I tend to plan “exotic” international trips with a decent bit of advance notice because anticipation is often the best part of vacations. Well, not this time. My brother and I will be heading to Bali in Cathay Pacific first class next week. Tough life, right?
You’re probably wondering why we waited so long to book. I knew our spring break was coming up, that’s nothing new. We were simply struggling with where to go. Initially we were going to do a Star Alliance first class ticket to Asia via Europe, and even spent several weeks planning it. Then the Lufthansa strike happened and that didn’t pan out. Now I’m especially happy I chose to go a different route, since the strike might just resume in the next couple of weeks.
Just for fun I decided to check Cathay Pacific first class award availability a few days ago. I figured it was worth a try, although wasn’t expecting anything. Well, much to my surprise I found two first class seats on the ideal flights from San Francisco to Hong Kong, along with great connections to Bali. Add that to American Flagship Service from New York, and we booked in a heartbeat. Unfortunately I spent five hours on the phone with American this evening to book, thanks to some of the most incompetent agents I’ve ever had to deal with. More on that later.
Usually I’d try to combine another “action” city with a relaxing place like Bali, but this trip is a bit different. I’m not usually one for lounging around, but that’s what we’ll be doing this time around. My brother is just finishing up business school and will be doing quite a bit of “real” travel over the summer, so he’s just looking to get away for a week. I really, really, really need a week to be “disconnected,” and Bali and international first class is the only place I seem to really relax and clear my mind.
We’ll be staying at my favorite hotel, the InterContinental Bali. I don’t think there’s a single hotel I’ve convinced more people to visit than this one. Since I wrote my review of the property a couple of years back, I’ve sent probably close to 100 people there, and each person has come back completely satisfied. The hotel really is spectacular, the club lounge is one of a kind, and the service is just out of this world. I don’t think there’s any place in the world that has a more genuine service culture than Bali, and the InterContinental certainly takes it one step further in terms of how “polished” the service is. You can bet I’ll write an updated report about the experience. I can’t imagine my stay will be as spectacular as the last one given the upgrade to the Jimbaran Suite last time, but we can certainly hope!
Anyway, I’m quite looking forward to it….