THE RITZ-CARLTON, JAKARTA, INDONESIA

Standard

The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta is a skyscraper hotel at Mega Kuningan which is the centre of an upmarket business district. The complex has two towers and the hotel was opened in 2005. The building is 212 m tall and has 48 floors and 4 basement levels. The hotel has 278 club-sized rooms and 55 suites.

 Check-in was done swiftly in a separate club floor area where a welcome drink and a hot towel was offered before I was escorted to the room.

 What a nice surprise was waiting for me there. The hotel staff had a personal welcome message on the TV screen waiting for me (including my picture, which was cute) and a birthday surprise painted on the window! I found this a truly welcoming gesture. 

With a high staff-to-guest ratio, the level of attentiveness is so high that one always feels like one is staying among friends.

The Club lounge offered daily breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and snacks as well as a full dinner. All of my meals were of excellent quality and were delicious. An ever changing meal selection made this a very pleasant experience.

The staff at the Club lounge were highly professional, always ready for a chat, and always addressed guests by name. The lounge claims to be one of the largest in Asia. I cannot praise the staff enough for their unending efforts to make guests feel welcome and to take care of them.

The room was of a large size with a huge marble bathroom and, of course, featured all amenities that one could think of. (including a Nespresso coffee maker).

There are two restaurants in the hotel, a spa, a gym, and a nice swimming pool.

I give this hotel 6 stars for the large oversized rooms, the Club lounge, and the wonderful staff throughout the hotel.

Club Lounge:

SPA, Pool and Gym:

Hotel and Restaurants:

https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/indonesia/jakarta#HOTEL

FLIGHT CHECK: THAI AIRWAYS

Standard

Bangkok to Jakarta, Business Class

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

Boarding: * 1/5

Inflight Service : *** 3/5

Food and Beverage ***3/5  

Cabin Crew: **** 4/5

Comfort: *** 4/5 

Thai Airways is currently operating 41 aircraft (pre-pandemic approx. 85) after facing severe operating restrictions for almost 2 years. Many of their aircraft are still grounded at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport and it’s kind of a sad sight when taxiing to the runway. Thai Airways is still operating under the bankruptcy law and were recently rated number 46 in the world on Skytrax airline awards.

Check-in was smooth and efficient and the new Fast Track lane near door 1 at Suvarnabhumi Airport works fast and is hassle free. 

Boarding was a bit chaotic as always when travelling on Thai Airways at this airport. Thai Airways does not strictly separate business and economy class passengers at the departure gate area. This confuses passengers and no clear announcements are made. A gate agent tried to pick out the priority passengers holding a paper sign in her hand which is not particularly professional or effective. (Most airlines at Suvarnabhumi airport organise this very well, and I don’t know why Thai Airways has never streamlined passenger boarding since this airport was opened)

The aircraft was a newer Airbus 350-900 but it looked a bit worn and tired. I think dirty carpets and seats are the main problem areas.

Thai Airways does not offer menu cards anymore and the friendly crew tried to improvise and showed the meal choice on private mobile devices to passengers. It was a nice gesture, but I think the airline should handle  this more professionally and put this information for passengers in the airline app, or on their website. This time I have pre-ordered my breakfast choice which worked out well.

The breakfast served onboard was nice and delicious; and disembarkation at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport was smooth. 

I am looking forward to seeing some improvement in Thai Airways’ ground handling and inflight cabin services. I hope they will improve their service offering generally, and climb back up the ladder to where they can be, and should be, as a top-tier, globally competitive, airline carrier.

https://www.thaiairways.com/en_TH/index.page

KIRIMAYA RESORTS, KHAO YAI, THAILAND

Standard


The name ‘Kirimaya’ means ‘illusion of mountain’ which suitably describes the refreshing character of the property. To stay at Kirimaya is to embark on a memorable journey into the local culture for a total destination experience. Whatever your personal interests are, Kirimaya gives you the lifestyle experiences you naturally prefer. Watch wildlife up close, traverse nature trails, or relish the challenge of the golf course, Khao Yai and Khao Yai National Park or discover a vineyard tour among many options. Enhance wellness at the Maya Spa, or simply lay out by the pool. 

Check-in was done quickly and the room was ready and offered everything that can be expected from a modern resort. Focus is set on sustainability which is clearly a plus point for this resort and desperately need to be practiced more often in Thailand.

I would also like to highlight the quality of food. Every meal from breakfast to lunch, dinner, or room service was tasty and of good quality. 

Breakfast was served at the newer sister hotel Atta Lake Side resort and offered plenty of choices and a perfect view.

The team members of the resort I met were all friendly and helpful and the response to a little glitch was solved promptly and professionally. 

Kirimaya is designed to give peace of mind lost within busy lives, perfect place to relax and indulgence.

A beautiful place to stay in Khao Yai and I am happy to recommend this resort, or its Muthi Maya sister resort which offers private pool villas for more privacy and exclusivity. 

Kirimaya

FLIGHT CHECK: AUSTRIAN AIRLINES

Standard


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 nor 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

Standard

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

Standard

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

Standard

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

Standard

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

Standard

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/ 

——

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

Standard

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: