Together with the Hilton Kuala Lumpur, the Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur are identical sister hotels. They are located directly at KL Sentral Train station which is easily accessible from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) by a direct nonstop train which takes only 28 minutes. There is a covered indoor walkway between the train station and the hotels providing for convenient access.

Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur is a hip hotel (Marriott Group) which offers a cool and colourful setting. I checked-in online well ahead of time and got a message on my Bonvoy app as soon as the room was ready. Check-in at the front desk was therefore only a quick key pick-up stop.

The room was located on the 27th floor with a nice view over the city and the KL Sentral station. A generous room size, a French press coffee maker, as well as a water boiler and a large empty fridge was available. The decor was minimal but functional with a very comfortable bed and plenty of pillows. Bathroom was nice with built in shower bench.

The twin hotels share the same pool, the same gym (which was surprisingly not open 24 hours as per Marriott standards) and the Spa. Both hotels offer plenty of dining options.

NU shopping mall is only 4 minutes walk away via the train station. This shopping centre offers everything that a traveller might need.

My stay at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur was a very pleasant one and besides the fantastic location the service was good and the staff members that I met were all friendly and helpful.






Online check-in and bag drop was smooth and fast, and enabled me to by-pass the check-in counter. I was given a voucher for the Garuda Indonesia Lounge, KLM’s SkyTeam  partner airline (see separate review).

Boarding took place on time and this older Boeing 777-200 made a rather *vintage* impression. The seating layout was 2-2-2 which is really outdated nowadays and usually only offered by airlines which have not updated their business class cabins in a long time. The cabin made a clean impression and the crew were in a good mood. This particular aircraft seemed to have a problem with the vacuum systems as all left hand lavatories were inoperative. This was not a big deal for such a short flight, but might be a bigger issue for passengers traveling on to Amsterdam.

My flight took about 1:45 hours and the inflight service was almost non-existent. An ice-cold sandwich (choice of vegetarian or crabmeat) and a drink were served. No second round of sandwiches, drinks or sweets was offered. Asian carriers usually serve a full meal on flights longer than 1:30 hours in their premium classes.

Nevertheless, I found this flight convenient as it was the only wide-body aircraft available on this route and the fares are very competitive as this flight is an  extension to the Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur route, a so called fifth-freedom service.





The Garuda Indonesia Lounge is located in Terminal 3 at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport. This is the airport’s newest terminal and is mostly frequented by Garuda itself, and some other international carriers.

I visited this lounge because I was departing on a SkyTeam partner airline.

The lounge is a mid-size average business class lounge which offers views over the terminal and the tarmac. There are a couple of dining tables, a few napping chairs, a lounge area for relaxing, a Muslim prayer room and a restroom/shower facility. The food on offer was very limited and mediocre. There was soup, a choice of two hot dishes, some bread, potato chips and a small fruit bar. Drinks on offer were soft drinks, coffee, tea and beer. Nothing really special to write home about and rather on the underwhelming side. The Garuda International Lounge serves its purpose but not more than that.







A serviced apartment is different from your average hotel room. It’s usually fully furnished accommodation,complete with home-like facilities and a number of services that you would find in the best hotels. In a serviced apartment you have access to the complete package including a bedroom (or multiple bedrooms depending on the apartment’s size), fully equipped kitchen, living area, bathroom, parking, WiFi and internet access, TV, washing machine, linen and towels also come as a standard. Housekeeping, room service and a restaurant are usually available too. Access to a gym, swimming pool and meeting rooms are also available at selected locations.

I stayed at the Ascott Jakarta on this trip. Ascott Limited is a Singaporean based lodging company with a strong footprint in Asia. Ascott has more than 700 properties in over 200 cities spanning more than 40 countries around the world.

The Ascott Jakarta Kuningan serviced apartments are connected to the Lotte Shopping Avenue which makes it easy for a quick trip to the supermarket, restaurants, barber shop etc. Everything is kept clean and housekeeping service was efficient and reliable. There is a 24-hour reception desk and guests can easily stay in touch with guest services through a WhatsApp line which enables easy contact regardless of whether the guest is in-house, or at an outside location.

The restaurant offered and indoor and outdoor section and breakfast was offered daily. The price of US $ 10 for breakfast was very moderate and even included an egg station.  (Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner)

I also enjoyed the pool and the gym.

My stay at the Ascott Jakarta was an uncomplicated and easy one. Everybody seemed to be relaxed and a little less stiff than at some hotels. I enjoyed  my stay very much.




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:




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.




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. 




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


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! 




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.



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


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.