This has probably been one of my most relaxing staycations… ever.
Short retreats are really all one needs to recharge their batteries and get themselves ready for another week of work – at least in my opinion. A relaxing day of reading in bed with a cup of tea or relaxing poolside sipping piña coladas followed by a big breakfast buffet the next day is all I really need before another week of deadlines, meetings, and sleepless nights of getting through (at times insensitive) client calls. This was a writing retreat of sorts for me, and I was determined to get stuff done as well as have a relaxing time.
A luxury retreat in the heart of the city, the beautifully renovated 580-room New World Makati Hotel is centrally located in “The Wall Street of the Philippines” – the bustling financial district of Makati also known as the concrete jungle. The hotel is a 30-minute drive from Ninoy Aquino International Airport and close to many embassies, as well being Makati’s epicenter of business addresses and upscale shopping venues, including the smart Greenbelt area of Ayala Center, which also makes it the perfect hotel for business travelers.
For an old hotel, the New World in Makati looks brand spanking new after their renovations and personally, is still the better choice compared the the newer ones that have popped up around the city as of late. The hotel is managed by New World Hotels group based in Hong Kong, assuring guests to expect the same caliber of service as their other destination hotels.
Checking in was a breeze – I just gave the nice lady at the concierge my calling card and she did most of the work for me – and I was happily surprised to find out that I had been upgraded from a Superior to a Deluxe Guestroom, with access to the Residence Club Living Room. Yey!
The Deluxe Guestroom was nice and roomy, with a gigantic king-sized bed and enough room to comfortably walk around in with the floor-to-ceiling windows opening up the room even more, allowing for a nice view of the bustling city below.
As I had planned to get a lot of writing done that afternoon, the large work desk, as well as complimentary internet access, is just what I needed to get my head in the game and write blog posts for clients. For other busy bees who need to do research online (like maybe a good Thai place at Greenbelt) or send out emails for the most part of their stay – the fast internet speed makes things a breeze. This weekend for me was also all about relaxing, so I was doing a little bit of both – staying in and enjoying most of my sleepy Saturday while I caught up on my favorite shows as well as getting work done for a few clients who needed work done on their websites and social media pages.
A little bathroom porn never hurt anyone, and the New World Hotel has a beautiful marble bathroom, complete with a soaking tub and shower, scales, fluffy towels, and other creature comforts one would expect in a luxury business hotel. Before taking a long soak, I popped by Lush at Greenbelt for my favorite soaps and bath salts, and spent what I felt was an eternity enjoying the peace and quiet while slowly pruning up.
Weekend treats like this make me feel like a kid again, as this was something my family used to do when we’d visit the Philippines on summer holiday. I have some fond memories of getting lost in hotel hallways, bubble fights, and jumping up and down on the bed in a bathrobe while shaking off all the excess water from the bath!
As far as the bathroom is concerned, I can be quite discerning with the complimentary bath products. My stay at one hotel by the Entertainment Strip had left me smelling like a Russian mobster, the strong musky smell of the soap and shampoo had me walking around like I had some kind of invisible Czech bodyguard. The New World Hotel’s complimentary bath products are the total opposite, using the luxurious British brand, Elemis, you end up smelling crisp and clean. They smell so good (and the simple packaging is marvelous as well) that I ended up asking for a few bottles of lotion to take home – they are perfect for office use and is small enough to keep in my bag and forget.
Later that evening, before heading downstairs for cocktails, I checked out The Residence Club Living Room, a space where one can hunker down and get work done without the distraction of the bed or entertain friends or clients over coffee or tea. This space is only available for those that have booked a suite at the Residence Club floor as well as two other floors, one of which I happened to stay in.
Guests from the Residence Club rooms and suites enjoy exclusive access to the Residence Club Living Room where complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktails, and all-day refreshments are served, and a designated family area is available for families with children under six years old – so if you’re traveling with small children, this definitely makes your stay a lot more enjoyable.
There are bowls of snacks, fruit, and pitchers of juice, coffee, and tea at the ready for anyone who’s feeling a bit peckish between meals. I helped myself to a bowl of fruit and picked a quiet spot by the window to enjoy the view and write.
Later that night I headed down to Bar Rouge for cocktails and met a few new friends, happily chatting with the bartender and each other until around 2 o’clock in the morning. It was all a hazy blur, and I remember being happy and content – something I told myself I should do more of. Hey, if I don’t take control of my own happiness, who else will?
I woke up surprisingly early, and headed downstairs expecting a decent breakfast buffet, and was surprised at the sheer quantity of food that was on offer! I had to check my clock twice to make sure I hadn’t misread my phone and accidentally stumbled into lunch, but no, there was cornflakes and muesli on the buffet lines, so I was right where I was supposed to be.
I sniffed around the bread spread (hey, it rhymes!) for a while, trying to assess whether the croissants were freshly baked or as hard as rocks, and am pleased to report that all their muffins, ensaymadas, croissants, rolls, and danish are either warm and tender or perfectly puffed.
Feeling like a kid in a candy store, I happily put together a waffle piled high with milk chocolate pieces, whipped cream, and strawberry syrup, walnuts, pecans, and almond slivers. How did I not know this existed? In all my years of going to Assumption College for class, I would pass by the New World’s Hotel big window with the green shutters and wonder, “Why are there always so many people there so early in the morning?”
You know the hotel you’re staying at is awesome and knows how to make their guests happy when you see they have two types of bacon on offer. Piling up on both kinds, I tucked into them with gusto, along with a few pieces of smoked sausages, potatoes, grilled tomatoes, and eggs over easy. All that was missing was baked beans and I’d have myself a nice Sunday fry up.
They also have glazed ham if you’re looking for a heavy breakfast, and this can go with pandesal or have it chopped up and served on top of rice with scrambled egg.
Of course, the New World Hotel proudly offers Filipino breakfast choices as well, and I spied an assortment of fried dilis, danggit, adobo, and other Asian dishes that all paired nicely with fried rice. This is more of Jericho’s breakfast domain, and he joined me later on in the morning, helping himself to some of his childhood favorite breakfast food.
Funny fact: For the life of me, I still don’t know how to eat danggit! It’s embarrassing. Do you kind of break off the head and dip the rest of it in vinegar or do you eat everything as it is? I’ve never really had any qualms about eating fish with their head still on, but eating it with their head split apart is another story entirely. Funnily enough, dilis, I’m totally cool with.
Jericho had been working on his own projects for most of the day – he’s been getting a lot of projects lately, which is fantastic! – so we only really sat down to talk to each other during breakfast. I totally missed out on the make-your-own-soup section of the buffet, and he proudly showed me his version of mami noodles made with beef, shrimp, and a lot of garlic.
We had plans of hitting the swimming pool before checking out that afternoon, but the weather had other plans and it was pouring out by the time we were done with breakfast. I was saddened about my piña colada fantasy not coming into fruition, but made up for it by heading back up to the Living Room, pouring myself a tall glass of pineapple juice, and finishing off the last season of Orange Is the new Black. Dayum, Ruby Rose!
The guestrooms and suites of New World Makati Hotel offer impressive city views and are superbly appointed, offering comfort and convenience. Guests can enjoy recreational facilities including a comprehensive Fitness Center, an outdoor swimming pool and massage treatments. A Business Center providing a wide range of business services is also available. The hotel also offers 1,800 square meters of dynamic function space with the Ballroom, meeting rooms, Glasshouse and Gallery – venues with their own residential style kitchens for meetings, conferences, weddings and other events.
I had such a marvelous time at the newly renovated New World Hotel, I think I’ll come back to celebrate my half-sister’s debut and to kick start sem break. Being dab smack in the middle of the business district and next to one of the nicest malls in the country, the hotel brings a nice balance between work and play. I didn’t even feel like I was working for most of the afternoon as I was so well taken care of. Checking out was just as easy as checking in, and just like that, my best staycation ever was over.
If you’re looking for a place for your next weekend staycation, you may want to ask about the Local Residents Weekend rate starting at Php 6,800 per night in a Superior room from Fridays to Sundays. Guests can enjoy their staycation with complimentary buffet breakfast and afternoon tea for two at The Lounge. The package also includes Internet access and late check-out at 4 p.m.
New World Makati Hotel is located along Esperanza St. corner Makati Avenue, Ayala Center, Makati. For inquiries and reservations, please call +63 2 811 6888.