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5 Days in Bali; 4 QR J Flights; 3 Hours in Doha; 2 Bottles of Krug; 1 Hotel Opening!!

5 Days in Bali; 4 QR J Flights; 3 Hours in Doha; 2 Bottles of Krug; 1 Hotel Opening!!

Old May 18, 2015, 7:52 am
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5 Days in Bali; 4 QR J Flights; 3 Hours in Doha; 2 Bottles of Krug; 1 Hotel Opening!!

Introduction and Index to Trip Report: 5 Days in Bali; 4 QR J Flights; 3 Hours in Doha; 2 Bottles of Krug; 1 Hotel Opening!!

In September 2014, after returning from a trip to Austria, Switzerland, and Poland, I asked Mrs. FindAWay to pick our next long-distance travel destination – for March 2015. Without hesitation, she replied, “Bali.” Since I’m not one to decline a trip to a tropical destination, I quickly agreed! I began looking into redemption options and decided that I would take advantage of US Airways’ 90,000 miles roundtrip business class award redemption (R.I.P.!!) cost for travel from the Caribbean to South & Central Asia (noting that it was 120,000 miles if starting in the USA or Canada) since it would work nicely with a trip to Puerto Rico we had planned for December 2014.

However, we had a big problem: I lacked more than 6 days of remaining vacation days from work, which was compounded by the limited weeks we could go based on Mrs. FindAWay’s fairly set schedule. Worse yet - Oneworld partners availability wasn’t great (outside of MH, which Mrs. FindAWay refused to fly despite my pleading). I had really hoped to book-end our trip with weekends so that the trip would provide us more time on the ground in Bali (and, as a FT nerd, I hoped to fly CX through HKG one way and QR through DOH on the other to make another mini-RTW itinerary); but, the availability just wasn’t there.

So, I settled for the best option (thanks to US Airways’ lack of real routing rules) that met each of our criteria and booked our trip with only 5 days in Bali – we would spend 3 nights outside of Ubud and 2 nights in Nusa Dua.

Photo Below: Our Visit to Pura Ulun Danu Bratan on the Shore of Lake Bratan in the Mountains Near Bedugul, Bali, Indonesia


During our trip, we spent 5 days on the ground in Bali, which was less than we would have liked (especially traveling so far from our home in Chicago). Our trip included 4 Qatar Airways business class flights – 2 were on their 787-8. On our way to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, we took advantage of a free city tour offered by Qatar Airways and spent 3 hours touring Doha, Qatar. With 2 layovers in Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar of over 8 hours each, I drank (in glasses – I have some decorum – the equivalent of) more than 2 bottles of Krug in the Al Mourjan Business Lounge; one on the outbound and another on the return! And, we enjoyed being the only guests at the resort where our private villa was outside of Ubud, Bali – we stayed during the 1 hotel’s soft opening.

Index to Trip Report: 5 Days in Bali; 4 QR J Flights; 3 Hours in Doha; 2 Bottles of Krug; 1 Hotel Opening!!
  1. Introduction and Index
  2. Links to FindAWay’s Photo-Filled Trip Reports
  3. Trip Overview and Summary
  4. Chicago O’Hare Airport, Qatar Airways Check-In, & Air France Lounge (ORD T5)
  5. Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER Business Class from ORD to DOH
  6. 3 Hours in Doha, Qatar by Qatar Airways’ Free Doha City Tour
  7. An Evening in the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar
  8. Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class from DOH to DPS
  9. Puri Sebali Resort outside Ubud, Bali, Indonesia (Soft Opening)
  10. 3 Days around Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
  11. Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
  12. 2 Days around Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
  13. Denpasar Airport, Qatar Airways Check-In, & Premier Lounge
  14. Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class from DPS to DOH
  15. Overnight (without Sleeping) in Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar
  16. Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER Business Class from DOH to ORD
  17. Final Thoughts
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Last edited by FindAWay; May 18, 2015 at 8:30 am Reason: Added Links
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Old May 18, 2015, 7:53 am
  #2  
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Links to FindAWay’s Photo-Filled Trip Reports:
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Old May 18, 2015, 7:54 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Trip Overview and Summary

Trip Overview and Summary

Map Below: Entire Trip Route


Route: SJU-PHL-ORD(3-month stopover)-DOH-DPS(destination)-DOH-ORD-CLT-SJU (NOTE: the flights from SJU-PHL-ORD and ORD-CLT-SJU are excluded from this TR)
Miles Actually Flown: 26,898 miles (excluding SJU-PHL-ORD & ORD-CLT-SJU)
Dates Traveled: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 to Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Destinations Visited: Doha, Qatar (3 Hour Free City Tour) & Bali, Indonesia
Travelers: 2 (Mrs. FindAWay and me)

Miles, Points, & Credits Used and USD$ Paid:
  • 90,000 US Airways Dividend Miles (per person) USED
  • $35.40 Cumulative Taxes & Fees Imposed by Airlines (per person) PAID
  • $50.00 Award Processing Fee Imposed by US Airways (per person) PAID
  • 1 Hilton HHonors Citibank Reserve Visa Certificate (total – 1 night) USED
  • 20,000 Hilton HHonors Points (total - 1 night Points & Money Reward) USED
  • $102.50 Paid as part of Hilton HHonors Points & Money Reward (total - 1 night) USED
  • $723.12 Total Paid Hotels.com Reservation (total - 3 nights) PAID

Our Final Itinerary in chronological order was as follows:

{(not included in this TR):DEPART SAN JUAN & ARRIVE CHICAGO:
3:45pm-6:43pm – SJU-PHL – US Airways #US772 (A330-300) Bus. [3h 58m] (part of 90k US DM & $35.40/pp)
[Layover] 6:43pm-8:35pm – Philadelphia, USA [1h 52m]
8:35pm-9:52pm – PHL-ORD – US Airways #US1714 (B757-200) Domestic First [2h 17m] (part of 90k US DM & $35.40/pp)}

{(not included in this TR) Chicago, USA (3 MONTHS)}

DEPART CHICAGO & ARRIVE DENPASAR, BALI, INDONESIA: Tues., March 10, 2015 - Thurs., March 12, 2015
8:25pm-5:40pm(+1) - ORD-DOH – Qatar Airways #QR722 (B777-300ER) Bus. [13h 15m] (part of 90k US DM & $35.40/pp)
[Layover] 5:40pm-2:50am(+1) – Doha, Qatar [9h 10m]
Doha, Qatar (3-Hour Free Doha City Tour from Airport)

2:40am-5:10pm – DOH-DPS – Qatar Airways #QR962 (B787-8) Bus. [9h 20m] (part of 90k US DM & $35.40/pp)

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia (3 DAYS): Thurs., March 12, 2015 (arrive 5:10pm) until Sun., March 15, 2015 (depart evening)
Hotel: Puri Sebali Resort [3 nights] (Hotels.com USD$199.21 per nt. + $41.83 taxes/fees per nt.)

DEPART UBUD & ARRIVE NUSA DUA: Sun., March 15, 2015
Arranged Transfer through Hotel [~2h 00m]

Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia (2 DAYS): Sun., March 15, 2014 until Tues., March 17, 2015 (depart 7:00pm)
Hotel: Conrad Bali [2 nights] (1 nt. with Citi Reserve Certificate & 1 nt. P&M: 20,000 HH Points & $102.85)

DEPART DENPASAR, BALI, INDONESIA & ARRIVE CHICAGO: Tues., March 17, 2015 - Wed., March 18, 2015
7:00pm-11:45pm – DPS-DOH – Qatar Airways #QR963 (B787-8) Bus. [9h 45m] (part of 90k US DM & $35.40/pp)
[Layover] 11:45pm-8:00am(+1) – Doha, Qatar [8h 15m]
8:00am-2:40pm – DOH-ORD – Qatar Airways #QR721 (B777-300ER) Bus. [14h 40m] (part of 90k US DM & $35.40/pp)

{(not included in this TR):DEPART CHICAGO & ARRIVE SAN JUAN:
5:50am-8:51am – ORD-CLT – US Airways #US1853 (A321) Domestic First [2h 01m] (part of 90k US DM & $35.40/pp)
[Layover] 8:51am-9:40am – Charlotte, USA [0h 49m]
9:40am-1:08pm – CLT-SJU – US Airways #US835 (A330-200) Bus. [3h 28m] (part of 90k US DM & $35.40/pp)}


Background: In September 2014, I had a healthy balance of US Airways Dividend Miles and a wife who wanted to go to Bali. We also had a trip to San Juan booked for December 2014 with friends with a cancellable WN return flight. Since US Airways didn’t have the routing restrictions of affiliated American Airlines for award tickets and since US Airways allowed a stopover on an award booking, I knew using Dividend Miles would be a great option for our trip to Bali. And, because we needed to get back to Chicago from San Juan in December, I could also capitalize on a 30,000 miles per person savings on a business class award ticket to Bali by originating the ticket in San Juan instead of Chicago!

However, I wanted to minimize the number of segments we would fly given the 13-hour time change involved from Chicago to Bali. So, when I searched for possible award flights, I focused on business class award availability on CX through HKG and QR through DOH. I hoped for only a single connection each way connecting in HKG & DOH on different directions of the trip to make a mini-RTW itinerary (because I’m a FT nerd). Unfortunately, for the dates during which we could travel based on our schedules, booking 6-months in advance offered less than ideal award availability. So, I cobbled together and settled for the itinerary set forth above (there were small schedule changes from what I originally booked to the flights listed above, but, nothing material). We were actually able to get the SJU-PHL-ORD flights in premium cabins on the exact day we wanted; but, we were not able to bookend weekends together on the flights to Bali, which left us with less time than we wanted to enjoy the tropical island. So, we’d have to make the most of our short time there!

With all of our flights booked, I went about deciding on hotels. I had a free night certificate from my Citibank Hilton HHonors Reserve Card that expired at the end of March 2015; so, I planned to use that for a night at the Conrad Bali (rather than let it expire). Since that had to be used on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night, it made sense to use it on our 4th night in Bali (a Sunday) and separately book a Points & Money Reward for the last night of our trip at the same hotel.

With the last 2 nights booked, we needed to find a place to stay for our first 3 nights and we wanted to stay near Ubud. We had a “wish list” of features that we wanted: 1) views of rice terraces, 2) private villa, 3) private pool, 4) modern conveniences (air conditioning, wifi, etc.) and 5) some Balinese look/feel to the room (i.e., we didn’t want a cookie-cutter room). I searched a lot. I found nothing in our desired budget that met each of our wish list items (although, some fantastic deals if we forewent parts of our wish list). Since we really wanted a memorable trip, we increased the hotel budget beyond what I thought reasonable for the relatively inexpensive island and decided to splurge on something that met each item. I ran across the Puri Sebali Resort, which met each item of our wish list, and noticed it was only in a “soft opening” stage with (purportedly) reduced rates. As new as it is, there weren’t reviews of the property; so, we had to decide whether we wanted to take a little bit of a gamble. We decided to take the chance and book it!

Last edited by FindAWay; May 18, 2015 at 9:59 am
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Old May 18, 2015, 7:55 am
  #4  
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Chicago O’Hare Airport, Qatar Airways Check-In, & Air France Lounge (ORD T5)

Chicago O’Hare Airport, Qatar Airways Check-In, & Air France Lounge (ORD T5)

Our flight was late enough in the evening on our day of departure that I worked the entire day. So, I actually drove directly from my office to the airport, which is something I desperately try to avoid. Since Mrs. FindAWay took the day off work, she actually began this trip as we have begun most of our international business class trips – by taking public transportation to the airport.

I arrived at O’Hare approximately 3 hours before our scheduled departure. I parked the car in the cheapest airport-run parking lot and took an awaiting shuttle to the tram to the terminal. At the Qatar check-in counter in Terminal 5, I met Mrs. FindAWay (who beat me there by approximately 15 minutes).

There were a couple of groups of passengers at the counter in the priority check-in line ahead of us. So we waited. Once they were checked-in, however, they didn’t seem to want to leave – they must have really enjoyed the ambiance of the crowded counter because the agent waved us up and we had to squeeze in-between the groups. Once at the counter, we provided our passports to the agent who quizzed us as to our destination before we were checked in. I wonder what would have happened if I had jokingly responded with an incorrect destination? The agent was courteous and polite and checked our bags to DPS and explained that we had access to the Air France Lounge when providing our tickets to us.

Security was very swift – there really was no line (at least in the priority line). So, we were quickly wandering the terminal with more than 2 hours until departure. Since we were going to be sitting/lying on a plane for the better part of the next 33 hours, we decided to walk around the terminal – to the gate and back to the lounge.

Then, we ventured to the Air France VIP Lounge where we enjoyed the remaining time before departure in the orange sunlight of the setting sun. The lounge was much less busy than I expected given the evening hour and the number of evening TATL & TPAC ORD departures (of course not all depart from T5). However, the lounge was also fairly small. There was a self-serve refrigerator with various alcoholic and soft drinks. And, there was a separate refrigerator with sandwiches. In addition, there was a counter with a selection of other snacks and alcoholic drinks. Interestingly, there was no bathroom in the lounge. I thought this was odd. And, since I’m human, I suddenly had the urge to visit the restroom when told there wasn’t one. The lounge was adequate and, other than the lack of a bathroom, it met or exceeded my low expectations for an O’Hare lounge. We decided to settle-in and make use of the wifi for a while before our flight.

Photo Below: O’Hare Tram Station at Economy Parking


Photo Below: O’Hare Tram Interior


Photo Below: Qatar Airways Check-In Counter, Terminal 5, Chicago O’Hare Airport


Photo Below: Entrance to Air France VIP Lounge (O’Hare Terminal 5, near Gate M07)


Photo Below: Primary Seating Area - Air France VIP Lounge (O’Hare Terminal 5, near Gate M07)


Photo Below: Side Seating Area - Air France VIP Lounge (O’Hare Terminal 5, near Gate M07)


Photo Below: Snack Selections - Air France VIP Lounge (O’Hare Terminal 5, near Gate M07)


Photo Below: Wine and Spirits Selections - Air France VIP Lounge (O’Hare Terminal 5, near Gate M07)


Photo Below: Cold Sandwich Selections - Air France VIP Lounge (O’Hare Terminal 5, near Gate M07)


Photo Below: Cold Drink Selections - Air France VIP Lounge (O’Hare Terminal 5, near Gate M07)
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Old May 18, 2015, 7:56 am
  #5  
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Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER Business Class from ORD to DOH

Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER Business Class from ORD to DOH

Map Below: Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER Business Class from ORD to DOH


FLIGHT: ORD-DOH
DATE: Tuesday, March 10, 2015
CARRIER: Qatar Airways (QR)
FLIGHT NUMBER: 722
AIRCRAFT: Boeing 777-300ER
CABIN: International Business Class (two class aircraft – 42J/293Y)
SEATS: 2A, 2B
DEPARTURE GATE: M17
DEPARTURE - SCHEDULED: 8:25pm // ACTUAL: 8:41pm
ARRIVAL - SCHEDULED: 5:40pm(+1) // ACTUAL: 5:05pm(+1)
DURATION: 12 hours 23 minutes
MILES FLOWN: 8,144 miles


Note: I have a second post in this trip report flying the reverse route on the same aircraft type…see here: Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER Business Class from DOH to ORD

We arrived in the gate area a few minutes before scheduled boarding time of 7:40pm. However, when we arrived at Gate M17, we found that the flight was already boarding! Perhaps perfect timing on our part as they had apparently just called business class to board; so, we walked directly onto the plane without waiting in the gate area. As typical with O’Hare Terminal 5, the gate area was outdated but reasonably sized.

Once on-board, we located our seats and each found an amenity kit, headphones, dinner menu, sheet/sleeping pad, pillow, slippers and blanket waiting. There were different amenity kits depending on the gender of the passengers (females received perfume and men cologne – that’s the clue that tipped this Sherlock Holmes off)…though, I didn’t notice this at first. The pajamas were distributed shortly after we sat down. I’d later learn the pajamas came in 2 sizes S/M or L/XL - I felt like Goldilocks because the S/M was a bit too small for me and the L/XL was quite a bit too big.

I settled into my seat and began to acquaint myself with the controls, features, and in-flight entertainment system. The seat controls were intuitive. The IFE had an excellent selection of very recent movies and television programs. There was adequate storage at the seat itself (assuming one commandeers the “literature only” area for one’s non-literature items, which I did). After we pushed back, there was a long taxi line for takeoff.

There are 2 areas of the business class cabin – a front area with 4 rows and rear area (behind door 2L) with 3 rows. There were 10 (of 24) seats empty in our front area. There were 4 lavatories reserved for the business class cabin, which was plenty given how empty it was. And, each lavatory had a selection of toothbrushes with toothpaste & razors.

I ordered some champagne before departure and was presented with a hot towel as well.

I found the seat okay; but, I think it is not nearly as nice as the 787 QR seats or many other business class seats I’ve flown. For a daytime flight, I’d enjoy the space. However, I found that the seat didn’t really get fully-flat – it was more like an angle flat (probably 170 degrees or so), which is probably fine for those who sleep on their back…unfortunately, that isn’t me. I also noticed that my seat didn’t seem to go quite as flat as Mrs. FindAWay’s seat next to me. In fairness, my seat did have to attempt to support about 50 pounds of weight more than her seat did. In spite of this, I actually slept a lot of the flight (more than I expected given the seat), which was helpful when we landed in Doha.

The service during the flight was very good. It was prompt and attentive. And, when I requested the S/M size of pajamas after trying on (and swimming in) the L/XL, I was quickly provided with such a pair.

I thought the food was very good. The mezze was excellent and there were a lot of vegetarian options (for those like Mrs. FindAWay who are in for that sort of thing). And, importantly, they didn’t run out of food. The drink selection was very nice – there were a lot of “mocktails,” which are essentially fruity alcoholic drinks without the alcohol.

The flight itself was actually a bit bumpy at times. However, the landing was very smooth and we arrived early. Overall, I would fly the same plane again and rate it in the middle of the long-haul business class products that I’ve flown.

Photo Below: O’Hare Gate M17 – Departure Gate for ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Airplane at O’Hare Gate M17 – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Airplane at O’Hare Gate M17 – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Presenting Ticket On-Board – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Front Area of Business Class Cabin – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Cabin Interior – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Our Seats – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Our Seats – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Legroom – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Seats – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Pajamas – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Slippers – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Pre-Departure Beverage – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Headphones – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Amenity Kit for Females – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Amenity Kit for Males – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Menu Book – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Menu – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Menu – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Menu – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Beverage Menu – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Beverage Menu – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Beverage Menu – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Beverage Menu – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Beverage Menu – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Beverage Menu – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Beverage Menu – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Seat Controls – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class IFE Controls – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Headphones and USB Connections – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class IFE Screens – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Seat Fully-flat – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Dinner Appetizer – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: More Champagne, Please! – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Dinner Mezze – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Dinner Chicken – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Dinner Dessert – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Seat into Bed – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: After a Night’s Rest; Almost There – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Breakfast – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Chocolate and Tea – ORD-DOH 777-300ER QR 722 Flight

Last edited by FindAWay; May 18, 2015 at 8:33 am Reason: Added Link
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Old May 18, 2015, 7:57 am
  #6  
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3 Hours in Doha, Qatar by Qatar Airways’ Free Doha City Tour

3 Hours in Doha, Qatar by Qatar Airways’ Free Doha City Tour

As discussed in this Flyertalk thread and detailed on this Qatar Airways webpage, Qatar Airways passengers with a transit time of 5-12 hours who arrive in Doha between 04:00-19:00 local time are able to take a free tour of certain sites in Doha. Since we had never visited Qatar before, we hoped our flight would be on-time so that we could take the last tour of the night (note that it really started at 6:45pm {not 7:00pm} for us). As our flight was on-time, we went straight to the registration desk when we landed. We promptly registered and were told to return to the desk at 6:45pm (about 75 minutes later).

We visited the lounge for a bit (as further detailed in my next post) and left our carry-on rollaboard bags in the locked lockers in the lounge. We returned to the tour desk around 6:40 where we found a decent crowd of roughly 15 others (total - once a few more stragglers like us arrived) that would join us on the tour. The folks from the tour desk passed-out the registration cards that we had completed. These cards would be our pass through immigration without fee.

Our tour group left the meeting point around 6:50pm; but, it took around 45 minutes to get through immigration, which was painfully slow. So, it was approximately 7:45pm by the time our tour mini-bus was loaded and we were actually leaving the airport.

On-board the mini-bus, there were several folks who brought their rollaboards and the guide and driver easily accommodated them. We were also each provided with a small bottle of mineral water. The tour was in English and both the driver and guide were Nepalese.

We drove straight to a parking area across from the Museum of Islamic Art where we had a great view of the Doha skyline. We were unable to visit the museum (it may have been closed; but, we also had insufficient time).

After 5 minutes viewing the skyline and the outside of the Museum of Islamic Art, we were taken to the Pearl. It was not very busy (it was after 8pm on a Wednesday night). The tour gave us about 20 minutes to wander around the Pearl-Qatar. It was pretty sterile and a bit extravagant.

The tour did not visit the Katara Cultural Village. I’m unsure if it was because of the late hour or lack of time.

Next, for our final stop, the tour took us to Souq Waqif. A newly built (to look old) Arabian-style market. We were given 30 minutes to explore. This was the most interesting part of the tour. It was nice to walk around and visit some of the vendors and shops.

Then, we were taken back to the airport and escorted to the security line.

Overall, I’d give the tour a rating of about 3 of 5. It was free (even for immigration), which really helps the rating, but, the coordination with immigration and the inability to really visit most of the stated destinations was unfortunate. If one wanted to really explore Doha during a long layover, I’d recommend hiring a private car.

Below are some pictures from (with descriptions of a few of our activities during) our 3 Hour Free Doha City Tour:

Photo Below: The Tour’s Mini-Bus – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Registration Desk – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Leaving the Airport – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Doha Skyline – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: The Pearl-Qatar – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: The Pearl-Qatar – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: The Pearl-Qatar – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: FANAR Qatar Islamic Cultural Center (across from Souq Waqif) – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Souq Waqif– Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Souq Waqif – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Souq Waqif – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Souq Waqif – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Souq Waqif – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Souq Waqif – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Souq Waqif – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Inside a Souq Waqif Shop – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Souq Waqif – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Souq Waqif – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Returning to Hamad International Airport – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Entering Hamad International Airport – Free Doha City Tour


Photo Below: Qatar Airways Check-In Lines – Free Doha City Tour

Last edited by FindAWay; Jan 7, 2016 at 2:06 pm
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Old May 18, 2015, 7:59 am
  #7  
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An Evening in the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar

An Evening in the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar

Note: I have a second post in this trip report about this lounge too…see here: Overnight (without Sleeping) in Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar

Wow!! This is – by far – the nicest business class lounge into which I’ve had the pleasure of being allowed.

First, the enormity of this lounge is not truly apparent upon entry. The main, open lounge-seating area is what most initially see. And, it is big. However, there are so many areas that I failed to realize were there until I started to simply walk around. Most folks know there are 2 separate places offering food in the lounge – (1) the upstairs buffet-style restaurant with a bar and (2) at the other end of the lounge, the deli with food made-to-order (there is no real menu to speak of). But, there are also 2 separate game rooms! One of which has pinball (free to play, of course). In addition, there are 2 different areas offering shower facilities (I prefer the one in the quiet rooms/sleeping area).

Second, there are a lot of not-well-marked rooms with much to enjoy. The quiet rooms off of the deli are useful and have huge shower facilities. But, on the opposite side of the deli is also a bunch of family rooms that are essentially personal living rooms with sofas and private big-screen televisions. There is a small children’s playroom across from the game room by this area too. The business center area (next to which is the game area without pinball) also has a large seating area with a quiet back nook with nice windows for plane-watching (and a big-screen TV). There is a smoking lounge. There is a locker room where patrons can leave luggage (like we did before our free city tour). Around from the locker room is a large seating area that was completely empty during our visits.

Third, this lounge served me Krug!

During our outbound visits to the Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge, Doha, Hamad International Airport, we spent a total of more than 4 hours – about an hour before our free city tour and about three hours afterwards. We also visited it before the first class lounge was completed; so, only time will tell if Krug will continue to be offered in the future.

The lounge is expansive. There are a plethora of seating options. And, many beverage options. The upstairs buffet restaurant has a bar, which is (supposed to be) the only place in the lounge where Krug is offered – and one must specifically request Krug. During my visit, however, I found the waitstaff happily serving Krug tableside in the upstairs buffet restaurant and, as you’ll see in my second post about this lounge, I was served Krug outside of this restaurant/bar. In many places around the main-level seating area, there are small stations with various cold beverage offerings.

The lounge wasn’t very busy until 11:00pm. Then, it became packed in a hurry! It remained pretty packed until about 2:30am (by this time we were on-board our flight, but, this is when the lounge cleared-out during our return layover).

Before our free city tour, Mrs. FindAWay and I visited the downstairs deli for a snack – I had a delightful sandwich (waiting until after the tour to savor the Krug). After our free city tour, we went directly to the upstairs buffet restaurant where we had a larger portion of food and I had three glasses of Krug with which to wash down the tasty food. For good measure, I ordered a fourth glass just before leaving to take with me down to the lounge seating area. We remained in the main level lounge area for an hour or two before making our way to our gate for our flight to Bali.

We thoroughly enjoyed our hours in the lounge and were happy to know that we had twice as much time to spend in the lounge on our return journey!

Photo Below: Artist Urs Fischer's Giant Teddy Bear – Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Front Desk – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Staircase to Upstairs Buffet Restaurant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Area Past Lockers – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Red Seating Area – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Blue Seating Area – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Main Level Deli Restaurant Additional Seating – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Main Level Deli Restaurant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Main Level Deli Restaurant Sandwich – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Main Level Deli Restaurant Fruit and Desserts – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Upstairs Buffet Restaurant Food Offerings – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Upstairs Buffet Restaurant Food Offerings – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Upstairs Buffet Restaurant Krug Champagne – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Upstairs Buffet Restaurant Krug Champagne Poured at Table – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Main Level Seating Outside Business Center – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Main Level Seating Outside Business Center – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Main Level Drink Station Example – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Moving Walkway Taken to Gate – Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar

Last edited by FindAWay; May 18, 2015 at 8:34 am
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Old May 18, 2015, 8:00 am
  #8  
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Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class from DOH to DPS

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class from DOH to DPS

Map Below: Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class from DOH to DPS


FLIGHT: DOH-DPS
DATE: Thursday, March 11, 2015
CARRIER: Qatar Airways (QR)
FLIGHT NUMBER: 962
AIRCRAFT: Boeing 787-8
CABIN: International Business Class (two class aircraft – 22J/232Y)
SEATS: 2A, 3A
DEPARTURE GATE: C8
DEPARTURE - SCHEDULED: 2:50am // ACTUAL: 3:03am
ARRIVAL - SCHEDULED: 5:10pm // ACTUAL: 4:50pm
DURATION: 8 hours 47 minutes
MILES FLOWN: 4,880 miles


Note: I have a second post in this trip report flying the reverse route on the same aircraft type…see here: Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class from DPS to DOH

We arrived in the gate area approximately 15 minutes before scheduled boarding time of 2:05am after a leisurely walk from the Al Mourjan lounge. We noticed boarding had not commenced; so, we found some seats near the boarding door and waited. The boarding area was clean and large enough; however, I found it interesting that there were no toilets. I mention this because one must have one’s ticket scanned before entering the closed-off seating area and when we’ve encountered similar set-ups (like in Bangkok), there are usually restrooms reachable without going back outside the restricted seating area. We waited for approximately 25 minutes before boarding actually began.

I was excited for my second 787 long-haul business class flight in 6 months. And, my initial impressions upon boarding did not disappoint!

We were some of the first to board once boarding opened. We made our way through the huge walkway to the jetway, down the jetway and onto the plane. We turned left and arrived at our window seats.

Awaiting each of us at our seats were an amenity kit, headphones, dinner menu, sheet/sleeping pad, pillow, and a blanket (but, no slippers – I actually asked a FA who responded, incorrectly given my last flight, that ‘slippers are only provided on flights to Japan’). The pajamas were distributed shortly after we sat down – I was again provided L/XL.

This seat was thoroughly thought out (with one minor issue that I’ll note later). There were several locations in which to store items at one’s seat and the total volume was plenty. The tray table made a seamless edge with the side table to offer a huge surface for eating/working/etc. The tray table’s design of sliding under the IFE screen when not in-use was excellent. The storage next to the seat has a padded top that lines-up perfectly with the seat when folded flat. The materials used to finish the seat were of high quality and appeared durable. The design was modern, but still elegant. And, for those choosing window seats, the seat designers actually cut-out a portion of the sidewall towards the window (at least in 2A) to expand the footwell sideways by ~6 inches (which was immensely helpful for a side-sleeper like me given the often small footwells of reverse herringbone seat designs). The only design flaw I noticed was that the handheld IFE control directly next to the armrest was a touchscreen and the low placement actually led to me bumping it with my arm several times and accidentally jumping around in the IFE movie I watched.

Overall, this was the best business class seat in which I’ve flown – flat, comfortable bed; comfortable seat; plenty of storage; enormous table; pleasant bedding; and sufficiently private.

There are 6 rows in the business class cabin but the 6th row is only the 2 middle seats sandwiched between the 2 lavatories. The cabin seemed completely full, except for 2C (next to me), which appeared to be used for crew rest. The 2 lavatories reserved for the business class cabin were at the rear of the business class cabin. And, each lavatory had a selection of toothbrushes with toothpaste & razors. The lavatories also had fold-down seats that were very useful for changing into and out of pajamas.

I ordered some rosé before departure and was presented with a hot towel as well.

The service during the flight was good.

I thought the food was, again, very good. However, when I ordered the mezze, I was told they had run out! The FA did end up finding one for me. But, they had apparently actually ran out of ravioli (what I ordered after); so, I had to go with chicken. The mezze was, again, excellent; so, I’m glad they found one for me. The drink selection was also good.

I enjoyed the expansive IFE selections.

The flight was very smooth and enjoyable.

Upon arrival in Bali, we were expecting long, slow-moving immigration lines. However, we breezed through immigration and customs without any sort of line. We had to wait about 15 minutes for our checked bags.

Photo Below: Doha Gate C8 – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Our Plane – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Boarding Area, Doha Gate C8 – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Walking to Jetway in Doha Gate C8 – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Cabin – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Cabin Filling-Up – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Pre Departure Beverage – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A Folded Flat – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A When Flat – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A Footwell Cut-Out towards Window – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A Side Storage – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A Legroom – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A Armrest Storage – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Complimentary Headphones – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Pajamas – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Female Amenity Kit – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Male Amenity Kit – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat Controls – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat Powerport – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seatbelt Buckle Detail – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Connections – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Handheld IFE Touchscreen Control – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Lavatory – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Menu Folder – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Menu – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Menu – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: A la Carte Menu – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Breakfast Menu – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Beverage Menu – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Wine Menu Cover – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Wine Menu – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Wine Menu – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Wine Menu – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Wine Menu – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Wine Menu – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Wine Menu – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Cocktails & Spirits Menu – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Appetizer Presentation – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Arabic Mezze – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Chicken Dinner – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Seat Made for Bed – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Location Before Falling Asleep – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Location When Waking – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Full Flightpath – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Breakfast Starter – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Cabin Before Landing – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Welcome to Bali! – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Airport Signage and ATC Tower – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight



Photo Below: Airplane after Landing in Bali – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Baggage Carousel in Bali – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight


Photo Below: Bali Open-Air Airport – Business Class DOH-DPS 787-8 QR 962 Flight

Last edited by FindAWay; May 18, 2015 at 8:36 am Reason: Added Link
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Old May 18, 2015, 8:01 am
  #9  
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Puri Sebali Resort outside Ubud, Bali, Indonesia (Soft Opening!)

Puri Sebali Resort outside Ubud, Bali, Indonesia (Soft Opening!)

HOTEL: Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
NIGHTS/DATES: 3 Nights – Thursday, March 12, 2015 to Sunday, March 15, 2015
LOYALTY PROGRAM STATUS: N/A
ROOM: Villa 803
ROOM TYPE: Villa, 1 Bedroom, Private Pool
EARLY CHECK-IN?: N/A
LATE CHECK-OUT?: Yes
COMPLIMENTARY ROOM UPGRADE FROM RESERVED TYPE?: No


From our research and booking, we knew that the resort was not fully “open” yet. Instead, they were in their soft opening phase. In fact, the sign at the road still said “Opening Soon.” And, upon arrival, we learned that we were the only guests staying at the resort during our first night. I suspect we were one of the first few, if not the first, guests to stay in our villa (we had to unwrap the remote for the stereo – it was still sealed).

We arrived in Bali a bit weary after more than 32 hours of traveling to get there. We pre-arranged a complimentary transfer from the airport to the resort by emailing with the resort in advance (they were very responsive to my questions). We had no line at immigration and were through customs quickly. A hotel representative was waiting with my name on a board just past customs (along with a lot of others).

The ride from the airport to the hotel took about 90 minutes. However, it was very comfortable as they provided us with bottles of cold water and cool towels with which to refresh ourselves.

Upon our arrival at the hotel, we were checked-in quickly and shown to our villa. It was past dark, but, we could tell that the open-air lobby had wonderful views of the rice terraces.

Inside our villa, we found flower petals in the shape of a heart on the bed and immersed in the pre-filled tub. The room looked very well finished.

Our initial impressions of the resort and our villa were great! It seemed just like what we wanted!

The light of day justified our initial impressions. The views were great. The patio was relaxing. The pool and its deck, complete with lounge chairs (cushions provided too) and umbrella, were inviting, and the room was modern yet retained an authentic feel.

Not surprising, the private plunge pool within the villa was not heated. So, it was “refreshing” in the morning before the sun had a chance to warm it.

Unfortunately, the roofs of the 4-bedroom villas blocked more of the view of the rice terraces than I anticipated. But, the views were still very good and the views from the lobby area and common pool were fantastic!

The room was air-conditioned, except the bathroom was not. And, the toilet was open on one side to the enclosed rock garden that can be seen in the photos behind the bed. The shower had both a rain shower and a handheld shower. And, there was a separate tub.

The resort provided unlimited (at least they kept replenishing our supply) bottled water in the room. Lush landscaping dominated the grounds.

There is not much of anything within walking distance as the resort is outside of town. Essentially, one can walk through the rice terraces, find a nice sunset viewing area, or go for a peaceful bike ride through the country.

We encountered only 3 (all minor) issues during our stay: (1) the volume buttons on the iPod dock did not work and it was stuck on very loud; so, we used our own speaker instead; (2) a breaker to our room tripped during our second evening at property; it was promptly fixed (the box was locked or I would have done it myself) upon notifying the front desk; and (3) one of the light switches next to the bed actually controls nearly all of the lights and many of the electrical outlets in the room but is not labelled as such; so, when we flipped it, we thought a breaker had tripped again (and it took maintenance explaining it to us to find the switch). Otherwise, the stay was absolutely wonderful.

We awoke early the first morning to light rain and minor construction noises. Oh, right, “soft opening.” The 4 bedroom villas were still under construction. The noise wasn’t too bad nor was it constant.

It rained most of our first night and the rain continued until about when we finished breakfast. The resort offers complimentary breakfast, which guests can choose to have in the restaurant or in their room/villa. Each morning, we chose breakfast on the covered patio extending from our villa with views of our private pool and the rice terraces. It was terrific!

The hotel has a lot of free services, including complimentary shuttle to/from Ubud on a schedule, morning yoga classes on a schedule, afternoon tea, rice terrace guided walks, wifi, etc. We utilized the free shuttle to Ubud after breakfast our first morning. We arrived in the lobby shortly before the scheduled departure…but, as we were the only guests, they left immediately upon our arrival and offered to just pick us up when we wanted – all we needed to do was call.

Our second day, we hired a car and driver through the hotel for the day (yes, we paid about double what it would cost to arrange for one from Ubud, but, I didn’t mind contributing to the revenue of the fledgling resort).

Two additional couples arrived at the resort for the second and third nights of our stay.

We ate 3 breakfasts and 2 dinners at the resorts. 4 of the meals were on the patio of our villa and 1 dinner was in the restaurant. The food, especially breakfast, was very good. The restaurant is open-air with fans; so, I imagine it could get warm during the day and it did have some mosquitos during the evening we ate dinner.

We did each utilize the spa our final morning. The setting of the spa was very peaceful; but, it was more expensive than spas in Ubud town. It did directly overlook the rice terraces.

While we loved our private villa, I think that if we went again, we’d save some money and book an upstairs “suite” guestroom because only about 10 rooms share the common pool (the villas all have their own private pool); so, the suite guests probably have a semi-private pool experience but also probably have a better view of the rice terraces than we did (because the upstairs rooms have a sightline above the villas).

Photo Below: Rice Terraces Viewed from Lobby Yoga Deck – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Common Pool – Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: View of Common Pool & Most Guest Rooms/Villas – Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Resort “Opening Soon” – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Bed & Desk – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Bedtop Swans and Flower Petals upon Arrival – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Flower-Filled Tub upon Arrival – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Bathroom – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Villa Ceiling – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast on Room Patio – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Fruit – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Villa Entrance Door – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Villa Plunge Pool in Use – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Villa Patio, Plunge Pool, & Deck – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: View of Villa from Private Plunge Pool – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Walkway to Villa – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Complimentary Shuttle to Ubud – Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Resort Restaurant - Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Restaurant Dinner - Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Resort Spa Menu – Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Resort Spa Couples Room - Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: View from Resort Spa Terrace – Villa 803, Puri Sebali Resort, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
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Old May 18, 2015, 8:03 am
  #10  
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3 Days around Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

3 Days around Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

We enjoyed our time in and around Ubud very much. Other than overnight our first night, it rained only for about 20 minutes while we happened to be sitting undercover eating; so, the weather was great considering it was the end of the rainy season.

Our first day we took advantage of the complimentary shuttle from the hotel to central Ubud (they dropped us at the Monkey Forest). We walked around the Monkey Forest before wandering the streets of Ubud. Around Ubud, we shopped and stopped in a spa for some treatments/massages. After lunch, we did some shopping and toured the Royal Palace and Pura Taman Saraswati before returning to the hotel for dinner.

We hired a car and driver from the hotel for the entire second day of our trip. We were driven all around Bali for about 11 hours. We started the morning with a play/performance. Then, we visited Bali Bird Park (super touristy, but, I liked the Komodo Dragon). Next, we went to Pura Ulun Danu Beratan on the shores of a lake in Bedugul. We also ate lunch at a somewhat questionable buffet on-site for convenience. After lunch, we stopped by and walked around the Jatiluwih rice terraces. From there, we went all the way to the Indian Ocean and visited Tanah Lot just before sunset.

For our final day at the resort, we did nothing but eat, pack, and get massages at the spa at the resort before hiring a car to drive us from the Puri Sebali Resort to the Conrad Bali.

Below are some pictures from (with descriptions of a few of our activities during) our 3 days in and around Ubud:

Photo Below: Padangtegal Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Monkey Forest Sanctuary & Temples – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Monkey Eating at Monkey Forest Sanctuary – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Monkey – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Relaxing Monkeys – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Temple within Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Monkey Mother – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Ubud’s Monkey Forest Road – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Massage Room – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Lunch in Ubud – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Royal Palace in Ubud – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Royal Palace Statue – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Saraswati Temple in Ubud – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Side Street in Ubud – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Rice Fields with Volcanoes – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Traditional Performance Musical Accompaniment – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Traditional Performance – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Traditional Dancers – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Komodo Dragon in Ubud’s Bali Bird Park – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Rice Fields – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Pura Ulun Danu Beratan in Bedugul – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Jatiluwih Rice Fields – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Jatiluwih Rice Fields– Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Jatiluwih Rice Fields – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Durian Fruit – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: A civet - Kopi luwak, or civet coffee, refers to the seeds of coffee berries once they have been eaten and defecated by one of these Asian palm civet – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Pura Tanah Lot – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Pura Tanah Lot – Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Batu Bolong Temple – Bali, Indonesia

Last edited by FindAWay; May 18, 2015 at 8:38 am Reason: Updated Photo Links
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Old May 18, 2015, 8:04 am
  #11  
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Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

HOTEL: Conrad Bali
NIGHTS/DATES: 2 Nights – Sunday, March 15, 2015 to Tuesday, March 17, 2015
LOYALTY PROGRAM STATUS: Hilton HHonors Gold
ROOM: 1112
ROOM TYPE: Deluxe Lagoon, Complimentary Upgrade 3 Categories from Deluxe Garden
EARLY CHECK-IN?: N/A
LATE CHECK-OUT?: Yes, 4pm Check-Out Requested & Confirmed at Check-In
COMPLIMENTARY ROOM UPGRADE FROM RESERVED TYPE?: Yes


We arrived in the expansive open-air lobby (with views to the Indian Ocean) of the Conrad Bali resort around 4:00 p.m. The check-in desk was empty and we were greeted with complimentary chilled drinks and towels.

Happily, my room preference of “High Floor” was ignored as the front desk informed us that we were being given a complimentary upgrade from our reserved room type of “Deluxe Garden” to a “Deluxe Lagoon” room, which are only on the first floor because they offer a private patio with direct stair access to the resort’s immense 24-hour lagoon pool! And, the room would have an ocean view!

In addition, we inquired about late check-out since our flight didn’t leave until 7:00 p.m. It was confirmed, which meant we’d have most of our final day to enjoy the resort’s amenities and get to shower/pack at our leisure.

The huge breakfast buffet in Suku was complimentary as well.

After checking-in, we made our way through the elevators, stairs, and ramps to our room. It was a good 5-minute walk.

The room DID NOT DISAPPOINT!! It was modern and clean with a very large bathroom. And, best of all, the sliding glass patio doors opened to a fair-sized private patio with steps descending into the wonderful blue waters of the property’s meandering lagoon pool. Directly across the pool from our room was the faux beach into the lagoon pool. And, beyond that was the glittering Indian Ocean and its own beach.

A plate of fresh fruit awaited our arrival in the room along with an endless complimentary supply of bottled water. Also, of course, there was the stuffed Conrad Bali monkey that we could take with us. The room’s patio also had pool/beach towels ready and waiting our use. The wifi was plenty fast for my use.

We enjoyed the lagoon pool a lot during our stay. And, having direct access from our room was exceedingly convenient and meant that we could enjoy some music and lounge on our private patio while one or both of us wanted to take a dip.

The resort grounds were gorgeous, well-maintained, and quite large. The beach directly in front of the property wasn’t bad, but, also wasn’t great. But, there were plenty of lounge chairs around the grounds, pools, and beaches to meet anyone’s desires. We enjoyed the loungers on the beach under the shade of permanent umbrellas of palm leaves a lot. The room included a nice tote for use while on-property as a beach bag.

On-site amenities included games as well. After breakfast on our final day, Mrs. FindAWay and I engaged in a spirited game of table tennis outdoors.

Service was terrific as well. While lounging on the beach, resort staff would bring a tray with complimentary small bottles of water, scented water sprays, and cut fruit on a stick.

We enjoyed the complimentary breakfast buffet at Suku both mornings during our stay. There were extensive options and much of it was very good. Even the options of juices numbered nearly the same as the fingers I have on both hands combined. We also ate one dinner at Eight Degrees South, a beach-front restaurant on the resort. The food was tasty; but, the prices were high. Our last night, we walked north to Bumbu Bali One for dinner. The food there was fantastic and more reasonably priced.

The only negative reports I have of our stay are the construction noise coming from the resort to the immediate south and that our room keys deactivated twice (and quickly restored during visits to the front desk) during our stay (timing-wise, it was after scheduled check-out of our first night [the 2 nights were separate reservations] and scheduled check-out of our second night [we had 4:00pm late check-out].

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this resort to Hilton HHonors Gold status members.

Photo Below: Pool & Ocean View from Deluxe Lagoon Room – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Cold Drinks & Cool Towel upon Check-In – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Lobby – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Deluxe Lagoon Room – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Deluxe Lagoon Room – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Deluxe Lagoon Room – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Fresh Fruit Plate & Stuffed Monkey – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Amenities in Closet – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Bathroom – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Bathroom Toiletries – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Patio & Room Viewed from Pool – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Patio & Pool Viewed from Inside Room – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Enjoying Champagne Donated by Friendly Departing Neighbors – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Lush Resort Grounds – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Pathway to Indian Ocean – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Building with Our Room – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Resort Beach – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Looking Back at Room from Lagoon Pool – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Oceanfront Cabanas – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Meandering Lagoon Pool – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Hotel’s Beach – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Turndown Service Towel Folding – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Path to Beach – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Hotel’s Volcanic View – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Lagoon Pool – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Lagoon Pool – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Beach Lounging – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: A Brief Shower during Our Final Day – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Outdoor Seating at Breakfast Buffet at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet Selections at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet Juice Selections at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet Selections at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet Omlet Station at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet Selections at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet Carb Selections at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet Sweet Selections at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet General Selections at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet Japanese Selections at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet Pancakes & Waffles at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet Seating at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet Plate at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Breakfast Buffet Mangosteen Fruit at Suku – Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

Last edited by FindAWay; Feb 21, 2017 at 11:44 am Reason: Updated Photo Links
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Old May 18, 2015, 8:04 am
  #12  
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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2 Days around Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

2 Days around Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

We arrived at the Conrad Bali around 4:00 p.m. After checking-in and dropping our bags off in our room, we decided we’d squeeze in a trip to Pura Luhur Uluwatu for sunset in order to free-up the following day. We found a taxi in front of the hotel and made it to the temple earlier than expected. After returning to the resort in the dark, we chose to eat at a beachfront restaurant on the grounds. The next day, after breakfast/brunch we spent a fair amount of time lounging around the resort. Then, we wandered for a mile south along the beachfront path past several other resorts. We spent much of the afternoon lounging at the beach and on our room’s patio. In the evening we walked north from the resort and had dinner at Bumbu Bali One. After breakfast/brunch on our final day in Bali, we went for a swim in the lagoon pool before relaxing on the beach until we needed to head back to the room to pack and leave for the airport.

Below are some pictures from (with descriptions of a few of our activities during) our two days in Nusa Dua, Bali:

Photo Below: Monkeys at Pura Luhur Uluwatu – Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Pura Luhur Uluwatu – Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Uluwatu Cliffs – Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Uluwatu atop Cliff – Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Uluwatu – Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Beachfront Activities – Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Dinner at Bumbu Bali One – Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
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Old May 18, 2015, 8:05 am
  #13  
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Denpasar Airport, Qatar Airways Check-In, & Premier Lounge

Denpasar Airport, Qatar Airways Check-In, & Premier Lounge

Our ride from the Conrad Bali to Ngurah Rai International Airport utilized the new Bali Mandara Toll Road. It was fairly quick compared to the other rides we had taken on other roads in Bali that were sometimes crowded and sometimes in desperate need of repair.

We arrived at the airport a little less than 3 hours before our scheduled departure. The Qatar Airways check-in line was horrendously long (for economy passengers) – it stretched so far back that one couldn’t see the check-in agents from the back of the line. I noticed that there was no one waiting at the business class check-in counters, so, we made our way towards them. However, we were stopped and asked to show evidence of our business class tickets before we’d be let up to the counter (a little strange, but, as an outpost of the route system, I’m guess those running the check-in process are contract agents with some on-the-spot rule-making). I showed him the itinerary I typed myself with our seat numbers and “Business Class” and other flight details (because it was on top of my paperwork…I had the email confirmation from US Airways in there too). And, that appeased the gatekeeper.

Next, we stepped forward to the friendly check-in agent. I asked that our bags be short-checked to Chicago because we had a long overnight layover there and, um, other reasons (I had a feeling that I might not make the ORD-CLT-SJU flights the morning after our arrival and wanted to ensure our bags were directed to ORD in case of irregular operations, missing/delayed bag, etc.), even though I fully understand that during normal operations (and, what happened in this event), we would need to claim our bags at a carousel upon arriving at ORD after clearing immigration. The agent had a problem with this (and I had no plans to push it because I knew it likely wouldn’t matter). He wasn’t sure he could do it. So, he asked a supervisor. The supervisor asked us how long our layover was. I told him. He requested confirmation that we didn’t need our checked baggage in Doha. I confirmed. He asked us if we understood we would need to claim the bags upon landing in Chicago and re-check them upon checking-in the next day. I answered in the affirmative. This seemed to be enough. He approved it; but, it took them a few minutes to figure out how to enter it in the system (during which I was a bit worried our bags would sit in Doha without us if they incorrectly entered the short-check into the system). But, when the bag tags were printed, they looked perfect. The rest of the check-in was a breeze and we were informed that we had and were given cards for access to the Premier Lounge.

After checking-in, we made our way through exit immigration and security quickly and found ourselves in the typical “please enter the terminal through the gift shop” duty-free shops. We needed nothing and speedily navigated through the retail gauntlet.

From FlyerTalk (and the Priority Pass website), I knew that the Premier Lounge was under construction. But, I didn’t know whether or not the new lounge was ready or whether we’d be visiting the crappy underwhelming temporary lounges. Once we passed through the first duty-free shops, I looked up and, like a beacon guiding us toward comfort, I saw the freshly installed sign of the new permanent Premier lounge on mezzanine level.

We made our way through the impressive assortment of duty-free shops to the single elevator serving multiple lounges. The glass box whisked us up a single level to the mezzanine where the lounge awaited our arrival.

The Premier Lounge overlooks the terminal and duty-free shops below. Upon entering, we found the lounge to be modern and relatively spacious with plenty of available seating. It was nicely decorated. The food offerings were decent both in taste and selection (although, some of the food offerings did seem to frequently run out and need to be replenished), including pasta offerings available for order from the bar, and standard drinks were available from either the refrigerator or the bartender. There were many different kinds of seating, all with adequate power outlet availability, and even a small business center. There was an even smaller massage “spa” room with services available for a fee. The restrooms included a shower stall.

We found a quiet corner booth and settled-in. The wifi was unfortunately slow, so, I didn’t get as much catching-up on-line done as I wanted before we had to leave. The lounge did have background music that was a little loud for my tastes, though, it was interrupted by periodic flight departure announcements. The air conditioning was blasting.

A few minutes before the scheduled boarding time printed on our boarding passes, we left the lounge and headed to our departure gate.

Photo Below: Toll Road to Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: International Departures Terminal Exterior - Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Parking Garage - Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Open-Air Entrance - Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Qatar Airways Check-in Line (very left shows line wrapping around) - Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Qatar Airways Business Class Check-In - Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Lounge Mezzanine Viewed from Duty-Free Shops - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Directional Sign Next to Elevator - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: View of Duty-Free Shops & Terminal - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Grand Opening Sign (of Similarly-Named Premium Lounge Next Door) - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Entrance - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Seating & Set-up - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Seating & Skylight over Food - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Various Seating Options - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Seating Galore - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Dining Seating - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Decor - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Lounge Seating - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Massage Pricing - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Massage Room - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Food Options - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Additional Food Options - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Even More Food Options - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Food and Juice - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Bar - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Tabled Seating - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Juice, Tea & Coffee - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Cold Drinks Refrigerator - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: My Tasty Plate - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Seating Overlooking Terminal - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia


Photo Below: Shower Stall - Premier Lounge, Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
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Old May 18, 2015, 8:06 am
  #14  
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class from DPS to DOH

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class from DPS to DOH

Map Below: Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class from DPS to DOH


FLIGHT: DPS-DOH
DATE: Tuesday, March 17, 2015
CARRIER: Qatar Airways (QR)
FLIGHT NUMBER: 963
AIRCRAFT: Boeing 787-8
CABIN: International Business Class (two class aircraft – 22J/232Y)
SEATS: 2A, 3A
DEPARTURE GATE: Gate 2
DEPARTURE - SCHEDULED: 7:00pm // ACTUAL: 7:17pm
ARRIVAL - SCHEDULED: 11:45pm // ACTUAL: 11:40pm
DURATION: 9 hours 22 minutes
MILES FLOWN: 4,880 miles


Note: I have a second post in this trip report flying the reverse route on the same aircraft type…see here: Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 Business Class from DOH to DPS

We arrived in the gate area shortly after boarding had begun. Before walking directly onto the plane past the Ops Agent who scanned our tickets, we noticed that boarding area was clean and fair-sized. I was looking forward to the flight – mostly because of the phenomenal experience I had on Qatar’s 787 on the way to Bali, but also because it was the carbon fiber cylinder that would ferry me back to the experience that is the Al Mourjan lounge in Doha.

Despite arriving in the gate area after boarding had begun, we were some of the first business class passengers to step foot onto the aircraft. After passing through the boarding door, we turned left toward the business class cabin that would be our home for the next 10 hours or so.

We made our way to the familiar seats in which we sat on our way from Doha to Bali and began getting settled. Awaiting each of us at our seats were the usual suspects -- amenity kit, headphones, dinner menu, sheet/sleeping pad, pillow, and a blanket (but, no slippers). The pajamas were distributed shortly after we sat down – I was again provided L/XL. The pursuer introduced herself as we were otherwise pre-occupied with the beautiful Balinese sunset out our windows. As I sipped my pre-departure sparkling wine, I reflected on what a beautiful trip we had enjoyed.

The boarding door closed around 6:45pm and the airplane pushed back from the gate around 6:55pm. I gazed out the large window at the wondrous sunset as we taxied and eventually became airborne.

As I detailed further earlier in this trip report, I think extremely highly of Qatar’s business class seats on the 787. The seats are comfortable, the bed is soft, the surface area on which one can work/dine is huge, and there is a ton of storage around each seat. The design is great and the IFE selections expansive. As I wrote earlier, this was the best business class seat in which I’ve flown.

I ordered some rosé before departure and was presented with a hot towel as well.

The service during the flight was very attentive.

However, some of the food was quite bad. The mezze was still top notch; but, the ravioli was very bland – it tasted simply like wet noodles – and the breakfast was not good; the breakfast meat was leathery and the omlet was nothing great. The drink selection was still good.

During the flight, I slept a lot, but, when awake, I enjoyed the expansive IFE selections.

Overall, the flight was exactly what I needed.

Photo Below: Airplane at Gate – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Departure Gate 2, Denpasar, Bali – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Jetway – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Dreamliner – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Business Class Cabin – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Sipping My Pre-Departure Beverage – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Watching Other Planes Takeoff as the Sun Set – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Cabin – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Overhead Bin Storage – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A IFE and Footwell – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A Fully Flat – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A as Bed – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A Legroom – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A PowerPort – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seat 2A Connections – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seat Controls – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: IFE Controls – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Reading Light – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seat-Side Storage Well – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seat-Side Storage Drawer – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seat-Side Water & Headphones Storage – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Headphones – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Tray Table – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Pajamas – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Female Amenity Kit – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Seatbelt – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Lavatory – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Menu Folder – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Wine & Beverage Menu – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Wine & Beverage Menu Introduction – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Sparkling Options – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: White Wine Options – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Additional Wine Options – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Red Wine Options – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Post-Meal Options – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Cocktails – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Dining Menu – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Dining Menu Introduction – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: A la Carte Dining Menu – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Light Dining Options – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Additional Beverage Menu – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: On Our Way! – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Appetizer – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Mezze – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Ravioli (Not Good) – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Dessert – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Bed Made – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Waking-Up – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight


Photo Below: Arrived! – Business Class DPS-DOH 787-8 QR 963 Flight

Last edited by FindAWay; May 18, 2015 at 8:42 am Reason: Added Link
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Old May 18, 2015, 8:07 am
  #15  
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Overnight (without Sleeping) in Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar

Overnight (without Sleeping) in Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar

Note: I have an additional post earlier in this trip report about this lounge too…see here: An Evening in the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Doha, Qatar

As our carbon fiber carriage taxied to its resting position at the gate in Doha, my anticipation of returning to my new favorite home away from home for a purposefully sleepless night of indulgence – the Al Mourjan Business Lounge – was building.

Would this visit be as terrific as the last?

No, this lounge visit wouldn’t be as terrific as our last; it would be even more enjoyable! MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE!!

Despite our layover in Doha starting just before midnight and ending around 8:00 a.m., we had absolutely no intention of sleeping. We wanted to make the most of our visit to the lounge (and, of course, we wanted to sleep on the flight from Doha to Chicago instead).

Around midnight, we finished our stroll from the arrival gate to the lounge and rode the escalator up to our expansive luxury home for the next 7 hours. The lounge was already quite busy.

We started with a quick bite to eat from the upstairs buffet restaurant and I had a few glasses of Krug champagne before heading down to play some pinball. The lounge continued to get busier from midnight until around 2:00 a.m. But, then seemed to quickly clear out, and, by 2:30 a.m., the lounge was relatively empty – its amenities became ours for the taking!

After pinball and some “work” on our electronic devices, at a little past 2:00 a.m., we took the elevator back upstairs to the buffet restaurant for a snack and more Krug. Upon exiting the elevator, we found the restaurant empty. We were informed that they were closed (I should have been able to figure that out from the fact that there were no patrons, no one behind the bar, and no food out). “Oh, no! What about my Krug??,” I thought (because, within the lounge, according to every report I read, Krug is only served in this upstairs dining establishment). One of the workers asked what we wanted and I informed him that I was simply looking for some of my favorite champagne. With a smile and a small hand motion signaling us to follow, we were told, “no problem.” And, we were led to the bar. Quickly the sound of a fresh bottle of Krug being opened resonated within the empty restaurant. We were invited to sit at the bar with our fresh bottle and two glasses as long as desired.

Sometime around my 2nd or 3rd glass, I remembered that we were sitting alone in a brightly lit empty bar/restaurant while many of our friends back in Chicago were out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. So, I decided I would join in their online St. Patrick’s Day celebratory posts by adding one of me sipping my champagne glass next to our private bottle of Krug and dedicating my next glass to a friend whose birthday is March 17th (which it still was back home). Based on my friends’ comments to that post, responses were…um…mixed.

Soon, we decided we had spent enough time alone in the restaurant. So, I poured myself another glass for the road. We went back downstairs to the deli restaurant for some food. The staff seemed amused when I arrived with my own glass of champagne. We ordered sandwiches, which were very tasty, and continued our conversation.

When my glass was nearing empty, one of the servers asked if I would like some more. I replied that I would but that I wasn’t sure if they served Krug in the downstairs deli restaurant. He pleasantly and playfully responded, “Let me find a bottle for you.” I think I coolly contained my excitement.

A couple of minutes later, the waiter returned with a new bottle of Krug and, again, the music of the cork popping poured into my ears. My glass was refilled and Mrs. FindAWay ordered a mocktail. (I should note that I believe that my experience of being served Krug downstairs was likely due to the upstairs restaurant being closed, the downstairs restaurant being nearly empty, my already having a glass in-hand, and it being around 4:00 a.m.)

After finishing our sandwiches and drinking some more, Mrs. FindAWay told me that I didn’t need another glass of champagne. Essentially, like some bartenders I encountered back in my twenties, she cut me off. So, we decided it would be good to utilize the shower rooms before they became too busy with the morning rush of passengers to the lounge.

We walked the short distance to the shower rooms in the quiet area and each went to our separate private shower rooms (deciding that we would meet back at the pinball machines to declare the true champion). The shower rooms were impressive – large, clean, and fully-stocked.

After showering, I made my way out of the shower rooms and back to the downstairs restaurant. The server who had been pouring my Krug saw me, our eyes met, he smiled, and before I even asked (although, I did ask), he seemed to know that I needed another glass of the golden goodness. With a fresh glass of Krug in my hand, I continued to the game room with the pinball machines (only 1 of which was working) and played a couple games while sipping champagne waiting for Mrs. FindAWay to join the pinball tournament.

Mrs. FindAWay arrived a few minutes later and, in her wifely way, took notice of my additional glass of champagne despite her having cut me off earlier. We began our best of 7 (or so) pinball duel. Once the champion was crowned (I took second place…but, I still continued to drink champagne like a champion), we wandered around and relaxed in the lounge for bit (I may have gotten more champagne before leaving the downstairs restaurant…the details remain less than clear).

Then, as the first hints of sunlight peaked into the lounge, it occurred to us that the buffet restaurant upstairs was likely open for breakfast. We ventured through the lounge and upstairs and found not only was it open, but also, it was busy.

We found a table and procured some food. I ordered another glass of my beverage of choice (Mrs. FindAWay approved - a moratorium had been issued on her cut-off decree). After finishing eating our breakfasts, we decided that we should leave to free-up the table for others as the restaurant was nearing standing room only. So, I ordered one final glass of the bubbling delicious treat that I had been drinking all night to take with me downstairs.

Downstairs, at the far end of the seating inside the room next to the business center area, we found a television and great windows for plane watching. There we sat (me sipping my last glass of Krug) for a bit less than an hour before departing the lounge.

Photo Below: Front Desk – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Stairway to Heaven Upstairs Buffet Restaurant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Downstairs Seating with View of Upstairs Buffet Restaurant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Downstairs Seating below Upstairs Buffet Restuarant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Rows of Seating – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Water & Power – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Variety of Seating Choices – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Typical Drink Station – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Downstairs Deli Restaurant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Downstairs Deli Restaurant Seating – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Downstairs Deli Restaurant Counter – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Main Walkway within Lounge – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Typical Seating Arrangement – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Seating Galore – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: 1 of 2 Game Rooms – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Central Area Seating – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Empty Lounge – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Upstairs Buffet Restaurant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Empty Upstairs Buffet Restaurant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Empty Upstairs Buffet Restaurant Bar – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Krug for Us in Empty Upstairs Buffet Restaurant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Downstairs Deli Restaurant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Sandwiches in Downstairs Deli Restaurant (with Krug) – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Yum! – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Downstairs Deli Restaurant Seating – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Family Area Hallway and Carrels – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Family Area – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Family Area Carrel Seating – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Family Area Carrel Television – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Quiet Area – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Showers Entrance in Quiet Area – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: One of the Private Shower Rooms in the Quiet Area – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Private Shower Room – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Pinball Wizard – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Breakfast of Champions, Upstairs Buffet Restaurant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Upstairs Buffet Restaurant Breakfast – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Upstairs Buffet Restaurant Breakfast Hot Foot – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Lounge Viewed from Upstairs Buffet Restaurant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Seating for Television and Airplane Watching – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: QR Tails – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Red Seats – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar


Photo Below: Water Feature below Stairs to Buffet Restaurant – Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar
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Last edited by FindAWay; May 18, 2015 at 12:14 pm Reason: Added Link
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