Other Grandeur Travelers.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Four Seasons Hotel Firenze: An Urban Sanctuary in Florence




It was the ideal escape from the cold winter of the Netherlands. My family planned an eight-day trip in Tuscany, my favorite region in Italy. We would start in Lucca and end in Tuscany's capital -- Firenze. Florence is a city where people live and breathe art. It also happens to be the location of one of my all-time favorite properties - Four Seasons Hotel Firenze. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Dedon Island Resort (Now called Nay Palad): Siargao Island's Top Luxury Resort









When the best outdoor furniture in the world decided to build their own resort in our country, everyone imagined it to be exceptional. Bobby Dekeyser, the owner of Dedon, had always wanted to build his own resort that will showcase and highlight all their beautiful creations made in Cebu. 

Dedon Island Resort (Now renamed Nay Palad) may not be an actual island as the name implies but it might as well be. Despite being located in General Luna, the home Cloud 9 for word class surfing, Dedon feels like a world away. Its unique location and lush tropical jungle landscape will make you feel like you have arrived somewhere else. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Rizal Park Hotel: Restoring Manila's Grandeur




















A few years ago (during my residency training), we went to this old and derelict Army and Navy Club where a period movie shoot was taking place.  I had no idea that this building even existed in Manila. We were tasked to invite actor Cesar Montano to open our fun run for the hospital. While walking in the hallways of the Army and Navy Club, I wondered how it would have looked like during the American occupation. I kept telling myself that if I had the means to save this beautiful property, I probably would. All I saw was the potential of this building to help restore Manila's grandeur. We cannot afford to lose another heritage building.

For those who do not know, the Army and Navy Club is actually steeped in history. Founded in 1898, the Club's original location was in our beloved Intramuros district. When urban planner Daniel Burnham came into the picture, the club was transferred to the present site where it would serve as a venue for the military and social set upon its completion in 1911. This iconic property was designed by William Parson, an American architect who trained at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in France. Unfortunately, the glory days of this elegant building would soon be over after the war. Without proper maintenance and support from the government, the future of the club seemed bleak.  Hope, however, was not lost. In 1991, the building was finally declared a National Historic Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.  With the intent of restoring and preserving the old forgotten building, Oceanville Hotel and Spa Corporation decided that they would turn this into a world-class hotel. Thanks to the vision of Simon Lee Paz, we can finally see the beauty of this property with the opening of Rizal Park Hotel.


The Grand Lobby is the pièce de résistance of Rizal Park Hotel. I am certain that most guests who  visit the hotel for the first time will be snapping photos for their social media feed.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

5 Instagrammers to Fuel Your Wanderlust

Having been swallowed by my work lately as a practicing dermatologist, I haven't had time to properly satisfy my wanderlust.  I have then decided to compile a list of few of my favorite Instagrammers to inspire (and sometimes torture) myself when I am stuck. Here they are:

1) Carolyn from UK a.ka. @theslowtraveler. As someone who teaches Instagram photography, Carolyn certainly knows how to play with light and a proper filter. All her photos almost seem magical and straight out of a fairytale. You will know what I am talking about when you see her feed.


2. Marc Forne. I started following Marc, a model from UNO, when he posted photos from his Formentera Trip. I was instantly drawn to his hip and nonchalant attitude. He makes tanning look like it's the best thing in the world! Well, it actually is, Please wear sunblock though. And Reapply.
A post shared by MARC FORNE (@marcforne) on 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Casa Kalaw: Your Latest Home in El Nido

I just had to get this aerial shot of the Big Lagoon















(At one point during these challenging past months, I almost led myself into believing that "Adulting" would briefly halt my life's halcyon days. My old self, however, could not let that happen. I can never give up my one true love - Traveling. There should be room for it in my life one way or another).

A few days ago, I found myself back in my ultimate happy place - El Nido. This time, I was playing host and tour guide for good friends visiting from Hong Kong. After touring the world famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, we hired a private van and proceeded to the glorious Bacuit Bay. Timing was excellent since the 325-hectare Lio Tourism Estate opened its first resort called Casa Kalaw - a Filipino-inspired property located around 15 minutes from El Nido town proper and 5 minutes from Lio Airport. Kalye Artisano, Balai Adlao and Hotel Covo (for backpackers) will be launched soon, too. The whole Lio Tourism estate is a testament to Ayala Land's commitment to eco-tourism and sustainable development.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

I'M Hotel: Urban Escape in Makati


Barangay Poblacion in Makati City is experiencing some sort of rebirth lately. Its reputation as the Red Light District no longer precedes it. This side of Makati is now the home of the hippest cafés, restaurants, and bars.  It didn't come as a surprise to me when I heard that I'M hotel - a 5-star property - was finally breaking ground here. I'M hotel has a unique position because it is hotel of many "firsts" in the city.  Its signature facilities, location and design will surely appeal to all types of guests. The hotel's main feature is the Onsen Spa - the largest state-of-the-art spa in the Philippines. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve: The Best in Ubud, Bali (A Photoblog)




The Ritz-Carlton group has finally made an incredible and stunning debut in Ubud. Mandapa, which means temples in Sanskrit, is the dream destination that will shift the way you think about quintessential paradise. There is no better place to see and feel the magic of Bali's spiritual and cultural center. It is a special place where people can rest their mind, body and soul.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Conrad Hotel Manila: An Inspiration by the Bay



I sometimes forget how magnificent the sunsets are in Manila Bay. With certainty and pride, I believe it is one of the best in the world. Those sunsets even helped me in deciding where I would take my Dermatology Residency (Not a big factor but a bonus. I knew that sunsets would save me every time I had a bad day at the hospital). However, I noticed something was missing -- that little extra that would add life and inspiration to the bay. Last June 15 2016, that became possible when Conrad Hotel, through its partnership with SM group, opened its first property in the Philippines.

Designed to look like a luxury cruise ship, Conrad Manila definitely stands out. WOW architects from Singapore wanted to bring a refreshing addition to the hotels in Manila.