The Most Romantic Luxury Room Packages for Valentine’s

To celebrate the Valentine’s season this 2013, these three luxury 5-star hotels have gone all out with their romantic room packages!

1. Dusit Thani Hotel – Just For Two Room Package
Roses. Chocolates. Strawberries. Spa. Limo. The works! Feel like a royal couple with the ff. inclusions:
- Overnight Accommodation in a Deluxe Room
- daily buffet breakfast for two
- in-room wine set-up with fresh strawberries and pralines
- bathtub garlanded with rose petals and scented oil burner
- a couple‚Äôs massage treatment at Devarana Spa (and may I add the hotel is the Platinum Winner: ‘Spa of the Year’ and ‘Signature Spa Experience’ at the HAPA Awards from 2011-2013)
- romantic dinner for two at Tosca
- optional: round-trip chauffeured limousine service.

2. Hotel InterContinental – Suite Romantic Package
Dine and Party with your loved one via the ff. inclusions:
- in-room breakfast for two
- dinner for two at the poolside garden with a bottle of house wine and live entertainment
- complimentary pass at ICON club
- P500 spa credit every night
- Valentine turndown treat

Also, book a room with them from February 14 to 17, and enjoy discounts / freebies:
- 50% off on Best Flex Rates at Cafe Jeepney and the critically acclaimed restaurant, Prince Albert Rotisserie
- Complimentary drinks for 2
- Priority seating

3. Manila Peninsula – Musical Valentine Room Package
They say music is the language of love and the Manila Peninsula seems to agree! Enjoy one of the ff. room types:
Deluxe Room – PHP 16,500++
Premier Suite – PHP 20,500++

and get the following musical treats:
- A surprise “musical check-in”
- Tickets (with preferred seating) to “They’re Playing Our Song”
- Afternoon Tea buffet for two at The Lobby
- Round-trip limousine transfer to RCBC Theater to watch “They’re Playing Our Song”
- Three-course dinner for two in Old Manila with a glass of Champagne and a bouquet of flowers
- “They’re Playing Our Song” room amenities
- Buffet breakfast for two adults in Escolta

It’s interesting to note that these three 5-star hotels interpreted romance in three different ways as well. Which of the three packages suits you and your significant other? Whether it’s royal treatment, lively entertainment, or music, the important thing is to enjoy your company ;)

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Official details on Dusit’s Just for Two room package

Manila Hotel Roof Decks for a Romantic Valentine’s Date

A Roof with a View

Valentine’s is in the air. It’s one of those times when a couple wants to get away from routine and spend a special moment together. What could be more romantic than spending it on a rooftop overlooking the Makati (or Manila) skyline? The cityscape looks like a painting as the sun sets in the hues of orange and red; at night it becomes a shining portrait of city lights dotted with some stars in the sky.

There are several hotels in Metro Manila with a roofdeck bar and/or swimming pool / jacuzzi:
City Garden Makati Hotel roof deck pool and restaurant 1. City Garden Hotel, Makati – I’ve already blogged about City Garden Hotel when I rounded up some fabulous, budget-friendly Christmas party hotel venues but I felt like their rooftop restaurant and swimming pool (albeit small) needs more recognition and mention. I’ve had the privilege of visiting the place and I can attest that their view is tops (pun unintended). You get to literally eat amidst a wide expanse of sky and city, without any nearby buildings blocking your view. The food is also very tasty and budget-friendly!

Rooftop bar in Manila Hotel, Bayleaf 2. The posh Sky Deck in Bayleaf, Intramuros, Manila offers a view of the famous Manila bay, which looks particularly riveting when the sun sets. It converts into a bar at night so you are assured of a long list of drinks and bar chow to enjoy. On Saturday and Sunday, you can enjoy a buffet of mouthwatering international dishes. The place is so stunning that the Bayleaf Hotel Roofdeck was featured by Yahoo! Travel (UK)

3. When you book any of the affordable rooms at the Prince Plaza (rates start at PHP3,000), you can enjoy your included buffet breakfast at the rooftop. You also get to take a swim in their rooftop swimming pool. I’ve had the pleasure of booking their rooftop as a party venue and it was lovely especially at night.

St. Giles Hotel in Makati Rooftop swimming pool 4. St. Giles Hotel is located within the vicinity of City Garden Hotel and also offers a rooftop swimming pool. The swimming pool of St. Giles looks quite luxurious and is slightly bigger than City Garden’s, so if swimming is your primary purpose, this would be a better bet. However, there is no restaurant here.

5. The stylish Hotel Celeste also offers a rooftop treat. Enjoy a dip in their rooftop jacuzzi and indulge a little with a glass of champagne. They also have a French restaurant which has garnered some rave reviews – pricier than the food at City Garden, but more gourmet as well. You should consider booking a room here as well. The rooms are designed in such a lavish, regal manner.

Roof Deck bar at Crown Regency Hotel in Makati 6. The roof deck bar of the Crown Regency Hotel in Makati, appropriately named Tops, is only open at night (6PM to 2AM). It’s an inviting, unassuming place for a night cap with your loved one, or even drinks with friends on a non-Valentines day.

What are your Valentine’s date plans? Share them below!

A Merry Christmas at the Ayala Triangle Lights Show

Before anything else, Merry Christmas everyone! Everyone is probably getting ready for their noche buena, and excited about loved ones coming over from different parts of the country… and the globe. And I’m sure everyone’s excited about the good food too!

For another festive event to celebrate the holidays, do head to Ayala Triangle for their annual musical light show! This year was my very first time experiencing the show firsthand. I’ve heard many of my friends rave about it and I can finally tell you guys that their raves were NOT exaggerated.

I suggest dropping by around 5PM or earlier so you have a slot in the parking lot conveniently situated beside the Ayala Triangle. As the air is cooler this time of the year, it’s just a great refreshing feel to be walking amidst greenery. A line of restaurants on one side presents some delicious choices. Though the prices are not cheap (around P300 above per person), the dishes do not disappoint (at least in our case; we ate at MoMo), and really maintains the mood for the night.

(picture taken from CNN)

Finally, once 6PM nears, rush over to the lights show and prepare yourself for a spectacle. The trees have all been donned with lights and lights are also cascading from the ceiling. Apart from that, there are balls of light in festive colors of red, blue, etc. too that add a whimsical touch! When the music starts, the lights start flickering to the tune of the music, and the balls – they actually go up and down! The area certainly bursts into life with the sound!

Can’t get enough of the lights? Not to worry, a show starts every 30 minutes and each show of the night uses a DIFFERENT set of tunes so you won’t get bored!

Ayala Garden Lights Show of 2012

What are you waiting for? Head on over there now! The show ends on December 30.

Christmas Party Venues in Makati – Hotel Function Rooms

Can you feel Christmas inching closer and closer? I can! The moment Ayala put up its bright white light display on the streets and at the Ayala Triangle (more about lights on the next post!), I immediately felt the holiday spirit… sans the cool weather unfortunately, but I’ll let that minor detail pass ;)

While Christmas is associated with all things cheery, the season also happens to be the busiest with people scurrying about catching year-end deadlines, gift shopping, and planning parties.

Allow me to help you a bit with the third task by giving you a few Christmas party venue choices in Makati, from small groups to large shindigs (for the companies, most especially):

Hotel Venues

Hotels are a great place to start. They have been built with providing good service to its guests in mind so you can expect function rooms that have been carefully laid out, with all the necessary inclusions.

Most, if not all of them, already provide sumptuous catering services.

  1. The Prince Plaza condotel has a cozy rooftop venue with a swimming pool. For a party of less than 50, you can opt to just reserve the enclosed, air-conditioned function room but for a bigger party you can extend towards the swimming pool. This is an especially good place for a party at night as your guests ooh and aah at the Makati skyline view. Of course, the con would be the unpredictable weather, which could end up with all the guests being ushered back into the enclosed function room. You can opt to package the venue complete with catering, but they are also willing to let you choose your own catering, so you can scout for cheaper rates.

    Sans the catering, the pool + function room venue costs around 12K for 4 hours. One con of this is that the condotel does not have a lavish looking lobby but for corporate events this should not be such a big deal.


  2. The City Garden Hotel in Makati Avenue also has a fabulously cozy roof deck. The whole venue is open-air and smaller than Prince Plaza but it also bestows a breathtaking view of Makati which looks even prettier when it is bedecked in lights at night. If you’re afraid of weather conditions, you can opt to rent their enclosed air-conditioned function room at the lower floors. Their rooms can cater 30 to 150 guests for cocktail-style parties and banquets, so there’s surely a venue for everyone!

    What I like about this hotel is its very clean interiors and sophisticated lobby, which is currently embellished in tasteful Christmas decor.

  3. Of course, if price is not an option, consider one of the many luxury hotels that line the city of Makati, like the Mandarin Oriental Manila. I can still remember the very lavish and elegant wedding party my friend held some few years ago, and the impeccable service of the hotel’s staff. One can’t also forget the gastronomical delights the hotel’s catering provides.

    What I particularly love about Mandarin Oriental is that it takes variety to the next level. Imagine: 15 different function rooms which can hold an intimate group of 30 up to a large company of 1000! You can check out full details about Mandarin Oriental’s meeting venues here


Celebrate Thanksgiving in a Manila Hotel near you!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner… 3 days away in fact! The celebration is a big thing in the United States. It’s the time when families get together, carve a whole large turkey with all the delicious trimmings, and eat other delicious side dishes that go well with the turkey. It’s all about festivity and even the turkey is a testament to this. Case in point:

manila peninsula turkey 2012

Convinced enough? Are you feeling warm tingles and raring to dig your fork and knife into this succulent feast? Wait no longer! Here is a list of Thanksgiving meals you can enjoy in a Manila hotel near you! They come from some of the most reputable luxury hotels in the country, which makes sense, since they are also the leaders in International cuisine.

In Makati:
1. Manila Peninsula (pictured above)
When: November 22
Where: lobby, Escolta, Old Manila at the Manila Peninsula, Corner of Ayala and Makati Avenue
What and How much:
a. Lobby: three-course lunch and dinner menu at PHP 1,250++ per adult and PHP 750++ per child under 12.
b. Escolta: Thanksgiving lunch buffet at PHP 1,350++ per adult and PHP 810++ per child under 12. Dinner buffet at PHP 1,450++ per adult and PHP 870++ per child under 12.
c. Old Manila: four-course lunch and dinner menu at PHP 1,750++ per person.
Call: 887-2888

2. Hotel Intercontinental, Makati
When: November 22 and 23 (lunch and dinner), November 24 (dinner only)
Where: Prince Albert Rotisserie at Hotel Intercontinental, Ayala Avenue
What and How much: 4-course menu for PHP 2,200++ per person
Call: 793-7000

Intercontinental hotel, thanksgiving at prince albert

In Ortigas / Pasig:
3. Oakwood Premier Joy-Nostalg Center
When: November 22, 6:00PM to 11:00PM
Where: Oakroom Restaurant and Bar, Oakwood Premier, 17 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
What and How much: 4-course dinner for PHP1,000 nett per person
Traditional roasted turkey with sage and sausage stuffing, braised brussel sprouts, whipped potato, cranberry-orange compote and giblet gravy.
Call: 719-1160

turkey oakroom at Oakwood Pasig Ortigas

Know of any other hotels serving up a Thanksgiving feast this 2012? Post a comment below!

Check out our Hotel Booking Promos and Deals!

We’re very excited to tell you that we’ve officially launched a new feature – our hotel booking deals! We have scoured budget-friendly rates for some of the great hotels in the city. And just in time too – the holiday season is just around the corner and families from all over the country (and the world) are driving (and flying) back to the Philippines to reunite with loved ones. Then, there is also the pack of tourists dropping by to see what our beautiful country has to offer – now more than ever according to the Department of Tourism (good job, guys!)

We’re still in the process of uploading all our promo room rates but for now, you may check out the following hotels:

1. Here is our batch of affordable hotel rates just a brief walk away from the Ayala Malls (more to come very soon – expect it in a few days!)

BSA Mansion
Prince Plaza II
Asian Mansion II

2. The Citadel Inn hotel is located slightly farther from the Ayala Malls. It is situated in between Ayala Malls and the upscale Rockwell Mall, both of which are a mere 5 to 10 minute drive away. It offers quite affordable rates though and one of its best features is the 3 bedroom suite – a perfect saving tip for large groups! At just a little over 4,000, 7 persons can stay comfortably in one room – that’s just over P600/person!

All the hotels above have a swimming pool, if you want to cool off in this tropical climate of ours.

Enjoy your booking and your stay!

Makati – The Best Retirement Spot in the Philippines

Aside from being a great tourist spot, with its vast choices of accommodations and dining facilities, Makati was recently dubbed as the most retiree-friendly and ageing-friendly city in the Philippines as well. The criteria? Outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information, community, and health services.

And with good reason too. For starters, the senior citizen program of Makati is unparalleled in the Philippines. Aside from mid-year and end-of-year allowances, citizens ages 60 and above get several “lifestyle” perks including free movies at any of the Ayala malls, birthday cakes, free entrance to the Museum of Makati, free haircuts, and several other social welfare benefits. For their health, they are given free massage treatments, medical benefits, regular consultations, home services, readily available blood donors, and mobility aids if need be. To top it off, they are exempted from number coding – a very big privilege indeed especially in a city which doesn’t give number coding windows and rarely follows the MMDA coding exemptions during holidays.

The city of Makati also has a lot to offer in terms of scenery. Despite being heavily commercialized, you can find a couple of parks and recreational centers amidst the skyscrapers. The Ayala mall complex is also dotted with some greenery. Modern conveniences have not been traded for the rich cultural heritage of the past either. Tourists will enjoy the different traditions and fiestas that are still being continued, like the Flores de Mayo, Belen sa Makati, and Caracol. In short, the city has a lot of great photo-worthy locations as well!

Add to that the well-known Filipino brand of hospitality and it is no wonder why Makati has the biggest number of retirees coming from Asia and why the Philippines as a whole is such a haven for foreign seniors – another great contribution to our booming tourism industry.


Make it Happen. Make it Makati. Official Website + Promo

Have you guys checked out the official website of Make it Makati? It’s a very vibrant website in bright colors – an appropriate representation of the dynamic city of Makati. It shows all the events happening in the city and all the delicious dining treats you can enjoy. Quite notably, it has a walking map – the perfect guide for tourists who want to stroll the city.

Whether you want to burn your credit card through all the shopping places in the Ayala area, eat to your stomach’s content, or soak up some culture at the heritage sites, there is always something for everyone in Makati and the website makes sure you know where to go to fulfill your travel itineraries.

The site also has a print companion called the Leads magazine, a free downloadable PDF guide, and to further spread the word about it, the campaign is currently holding a promo for a chance to win a an overnight stay for two at the Hotel Intercontinental Manila!

Here are the promo mechanics:

Step 1. Download the Leads Magazine:

Step 2. Take a photo of yourself in Makati, as your personal interpretation of the slogan: “Make it Happen. Make it Makati.” It can be a picture of you with friends painting the city red at night, or it can be your view from your favorite spot at a coffee shop.

Step 3. Send the photo in jpeg format to, and provide a line or two as the caption.

Deadline of entries is on August 15.

5 star hotels near Ayala Malls (with walking directions)

While there are several affordable hotels located within walking distance from the Ayala Malls, there are, of course, also a couple of 5 star hotels situated nearby. And since we can all use a little luxury from time to time, we decided to give you a list of these hotels, in case you decided to indulge on your trip, or opted to enjoy these hotels’ sumptuous buffets:

1. New World Hotel
Immediate Landmarks: Greenbelt 3, there are also a couple of stores lining the outside of the hotel, including a hair salon, a second-hand luxury bag shop, furniture store, cafe, and a tailor.

Directions: From Greenbelt 3, cross the street towards the main entrance.

Pedestrian-friendly: Great. In my opinion, it is the easiest and safest to get to via walking. There is almost always a security guard ushering pedestrians towards the other side and even if there isn’t a guard, there is an island in the middle of the two-way lane for you to cross safely. Once you get there, there is an easy pedestrian lane going towards the entrance of the hotel. For those commuting, it is conveniently right in front of the MRT station.

Notable Info: Their Chinese restaurant, Jasmin, offers authentic, delicious treats.

2. Dusit Thani Manila
Immediate Landmarks: SM Makati, Park Square 1, Glorietta 1

Option 1. From Glorietta 1, head towards SM Makati then cross the street towards the back entrance of Dusit.
Option 2. From Park square 1, cross the street towards the main entrance.

Pedestrian-friendly: Not so. There are currently no pedestrian lights going towards the hotel and no island in the middle of the two-way lane so it might be a bit tricky crossing so please walk carefully. Occasionally, a security guard will be there to assist you as well. You may also opt to get a taxi for the short ride so you can be dropped at the entrance.

Notable Info: Japanese restaurant, Umu, serves delicious authentic food.

3. Shangrila Hotel
Immediate Landmarks: The Link parking lot complex (which has a couple of restaurants, and some service-oriented shops like a dermatology center, dentist, and barber), 6750 (an office building with some restaurants at the first floor; most notably, the always packed Starbucks coffee shop)

Directions: From Glorietta or Landmark, cross the street towards the Link and then walk towards the hotel which is right beside the Link.

Pedestrian-friendly: Good. There are pedestrian lights from the Landmark Supermarket / Glorietta Mall towards the Link.

Notable Info: Has the grandest lobby among the others mentioned here, in my opinion. Once you step into the main entrance, you are graced by two spiral staircases going up, and a sprawling, inviting lobby where an orchestra plays from time to time.

4. Ascott Makati
Immediate Landmarks: Glorietta 4, SM Makati

Directions: Step outside the Glorietta 4 exit, walk a few steps towards the direction of SM Makati, and you’re there!

Pedestrian-friendly Perfect! No crossing needed from Glorietta.

Notable Info: The most salient feature of this hotel is the fact that it is located right smack in the mall complex. As opposed to the other accommodations mentioned here, Ascott is more of a serviced residence hotel.

5. Hotel Intercon
Immediate Landmarks: Glorietta 5, SM Makati

Directions: From Glorietta 5, cross the street towards the Intercon

Pedestrian-friendly: Good. There might not be a pedestrian light from Glorietta 5 to Intercon, but you just need to cross a one-way street.

Notable Info: Glorietta 5 is a pretty small mall. You should go to the other Glorietta and Greenbelt malls for more choices. Don’t worry going to these places is an easy underpass stroll.

Of course, the most important question is how much is a room? If you booked a room during this period, room rates would start, on average, at 7,500 pesos or 180USD. For some, this may be a pretty manageable price, especially for short stays and honeymoons. As always, you should look through the rates provided by each hotel to weigh and figure out the best deal – remember to consider breakfast inclusion, taxes, transfer fees, use of pool/gym, and for business travelers (or Internet addicts!) WiFi charges (if any).

Tune Hotels, a Budget Hotel chain, opens in Makati

Just opened this month of July, the Tune Hotel in Makati offers 213 rooms – 148 of which are double rooms (for 2 adults + 1 child), 63 twin rooms (for 1 adult + 1 child), and 2 accessible rooms (for 2 adults + 1 child). Tune Hotels is a chain of budget hotels under the Asian-based Red Planet Hotels Limited company. Room rates can go as low as less than P400 a night – a great deal for a Makati address. It is located in Mercado Street, which is a short distance away from Makati Avenue and around a 15 minute drive to the Ayala malls and Rockwell mall.

The Makati Tune Hotel expects occupancy of this hotel to be at a high 75% on average. Despite the low prices, the hotel is very clean and well-managed and the room decor is modern and sleek. The fact that the hotel was just recently opened is also another good quality – guests can expect new, firm beds and other furnishings in very good condition. Tune Hotels can also be found in other areas of Asia such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. It also has a hotel in London, which proves that good hospitality is universal.

Tune Hotels isn’t the only budget hotel chain to open in the Philippines. Microtel is another famous brand, which is part of the United States-based Wyndham Hotel Group, and it has accommodations in Mall of Asia, Manila, and other provinces such as Baguio, Batangas, and Cavite. There are also Philippine-based chains such as the Legend brand, which includes the Kabayan hotels in Pasay, Cubao, and Kalookan, and Go Hotels, a part of the Robinsons Land group, with locations in Bacolod, Dumaguete, and Mandaluyong, where it is conveniently located beside a mall, and right in front of the main highway. The BSA group of hotels is also an affordable set of hotels scattered around Makati and the rest of the Metro.

These affordable rooms will certainly bolster the Philippine tourism, and attract both foreign tourists and locals who would like to explore their country more.