Suite Retreats – your new wellness escape awaits you.

COMING SOON! suiteretreats.com

Ubud, Jimbaran, Canggu, Tegalalang – new amazing spots + Wellness is now our priority, (food has always been the number one request) with sustainable, green + retreat escapes with access to locally sourced organic produce is a key factor when we choose our portfolio, again we choose Bali first, our second base! The Suite Life Group looks inside Bali’s Best of the Best, in terms of value and bang for your buck! In the coming few weeks, we will be taking the journey to Bali from Perth to RE enter our beautiful home of the gods – and get an insight into the properties who have remained – and those employing and supporting locals – and most importantly, to stream live to my Australian clients.

The exciting new direction we are taking will raise the bar for wellness retreat getaways in Western Australia – The Suite Life Group is your most experienced land operator for complete all-inclusive package deals to retreats in Bali – The Land of the Gods!

After a 24 month hiatus, due to the pandemic, I am happy to advise the Suite Life Group has re-openened at SUITERETREATS.COM which will be live in the coming months.

Stay Tuned Folks! Much positive and healing energy to you all! WEVE FINALLY COME THROUGH THIS TOGETHER, AND WE NEED RESPITE!

W Bali – Seminyak | Wonderful Ocean Facing Escape

The ultra-cool W Bali – Seminyak is a hotel experience that never disappoints.  As part of the Marriott’s high-class lifestyle brand – W Bali is one of the most successful W properties in the portfolio. With hospitality heavy weight General Manager Craig Seaward at the helm, W Bali – Seminyak ticks all the boxes and the experience gets better every time I stay.

The magnificent bamboo covered entrance

Couples massage room

W Bali’s facilities are basically infinite and include a well-staffed day spa and wellness centre including a brilliant gym and weights room with state of the art facilities packed with HD screens and an endless choice of entertainment or the option to plug-in your own iPod!  Large windows with views and well-trained friendly staff ready to help you with your fitness goals allow for a premium fitness set up for those of us looking to take a break from sipping cocktails by the pool and get the heart pumping.

The use of the gym and thermal spa room (men and women have separate rooms) is complimentary for hotel guests and include full access the thermal spa inside the gym’s men’s and women’s change rooms.

The Fitness Centre

helpful trainer in the gym

Just behind the welcome desks – is Wired and Words library and business centre, which is jam-packed with plenty of great books plus four new iMacs and printers for complimentary Internet use.  It’s a little haven of relaxation for those needing some time out located above the resort’s seafood restaurant ‘Starfish Bloo’.

Wired and Words

I never get tired of arriving at W Bali and walking into the luxurious open-air lobby and lounge – it instantly gets me into the holiday mode! Being whisked from the hotel’s front entrance (only a couple of steps from legendary from legendary beach club Potato Head) in one of the hotel golf buggies, the chilled Bali feeling instantly kicks in and my holiday and blogging trip starts off with an awesome check-in experience from the welcome team! Thanks Mena.

Open air Welcome section

My Starwood Preferred Guestrecognition allowed for excellent staff to guest rapport around the hotel, with the W Bali staff making a point to remember my name and specific preferences throughout my stay. The level of awareness of my personal preferences was the icing on the cake for my stay, and I was super impressed by this level of awareness and attention given to my room position preference (high with city or pool views) & the pillows I requested were in the room on arrival.

W Bali – Seminyak

After checking in with the welcome team, Mum and I were off to a great start.  We received an upgrade on arrival to a wonderful ocean-facing escape suite on the 5th floor (top floor) facing the pool area, from our usual garden-view escape.

There are three elevators in the property and while they are quick – they need to buzz louder when they arrive (or light up more), as it’s a common problem when walking past or using the elevators that people don’t notice the elevator has already come and gone!  The elevators are also very hot inside, not a particularly comfortable feeling with the humid Bali weather that’s for sure and something I hope the management attend to for my future visits.

Our room was twin share with two delightfully comfortable floating queen beds, a massive desk with plenty of power points and Ethernet hardwire plus the hard to resist munchies box which has now grown significantly since my last stay!

The mini bar cabinet features a coffee plunger and kettle, all the essential glassware for a balcony beverage to watch the sunset and a metal ice bucket (filled on request).  There is a nice selection of tea available however not so much in the coffee department for the coffee-lovers among us! While it’s easy to head down to the restaurant for your caffeine hit, I think every 5-star hotel should have a decent selection of coffees and teas with fresh milk available for free in their mini bars.

The Electrolux mini bar fridge had the essentials – but only just. Not a huge selection really for a high-end hotel – just a couple of soft drinks including Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite, one juice and some mixers – no champagne this time or white wine which was a shame.  The minibar seemed a bit hit and miss to be honest, on the desk was a 1/2 bottle of Grey Goose vodka (FRA) a bottle of red wine (ITA) – and that was it.

The free bottled still water for Starwood Preferred guests was replenished daily (in the room and in the bathroom for brushing your teeth) and never had to be ordered – loads of water is always very welcome in the steamy Bali heat!

The awesome ‘open’ bathroom (retractable roof blind with remote – see pics below) was a big hit and the bathroom also features a full stone soak tub/bath (above ground) with double vanity, twin illuminated mirrors, rain/wall shower and a full kit of amenities from BLISS including a  foaming face wash, bubbles and shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, hand cream, etc. all from their signature lemon and sage scented range which is quite nice, fresh and fun plus a little bottle of Listerine mouth wash.

Whatever/Whenever® will help you replenish as much as you want during your stay, – (Its W hotels concierge!)  here’s a snippet from the W Hotels website:

W Hotel’s signature service. Whatever you wish for, we’ll wave our magic wand. W’ legendary Whatever/Whenever® service featuring a 24-hour concierge that grants your every wish is part and parcel of what makes the W Hotel the best hotel Seminyak has to offer.

A pair of tickets to the latest nightclub? Yours in the blink of an eye. That must have Miu Miu accessory? The secret shopper has it covered.  Dine under the stars? Rest assured it will be an unforgettable experience!

Whatever you want, whenever you want.  Your wish is our command, with our Whatever/Whenever® service.  Nothing is too big or too small, just make it legal!

Fees vary by service requested.

For more information please contact whotels.bali@whotels.com

Our room also had a large balcony with comfy chaise sofa and another single chair and table for those who like to have breakfast in their own room.

There was also a massive screen that closes the bathroom and main room areas for total privacy.

 

Night lights feature softly throughout the room (hidden at low-level), which is a nice touch (well, my mum raved about them!) that is activated by your bedside (with the reading lights and a master switch for the room).

 

The Bose DVD lifestyle system with full DVD library on hand & Whatever/Whenever® will provide you with the DVD’s of your choice from the catalogue provided in your room. This concept is a great idea – I think $15-$20 for an in-house movie is ridiculous at most hotels and it’s great to see the DVD’s are complimentary for in-house guests.  DVD’s will arrive in approximately 10 minutes from when you order them, so you can chill out in your room after a big day by the pool.

 

There is a JBL alarm clock in the corner of the room if you prefer to set your own reminders and a long shaped sofa in the room with large coffee table – which was also very comfortable.

 

Both the blackout curtain and the day blind ensure a dark space when you’re ready to have a rest  (that’s when the night lights come in handy).

 

The pool area at the W Bali is the stand out feature at this ‘open air’ modern property.  The access points are limitless and there is plenty of deck lounges to choose from around the pool area.  They also have cabana’s with luxurious cushions, plenty of shady umbrellas and double canopy hooded loungers for your poolside enjoyment.

As you are right on the beach at W Bali and it’s an easy walking distance from Potato Head and Ku de ta, there are lots of non-resort guests coming in from the beach entrance trying to use the pool facilities! These people are quickly ushered away by unsuspecting security – yet it happens all day long!

As soon as you find a lounger or chair to your liking, the pool butlers are quick to get you set up with towels, cushions, menus, water, sunscreen etc. and are dedicated to meeting all your needs while you’re poolside. We liked the lip pillows, which were a bit of fun!

The Woobar is the beach bar near the pool and had the best lantern-lit beer garden beside the beach, it’s a perfect spot for sun downers and expertly crafted mixes & drinks plus live DJ’s.  Food is also available here and throughout the wet areas of the hotel.  It’s always happening at the Woobar.  The bar regularly holds DJ nights with all the latest lounge tracks and a themed menu if you prefer to eat there.

Go in inside and check out the fan above the bar – it’s massive and quite unique – intriguing layout for this bar, amazing triple layered decks with an observation ‘hole’ exposing all levels through to the rooftop terrace. (new)

Massive Boss Fan above the bar

Breakfast (held between 07:00 and 10:30) was included in our rate which was served at either Fire Restaurant (accessed via the lounge) or Starfish Bloo, which is beach side and a more resort style venue with ocean views. Both venues had buffet stations with a big focus on local individual dishes, international cuisine, donuts, croissants, muffins, pastries etc. – all the breakfast favourites!

image courtesy of W Bali – Seminyak

Sunday brunch at starfish bloo – highly rated

Starfish bloo looking out to the beach

 

A la Carte breakfast dishes were available from both venues with a huge selection and at no additional cost – so you can order ten courses of brekky if you so wish!  Think blueberry or strawberry pancakes with real maple syrup and fresh cream, waffles with caramel and banana, eggs Benedict, Florentine & salmon.

Here is the list for you..

Breakfast Menu

New and Old Cravings
Classic Egg Benedict
Smoked country ham, English muffin, poached egg, hollandaise
Smoked Salmon Benedict
Smoked tassie salmon, English muffin, chive hollandaise, tobiko
Warm Poached Asparagus & Poached Egg
Bedugul farms asparagus, shaved parmesan, hollandaise
Poached Prawn & Mascarpone Scrambled Egg
Butter poached prawn, chives, mascarpone, organic eggs
House Buttermilk Pancakes
Stewed berries, maple syrup, whipped cream
Cinnamon Brioche French Toast
Stewed berries, maple syrup, whipped cream
Seared Foie Gras
Caramelized onion, sunny side up, natural jus, mini croissant
Grilled New York Steak & Eggs
Grilled beef steak, almond romesco, eggs as you prefer
Bibimbap
A traditional Korean rice dish with vegetables, sunny egg kimchi, beef & chilli paste

Healthy & Vegetarian Alternatives
Organic Vegetable Egg White Omelet
local spinach, mushrooms, onions, asparagus, chives
Poached Prawn & Mascarpone Scrambled Egg White
Butter poached prawn, chives, mascarpone, organic eggs
Assorted Sashimi & Maki Rolls
Sushi, sashimi, maki rolls, wasabi, soy sauce, pickled ginger

House Made Honey Granola Parfait
Local berry compote, strawberry yoghurt, dried fruits
Mixed Asian Greens Salad
Green apple, soy-lime vinaigrette, jicama, crispy shallots
Seasonal Balinese Fruit Platter
Local tropical fruits, organic bedugul honey

On the Side
Toast-White or Wheat
Balinese Pork or Chicken Sausages
Roasted Organic Tomatoes
Two Organic Eggs-Any Style
Fragrant Jasmine Rice, Shallot-Garlic Oil
Basket of House made Pastries

Sip
Juice
Apple Papaya Orange Pineapple Mango Young Coconut Watermelon
Probiotic Smoothies
Banana, date,cinnamon,honey, yakult & ice; Mango, passion fruit, honey, yakult & ice; Papaya, tamarello, honey, yakult & ice Blueberries, strawberries, honey, yakult & ice

Coffee Selection
HOT Espresso Black Coffee Cappuccino Flat White Latte Hot Chocolate Machiato COLD Black Over Ice Coffee Frappe Iced Chocolate
Tea Selection
English Breakfast Berry Bliss Earl Grey Exotic Paradise Golden Chamomile Green Tea Peppermint Tea
Retox, Detox, Recovery
Berroca Booster
Served with fiji water

B-B-Bloody Mary
Tomato and vodka and everything nice; served a bit spicy
Vanilla Bellini
Crushed peaches, W-made vanilla vodka, lemon, sugarcane and fresh vanilla
Mint Lychee Royale
Crushed lychees & mint, with vodka and drowned in champagne
Louis Roederer Brut

pastries, donuts and parfait anyone?

 

We ate out most nights when we stayed here, as that’s what you come to Bali for – the amazing nosh available at a surprisingly low price – and the venues at the W Bali are more ‘sunlight’ themed/orientated.

Don’t get me wrong, Fire and Starfish Bloo are two consistently top-ranked restaurants on TripAdvisor and the vibe around the hotel in the evening is electric, we just usually explore other venues around the Seminyak area.

Amazing W villa host Imam whisked me away to show me around W’s luxurious villas – which are behind the property and secluded behind the scenes for privacy.

 

Imam with the honeymooners welcome amenity – chocolate truffles

They have a network of convenient golf buggies who drop off and pick up guests arriving and departing this hidden/secluded villa area (it even has its own private temple with offering available) which is located near the amazing 3 bedroom villas (which are massive and are located in their own section).

The villas are lovely.  The lead-in or standard one bedroom villa has all the facilities and features the hotel rooms have, but are a step up and more luxurious – plus far more relaxed in colour their palate.

Be aware – if you’re the type of person who needs to be closer to the action & the main pool area – these villas may not be for you. They are more secluded and are serviced by buggies to and from the main reception area at W so if you want to be in the thick of it, you might want to stay in a hotel room rather than a villa.

I inspected a 1-bedroom villa, which was just being finalised for a honeymoon couple arriving at 4pm.  The room presented like this!

The stunning bathroom is totally different to the garden & ocean escape rooms and the villa included a private pool area with loungers & cabana – very secluded and tranquil. (1-bedroom Wow Villa).

private pool area with loungers & cabana – very secluded and tranquil. (1 bedroom wow villa)

Improvements to the front area of the hotel (the beach entrance) would probably make a lot of guests happier.  I would really like to see some clean white sand or grass here instead of the brown-grey sand.  It’s just an eyesore for guests and easily fixed by management.  We also noticed the furniture is always stained around this area and guests never seem to be using this section – maybe it’s because they don’t like the sand!

The beach area in front of the W Bali is quite wild.  There is always a strong current and you swim at your own risk.  Beware of the strong rip that tends to present itself in front of the property at times for less than strong swimmers; it’s probably a safer idea to stay in the pool!

Staff at the property are all 5 star!  Most of them know us by first and last name and welcomed us with smiles and advice every day of our stay and liked to joke around with you and ‘have a chat’ whenever they could.  A big mention must go out to the welcome team and the lounge steward Melah who has been at the property since early days – a genuinely sincere and funny person who remembers us each and every visit!

We didn’t see Craig from the executive offices this time around, but will definitely catch up next time mate!  You have crafted an exceptional team and maintained this property and its facilities to a very high standard! Kudo’s mate!

W Bali – Seminyak is a polished and on-trend lifestyle hotel which oozes excitement, luxury, opulence and fun in every way.  It really is a delight for the senses.  The level of service I receive at this property always amazes me and most of the little creases that were evident last stay have been ironed out flat!  W Bali is definitely a favourite hotel of mine.

A few extra quirky facts about the W Bali – Seminyak. The hotel has its own sound recording studio, W Sound Suite, with a sound engineer on hand to help you make a few tracks or explore the equipment with ease! After all, it’s all about lifestyle! The hotel teams up with acclaimed international DJ’s to create the sounds you hear throughout the property, which is also available for via purchase in Symmetry – see below.  It’s getting a bit old now (about 7 years) – but the music remixes always bring back memories.

I’ll be back – next time I would love to review the more secluded villas for all the solo’s, couples, families and honeymooners wanting more seclusion and intimacy.  Keep tuned and enjoy the pics!

Overall, I rate the W Bali – Seminyak a total of 5.5 out of 6 possible stars

Park Hyatt | Siem Reap | 2 bedroom pool suite

Coming soon! My review of the Park Hyatt in Siem Reap Cambodia.

This high-end hotel is 5 km from Siem Reap War Museum and 8 km from the iconic Angkor Wat temple.

Featuring Khmer art, the stylish rooms and suites have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars. All also offer Nespresso machines and safes, along with marble bathrooms with rainfall showerheads; suites add living areas. Upgraded rooms and suites add whirlpool tubs, patios, private plunge pools or gardens. Room service is available.

Amenities include a polished Cambodian restaurant, a chic bar, a glass-enclosed deli/patisserie and a spa. There’s an outdoor lap pool, an indoor/outdoor infinity pool, a fitness center and event space.

The rooms where delightful, review coming soon!

How to fly around the world in Business Class for 280,000 Qantas Points with the oneworld Classic Flight Reward

I’d imagine that the majority of Qantas frequent flyers usually use their points to redeem award travel for simple one-way or return tickets to Europe, the US, Asia or domestically.

However, there is a great value points redemption that allows for up to 15 flights with Qantas and oneworld partner airlines—the oneworld Classic Flight Reward—which can be used for up to 35,000 miles of travel, in Economy, Premium Economy, Business or First Class.

In this guide, we outline how Qantas oneworld Classic Rewards work as a great way to maximise the value of your Qantas Points for round-the-world (RTW) trips.

Do note that these awards do not technically have to go around the world, but this is the most common use for them. See FAQs later on for more information.

 

Comparing the different long-haul Qantas Point redemption options

If you analyse the table below, you can see that tacking on a significant amount of extra flying comes with only minimal additional points cost, especially from Adelaide.

Cabin Perth to London return on Qantas/Emirates Perth to London return on oneworld partner (Qatar) Adelaide to London return on Qantas/Emirates Adelaide to London return with oneworld partner (Qatar) oneworld Classic Flight Reward
Economy 110,000 130,000 120,000 150,000 140,000
Premium Economy 168,000 195,000 192,000 225,000 210,000
Business Class 224,000 242,000 256,000 278,000 280,000
First Class 336,000 354,000 384,000 406,000 420,000
Miles travelled 18,060 18,100 20,654 20,582 Up to 35,000

Say you want to fly return to Europe on Qantas or Emirates (which is a preferred partner). From Perth/Adelaide, you’ll be up for 224,000/256,000 points in Business Class and 336,000/392,000 points in First Class, plus taxes and fees of $500-1000.

Or you could fly one of their non-preferred oneworld partners like Qatar Airways or Cathay Pacific, from Adelaide for 242,000/278,000 points in Business or 354,000/406,000 points in First.

By comparison, departing from Adelaide, you could fly almost double the distance (up to 35,000 miles) and have stopovers in five cities for just 2,000 points more in Business Class or 14,000 more in First Class.

Departing from Perth, the value of the RTW award compared to a simple return is more diminished. This is because Perth is closer to Europe than Adelaide and therefore falls into a lower distance bracket. However, if you still wanted to fly RTW, it will only cost you an extra 56,000 points compared to flying Qantas/Emirates return to Europe, which is still good value.

Why you should aim to fly Business instead of First Class

From Perth and Adelaide, the only airline operating a First Class cabin is Emirates and as we’ve mentioned in the main guide, you can’t include Emirates in this award as it’s not part of oneworld.

If you did want to pursue a First Class award though, then the best way to get value out of that is to fly in and out of Australia from Sydney or Melbourne on Qatar Airways (both cities) or British Airways (Sydney only) and tack on a domestic Qantas Business Class flight to get there.

Why does Qantas have four different award tables?

  1. Qantas Classic Flight Rewards: the cheapest price table for Qantas and its preferred partners of Airnorth, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates and Fiji Airways
  2. Jetstar Classic Flight Rewards: for Jetstar flights only; this is 20% less than the Qantas Classic price
  3. Partner Classic Flight Rewards : for travel on one and only one of Qantas oneworld partner airlines
  4. oneworld Classic Flight Rewards: for itineraries including two or more oneworld airlines; the focus of this guide

The key uses for the oneworld Classic Flight Reward are to fly:

  • further (i.e. RTW)
  • on more carriers
  • on more flights

compared to redeeming an award using one of the other three tables.

With an extensive network and modern product on its A350, A380 and 787 aircraft, you might aim to include a Qatar Airways Business Class flight as part of your trip

Why does a Qantas oneworld RTW redemption represent good value?

A RTW itinerary booked as a oneworld Classic Flight Reward is one of the best ways to maximise the value of your Qantas Points.

The RTW ticket allows you to explore the world and stopover in up to five cities over a 12-month period, provided there is award availability and the total distance is kept under 35,000 miles.

If you bought a RTW ticket with cash, retail fares usually start from $3,000 in Economy, $11,000 in Business and upwards of $20,000 in First. We know that RTW Business Class itineraries are very popular with couples and with this guide, some of our readers have saved between $20,000-$35,000 in out-of-pocket costs.

With this award, you can choose from over 1,000 destinations in more than 150 countries covered by the oneworld alliance:

  • Aer Lingus (rejoining sometime in 2017)
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • LATAM
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7 Airlines
  • Sri Lankan Airlines

Emirates is not part of the oneworld alliance and, therefore, cannot be included in this itinerary.

Although its a great airline to fly, you cannot include Emirates flights in this award

Comparing the different long-haul Qantas Point redemption options

If you analyse the table below, you can see that tacking on a significant amount of extra flying comes with only minimal additional points cost.

Cabin Melbourne to London return on Qantas or Emirates Melbourne to London return on Qatar Airways oneworld Classic Flight Reward
Economy 120,000 150,000 140,000
Premium Economy 192,000 225,000 210,000
Business Class 256,000 278,000 280,000
First Class 384,000 406,000 420,000
Miles travelled 21,007 21,007 Up to 35,000

Say you want to fly return to Europe on Qantas or Emirates (which is a preferred partner). You’ll be up for 256,000 points in Business Class or 392,000 in First, plus taxes and fees of $500-1000.

Or you could fly one of their non-preferred oneworld partners like Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific or British Airways for 278,000 in Business or 406,000 in First.

By comparison, you could fly almost double the distance (up to 35,000 miles) and have stopovers in five cities for just 2,000 points more in Business Class or 14,000 more in First Class.

If you’d rather use your points for a trip in Economy or Premium Economy, you’ll actually save 10-15,000 points by doing a RTW itinerary compared to flying with one of Qantas’ non-preferred partners. Crazy, right?

Just note that not all oneworld carriers operate a Premium Economy cabin, so you’d want to target British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas flights—other flights would be in Economy.

Example 1: 32,000 miles in Business Class for 280,000 Qantas Points

The following basic Business Class itinerary totals 26,000 miles flown, well within the 35,000-mile maximum:

  1. Sydney to Johannesburg with Qantas
  2. Johannesburg to London with British Airways
  3. London to New York with American Airlines or British Airways
  4. New York to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific
  5. Hong Kong to Sydney with Qantas or Cathay Pacific

If you want to check the mileage of a range of flights, I recommend inputting the airport codes into Great Circle Mapper to get the total distance, ensuring you are keeping it under the 35,000-mile maximum.

Because the Qantas RTW reward allows you to have up to 15 connections, you do not necessarily have to fly the most direct route, as above. This is handy when there are no seats available on the most direct route and you have to fly to your destination via a different city.

Another benefit is that you can also stop in cities for under 24 hours. As long as it 23 hours and 59 minutes, it is considered a ‘transit’ rather than a stopover.

The sample itinerary above only has five connections, so let’s tweak it slightly and add more connections

  1. Sydney to Johannesburg with Qantas
  2. Johannesburg to London via Doha with Qatar Airways
  3. London to New York with British Airways or American Airlines
  4. New York to Hong Kong via Los Angeles and Tokyo with American Airlines, Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific
  5. Hong Kong to Sydney with Qantas or Cathay Pacific

This sample itinerary now comes in at a little under 32,000 miles.

You don’t have to tack on long flights, of course. Adding on a number of smaller flights to reach non-hub cities, if that is where you want to go, is also a very useful way to get value from this award.

Example 2: 34,000 miles in Economy Class for 140,000 Qantas Points

Point Hacks reader Mark shared his round-the-world journey to South America, Europe and South Africa in the comments below, costing him 140,000 points in Economy. The same journey in Business Class would have cost 280,000, or 420,000 in First.

When drawing his map on Great Circle Mapper, I can see that the total distance flown was 34,343 miles, within the 35,000-mile limit:

How to research and book a Qantas oneworld Classic Flight Reward

Like other award redemptions, seats are subject to availability and there is a decent chance you would not be able to fly on the date you desire, so you need to be flexible on dates and routes (as always when using points to travel).

To kick things off, you can use the qantas.com search engine to find most award availability, with the British Airways search engine providing results for Japan Airlines, which does not show up on the Qantas website. You can read more about searching for award space on Qantas partners here.

Once you are ready to book, the simplest way to find reward seats for a RTW itinerary is to search one flight at a time. It can be time-consuming, so have a notepad handy to write down the:

  1. Date of travel (e.g. 4 July 2017)
  2. Departure and arrival cities (Adelaide to Doha)
  3. Flight number (QR 915)
  4. Departure and arrival times (10:25pm – 5:30am)

Keep repeating this for each city, bearing in mind that sometimes you might need to connect via an intermediary city.

Then book online through the Qantas website or, if you need help and/or want to book a seat on a partner that doesn’t show up on the Qantas website, then call Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Frequently Asked Questions

This guide is one of our most-read and has a long comments thread below, so we’ve picked out the most common questions to save you some time.

Please read carefully to see if your question has already been answered in the FAQ or comments section.

Routing

Do I have to go around the world?

No, not necessarily. The award is calculated on total mileage and doesn’t have to go in one direction.

Is backtracking permitted?

Technically, yes, however, some phone agents may apply geographical sense to your itinerary and prevent you from doing so. If so, hang up and call back.

Are transit cities calculated in the total mileage?

Yes, so if you are flying from Sydney to Johannesburg via Hong Kong, you will need to include the two segments, not the direct distance between Sydney and Johannesburg.

Are surface sectors counted?

Yes. A surface sector is when you fly into one airport, make your way on the ground (or a cheap airfare) to another airport to fly out of. For example, if you fly into Berlin, catch a train or bus to Paris, and fly out of Paris, then the mileage between Berlin and Paris will be calculated as part of this award.

Do I need to return to the same airport?

Yes. If you are flying out of Melbourne on a RTW trip, you need to return to Melbourne at the end of it.

Can I travel more than 35,000 miles?

No. Once you go even one mile more, it will recalculate as separate awards and be much more expensive.

Pricing

How do I add segments?

You can add segments for most airline partners (except Japan Airlines) online, but note that you’ll be charged a 5,000-point change fee each time you alter your itinerary, so try to lock down as many flights and dates as you can at the start.

If you need to phone the call centre to make a change and are flying in Economy or Premium Economy, you’ll be charged an extra 8,000-point service fee; premium cabins do not attract this fee.

Can I mix cabins, e.g. fly Business Class for most segments and First Class for one or two?

The award is calculated on the rate for the highest cabin, which means that even if you have one First Class flight and the rest are in Business, you will be charged 420,000 points instead of 280,000. This means you’re best to stick to the same cabin the whole way.

How are infant and child fares calculated?

If you have a child under two years of age, then you just pay the taxes, no points. If a child is two years of age of older, then they are charged the full adult rate for points redemptions.

Why should I avoid flying British Airways?

Because they charge high fuel surcharges. Read more in our guide to airlines and frequent flyer programs that charge the lowest fuel surcharges.

Why should I avoid flying out of the UK?

Because departing flights from the UK are charged the Air Passenger Duty. However, if your transit through the UK is less than 24 hours, then your departing flight won’t be charged the APD. Read more in our guide to cities and countries to aim for to minimise taxes and fees.

Booking

Can I book this award online?

Yes, you can, and we recommend it. Remember to use the multi-city search tool on the Qantas website, not the round-the-world tool on the oneworld website.

The only exception is that if you include Japan Airlines in your itinerary, you’ll need to phone Qantas. And be prepared for potential long wait times.

Can I include Emirates in my itinerary?

No, Emirates is not part of the oneworld alliance, therefore it is not eligible for this award.

What should I do if the phone agent doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing?

Hang up and call back.

Summing up

Qantas oneworld Classic Flight Rewards require a lot of points comparatively to redeem simple one-way redemptions but you can get a hell of a lot of travel squeezed into one itinerary.

You’ll be able to see at least five cities and, if you’re clever, add overnight stops of up to 24 hours in connecting cities too.

Just remember to keep your total distance flown to under 35,000 miles and try to book as many of the flights as you can at the start so you’re not slugged with change and service fees.

Have you successfully redeemed your Qantas Points for a RTW award and, if so, where did you go?

Qantas first class on frequent flyer points loophole: Fly for less than $2000 Read more:

Who wouldn’t rather fly to the other side of the world in style and comfort, with space to stretch out and sleep, as opposed to tying yourself in knots in cattle class?

For those of us without the budget to regularly turn left when boarding, there is hope. It has transpired that if you are clever in collecting air miles, you could fly from the US to Australia for close to the same price as a seat in economy.

How, you might ask. The very simple trick to making huge savings has been revealed by a blogger in the US.

Gilbert Ott, the man behind God Save The Points, claims he is able to pay less than $US1500 ($1976) for a single first-class flight, not much more than economy class flights for New York to Sydney on Qantas that cost from $US1080.

This, according to Ott, is thanks to the air miles that can be bought from Alaska Airlines, the airline partner to Qantas. And it doesn’t even matter that you’ve never flown with them in your life.

Ott suggests that flying to Australia from the US in both directions with Qantas will cost you just 70,000 air miles bought from Alaska. Purchasing these miles through Alaska costs just $US1478 – allowing you to fly to Australia in first class for that relatively small sum.

In the same way, a round trip would cost approximately $US3000, around $US13,000 less than the price you would pay if you bought the flights directly from Qantas.

The trick works, Ott explained, because of the discounts Alaska regularly offers its air miles customers.

You could either search for flights through the Qantas frequent flyer programme or use an online tool such as Awards Nexus in order to cast the widest search for available seats to use mileage points on.

Once you have found the seat you want, it’s then that you should approach Alaska Airlines to buy the miles you need.

“There’s no catch, just a challenge,” Ott in his blog post. “Finding seats in just about any cabin to Australia can be time consuming, but for this opportunity, it’s totally worth it.

“Alaska only permits certain routings using miles and sadly the Europe to Australia is not one of them,” Ott admits. He also notes that an account with Alaska must be open for 10 days before you can buy miles and that the current sale on miles at a 40 per cent discount expires on April 6, so miles will need to be bought before then.

Crown Metropol Perth | 5 star | Luxe Twin

Absolutely love staying at the crown metropol..!  I always leave this property feeling like i’ve had a genuine holiday.  I’ve stayed at that many hotels in the past 20 years, this has to be one of the best, and it’s only a 15 minute drive from my place in Scarborough.  Thank you Crown Entertainment and James Packer.

Walking into the Crown Metropol Perth is quite an amazing sight to be seen!  The former Burswood and Intercontinental Resort has been lovingly renovated and polished and is the foyer to their first class restaurants, Rockpool, Nobu and Silks. (how handy)

If you haven’t seen the lobby, It’s a massive atrium style building with a huge reception area also featuring their award-winning buffet “The Atrium”.  Heaps of lounges and sofas with coffee tables and the ‘Lobby Bar’ which also serves breakfast lunch and high tea.  It’s a great starting spot and inviting area with heaps of beverages to choose from.  However its also a relaxing and refined spot to people watch and organise the days ‘to do’ list.

or… if you prefer, a champagne lounge is also conveniently located beside the front desk, La Vie has you covered for a bit of upmarket fiz. Grande Annie anyone

Getting back to the Crown Metropol:

Check in took forever!  While I appreciate a thorough check in experience, when it takes half an hour, that’s just getting ridiculous!  Anyhow, I wasn’t going to let that get in the way.

We were allocated 2 rooms beside each other (deluxe twin rooms) on the first floor.  Both rooms where overlooking the pool area which was an added bonus.

The rooms are fabulous and feature the following in-room technology

  • Complimentary WiFi is available for internet surfing, Premium internet for streaming video or conferencing is available at an additional charge
  • LCD television with over 53 channels
  • Video on demand
  • Radio stations
  • Television Sleep and Wake-Up
  • My ETV! accessing ETV gives you the ability for quick navigation to your favourite channels, movies, music etc.
  • Digital Compendium – On screen services which include pillow menu, housekeeping, concierge, whats on around crown, hotel services
  • Digital master switch – which I personally love, has lighting, reading light, do not disturb, make up room & air conditioning buttons

Rooms are spacious and stylish with pure white linens and duvet.  Room was a little stuffy upon arrival, and I found that the air conditioning system was actually out of order. (I did have my key card inserted into the wall)  A quick call to reception and a follow up from the engineering duty manager, the problem was solved within about 20 minutes. Kudos!

Awesome bathroom with separate shower and tub and crown labelled amenities which where of a high standard, just unsure as to which company supplies them.  Personally I prefer L’occitane or Le Labo, however crown loves to brand and they have done a great job with the lotions, shampoo/conditioner and gels.

The style and the layout of the bathroom is perfect! I have a crazy love for bathrooms in hotels and this met all my expectations – and more.

Black is back.. The bathroom features black flooring and white walls (all tiles) with a separated toilet for privacy with telephone.  Towels were plentiful and smelt fresh and clean (Always smell the towels everyone – I always do – and if they don’t smell clean, I inform housekeeping) – people do all sorts of things (hygienic and unhygienic) with towels, so be careful! – The crown metropol has sacrificed a double vanity for a full sized private toilet and separated tub.

Mini bar was quite standard with a limited selection waters, juices, soft drinks and beers supplied by coke and Carlton united beverages.  Prices weren’t too over the top.  Loved that they had Copia Pinot Grigio and Fiji water.. my favourite.

The room service menu has been designed and created for Crown Metropol guests by Bistro Guillaume which is inspired by the best neighbourhood bistro’s of Paris. (How awesome is that) The menu is perfect with a full a la carte menu abundant with French classics as well as an international sumptuous breakfast, all day and late night dining menu’s – all available delivered to your guest room.

Or if you prefer, Bistro Guillaume is located downstairs in the lobby (just off front desk) which exudes a relaxed holiday feel, encouraging diners to stay for a while and savour every moment while enjoying acclaimed chef Guillaume Brahimi’s delicious bistro cuisine – and the sensational view of the outdoor pool area – see below for a better picture.  One of mine and my friends favourite places to ‘hang and nosh’

The whole crown experience is opulent and entertaining,,, Your choices are really varied and endless when it comes to food, beverage and live show options.  Also in the lobby area is the entrance to Nobu and Rockpool.  I loved the fact they had a pianist lady “Bex Lou” in the lobby area, playing solo classics and modern music with a twist, to break up the atmosphere in the lobby perfectly – whilst sipping on a cocktail and enjoying tapas from the lobby bar.

To be honest with you, I was a bit dissapointed with the burgers at Rockpool.  See below – this is how they served them – very strange, cos lettuce and roma toms served on the side??  The chicken fillet seemed processed??  I was a bit ‘weirded out’ as I was expecting a delicious buttermilk fried portion of breast – but was left disappointed.  The Wagu burger looked a bit better, but by no means anything to write home about.  Was expecting bettter.  Also learnt that the rockpool group had been sold and is no longer owned by Neil Perry.  So there you go people.

The very basic Caesar Salad – the butter lettuce was very crunchy / fresh.  Wandering where the anchovies and Parmesan or Reggiano where though..!

If your here on business, then crown has you covered with their business centre downstairs near the pool area (it is unassuming – but there is a lovely receptionist on duty at all times to help with anything you require.  Internet access, printing, binding and copying is all free of charge.  Really quiet and easy to surf the net without interruptions.  Its well hid, but be advised – it a free service for in house guests – glorious.

The big draw card to the metropol is the magnificent pool area/wet area.  With indoor and outdoor pools, spa’s and half tube water slides for the kids (2).  Heaps of sun loungers and day beds with umbrellas here for everyone.  Poolside also features an ‘upgrade’ experience, where you can hire the day bed, fig lounge, orbit lounge or the in-pool lounge!

view of the Crown Towers from the Metropol Pool area

The fitness centre is state of the art with all the latest equipment – I wont go into that.  There is also a series of picturesque running and cycling tracks and are easily accessible.  Bicycles are available for hire from Poolside reception

Kids hub is located in the lower level of the hotel and is suitable for 16 years and under.  The area is complete with gaming consoles,. drawing tables and plenty of stuff to keep young guests entertained.

The pavilion is poolside and is made up of 6 private cabana’s.  Each are available to hire for both in house guests and the public from 11.00 am to 7.00 pm daily.  Each cabana features access to your own private pool, two sun buds, indoor couch, plasma television, dedicated area host, towels, mini bar, iPod connectivity with sound system.  (mini bar is charged upon consumption)

Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Anh offers a selection of advanced skin and medical treatments to in-house guests and the public.  Cosmetic treatments include

  • injectables
  • laser and medical grade skin treatments
  • thermage and skin tightening
  • plastic and cosmetic surgery consultations

And lastly, the casino.

The excitement and energy at Western Australia’s only casino has to be seen to be believed.  Whether your into the table games or the buzz of electronic gaming/slots – the casino boasts an incredible range of games in a stylish and sophisticated setting.  More restaurants, bars and a cafe are at your disposal inside the casino.

Just downstairs from the casino, you have the option of McDonald’s, Subway and Wok in a box restaurants with indoor seating.  An excellent option for breakfast (hotcakes and mcmuffins!!) or if you have kids – everyone will be happy..

The hotel also has a small gift shop which sells essential items, papers, magazines, cigarettes, drinks, confectionery and souvenirs.  The gift shop is located in between the crown metropol and promenade hotels, just in front of the theatre.

Our stay at crown was relaxing, indulgent and awesome! We love the crown metropol and have to say, it was very hard to fault anything!  Staff where all professional, courteous and happy at all times and they provided some genuine first class hospitality.

If your planning a trip to Perth people, then trust me, and stay at Crown Metropol – you will have the ultimate holiday and your choices are endless at crown – something different to do everyday – and Perth city is only minutes away. (and man has it become awesome).  You will leave refreshed and happy you made the decision to stay here!

Overall, I rate the Crown Metropol Perth a total of 5 out of a possible 6 stars.

my next stay at crown will be soon – loft rooms, crown towers villas and the cabana’s will be next on my review list..

The Oberoi Lombok Indonesia | Lanai Ocean View Room

The Oberoi Lombok Indonesia Property.

Taking approximately 1.5 – 2 hours to arrive at the secluded location, The Oberoi Lombok Indonesia property boasts a massive space, spanning 24 hectares with its own private beach, restaurant, café & bar. The endless palms, frangipani, bougainvillea, stone pathways and beautiful flora segregates the different areas of the hotel quaintly, giving you the feeling you are always in your own little special place wherever you go.

As soon as you arrive at the property, all the front office team welcome you with open arms! They are so interested in your journey and very inquisitive to know all about me, and the suite life blog.

They could not do enough for me.
I was shown around the property by the Executive assistant manager of rooms, who was extremely helpful and full of humour and ‘great spirits’. The level of service will take you on an journey that will enchant you and mystify your perceptions of the ‘city life’ literally.

Being extremely simular to the seminyak property, only a little more modern (only a bit) the property is absolute beach front, in a non-congested area. The winding roads around the monkey forest mountains was an absolute awesome way to see the beauty of the island on our transfer from the Lombok international airport.

Check In was friendly efficient and welcoming. After greeting you at the front entrance you are given a frangipani necklace, which is a nice touch and scent. The oberoi bellboy / concierge team asks you to take a seat in the foyer overlooking their reflecting ponds and pool area as they check you in. An associate meets me and welcomes me again. This time with the cooling and refreshing ginger tea and of course a cold scented face towel. (was so good.

Your passport and credit card Mr Mansfield, and just a quick view over of your guest registration to confirm all details are correct sir and we are good to go.

Then I was whisked away by the hotel buggy to my traditional Lanai ocean view room 200. To my complete delight, they had upgraded me once again to their more expensive and better located ocean view lanais. I am a lucky man! I had the best located room on the property. Everything was located just a short stroll from my room which was unbeatable.

The lanai rooms are just so awe inspiring and traditional with wooden floorboards, carved and stone made sculptures, floor to celing windows, huge oversized king bed on a magnificent wooden frame and Balinese artwork adorned the rooms. Again, the details that have gone into making these lanai rooms so comfortable and workable is amazing. Egyptian full thread count linens and goose down duvet and pillows with a pillow menu on hand if you prefer hypo allergenic, cotton or contoured – whichever you prefer – will be delivered to your room very promptly, and however many you would like! Just dial housekeeping.

Television with DVD player (DVD’s are available free of charge in the business centre) is located within the entertainment / mini bar cabinet – again a nice Electrolux mini bar fridge filled with yummy juices, beers, soft drinks and mixers. The drawers also had cashews, crisps, red wine (Bali) cordless kettle and a nice selection of organic teas, coffee satchels, raw, brown and normal sugar, fresh milk was available on request and as much as you desired.

 

Fresh ice was well stocked on arrival (I find this great) and a welcome platter of local tropical fruit, linen napkin, cutlery and hand wash bowl all there for you every day of your stay (replenished) The likes of snake fruit (you must try these – fleshy crunchy sweet and sour and a local favourite), tangerines, tiny bananas await you every day for a little treat.

 

Bathroom was out of this world in size and just so lavish – it is massive and kept sparkling clean – heavy silver fixtures throughout. The oberoi bathroom concept is amazing…! The soaking tub is always located with a view of the outdoor bathroom area, which is accessible via the toilet in the Lombok property (a clear glass door which opens out to the garden area with a pond) (it was accessible from the shower at the seminyak property).

The water pressure was sensational (I am a big fan of strong water pressure – I really dislike low water pressure!) With floor to ceiling marble – and oversized silver fixtures everywhere, you truly feel so special when using these fantastic oversized bathrooms at all Oberoi properties.

By the soaking tub are the amenities – bubble foam, bath salts, organic sponge, candles, matches, floating pillow and a book for you to read. – really nice touch – and most appreciated.

The shower had two water heads (one was massive and had the massage features and one was railed for kids to adjust downwards) Bathroom also features a massive mirror which took up a whole wall and made the room look even bigger. 2 massive wardrobes with all the usual oberoi treats – including thongs, umbrellas, cordless iron, massive room safe, torch, extra pillows, dry cleaning and laundry bags, shoe shiner etc. The room was also fitted with electronic indoor and outdoor insect repellents – which worked a treat – didn’t spot one mozzie. Few froggies and cats seen around the property’s gardens at times. Cats stayed their distance.

The landscaped gardens and architecture around the property is truly a magnificent scene. One would just be happy here marvelling at the beauty of the integration of these spaces and how well everything just fits together perfectly. Endless places to park and sunbathe for the day – again with quality wooden framed sunbeds with soft cushions, menu’s, white flag for service, sunscreen and insect repellent all in the little box. Which is all set up for you once you choose where you would like to ‘park’! all this surrounding a magnificent tiled infinity pool which is positioned below the reflective ponds. (which are amazing)

The property also has a business centre located near the front desk which is again very similar to the seminyak property in set up, with the complimentary DVD’d, Novels, Books, Games, Stationary, i Mac’s, Printers, Telephones etc. Everything you need for your office away from home, (high speed internet access is complimentary at both properties) and usually where you will find me, blogging and communicating with the world!

 

Sitting in the lobby area gazing down to the beach with the reflective ponds and infinity pools, bars and sunken cabana’s dotted around, the feeling of ‘joy and harmony’ start to implode on your mind and body, in such a nice way.

 

 

Your requests are met with pride and smiles in every single department including the gardeners and housekeeping – with “how is your stay” or “is there anything we can do for you?” “Would you like some sorbet Mr Mansfield or maybe some fresh fruit skewers!” Nice touches make for an outstanding stay – that’s for sure.

I experienced dinner in the restaurant with a table to myself! The ambiance was superb and the service was special. The meal itself was just joy! Loved every mouthful. Here’s the pics

And last but in no ways least, the breakfast at the sunbird cafe, which was served a la carte from 0600-1100hrs every day with a glorious view of the ocean (lunch also served here).  Staff here at the sunbird where awesome and very good at their jobs – the food was delicious again! thanks chef!  I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

Thank you for your hospitality The Oberoi Lombok Indonesia, it truly was a pleasure meeting you and I assure you, we will meet again someday!

 

I am giving this property a score of 5.7 out of a possible 6 stars.

Qantas shows off it’s new 787-9 to the world

Qantas has unveiled its first Boeing Dreamliner, the much anticipated aircraft that will “open up new routes and new levels of comfort for travellers.” The latest addition to the Qantas fleet, the 787-9 Dreamliner features next generation seating in Economy, a new Premium Economy and Business Class, with added space and a lower passenger count than […]

via Qantas Shows Off New Boeing 787-9 Aircraft — TheDesignAir

The Oberoi Bali Indonesia – Lanai Garden Room

The Oberoi in Seminyak

with an unbeatable position – literally right on seminyak beach and ‘in the hub’ of great restaurants, shopping, bars, clubs, spa’s, beach clubs etc. this 15-hectare property takes you back in time, in the most unforgettable way.  Think traditional Balinese village with open air restaurant, lobby, café and sporting facilities with 75 lanai rooms and villas, clustered spaciously throughout the tropical gardens on the property.

 

The feeling you experience is quite like no other, it is just the most perfect ‘traditional’ Balinese property that we have ever experienced and it left us enchanted and totally relaxed after 5 nights of pure “Heaven amongst the hustle and bustle of Seminyak”

John Halpin, the resorts GM, has been at the resort for the past 7 years and he came from the Oberoi in Lombok after a helm of 10 years.  His staff are extremely sincere, happy and humble and his presence is felt throughout the service areas and ‘heart’ of the property.

Oberoi Hotels & Resorts is all about entering a world of Luxury and Leisure.  Having recently been awarded “world’s best hotel brand” by the readers of Travel + Leisure, USA in the 2015 and 2016 World’s Best Awards.

The Oberoi Seminyak is a lush beachside haven that offers a complete Balinese experience, filled with serenity, hospitality and tropical beauty.

This is a place where you can relax in truly fabulous settings that celebrate your privacy with charming thatched roof villas and lanais which feature private swimming pools, unique garden bathrooms and exquisite interiors with traditional Balinese art.

The pool area

and the outdoor bar

 

The property only features one restaurant (Kura Kura), one café for breakfast and lunch (a la carte) (frangipani café) and one bar.  So you don’t need to think too hard about your choices here!

The frangipani café is just set back from the beach and is located beside the swimming pool.  Every morning we enjoyed breakfast and juices here.  Its truly a tropical café with everything you could imagine on the menu – from bacon and eggs to benedict or Florentine, gourmet sausages, waffles, pancakes, pastries, omelettes, fresh fruit and preserves, French butter, cold pressed juices, mocktails – you name it and they probably had it!  Service around this café is unbeatable.  They are familiar with you and what you like to order, which is exactly what I like.  Recognition is so important to me on holidays, after all, the less I have to think at breakfast the better!

All newspapers and reading materials available for everyone – even the Australian and The Age.

Oh…  The coffee is fab.  They make it just the way you want – extra HOT flat white with an extra shot Miss Karen? Would you like that in a mug or cup today? (my mother) Yes thank you – just a cup please Miss Tarni (always happy and smiling).

Was that all for today Jamie? Arrrrr maybe I can fit some pancakes, banana’s and maple syrup in! – that was my attitude every day I went for breakfast!! Solid.

Most days we would just graze at breakfast and soak it all in, then casually stroll to the pool area which is grassed and has padded sun loungers with 2 towels per person and your own wooden box to put your belongings in.  If you order pool side dining, they set up a little table in front of you and have everything set up as if you were at a table.  Need the attention of a food and beverage butler?  Just wave your white flag and voila! At your service Mr Mansfield.

The rooms are spacious with everything that you need.  The mini bar was stocked with plenty of choices from nuts and chips, to chocolate bars and candy.   The ice bucket was filled daily (I love that) and the mini bar replenished every second day.

The bed was super comfortable and the linen was dreamy.  They have a pillow menu here, so you can choose your favourite from concierge.

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Room service is available 24/7 here at The Oberoi Bali Seminyak – With a wide range of choices available on the menu, which is located in the hotel services directory.

Just outside the property you have everything you need on just about every corner and more. Seminyak square always has some decent markets during the day and there is a good grocer and liquor store here also. Upstairs from the markets houses a bar where we watched the preliminary finals for the AFL where the eagles got thrashed. Had a few beaut icy cold bintangs here, they were literally nearly frozen – something our family requires (my mums mother Fay loves a cold beer and it runs in the family – it must be super cold or else! lol).

The incredible Kura Kura Restaurant (Tortoise)

The dimly lit candles and open-air ambiance of Kura Kura really hits you upon entering this open-air restaurant located just off reception and before frangipani café.
The wait staff explain the menu to you and the origins of the restaurant with a little history about the chef and the famous people they have served and their recommendations.

We placed our orders with the waitstaff who were very helpful and intuitive. The service was impeccable, flawless. Such caring and thoughtful happy staff members! We were gobsmacked by this level of service we received.

First, the bread was offered and you were given 3 choices which were just baked served with lavosh crisp bread, extra virgin oil and balsamic.

We both ordered a glass of the Italian red blend which was superb! And the usual Pellegrino bubbles and coke (for me!)

We then put our eye to the food. I chose “Pickled Beetroot Carpaccio crumbled chévre “Anny Buche”, mixed organic garden greens, raspberry vinaigrette with fresh cow’s milk burrata” for my entrée while mum chose the “The True Taste of Iberico the very best Spanish ham “de Beher” and chorizo of acorn fed black pork, cured for 36 months, grilled sourdough, Brittany butter with fleur de sel”.

Then for mains mum chose her favourite “Spaghetti Con Gamberi – house made angel hair pasta with white prawns from Papua New Guinea, preserved lemon, kemangi basil, chardonnay beurre blanc, black garlic, & cherry tomatoes” and I had the usual “Premium Black Angus Rib Eye from Nebraska for 1 (300 g) “burned” cherry tomato ragout with tarragon and edamame, crushed baked potato with cucumber and bacon, crispy onions, béarnaise jus w frites” thank you very much!

 

A HISTORY OF THE OBEROI, BALI – courtesy of Oberoi Hotels.

Bali has long attracted people of style and charm, from Dewi Sukarno, Margaret Mead and Mick Jagger, and various other celebrities, kings, queens, princes and princesses. Originally built in 1972 as an exclusive private club named “Kayu Aya”, on the site of an ancient village, it was a multi-million-dollar cluster of villas for the world’s wealthy and famous. A team of Balinese skilled craftsmen and artisans laboured for more than two years to combine the comforts of the West with the mystique of the East. Distinguished Australian architect, Peter Muller oversaw the initial building of The Kaya Aya Club and later the restoration and expansion of the hotel that would become The Bali Oberoi. The job would include upgrades overseen by Muller for the next 30 years. As Muller tells it; “It was an magnificent piece of land, so first I designed a house, and while I was designing it the first owners asked if I could add five guest villas for their friends — Princess Grace, Salvador Dali, people like that.” Muller and his wife Carole remained in Bali and built a prototype guest villa on the land using only Balinese materials and technology. Four more were built straightaway. Finally, it was decided that a mix of villas and guestrooms would be appropriate. Very quickly it grew to 63 rooms, including 14 villas and a Presidential Villa and went from being a private residence to The Kayu Aya Club.” Kayu Aya was short lived as the money dried up and land ownership came into question. The 1974 half abandoned Kayu Aya hosted full-moon parties in the beautiful seaside gardens, with musicians jamming under half-finished pavilions and stunningly beautiful people from all over the world dancing in the moonlight. The parties were said to only last a couple of seasons, but are still remembered as legendary. Meanwhile, Kayu Aya’s investors, fought a court case in the Jakarta courts for almost three years, finally winning in 1977, and, as a foreign-owned entity, they were obliged to immediately put the property up for auction. In February 1978, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts entered into a Management Agreement with P.T. Widja Putra Karya to operate “Hotel Bali Oberoi” as it was initially known. The property was closed for 6 months for upgrades and renovations bringing the facilities up to the standards of a luxury resort. On 5th August 1978, Hotel Bali Oberoi opened for business with 63 rooms (14 villas, one Presidential villa with swimming pool and 48 lanai rooms), one Restaurant and one Bar. The resort was welcomed as Bali’s first exclusive beach resort under the personal guidance of The Oberoi Group’s founding Chairman, late Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi. In 1980, the second upgrading of the hotel was undertaken with the addition of Lanai rooms to bring the total to 74. A Spa and a Tennis Court were also added. Between 1988 and 1999, the third and most ambitious multimillion dollar upgrading of the hotel was launched. All villas, lanais and public area cottages were rebuilt, existing plant and machinery facilities upgraded and a new spa with fully equipped fitness centre were introduced. The Boutique and the Gallery also opened as additional facility for guests offering unique handcrafted jewellery, objects d’art and handicrafts. The Oberoi, Bali today offers every convenience required of an exclusive resort whilst bowing to the rich history, architecture and style the resort holds as it was initially known.

Quite intriguing literally.

 

Thanks for the stay TOBI, I will be back one day – soon I hope!

I rate this property a total of 5.8 out of a maximum 6 stars.