We basically stayed on both of our parents' (Jane and I) houses while we were there for Ashrie and Lia's to maximize their bonding time with their grandparents, cousins and other relatives.
We also celebrated Lia's 4th Birthday with all of them and met with a few close friends.
A few days before we head home, we had a short break from the chaos of it all and chose The Peninsula Manila to be our 'home away from home". We stayed for 2 nights in one of their clubrooms and here is our review.
THE MANILA PEN is the quintessential Philippine 5-Star Hotel. From the Grand Lobby to the room interiors, we were ushered in with the Filipino hospitality that we have known and missed.
THE GRAND LOBBY. The Manila Pen lobby is one of the grandest in the country. It boasts impressive neo-classical architectural elements, humongous artworks, towering faux palms, and the iconic sunburst sculpture on the ceiling by National Artist Napoleon Abueva. If you have watched Disney's Tangled, Rapunzel would be very familiar with this emblem.
The symmetrical staircase mimics the design of the grand fountain outside along the corner of Ayala Avenue and Makati Avenue. Unfortunately, it was off during our stay.
THE CLUB LOUNGE. The lift doors open directly to the Club Reception. Check-ins and checkouts are done here as well and it serves as the pitstop for refreshment and cocktails. It is the foyer for Club Room guests wherein the staff can see everyone who goes in and out of the floor.
THE CLUB ROOM. The hotel room is modestly decorated. There is no wallpaper, the wall hangings are simple photographs of local scenes, and there are fresh tropical fruits to enjoy. We have a few favorites amenities in the room like the fresh succulents on the desk, the multi-point charger on the bedside drawer, the selection of wine glasses and water goblets in the pantry, and the luggage area which looks like a padded reading nook.
BREAKFAST AT THE ESCOLTA. We had an awesome time at the Escolta. The ambiance was festive and you will be spoilt for choice with the selection of breakfast items! But on our second day, we opted to have our breakfast at the Club Lounge, it has fewer options but has a more peaceful, more intimate, and more exclusive feel.
THE POOL AREA. The casual mood at the pool area was made elegant with surrounding park planted with Talisai Trees (Terminalia catappa) with native capiz pendant lights hanging on its branches. Relaxing on the lounger, with the kids playing in the pool, you can almost forget that you are indeed in the middle of the central business district.
IMPORTANT NOTE: A security deposit of 5000 PHP/day is required during check-in. It will be debited to you after two weeks, the longest.
All in all, it was a splendid staycation. We're back in Singapore and looking forward to our next staycation. Actually, it's already booked. Finally, here's a "familyfie" and the photo of the two kiddos infront of Manila pen's iconic jeepney!