Other Grandeur Travelers.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Murray Hong Kong: The Transformation of a Landmark

I quite love properties with a deep sense of history in their bones like the Murray. There is a slight thrill when I see the transformation of old structures into buildings of today. Before becoming a luxury hotel, the Murray was once a modernist government office building in the 1960s. The legendary building was then acquired by the the Niccolo group of hotels to be the flagship property in China. With the help of Foster + Partners, they were able to retain its soul and character. After the $1 billion dollar renovation, they were ready for their debut in Hong Kong.

At the Arches.

The LOBBY. Nothing excites me more than staying at a new hotel and stepping into its lobby for the first time. The highlight of the Murray's lobby is an art piece made of charcoal dangling from nylon threads. This was made by a Seoul-based artist named Bahk Seon-ghi.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Tuve Hotel Hongkong: Cool and Celestial State of Mind

It felt good to be back in my element. I had again started a series of hotel hopping and staycations (from small unique properties to the latest luxurious one) in Hong Kong a few weeks ago. For this post, I will be featuring my new favorite boutique hotel called Tuve, a property that caught my attention because of its philosophy: Timeless, placeless and genderless. 

In a megacity where hotels are as ubiquitous as taxis, Tuve hotel has succeedded in setting itself apart from the rest. Let's begin with its location. Tuve hotel is right smack in the middle of Tin Hau, a foodie paradise near Central. As soon as you reach Tin Hau (whether via MTR or taxi), keep your eyes open because their unassuming sign is posted on the road. You'll miss it if you blink for a second.

It almost felt like we were entering a speakeasy bar during the Prohibition Era. 

Tuve Hotel remains true to its inspiration - the Swedish Lake Tuve during wintertime. When you enter the lobby, you'll appear to be transported to a cold and almost celestial plane. The design aesthetic is dark but there's something completely relaxing and hypnotic about it. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

My Love Affair with Le Labo: The Noir 29

I first fell in love with Le Labo, a cult favourite, when I stayed at the Refinery Hotel in New York City. They used the Santal line for their bath amenities and it was love at first smell. Since then, I was on the quest to add their line to my growing perfume collection. I have decided to talk about perfume on my blog to change things a little bit. Scents are powerful when we want a trip back to memory lane. As a perfume addict, purchasing a bottle is an intimate and personal experience because it reflects your mood and personality in some ways.

One of my recent perfume purchases is The Noir 29, which has an interesting story behind it. Before  our trip to Osaka, I had already made a mental note that I had to go to Le Labo. When it was time to buy it, not one sales lady had a clue what Le Labo was but I had a feeling they had it. (I mean, the site said so!) After asking a few people, I had resigned myself to the fact that perhaps the department store did not carry it. Was the site wrong? Just when I thought my luck had ran out, my olfactory cells came to the rescue. This was mad skill. Coming down from the top floor via the escalator, this familiar woody aromatic scent slowly filled my nose. It was unmistakably Le Labo. I told my friend and her son that we had to follow that scent. Within less than a minute, I saw the distinct Le Labo store! Hallelujah! The Noir 29 was calling my name. 

I am pleased to say that Le Labo The Noir 29 is heaven on my skin. It is the perfect blend of bergamot, fig, bay leaves and black tea leaves. It also has a combination of hay and tobacco as middle notes and base notes of cedar wood, musk and vetiver. It is a sensuous and fresh smell that leaves you wanting to spray more! But, there's no need since the the smell last for 10-12 hours! 

If you want to get this fragrance, check www.lelabofragrances.com. 

(P.S For my next purchase, I will be talking about Tom Ford's Fucking Fabulous perfume, my first blind buy in the country)

Friday, August 17, 2018

Natural Frequency Technology with Philip Stein

When two of your passions come together, you definitely need to make time for both. As of late, my life has been all about traveling to the resort from the clinic and that can take its toll. I decided to do a little experiment with my new favorite accessory- a watch from Philip Stein that has Natural Frequency Technology. After wearing it or a few weeks, I noticed that I felt more energized and more focused than usual. My sleep pattern has been back to normal as well. I might need to wear this 24/7 now, except in the shower (haha). (P.S I can't wait to wear this when I travel to my dream destination in a few months. It might be help me beat jet lag faster.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Sirom Beach House: When Dreams Come True

(UPDATE: For more infomation, check the site www.sirombeachhouse.com)

A few years ago, I remember writing on my blog that I wanted to build a little beach house in the future. Little did I know that this dream would come true this year. After months of planning and countless trips from Manila to Dasol, our labor of love has finally come to fruition (at least the first phase). We are immensely proud of this project: Sirom Beach House. Sirom, which means shelter or shade in the local dialect, will be the chicest getaway in Dasol Bay. It has 7 rooms- 2 suites, 3 deluxe rooms and 2 bunk rooms. (UPDATE: We will be releasing two bungalows this year.) As one of the newest players in this industry, our hope is promotion of ecotourism in this fishing village and the whole province of Pangasinan (More importantly, less public videoke!). Never stop dreaming but make sure you do whatever it takes to get there.


Suite - starts at P7000 per night.

Suite Ante Room.

Premier Deluxe - starts at 4500.

Deluxe 1 - starts at P4000 per night.

Bunk Room - starts at 3700 per night.

Colibra Island - a few minutes away from the property.

Calm beach.

Please Follow our IG @sirombeachhouse or Facebook page: Sirom Beach House. I will be giving 3d/2n soon. Stay tuned!

To BOOK, click the site www.sirombeachhouse.com. Room rates start from P3700 to P7000 per night. See you at Sirom soon!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Bayud: Siargao's Newest IT Boutique Resort

I had always wanted to visit the idyllic island of Siargao before tourism swallowed it. Its meteoric popularity, both a blessing and a curse, was inevitable. Now, with the direct flights from Skyjet and Cebu Pacific, it will not be long until Siargao becomes ubiquitous on your Instagram feed. Such is the fate of our destinations in this country. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Favorite Movie of the Year: Call Me By Your Name

"We had the stars, you and I. And this is only given once".

I normally do not make a movie recommendation but I will make an exception for this film. A couple of years ago, I found this book called "Call Me By Your Name" by literary genius and personal hero André Aciman at a specialty bookstore somewhere in London. Without a doubt, it was one of the most beautifully written books I had ever read during that time (It still is, actually). When I heard that they were going to turn it into a film, I was excited to know that they had cast two talented actors - Armie Hammer and newcomer Timothée Chalet, who were both perfect as Oliver and Elio, respectively. Director Luca Guadagnino did make this Italian summer dream come alive. Yes, some parts were cut from the book but it still captured its message about lust, first love and heartbreak. Each scene with Hammer and Chalamet is either glorious, sensual or heartbreaking (that I almost felt mine). This book/movie is quite special since it somehow mirrors parts of my life but the whole story will be for my own book one day. 

5/5 for the movie. And the book, it is always 6/5!