RTW to Bali: So Long Hyatt, Hello Komaneka at Tanggayuda!


Leaving the Bali Hyatt

All good things must come to end, as they say. On our 4th and final day there, we packed our things and prepared for our next stop on Bali.

I had arranged for a car service for our transportation from Sanur to Ubud through Hyatt. It was there waiting when we went to the front desk to check out.

This was the only real blemish about our stay. We must have been checking out at the peak time because the front desk was hammered with several guests departing. They were very unorganized and we waited almost 30 minutes to finalize our stay there. It was rather unfortunate that this was the last memory we had of the Bali Hyatt, but we wouldn’t let it taint our experience.

While we were sad to leave the amazing service of the Bali Hyatt, we were excited to leave the somewhat sleepy beach town of Sanur and head 45 minutes northwest to the cultural center of Bali, Ubud.

Komaneka at Tanggayuda

Komaneka at Tanggayuda is one of four Komaneka resorts in Bali. We picked the one at Tanggayuda because it was just outside the craziness of the city, yet only a 10 minute drive away.

When we arrived at the open air lobby (just about everything here is open), we were greeted by the front desk concierge and a very friendly bellman.


Like the Hyatt, we were brought cold scented towels along with welcome drinks.

Sariti, the concierge, told us she would be also our personal assistant for our 5 day stay. Our bags were already on the way to our room while we relaxed and waited.

When she was finished checking us in, the concierge asked to show us around the resort and then to our room.

The Facilities

Sariti walked us around the lush grounds, showing us the infinity pool, the cafe that overlooked it where we could take complimentary afternoon tea, the spa, and the restaurant.

During our stay, we took advantage of almost all the on-site amenities and they were all great.

Also, surprisingly enough, they weren’t overpriced like we’re used to when staying at luxury resorts.

infinity pool at Komaneka at Tanggayuda

Infinity Pool

The infinity was absolutely breathtaking. It overlooked a valley and a span of rice terraces along a hillside.

Cafe overlooking the infinity pool at Komaneka at Tanggayuda

Cafe overlooking the infinity pool

Local snacks at complimentary afternoon tea at Komaneka at Tanggayuda

Local snacks at complimentary afternoon tea

Continue reading

RTW to Bali: JFK & British Airways First Class Lounge


Round the World to Bali in First Class. This is where the trip begins.

JFK Terminal 7 Check-In

Joann’s Dad dropped us off at JFK Terminal 7 which is mainly used by British Airways and United Airlines. It was around 11:00pm so it wasn’t busy at all. We went around the corner to the Business & First Class check-in counters, which are separate from the Economy Class counters in the main area of the terminal.

After a long wait behind a large family with lots of bags and only one counter open, we walked to what I thought would be the quiet security checkpoint. To my surprise, it was closed. We had used it last time and it was so much easier as we were the only ones passing through. This time we were steered to the regular security checkpoint that was moving painfully slow (dreadful, I know!).

British Airways First Class Lounge

After security, Joann and I made our way upstairs to the British Airways First Class Lounge. It’s located through the same doorway as the Business Class Lounge; it’s just a separate area.

For me, this lounge wasn’t great at all. The alcohol options were a bit better than its Business counterpart but it was much more enclosed and tighter-feeling. The Business Class Lounge that we used last time was brighter, more airy, and had a better overall feel to it. No worries though, we only had a short time to wait until our 1:30am flight and nothing was going to spoil my mood!

british airways cathay pacific first class lounge

Self-serve bar

british airways cathay pacific first class lounge


british airways cathay pacific first class lounge

Some sandwiches & snacks

With 5 minutes left to go before scheduled boarding time, I told Joann that we should head down to the gate. Basically, I was just giddy to get on the plane and start enjoying our first international long-haul First Class!

Let’s Plan: Round The World to Bali in First Class

JFK & British Airways First Class Lounge
JFK-HKG Cathay Pacific First Class
Cathay Pacific Lounges in Hong Kong – The Wing & The Pier
Cathay Pacific Business Class, Hong Kong – Denpasar, Bali
Arrival at DPS & Transfer to Bali Hyatt
Bali Hyatt, Sanur
So Long Hyatt, Hello Komaneka at Tanggayuda!
Things To Do in Bali
Selamat Tinggal, Komankea!
DPS Premier Lounge
Thai Airways Business Class DPS-BKK
Thai Airways Royal First Lounge in Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Bangkok – Zurich
Swiss First Class Lounge in Zurich
Swiss First Class Zurich – Montreal
United Airlines First Class Montreal – Newark


Late last year, British Airways hit the frequent flyer community with some pretty devastating news. They would be changing their award chart. Previously, they had a pretty generous award chart with highlights like Business class redemptions cheaper than other airlines and unlimited stopovers. They would now be changing to a distance based award chart that did not favor those of us who liked to fly far and connect often. Most long-haul awards would be increasing mileage requirements by 40%.

It was an inevitable move seeing as they had just minted millions of miles by promoting a 100,000 Chase credit card offer that both Joann and I took advantage of. With news in hand, we decided to take our BA miles and dump them all on a First Class trip to Bali, Indonesia. Here’s how I built the itinerary:

Continue reading

British Airways Miles Dump

Earlier this month, British Airways sent out an email to announce that they would be making major changes to their frequent flyer program. My heart sunk because I feared this day would come sooner than later. Starting November 16, 2011, the miles you accrue will now be called Avios points. Some awards will require less miles, some more. I’m going to focus on what I am most concerned about and the reason I even got into the British Airways Executive Club program – Single Partner Awards.

It’s no secret that one of the best redemption methods of BA miles was a single partner award in a premium cabin. BA is part of the oneworld alliance and they have some very good partners like American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qantas, and LAN. Redeeming an award on these partners was often better than redeeming on BA themselves because everyone knows that BA charges a boatload of fuel surcharges on their redemptions.

British Airways Single Partner Awards Chart

Continue reading