|EUROPE EXTRAVAGANZA 2019|
I’ll be primarily visiting 3 different countries on this trip; the United Kingdom (Oxford and London), France (Paris) and Italy (Milan).
This was originally a trip for my father and my youngest sister, and they will be flying British Airways A380 Economy Class to London on the 29th November.
However, ever since we decided that it will be a family trip, the remaining of us, my younger sister, mother and I will then head over to London and arrive on the 5th December. The 3 of us will be flying on the British Airways A380 Economy Class. My mother and I redeemed a one-way ticket to London, with my mother redeeming 22,750 Avios and paying $265 in taxes and surcharges for her flight. I redeemed 11,375 Avios and paid similar taxes, tapping onto a promotion that British Airways launched last week. A decent rate considering that it’s the holiday season (where return flights can shoot up to $1,500 return) and that my mother and I will be flying back from SQ’s A350 Business Class from Istanbul, Turkey (more on that later).
To get to Paris coincidentally on Friday the 13th, we will be taking the Eurostar, just a day after the recently announced elections in Britain. While my dad and youngest sister fly back to Singapore and my younger sister continuing her trip, my mother and I will then take a short flight to Milan on the 17th, where we will be spending time with my mum’s former colleagues before heading back to Singapore via Turkey, Istanbul on the 23rd December. An early flight on Turkish Airlines from Milan to Istanbul which will see us land at 1200 should give my mother and I ample time to check out the new Istanbul airport and the Turkish Airlines business class lounge (which I am very excited about!), before our flight departure at 1415. I flew SQ’s new Boeing 787-10 2018 Regional Business Class seat from Perth to Singapore earlier this year, and I can’t wait to try out their A350-900 Business Class seat this time around!
For our flight back home, we redeemed 49,000 Krisflyer miles while paying 25 USD for taxes each. We also used the stopover trick of paying an additional 100 USD per person for another break next spring to Bali in March 2020.
You can check out some of the reviews here when it’s done!
British Airways BA12 A380 Economy Class SIN-LHR
Singapore Airlines SQ391 A350-900 Business Class IST-SIN
Having qualified for Hilton Diamond status earlier this year, and with Hilton having a plethora of options in Europe, Hilton was naturally my choice of accommodation for this family trip.
Below is a list of the Hilton properties we will be staying. On the days that we are not staying at a Hilton property, we will be putting up at an Airbnb.
United Kingdom (Oxford, London)
Hilton London Olympia
Hilton London Kensington
Hilton La Defense
Hilton Paris Opera
Waldorf Astoria Versailles – Trianon Palace
Grand Hotel Villa Torretta Milan Sesto, Curio Collection by Hilton
Hilton Lake Como
Hilton Garden Inn Milan Malpensa
From this list of properties, I am most excited for the Waldorf Astoria Versailles and Hilton Lake Como. Let me share why.
The Waldorf Astoria Versailles. The Waldorf Astoria is a collection of most luxurious hotels Hilton offers and the Waldorf Astoria Versailles prides itself for being able to call itself the closest one can live to the famous Versailles palace. A personal concierge attends to guests throughout the stay, and features include a clay tennis court, wellness spa and marbled floor like the Palace.
The Hilton Lake Como, 30 minutes north of Central Milan, features stunning views of Lake Como and the mountains leading to the Alps. It also has an rooftop infinity pool which allows guests to dine in during the summer. You can check out the image below.
I’ve been excited for this family holiday for the longest time, it’s my family’s first time in the UK except my dad who did his Masters there, and returning to Paris and Milan 15 years after my parents took us there for my first overseas trip back when I was 8.
It’s my turn to return the favour! My first Waldorf experience, the new Istanbul lounge, SQ Business Class.. this is gonna be awesome!