2012 was a breakthrough year for PUSANGKALYE on Hotel + Resort Staycations. Since nauuso ang staycations na yan,I thought,why not jump into the bandwagon.The original concept of staycation is to stay close home and have a vacation without ripping your wallet.That sure is not so much the case in Hotel Staycations but it's more about staying within the confines of a hotel and enjoy the amenities.That means,you don't have to rush into going out and be stressed.It's like saying,I'm in my hotel enjoying my time,I'm gonna lock myself in here and I don't care about what is happening out there.Good thing hotels these days are as diverse as ever with many offering a whole range of facilities and amenities that you wouldn't feel the need to go out and look for it.
Such was the case of most of our staycations. But in this summary post,I included all the experiences and reviews (the major ones at least) with the Hotels and Resorts we tried in 2012.
DUSIT THANI MANILA is where it all started
STORY: our staycation officially kicks off at DUSIT THANI MANILA.
It all started with Dusit Thani Manila.This old hotel is not very enticing when viewed from the outside,but inside,there's so much character and pride in the brand.Perhaps it's the Thai ambiance that spells the difference.The lobby,the restaurant,even the scent of the hallways and elevators (which I like soooo much) exudes of Thai accent.The room we stayed in was really nice with a good view of Makati skyline and Manila sunset.Yeah,Dusit Thani Manila is strategically located in the CBD of Makati and is only a few cartwheels away from MRT Ayala station.Talk about convenience.There's more to that I would like to say but since this is supposed to be a summary,please feel free to read the full article linked above.And don't forget the food review I had on the four restaurants of Dusit Thani Manila,for the win! :)
It was officially our first staycation and Dusit Thani Manila set the bar high.
The new kid in the block.The hotel with a world famous brand is ready to take it's mark as one of the most sought after hotel destination in Metro Manila especially among business travellers.Why not when it's located right across NAIA Terminal 3 and in the middle of Resorts World Manila which is one of the best entertainment and leisure centers in the Metropolis today.
I looooove the indoor Sauna facility of Marriott Manila and the swimming pool with Villamor Golf Course and the skylines of Makati and Bonifacio Global City on the backdrop.Not to mention MCafe where I am frequently invited for food reviews.
We stayed here in 2 different occasions.The first one was the staycation courtesy of Marriott Manila itself,the 2nd one (another staycation) I won out of promoting Drum Tao Performance.Swerte!
CRIMSON MACTAN RESORT and SPA
FULL STORY: one of the best days of my life at CRIMSON RESORT and SPA Mactan
I would easily call this my BEST TRAVEL DESTINATION for 2012.Why not,Crimson Mactan Resort and Spa is an expensive resort.That certainly doesn't guarantee a top ranking but Crimson Mactan has all the qualifications.It's close to downtown Cebu City, (only 45minutes via taxi)and yet the Mactan Island experience gives you a feeling of being away, it is a world on its own.You can stay here for days and wouldn't have to look somewhere else.Pool,beach,water activities,spa,bar,gym,restaurant,everything you need for a relaxing vacation.Not to mention the rooms!We stayed in a Seaside Mansion Villa with a private pool----spell A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
Aum Spa was also my best massage destination for 2012.Met the best masseur well trained to do the job.After all,it's not about the massage style but the skill of the masseur.
Relaxing,pampering,satisfying.I could go on and on using superlatives to describe Crimson Mactan Island Resort.
PUNTA DE FABIAN
story: best for corporate events +awesome infinity pool lake view at PUNTA de FABIAN in Baras Rizal
I wouldn't have known about this resort if I was not invited over.I made a small research prior to our stay and the poorly made website convinced me to lower my expectations.I was therefore very much surprised when I saw it in person,it's not the high end type of resort but it's waaaaaaaay better than the photos on the website.Plus the ambiance-----the provincial feel,the peace on the hill,the crisp air,the morning dew,the lake view----- made me easily love the place.It is well known for group/corporate retreats catering mostly to call center companies.
story:"5-star bed at a 1-star price? "only at TUNE HOTELS
The pioneer in Add-on Hotel Concept has made it's solid presence in the country via TUNE HOTELS which is a famous brand in Southeast Asia and beyond.Tune Hotels Ermita was where we stayed and the area is full of interesting attractions.Unfortunately (or was it fortunate?) Manila was hit by strong rain followed by flooding in many areas) which pinned us inside the hotel in most of our stay.No worries coz Tune Hotels have 5-star beds and chick interiors at 1-star price.For around 1,500php,you get all the add-ons and you can fine tune that to fit your budget and go as low as less than a thousand pesos.Cool!
MATABUNGKAY BEACH HOTEL
story: 10 Cool Things to Do in MATABUNGKAY BEACH HOTEL Batangas
Another old dinosaur but still a famous destination for families and groups.The resort has a lot of tradition and history (30years!almost my age) and it has kept its essence of providing a meaning respite to families who wants a retreat where you can engage in many outdoor activities.This is the resort where you would like to go out and get into physical interaction and activities.And it sees the need to upgrade and renovate that's why they are introducing modifications here and there without sacrificing the real essence of the place.
story: the face of New FERSAL HOTEL Kalayaan
I got involved with the Fersal Group because of a photography project with them.I thank the management for trusting my photography skill they asked me to take stock photos of their hotels (including Hotel Elizabeth Baguio and Cebu).They have 6 hotels in Manila under the Fersal Brand Name and it was in Kalayaan where we stayed overnight during the shoot.
Fersal Kalayaan is a fully renovated branch and is therefore the face of New Fersal.I myself didn't realized that it used to be an old facility until I was told,they made a very good job in upgrading the place you would think the whole thing is brand new.From flooring,to plumbing,from beds to furnitures, this hotel is a testament that modern doesn't have to be that expensive.
AZALEA RESIDENCES BAGUIO
story: AZALEA RESIDENCES:official hotel of the 1st Baguio Blog Conference
Welcome to a boutique hotel with a Condo feel.It's fresh.simplistic and homey.It's introduces residential type of hotel accommodation in the city of pines.Imagine moving your condominium unit in Baguio City and you can understand what I mean. That's Azalea Residences.
Radius International was where we stayed during our Kuala Lumpur Bloggers Challenge.It is situated downtown Bukit Bintang which is the happening district of KL.That said,the hotel is at the middle of the action.Step out of the hotel and you find something interesting left and right.The hotel itself is not high end but it is good enough if you consider the price range.Again,it's about location,location,location.
La Luz Resort was where we stayed overnight after the taping of Pop Talk 'Beach Resorts in Batangas Episode where I was guested as one of the critics of wheather or not the three accommodations we tried are good or bad (pop of flop).At first,I was disappointed with what I saw coz it fell short of my expectations.The website looks far better than the resort itself ---at least in the room accommodations.I honestly think until now that they need to upgrade their rooms.
Good thing the location is nice.It's at the corner and the beachfront is therefore somewhat exclusive to La Luz.That means you can lazy around the beach or at the huts near the beach with minimal annoyance from others.It's in one of those huts where we had our massage and I really enjoyed the experience.It was not just the touch of my masseur which soothe my muscles,the gentle breeze and the sound of the waves hitting the shores relaxed my mind as well.Very memorable place indeed!
SERI PACIFIC KUALA LUMPUR
story:my Malaysia2.0 series starts at SERI PACIFIC HOTEL Kuala Lumpur.
One of the reasons why we went back to Kuala Lumpur barely 2 months after the first trip.I won an overnight stay for two in Seri Pacific Hotel.It's a nice hotel on the other side of KL (as opposed to Radius Hotel in Bukit Bintang where we stayed the 1st time).It was timely coz I thought about bringing my wife to Batu Caves and two train lines are both few block away from the hotel,one of which leads directly to Batu Caves.It's the same line we also used to get to Shah Alam where the Blue Mosque is located.
I liked our room so much instead of leaving to Penang on a night bus,we decided to stay the 2nd night and left early the next day.I later on thought it would have been better if we did for the first option.Well,both decisions would have been both great.Talk about the dilemma of 'shall we go out,or stay at the comfort of the hotel'.I loooove the morning view of downtown KL's skyscrapers with Petronas Towers dominating the field.
OLD PENANG GUEST HOUSE
story:fall in love w/ OLD PENANG GUESTHOUSE along Love Lane.
Old Penang Guesthouse is a cheap accommodation along Love Lane Georgetown.It was recommended to me by a blogger friend based in Penang.A good choice coz in an attraction filled Georgetown,you wouldn't think of staying inside your room too long as there are so many things to explore outside.It is strategically located so walking around the guesthouse would mean access to many historical sites.
HOTEL ELIZABETH CEBU
I was flown here by the Fersal Group as part of my photography project with the hotel chain.I've been here before but haven't tried staying overnight.It's situated a few blocks away from Ayala Center Cebu so this is the perfect place for those who love shopping or those who are in the city for business purposes.A city hotel with modernity at any given angle.A lot of interesting details.It's true, HOTEL ELIZABETH CEBU can give a 5-star accommodation in Cebu a run for their money.
full series: http://www.pusangkalye.net/search/label/Alegre%20beach%20Resort.
Another awesome experience this year.A few months after the Cebu-Mactan2012 experience,my wife and I were back to explore the Northern Part of the province.Sogod Cebu was the first destination and Alegre Beach Resort and Spa.
Alegre is another one of those high end resorts in Cebu Province.It's a little far from the city but 2hours is not bad for an exclusive resort experience.Better stay here for at least 2 days para masulit.In our case, 2D/1N was all that we could afford, (had to leave for Bantayan Island the next day).But as I was saying,Alegre is a nature-resort-class-sophistication-comfort-isolation-forget all else treat that you should give yourself.
HOTEL ELIZABETH BAGUIO
Another Boutique Hotel but with a 'sossy' feel.Hotel Elizabeth Baguio adds class and sophistacation on a good value.It doesn't have to be a ripoff to experience a classy accommodation in Baguio City.I love the hotel lobby---welcoming,comfortable,and the crisp air cooling it.The hand paintings on the walls,the high glass walls with the view of pines sorrounding it and the beautiful sunset which I captured in one of my past photos all add up to the ambiance of the place.Hotel Elizabeth Baguio is about accent and ambiance.
PUERTO DEL SOL BEACH RESORT BOLINAO
story: 10 Reasons why I keep coming back to PUERTO DEL SOL BEACH RESORT
I keep coming back in Puerto del Sol mainly because Bolinao is next to my hometown.I feel thankful everytime I see the place thinking that an area as beautiful as Patar Bolinao deserves a high end accommodation like that of Puerto del Sol.It is for those who only want the best for their vacation in Western Pangasinan.
RAMADA MANILA CENTRAL
Ramada Manila Central became fully operational early 2012.I am lucky therefore to have been invited over.But it was not until the end of the year until we stayed overnight.It was a perfect opportunity to explore Binondo which is the oldest Chinatown in Southeast Asia.A lot of interesting foos finds here and I haven't finished writing about all of it yet.It was also our set off point to Divisoria,the ultimate cheap goods place where we shopped for Christmas gifts.
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