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Archive for May, 2012

Ascott Residences at Glorietta 4, Makati City is a family friendly, good value hotel.

It was our first time to billet in Ascott residences and have found it to be  a pleasurable experience. There were 7 people in our party. This includes my husband and I, and our  5 kids, aged 13, 12, 9, 8 and 3 years old. As moms like us know, packing for the family can be a challenge.

When I found out that Ascott had a washer and dryer, as well as a kitchen, I immediately told my husband that I wanted to try it out.  These amenities meant I could pack half as much clothes as I used to and  spend much less money on food . The fact that it was located inside Glorietta also meant that we did not have to walk far to get the things we needed.

We rented the 2-bedroom residence. My husband , myself and my 3 year old daughter fit comfortably on the queen size bed in the master bedroom. Our four other children stayed in the other bedroom. We rented an extra bed, which costs around P1,600 a night, so that they can sleep more comfortably.

I love that they had free wi-fi access. Thus, I was able to check out the local stock market conveniently while vacationing.

The room had breakfast buffet for three. Since there were 7 of us, on both mornings, I happily had coffee and croissants for  breakfast in the suite with my 3 year old daughter, while the rest of the family had buffet downstairs. The kitchen was well equipped with water heater, microwave, refrigerator, pots and pans, cups, plates, utensils….It even had sponge and dishwashing liquid….It felt like I planned the kitchen myself!

Not only did it save us some money, it also helped me keep my diet….

There were also spacious walk -in closets, which made it easy to manage our clothes. There is a  dining table and a  living room , which was  very comfortable.

The pools were kid friendly. It was only up to 5 feet deep and the water was just the right temperature. There was a jacuzzi  as well. There was no lifeguard on duty, though, so if you have kids, you really have to keep an eye on them. All my kids  , except for my 3 year old know how to swim. Thus, my youngest wore a life vest, which made her very confident in the water.

At night time, we would walk to Glorietta or Greenbelt for dinner, and we would still have lots of time to relax afterwards.

There is also a gym which you can use whenever you like.

The fee was very reasonable. Pricing is at the middle of the spectrum for hotels in Metro Manila.  Based on experience, renting two rooms at Ascott residences for our party of 7  costs less  than renting two adjoining rooms at high end 5 star hotels  but costs a little more than renting a two bedroom suite at Linden Suites, Malayan Hotel or Discovery Suites. Unlike high end five star hotels that cater to  the vacationist and premium market,   Ascott residences cater to relocating executives and their families. Thus,  the residences and the amenities make you feel like you’re right at   home.

The service was also remarkable. The staff were friendly and courteous. The rooms were cleaned everyday. The hallways were pleasant and felt secure.

I am quite happy with our stay at Ascott Residences. My family would definitely come back again.

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It was an amazing dining experience . On May 18, we dined at Circles Event Cafe at Shangrila Hotel, Makati.  We were warmly welcomed at the reception and were seated at the Chef’s table, a private room that received special service. It  was much more than we had expected.  It was a special night because it was my husband’s birthday.

Checking out the buffet menu, I found my husband’s favorite, roasted duck.  I was a bit excited  that I went back to our table and  told him about it.

However, he seemed to have been more interested in something else, as  I found him lining up at the Seafood table…  I was  intrigued. I went to where he was and found a table filled with   raw lobsters, king prawns, Alaskan Crabs, Oyster, tuna, cuttlefish and many other seafood delights. You can request the chefs to cook it in several different ways – grilled, boiled, buttered, etc….

It was then that I realized that the night’s theme was Seafood Market.

We ordered king prawns smothered in butter, garlic and chili. My son ordered prawns in boiled onions. I also had a serving of  the delightfully creamy and light Seafood Thermidor. I   had  duck,   fried rice, as well as a serving of warm shawarma, that took me back to  my college days……

Among the exciting seafood fare, they also have  their usual offerings- Japanese cuisine – sushi ,  sashimi, maki rolls…. as well as their noodle station and congee .

Desserts were equally irresistible.   There was a chocolate fountain,  dried fruits, cakes, pastries, cookies and  different kinds of mousse . Among the delicately prepared desserts, what caught my fancy were the local favorites.

  The bibingka was a delightful, melt in your mouth experience. The  puto and  kutsinta were  simply yummy, simply Filipino, simply home .   They also had their usual fruit medley of watermelon, mangoes, melons, oranges, dragon fruit, and others, which my 3 year old feasted upon. Many thanks to Circles at Shangrila Hotel , particularly to Ms. Erica Sotto, Director of Communications,  for an exceptional dining experience.  You made my husband’s  birthday celebration an extra special one.

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I wish to thank  Outback Steakhouse, particularly Outback Marketing Manager, Ms. Vanessa Calimlim  for reading and commenting on my kids’ blogs.

Dinner at Outback Steakhouse

A Trip to the Outback

My children’s culinary interest have made them more critical of the food  ,  the atmosphere, and  the feeling that they receive every time they dine at  a restaurant.  Outback’s food and service  have made them feel quite special and welcome .

That  Outback Restaurant noticed their blogs  is a bonus.

Again, many thanks, Outback Restaurant! We will be back!

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Amazing!

The breastfeeding room at Shangrila Mall is a welcome sight to a mom like me.  I am way past breasfeeding, since my youngest child is already 3 years old, and now refuses to breastfeed. But years ago, I had been looking desperately for  a mall that had a breastfeeding room, but had  always been disappointed.

I am happy that finally, I found one that other breastfeeding mothers could use.

The breastfeeding room is located between Crossings and Planet Sports. I went inside to take a look at the facilities. It was pretty cozy.  It was clean and well furnished. It had 5 arm chairs, a refrigerator, microwave oven, water heater, cabinets, diaper changing stations, sinks, and mirrors.

Here are the guidelines for using this facility:

1) Only breastfeeding activities are allowed.

2) No males are allowed.

3) Food and drinks not allowed, except for drinking water for mother and baby.

4)Mind your belongings.

Hats off to Shangrila Mall for this terrific new facility.

Researching further, I learned that SM malls also has breastfeeding stations.

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