The Year I Travelled Every Week

biking in paradise anse source d' argent la digue seychelles
Pic: Biking in paradise on La Digue, Seychelles (Oct 2016)
Another four months of intense traveling have passed, time to share some details of my Autumn adventures. For a full recap of my travel year, make sure to read my Winter, Spring and Summer stories.

Seychelles

beach at savoy seychelles resort and spa mahe
Pic: The beach at Savoy Seychelles Resort and Spa on Mahe
Early October, I visited the island nation of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. An intense one week trip staying at a different hotel each night while visiting four islands: Mahé, Sainte-Anne, Praslin and La Digue. Hotel wise, I was very impressed with the Constance Ephelia Resort, a magical place to revive the senses. If you’re looking for a resort to de-stress in a beautiful setting with amazing staff, this is the place to be!
fitness pool Constance Ephelia Resort seychelles
Pic: Fitness Pool at Constance Ephelia Resort Seychelles
Snorkeling Anse Lazio beach Seychelles
Pic: Snorkeling at Anse Lazio, Praslin, Seychelles
The granite-based islands in the Seychelles offer some amazing beaches of which Anse Lazio was one of my favorites.
Daydreaming at Anse-Lazio Beach Seychelles
Pic: Daydreaming at Anse-Lazio beach on Praslin Island
Pool at Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte-Anne Island
Pic: Pool at Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte-Anne Island
Other great hotels I stayed at were Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte-Anne Island, Raffles Seychelles Praslin Island and Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove where I posted postcards in an underwater mailbox (!) for some of my lucky Twitter and Instagram Stories followers.
Bart Lapers at Anse Source D'Argent La Digue
Pic: Bart at Anse Source D’Argent, La Digue (Oct 2016)
I flew non-stop between Paris and Mahe with Air Seychelles, an Etihad Airways partner. You can earn and redeem Etihad Guest miles with Air Seychelles.
Air Seychelles A330-200 model lounge mahe
Pic: Air Seychelles A330-200 at Salon Vallée De Mai lounge

Maldives

Qatar Airways Business Class Brussels to Doha Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Pic: Qatar Airways B787 Business Class from Brussels to Doha
For my trip to the Maldives in November, I redeemed British Airways avios to book a one-way BRU-DOH-MLE on Qatar Airways Business Class.
Palm tree at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Pic: Palm tree at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
I stayed 3 nights at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island using 285.000 Hilton HHonors points. My first two nights, I was upgraded to a Water Villa which didn’t impress me much. The ‘dividers’ between the villa’s interrupting the views bothered me. For my last night, I moved to one of the newly refurbished Beach Villa’s which you normally get when booking with points. I liked those a lot more than the basic overwater villa’s!
Breakfast in paradise at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Pic: Breakfast in paradise at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
In the morning, I enjoyed complimentary breakfast at Vilu restaurant thanks to my Hilton HHonors Diamond status.
Bart Lapers at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Pic: Bart at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island (Nov 2016)
conrad maldives rangali island boat shuttle
Pic: Island shuttle at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
ithaa world's best undersea restaurant conrad maldives rangali island
Pic: Ithaa, World’s Best Undersea Restaurant at Conrad Maldives
Conrad Maldives offers unique underwater dining experiences in their Undersea restaurant Ithaa. I had the Champagne cocktail experience, the more affordable option to visit this amazing restaurant.
champagne cocktail at ithaa underwater restaurant conrad maldives
Pic: Champagne Cocktail at Ithaa Conrad Maldives
tuk tuk safari Sri Lanka Colombo Bart Lapers
Pic: Tuk Tuk Safari in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Nov 2016)
On my way back to Belgium, I made a detour via Colombo and Kuala Lumpur. Tuk Tuk Safari Sri Lanka emerged me in Colombo’s food scene in their colorful Tuk Tuks. In Kuala Lumpur, Belgian balloon pilot Jonas hosted me for a thrilling balloon adventure above Putrajaya!
my balloon adventure putrajaya malaysia
Pic: My Balloon Adventure above Putrajaya, Malaysia (Nov 2016)
bart lapers working night shift on emirates A380 bar kuala lumpur dubai
Pic: Working the night shift at Emirates A380 bar (Nov 2016)
My detour via Colombo and Kuala Lumpur had a reason: flying Emirates A380 Business Class extremely cheap… I paid less than 330 EUR! Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) is one of “the four Cs” (Cairo, Cape Town, Casablanca and Colombo) which regularly offer amazing premium airfares.
Etihad First Class Check-in Abu Dhabi Bart Lapers
Pic: Etihad First Class Check-in Abu Dhabi (Nov 2016)
As if flying Qatar Airways B787 and Emirates A380 Business Class in one trip wasn’t enough yet, I had also added Etihad A380 First Class to my journey. I flew Etihad’s First Class Apartment from Abu Dhabi to London using 41812 Etihad Guest miles + 528AED (132EUR) cash.Etihad First Class Lounge and Spa Abu Dhabi Bart Lapers
Pic: Etihad First Class Lounge and Spa Abu Dhabi (Nov 2016)
Etihad A380 upper deck featuring 9 first class apartments and the residence
Pic: Etihad A380 Upper Deck featuring 9 First Class Apartments
bart lapers etihad a380 first class apartment 4a
Pic: Bart at Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment 4A
Etihad First Class Dessert Duval Leroy Rose Prestige Champagne Arabic Tea
Pic: Etihad First Class dessert with Duval Leroy Rose Prestige Champagne
the lobby onboard etihad first class A380 upper deck
Pic: The Lobby bar onboard Etihad A380 Upper Deck
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment Full Flat Bed
Pic: Etihad A380 First Class Apartment 4A Full Flat Bed

Weekend Trips

Lemon Fresh at Bratislava Sky Bar Slovakia
Pic: Lemon Fresh at Bratislava Sky Bar Slovakia (Sep 2016)
Similar to earlier in the year, I kept traveling every weekend in between my longer trips. In September I flew to Vienna where I made the short bus ride to Bratislava, my first visit to Slovakia.
hungarian parliament building by night budapest
Pic: Hungarian Parliament by night in Budapest (Sep 2016)
The second weekend of September was a family trip to Budapest where I stayed at the InterContinental with view on the Chain Bridge.
Autumn Weekend Paris Jaguar XE Place Vendome Ritz Hotel
Pic: Autumn weekend in Paris with Jaguar XE (Sep 2016)
fun in streets of paris with Jaguar XJ luxury flagship bart lapers
Pic: Fun in streets of Paris with Jaguar XJ (Nov 2016)
I also had the pleasure to drive a number of Jaguars in the Fall of 2016. I made two trips to Reims & Paris with the Jaguar XE and Jaguar XJ.
Air Serbia Belgrade Bart Lapers
Pic: With srprs.me and Air Serbia to Belgrade (Oct 2016)
Dutch travel agency srprs.me surprised me with a weekend trip to Belgrade (Serbia).
2016 bmw 330e iperformance bart lapers german autobahn
Pic: Bart driving the 2016 BMW 330e iPerformance
BMW made my ride to Dusseldorf a lot more exciting by borrowing me the 2016 BMW 330e plug-in hybrid.
Presidential Suite at Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf
Pic: Presidential Suite at Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf (Nov 2016)
Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf hosted me in their Presidential Suite in November!
Executive Sea View Room at Intercontinental Carlton Cannes
Pic: Executive Sea View Room at Intercontinental Carlton Cannes
December started with two sunny weekends in Cannes (France) and Valencia (Spain).
l'Hemisferic Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias Valencia
Pic: l’Hemisfèric at Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias Valencia
The Gherkin London 30 st mary axe
Pic: The Gherkin seen from Duck and Waffle in London (Dec 2016)
Followed by a foggy pre-Christmas weekend in The City.

Conclusion

2016 was a new personal travel record year for me:

Up Next

Well, I have one more trip coming up this year, so the numbers above aren’t final yet! 😉 Make sure to follow me into 2017 via Instagram Stories, Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy the Holiday Season and as always, thank you for your support!

13 Comments on “The Year I Travelled Every Week

  1. Great work and stylish travelling. Thanks for all the tips and we must have missed eachother at the beachcomber Seychelles resort by one week i guess.

  2. Those are some beautiful photos, very nice!
    But it’s bittersweet to me: with so many flights and car trips, your contribution to global warming is immense. Are you doing something to compensate?

  3. Hi Bart,

    Mind sharing the routing of your 330EUR Emirates J fare? AFAIK they don’t have flights from CMB to KUL. Really interested in EK J!

  4. heb problemen met welke gespaarde ‘miles’ je kan gebruiken bij welke maatschappij. vb Qatar is one world maar kan je ze ook bij Etihad of Emiraten gebruiken? Het is en blijft chinees!!! Weet ook niet waar je de verschillende linken kan vinden? Wie kan je met Etihad linken, en wie met Emiraten?
    Kan je mij aub helpen?

  5. Hi Christl, there are three main airline alliances. OneWorld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam. In general, you can earn and redeem miles with all airlines within an alliance. Just make sure to credit all your miles in that alliance to ONE frequent flyer program, you can’t combine miles from different frequent flyer accounts. There are airlines like Etihad and Emirates which are not a member of these three big alliances. However, they have build their own network of partner airlines with which you can earn and redeem miles. You’ll need to check the airline’s website to see what their partners are. e.g. with Etihad Guest (Etihad’s frequent flyer program) you can earn miles with http://www.etihadguest.com/en/earn-miles/airline/ and redeem miles for http://www.etihadguest.com/en/spend-miles/airline-partners/ I know, it’s not that easy, but if you invest some time in it, you can get great rewards out of it!

    • Dank je bart voor de nuttige info. Het is en het zal waarschijnlijk chinees blijven. (Ben niet van de meer jongste!!!!). Dank voor de link met etihad. Zou je aub ook de linken voor qatar kunnen doorsturen heb bijna 30.000 miles op account). De one world link zoals vb air canada zie je direkt op hun site, maar de extra airlines kan ik niet terug vinden.

      Dank bij voorbaat.
      Christl

      Nog veel genot bij je volgende reizen.
      kwou dat ik deze wereld vroeger ontdekt had!!!!!!!!!

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