the airport. An urban budget solution with a cool vibe is completely missing. 
Concept: The Capsule Hotel at Zurich Airport is built around the influencer and nature photographer Fabio Zingg. He has a billiant eye when it comes to showing the “hidden treasures” of the Alps. This creates an experience in an Alpine Garden Industrial Design Style. Integrated into this hotel, gastronomy, co-working and meeting rooms meet each other where guests can inspire themselves, exchange ideas together and relax.

The new Capsule Hotel is built in a space of 1000m2 in a very central location and comprises 144 sleeping capsules. The Swiss Capsule™, meet the highest standards. Individually air-conditioned, they ensure that the air is not mixed. The sleeping capsules are individually lockable and soundproofed, so that guests can enjoy the greatest possible privacy in the smallest of spaces.

Integrated into the hotel, a meeting zone is created for hotel guests and other guests. Fine delicacies, good coffee and local beers invite you to linger at a spacious bar. The concept is rounded off by individually designed workstations, creative and affordable meeting rooms and a souvenir shop with special products.

FLIGHT CHECK: ETIHAD AIRWAYS

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Bangkok-Abu Dhabi-Zurich,  Business Class

EY 407  BKK – AUH  B789 (Configuration: 28-271)  

Aircraft: A6-BLO

Check-in: **** 4/5

Boarding: **** 4/5

Inflight Service:

Food and Beverage **** 4/5,

Cabin Crew *** 3/5

Comfort: **** 4/5

Flight Time: 05:37 hrs

Impressions: 

Smooth check-in with efficient document check, Fast Track Security, Miracle Lounge, pre-boarding for Business Class.

Inflight service a bit slow, seems that Etihad cut back on Flight Attendants as I remember a more efficient service from earlier experiences.

Abu Dhabi airport was busy but the Etihad Business Class Lounge is large enough to provide seating for everyone

previous Review: 

https://swisstravelmanager.com/2018/10/30/etihad-airways-business-class-lounge-abu-dhabi-uae/ 

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EY 73 AUH – ZRH B789 (Configuration: 28-271)

Aircraft: A6-BLW

Check-in: not applicable

Boarding: **** 4/5

Inflight Service:

Food and Beverage **** 4/5,

Cabin Crew **** 4/5

Comfort: **** 4/5

Flight Time: 06.01 hrs

Impressions: 

A long walk in Abu Dhabi to the old Terminal 1 departure gate but it was a nice vintage experience to see the old Terminal again. Boarding went smoothly. Friendly welcoming Cabin Crew, most people slept right away and focused on breakfast service before landing as this was a 0315 departure. The pillows on EY are very comfortable but unfortunately there is only 1 pillow per seat/pax loaded. Could not get a second one. Good flight.

https://www.etihad.com

HYATT REGENCY RESORT, HUA HIN, THAILAND

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The Hyatt Regency Resort in Hua Hin is divided into the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the Regency Club and The Barai Suites and Spa. It is located a short distance south of Hua Hin city centre, along the beach. Following a recent renovation, the rooms are smart, simple, and feature everything a modern hotel room needs. Large balconies with laguna views, garden views, and sea views are available. 

I checked into the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin on a busy day when the hotel ran a full occupancy. Nevertheless, I was greeted cordially and the check-in process was smooth and efficient. By the time the check-in agent escorted me to my room my bags had already been delivered and a fresh fruit platter was ready. The hotel has a strong sustainability commitment such as putting glass bottles for drinking water in the rooms, serving food from local food sources, and participation in a cleaner beach program.

The large interconnecting free-form pool divides in a laguna river style area with a waterfall, (Garden rooms with direct pool access are located in that area) a hot tub, and a twenty two-metre-long and a seven-metre-high water slide which is fun for kids and adults alike.

The hotel offers various food outlets including You and Mee pool restaurant, Figs Restaurant, McFarland House at the Barai, and The Regency Club lounge where breakfast, snacks and drinks as well as a happy-hour including a pre-dinner buffet is offered daily. I must say that every single meal tasted delicious and the quality of the items was very high. I was told by an attentive team member that there is even a hygiene manager on duty.

The Barai Spa is beautiful and equally impressive. It is designed like a Moroccan Kasbah and I enjoyed a blissful and very relaxing oil massage there. A large choice of treatments and a steam-room are available.

The beautiful lush garden together with the luxury rooms and the fantastic staff members who are eager and happy to help, have a little chat, and always care about their guests well-being makes the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin a wonderful place to stay for a weekend break from Bangkok; or a full holiday destination to relax, enjoy and be spoiled.

I had a fantastic stay and can only praise all the team members and the hotel management who make this resort a wonderful place to visit.

The Regency Club:

The Barai Spa:

Beach and Recreation:

https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/thailand/hyatt-regency-hua-hin/huahi

DOR-SHADA RESORT BY-THE-SEA, JOMTIEN-PATTAYA, THAILAND

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I visited the Dor-Shada Resort by the Sea in April, during Thailand’s hot-season, and discovered its natural beauty being located next to Jomtien’s beautiful white sand beach. This resort offers the perfect place to find tranquillity and relaxation yet it is just a short distance from the heart of vibrant Pattaya. 

The stylish resort has been designed to reflect the very finest contemporary Thai architecture and benefits from the stunning sea views. Dor-Shada Resort by the Sea has 172 rooms and 16 villas. Facilities include 2 swimming pools, pool bars, jacuzzi, fitness centre and a spa. The chic design of the rooms skilfully draws on traditional elements of Thailand’s arts, presenting guests with a striking reinterpretation that meets the demands of today’s lifestyle. 

The airy rooms provide a generous amount of living space for guests to relax and feel at home. The suites and villas dark wood furnishing and intriguing Asian design accents compliment the superbly appointed bathrooms and  luxury bed linens. The resort is set at the heart of a lush tropical garden. The expansive grounds, security, outstanding facilities, caring staff and close proximity to clean and safe private beach make this the ideal family resort. 

A major feature of the resort is a fabulous swimming pool overlooking the magnificent Jomtien Beach and the turquoise ocean. Guests can have a refreshing swim, lounge by the pool, or simply enjoy an exotic drink at the pool or beach bar while children have fun at the Kid’s Playground. Other options for rest and relaxation include the luxurious oriental-style Spa with its extensive menu of treatments and massages. The resort has its own 6 hole golf course and can be used by the guests and is absolutely free.

During my visit the hotel had low occupancy and the prices were very competitive. The website looks a bit old fashioned but the staff were helpful and friendly. 

https://www.dor-shadaresort.com

MÖVENPICK SIAM HOTEL NA JOMTIEN, PATTAYA, THAILAND

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Offering a pristine and private beachfront area along Na Jomtien Beach, Mövenpick Siam Na Jomtien Pattaya hotel features a large lagoon swimming pool and panoramic sea views from all rooms. Various facilities are available at this 5-star property, as well as free WiFi access in public areas.

A short walk from Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Mövenpick Siam Na Jomtien Pattaya hotel is a 15 km drive from Pattaya, where guests can find lively nightlife, shopping and a wide variety of restaurants. The Siam Country Club is a 15 minute drive away. Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi International Airport can be reached within a 2 hour drive.

Spacious rooms and suites at this hotel are equipped with air-conditioning, a flat-screen satellite TV and a mini-bar. All rooms have sea views overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, an indoor seating area and a furnished balcony. Private bathrooms have a shower, bathtub and free toiletries.

Guests looking to relax can enjoy a pampering treatment at the spa. (A COVID ATK test is necessary before treatments). The 24-hour front desk can assist with guests’ needs and the concierge can help arrange transportation. Free parking is available.

Both Thai and international dishes are available at the on-site dining options. Drinks can be ordered at the lobby lounge or by the pool. The hotel also offers a daily free “chocolate-hour” in the lobby and its own steak-house which is excellent. The breakfast buffet choices are plentiful and despite a full restaurant it was a pleasant experience. Food was fresh and delicious. Check-in was a breeze and all the staff that I met were friendly and efficient. Hotel was nearly full but everything was well organised. 

I recommend this hotel very much for people who are seeking a nice beach trip not too far away from Bangkok and who appreciate good food. 

https://www.movenpick.com/en/asia/thailand/pattaya/moevenpick-siam-hotel-na-jomtien-pattaya.html

ANANTARA RIVERSIDE HOTEL, BANGKOK, THAILAND

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This sprawling resort is a little off the beaten track, located on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya river, a few miles away from Bangkok’s main tourist sights. 

From 6am to midnight, regular boats whisk hotel guests to Saphan Taksin Skytrain station, from where it is just a few stops to downtown Bangkok. A boat to the Royal Palace takes 30 minutes and a taxi to either of Bangkok’s airports takes around an hour.

The hotel has six restaurants and bars, four of which were closed during my Covid-19 pandemic visit.

I stayed at the Anantara Riverside Hotel on a Test-and-Go scheme. A mandatory PCR test on arrival into Thailand was performed in a special area right after arrival from the airport and the check-in was done directly in the room. 

The staff were friendly and gave me all the necessary information about the hotel and the Test-and-Go procedure.

My room was spacious, with a large open bathroom  and a small balcony facing the pool and river. It featured everything that I needed.

I arrived early morning and received my PCR test results around 4 pm and then was free to roam around the hotel, or go out.

I had a delicious breakfast at Trader Vic’s restaurant the next day before I checked out. 

I can recommend the Anantara Riverside Hotel to anyone who does not seek a typical downtown high-rise hotel but prefers lush gardens and Thai style decorations rather than international hotel chain decorations.