Introduction: My $100K Honeymoon on Points & Miles
Emirates Lounge SFO
Emirates First Class San Francisco to Dubai
Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab (Sky Tea at Skyview Bar)
IMG Worlds of Adventure Review
The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City Review
Emirates First Class Lounge DXB
Emirates First Class Dubai to Paris
Park Hyatt Paris Review
St. Regis Rome Review
Etihad Business Class Rome to Abu Dhabi
Four Seasons Abu Dhabi Review
Etihad First Class Lounge AUH
Etihad First Class Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles
The most anticipated trip of my life is finally here…it’s time for my honeymoon! My wife Sophia and I decided to wait a few weeks to settle down after our wedding before heading out for our trip, and taking into account that planning for the trip started 10 months ago, it seems like we’ve been anxiously waiting forever. The fact that my post happened to be written about in an online Forbes article made questions from friends & family get us even more excited about it.
Let me start off by saying I plan on doing this trip report a little differently than I have in the past. Most of the flights and hotels I’m visiting have been reviewed extensively by others already, so there’s not a ton of new information I can add. Instead, I plan on doing picture-heavy reviews and keeping the text to a minimum, unless there was something I felt was unique or needed to be described.
Most of the trip details mentioned in my original post are still valid – I didn’t change any flights at all. I did, however, make a few adjustments to the hotels. Instead of staying at the Conrad Dubai as I originally booked, I opted for the brand new Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City. I far prefer Starwood to Hilton, and this isn’t just a new hotel…it’s a massive complex called Al Habtoor city that was built almost entirely for Starwood.
In the same complex are two other new hotels: The St. Regis Dubai and the W Dubai. The Westin is the newest to open among them (though is still undergoing a significant amount of construction), and will be massive with over 1,000 hotel rooms by itself once it’s complete. The three hotels share some facilities during construction.
I made the switch for a couple of reasons, the first being location. I simply thought the location of the Westin would be more convenient for the sightseeing that we would be doing. The second is because of the loyalty programs. I have yet to be upgraded to suite at a Hilton-brand hotel despite being a top-tier Diamond member, but I frequently have been upgraded at Starwood hotels for being top-tier Platinum. Additionally, the Conrad’s breakfast would have been in their lounge, which generally has limited options, whereas the Westin has a large buffet that can be selected as a Platinum member amenity.
The other major change was to my one night stay in Abu Dhabi, where I originally planned on staying at the Hyatt Capital Gate on a free night certificate from my Hyatt credit card. It turns out that an earlier reservation of mine at the Four Seasons Abu Dhabi was canceled due to a mistake that the hotel made, and as a gesture of goodwill they offered me a free night on my next stay. That works out perfectly since I only planned on coming back for a single night on my honeymoon trip, and I’ll take a Four Seasons over a Hyatt almost every time.
I’ll discuss the details of booking each part of the trip in the post itself, but I’m always happy to answer any specific questions you might have.