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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.



Welcome to my apartment for the weekend. Here are some of the pictures from our unforgettable Raffles Experience:

 The elevator set the mood for my luxurious weekend stay. 

The high ceilings certainly can't be found in any other hotel in the city.

Room 910 was where my "suite" dreams came true. Pun intended.

I was brought to the room by the staff of Raffles. My butler Hendrick gave me a personal tour of my 60 square meter Junior Suite. The most important part of the tour was how to work the Malongo Espresso Machine! 

All I could say was "WOW". I have stayed in almost all the hotels in the city but nothing quite like this.  Raffles always has generous space for its suites, something that has been part of the Raffles Tradition. 

I loved everything in this suite -- from the beddings, wooden flooring from South Africa, and furniture made my local craftsmen.
It smelled fantastic, too!
I noticed that the comforter is perfectly creaseless (Like it was ironed) for all its guests. 
As I lay in the bed, I was imagining my future apartment looking like this. It was the perfect combination of Upper East Side Living with a Colonial Asian Touch.

All the rooms have one of a kind paintings by local artists.
Yours truly enjoying the glorious bed.
My walk-in closet.
El Bano, complete with a tub, "his and hers sink" and rain shower!
They use the exquisitely luxurious Abahna toiletries from UK. Abahna wants every shower time to be a bathing ceremony. The grapefruit smelled so good that I asked for a few more sets. I couldn't help it.

Since I was trying to revive my blog, this became my workstation for the week. After my quick one-day trip in Hong Kong, I had one more extreme indulgence in Raffles.
On my desk, I found complimentary local sweet delicacies.
For more sugar overload.
...and More sugar. I still had a box of Laduree Macarons (from Hong Kong) waiting to be devoured.

If you want more privacy, there's a double door diving the bedroom and the living area.
This is the private poolside area for all the Raffles guests and residents. (There's also a bigger pool on the fourth floor for the raffles and farimont hotel guests)
There's still a lot of ongoing construction around the vicinity but that take away the calming atmosphere of the pool.
Can you think of a better way of spending a day by the poolside? Mojitos and some vodka to jumpstart the day.

Part of my stay was the afternoon tea at the Writer's Bar. I was already full from lunch but how could I say no to afternoon tea in Raffles?

FYI, The Writer's bars in other raffles hotels have already hosted luminaries such as Kipling and Conrad. With its smooth service, platter of small bites and three-tiered display of desserts, the Writer's Bar may be my next place for a quiet afternoon.



I had some light mango tea served. The smoked Salmon and turkey were some of my favorites.

I felt like I was already eating desserts the whole day.
We had the pastries brought to suite after realizing that there was no way we could finish them all.
Another special must-visit place in Raffles is the Long Bar, home of the famous Singapore Sling, a drink developed in the early1900s. It is a mixture of gin, grenadine syrup, sweet and sour mix, club soda, and cherry brandy.  They also have a local version called Makati Luxury Sling, a fruity drink topped with 24K gold flakes. (P850). I haven't tried this yet because I am saving it for a boring night in the city.

The famous fans on the ceiling in the Singapore Long Bar can also be found here.
They play Charlie Chaplain to complete the whole Long Bar Experience.

Other Amenities:

The Willow Spa of Fairmont. This is also open for all the Raffles guests.

Come here and indulge.

If you need some quick makeover, Creations by Lourd Ramos is also on the 4th floor.



For gym rats who can't live without their everyday workout, you can use their spacious gym.
It even has an outstanding view of the Makati Skyline.

Another poolside area on the 5th floor.





The main restaurant for both Raffles and Fairmont is Spectrum.

Spectrum is one of newest dining destinations for buffet in Manila. They have an extensive buffet with a generous selection of dishes for discriminating palates. I've also heard that Raffles is opening a fine dining restaurant some time midyear on the 9th floor.



One interesting thing to see here is free honey made by the bees.

"No Bees. No Honey. No Work. No Money."

Star anise, anyone?

My favorite meal of the day was served at the Spectrum. 

For more sweet indulgence, The Cafe Macaron is right around the corner.


It was nice to see again one of the best pastry Chefs in town, Chef Miko Aspiras. I had a fun time here, thanks to the staff who engaged me in interesting conversations after my-check out.

They have Macarons with Unique Flavors such as Ube and Peanut Butter.


Thanks Chef Miko for the Ensaymada Pizza!

After my breakfast, I had another tour of the Executive Suite. If you have more money to burn, this one is worth every peso.

You even have a foyer.

Voila! This can be your getaway home for the weekend. I have realized people don't need to be multi-millionaires. They only need to feel how it is to live on the other side once in a while.
I am planning to celebrate my 30th birthday here.


It has a generous living space for you and your guests.

More one-of-a-kind paintings for Raffles. 



The suite also has a separate powder room.

The Elegant Bedroom.




Walk-in Closet. 


I think I like the design of the junior suite's bathroom better though.



When I was about to check out, I was in complete denial. I wanted more of it. The Raffles Experience went beyond what I had expected. I can't get over how lovely our stay here was. It was short but sweet. Booking a night or two here definitely doesn't come cheap but if you want to have a luxurious stay in the city, you can't go wrong with Raffles Makati. 

Without a doubt, I will be having Raffles withdrawal symptoms after this.

Rates start at P12,500 ++ (Exclusive of VAT). 

For more information, check http://www.raffles.com/makati/

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful suites..for honeymooners..

Teddi said...

urk ENVY!!!!! at least i know na where my next staycation will be hehehe! 30th birthday mo naaa OMG. we can't really be there already, can we??

deobaraanmd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deobaraanmd said...

haha! 30th! Dreaded! One of the best places for staycation, Teddi! haha

Shannon Parker said...

Nice interior. Interior and exterior reflects the services and the luxury of the hotel. People like to stay in hotels that provide them perfect combo of delicious food and full comfort offering top class services.

deobaraanmd said...

Raffles gives all that Shannon! :)

hotels in makati said...

wow. wow. wow. Really beautiful. Very world class.

deobaraanmd said...

The best suites in the city! :)

Jack taylor said...

Amazing interior. Everything is looking so perfect. Food is looking really delicious. I would love to visit at this hotel once. I love this kind of luxurious accommodation services. Recently I have visited in Killarney Hotel. That was a really beautiful hotel. Luxurious hotels in Killarney are famous for their verities of services.

deobaraanmd said...

Hi Jack! You wont be disappointed!