I have been to Hong Kong with a colleague during my times at the university back in 1996. My colleague has a pen friend there and was looking for someone to travel with her to Hong Kong back then. Since I also wanted to go there, we flew to Hong Kong in July 1996. At this time, Kai Tak was still in use. By the way, this was my first international trip ...
After we finished our exams at university, we both stayed in contact and my colleague managed also to stay in contact with her pen friend in Hong Kong. Every now and then, we thought about going there again, especially since I have been there a few times later on one of mymany trips through Asia.
Early in 2009 we looked in our agendas and were able to find a week in November 2009, in which we both could take a few days off at work. As I had already spent an awful lot of money on air tickets, I searched for awards, in the time frame we had set for our trip to Hong Kong. One of the benefits of being Senator is the partner award and as I was not really in the mood of another trip in Economy Class I was looking for Business Class Tickets, especially since we had not that much time in Hong Kong. So a Business Class partner award to Hong Kong was soon booked on Lufthansa. As my colleague wanted to see some other places in Asia (her boyfriend is not so much into longhaul flights), I looked into a side trip over the weekend to Taipei, Bangkok and Singapore. The fares to Singapore on United were quite competitive and Singapore is also a nice place for someone, who has not that much experience in Asia. Taipei was more expensive. So in addition to the award I booked two Economy Class round trip tickets from HKG to SIN on UA for us.
Travelling together with a non flyertalker means no hotel hopping and so I secured rooms in the Renaissance in Kowloon and in the Holiday Inn in Singapore very early, which were the cheapest options at this time. Of course, I booked fully flexible rates and holding Royal Ambassador Status with Intercontinental Hotels, I hoped for lower rates in at least one of the three Intercontinental hotels in Hong Kong and Singapore. I was lucky, as the IC Grand Stanford was offering a Business Package including breakfast and free internet, which was reasonable priced and I booked it for both stays in Hong Kong. The IC in Hong Kong was still way to expensive. Unfortunately the IC Singapore wanted also 400 SGD for a standard room, which I did not want to pay. As the ASEAN meeting was taking place during our trip, the Intercontinental Singapore was quite full, as many other upscale hotels. Later the Hilton offered a good rate, but I decided to stay with the Holiday Inn, but changed to a lower rate including breakfast, which became available.