Just kidding, it's not all the points and I certainly plan on collecting more! There's no denying that I am a lunatic who stays up nights worrying about future plans and travel. As such, we canceled our initial honeymoon plans to South America, an area we'd already visited which would have used all of our points and miles. Of course these things never crossed my mind until after booking it. Naturally. Anyway, we decided we would personally be happier spreading the miles amongst a shorter trip now to South Africa and a longer "extended" honeymoon to Hong Kong and Thailand next February. Works for me. As I settle in for a week of exciting reviews, new services, new seats and oh yeah, that crazy little thing called love I figured it would be a good time to bring a primer for what's to come. It's been the best week of my life including a wedding ceremony for the ages, family and friends traveling from all around the world and fantastic wine. Cheers to that. Here's what you can expect over the next week.
Virgin Upper Class Wing And London Clubhouse
We've done it before and we'll do it again. It's such hard work showing up to an airport to have someone greet you by name, hand you your boarding pass and have a porter take your luggage. I suppose someone has to do it! I can't wait to experience Virgin Atlantic's top notch treatment of fliers on the ground before settling in to a long nights sleep (one can hope).
Virgin Upper Class London to Johannesburg
We had about just about 90,000 Virgin Atlantic miles between the two of us and purchased an additional 10,000 to get the necessary 50,000 for a one way in Upper Class from London to Johannesburg. As I've detailed it's obviously not ideal to buy miles but considering the value and experience; paying a couple hundred bucks isn't the end of the world for a ticket worth a few thousand.
South African Airways A330 Business Class Johannesburg to Cape Town
In my post about refundable tickets not being quite as crazy as they seem I mention these flights. Business class was going for slightly under double what economy was going for and both were reasonably cheap. For around $500 each we were able to get refundable/changeable business class tickets which when changed twice ended up being a steal. Economy was going for about $300 and with the change fees we would have paid (if we bought economy) it would have made economy tickets more than $600 per person in the end and we would still have been sitting in coach. Flexible and refundable is not always nuts.
MannaBay Boutique Hotel Cape Town
I'll be honest, I'm pretty excited for this one. I love TripAdvisor and after reading reviews and seeing photos was sure that this boutique hotel was the answer for us over the mainstream alternate choices. I love boutiques, I love unique environments and I love service. No genius tips here. We paid for this one.
La Colombe, World Top 50 Restaurant Cape Town.
Sure there are quite a few World Top 50 Restaurant Guide's but this restaurant is in one of them! After unsuccessfully grabbing a reservation at the better known "The Test Kitchen", which is sold out through September 2016 we landed here. I can't wait to try inventive South African meets French cuisine.
La Residence Vineyard and Resort Franschhoek South Africa
I like wine. I like beautiful views. This place is one of the most highly rated amongst every guide in the Franschhoek/Stellenbosch area and between the vineyards and the palatial boutique setting (with complimentary wine) I feel like I will reach some sort of nirvana.
PODS Camps Bay (Cape Town) Boutique Hotel
Yep, definitely a trend. Another boutique hotel and another unique spot. For our last night in the Cape Town area we felt somewhere on the beach outside of the main hustle and bustle would be just the trick. Fortunately we found this place, another TripAdvisor #1 with nothing but gushing reviews on unique feel and exceptional service. It wasn't even particularly pricey....
South African Airways A340 Business Class Cape Town to Johannesburg
As the plane nerd/nut that I am I picked the only two flights per day between these South African cities served by large jets rather than the typical regional jets. I'll be excited to review the seats South African use for their long range routes, if only for an hour or two...
Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy Johannesburg to London
Talk the talk, walk the walk. I recently contributed another post to Virgin Atlantic as part of our collaboration and the most recent was on benefits of Premium Economy. It will be great fun to put my money where my mouth is and see how I feel about it after flying Upper Class down. Would you have gone Upper down or Upper back? Decisions....
If you are anything like me excitement is at fever pitch and the night before proves very difficult to sleep. As with everything it's so hard to curb enthusiasm but I have complete faith that all of these experiences will offer something worth writing about. One way or another. In case you don't already, it could be a great time to check in with our Instagram and Twitter for increased visual content and slightly more off key remarks...
As Always, Get in Touch: GodSaveThePoints@gmail.com