Asia Aviation Style Travel

Travel to Bali – Cathay Pacific

This is the first post of six of my Bali adventure. For parts one through six, please see below.

Travel to Bali – Cathay Pacific
Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah, Ubud Bali
Ubud – The Tour
Amankila – Part One
Amankila – Part Two
Seminyak, Bali – The Legian Hotel, Shopping and Eating

We just got back from Bali and it was amazing – both my husband and I loved it! We can’t wait to go back and are already discussing when we could find some time to make the journey back. A journey by the way, that is quite long…which bring’s me to today’s post, my first in a series on our Bali trip – a review of Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Ticket

From San Francisco, Cathay Pacific has one of the most convenient routes to Bali – a 13 hour direct flight to Hong Kong, about a 4 hour layover, and then another 4-5 hour flight to Bali. So door to door, basically 24 hours of travel time. And that’s one of the shortest routes available, from San Francisco. So my advice would definitely be to select your route carefully if you’re traveling a long distance to Bali, and not just shop on price alone. If you’re an infrequent traveler I might also suggest a layover in Hong Kong (always a fun city to spend a few nights!).

Planes

We were fortunate to be flying in first which made the trip very comfortable. The seats were small suites which allowed a nice degree of privacy.

Plane z

Since I’m a shortie, the seats seemed to be pretty much the same length as United’s seats, though my husband said that Cathay’s were longer. What I definitely noticed however was that the seats were very wide.

One of my favorite details about Cathay were the amenities. I love a fabulous amenity kit (and what a great marketing tool too!).

Plane 3

Some of the toiletries in the women’s kit – I thought that these Aesop tubes were a very handy size and form factor. When we arrived home I immediately added the Aesop moisturizing balm to my treasured stash of mini L’Occitane shea butter hand creams.

Plane 4

My favorite amenity item however were the Shanghai Tang pajamas, especially since I will be first in line should Theory ever design the pajama slash business suit that I’ve been dreaming about. Our flight over to Hong Kong left after midnight, so as soon as we got on the plane I changed right into my pajamas, they were very comfortable and well made with nice details! I kept both sets that I got on the flights to and from Hong Kong.

You can also get an idea of how wide the seats are here.

Plane 2

Answering important business emails….or playing Candy Crush? I’ll let you decide.

Another cool thing about the Cathay suite design was the smaller seat right across from you. I heard from a fellow passenger that he had actually once taken off with his wife sitting across from him in the seat, since it’s also equipped with a seat belt.

Plane 1

Another nice aspect of this smaller seat was that you could actually dine with another passenger on the flight, and the attendants set up a larger table so you could eat across from one another. My husband and I each took turns sitting across on each flight, though to be honest the little seat felt a tad bit confining after a while (especially since the seat belt auto retracts and is tight on your lap). Below was the first dinner we ate together, you can see it’s quite a nice setup.

Plane 5

Since we’re talking about dining…onto the food! Since I’m an Asian food lover, Cathay had some of the most satisfying food I’ve ever had on a flight. There were a selection of both Western and Asian foods for all meals and snacks, and everything I tried was yummy. I started with the caviar course at the beginning of both our dinner meals, which I’d highly recommend. I liked it even more than the Lufthansa caviar starter, the salmon addition is really nice.

Caviar

I’m usually not a heavy eater on long flights (it’s always harder for me to fall asleep) so I chose the lightest entree courses. Here was one of my selections, a very light ginseng chicken soup that was delicious and perfect for the plane.

Plane 6

Cathay also had quite a few delicious sounding snacks on the menu, and I ordered a few throughout our flights to nibble on. Here were two of my favorites. A Western selection, crab cakes (which were amazing with lots of crab) and a side salad.

Plane 8

And my favorite snack….roasted duck noodle soup! I love noodle soups and was so excited to see this on the menu. I actually ordered this for my entree on our return flight which caused the flight attendant to pause a bit. “You want…a snack for dinner?” she asked. “That’s your entree?” YES!

Plane 3

The breakfasts were all very good as well. I tried both the Western and Asian options, always with fresh fruit and a smoothie and tea. Here was my favorite breakfast entree – a chicken and mushroom congee with rice noodle rolls. Delicious!

Plane breakfast

Plane breakfast 2

After dinner on each flight, the cabin would be dimmed and I would watch a movie and some TV episodes (very good selection). I watched Les Mis on the plane for the first time and probably replayed Anne Hathaway’s “I Dreamed a Dream” sequence ten times. Then, I’d go to sleep! Turndown service was very nice and I’m glad that even US based airlines are now offering this service, it really makes it much nicer to sleep for longer periods.

Plane 7

Overall, all of our flights on Cathay were really great, with virtually nothing to complain about. The service was fantastic as to be expected, and I generally I found that attendants typically left you alone, which I prefer. However, they were always attentive at the right times, and if you pressed the call button, someone would typically come by in literally five seconds or less.

Since we had four hour layovers each way in Hong Kong, Mr. Feather and I spent most of our time in Cathay’s lounge, The Wing. I was really impressed by this lounge and wanted to share some details.

Cathay Lounge

There was a dedicated champagne area and a large bar, and plenty of seating throughout.

Lounge 1

I actually don’t like to drink too much when traveling (unless I have a really long layover), so I opted for one of the non alcoholic cocktails. If you’re ever at The Wing, I’d recommend the kiwi/coconut/mint smoothie which they can make for you at the bar – really refreshing!

Lounge 3

There is also a full service restaurant close by, which had menu items as well as a buffet.

Lounge 2

I usually served myself some porridge and then ordered a wonton noodle soup.

Plane 9

Aside from the food, another really nice feature about The Wing lounge was their Cabanas and Shower Suites.

Lounge 4

I especially thought the Cabanas were a great idea. They each had a shower, full size tub, and a day bed so that you could freshen up and even take a nap! There have definitely been times when I would have loved a Cabana while traveling.

Lounge 5

Lounge 6

Overall The Wing was awesome, and I’d definitely want to come back on a future trip. It also was constantly bustling with people, and while never too busy, The Wing was clearly a very popular choice for Cathay travelers. In fact, by sheer coincidence both on the way to and from Hong Kong, we ran into friends – one couple who were heading to Tokyo, and then on the way back, some friends heading to Barcelona! It was great getting to catch up over drinks in the lounge.

That completes my review this time of Cathay – I’ve had the request to do more of these airline reviews, so I hope this was useful/interesting for some of you (and please let me know if you have any questions in the comments). My next travel posts will take place in Bali. Thank you for reading!

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  • Ella Pretty Blog
    May 28, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Loved the inside peek into the flight – those seats look SO comfy – and I love that 2 people could dine together! And seriously – how do they prepare such amazing food on the plane?

    Of course, my favorite part was the toiletry bags and the pajamas – what a great idea! They look so comfy! How did they figure out what size to give you? And what was in the orange bag?

    • Katherine
      May 28, 2013 at 9:35 am

      Thanks! I think they just guess your size – there are 3 sizes for PJs, small medium and large – the small were what was given to me and they were fine (except the pants were a little long of course…lol!). The orange bag had some typical toiletries, ear plugs, etc and the Aesop items 🙂

  • Diva In Me
    May 28, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Looks like you had a taste of heaven! LOL! Fun and comfy trip. What more can one ask for?
    That’s what my bf says too that Asian airlines has better service and apparently nicer looking air-stewardess. *smirk* like whatever. I’ve not flown on any western airlines so I’m not sure. I’ve only tried Emirates, Qatar, Egypt Air and most of the Asian airlines so they’re all pretty ok actually.

  • Anna
    May 28, 2013 at 8:25 am

    I loved reading this! The “nicest” I have ever flown was a Lufthansa Business class from D.C. to Frankfurt. And that was pretty nice for me. Personally, I am fine stuffed away in the Economy section but if I could afford it then I would totally take advantage of a nice first class in the future.
    Regardless, I enjoy your review, the food looks great (especially those buns you had with dinner!) and the lounge looks really relaxing too.
    Have a safe and fun trip and do please post more of your airline/travel impressions!

    • Anna
      May 28, 2013 at 8:26 am

      Oh yeah, I have to add, those PJ’s and the Aesop products look great!

  • Jess
    May 28, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Those PJ’s look so comfy and cute. What an nice way to travel! Looking forward to your Bali posts:). I also echo Ella pretty blog’s sentiments, what was in the gift bags? Would love to see a “haul” blog on the cool products!

  • Kat
    May 28, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Another fantastic post! I was just talking to some friends the other day about which airline we enjoyed most enjoyed travelling with. Cathay Pacific was one that was mentioned but I haven’t flown with them yet. Now I have yet to travel with them and see for myself. I really enjoyed your detailed description and pictures! Can’t wait to hear about your trip on your next post!

  • Revanche
    May 28, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I seem to remember that not traveling in first class wasn’t an option for your husband, isn’t it? 🙂 I always knew that Cathay had pretty nice upper class travel but I’d never availed myself of it – this looks amazing. I have to admit, I’m a sucker for good amenities, aside from general travel comfort. I’m used to crap seats from business travel, my employers never having been so generous as to care about our comfort, but it looks absolutely lovely to travel for pleasure in upper class.

    Did you have to have membership and status in the Cathay Pacific loyalty program to have access to The Wing or did that come with the first class ticket?

    • Katherine
      May 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      Ha! First class all the time for biz travel would be great, my husband doesn’t get that though typically…he wishes!! 🙂 At my old company like you I was always in economy, I don’t mind it actually the seats are good enough – the things I hate in economy are the scratchy blankets and if you get someone annoying sitting next to you, lol.

      The access to the lounge came with the ticket however we also have some One World status…though I’m not sure if it would have been enough for The Wing First lounge, probably enough for the biz lounge downstairs 🙂

  • Jennipher
    May 28, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Ahhh, I love your travel posts so much! Cathay sounds amazing. Looking forward to hearing more about the Bali trip soon!
    I’m also anxious to hear how you’re liking United Global Services (hopefully in a future post?) so far. Due to our geographic location, my husband and I typically travel on United, but have so far only reached 1K status. I dream about the day we get the GS nod…

    • Katherine
      May 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Are you in SF/Chicago/one of the other hubs? Isn’t it amazing how many 1Ks/GS stand up when they call for them? I always get dejected about my upgrade chances at that point, lol. I like GS and the nicest thing so far has been the customer service and asking them to handle items/changes/flight difficulties – I hope you make it though I’m not sure if it is worth all the flying! 🙂

      • Anonymous
        May 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm

        Great to know, thanks! We generally fly through ORD and you’re right – on certain routes it seems like 75% of he plane is 1K and above!

  • Rona Rona
    May 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Awesome pics. You lucky girl..all those luxuries. The food looks delicious and those cabanas are so relaxing.

    I want to go on a holiday now 😛

  • Marlene @ chocolatecookiesandcandies
    May 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I’ve always loved Cathay and SIA. I’ve tried Lufthansa, BA, Qantas, Brunei (NEVER again!) JAL and Air NZ but the Asian airlines (excluding Brunei) are heads above everyone else. I wouldn’t mind going on biz or first class one day……

  • Mrs C
    May 29, 2013 at 3:26 am

    I have never traveled with Cathay before (well, I guess I’m stuck with Emirates LOL!) and from these pictures their first class is BETTER than Emirates’. The seats are a lot bigger and love the idea of the smaller seat across. Dinning together is another great thing, something we can never do on Emirates. Nice touch with Aesop skincare too, they are one of the best in my opinion 🙂 Glad you had a good trip, Kat!

    GREETINGS FROM DUBAI
    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES (a fashion and life-style blog)
    http://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.ae/

  • latkesanddimsum
    May 29, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Sounds like a wonderful, relaxing flight!! 🙂

  • Brook
    May 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the travel posts. They are a great way to live vicariously through others.

    I love flying Cathay for all the swag they give you, particularly the PJ’s. Use caution though as I managed to shrink my last set in the wash. Stick to cold water and minimal time in the dryer!

  • Mel
    May 30, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Thanks for reviewing! I’ve never flown Cathay before, but it’s good to know they’re a solid option for future trips. Those PJs look so cozy!

  • NewPetite
    May 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I’m Sorry but I have to repeat here again – I love your travel posts! Cathay sounds wonderful and now cant wait to see Bali pics and experience.

  • Lucy
    May 31, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Looks like an amazing trip!! Thank you for doing a review on Cathay Pacific. If you ever fly Eva Airlines, please do a review too!

  • Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah, Ubud Bali » Feather Factor
    June 3, 2013 at 8:34 am

    […] Travel to Bali – Cathay Pacific […]

  • Chic 'n Cheap Living
    June 4, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Ahh to be in a suite! I always thought the little seat (I’m comparing to UA and SQ planes) were just footrests? Anyway, my husband would never want to sit in it. I’ve flown business, but never first and wondered about the differences. The extra wide seats and pjs are a nice touch!
    I love how you ordered the duck noodle soup! Why not if it’s tasty right?

    I’m 1K and it’s addictive. I love waiting in shorter lines and pout when my husband steals my systemwide upgrades. Only 60k miles to fly this year to re-qualift (UA totally got me)…

    xoxo,
    Chic ‘n Cheap Living

  • Ubud – The Tour » Feather Factor
    June 10, 2013 at 8:10 am

    […] Travel to Bali – Cathay Pacific Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah, Ubud Bali […]

  • Amankila – Part One » Feather Factor
    June 17, 2013 at 7:55 am

    […]  Travel to Bali – Cathay Pacific Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah, Ubud Bali Ubud – The Tour […]

  • Amankila – Part Two » Feather Factor
    June 24, 2013 at 8:02 am

    […]  Travel to Bali – Cathay Pacific Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah, Ubud Bali Ubud – The Tour Amankila – Part One […]

  • Alicia
    September 15, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    First class looks amazing Katherine! Especially the shanghai tang PJs! I have flown business class with cathay before but it wasn’t so good, compared to Singapore Airlines business. However I can see that first class is way better than business for sure.

  • MightyTravels
    January 14, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Nice review! Cathay Pacific First Class is great deal with AA miles – I’d just hope they’d release a bit more inventory!