Mountains Of Flowers In Hokkaido Japan

Shibazakura in Hokkaido Japan

A Surreal Floral Experience In Hokkaido

Babies! I’ve spent the last year bouncing around the globe shooting videos for the site and I’m really excited to finally be able to start sharing them with you!

This first video is from an incredible and surreal adventure I had in Hokkaido, Japan this last May. While researching an upcoming Spring trip to Japan I came across a picture of these mountains covered in flowers and I just couldn’t believe they were real. I had to see it for myself, so I planned a trip to experience Shibazakura in Japan first hand.

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OZO Wesley Hong Kong Video Review

OZO Wesley Hong Kong Video Review

Welcome to my very first video review! Even though the motion picture has been around for more than 100 years I’m just getting around to bringing it to my site now. I think that video is a great way to share more of the travel experience with all of you and I hope that you find it a welcome addition to the site.

Now, on to the review!

If you aren’t much for moving images then here is a brief summary of what I liked about this hotel.

What I liked about the OZO Wesley Hotel Hong Kong 

  • Centrally located
  • Clean
  • Quiet
  • Comfortable bed
  • Decent breakfast

OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast

OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast
OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast Seating

I can imagine nothing more annoying than being caught on video while trying to eat breakfast at my hotel so I have zero interest in subjecting other guests to it. Therefore, there is no video footage of breakfast. Just simple pics from my phone, which I think are enough to get the gist.

OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast
OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast Options

The breakfast spread was totally adequate. It had a few good western and Chinese options and then several continental options.

OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast
OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast Coffee

And most importantly, it had decent coffee. Dear, sweet, coffee. Giver of life, divine nectar of the bean, you get the idea. I love coffee and thankfully it’s pretty easy to get decent coffee almost everywhere now and this hotel was no exception.

OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast
OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast
OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast
OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast Cheese and Meat
OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast
OZO Wesley Hong Kong Breakfast

Hit me up with all your questions and comments!

Do you need some assistance figuring out which credit cards are going to get you to your destination in your preferred class of service? Learn more about my personalized credit card consulting services here.

If you’ve already got all the miles and just need some help finding space and booking the award, I have an award booking service that will get you all squared away. Find out more about it here.

‘STACHE IN YOUR MAILBOX




Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific The Bridge Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific The Bridge HKG

Cathay Pacific The Bridge Business Class Lounge, Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

Cathay Pacific The Bridge HKG
Cathay Pacific The Bridge HKG Entrance

Cathay Pacific’s lounges in Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) make connecting in Hong Kong as close to a delight as can be said about waiting for a flight. Over the past 5 years I’ve spent a lot of quality time in airport lounges and I still look forward to landing in Hong Kong and heading to a Cathay Pacific lounge. The consistency and quality of both their business class and first class lounges means that I can depend on a nice warm meal and a hot shower to have me feeling refreshed before catching my next flight.

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The Best Option For Traveling Around Japan

Temple in Nagano

Why You Should Use Award Tickets To Travel In Japan

The first time I visited Japan back in 2012 (which was also the first time I used miles to fly first class) common wisdom held that the JR pass was by far the best and most cost effective way to travel within Japan and so I shelled out the $600 or so dollars to Shinkansen my posterior all over the country. I went to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Miyazaki, Arita and Nagano and while I definitely got my money’s worth out of the pass, I have since found a faster and cheaper way to get my Japan fix without spending all my cat cafe money on a JR pass.

AA first class
Where it all began…

I have since learned that award tickets present a much better value than the JR pass.

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On A Plane: Etihad Business Class Review

Etihad Business Class Seat

Etihad Flight 403 Business Class Review

Flight du jour:

EY 403

Bangkok (BKK) to Abu Dhabi (AUH)

December 1st, 2015

Departs: 8:35 AM

Arrives: 11:59 AM

Duration: 6 Hours 24 Minutes

Etihad LiveryThe Etihad flight du jour.

The time had come for another adventure and this one was off to a good start with our Etihad Chaffeur picking us up in an black Mercedes Benz and whisking us off to the airport (Etihad discontinued their Chaffeur service for partner award tickets on August 10th, 2016). We booked the tickets pre-devaluation using 30,000 American Airlines Aadvantage miles each way (the new award price between Asia 2 and the Middle East is 40,000 AA miles) and $91.40 in taxes and fees total for the outbound and return segments.

IMG_8146
Etihad Business Class Seat

My first thought upon entering the cabin was that it looked like someone had stolen the upholstery from my parents couch and sold it to Etihad.  Airlines tend to put a lot of thought into their premium cabins but the striped seats looked like everything about the 1980’s that we don’t want to remember. Maybe they were trying to replicate the fake wood grain on the adjacent side tables, or maybe stripes were super hot when they put in the order for these seats, but whatever the case may have been they weren’t looking so hot now.

Continue reading On A Plane: Etihad Business Class Review

The Coral Executive Lounge DMK Bangkok, Thailand

The Coral Executive Lounge Bangkok, Thailand. Don Muang International Airport (DMK).

The Coral Executive Lounge DMK.

What I liked about this lounge:

  • 15 minute free massage
  • Hot and cold food options
  • A few special/unique food and drink options
  • Ample seating
  • Attentive staff
  • Clean and quiet
  • Well designed and decorated

Continue reading The Coral Executive Lounge DMK Bangkok, Thailand

The JAL Promotion That Just Won’t Die

screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-3-02-01-pm
JAL Discount Mileage Promotion

I first came across a post about a JAL 5,000 mile discount on Angelina Travels back in April of 2015 and made a mental note that the next time I wanted to fly Bangkok Airways this was a pretty solid option. The fact that many of these awards were discounted by 50 – 66% caught my attention and while I had intended to do a post about it then, it got lost in my drafts pile.

Continue reading The JAL Promotion That Just Won’t Die

Aeroplan awards on Cathay Pacific?

cx-first-seat
The countdown to Justin Trudeau redeeming his Aeroplan miles for CX first has begun (maybe)!

Here’s an interesting development from my favorite airline awards program based in “America’s top hat.” Air Canada has recently expanded their little-known codeshare partnership with Cathay Pacific and their subsidiary Cathay Dragon and has hinted that soon they will begin allowing redemptions of Aeroplan miles for these flights as well.

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In The Air: JAL First Class Chicago to Tokyo, Narita

Flight du jour:

JAL 009

Chicago (ORD) to Tokyo (NRT)

September 6, 2015

Departs: 12:35 PM

Arrives: (Next Day) 3:35 PM

Duration: 13 Hours 15 Minutes

Jal First Class Seat
Jal First Class Seat

I love JAL first class. After the mediocrity that is domestic first class on American Airlines, what a lovely feeling it is to get settled into my JAL first class suite.

When boarding it is common for first class passengers to board through one door while the rest of the plane boards through the other. This time everyone boarded through the same door and first class passengers broke left, everyone else broke right. We were lucky enough to get the window seats on the right hand side of the plane; seats 1K and 2K, and were escorted there by one of the very friendly flight attendants who would be making the next 13+ hours a really wonderful experience.

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182,135 reasons why I hate Hilton

Hate is a strong word and so I reserve it for use only on truly egregious programs. Despite being granted Hilton Diamond status this week via the widely reported status match opportunity, I find myself with nothing but hard feelings about the hotel chain.

Hilton status match
Raise your glass only to realize it’s empty…

Them giving me status is not what’s rubbing me the wrong way, or the fact that Paris never returns my calls (just kidding!), it’s their loyalty program. Like many of you, I save points up with the hope of redeeming them for out-sized value. I get excited about aspirational products and experiences and if an airline/hotel/program can’t offer that then I simply put my spending on a 2% cash back card.

Continue reading 182,135 reasons why I hate Hilton