While I love to travel and explore different places, I tend to do so on a budget (terrible currency conversions), and you really can’t have great experiences when you travel on budget airlines with multiple hops, or stay at 3-star hotels miles away from the tourist attractions you want to visit.
But sometimes one is lucky and experiences that great plane ride, or that great hotel stay, and in this post, I wanted to call out two such great travel experiences I have had.
Flying with Lufthansa
I have had the pleasure of flying Lufthansa once from San Francisco to Bangalore (a work trip). Traveling such long distances (SFO to Bangalore) can be really tiresome, and if I am booked through a flight via Europe, I am a happy camper.
So Lufthansa was a win for me just because the route wasn’t as tedious as the long-drawn eastern route. But what actually surprised me was the excellent food. I am a vegetarian and picky, and usually on aeroplanes I opt to starve, only choosing to eat at the airports during halts – something that my frugal hubby always chides me for.
But this Lufthansa flight made me realize that food can actually be good on a plane. I had opted for continental vegetarian food, and I was surprised by the delicious veg pastas and desserts that were served up to me. The service was excellent too!
Another boost is the super short layover at Frankfurt, and the small but super-efficient airport that allows you to switch terminals in no time.
Alas! Unfortunately that was the only time I got to fly Lufthansa.
However, since then, Lufthansa is the first carrier I check if I am planning any long travels.
Staying at the Shangri-La, Hong Kong
I have told this story earlier on the blog here. We visited Hong Kong during the peak Christmas week, and all hotels were booked up. We ended up with a last-minute booking at the Shangri-La Hotel. To our dismay, when we arrived, there was some confusion with our reservation, and no rooms were available for us.
We left our luggage at the bell-desk, shook off our worries about stay, and spent a long and fun day at Disneyland, returning late at night, hoping the hotel had done something about our lodging.
Well, they had and in style.
We got upgraded to a suite – one of the most luxurious experiences I have ever had.
I can’t rave enough about the quality of the bedding, the excellent views of the harbor from our 18th floor, floor to ceiling windows, and the uber-luxe bathroom and toiletries within.
We were in Hong Kong for only two nights, and we were so sad to bid farewell to our room there.
No other hotel has come close to matching up to the luxury that was the Kowloon Shangri-La.
Btw, Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Hilton describes Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains.
My experience staying at this hotel definitely matches up to the meaning of its name.
What have your favorite travel experiences been like?