Christmas is less  than ten days away!  Simbang Gabi started yesterday morning and everybody just wants to go on vacation already!  For those people who want to sit back and relax during the holidays, you better start booking your hotels.  It’s very difficult and quite pricey to reserve rooms during the “peakest of the peak”  season.  And if you want the creme of the creme in hotels, you may want to consider staying at THE MANILA HOTEL.  My family and I were very fortunate to spend a weekend at the Grande Dame several weeks ago.  The hotel has undergone major renovations and this is noticeable once you step in the front door.  The lobby is alive with people and activities.  The ambience is warm, inviting, and quietly luxurious.  It’s like returning to a well-appointed home.

At the time of our stay, the whole lobby was decorated like Disney’s Haunted Mansion.


Sitting with the skeletons.



We were given two de luxe rooms.  One which had twin beds was shared by my boys while the other one with a large master bed was occupied by my daughter and I.  Ahh, my daughter loved the ocean view.  She loved that she could also watch her favorite cartoon show while taking a bubble bath!




It gets tricky for us as parents when we go abroad.  Sometimes hotels really do serve “blah” food and we end up ordering from fastfood chains. But believe me when I tell you that the best buffet in town is defintiely Café Ilang-Ilang.  The café boasts of  eight live cooking stations which feature cuisines from Asian, Western, European and the Mediterranean.  My boys loved the Japanese station (katsudon and tempura overload!) as well as the Italian kitchen which is equipped with a wood-fire pizza oven AND a dough-tossing chef!



Some aerial moves before we get our pepperoni pizza!


I give this gastronomic spread a triple “A”! My kids loved the soft rolls, the crispy lechon, ebi tempura and pork katsudon from the Japanese station and the dessert bar,of course.  The salad station was a delight too!


The dessert bar and ice-cream station was a hit with my daughter!  I liked that low-sugar/sugar free decadent delights were also served.

Cereals, cakes, chocolate fondue, pies and even puto! We made many trips back to this station!


My favorite? The coffee flavored ice cream, no doubt!



To make our stay even more enjoyable, the hubby and I indulged ourselves in relaxing massages at the Manila Hotel Spa.  I loved it!  Aside from my therapist’s skills in kneading the stress off of my tired muscles, it was the scented oil that she used which sealed the deal for me.  The orangey-minty scent sent me right into relaxation heaven!

Book your appointments early on in the day as the SPA gets very, very busy.


After the signature massage, guests are treated to a pot of tea and fresh fruits.



No stay will be complete without the mandatory pool visit.  My kids are like fish and crave the water.  They really had a great time playing in the pool.



Really the most festive Christmas lobby display I’ve seen. There is Simbang Gabi every 6pm, after which you can listen to different choirs at the lobby and if you wish to eat local delicacies like puto bumbong ang bibingka — well, The Grande Dame has it all! You many call 527 0011 for reservations.


Enjoy the first class amenities and world class service only at the Manila Hotel!  It truly feels like coming home!   Thank you Manila Hotel for hosting us! image001 (1)




Subscribe now to our newsletter


  1. Sumptuous food! 🙂 I love the ice cream and cakes. I hope I can still find time to visit Manila Hotel and take pictures of their lovely Christmas decoration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: