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Bali & Langkawi

Bali & Langkawi

Old Mar 22, 05, 11:06 am
  #1  
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Bali & Langkawi

I'm planning my honeymoon for two weeks this July, and am considering Bali and Langkawi. We're flying in from Detroit, MI - can you suggest the most economical flight routing? I'm not sure if I should fly to Singapore and use that as my base.

Have any of you visited any of the smaller boutique hotels in Bali, such as Jamahal? FS and RC villa properties look good, but would like to stay away from the crowds and possibly stay in a less expensive place.

Also looking at the FS Langkawi and Datai. Any recent visits to either of these properties?

Thank you...
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Old Mar 22, 05, 11:24 am
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FS Langkawi is not open yet as far as I know- I think April is the first date they are accepting reservations for. I did notice a great buy 2 nights get 1 free that is valid from now-September at the FS website- and you can combine it. I have booked six nights in August- pay for 4, 2 free. This applies to most room categories.
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Old Mar 22, 05, 11:24 am
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I'm not sure what you mean by "economical" but seeing that it will be your honeymoon, then I'm guessing comfort is the key word here. If that is so, then I recommend that you take the new Thai A345 (JFK-BKK) nonstop or Singapore A345 (EWR-SIN or LAX-SIN) nonstop. They're much better than the usual economy classes of most airlines.
I can't really help you with the hotels, but if you can afford it, there's nothing better than the Amanresorts, especially Amandari and Amankila. Enjoy SE Asia and congrats on your wedding.
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Old Mar 22, 05, 12:39 pm
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If you intend to go to both Bali and Langkawi, your best "base" would be KUL. AirAsia flies to both Denpasar and Langkawi non-stop for next-to-nothing ($20-30 each way). Getting to KUL is tricky, however. Another poster's suggestion about TG non-stop NYC-BKK would be ideal. BKK-KUL is a quick and cheap ride on AirAsia or an easy add-on to your TG ticket.

Your alternative is to base in SIN. Flights to DPS and LGK are not cheap from here (no LCC alternative) but it's very convenient as SQ has boatloads of flights from North America to SIN. Wherever you decide to base, you'll have to do multiple round-trips to get to both islands as they are located on opposite ends of South-East Asia. I wholeheartedly second the suggestion to use the SQ/TG non-stops as they have premium economy classes. They do cost more than normal economy classes, however. If you intend to use miles to upgrade, you'll be "stuck" on NW (or UA). They both fly to BKK and SIN so that's an easy choice.
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Old Mar 23, 05, 6:11 am
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Originally Posted by blueDC
If you intend to go to both Bali and Langkawi, your best "base" would be KUL. AirAsia flies to both Denpasar and Langkawi non-stop for next-to-nothing ($20-30 each way). Getting to KUL is tricky, however. Another poster's suggestion about TG non-stop NYC-BKK would be ideal. BKK-KUL is a quick and cheap ride on AirAsia or an easy add-on to your TG ticket.
I would usually agree, but given that it's a honeymoon you might want to avoid Air Asia. Sitting in KUL for 4 hours twiddling your thumbs without even lounge access coudl kinda ruin the mood.
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Old Mar 23, 05, 7:38 am
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Originally Posted by jpatokal
but given that it's a honeymoon
......... or if you have any self-respect .

They make you fight for your seat, pay for your coffee and makes you hate flying.

Last edited by mario33; Mar 23, 05 at 7:46 am
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Old Mar 23, 05, 9:04 am
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agree with the two previous posts.

it's your honeymoon...

there is no way I would risk flying an LCC when a flight delay could mean losing precious hours at your destination
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Old Mar 23, 05, 9:13 am
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I see that for travel in July, TG has a fare of $1,557 from JFK to KUL in B class. TG uses B class for their premium economy cabin. SQ is a bit more on their premium economy fares. When booking SQ, stay away from Q class as it doesn't earn any miles.
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Old Mar 23, 05, 9:26 am
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My only visit to the Datai so far was in June 2003. Loved every moment of it (lovely natural setting, warm staff, exciting jungle walk; one thing I didn't try was the spa, which is said to be award-winning), but can't compare it to other properties in that category because I haven't been to them.

Here's my (warning: very long) report in the archives:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/archi.../t-182394.html

and some photos (click on the Datai folders)

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/jetter1177/my_photos

Hope this helps. Wherever you choose to go, have a wonderful and memorable honeymoon. Splurge and enjoy!
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Old Mar 23, 05, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by fallinasleep
there is no way I would risk flying an LCC when a flight delay could mean losing precious hours at your destination
And a flight delay on SQ/TG is any different?

AirAsia's on-time stats (+/- 90%) are no worse (or better) than any airline. Granted, it's more like a SouthWest (no assigned seats, pay for everything) than a United (oh wait... pay for everything as well ) but a flight delay is a flight delay. SQ/TG are not immune to those as well (my brother was just on a SIN-JFK that was delayed for 3 hours). FWIW, a delay on the SIN-LGK sector means you are SOL coz it's a once-a-day flight - and even then it's not a daily flight - whereas KUL-LGK is thrice daily which means lots of room for error and fallback positions.

In addition, it's perfectly safe to fly AirAsia. And my previous experiences with AirAsia have not made me hate flying. Yes, it is an LCC so it might not be a good choice for a honeymoon which means you may want to stick with SQ from SIN. You can all have your preconceived notions or opinions about AirAsia or LCCs in general but instead of just bashing the suggestion, how about offerring an alternative of your own for the OP's benefit? I'd be interested as well as I frequent those destinations

And veering back on-topic, I agree with JetE that the Datai is amazing. The setting is the #1 reason to go there, IMHO. Thank you for sharing your pictures. They brought back good memories ^
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Old Mar 23, 05, 10:26 am
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perilousp

I do so hate to recommend a travel agent but...I got a fantastic rate for Bali last May. The flight was on Singapore airlines and included 5 nights at 5 star hotel, transfer to and from the airport in Bali, breakfast (an I am talking tables of food to choose from) and a 1 day tour of the Island. The tour was just us so we went where we wanted to go. I'm not sure how that usually works and we did do the traditional tour/come into my souvenir shop stop as well. The fares now are 1240USD from NYC or LA. Only 50 more from most other cities. We stayed longer but not as added on days with the package. Instead we got a driver and went exploring to the other side of Bali. Finding a driver and really nice cheap hotels was not a problem as tourism is still so low. Look on the website for www.asianaffairholidays.com or call 1800.742.3133. The woman who helped me was Michelle - ext 18 (I think).

They also have great trips to other Asian destinations.

Have a great trip!

Last edited by perilousp; Mar 23, 05 at 10:29 am Reason: goof
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Old Mar 23, 05, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by blueDC
And a flight delay on SQ/TG is any different?
Let's see. You could spend four hours drinking champagne and nibbling on dim sum in the SIN Silver Kris or newly renovated BKK Thai lounges while damsels in baju kebayas/Thai silk tiptoe around to inform you when your flight is leaving... or you could spend four hours in plastic seats or on the floor at the boarding gate in KUL, surrounded by screaming babies and kids running around, with no information on when your flight is actually going to take off, and surly agents in screaming red uniforms saying you'll forfeit your ticket if you dare leave even to the bathrooms (yes, this happened to me once!).

If this was an ordinary leisure flight or the OP was a backpacker, I would not hesitate to recommend Air Asia, which I fly a lot myself (including earlier this week, as it happens). But not on a honeymoon...
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Old Mar 23, 05, 11:08 am
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LOL! Sorry, your description was hillarious although I'm sure it was anything but that at that time

Well, the flagship lounges in SIN/BKK are indeed very nice but also only available to paid-C customers where the cost differential is even wider, as wide as it is now - comparing apples to oranges come to mind. Of course, one can choose to afford such luxury; or have a *A Gold card and even then, it doesn't get you into the SilverKris Lounge in SIN.

I must agree that the dim sum is quite fabulous.
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Old Mar 23, 05, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by blueDC
You can all have your preconceived notions or opinions about AirAsia or LCCs in general but instead of just bashing the suggestion, how about offerring an alternative of your own for the OP's benefit? I'd be interested as well as I frequent those destinations
It is often a preconceived notion that Air Asia offers the cheapest fares.

Sure, if you book months ahead you might get the RM10,RM20,RM30 fares (which does not include taxes and "service charges"), but most of the time I found that fares on MH's website are quite similar or even lower than those found on Air Asia's website for my dates, and yet the higher priced tickets on Air Asia are selling faster than MH's discounted tickets

Air Asia has done such a good job in their marketing that many travellers do not even bother to check the fares on MH's website. Well done, Tony

BTW Air Asia's safety record is not all that great. There had been a few incidents recently (no fatality) but considering the relatively small size of its operations, it is a little worrying. While Tony is always in the press promoting his low fares, he is visibly absent in the press to comment on these incidents, which doesnt give me much confidence on his priorities.
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Old Mar 24, 05, 6:03 am
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Originally Posted by jpatokal
Let's see. You could spend four hours drinking champagne and nibbling on dim sum in the SIN Silver Kris or newly renovated BKK Thai lounges while damsels in baju kebayas/Thai silk tiptoe around to inform you when your flight is leaving... or you could spend four hours in plastic seats or on the floor at the boarding gate in KUL, surrounded by screaming babies and kids running around, with no information on when your flight is actually going to take off, and surly agents in screaming red uniforms saying you'll forfeit your ticket if you dare leave even to the bathrooms (yes, this happened to me once!).

If this was an ordinary leisure flight or the OP was a backpacker, I would not hesitate to recommend Air Asia, which I fly a lot myself (including earlier this week, as it happens). But not on a honeymoon...
Thanks for elaborating on why it would be a dumbass idea to fly an LCC on one's honeymoon. The difference in cost is not great enough to risk it.

Now, I flew JetstarAsia between SIN and HKG for a reasonable fare and had a fine experience, except that my plane sat on the tarmac for three hours due to a mechanical issue. I had my exit row and was in no rush so I was perfectly content but I don't know what I would have done had the flight been cancelled.
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