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SIN-HKT-SIN on Jetstar Asia and Le Meridien Khao Lak

SIN-HKT-SIN on Jetstar Asia and Le Meridien Khao Lak

Old Jan 15, 07, 1:09 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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SIN-HKT-SIN on Jetstar Asia and Le Meridien Khao Lak

Wow, good things to say about a LCC? Hard to believe it. I came home from work on Friday after a week of hard rain and decided to get out of Singapore and avoid the rainy weekend forecast. My wife voted for Phuket and after about 10 minutes of seaches I found a Jetstar flight (Sat 7AM, returning Sun 9PM) for about $140 US per person (lots 'o taxes, the base fare was $30SIN each way). A few minutes later and we had an award stay at the Le Meridien for 2,000 SPG points (what a bargain).
Check in was super efficient, I don' think Jetstar has many flights on Saturday AM, so there was no line at all. We asked for exit row seats and were surprised they had a row open. Note, they are sticklers for baggage weight (7kg for carry on) and we just made it on with our 8kg bag. We breezed through immigration and then had time for some breakfast before boarding, this is the real perk of Jetstar, you are in Changi terminal 1 instead of the budget terminal. Boarding was swift and efficient, the plane was under 50% full. The seat pitch is a bit tight, but the exit row is nice. Comfortable leather seats, with a slight recline. Seemingly new planes too. The in flight service is all for fee, even things like a blanket. At least there isn't a charge for the bathroom Takeoff and landing were on time and we were through immigration in a few minutes.
We arranged for a pickup through the Le Meridien, it was 1800 bahts which is overpriced for a Camry. But it was prompt and quickly got us to the hotel (about 50 minutes, no traffic that early and he was flying!). We were giving a welcome drink and surprisingly little hassle about showing up at 9am for check in. We were told we received an upgrade to a suite as per SPG Platinum benefit. Wow, 2000 starpoints for a suite, great deal. We were told it would be ready in 30 minutes and if we wanted we could go to the Spa and book treatments (which we had asked about). We booked massages for Saturday afternoon and pedicures for Sunday afternoon and were given a 20% discount promotion which made the treatments very reasonable ($50US for massages, $12US for pedi). Swung by the beach to reserve prime beach chairs, then back to front desk to check in. Our 2 room suite was right above the spa and it was a nice room, large stylish bright and with a view of the ocean though the palm trees. Only complaint is the hard bed. The rest of the property is quite nice, great swimming beach, free watersports (we kayaked and then windsurfed in the large bay in front of the hotel), overall a great bargain for 2000 starpoints. We found friendly service at the beach bar and good lunch food there too. Tried the Thai place for dinner and it was pretty good an quite reasonable (even made our food spicy at our request). Breakfast the next morning was a let down, somewhat poor service in the buffet area and a bit overpriced for what we ate.
The spa is great and while not as cheap as the beach massage places we walked by, you get what you pay for in terms of surroundings. They have great double table rooms so you can get treatments with your S/O. I got a hot stones treatment and it was very good. Out foot treatments the next day were also very good.
Since we had a 9pm flight, I figured we would push our luck for a late checkout, we arranged for 4pm spa treatments and then checked out around 5pm. They were happy to accomdate us. The only hitch was they forgot to book our return transfer and we had to wait 30 minutes while they called hertz and got someone to pick us up in a small toyota minivan- better than the Camry it had nice reclining leather seats so we could kick back for the one hour ride. Overall, this is a great property, a bit off the beaten path, but if you are looking for a relaxing beach spot, this could be it.
The return on Jetstar was a bit more crowded, but somehow we asked for an empty middle seat between us (no exit rows open) and they gave us the last such row. So the one empty seat was filled with our travel Scrabble board for the 90 minute return flight. Overall the Jetstar experience was pretty good for the money. You'd dream to be treated this nicely on any US flagged carrier, an dit doesnt hurt that the flights are so cheap.
stephem is offline  
Old Jan 15, 07, 1:45 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Thanks for posting this. I was particularly interested as we'll be moving to SIN soon and I am hoping to do lots of short weekends like the one you just described. Good to know your experience was so positive.
Fliar is offline  
Old Jan 15, 07, 12:30 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: OR
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For a LCC, Jetstar is exceptionally good. They are better than some US flag carriers, like you said.
neuro0 is offline  
Old Jan 15, 07, 4:51 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Thanks for the report stephem! Especially useful for those of us looking forward to our stay at the hotel on the recent fare error!!
More Champagne Sir? is offline  
Old Jan 17, 07, 7:30 am
  #5  
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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It is as easy as you are thinking to do this, we have either made plans in advance or just made some quick decisions on Friday. Once you learn the carriers that fly each route and the rainy vs dry spots, this is an amazing place to be stationed. Bali, Phuket, Bangkok are regulars for us now, and we're looking at Yangon, Saigon and Cambodia for the future.
Originally Posted by Fliar View Post
Thanks for posting this. I was particularly interested as we'll be moving to SIN soon and I am hoping to do lots of short weekends like the one you just described. Good to know your experience was so positive.
stephem is offline  

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