5-star Staycation at Manila Marriott Hotel, Philippines

Warning: Lots of photos ahead! :)

The past few weeks have been fun for us corporate folks. We had a back-to-back long weekend giving us 4-days and 3-days workweeks one after the other. I know that the after effect of this led to spending more hours at work to catch up with the pending tasks but still, a break is a break and I truly enjoyed mine to the fullest. While half of Metro Manila were out of town or out of the country, Paul and I drove about 5km away from home to stay the night at the beautiful Manila Marriott Hotel. We have reached our travel quota for the year so we decided to just stay in town and to have that much needed R&R.

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As I arrived at the lobby of the hotel, I was warmly greeted by the doorman and a couple of security staff. Seeing that I was trying my best to balance Paul's heavy camera bag plus our overnight luggage on one hand and my shoulder bag and laptop bag on the other, he quickly offered to hold on to our bags while I checked in. The reception desks were very modern as they had three stand-alone counters and were partly hidden at the right corner of the grand lobby.

After filling up the forms, I was handed our keycard to our Executive Deluxe (Php. 10,300 estimate) room which was located at the 7th floor. This hotel only has 8 floors so being at the 7th is considered staying at one of the higher floors.

Our room package also includes access to the Executive Lounge where Paul and I hanged out at least 50% of our stay. More on that later on as I'd like to show you our room first.

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I love how comfy our bed was! No tug-of-war happened as the sheets were big enough for the two of us. Our room overlooks the well-manicured garden of the hotel as well as part of NAIA 3. I love watching airplanes take off and land so this spot was just perfect for me.

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We had a well-stocked mini bar which as you know Paul and I will never touch. We love bringing our own chips and if ever we're really hungry, there's the Newport Mall right adjacent to the hotel. Yes, we're both practical that way. Nonetheless they have complimentary coffee, tea and two bottles of water too.

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Our bathroom was amazing! Complete with all the toiletries, I just love how they have also provided us with so many towels! This came in really handy as we had little guests later in the afternoon who played in our bath tub...

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...and here's our bath tub! Note the the clear mirror that divides the room and the bathroom. Should you find yourselves staying at the Marriott with a friend whom you're not so comfy to share your bathing rituals too, don't worry there's a switch that will bring the blinds down. What you can't see in this photo is the shower. There's a rain showerhead and a normal yet very powerful removable hand shower too! This type of set-up just makes bath time even more exciting!

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Check out the complete toiletries provided. They even added in a bottle of mouthwash!

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It was only when I was done admiring our bathroom that I noticed the sweet message on the TV screen. I really love hotels who gives so much attention to details in making their guests feel welcomed. Our room was equipped with a 40 inch TV that can connect to a hard drive or a laptop via USB. There was an HDMI cable too making your film viewing crystal clear.

Those who couldn't live without the internet will rejoice to know that each room has FREE WiFi internet access. I enjoyed connecting to my social networking sites all throughout my stay as I was able to update my friends on our amazing dinner and a lot more.

Paul's family decided to drop by to spend the afternoon with us. As soon as the two kids saw our bath tub, they immediately climbed in begging their parents for a "swim". Of course, we gave in and filled the tub with warm water and lots of bubbly shower gel. Look how much fun my niece and nephew had as they spent half an hour splashing, shrieking and playing with one another.

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While the kids were having the time of their lives in our bath tub, Paul and I went around the hotel to check the other amenities out. We both want to live a more active lifestyle so we initially planned to hit the gym but someone a.k.a. yours truly forgot to bring her rubber shoes so that "plan" was immediately crossed out from the list. Nonetheless, we checked the Fitness Center out and I was impressed at how well-equipped it was for a hotel gym. Of course, don't expect this to be at par with the fitness centers outside but for a small gym, this one was good already. If only I have my rubber shoes with me, I would have tried the threadmill. *sigh* If only...

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We're not the type who gives up easily though. Since we couldn't work out at the gym, we had our swimsuits ready for the swimming pool! Look how inviting the water was. There's a pool side bar too that offered snacks, sandwiches and drinks. Kids can stay at the kiddie pool while adults can do laps at this 5 ft high pool. There's also an access to the locker room of the Spa where you can also take a dip at the jacuzzi. The one and only drawback of staying at the hotel over the long weekend? Expect the pool to be filled with hotel guests the entire day!

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After your work out, do check out the Quan Spa. All three facilities are located at the 2nd level of the hotel. That day, my mommy-in-law and daddy-in-law both availed for an Aroma Fusion Massage treatment (Php. 2,300/1 hr) each.

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They were given a couple's room which had two toilet and bath, a vanity area and use of the jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath. They both enjoyed the very relaxing massage that they had nothing but good words for it after their treatment.

Marriott Executive Lounge

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As I've mentioned earlier, Paul and I spent half of the time hanging out at the Executive Lounge. We headed up here right after leaving our stuff in the room. This is the place where you can hold meetings, have some coffee or tea and even have some clothes pressed.

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All throughout the day, there were nuts, crackers and sweets for guests to help themselves with. We tried the spicy nuts and we loved it! I think I ate a plateful of that while watching the news on TV.

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It was also perfect timing that Paul and I got there in time for the Afternoon Tea. Having a cup of Hot Chocolate for me and a bottle of Orange Juice for him, we tried the two different tea sandwiches available -- Egg Salad Sandwich and Roast Beef. I loved the Egg Salad! The bread was so soft and fluffy, the filling not too rich and creamy. How I wish we can learn to replicate this at home.

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Check out their espresso machine! I had fun playing barista with this. Care for some Cappuccino? :)

After touring the hotel and watching the kids play in the tub, Paul and I headed back up to the Executive Lounge to check their evening cocktail spread out.

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I was impressed! I happily enjoyed the Brie included in the cheese case as well as some hot hors d'oeuvres too.  The brie was so yummy as I had it with some crackers and walnuts. We tried some baked sausage as well as the chilled prawns with thousand island dressing which was pretty good too.

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They had the same set of drinks that were available earlier with the addition of some alcoholic drinks. It was happy hour after all! To match my hors d'oeuvres, I had a glass of white wine. Mmm.. :)

Paul and I left the Executive Lounge around 6PM to get dressed for our dinner date at Cru. Let me tell you more about that on my next entry. All I can say for now is it was one of the best dates we've ever had so far. Right after dinner, we went back to the Executive Lounge to have our night cap. A cup of hot chocolate again for me and decaf coffee for him. We just love the service here as the staff quickly attends to our needs.

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As we got back to our room, they have left us a wonderful fruit platter. I love how they keep on leaving sweet surprises from time to time such as the fruit platter to the two pieces of chocolate that we got right after our dinner. What a fun day! We happily retired to bed as we watched a movie from our laptop.

The morning after...

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We took our breakfast at the Marriott Cafe. I love the fact that their buffet breakfast is available till 1030AM making it possible for us late risers to be able to still have a good morning meal. It was my fourth time to dine at the Marriott Cafe and I've always love its impressive yet manageable spread.

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After checking out the different stations, I started with a bowl of cereals. Yum! I'm really trying extra hard to eat healthy and I hope I can make this a lifelong commitment to do so. I added in some sweet lychees and a scoop of fresh honey and nuts to my cereals.

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There were a lot of types of cereals available. I simply had the regular cornflakes with skim milk exactly how I've been having it at home for the past weeks.

Paul had the Filipino breakfast fare complete with garlic rice, longganisa, tocino and egg. He just had a plate as he was still full from our hearty dinner the night before.

We were joined by my Mom and sister Pan who decided to drop by to have breakfast at the Marriott as well. Mom ordered a la carte while Pan availed of the Breakfast Buffet (Php. 1,200++) too. She had a blast! It's really annoying how someone like my sister can eat like there's no tomorrow and can stay so slim. Life is definitely NOT fair. :(

Pan had less than an hour to enjoy the buffet spread yet she really made the most of it. Enjoying the smoked salmon, Japanese sushi, Filipino breakfast, an omelet, more cheese and a piping hot Arroz Caldo. We all ended our meal with a plate of fresh fruits each.

After breakfast, Mommy and Pan bid us goodbye to head home while Paul and I took a nap before checking out. It was truly a fun and relaxing weekend spent making me a big fan of staycations.

Manila Marriott Hotel is located at No. 10 Newport Boulevard, Newport City Complex, Pasay City. Call them at 988-9999. Visit their website for rates and more information.

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