Ramon is the creator of Travelling Companion. He focuses on flight review, hotel reviews, and helping stretch your travel dollars, miles, and points further.
First Class Honeymoon Trip Report
First Class Honeymoon Overview
Delta Sky Club DCA Review
Delta CRJ 900 DCA-JFK First Class Review
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse New York JFK Review
Singapore Airlines A380 JFK-FRA Suites Review
Singapore Airlines A380 FRA-SIN Suites Review
JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach Review
Singapore Airlines 737-800 SIN-MLE Business Class Review
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort Review
Etihad Airways A320 MLE-AUH Business Class Review
Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa Dubai Review
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Review
Exploring Abu Dhabi
Etihad Apartments A380 AUH-JFK Apartments Review
After a lot of planning and saving our miles and points Christina and I embarked on our amazing First Class honeymoon to Asia in May 2019. During our honeymoon we went to Singapore, the Maldives, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates(UAE). The goal of this trip was to get to the Maldives, an island nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean. I first heard about the Maldives in the documentary film The Island President in 2012. After being blown away by the beauty of the islands, I committed to one day visiting the Maldives. It wasn't difficult to convince Christina that this beautiful remote island destination should be the place for our honeymoon, that we should fly international First or Business Class, and that we should stopover in Asia since neither one of us had ever been to Asia. The changing political climate in the Maldives which moved closer towards dictatorship as our planning was underway almost led us to go to another destination such as Thailand or the Seychelles. In the end the Maldives held new elections in 2018 and we ended sticking with our original plan to go to the Maldives.
The Maldives was even more gorgeous than I had imagined. It was a great place for the seclusion we desired during our Honeymoon. However, some of the places we envisioned just being stopovers also left significant impressions on us. In the case of Singapore it was a very positive impression and it ended up being our favorite city we have every visited together. In the case of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) the impression was negative and we are unlikely to visit again.
For our honeymoon we set out well in advance saving all our our miles and points to ensure that we would fly the long haul segments to the Maldives in First Class and all of the shorter segments in Business Class. We also wanted to try out two of the best First Class products in the world for traveling companions; the Singapore Suites and the Etihad Apartments. Both of these products allow traveling companions to connect suites, sleep side by side on beds, and dine together. While I will leave the full details for the reviews I can tell you we were very impressed and neither product disappointed.
Singapore Airline's Suites are only on their flagship A380 aircraft. In the United States the airline only use this aircraft to serve New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) via Frankfurt International Airport (FRA). This meant to start off our trip we had to fly from Washington D.C. to New York JFK. For this flight we booked a Delta First Class tickets for 12,000 SkyMiles and $5.60 taxes and fees. You should know that SkyMiles fluctuate in price generally based on the actual cost of the ticket. These tickets were selling for $161.20 each meaning we got a value of 1.03 cents per mile which was a mediocre value for SkyMiles. However, at the time we didn't plan to fly Delta for a while and the overall SkyMiles cost was low so we went ahead and used our SkyMiles.
For the next leg of the trip in the Singapore Suites the only redemption option was utilizing Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer miles. We booked the tickets from JFK-FRA-Singapore Changi (SIN) for 120,000 Kris Flyer miles and $65.80 SDG (~$49.22 USD) each. These tickets were selling for $8,415.78 USD each meaning we got an amazing value of ~7 cents per mile! For the complete details on how we booked these tickets you can read my post on the booking process here. Since the time we booked these tickets the cost on this route has increased to 132,000 miles per ticket which I believe is still a great value.
To get to the Maldives from Singapore we flew in Business Class on Singapore Airlines affiliate Silk Air since there were no First Class flights available on this route and the timing of the Silk Air flight worked better than the mainline Singapore Airlines flight. For this flight we booked the tickets using 39,000 Kris Flyer miles and $49.80 SDG (~36.88$ USD) in taxes and fees each. These tickets were selling for $1,416 USD each so we got a great value of 3.54 cents per mile.
For our flight from the Maldives to the UAE we chose to flying Etihad from Male Veleana International Airport (MLE) to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). Even though we were heading to the Dubai desert for this leg of the trip, we decided to fly into Abu Dhabi because Etihad had a non-stop flight from MLE and we could use our AAdvantage miles. We booked this flight for 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles and $51.40 in taxes and fees. These tickets were $1,480 per person meaning we got a great value of 4.76 cents per mile.
Etihad's Apartments are only on their flagship A380 aircraft and JFK is their only U.S. A380 destination. For this flight we booked the Apartments using 115,000 AAdvantage miles and paid $49.31 in taxes and fees. The tickets were selling for $8,535 meaning we got an amazing value ~7.38 cents per mile. For the complete details on how we booked these tickets you can read my post on the booking process here.
For the final flight to Washington Regan National (DCA) from JFK we bought two First Class tickets on Delta. We chose Delta because the timing of the flights gave us a buffer in case our Etihad flight was late, the Delta terminals at JFK are near the Etihad's terminal 4, and we could access the SkyClub during our wait. We booked these two First Class tickets for $197.30 each. We each earned 855 SkyMiles, 750 Medallion Qualifying Miles, and 171 Medallion Qualifying Dollars.
For our Honeymoon we chose to stay only at Marriott luxury hotels since Christina has Marriott Platinum Status. In Singapore there are numerous Marriott hotels bookable with points including The St. Regis Singapore and the W Senosta Cove. However, for our trip we decided to book the JW Marriott Singapore because of its central location. We booked the JW Marriott Deluxe Room for $436 SDG (~$322 USD) per night. Christina earned 50,082 total Marriott points.
Marriott has multiple luxury properties in the Maldives including the W Maldives and the JW Marriott Maldives. However, for our stay in the Maldives we chose to stay at The St. Regis Maldives Volmmuli which is considered one of the best points hotel in the world and one of the best hotels overall in the Maldives. This hotel is located on a secluded atol about a one hour seaplane ride from Male, Maldives. We booked the Garden Villa for five nights at 60,000 points per night with the fifth night free, for total of 240,000 points, along with $1,450 in taxes and fees including the cost of the roundtrip seaplane ride. The cost of the Garden Villa was $1,473 excluding taxes and fees meaning we got a fantastic value of 3.7 cents per Marriott point. Please note that in the intervening time Marriott has implemented category 8 and peak and off-peak pricing. This means that the price of an award redemption at The St. Regis Maldives can range from 70,000-100,000 points. We also booked this reservation as a part of Marriott Points Advance which allowed us to lock in the price of the room before it increased. However, in the intervening time Marriott has Points Advance to only allow the member to hold a room and not lock in the price.
Marriott has a large number of luxury hotels in Dubai including the Ritz Carlton Dubai and the W Dubai-The Palm. However, we decided to stay at Al Maha located in the desert about an hour outside Dubai because we wanted the seclusion of the desert experience and looked forward to enjoying the all inclusive food and activities. We booked a one bedroom Bedouin Suite for 60,000 Marriott points per night, for a total of 180,000 points, plus 60 AED (~17 USD) in taxes and fees for the whole stay. The cost of the garden villa was $870 per night excluding taxes and fees meaning we got a great value of ~1.5 cents per Marriott point.
Finally, for our stay in Abu Dhabi there were a number of Marriott luxury hotels available including The Edition Abu Dhabi and The St. Regis Sadiyaat Island Resort. However, we decided to stay at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi so we would have an opportunity to easily explore the city. We booked the Superior Room for $590 AED per night (~$142.33 USD). Christina earned 6,773 Marriott points.
We had an amazing time on our First Class Honeymoon! We can't wait to share the photos, videos, stories from Singapore, the Maldives, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi! We felt very blessed to have had this experience and hope sharing some of our adventures will inspire you to travel when it safe to do so again or just bring a light hearted story for you to enjoy during your day. Let the First Class Honeymoon trip report begin!