Other Grandeur Travelers.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Imperial Residence in Sofitel: Luxury Hotel Living Redefined

My weekends recently have been spent in hotels because of my crazy work schedule. I could not survive without having my regular staycations. This lifestyle has left me addicted to hotels. Nothing excites me more than seeing beautiful hotel rooms and suites. Last weekend, I got to see one of the most beautiful and luxurious collection of suites in Sofitel Philippine Plaza - The Imperial Residence. Because of its opulence, the Imperial Residence has been the temporary home of royalties, celebrities, and heads of state when they are in Manila (Recently, President Barack Obama has stayed here).

If you are a discerning guest who wants the best products and service in a hotel, the Imperial Residence will blow your socks off.  It was designed by the world-renowned Spin Studio of Japan, with an investment almost amounting to over one million dollars. With 6,200 square foot, this residential concept is the only one in the city that features flexibility and versatility. Let's say you want to transform  
one of the rooms into a gym, spa or office, they will gladly do it for you.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Vietura: The First Aesthetic Lifestyle Institute in Manila

Launched in early 2013, Vietura Aesthetic Lifestyle Institute is a first in Manila. Sofitel Philippine Plaza, one of the leading luxury hotels in Manila, has partnered with the country's leading wellness experts to come up with this unique concept. 

Vie actually means life and tura comes from nature (nature). It focuses on a holistic approach to wellness, combining aesthetic procedures with integrative medicine and lifestyle coaching. Programs can range from weight management sessions to anti-aging procedures. They also offer nutritional counseling and cosmetic dentistry. Everything in Vietura is 100 percent non-invasive procedures that will all be tailor-made for each individual that comes in for a treatment. The three-step philosophy of Vietura will always be "Measure, Mentor and Monitor".

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Australia's Toby's Estate Brings A Different Coffee Experience to Manila

(All pictures taken with my Iphone 5s. Better photos with my SLR soon. Food and Coffee Review soon.)

I am sure that some of you have noticed that I don't write about things I don't like or love. It's just my rule as a blogger. If there's a bad experience about a certain place but it doesn't kill me, I'll tell the owners or managers directly so they can improve on it.

Now, I am writing about one of my new favorite finds in my neighborhood - Toby's Estate Coffee Roasters. This is actually the second branch of Toby's Estate in Manila. The first one is located in the recently opened Century City Mall in Century City.

Let me give a brief background. For some people who aren't familiar with this group, Toby's Estate is originally from the Land Down Under - Australia. The man behind it is Toby Smith, another person whose passion for coffee has fueled his dreams to build his coffee empire. He dropped his law career to travel to different parts of the globe like Brazil, Colombia and Guatemala to learn more about the art of making coffee. The first branch opened last 2001 in Sydney. Years after, they have managed to put up branches in New York, Singapore and now they are in my favorite city -- Manila.

What drew me to this coffee shop initially was their lovely interiors. I love everything about the design! One sunny day, when I was walking to the park, I noticed the strikingly beautiful interiors when they were still building the shop. I was wondering what was going 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Borobodur Temple: Understanding the Journey to Nirvana

When visiting Bali, a day trip to the Yogyakarta in Central Java should NOT be missed. Borobodur and Prambanan Temple Complex are two amazing architectural wonders that represent the complex spirituality of Javanese Life.

FACT: The famous and esoteric Borobodur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world, is actually the most visited site in Indonesia. Believe me, there's no more need to wonder why it holds this reputation after your trip here.

That morning, we took the earliest Garuda Indonesia Airlines flight from Denpasar, Bali to Yogyakarta.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Abaca Boutique Resort + Restaurant: What Tropical Dreams Are Made Of

(All photos from Iphone 5s)

Luxury means exclusivity for most of us. The feeling of utmost privacy is what we actually pay for when we go on "luxury" vacations. It is true that there's a considerable premium for these resorts but at the end of the day, if you can afford it, it will be worth every penny.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Refinery Hotel: My New Home in New York

(Photos from iPhone 5s and Sony Alpha 55)

Located in the heart of the Garment District, Refinery Hotel was the perfect choice for my accommodation in the Empire State. Mind you, picking the right hotel for your personality is one of the hardest things to do. After meticulously checking the best hotels in New York, from Soho to Upper East Side, I stumbled upon the Refinery Hotel from the Tablet Hotels Website. It was the glaring winner of my almost never-ending hotel hunting. 

The Refinery's overall industrial design, original artworks, and vintage furniture all appealed to my taste. As a bonus, they also have one of the coolest (or probably the coolest) rooftop bars with unparalleled views of the Empire State Building. 

At last, I have found a new home in the heart of midtown Manhattan. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Prambanan Temple Complex: A Closer Look at the World's Most Beautiful Hindu Temple

The Hindu Prambanan Temple Complex is an impressive archaeological monument in Central Java. Because of its extraordinary architecture, this was declared as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

When I first saw Prambanan (despite the feeling of information and sensory overload from Borobodur), I knew I would be enjoying taking pictures of it. To be honest, I was impressed by the structure of Prambanan more than Borobodur. Its grand quality reminded of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It had that commanding presence that was tangible even from the park before entering the whole compound. What I liked about about Prambanan was how it took me by surprise. People would expect me to research before going to a certain place but more often than not, I play it by ear. I seriously had no idea Prambanan existed. When I found out it did, I was blown away.

Prambanan was built in the 10th century and it was the largest temple complex dedicated to the Shiva (or Siva). In the whole complex, the one made for Siva is the largest and it towers dramatically over the others. The other temples were built to honour the great hindi gods (Vishnu and Brahma) and the animals who serve them (Nandi the bull for Shiva, Hamsa the sacred swan for Brahma and the Eagle Garuda for Vishnu).