Introduction: Seychelles in Style


Introduction: Seychelles in Style
Review: Hyatt Regency Chigago O’Hare
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class B777-300ER Qsuite Chicago (ORD) to Doha (DOH)
Review: Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class A330 Doha (DOH) to Seychelles (SEZ)
Review: Doubletree Resort and Spa by Hilton Seychelles-Allamanda
Around Mahe
Review: Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa
Review: CatCocos Business Class ferry from Victoria Harbor to Praslin
Review: Raffles Seychelles (Praslin)
Around Praslin and Crieuse Islands
Review: Four Seasons Seychelles
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class A330 Seychelles (SEZ) to Doha (DOH)
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class B777-300ER Qsuite Doha (DOH) to Chicago (ORD)


Introduction: Seychelles in Style

My family just got back from an amazing two week trip to the Seychelles islands!  We had a tremendous time there and were very lucky to miss the polar vortex and lots of snow that happened in Wisconsin while we were gone!

We decided to drive down one day early to Chicago in order to beat an upcoming snow storm on the day of our departure.  For that one night we stayed at the (really nice for an airport hotel) Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Instead of using points and then having to pay for parking separately I just booked the “park and fly” package for about $170.  That was a better deal because it included 14 nights of parking in the rate.


Hyatt Regency O’Hare


Hyatt Regency O’Hare

After having a nice meal and good sleep at the Hyatt Regency we took their complementary shuttle to O’Hare airport terminal 5 to catch our Qatar Airways flight to Doha. We arrived on time and had time to access the KLM Lounge prior to our flight.  The lounge was really basic and we have been there before, luckily this time it wasn’t overcrowded and we found a nice spot to relax and wait for our flight. Continue reading

Review: Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papgayo

 


Introduction
Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo


Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo

Our family spent a lovely and relaxing eight nights at the Andaz Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo.  We stayed eight nights in early September to celebrate my 40th birthday.  We arrived via taxi and were warmly welcomed by the Andaz Papagayo staff.  We were escorted into the beautiful open air lobby and offered a seat and green welcome juice.

Andaz Costa Rica at Papagayo Lobby

The lobby has a snack station with ice water and coconut donuts.  Its also a nice spot to catch a good view of the bay.

Lobby Refreshments
Andaz Lobby
Andaz Lobby

After check-in in the lobby we were given our room keys and a resort map and activity guide and introduced to another staff member who would be giving us a quick ride via golf cart to our room. Continue reading

Introduction: Over The Hill In Costa Rica


Introduction
Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo


Introduction: Over the hill in Costa Rica

We celebrated my 40th birthday in Costa Rica! We had never been to Costa Rica before and the Andaz Papagayo was a luxury resort that had been on my radar for a while and so we spent eight nights there using Hyatt points!

We got to Costa Rica on Southwest Airlines out of Chicago’s Midway airport. We used our points, 16,224 Rapid Rewards points plus $23.35 for each ticket. Our flight was Chicago to Liberia on Saturday Sep 1st.   We then added our son as my wife’s companion for just an additional $23.35.

On the way home unfortunately we had to fly out of San Jose since there were no flights or flights were full out of Liberia on the way home.

This flight ended up costing us $63.90 plus 8112 Rapid Rewards points per person. We then again added our son as my wife’s companion using the companion pass for an additional $63.90.  The only thing about this entire trip that sucked is Continue reading

Review: Hyatt Centric Times Square


Introduction: Completing the Career Fan Slam in NYC
Review: Hyatt Centric Times Square
US Open Kids Day


 

Review: Hyatt Centric Times Square

 

Hyatt Centric Times Square

We stayed two nights at the Hyatt Centric Times Square during our trip to New York. Very good location if you want to be in the heart of the action. Just down the street you will find yourself in the middle of Times Square. 

Hyatt Centric Times Square reception desk

Upon entering we were greeted by a busy reception area.  Lots of people checking in and out.  After a short wait we were checked in and “upgraded” to a Time Square view room. We walked over to the elevators and there was an employee asking to see guests room keys to make sure they were guests.  Continue reading

Introduction: Completing the Career Fan Slam in NYC


Introduction: Completing the Career Fan Slam in NYC
Review: Hyatt Centric Times Square
US Open Kids Day


Introduction: Completing the Career Fan Slam in NYC

US OPEN KIDS DAY

My family decided to take a quick weekend getaway to New York at the end of August to attend the US Open tennis tournament.  Since our son is so young I thought it would be best to go to kids day in which its much more hands on and entertaining for kids that don’t have the patience to sit through a three hour tennis match!

We booked our tickets on Southwest Airlines as we have the companion pass and they fly Milwaukee to Laguardia directly. The flights cost $11.20 and 20,938 Southwest Rapid Rewards points per person.  Then we just paid the additional $11.20 for our son as he was our companion. This was perfect as it allowed us to leave Friday after work and land back in Milwaukee on Sunday evening.

We stayed two nights at the Hyatt Centric Times Square as it had the Continue reading

Review: Iberia Business Class Madrid to Chicago A340-600

Introduction
Iberia Business Class Chicago (ORD) to Madrid (MAD) A340-600
Westin Palace Madrid
Around Madrid
Dining in Madrid
Hotel Arts Barcelona (A Ritz-Carlton hotel)
Enoteca Paco Perez (Two- Michelin Star Restaurant)
Around Barcelona
Park Hyatt Mallorca
Around Mallorca
Rafa Nadal Academy and Museum
Dining in Mallorca
Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid (International terminal satellite lounge)
Iberia Business Class Madrid (MAD) to Chicago (ORD) A340-600


Iberia Business Class Madrid (MAD) to Chicago (ORD) A340-600


Iberia A340-600

We were shipped out to a remote station to board via bus.  One passenger had some sort of medical emergency on the tarmac and was laying down getting medical attention.  Not quite sure what happened there but our plane was not at all delayed.


Closeup of the engine

We boarded through door 2L and made a familiar turn left into the business class cabin.


Boarding Iberia A340-600

I will not touch much on the hard product as I covered that in the first installment of this post. However I was still excited to fly the product again after having a pretty nice flight to Madrid.  I was also curious to see if there were any major differences flying out of Madrid. Continue reading

Review: Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid

Introduction
Iberia Business Class Chicago (ORD) to Madrid (MAD) A340-600
Westin Palace Madrid
Around Madrid
Dining in Madrid
Hotel Arts Barcelona (A Ritz-Carlton hotel)
Enoteca Paco Perez (Two- Michelin Star Restaurant)
Around Barcelona
Park Hyatt Mallorca
Around Mallorca
Rafa Nadal Academy and Museum
Dining in Mallorca
Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid (International terminal satellite lounge)
Iberia Business Class Madrid (MAD) to Chicago (ORD) A340-600


Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid (International Terminal Satellite Lounge)


Iberia business class lounge entrance

We were invited to use Iberia’s business class lounge over in the international departures terminal thus i like to call it a “satellite lounge”.  There is another very nice lounge for domestic flights but the lounges appear to be similar.

We were greeted at the reception desk in the lounge where the lounge attendant checked our boarding passes and allowed us entrance. Once inside I thought the lounge was pretty large and the decor was nice.


Iberia business class lounge


Iberia business class lounge

When we first arrived there were plenty of chairs and different seating areas.  Each area had its own charging station to keep our electronics charged up. After about an hour in the lounge the attendance picked up substantially and it started to get really crowded.
Continue reading

Dining in Mallorca

Introduction
Iberia Business Class Chicago (ORD) to Madrid (MAD) A340-600
Westin Palace Madrid
Around Madrid
Dining in Madrid
Hotel Arts Barcelona (A Ritz-Carlton hotel)
Enoteca Paco Perez (Two- Michelin Star Restaurant)
Around Barcelona
Park Hyatt Mallorca
Around Mallorca
Rafa Nadal Academy and Museum
Dining in Mallorca
Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid (International terminal satellite lounge)
Iberia Business Class Madrid (MAD) to Chicago (ORD) A340-600


Dining in Mallorca

We were tired of eating in our resort hotel so on several occasions we ventured out to get something to eat!  Below were some of our favorites!

Del Mar

We ate at Del Mar on our last evening in Mallorca.  We just kind of randomly found it on google and it had good ratings.  We had to park far away as the area it is located in is very busy and right on the sea.  This gives the restaurant a nice sea view!

We had a really high quality meal here!  What a nice place to eat.  The waiter was really friendly and did good with recommendations.   We had some appetizers and then we both had a different fish entree.  From the outside patio seating there are great views across the street into the sea.  We had a really pleasant and delicious meal here and would love to return! (See the photo of our receipt for what we actually ordered)

Continue reading

Around Mallorca

Introduction
Iberia Business Class Chicago (ORD) to Madrid (MAD) A340-600
Westin Palace Madrid
Around Madrid
Dining in Madrid
Hotel Arts Barcelona (A Ritz-Carlton hotel)
Enoteca Paco Perez (Two- Michelin Star Restaurant)
Around Barcelona
Park Hyatt Mallorca
Around Mallorca
Rafa Nadal Academy and Museum
Dining in Mallorca
Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid (International terminal satellite lounge)
Iberia Business Class Madrid (MAD) to Chicago (ORD) A340-600


Around Mallorca

Aside from checking out the Rafa Nadal Academy and visiting a few restaurants, the primary thing we did in Mallorca is beach hop!  We checked out a few of the nicer beaches on the northeastern part of Mallorca.  I have to say I am really a fan of the beaches for the most part and it makes me want to check out more European beach destinations!

The beaches had small waves which is important for our son as he doesn’t like big waves or choppy water.

Platja Son Serveta

The first beach on the list is Platja Son Serveta.  This is a more low key natural beach.  The sand is a bit more course and you generally need to bring your own beach towels and umbrella here. Our hotel put together some towels and umbrella for us and we set it up and relaxed on the beach and went in the water.  The water is really warm and nice. There is actually a really good restaurant here that I will review in the next installment, Bar Playa.

Continue reading