Introduction: A spring trip to Italy and France


I make an effort to write as many travel reports as possible. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been writing reviews of trips to Oman and Hawaii, and now I want to share my upcoming trip, which is currently underway. Ford and I are off to Europe, with reviews of some flights and hotels that OMAAT readers will hopefully appreciate.

Why we decided to travel to Europe

Often my travel plans are driven by an incredible opportunity for rewards availability, and this trip was no exception. At the end of 2021, I wrote about how Singapore Airlines had wide availability of open Suites awards between New York and Frankfurt on the Airbus A380. This opportunity was further enhanced when it was announced that new Singapore Airlines A380 cabins would be available on this route.

Singapore Airlines A380 Suites

I locked in return flights from New York to Frankfurt, although I wasn’t sure where in Europe we were going. For me, finding flights is much easier than deciding where to go. Finally, we decided to visit Venice, Milan and Courchevel, and we even changed our initial flights a little. So let’s get to the details.

The airlines we have flown with

I had originally booked a Singapore Airlines Suites round trip from New York to Frankfurt on the Airbus A380, for 86,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles per person per direction. However, I strive to review as many new products as possible, and I thought it was a bit pointless to review the Singapore Airlines A380 suites twice, especially since I already have reviewed (even though it was early 2018).

We ended up canceling the Singapore Suites ticket one way and replacing it with a direct Eurowings Discover business class flight from Tampa to Frankfurt. Eurowings Discover is Lufthansa’s new low-cost long-haul airline, and let me tell you, it’s not Singapore Suites. 😉

I booked Eurowings Discover business class from Tampa to Frankfurt, as well as Lufthansa business class from Frankfurt to Venice, all for 70,000 Air Canada Aeroplan points per person (you must love how many airline partners Aeroplan has). The Eurowings Discover experience was something…

Eurowings Discover the Airbus A330

The only other flight we booked in Europe was a SWISS Airbus A220 flight from Geneva to Frankfurt, which I will also review. All of our other trips to Europe have been by train, so I’ll also review Italy’s incredibly luxurious rail experience.

SWITZERLAND Airbus A220-100

In individual review articles I will talk more about the booking process for each flight, taxes and fees etc.

The hotels we stayed at

Our first stop in Europe was Venice. I haven’t been to Venice for over 20 years, and visiting in the summer isn’t very appealing to me, given the crowds. Going at the end of March ended up being amazing – we had perfect weather (it was sunny and low 60s during the day) and it wasn’t crowded. I can’t believe I haven’t visited Venice in so long, because the city is amazing.

We ended up splitting our time in Venice between two hotels that had been on my list for quite a while – Gritti Palace, a Marriott Luxury Collection property, and the St. Regis Venice.

Palazzo Gritti Venice

You might be surprised at which hotel I ended up choosing, as it wasn’t what I expected.

St Regis Venice

Then we spent a few nights in Milan and decided to visit BVLGARI Milan. Although BVLGARI is a Marriott brand, it does not participate in Marriott Bonvoy, just like Ritz-Carlton Reserve. However, I have never stayed at a BVLGARI before and was curious to see what the luxury brand’s entry into the hotel space was like.

Ford is a skier, so he was hoping to do one last skiing session before the end of the season, so we decided to head to Courchevel next. I had never been to Courchevel before and was curious to check it out. Unfortunately there are no hotels in Courchevel so we decided to book Les Airelles Courchevel, a self-catering hotel which is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Finally, we had to spend the night in Frankfurt, so we booked a night at the Marriott Frankfurt Airport. It’s part of the old Sheraton so I’m curious how the property compares.

I will review each of these hotel experiences and share more about the booking process with each installment.

At the end of the line

It’s really nice to be making more regular trips again. I will have reviews of the Eurowings Discover A330 business class, Singapore Airlines A380 suites, SWISS A220 business class, as well as several hotels including two point hotels that have been at the top of my property list to visit.

Although I only started this trip recently, I really enjoy being in Europe this time of year so far. I generally prefer warm climates, but it’s mild and calm here, which is a treat.

Stay tuned, and thank you so much for reading!

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