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Thanks De, for a Honeymoon (in SIN)

SFO-NRT-SIN-BKK
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Thanks De, for a Honeymoon (in SIN)

Warm greetings,

Thank you again, De, for suggesting the Four Seasons last year as a special place to be with a special someone. Our first visit last fall was so fine, we decided to conclude our honeymoon with a sentimental stay at the hotel. (The majority of our honeymoon bliss was spent in Bangkok in some rather dear suites at the Oriental and Peninsula.)

Our few days in SIN consisted primarily of, well, staying at the hotel. (Must confess I did bring ample quantities of a certain --- performance-enhancing --- drug, as well as some lovely La Perla lingerie for her, and my all-time favourite Barry White CD. It all tied-in with my brilliantly conceived and executed, Master Plan, to keep her confined to our little "suite" den of iniquity and far away from those luxury shops she so loves.)

Following our tender times, we headed back to Changi for our respective SQ flights. Which brings us to that carrier of carriers, Singapore Airlines. (Now, Me^, I know you are partial to Cathay Pacific, but please indulge me for a moment. By the way, I love your avatar! And many thanks for your wonderfully informative posts.) Both of us fly SQ a fair amount for work, so after a "few" calls we were able to apply miles for free first class seats on SQ for all of our segments. Should any of you desire the same, would suggest trying for mid-week flights in the "off-season." Some very special segments out of Singapore are SQ2 (SIN-HKG), SQ12 (SIN-NRT) and for flights to Bangkok, SQ68, 974, 996. (Flying out of SIN in First or Raffles gives you access to those sublime Silver Kris Lounges.) And once on board, well, you are in the presence of angels (and their Pierre Balmain-designed sarong kebayas).

Speaking of SQ996, that is my current monthly flight back to BKK. I normally fly out of SIN the first Friday evening of the month (after a few hours/days of work), so if you ever find yourselves near the SKL around 6-7 pm...

I always enjoy visiting this fine forum; such a great group ... de, me, check, jade... so many other informative, thoughtful members. I would contribute more, but my SIN knowledge remains largely limited to airlines, lounges, Changi, meeting rooms, and the Four Seasons.

Thanks again De; I hope you realize you have put me one step closer to debtor's prison ... (but to date, it has been a sweet ride). Sweet and smooth (SQ) rides to all of you...

macintosh (robert)

... "Tony Romero's women offered paradise---for a price." ...

(Richard S. Prather, "The Peddler")

Cincinnati, Ohio
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1. Re: Thanks De, for a Honeymoon (in SIN)

Rob,

If u think Four Seasons SIN is bliss, wait till u try out the Langkawi resort ! Oh my, talk about a paradise !!! I like it way way better than Princeville in Kauai (and cheaper !) and also better than 4S Bali (which is really nice but Langkawi is better !)

4S Langkawi is definitely the place for the romantics, nothing much around but sand and surf. I only wish I had more than one night experience but then again, cant really enjoy all the beauty and luxury with a co-worker (she and I felt odd coz everyone else seems to be a couple there).

Next time in SIN, u may want to check out St. Regis (not open till last quarter of 2007, I will miss it for another year coz I am going to SIN in Feb 2007) and let us know (should be better than 4S SIN unless 4S SIN start on their updates and improvements, but nothing can change that superb service at 4S SIN).

Btw, u havent updated any reviews ? U should and next time, dont forget to take some photos too. The reviews help other travelers to make the right decision, a bad hotel can really spoil one's vacation. Hope to catch ur reviews soon !

SFO-NRT-SIN-BKK
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2. Re: Thanks De, for a Honeymoon (in SIN)

Greetings De (from the lovely All Nippon business class lounge at NRT),

Thank you for the Four Seasons resort suggestion. I greatly appreciate your ongoing efforts to send me into personal bankruptcy proceedings. (Yes, mrs. macintosh is already researching the property and appropriate dates for our stay.)

Can't help but rave about the ANA lounges at NRT. As you probably know, SQ closed its NRT SKL earlier this year (a sad day), but the ANA alternatives are proving to be fine monthly haunts. All Nippon does it right at Narita. (Big surprise.)

Well, almost time for the return to beloved BKK (and another late-night, in-room massage treatment). As always, rounds on me next Friday at Changi ... (you know where to find me)...

Best wishes, from beautiful Japan,

Robert

... "In this ever changing world, Singapore Girl, you're a great way to fly" ...

Cincinnati, Ohio
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3. Re: Thanks De, for a Honeymoon (in SIN)

JAL has been pushing a huge promotion here to fly to Asia. I havent flown them for a while now. As for Narita, the new terminal is almost all reserved purely for JAL flights so it is unfair that they pushed all others to the older terminal. But then again, SIA is also in the newer nicer terminal in SIN :)

SFO-NRT-SIN-BKK
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4. Re: Thanks De, for a Honeymoon (in SIN)

Hello again, from yes, the serene All Nippon business class lounge at Narita. (Given the exalted position I hold in my firm, it's Groundhog Day, almost everyday. Should be in Singapore right now, with a sweet little room at the Four Seasons, but no, it's an upcoming night flight to that fine airport, LAX. (At least it's SQ Raffles --- let's count our blessings.)

Well, I write because you mentioned contemplating flying JAL. Please reconsider, because JAL is not a member of Star Alliance, and you know who is, that one you love, Singapore Airlines. Over the past year, I have discovered, The Meaning of Life: fly SQ for work, and apply those precious miles for free first class seats. (The one financially saving grace of our recent Asian honeymoon.)

Another reason to go with Star Alliance carriers: the new South Wing at Terminal 1. Since early June, checking-in at Narita has never been sweeter. Reason: Check-in is assigned by class of service. Should you happen to be Star Alliance Gold, flying first, or, to a lesser extent, business, you are through in no time. JAL is over in Terminal 2, and unless SQ moves to that venue, don't think I'll be seeing T2 for a while ... (personal reasons, mind you.)

Well, almost time for another flight. As always, smooth flights to all of you ...

Robert

(If you are reading this, Checkers: apologies for not being at Changi tomorrow; have a good time in Bangkok --- highly recommend a massage.)

Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: Thanks De, for a Honeymoon (in SIN)

Ho ho ho Mac,

I sure am reading it ;-) ... from the comfort of my room where I've been planted since the end of exams (about a week ago?) ... Hahz (",)

I still like to call you Mac - just like I still love calling De - De, Noodles - Noodles, though of course I know what their real names are. It's just so endearing and casual, don't you think so? You've mentioned about my avatar several times ... if ever there's a chance, you'll know why I chose that. De, Noodles and a few should not have a problem putting it together - I think.

My two cents worth about JAL - it's a fine airline that is unfortunately led by the wrong people. The fact that it is the national carrier of Japan and was privatized only after ANA to increase its competitiveness only serves to highlight the vastly different ways both airlines are managed. ANA being the "newbie" at that time had to fight strong and hard against JAL - and this fighting spirit has served them well in such times when the airline business is in serious jeopardy if you don't aim high and far.

Rumour has it that JAL was invited to be part of Star Alliance when it first formed but being the "conservative" organization that it was (and probably still is) - they declined the offer which was then immediately snapped up by ANA. It was unfortunate then that JAL failed to see that mergers and alliances are gonna be the order of the day. They preferred instead to continue engage in their dual-partnerships with other airlines such as Emirates, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Air France etc.

But the truth is JAL - being the largest carrier in the Asia Pacific region can't win the aviation war alone without going into an alliance. That is why it has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to join Oneworld sometime late last year. At this point in time, they're slowly aligning their computer reservation systems as well as other technicalities to allow a smooth transition into the global alliance, expected to be officially announced end of this year.

To their credit, in today's dog-eat-dog world, JAL continues to earn the respect of many Japanese because of its strong belief in life-long employment despite its profitability (or lack of it). It's not surprising to see a proportionately more "mature" in-flight cabin attendants in JAL's flights than ANA's. As is always the case where you can't achieve the best of both worlds - JAL's employees benefit at the expense of the airline's popularity and thus profitability.

Frank opinion about the terminals? Ok - gotta tell you this: I still prefer Terminal 1over Terminal 2, in the same way I prefer its domestic Haneda airport T1 over T2. New may not always equate good - that's what I learnt. I know it because I can only travel on JAL to Japan on business trips - though I try to avoid it as much as possible because Japan really isn't one of my favourite-est countries in the world.

And know what Mac? I know I'm gonna enjoy myself in Bangkok for the next few days. So won't be checking in ... De (hint hint) ... ;>)

And perhaps the next time you're here, we can do some catching up in town. Does it always have to be the SKL? Sighz ... Because for as long as I'm still in my current job, it definitely doesn't look like I'm going to travel SQ anytime soon.

Ciao Mac,

Checkers.

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6. Re: Thanks De, for a Honeymoon (in SIN)

Warm greetings Checkers,

Many thanks for your fine thoughts on ANA and JAL; much appreciated.

Any chance you care to share an opinion or two on my all-time favourite business/leisure travel carrier, Singapore Airlines? (By now, you must know SQ figures rather prominently in my life; certainly one reason I am in the midst of newly-wedded bliss.) Within my firm, it's interesting to discuss the divergence of sentiments regarding that airline. My male colleagues consider SQ to be Heaven, whilst some of my female (Asian) counterparts are not quite so enraptured. Not so much with the "hard product" (quality of aircraft, seats, entertainment, departure lounges --- SKLs forever), but rather the "soft product," those fabulous Singapore Girl flight attendants. (Immediate apologies for the inevitable bias.)

For all of you fine forumers out there, would love to read about your SQ experiences. My initial encounter will forever be seared into what's left of my brain: It was one of my first Asian business trips, and I was flying out of SIN, on SQ Raffles (fine row on the upper deck, of an exquisite "Megatop." Naturally (flying Raffles), I was able to sample the delights of the SQ Silver Kris Lounge. (Raffles section; wasn't until a few months later I was able to enter the "Final Frontier," the SQ SIN SKL First Class lounge.)

Now, the SKL was indeed a fine set-up, but it was, The Moment, when I took that first step into the 747: the greeting from the flight's Chief Stewardess, wearing that magnificent red-coloured sarong kebaya. (For some of you: The female SQ flight attendants wear different coloured sarong kebayas, depending upon rank: Flight Stewardess, Leading Stewardess, Chief Stewardess, Inflight Supervisor.) By the time I reached my seat upstairs, I knew what I wanted to do: Fly SQ (forever...)

Looking back on that fine flight ... my seatmate was an extremely friendly, attractive, well-dressed, "western," woman, but all I could do was think about the Singapore Girls. My seatmate and I chatted and exchanged business cards, but for the first time ever, my heart wasn't in it; from that moment on, I only dated Asian women. (Probably didn't hurt that my new business travel territory was that Garden of Eden: Bangkok.) Eventually, I met, courted, proposed to (twice), and married (twice), a very precious Asian woman. (So hope she never comes to her senses.)

Well, enough about SQ (for now). Glad to hear you had fun in Bangkok, Checkers. Don't you love the waitresses at the Lobby Lounge of the Shangri-La! I put them right up there with those special waitresses at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit. (In future, all of you might wish to savour our current monthly favourites, the Bar - and Lobby - at the Peninsula, and the Bamboo Bar at the Oriental).

Concerning the "new" BKK, isn't it fine. Love the Thai Airways Royal Silk (Business Class) Lounge, Concourse D, Level 3. (That particular lounge has made some significant strides since "Opening Day," 28 September.) To date, have flown (Raffles/Business) in/out of Suvarnabhumi via SQ61/632 (x2); TG795/794 (x1); UA837/838 (x2); sweet rides, all. Highly recommend early/late, arrivals/departures; to date, ~ 35 minutes to/from the Oriental, Peninsula, Shangri-La.

...

This is for, "de last one:"

You mentioned my non-posting of "hotel reviews." Truth be known, I had posted several hotel reviews, but requested that all be removed from my "personal profile." Reason: All were written before I met my wondrous wife, and all contained the phrases "guest policy," and/or "choose your masseuse." (It was a slightly different, "Bangkok business travel lifestyle," before meeting my sweetie.) (Perhaps I'll eventually do write-ups of our "suite" honeymoon times at the BKK Oriental and Peninsula, and Four Seasons Singapore --- still waiting for the poor personal-use charge card to recover.)

...

Thanks again, Checkers. Have heard a "DO" is in the works for CNY ... (sounds like a "girl thing" to me.) Just know you can't wait to meet the likes of me, but to perhaps sweeten the pot, my better half might also be available. Given my supreme stature at my fine firm, I possess no ultimate control over my travel schedule, but on monthly average, will spend ~ 14 days in Bangkok; 2/3 days each in Singapore and Tokyo; and the rest in SFO (and 36,000 feet on SQ/UA.) Suspect we will be in touch before various New Year's celebrations. (And promise to have some thoughts on your beautiful Bambi avatar.)

Best wishes to all, and for your future travel plans, do consider --- SQ.

macintosh (robert)

... "When Kristie gets promoted, she wears the lovely green kebaya." ...

(Singapore Airlines, "KrisShop," inflight magazine)

Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: Thanks De, for a Honeymoon (in SIN)

Hey Mac,

Not exactly a "gal" thingy - we'll be glad if your and your missus happen to be in town. Drop me a mail ... czechkers@hotmail.com and I'll give you the details.

Hmm ... my opinions on SQ? From inside or outside? That's a tough one really. All I can say is you can't go wrong if you're a PPS. I definitely understand and have to agree with some of the "not-so-pleasant" remarks your Asian female colleagues have made. Hate to say this but it kinda holds true. It may be not be a conscious act of discrimination - but discrimination nonetheless. Too much psychology at work ... and don't think I'll wanna go into details here else I'll be putting my own head on the chopping board for crossing the OB markers. We'll talk during CNY - It's getting more and more exciting huh? Hahaz!

And hmm De? Uhmm ... the digicam's not functioning too well, so havn't posted my Bangkok review yet. Promise to do it asap once this flu bug decides to leave me alone and I get the camera functioning. Promise.

Singapore, Singapore
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8. Re: Thanks De, for a Honeymoon (in SIN)

Bangkok's new airport is just huge, huge and HUGE! But I definitely like it better than the old Don Muang one. At least it spells a progressive route the Thais are taking - though Changi really got to be on their toes right now, if it wants to remain the avaiation hub of Asia. I can't imagine how it's gonna be like once Suvarnabhumi airport is fully operational and its teething problems all ironed out.

High tea at Shang with Sharon and her hubby was superb, though I can't say I'm really that impressed with the waitresses at the Lobby Lounge. Had plenty of fun at the Loy Krathong Festival ... the hotel even allowed me to float their krathong on display (the really huge one) during midnight! Man ... that's really cool! And the fireworks are simply amazing ... never seen the likes of that ever before in my life. Finally understood what people mean when they describe fireworks as "showers of sparkles" ... I could literally feel the various hues of the rainbow raining down on me when I looked out the window. Truly Amazing Thailand! Don't you think? (",)

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9. Re: Thanks De, for a Honeymoon (in SIN)

Warm greetings all, from the opulent Oriental hotel, in beautiful Bangkok, Thailand.

Immediate apologies for pulling this thread from the depths, but Checks' post describing river fireworks has brought back fine post-wedding ceremony memories, and a desire to give a suggestion, or two, to all you potential honeymooners and romantics.

Well, the Asian portion of our financially crippling ceremonial rites concluded with a fabulous fireworks display arranged through the Oriental. As I look out of my little expense account river-view room, I like to think the friends and family members present that lovely evening enjoyed themselves. (Although, they could have sent personal cheques with their thank-you notes.)

Now, in keeping this thread Singaporean and travel oriented, I have an enquiry for you: Is it possible to arrange for a similar "private" fireworks display in SIN? (Some colleagues and I have heard a rumour, Singapore has a rule --- or two.) Not so much for us, but rather for a good friend and colleague who appears to be heading "down the aisle." (Under similar circumstances; amazing how romance can blossom at 36,000 feet aboard a certain airline.)

Finally, the Bangkok Peninsula can also be the site of various evening pyrotechnics. Last October, mrs. m and I spent a simple weekend on floor 3_, and well, just as we were getting a little amorous one evening, fireworks began exploding at "eye-level." Wondrous colours. Hope all of you always have sights to behold.

macintosh

... "I have a feeling that, tonight you're going to see one of the Riviera's most fascinating sights." ...

("To Catch a Thief" 1955)

10. Re: Thanks De, for a Honeymoon (in SIN)

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