Tuesday, 22 July 2014

I could get used to this...


Our recent 7-day visit to South Korea was part business trip (for my husband), part pleasure. And we decided to travel in style and indulge ourselves for the private part of the trip... I'm just afraid that this sets a dangerous precedent, I can get used to luxury so easily... And Professor M never misses an opportunity to use his 'snobbish' wife as an excuse to give in to his own indulgencies... (all those fancy restaurants he wants to try, because they would be 'nice enough' to meet my 'standards', or all that sweet pastry he keeps bringing home, for me to try, when we both know that if it's not chocolate, I'm not interested... ).

Because this was a very long flight, we booked business class seats. You know those seats that convert into a bed? With privacy screens, so you don't have to look at other passengers? Yep, that was us.
I've only ever flown business class twice: on our honeymoon, to London (used up all my air miles), and once as a student when I missed my flight at Heathrow and didn't have any money (and a non-refundable economy class ticket), so I pretended I couldn't really understand English and was scared and all alone, in order to make the nice lady at the British Airways counter take pity on me... which she did, and put me on the next available flight, on business class, so that I would get home safely...

But I'm digressing here... I usually take a budget airline, get my sandwich and a bottle of water at the airport and pay for my coffee onboard... all of which is fine for the two-hour forty-minute Helsinki-Gatwick flight.

Now I know that a) airplane food can be delicious (see photos) and b) champagne makes a long flight bearable.


For the private, or 'inofficial' part of the trip we stayed at Conrad Seoul, on two occasions: first for one night on Monday when we arrived, and then for two nights when we got back from Daegu on Friday.

left: the amazing staircase / right: impressive yet simple flower arrangements

For our first night in Seoul we had a suite on the 28th floor... which was probably bigger than most flats I've lived in. It was wonderful... well, almost. They charged extra for wi-fi, and the minibar had several brands of whiskey but no wine... I had to say that.


And the bathroom was huge...


...and had a bathtub with a view...


...which Professor M hurried to hide by lowering the blinds as soon as I started undressing to take a bath. When I complained that the whole point of having a massive window in front of the bathtub is to admire the view, he explained that he was just worried about a peeping tom getting it off watching me. I rolled my eyes at his Central-European prudishness and pointed out that a peeping tom would need binoculars, and if anyone went to that much trouble to spy a middle-aged woman in the bathtub, my Scandinavian let-it-all-hang-out mentality couldn't care less...

The second time we stayed at the same hotel, Friday-Sunday, we had a significantly smaller, yet still quite nice, room on the 14th floor. Sadly no view from the bathtub, though...


Yes, luxury travel has its perks: sleeping off your jet-lag in a comfy bed, hitting the gym when you wake up at 3am, room service round the clock... I could get used to that...

Have you ever stayed in a luxury hotel? 
And would you be willing to pay more on long-haul flights for better seats?

Tiina
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16 comments

  1. I'd love to stay in a 5 star hotel and fly business class once but I don't think it feels like a luxury anymore if you have it all the time.....I'm pretty sure the rich start moaning about hotel rooms that are absolutely perfect at some point just because they're bored :D

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    1. I guess you can get used to luxury... But I'm far from that still, as these luxury breaks are quite rare. However, it is difficult to go back to flying economy, especially long-haul, if you've tried business class...

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  2. Ahhhh man, how lovely! I have never flown business class and always get so jealous when I get on a long haul flight and have to turn right into economy. For now, I am a budget traveler, but maybe when I earn some more dosh I will be able to afford some more luxuries :)

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    1. I'm a budget traveller, too, when it comes to my "normal" route (travelling between my two homes) But long-haul is different...

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  3. A lady after my own heart... sometimes I try to withhold from myself because if I know that luxury exists, everything else pales in comparison! Sounds like a lovely little experience.

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    1. Yes, that's the problem: you get a taste of luxury and after that it's difficult to go back...

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  4. Wow! Luxury travel indeed! I love the room! I think it is worth the money spent traveling business class on long range. For me it is more of the privacy.. I've seen others sleeping and its not the most elegant sight, so I rather not have others see me too ;)

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    1. Yes, for long-haul flights it is worth the money, for health-reasons, too. My husband needs more leg room...

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  5. Man that looks amazing! I miss business class seats on plan. They're great for international flights. Your hotel looks amazing! We got upgraded to a suite in Rome but the view wasn't as great as yours! (www.shoutingchow.com)

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    1. Yes, for long-haul, or intercontinental flights business class is great. For flights within Europe, I'm happy to fly economy.

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  6. Champagne definitely makes (almost) everything bearable! And I love that bathtub view, I would definitely have not closed the curtains haha especially so high up!

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    1. I've never had a bathtub with a view before, so that was the highlight of our stay... Unfortunately, I was so jetlagged that I couldn't enjoy it as much as I should have.

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  7. The night of our wedding we stayed in a €300 per night hotel, courtesy of a friend. It was the most incredible place, we even had a hot tub in our bedroom! Our view from there was incredible too. I flew business class once because of a cancelled flight and all it taught me (and the hotel) is I have rich girl tastes on a poor girl's budget ;)

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    1. I know what you mean... I think I have rich girl tastes, too. I just wish I had the budget to match...

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  8. That is a very nice looking suite and that view - my goodness!

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    1. Yes, the view was impressive. And the hotel was quite amazing, too.

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