Monday, December 9, 2019

Staycation Files : Shangri-la at the Fort, Bonifacio Global City

Long time readers of this blog will know how much Paul and I love going on staycations. Back when we were a young, newlywed couple, we would go around town spending our weekends at various hotels in and outside of Metro Manila. Even when we moved to Singapore, we would still go on staycations to celebrate our anniversary or either of our birthdays. Things change when you have kids, that's true. Of course, we spent their first year learning the ropes of twin parenthood and going on a staycation is no longer as simple as packing a small carry-on bag with clothes good for two to three days and to just head out the door with no specific itinerary in mind. Going for an overnight stay away from home with our twins takes a whole different production level. It's about packing their clothes ahead of time taking into consideration bringing at least 3 sets of clothes as buffer, getting them to choose only a handful of toys and trying to negotiate while doing so as they want to bring their entire toy bin, asking for an extra bed also for Yaya M to join us, and the list goes on and on. We've been to three staycations with the twins so far and I'm happy to report that we've survived and they really had an amazing time.

The first one was the hardest as they were just 3 months old! We even brought our sterilizer with us and all their bottles too. The second one was just last May and that was when I realized how both my twins took after our love for staying in hotels as they would clap and laugh as they run around the lobby. After that second staycation, I made it a goal to take the family out for a weekend hotel getaway once in a while. Having a change in environment will definitely do all of us good. So, after the crazy months of October and November where I was just super duper busy at work, I took two days off from work for us to have our Christmas staycation at tantananannn... Shangri-la at the Fort at the Bonifacio Global City.

I had my office event at the same hotel and after seeing Adventure Zone, the in-house play area of the hotel which unfortunately is only open to annual members and hotel guests, I then convinced Paul that we stay the night at the hotel to get the twins to experience playing there. It wasn't difficult to convince Paul as we're both fans of the Shangri-la group. As you may have remembered the number of times we've stayed at most Shangri-la Hotels here and in the Lion City.

Related posts:
Staycation Files: Edsa Shangri-la Hotel
A paradise called Shangri-la
A weekend staycation at Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore
Weekend staycation at the Valley Wing (Shangri-la Hotel Singapore)
Back at our Shangri-la : Staycation at the Garden Wing

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We got the Deluxe High Street View room at the 24th floor and the view was amazing! I can just imagine how great staying at Shangri-la at the Fort will be this New Year's Eve as you'll surely get a spectacular vantage point of any fireworks display in the area. The room is appoximately 45-47 sqm which has one king size bed and has enough space for a pull out bed for Yaya M.

We stayed the night at the hotel on exactly the birthday of Yaya M and she was so happy! Well, she was indeed a blessing to us and to the kids so she deserved a little treat on her special day. The room was complete with all the necessary amenities such as pillows and linens, towels, toiletry sets, stationaries, a well stocked mini bar and fridge (which I had to keep a close eye on my twins as they wanted the orange juice in the ref so badly *sigh*), water kettle, iron and board, a very spacious closet and a 48-inch flatscreen TV.

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Of course, I had to check the bathroom out and it was beautiful! It was so spacious that the twins loved running in here and they would climb into the bath tub, there's a separate shower room and well a well lit vanity area too. I love it! I really got to hand it to Shangri-la for having one of the nicest bathroom design as compared to other hotel chains. I just love the marble flooring and the white over-all theme. It just makes it feel so clean and comforting.




I also adored these L'occitane bath essentials used by the hotel. I love the scent of Jasmine and Bergamot which is closely similar to our local sampaguita. I love it! I happily showered using all these that evening.

For dinner, we just walked to Bonifacio Highstreet and celebrated Yaya M's birthday with a nice Korean dinner at Sariwon Korean Barbecue. Food, as usual, was so good and since we were all so full. The short walk from the restaurant back to the hotel did us good. We even stopped by Marketplace at the basement of Central Square as L wanted some bread. This little girl of mine I swear has such European palate.

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Before bedtime, the twins had so much fun running around the room, playing hide and seek and they just love the big king-sized bed. I'm happy that the housekeeping was willing to provide extra blankets and pillows for us so no need to play tug-o-war among the four of us.

The next day, we woke up just in time for breakfast and we headed to Highstreet Cafe to avail of their buffet breakfast. I was so excited as I've heard lots of good things about this all-day dining restaurants such as having the best Laksa in town. On our way down, I told Paul that I really hope that they'd serve Laksa for breakfast as it's not really a very common breakfast dish even in Singapore or Malaysia. Well, let's see about that.

The buffet spread was okay. I got to admit that I was a bit underwhelmed comparing this with The Line in Singapore and Heat in EDSA Shangri-la. I just felt like each station is just offering a handful of items and there weren't much to choose from. One thing good though is for families staying the night and they have kids below 12 years old with them, well all kids get to dine for free provided they're accompanied by two paying adults. I'm glad about that as my twins eat so little that I'd feel really bad for having to pay a full buffet rate for perhaps a bowl of yogurt for J and a few bread rolls for L. Haha!

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Indeed, those were their favorites over breakfast. They had a bowl of cereal with strawberry yogurt, a plate of egg and L tried the soft rolls which she loved. They later ended their breakfast with some fresh fruits.

Despite the limited choices, I was so happy that they do serve Laksa for breakfast! I just felt like the noodles were not quite like the real thing but hey, the flavor was spot on so I'm not complaining. Apart from the noodles station, there's the cereal and yogurt station, the bread station, the "silog" station where you can also have your egg cooked whichever way you want it, the fruits and juice station, the vegetarian section and the Chinese section. I was missing the Japanese station and even the Indian station consists of just 5 choices. Well, I guess you can't please everyone.

One thing that I liked though is apart from the usual fruit juices available, you can also get Iced Choco and Iced Coffee from the dispenser. I realized that Highstreet Cafe is perfect for businessmen or corporate guests who would just like to take a hearty and healthy breakfast before they head out for a busy day.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to swim that day since it was raining on and off. Which just means that it was off to Adventure Zone right after breakfast!

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Oh boy, the kids were so happy! Imagine entering this 2-storey 1,000 sqm play area which was filled with 3 long slides, a big ball pit and a toddler section which I really appreciated. Before anything else, we headed to the Role Play Village which has been my twins' favorite part whenever we go to play areas such as this. They got mini cars which J immediately ran to and L went around each shop and even learned to go up and down the kiddie staircase all by herself. I really do believe that it's important to let kids play as this is how they can develop and learn a new skill or two.

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The toddler section was also a good addition. One of my greatest fears is when my kids try to play with the bigger kids and they might hurt themselves as of course, play can get rough and the bigger kids might push or step on them by accident. I'm not taking any chances that's why we always watch them like a hawk in public play areas. I was so happy to see that Adventure Zone has a dedicated cushioned area for toddlers where they can play and parents do not have to worry that they might hurt themselves. This area is pretty much a mini version of the main play area. It even has blocks in various shapes as well as those giant Lego blocks too.

My little L is such a brave girl as she would go up to the second level of the play area on her own and would go through the various obstacles on her own. Her brother took as my really cautious personality and opted to just keep himself busy with the blocks. One thing that I also love about Adventure Zone is that they offer special classes for toddlers everyday at 11am. Entrance is not free for hotel guests though, we paid Php. 700 for a one time entry or if you want to enter multiple times in a day then the rate is just Php. 800 and this consists of one child + one adult companion. Dress code is also strictly followed. Long sleeves and socks for the kids and socks for the adults too.

It was such a fun staycation as we celebrated Yaya M's birthday. While we didn't get to swim, I'm glad that the twins enjoyed Adventure Zone and checking out every corner of the room. It's amazing that as a mom now, I get to have a totally different staycation experience and how I tend to see things in the eyes of my two year old twins. Perhaps back then, my main priority would be to lounge by the pool, to hit the gym, to eat my heart out at the buffet and to sleep all day and night. Now, I am always on a look out for play areas and possible educational activities for my little ones.

My kids are growing super fast and I do cherish moments like these as we get to bond as a family. It was also a good 24 hours where I managed to stay work-free. Giving my workaholic self a good pat at the back.

Till our next staycation!

Shangri-la at the Fort is located at the 30th street cor 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. 
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