Other Grandeur Travelers.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Stop, Look, It's Mira Hotel.

With my limited free time since the start of my dermatology residency training, I could only afford to have short weekend trips. I miss long flights to exotic or western destinations but I have to deal with the fact that my life will be like this for the next two and a half more years. Teleportation devices have never been invented (or will never be invented). In this lifetime, I'll only see those in science fiction movies or books.

Given my few options, it won't be that hard to pick a destination. I only had to choose from countries or places with less than 4 hours flight time. As a certified urban junkie, Hong Kong was the the number one alternative to Manila life. It was a one day affair in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, it was an affair to remember.

I am sure you have noticed that all my recent posts have been about hotels. Luxury hotels have been a regular part of my weekly indulgence.  For this trip, we still wanted a hotel that was, modern, youthful with a central location. The most important one of all the criteria, however, was that we were looking for a unique hotel property. Among all the hotels in the cosmopolitan Hong Kong, I was glad my cousin Trisha picked Mira Hotel, a cool non-generic choice for young travelers. Mira hotel has managed to bring a different kind of 21st century hotel experience for everyone.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Raffles (Makati) Experience

When you are included in Conde Nast's Traveler Hot List (Best New Hotel in the World, Best New Family Friendly Hotel, Amazing Pool at the Best New Hotel -2013 ), you must be doing something extraordinary. The Raffles Makati Hotel has only opened for a few months in Manila but it has already earned numerous distinctions, thanks to the "Raffles" brand of excellence. 

My idea of Raffles Hotel stems from its first treasured Singapore property. During a time when Singapore was welcoming sophisticated travelers, royalties and celebrities all over the world, Raffles became their home. People surrendered to the unique and luxurious Raffles Experience. Now, that legendary hotel is here, showing us the kind of service and hospitality we all want and expect from a hotel. 

Located in the heart of world-class Makati, Raffles has now become a landmark in the city. Unlike other Raffles properties, this development is also a luxury branded residence in city. That means that some lucky people get to wake up in a hotel everyday (I actually know someone who lives on the penthouse)! Raffles Makati has 30 well-appointed suites and 236 residences, all offering beautiful vistas of the city.

Living only a few cartwheels away from the Hotel, it was only a matter of time until I had the Raffles Experience in Manila. Before my weekend staycation, I was already talking to Joyce Bernal, one of Raffle's Guest Service Agents. Joyce  quickly responded to all my emails, which showed me how much they value guest relations. They even gave me a considerable media/blogger discount for my stay (Of course, free would have been better but I would stay here even if they didnt give me any).

Despite its modern facade, Raffles Makati still maintains an old world charm through its choice of furniture, design and paintings. The lobby isn't as grand as most hotels like the Peninsula but it has its own homey vibe. As I entered, I immediately proceeded to the reception where I was warmly received by the Guest Service Agents. When they addressed me as Dr. Baraan, I knew they were expecting my arrival. This was the kind of personalized service I wanted from a 6-star hotel. Knowing your guests well is an important mark of the Raffles brand. That moment, I suddenly found myself at home in Raffles for one special weekend.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Art and Dining in Hotel Eclat.

(This post is more of a photoblog since my mind is too full of things to do this week.)

Hotel Eclat.

I was already dreaming of staying in this Small Luxury Hotel (SLH) before going back to Taipei. Unfortunately, this dream did not fully materialize. Considering my initial plan to stay overnight in the city, it would be too painful to leave this unique hotel in less than a day. I need at least two nights to get the full SLH experience.

We ended up staying in Park Taipei Hotel, which was also a good second choice. We had a glorious view of Taipei 101 from our Balcony. The staff was also able to upgrade us to a bigger Executive Suite. Not Bad.

However, the Curious Cat in me still wanted to see Hotel Eclat. My love affair with beautiful and luxurious hotels was my driving force to see this property. I said: if I can't sleep here, I might as well try their restaurant. So we did just that.

Located in the prestigious Da-an district, Hotel Eclat shines like no other building in that area. You'll see a huge silver metal sculpture welcoming you before you enter the hotel.