Ibiza Closing Parties: Ovum Closing at Space, Cafe del Mar and a:rpia:r Closing at Privilege

This article is the sixth in a series on my month long trip to Ibiza for the closing parties and Amsterdam for the Amsterdam Dance Event.

  1. How I am going to the Ibiza closing parties and Amsterdam Dance Event in business class for $239
  2. Ibiza Here I come!
  3. Arrival in Ibiza – SIM cards, hotels and my first night of clubbing
  4. Ibiza Closing Parties: Luciano & Friends, Hot Natured, Marco Carola Music On
  5. Ibiza Closing Parties: Vagabundos at Pacha, Circo Loco at DC-10, Cocoon Heroes Closing at Amnesia
  6. Ibiza Closing Parties: Ovum Closing at Space, Cafe Del Mar, and r:piar:r Closing at Privilege
  7. Ibiza Closing Parties: Space Closing Party and Circo Loco Closing Party

We made a last minute decision to go to the Ovum Closing party after we left the Cocoon After party, and boy am I glad we did! I heard my second favorite set of the trip here from Steve Bug.

Andres and I were repping the 305 for the occasion at the “Other” Space.

Here is a shot of Josh Wink transitioning over to Steve Bug.

This was by far the best set I have ever heard from Steve Bug, funky and surprising at every turn. Here are 4 videos to give you a sample of his style that night.

We also ran into our Russian friend Tatiana who we had met at Amnesia.  Ibiza is a really small town sometimes!

The next day was Andres’ last day so we headed to San Antonio to check out the famous sunset at Cafe Del Mar. 

It really lived up to it’s reputation and was breathtaking.

As we ate our sushi at one of the cafe’s they played this super chill ambient music that was perfect for the situation.

Here is a panorama shot I took of the Cafe del Mar area.

That night we went to a really unique party which was the All Vinyl a:rpia:r at Privilege with Ricardo Villalobos, Raresh and Rhadoo.

Unfortunately my camera and phone died fast, but I got a few pics of Villalobos in action.

Watching the sun rise through the windows was quite a moment.

What a night!  Some of the craziest music I have ever heard after the sun was up, bordering on experimental.  Villalobos truly hears music where others do not.

But all good things must come to an end and Andres had to get back to Rotterdam for school so the next day I would be on my own for a few more days.  But the best parties were yet to come!  The incredible Space Closing and the Circo Loco Closing, both with lineups that were so good they looked fake! But that will be in the next article! 🙂

Ibiza Closing Parties: Vagabundos at Pacha, Circo Loco at DC-10, Cocoon Heroes Closing at Amnesia

This article is the fifth in a series on my month long trip to Ibiza for the closing parties and Amsterdam for the Amsterdam Dance Event.

  1. How I am going to the Ibiza closing parties and Amsterdam Dance Event in business class for $239
  2. Ibiza Here I come!
  3. Arrival in Ibiza – SIM cards, hotels and my first night of clubbing
  4. Ibiza Closing Parties: Luciano & Friends, Hot Natured, Marco Carola Music On
  5. Ibiza Closing Parties: Vagabundos at Pacha, Circo Loco at DC-10, Cocoon Heroes Closing at Amnesia
  6. Ibiza Closing Parties: Ovum Closing at Space, Cafe Del Mar, and r:piar:r Closing at Privilege
  7. Ibiza Closing Parties: Space Closing Party and Circo Loco Closing Party

Some say Sunday is a day of rest, but not in Ibiza!  It was day of the infamous Vagabundos party at Pacha.

We met up with our new friends from L.A. for the party.

This is one of my favorite parties because lots of people dress up in the vagabond theme with top hats, etc. Here are Andres and I doing our best impression of the painting behind us.

The music was on point and the production was well done.

Here is a shot of Luciano and Mirko Loco going back to back.

The next day, Monday is always one of the best days in Ibiza, with the infamous Circo Loco party at DC-10 during the day, and the Cocoon Heroes closing at Amnesia at night.

Circo Loco was amazing as expected, with an awesome vibe.

Here is Soul Brothers (Soul Clap vs Martinez Brothers) in action.

We met an awesome French couple and met up with Amanda and Ben from London too.

Circo Loco is definitely one of my favorite parties and you never know what crazies you are going to run into.

Here is one of the videos I took there.

When that party ended, it was back to the hotel room to charge phones and cameras, change clothes then off to Cocoon Heroes Closing party with Ricardo Villalobos and Loco Dice!

This is where we really got lucky.  I knew my friends Jamie and Marisela were up in VIP, but we didn’t have bands to get in. Low and behold the entrance to VIP which is normally guarded by a burly security guard was unwatched so we walked right in and found our friends! My camera and phone died pretty fast so we didn’t get a ton of pics but man did we have a good crew.

Amnesia was super packed so it was great that we ended up in VIP where we could move.

I only got a quick video of an aerialist before my camera battery died, but you can see how packed it was.

After this ended we went home and slept for a bit, but then made it to the Cocoon Heroes after party on the beach with Sven Vath spinning. As my friend Scotty says, “What a Scene!”

What a great day, but there was even more good music to come!  But that will be in the next article 🙂

 

 

Ibiza Closing Parties: Luciano & Friends, Hot Natured, Marco Carola Music On

This article is the fourth in a series on my month long trip to Ibiza for the closing parties and Amsterdam for the Amsterdam Dance Event.

  1. How I am going to the Ibiza closing parties and Amsterdam Dance Event in business class for $239
  2. Ibiza Here I come!
  3. Arrival in Ibiza – SIM cards, hotels and my first night of clubbing
  4. Ibiza Closing Parties: Luciano & Friends, Hot Natured, Marco Carola Music On
  5. Ibiza Closing Parties: Vagabundos at Pacha, Circo Loco at DC-10, Cocoon Heroes Closing at Amnesia
  6. Ibiza Closing Parties: Ovum Closing at Space, Cafe Del Mar, and r:piar:r Closing at Privilege
  7. Ibiza Closing Parties: Space Closing Party and Circo Loco Closing Party

The next morning I was woken up by my cell phone ringing: It was my friend Andres and he was in the lobby!  Fresh off of his birthday celebration from the night before in Rotterdam, he looked a little worse for wear.  I didn’t object to eating a Doner Kebab and then taking a nap for a few hours.  When we woke up later, we decided to hit the ground running by going to the Luciano & Friends Closing Party at Ushuaia.

This venue just got really popular last year and it is impressive!  It is an outdoor space surrounding a pool with a massive courtyard packed with people.

The production level was very high with it almost being a festival type of stage setup and thousands of people.

We also met up with this awesome couple from Vancouver that I had met the night before at Space.

In usual Vagabundos form, they handed out top hats to all of the partiers at one point during the performance and we came home with a few.

This party went from 5 PM until midnight, but then it was time for the Hot Creations closing party at DC-10! The lineup was stacked with Deep House talent such as Jamie Jones, Miguel Campbell, Solomun, and Cassy.

Here is a video of Jamie Jones getting funky.

It was here that the first of many “Small World” moments happened.  We are dancing on the terrace when I hear “Hey, It’s John Butler!”  I turn around to see none other than my friends Jamie and Marisela from Miami!

I had no idea they were even going to be in town! We ended up dancing with them for a while and had an amazing time.  We also met these cool girls from L.A. of all places and hung out with them a bit along with the Vancouver people.

We also ran into Amanda from Miami and her boyfriend Ben, who live in London now, another completely expected treat.

When the party ended about 7, we found our way back to the hotel and crashed out.

Friday was one of the days I was most looking forward to, the Marco Carola Music On Closing Party at Amnesia.

We got there a little late, but got to see a lot of Joseph Capriati’s set and were there in time to see Marco start spinning at 4:30 a.m.  After spending some time in the throngs of people, we found a secret (well not so secret) dance platform where it was much cooler and we had more room to move.

It was here that I had my second small world moment when I saw someone from the upstairs VIP balcony frantically motioning for my attention.  It was none other than my friend Nicolas from Miami who I didn’t even know was in town.  Thanks to some creative VIP band dropping from the balcony, I was able to go upstairs and see a bunch of folks from Miami including David Diego who had been in Ibiza for the season.  It was so great to see these guys so far from home!

Marco ended up spinning until almost noon (I felt like I was back home at Space in Miami :D) finishing with the classic track “You spin me round”!

But I heard two of my favorite words mentioned while I was in VIP: After Party. There was an after party at a place called La Plage on the sand.  Were we interested? Oh Yeah! We went back to our hotel, changed into beach gear and headed over.  As we approached the spot, we knew it was looking like a good time.

20E cover to see the same DJ we had paid 50E for the night before in a much more intimate setting. There I again ran into David and Nicolas who worked some VIP magic to get us in the much less crowded area where everyone seemed to know everyone else.

Marco ended up spinning another 12 hours of minimal techno sounds making it a marathon 20 hour session when included with the time at Amnesia. And I heard he went straight from that party to a jet to spin at Timewarp in Italy. What a machine!

Andres bowed out early, but I was transfixed by the minimal sounds so I ended up meeting some amazing people and stayed until the end of the after party at midnight.  I then headed back to the hotel and crashed.  We had had plans to go to the animal themed Zoo project that afternoon, but as they say in Ibiza: “It is great to have plans in Ibiza, but things don’t always go as planned here.”

 

Arrival in Ibiza – SIM cards, hotels and my first night of clubbing

This article is the third in a series on my month long trip to Ibiza for the closing parties and Amsterdam for the Amsterdam Dance Event.

  1. How I am going to the Ibiza closing parties and Amsterdam Dance Event in business class for $239
  2. Ibiza Here I come!
  3. Arrival in Ibiza – SIM cards, hotels and my first night of clubbing
  4. Ibiza Closing Parties: Luciano & Friends, Hot Natured, Marco Carola Music On
  5. Ibiza Closing Parties: Vagabundos at Pacha, Circo Loco at DC-10, Cocoon Heroes Closing at Amnesia
  6. Ibiza Closing Parties: Ovum Closing at Space, Cafe Del Mar, and r:piar:r Closing at Privilege
  7. Ibiza Closing Parties: Space Closing Party and Circo Loco Closing Party

Backtracking a little, upon arrival in the Barcelona airport, I picked up a local Orange prepaid SIM card for my unlocked iPhone at the telecom shop located inside Terminal 1.  When I was on my around the world trip, my unlocked iPhone was a critical tool that made my trip so much more enjoyable and hassle free.  The availability of maps, calling tools such as Skype, and my favorite app Offline Travel Guide (which has offline information for the entire world that you can access without using data) makes traveling so much easier. It was 10E for the SIM card that came with 5E credit.  The voice and data plan was 4.24E a week and included unlimited data (100MB at high speed 3G and then the rest at a reduced speed), 50 SMS, 9c a minute for Spanish calls.  They also offered a promotion where for 30E I could get the SIM card and 40E of credit which I took.  With some local calling, it ended up being perfect for my two weeks there with me running out of credit on my last day.

The hotel, like the trip, was a bit of a last minute decision, booked just hours before I boarded my Lufthansa flight. I knew that Playa D’en Bossa was a great location within walking distance to Ibiza Town and the port as well as a 15 minute walk to the megaclubs of Space and Ushuaia. Being a points junkie I first looked around for any sort of a chain hotel where I could use my hoard of points. However, on this island there really aren’t any chain hotels!  It seems that a lot of the local hotels are run by an outfit called Grupo Del Sol which unfortunately didn’t have any frequent traveler program. I then went to Kayak and started looking around and came across a pretty attractively priced double room at a place called Mare Nostrum that was around $62 including taxes a night for the two week stay.

If there is just two in your group a hotel or apartment is probably the right choice but for groups of 4 or more I would look at some of the villa rentals available which can often be the same price when all is said and done. The hotel was in a great location right across the street from the beach and was modern enough for my needs. Since I was going to be hitting the nightclubs often, good air conditioning and blackout shades were critical and this room had both.  It seemed to be sort of a party hotel with a lot of 20-30 age guests, a huge pool, and an optional all inclusive plan.

I had arrived earlier than Andres to attend the “be” party at Space.

A friend of mine is the girlfriend of one of the DJ’s spinning that night, D. Ramirez and got me on his guestlist which saved me the 35E cover charge.

She was able to get me a wristband which allowed me DJ booth access so I started the trip off in style enjoying the bottle service they provide for the DJs.

Here is a video of some stilt walkers that Space brought out for this party.

After he finished his set, we all took went to another dark club called Sankey’s that is popular with the UK crowd with a pair of DJs called Basement Jaxx spinning, again whisked through the entry line on the guestlist.

Being on a guestlist is one of the real hidden gems in Ibiza.  If you have the connections to make it happen, it can save you a big chunk of change since the cover charges ran an average of 50E for the closing parties! There is a great rooftop deck there that is perfect when you need to take a break from dancing or want to chat up that lady friend you met downstairs.  My first night ended at a reasonable 5 AM because I knew Andres was arriving the next day and we had a full calendar of partying planned. More to come soon!

Ibiza, here I come!

This article is the second in a series on my month long trip to Ibiza for the closing parties and Amsterdam for the Amsterdam Dance Event.

  1. How I am going to the Ibiza closing parties and Amsterdam Dance Event in business class for $239
  2. Ibiza Here I come!
  3. Arrival in Ibiza – SIM cards, hotels and my first night of clubbing
  4. Ibiza Closing Parties: Luciano & Friends, Hot Natured, Marco Carola Music On
  5. Ibiza Closing Parties: Vagabundos at Pacha, Circo Loco at DC-10, Cocoon Heroes Closing at Amnesia
  6. Ibiza Closing Parties: Ovum Closing at Space, Cafe Del Mar, and r:piar:r Closing at Privilege
  7. Ibiza Closing Parties: Space Closing Party and Circo Loco Closing Party

I’m starting this article via in flight wifi on my Lufthansa business class flight to Barcelona via Frankfurt. I got this trip using 100,000 United miles that I discussed in the article. I was happy to find out that it was available on the transatlantic flight for 20 Euro for a 24 hour pass.  Lufthansa in currently in the process of rolling out an all new business class product to their fleet with lie flat seating.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t available on my flight so I can describe the old product in a minute which will still be around for a bit since these rollouts don’t happen overnight. One of my favorite benefits for flying in premium cabins is lounge access at the airport before your flight or during layovers.  Before I went on my around the world trip I didn’t really know how convenient lounges can be.  The top benefits are free wifi, comfortable seating, free alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, and free snacks (in some cases meals).  Some lounges even have showers and sleeping rooms which are great on layovers or after a long flight. I enjoy this benefit so much that I find myself planning longer layovers so I can get some work done or getting to the airport early to grab a snack before my flight instead of waiting until the last possible second like I sometimes do. I was flying out of the international terminal at MIA with Lufthansa so I had access to the Club America lounge located there.

Compared to other lounges I have visited this one was a bit sparce.  It was packed but there was still seating available. The bar was sufficient and I enjoyed a Dos Equis, but the food options were limited to a sampling of nuts. What is this, an airline? 😉 Once I  made it on the plane, I checked out my spot for the 8 hour flight to Frankfurt: While it didn’t have the upgraded lie flat seating, the seats were comfortable enough and in a reclined mode I didn’t have any problems knocking out for 5 hours after the meal of shrimp couscous risotto. After my rest I had the omelette for breakfast before my layover in Frankfurt. The Frankfurt lounge (which is the worldwide hub for Lufthansa) had a huge, packed, but very nice lounge with all sorts of food and drink goodies as well as showers available.

After my layover I took my flight to Barcelona.  Since my flight was on one of the Lufthansa regional carriers my seat was more like an economy seat with additional space between them.  My flight to Ibiza I had booked with discount carrier RyanAir and I made sure to print my boarding pass and prepay for checking my bag so I wouldn’t run into any additional fees at the airport. After the quick 55 minute flight, I arrived in Ibiza! Next stop my hotel and my first party. More soon.

How I am going to the Ibiza closing parties and the Amsterdam Dance Event in business class for $239!

This article is the first in a series on my month long trip to Ibiza for the closing parties and Amsterdam for the Amsterdam Dance Event.

  1. How I am going to the Ibiza closing parties and Amsterdam Dance Event in business class for $239
  2. Ibiza Here I come!
  3. Arrival in Ibiza – SIM cards, hotels and my first night of clubbing
  4. Ibiza Closing Parties: Luciano & Friends, Hot Natured, Marco Carola Music On
  5. Ibiza Closing Parties: Vagabundos at Pacha, Circo Loco at DC-10, Cocoon Heroes Closing at Amnesia
  6. Ibiza Closing Parties: Ovum Closing at Space, Cafe Del Mar, and r:piar:r Closing at Privilege
  7. Ibiza Closing Parties: Space Closing Party and Circo Loco Closing Party

It started simply enough, with a Facebook message four days ago from my best friend Andres:

“dude lets go to the ibiza closing parties!!! smile….wat u think about that?? and after that u can come for the Amsterdam dance event in october here in netherlands….awakenings festivals and more!!! like wmc but in amsterdam!!”

The reason I love points and miles is because 1) I love to travel and 2) It gives you flexibility to plan last minute vacations that would otherwise be priced out of reach.  While I spend a ton of time on this site discussing ways to accumulate massive amounts of points (such as the Easy Quarter Million, my 189,000+ point Sears shopping Spree, and 100,000 Club Carlson Points Bonanza), the main reason I do this is to spend the points on free travel! My Ultimate Rewards balance had gotten to well over 500,000 points due in part to the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign up bonus of 50,000 (now 40,000) and the Chase Ink Bold sign up bonus of 50,000.  This meant I could plan a trip without making too big of a dent in my war chest.  In addition, since points tend to devalue over time, it is a good idea to use them before the programs nerf the rewards.

My first stop was the great Frequent Flyer Redemption Options of the Wandering Aramean .  This page allows you to input city pairs and find out which programs require the fewest miles.  When I entered MIA to IBZ, I saw totals of 80,000 to 215,000 for business class.

Another of the reasons I love the frequent flyer game is it allows you to travel in style in business class instead of cramped in coach for long flights.  As a general rule, I try to fly anything over 3 hours in business class if possible.  While JAL had the best rate at 80,000 (for Oneworld partner flights), there wasn’t much availability on the dates I needed.  And ANA had the same 80,000 rate and had good availability, but they charge high fuel surcharges for European carrier redemptions. Since the award availability was there on Star Alliance (which ANA is part of), I looked to United Airlines which is also part of Star Alliance.  Even better, they are an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, and don’t charge any fuel surcharges. Score!

An additional benefit of United is they offer one free stopover and two open jaws on roundtrip tickets.  If this sounds like Greek to you, you are not alone! But what that means is you can stop along your route once for as long as you like, then continue to your final destination (a “stopover”).  An open jaw means you could land in one city and take off in another (example, fly to London, then take the chunnel over to Paris, then fly back home from there).  In my case, I wanted to go to both Ibiza and Amsterdam, so the free stopover would work perfectly!  Amsterdam would be my final destination and Ibiza would be my stopover since it is “sort of” on the way in a normal routing.  I actually booked the whole thing through Barcelona instead because Ibiza wasn’t showing availability and will pick up a cheap $100 flight from Barcelona to Ibiza.  And I could do this whole trip for 100,000 MileagePlus miles in business class!

I’m going to do a separate article about how to book stopovers on United, but the end results of my work was:

So for 100,000 miles and $239, I would be booked!  You can see that this business class flight would have cost $12,918 if I had paid cash for it!(not that I would ever pay that much)  That gives me a cash/point value of 12 cents per mile!  Awesome!  I had to call in to get them to change the last flight to a flight an hour later that had business class availability. For some reason, it wasn’t showing up online when I booked the whole itinerary, but it showed up when I tried to book a one way flight from EWR to FLL on those dates.

But as you can see, I only had 1026 miles in my United account. Ultimate Rewards to the rescue!  I logged onto my Chase Ink Bold account, and transferred 99,000 points over to United Mileageplus that were available more or less immediately.

I was then able to book the whole thing.  I did have to pay $75 more than I could have since I was booking less than 21 days from  the date of departure(included in the $239). I used my Amex Business Gold Rewards card to get 3X Membership Rewards points on airfare, so I will be 717 miles closer to my next trip!

There are really too many big names to list that will be both in Ibiza and Amsterdam, such as Ricardo Villalobos, Loco Dice, Luciano, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler and many more.  But if you want the full list check out this link for Ibiza and this link for Amsterdam.

And as always I will blog and post pics and videos of the trip for your reading pleasure. Well, that’s it for now, off to plan some hotels!

How I’m going to Get Lost LA and Burning Man for $12.50.

One of the great things about acquiring points and miles is that you can plan last minute trips that would normally be too expensive otherwise.  One of the top global parties every year is Burning Man which takes place in the middle of the desert in Nevada in the week leading up to each Labor Day.  Imagine you and 50,000 of your closest friends coming for a week and creating a city of art, music and memories.  The ideas of sustainability and “Leaving no Trace” are central to the festival and the idea is you take away whatever you bring so the desert (playa) is left exactly as it was when you found it.   I have been wanting to go for many years and decided that this was my year! This is just the lineup from one of the many parties at burning man this year.

Luck had it that immediately before Burning Man was another amazing party called Get Lost in Los Angeles.  The Get Lost parties during Winter Music Conference in Miami are some of the most talked about every year and the music and artists are amazing.

I decided to see if I could plan a trip to do both parties, first Get Lost in LA then Burning Man.  If I could get a good deal on the plane tickets which is often the biggest hurdle for most people then I could get the experience of a lifetime on a small budget.

Since I had oodles of Southwest Points that I got by buying and selling Sears merchandise, I wanted to see if I could use those to make it happen.  When I looked around, I was surprised to see some really reasonable point values still available.  Long story short this is what I was able to find.

So for almost 26,000 points and $12.50 I had my tickets!  Since Southwest uses a fixed ratio of 60 points per dollar for Wanna Get Away fares, this gave me a value of $433 for those points.  I am staying with some friends in LA and at Burning Man so there will be some other expenses, but when you can get the flights for free, it makes it much easier to make the other ends meet.

While that great Sears offer I took advantage previously isn’t available any more, what IS available is a 50,000 offer for the Chase Rapid Rewards card.  Spending just 1000 in 3 months will get you the 50,000 points which is enough for 2 incredible trips (or more) like I just booked!  I really don’t know why people pay for flights when it is so easy to get them for free.  Get on board and join me traveling around this amazing world of ours!

Lima, Peru Airport Lounges

After missing my flight in Santiago (mental note, always check in 24 hours ahead of time), I ended up with a 12 hour layover in Lima from 12 AM to 12 PM. I wasn’t sure until I arrived in Lima if I would be able to make an earlier connection so I didn’t arrange a hotel or hostel ahead of time. I also would have needed to go through immigration and security again if I had left the airport so I decided to check out the lounges and camp out until I my flight left. When I had been in Lima previously, I had used the “VIP Club” lounge which while a bit crowded had a good food selection.  I had noticed another lounge called the “Sumaq VIP Lounge” but had assumed that it for for a different airline than LAN which I was flying.  This time I decided to ask and found out that like Santiago, you can use either lounge when flying business class with LAN.  As I walked into the lounge, I could already tell it was a bit nicer than the VIP Club lounge with plush furniture and a glass cabinet showing off some silver items which really gave it an upscale feel.

Sumaq Lounge Lima

There was also a very nice wood paneled bar with many different liquors on offer and an accommodating bartender ready to chat the night away if needed.

Sumaq Lounge Lima

Since I had been in the airport all day the day before and arrived after midnight, I was happy to see that they not only offered showers for your use but also had a rest area room with these comfortable looking chaises where you could get a bit of rest if needed.

Sumaq Lounge Lima

The food was typical if a bit lighter than the VIP club room.  In the morning they had hard boiled eggs, cereals, toast and jellies.  They had the requisite fancy coffee maker for your latte or expresso needs and even a fresh squeezed orange just machine that would cut and squeeze you a class when you fed it the supplied oranges.  The internet was shared with the other VIP lounge and in typical Peruvian fashion it was quite slow with 380K down and 100K up.  I certainly would get frustrated trying to send any large files here!

Having a shower and then napping for a few hours made my long layover much more enjoyable and made me refreshed and ready to tackle the 7 hour flight back to Miami.  Particularly for overnight layovers, I would recommend the Sumaq lounge instead of the VIP lounge in Lima.

Santiago, Chile Airport Lounges

Since I ended up missing my connection to Lima and onto Miami, I had the opportunity to spend about 8 hours in the Santiago airport while I was waiting for my flight.  I found out that they have not one, not two, but three different lounges for LAN Business class lounges:  One Admiral’s Club, One LAN “Naruda” VIP lounge, and one catch all Salon VIP lounge which you can get into with your Platinum Amex, Priority Pass and a bunch of other loyalty programs and alliances. I thought this information might be useful for anyone who might be considering a trip to Santiago since I feel that the lounge access is one of the hidden gems of flying business class.  You can take the stress out of the airport by arriving early for your flight and have a comfortable place to work or surf while enjoying the free food and often times top shelf liquor on offer.

I started at the Admiral Club lounge, which had a rich feel to it with dark wood panelling and was quiet as a church without the usual TV noise that many lounges have.

Admiral's Club Lounge SantiagoIt is definitely the poshest of the three lounges with showers on offer and a nice serene environment.  I had a salad with oil and vinegar dressing and some chicken noodle soup, but I was looking for some more substantial food so I planned on checking out the other lounges to see what goodies they had.  I overheard one of the patrons raving about the wine selection and since I had just completed a wine tour the day before with copious amounts consumed, I decided not to partake.  I also connected to the wifi using the provided password and found speeds of about 700K up and 120K down, typical of a slower DSL type connection and not good for mailing off a bunch of huge pictures from Peru to my family.  When I arrived at the lounge the girls at reception assured me it was the nicest of the lounges and if you need to take a shower or want a really quiet place to work, I would tend to agree. They also had a business center on offer with internet kiosks and printers.

I then went to the LAN VIP lounge and as I checked in commented on how there was 3 lounge access with my LAN Business class ticket, they then assured me that their lounge was the nicest 🙂  The LAN lounge had a bit more modern feel to it with light wood panel walls and more contemporary furniture.

The food was much better at 4 PM when I was there with a variety of cheese and meat plates, finger sandwiches and later they brought in sushi which was a nice treat.  The most important thing to me as a travel blogger is that their internet was much faster at almost 2.5 MB upstream and down.  This allowed me to quickly send the 50 pictures to my family that they were waiting for which would have taken a long time at the other lounge. Another thing that was nice about this lounge was they had a “Rest Area” which was a separate enclosed room with dimmed lights, chaises with pillows and blankets which I took advantage of for a power nap.

The third lounge I actually only saw from the outside before I went to the LAN lounge and can tell you that it is definitely the most downmarket of the three lounges.  But since it is meant for pretty much any business class flight and you can get in many other ways such as Priority Pass and Platinum American Express this makes sense.  I saw that it had food and drinks on offer, but it just seemed a bit less impressive and I was happy enough in the LAN lounge that I never ended up checking it out.

I anticipate having an overnight in Lima before I can catch a flight back to Miami so I will probably have some time and can review the Lima lounge as well tomorrow. My trip was a short 12 days but I am honestly glad to get back home.  I will be putting up more detailed trip reports in future days but wanted to get this up since I had some time to kill while waiting for my flight.