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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

C-Boutique Hotel Baguio: Bad Choice!

"A nice hotel with bad service 
is like having a good-looking boyfriend/girlfriend who sucks." --anton

Warning: Don't be deceived by the nice photos. I am just good at it. Or say the hotel is photogenic too but a place is just a place. In the end, its the people who runs it.

This is the same review I posted on my Tripadvisor account where I am a senior reviewer. I rarely say bad things about a hotel unless I really didn't like the experience. My reviews pointed to the main points --- too pricey, bad location and poor service. Most bad reviews on Tripadvisor all point to the same factors. No wonder why C Boutique Hotel only ranks #25 of Bed and Breakfast accommodations in Baguio City. Read  reviews>>> here


Too Pricey
So-so Rooms
It was a wrong choice staying here Dec 32- Jan 1, 2017 to spend New Year in Baguio. To be fair, the hotel holds to its name as a boutique hotel. Decent place, clean, well maintained but I find it too expensive for 3,500 pesos. I would put its fair value at 2,500 pesos as it is the typical type you can find in the Metro. If you are in Baguio with your whole family and set of friends and wants to achieve peace then this is the place to go but again with no amenities to boost of don't pay above 3,000 pesos just to get a typical-looking room. To think Baguio hotels don't pay for airconditioning. 3,500 php is too much. And then the bed was not so soft. Walang wala sa 5-star bed ng Tune Hotel/ Red Planet hotel which you can have for as low as 1,800php. Power shower is good. Heated water works well except that the shower drain clogged after 2nd use. Muntik nang bumaha sa restroom.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Cucina's Tasty Indulgence #Buffet @MarcoPoloManila

You know the reason why breakfast buffets im hotels are usually cheaper than other meals of the day? Because the former is usually included in your room charge while the latter you have to pay separately. While I was very satisfied with the breakfast buffet during our stay, I thought it would be nicer if we can also try dinner buffet. I was not disappointed. After all, Cucina will not be included in Philippine Tattler's Best Restaurants in the Philippines 2016 for nothing.

Savor a new and delightful culinary experience and taste the best meaty dishes with Cucina's signature dishes. It offers a versatile dining experience complemented by a well-curated spread of international cuisine that are heavy on flavours and is made from superior ingredients. From the Seafood Station, Asian Noodles and Pasta, Carving, Cheeses and Cold Cuts and Desserts, Cucina promises to be a one-stop-shop for all the finest flavors that diners’ palates are looking for.


Cucina is consistently seen in bringing something new to the table with these new buffet signature dishes, bringing incredible flavour and tenderness, prepared to perfection.

Meat-lovers will enjoy the new line up of signature specialties definitely brings a whole new surprise to everyone’s palate. Setting up a different kind of fusion featuring the tropical fruit, pineapple, enjoy the Filipino favorite, Crispy Pata, with a different twist―stuffed with foiegras and topped with Pineapple salsa. Opt for a dairy and ocean-fresh filling with Braised Beef Roulade Stuffed with Cream Cheese, Shrimp, Fish, and Shellfish Meat. Taste the best of both worlds with the Surf and Turf Blanket, featuring Salmon and Minced Beef with Sundried Tomato.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

APERITIVO at Vu's Sky Bar and Lounge

Prior Post: Marco Polo Ortigas Manila -- Outstanding, Iconic Property with Virtually Flawless Service and Amazing Facilities @MarcoPoloManila

I was at the 45th floor of Marco Polo Ortigas last Thursday staring at traffic below.and it was hellish as ever. Nothing new in Metro Manila. So the idea of spending the afternoon at Vu's Bar where from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm they offer pre-dinner cocktails is a productive way of spending rush hour than get stuck helplessly in traffic.

Inspired by Anti Pasti Misto Buffet, APERITIVO at Vu's Sky Bar and Lounge, guests will have a buffet of Italian appetizers like cold cuts, cheeses and croquettes with unlimited beers and house wines. Take your pre-dinner drinks and appetizers to new heights.

Monday to Sunday 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm 
Php 899 nett per person 
Inclusive of VAT, service charge and local government taxes.

APERITIVO at Vu's Sky Bar and Lounge

Apart from the remarkable skyline scenery, Vu’s Sky Bar and Lounge invites diners to indulge in its vast selection of cocktails, wines and other spirits together with a well-curated line-up of dishes that is a good mix of Filipino, Spanish and other Mediterranean favorites. Aperitivo is an Italian ritual of socialising over good food and drinks. And the mood at Vu's in the afternoon I was there was one that is chill and feel-good. The al fresco section facing the mountains of Rizal province and the uninterrupted view of the city below added to the relaxed vibe of the place. It was also airy that day so I really enjoyed my stay.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

FLOW SPA @MarcoPoloManila by #AsmaraSpa

A stay at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is best complimented with a visit to  Flow Spa at the 22nd level for the best relaxation one can have. The 22nd floor is my favorite floor as it is where the pool, the gym, locker room and sauna and Flow Spa are located. We were able to fully utilize the use of all these facilities with a relaxing Urban Escape massage for 90 minutes late at night. What a good way to end a long day. A perfect culmination to a wonderful staycation.

FLOW SPA At Marco Polo Ortigas Manila offers a wide range of treatments and massage services perfect for unwinding and relaxation. It is operated by no less that Asmara Spa which is the pioneer in spa operations in the Philippines with branches in some of the best hotels in the country including Marco Polo Ortigas, Manila Peninsula, Solaire and Marco Polo Davao.


About Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

Marco Polo Origas Manila is a 5-star hotel located at the heart of the buzzling central business district of Ortigas, one of the main business districts in Metro Manila Philippines. The distinction of a 5-Star hotel as awarded by the Department of Tourism of the Philippines is not the only feather on its sleeves. It recently bagged a 5-Star category this time from the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide 2017. In the words of Forbes Travel Guide "outstanding, iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities’'. I can personally attest to that distinction. The hotel is flawless. I have nothing but good words based on our awesome experience.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

REVIEW: Marco Polo Ortigas Manila -- Outstanding, Iconic Property with Virtually Flawless Service and Amazing Facilities @MarcoPoloManila

I knew Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is a 5-star hotel but I have underestimated it. After our staycation a few weeks ago I am convinced that this hotel is worthy of a 5-star tag. Every square inch of it from the room to lobby to their restaurants that bagged Phillipine Tatler's Best Restaurant in 2017, their bar, to their indoor pool and sauna, the gym and the spa, everywhere you look it's 5-star. You can tell that every spot is expensive and well taken care of. Service is impeccable, anywhere you go you see warm faces and people are always willing to assist you even at the elevator. There are so many good things to say about this hotel that I run out of superlatives!



Nestled in the vibrant and growing commercial business district is the first purpose-built 5-star Marco Polo hotel in the Philippines.

Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is centrally located in Ortigas Commercial Business District between Quezon City, Mandaluyong and Pasig City. Hotel is accessible to organizations such as Asian Development Bank, Meralco, San Miguel Corporation, major Business Process Outsource (BPO) establishments and pharmaceutical companies.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Go Gangnam: A K-Food Festival at Food Exchange Manila from Feb 21-27 @NovotelManilaAC #GoGangnamAtNovotel

I developed a liking for Korean food back in 2008. At that time I was a newbie in a Korean company in Ortigas teaching English to Koreans online. And Korean food is not something that you fall in love with at first try especially if you hit on the spicy dishes on first sample. But give it time and it grows on you. Soon you will find yourself hooked on the distinct taste that is Korean cuisine.

Many hotels these days include a few Korean dishes in their menu or buffet offering due to the significance of Koreans on tourist arrivals in the country. The number of tourists from South Korea breached the 1 Million mark last 2014 and if data is correct, they reached 1.5 million last 2016. That's wow! Not to mention that the Philippines holds the largest number of Koreans in diaspora in Southeast Asia.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center's Food Exchange takes it further as tribute to Korea's significant contribution to the culture, entertainment and tourism industry of the Philippines by not just a few but a whole range of Korean dishes on offering. Thus, #GoGangnamAtNovotel A K-Food Festival at Food Exchange Manila from Feb 21-27.


Feast over authentic Korean dishes by Korean chef Jong-Man Kim who flew all the way from Seoul to Manila. Yes, Novotel Manila Araneta Center is that serious in providing an authentic gastronomic experience to not just Koreans living and visiting our country but also to locals, many locals, who enjoy Korean food.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Alohas Hostel 愛樂活旅舍 Hong Kong is about Warmth, Privacy, Security and Value for Money @AlohasHostel

Hong Kong, a city of 5.5 Million people bigger than the area of Metro Manila which has 9 million people feels more crowded than the latter. That at anytime of the day, above ground or underground. It feels festive even during late night but it could get a bit tiring at times because of the fast-pace life in the city. That starts to sink after a few days in the city. We felt exactly that on our 3rd day in Hong Kong so moving from a dormitory accommodation to Alohas Hostel was a welcome change in mood and pace.

It is pretty small with only around 7 rooms but the place is really homey and quiet. As I said, a pleasant change in pace as we stayed in a private room with two separate beds. Seeing the room made me feel like instantly getting some rest.


About Alohas Hostel Hong Kong
7/f, Kam Ling Building, 231 Nathan Road, Jordan, Hong Kong
Call +852 5117 3470
Email: alohashongkong@gmail.com

As a travel lover, we always want to have a comfortable and pleasant environment with a reasonable price. That's the reason why we start ALOHAS. We hope you could have a happy stay with us and great journey in Hong Kong. We always keep your experience in our heart of design because we wish you have a happy journey with us. With the assistance of local & taiwan designer, our rooms are not only comfortable but also stylish and good looking. --- Source:website

Friday, February 17, 2017

Cucina and Lung Hin, Named Two of the Best Restaurants in Philippine Tatler’s Best Restaurants Guide 2017 @MarcoPoloManila

Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is on the roll! Relatively new in the competitive Ortigas District hotel scene, it has been making headlines after headlines. Not a surprise because this hotel has a lot on its sleeves. A five-star hotel in every sense of the word. I got to stay here a few weeks ago and I can personally attest to that. Will blog about the experience soon. First, I would like share the latest feather on the cap of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila as its two restaurant --Cucina and Lung Hin -- were Named Two of the Best Restaurants in Philippine Tatler’s Best Restaurants Guide 2017.

Lung Hin at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila
 Lung Hin at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila


February 2017
(Manila, Philippines)

Marco Polo Ortigas Manila showcased its versatile dining outlets as Philippine Tatler names its two signature outlets, Cucina and Lung Hin, two of the best restaurants in the country for this year’s line up.

In line with Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s positioning in the Manila restaurant landscape, Cucina’s distinctive character-building is different from the usual hotel food and beverage outlets. Cucina showcases a diverse live action stations featuring a symphony of flavors from the world’s different culinary capitals. It has a unique dining design with open kitchens that provides an intimate proximity to expert chefs in action.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

URBAN PACK HOSTEL: Hong Kong on the Cheap, A Backpacker's Haven! @urbanpackhostel

Hong Kong is no doubt expensive. And that is not just me saying. According to CNN, Hong Kong ranks 3rd Most Expensive City in the World to Live in 2016 next only to Singapore and Zurich Switzerland. But that doesn't mean Hong Kong is not good for backpackers as there are rewards for those who know where to get the most value for their money. If you are to stay in a hotel, it will most certainly cost you arm and leg. But good  news, there are many hostels in Hong Kong which you can book for as low as 50USD per night and Urban Pack is one of those.

Hostels in Hong Kong are basically located in residential apartments. So what they do is get a unit and convert it to accommodation. Urban Pack Hostel got 5 locations in the same building -- 5th, 10th, 10th, 14th and 15th. Each has it's own character. The hostel prides itself on its cosy design for the modern backpacker. It caters to all age group and races, anyone who appreciates a chic spaces. I appreciate that despite the high cost of space in Hong Kong, they allocated coommon areas where travelers can converge and socialize.


About Urban Pack

Unit 1410, 53-55 Haiphong Road, Haiphong Mansion
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Website: http://urban-pack.com/
Call :+852 2732 2271
WHATSAPP: (+852) 5963 3361
WECHAT: urban27322261

:: Unlimited Wifi, iPads, iMac Station, Movies,
:: 24 hr Access, Secure Bunked Dorms with Linen, Lamps & Lockers
:: Disabled Access, 24hr Shops, Free Tea/Coffee, Massage Chair
:: Organised outings to Beaches, Dinners, Pub Crawls, Hiking, Cycling
:: Female Dorm Available, Chinese Visa processing

Public Transit
Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station Exit A1

Friday, February 10, 2017

Celebrate Valentines Day 2017 at Novotel Manila Araneta Center with These Treats #ValentinesAtNovotel

Novotel Manila Araneta Center, a midscale hotel brand by Accor Hotels’, shares more sweet reasons to celebrate the season of romance, from intimate dinner under the stars to unlimited gastronomic treats of sweets to pampering hotel accommodation.

On February 14, swoon your one and only, turn on the heat with a romantic 6-course dinner at the charming Novotel Versailles Garden overlooking the city lights with live violin melodies to play your all-time-favorite love tunes. Dubbed as – Versailles Bliss, featuring masterpiece dishes by our Executive Chef Michael Schauss such as Beet Pickled Quail Eggs on Walnut Soil, Blue Crab on Sous Vide Watermelon and Cucumber Caviar, Watercress Soup with Oyster Sphere Soup, Tequila Passion Fruit Sorbet, Chili Ginger Glazed Rainbow Trout on Red Cabbage Puree, Snap Peas with Asparagus and much more. The Versailles Bliss 6-course dinner is priced at only Php 2,500 nett per person – which includes roses, box of chocolates and sparkling wine. Advance reservation is recommended.

VDay 4
VDay 3
VDay 2

At Food Exchange Manila, Novotel Manila Araneta Center’s all day dining restaurant, celebrate your memories of togetherness and look forward for more while enjoying luscious international dishes highlighting love food of sweets and delectable dishes such as Lobster Salad with Potato and Pickled Onion, Avocado and Fennel Salad, Slow Braised Beef in Red Wine, Roast Beef Truffle and Radish with Black Pepper Butter, Thai Styled Steamed Whole Fish with Ginger Coconut and Cilantro, Grilled Station featuring Pork Belly, Tuna Fillet, White Snapper and Chicken Breast; Spaghetti Pasta with Mussels and White Beans, Arabiatta Pasta in Red Sauce and Parsley, Strawberry Choux, Choco Hazelnut and much more. Available for buffet lunch at Php 1,488 and buffet dinner at Php 1,888 nett, from February 10 to 14.
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