Review: Marco Polo Ortigas Hotel

Ever since it opened in 2014, I have always wanted to visit the Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas, Pasig City. But due to work, marriage and now comes pregnancy I’ve forgotten all about it…

Thanks to that one faithful browsing night in Instagram, we decided to have an on the spot planning and book their weekend dine, stay and play package for superior room priced at Php 5,800 in total for 2 guests overnight stay. So comes the weekend, we had our staycation!

A complimentary parking is available for guests, and if you have a companion who wants to park in their building they charge a fee of Php 100 for the first three hours.

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Checking in was a breeze because of the prompt and courteous receptionist.

Their lobby is located in the 24th floor (ergo their tagline of Philippine’s First Sky Hotel) because the other lower floors were occupied by offices.

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Our room’s in the 27th floor adjacent to the MERALCO building providing us a great view of the city and traffic.twin beds of pure comfort

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Twin beds of pure comfort

All complementaries are complete: You got your mineral water, soap, shampoo, body gel, toothbrush, cotton buds, slippers and many others. But one thing that is very important and missing: They do not have a bidet 😦

Mustering all my second trimester energy, we decided to take a dip in the pool while my sister tries their gym which I find really inviting with their modern equipments and available gym trainer. If it hadn’t been pregnant I might have a go on their Treadmill.

And so I dip and swam to my heart’s content in their pool instead, which is  just the perfect temperature. They also have a jacuzzi in the corner which I didn’t get into as my condition restrain me. Their pool area in 22nd floor which is open from 6:00am-10:00pm is one of the highlights of my visit. I really enjoyed it. Why? It’s indoor with a great view, good ambience, tempting sofa seats to rest on, unlimited available dry towels and free cucumber water on standby. Not to mention that there were only few guests or almost none when we’re there 🙂 and to cap it all off they have one of the best shower areas I’ve been to! Talk about great amenities and superb service from all the attentive staffs.

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Before bed time I did indulge a few hours in the bath tub. Tip though: Bring your own bath salt/foam that’s oozing with foam and scent because the one they have there seems bland.

* I’ll be having a separate post for our buffet breakfast in CUCINA.

Overall, The Marco Polo Ortigas Hotel experience is very luxurious, relaxing and simply nice. The room is spot on with all the great features, their amenities are well maintained, the restroom is clean, modern and sleek. But for me, the highlight will be that of superb attentive service from their staff plus the affordable price it all comes with.

 

MARCO POLO ORTIGAS, MANILA  |  Meralco Avenue and Sapphire Street, Ortigas Centre, Pasig City,1600,  Manila,  Philippines  |  Email: manila@marcopolohotels.com  |  Tel: (+632) 720 7777

 

P.S. This is me at 26 weeks 🙂

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Nessy and Nessly at Marco Polo Ortigas Hotel – July 2016

 

Good Job! Marco Polo Ortigas… I will see you soon, again!

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All Roads Lead to Davao

To date, Davao City seems the place to be and its no brainer because of incoming President Duterte.  Due to time constraint, my husband and I decided to have our honeymoon here. We rented an apartment and I planned to stay there for a month but was cut short to two weeks instead. Anyway cut short or not I think we were able to achieve its main purpose… To have a baby 🙂

We visited several places while there and this blog entry will be a brief look of how the trip goes…

1. Maxima Aqua Fun, Samal Island

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The place is tiring. It took us a whole day to get, be and leave the place. We rode the barge from davao city proper to samal island which only took 10 minutes then again, rode a motorcycle for 20 minutes from the barge area to the resort itself. I am not sure of the entrance fee but I think its Php 350. There’s a lot of water activities you can do like a giant slide, banana boat etc. The food inside the resort is limited so I suggest you bring your own food and drinks. There are rooms for rent available overnight too. They have their own barge too that can take you to the city proper, but it has a limited schedule only.

I enjoyed the place, but mostly because I was super high from being a new wife. But let me tell you going back and forth to slide and stairs is worth it.

2. Davao Crocodile Park 

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It speaks for itself. Crocodiles everywhere! Small, medium, large to gigantic Lolong (statue only as he’s dead). There are other animals too. Tigers, Ostrich, Parrots etc. A zoo exactly. Inside, there’s a restaurant that serves crocodile dishes at Php 950.

3. Kapatagan, Davao del Sur

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I cannot remember the exact names of the places we visited. But of all places we’ve been to, these are my favorites:

Camp Sabros is where all the fun of zipline happened. At an affordable rate of Php 850 you’ll experience an almost unlimited zipline activity overlooking Mount Apo.

Kublai Art Garden is art that you can feel. The gigantic statues are very impressive and sitting in a corner is all you need to appreciate the wonders of nature.

Kapatagan is the so-called baguio of davao del sur, but believe when I say that it is far better! The weather is perfect. Cold perfect!

4. Digos City

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Three hours away from Davao city the place has a lot to offer. With three different Gaisano centers, Churches steps away from each other, Lots of food places to choose from and friendly locals, it is a great place to stay to.

Being a first timer in Davao I am solved. I remember my post in facebook upon arriving here:

Hello Davao!!! Wala kong ibang alam sayo kundi Durian at si Duterte. Surprise me 😬

Well, it really did surprised me! By blessing us a honeymoon baby… Somehow we’re lured to calling the baby “Digong” hahaha.

Visit Davao and maybe you’ll be surprise too.

 

Wishing your trip to be memorable like mine…

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SkyjetAir Batanes promo fare 2015

SkyJet is having a 998 peso promo fare!

For a roundtrip of Manila to Basco that’s a total of only Php 7,100. Booking is from August 15 – 17, 2015 and travel date until November 30, 2015.

What are you waiting for?! BOOK NOW!!!

http://www.skyjetair.com

http://1pisofare.com/998-pesos-basco-batanes-skyjet-promo-fare/

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Excited!!!

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Review: The Exchange Regency Hotel 

While browsing on the Deal Grocer website, I saw a great deal worth Php. 2,700 for an overnight stay in a deluxe room and free breakfast for 2 at The Exchange Regency Hotel. I find the price very cheap, and so I instantly called their reservations hotline to inquire if my preferred date is open, after confirmation I bought the voucher and send it thru the hotel’s reservation email: reservations@theexchangeregency.com, within a few minutes I have a room booked!

Right from this transaction I observed their great service, however, upon researching on different blogs with reviews about the hotel my expectations aren’t really high… The main statement is: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR. The hotel’s location is very convenient. Just across BenPres building, a few walks from the Philippine Stock Exchange Building and about 2 streets away from megamall, It really is the hotel for a traveler who wants to have a place to stay within the business hub. The restaurants to dine in are plenty and the commuting to and from the hotel is never a problem.

About the room: 

  • The key card is needed in the elevator to access the floors and room
  • The deluxe room is small but the furnitures are well placed so as to still present well decorated and not too crowded
  • Toiletries are provided but no toothbrush
  • The bathroom is small, but the door seems off in its place (I suggest that a sliding door will be better)
  • Upon research, they said that the wifi is strong but during our visit it is slow

We were assigned on the 10th floor with a view of Meralco Avenue, the road noise is not much and never a bother. In the morning, we availed the free breakfast. I’ll say its okay. They should improve it more. We visited the amenities on the 3rd floor. The pool which is inviting for a swim, the fitness center which is well equipped, a little playground and golf area.

Hotel Pictures:               

Overall the hotel is nice. Everything seems quite small but of course it’s not a grand hotel. Just the perfect size for a traveler who needs a place to stay in the city. Customer service is very much appreciated. Will go back If we want a place that’s cheap and right in the area.  The statement is right. You get what you paid for.

Website: theexchangeregency.com.

Exchange Drive corner Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Pasig, City 1605  

(02) 312 9999

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Momarco Resort

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To be under a shade of tree is considered a blessing these days especially with the scorching heat of the sun almost close to burning us. The ultimate sign that SUMMER is HERE! So, if you want the shade of nature and the refreshing splash of water which is close to the city in an hour’s drive… then you need to visit: MOMARCO RESORT in Tanay Rizal.

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The last time I was here was in 2010, and a lot of impressive changes has been created. The Lagoon had its extension. Cabanas, Casitas, Houses, Events place and even tents are now surrounding the area making their huge pool the instant center of attraction.

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THE TENT AREA: they have tents for rent 1,500 per tent (good for 4 persons) and If you bring your own tent you need to pay 350.00 per head

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This is where the lobby and cafeteria is located.

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The cafeteria is open from 6:30AM – 8:00PM

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Here are the rates for the essentials:

Entrance fee of Php 350.00 per head (adult 3 yrs and above).

Corkage Fee of Php 50.00 per head.

Drinks CF of 200.00 per case.

They have several choices for Accomodations. The one when we rented was the casitas, good for 6 persons, with an extension of 2 matresses, and some overloading fee of Php 650.00 for a total of around Php 9,000. Their entrance fee and corkage fees are waived for overnight trips which is from 12NN-10AM.

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The Casitas are quiet far from the pool. It has its own grilling and dining area.

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The Casitas are quiet far from the pool. It has its own grilling and dining area.

They have 3 pools. 1 center pool, 1 kiddie pool and 1 lagoon which is my favorite.

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kiddie pool with fountain. 3 ft.

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this is the man made lagoon.

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They also have place for events, either in the kubo hall or near the lobby upon entrance overlooking the pool.

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The ambience of the resort is very relax and natural. Its a great place to swim,eat and simply tour the place to take your pictures. They also have packages for team building, pre-nup photo shoots and weddings. They have enough space for parking and don’t worry on your bags as they have staff to help you with those which is very convenient and helpful.

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For more information about the resort, visit their website here

Tanay Office

0927-8229865 / 0918-9429873

Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm.

Visit and Explore Tanay Rizal, It has lots to offer 🙂

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Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (quite mouthful eh?) A Heritage Resort that truly deserves to be visited. At approximately 4 hours travel time from Manila, this place will be your sanctuary.

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Their tag line says it all:

PRIDE IN THE PAST… HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

How to get here from Manila:

– Go to Genesis bus terminal in Cubao

– Ride their Balanga, Bataan trip at 200 fare per person (in Lubao, Pampanga you will transfer into another bus – not sure If this is always the case)

– Alight at Balanga Bus Terminal (Cubao to Balanga,  3 hours)

– Ride Bagac Jeep at 47 fare per person (Balanga to Bagac, 45 minutes)

– The driver will drop you off at a street where there’s a tricycle that will take you to Las Casas at 10 fare per person (7 minutes)

We arrived at Las Casas at 1pm, and had an early check-in. See our room:

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I love the four poster effect. The room is very elegant and old fashioned. That door with intricate design is the bathroom.

We joined the Heritage Tour at 3:30 pm with a very nice tour guide (Kim) – The tour lasted an hour, at the end of the tour, you get a cold towel and drinks (Sago’t Gulaman).

If you’re into historical sights and stories then this is the perfect place for you. I have always been fascinated with history and to be able to discover and stay in this haven is a wonderful experience.

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Each of these houses has their unique story.

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1. in old times, These are the houses of the poor, made of wood. 2. For Alipin Saguigilid, they’re only allowed to walk here so as not to be seen by their Amo, only Alipin Namamahay are allowed to go inside the house and face the visitors. 3 and 4. Before, If your house is made of cement and rocks, and has crownings – you are rich.

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It rained during the tour, so they provided us with these disposal rain coats (I remembered Pope Francis ) 🙂

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Some of the creative statues in the resort

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Right after, we enjoyed the beach which is very private (I think there’s only 5 people in the area at the time) 🙂

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At Dinner time, we went to La Bella Teodora, an Italian Restaurant. The food was great, kinda expensive (think Italliani’s) but unfortunately the service – not so much.

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The greatest part that night? We get to walk in a historical and romantic park under the stars…

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Waking up at 6AM on a vacation seems impossible, but just by taking a look outside our window I knew that we had to experience the cold breeze in this place. And so the first thing we did was to ride a bike at 150 per bike an hour. Circled the whole resort, took pictures and avail our free breakfast at Cafe Marivent.

Breakfast set of Rice, Fruit, Egg (Pair of 2: Daing, Corned Beef, Longganisa) with drinks: Coffee and Orange Juice.

Then to enjoy the last few hours in the resort, we once again toured the whole resort, took some shots, swim at the pool and beach.

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They are preparing this building for the APEC event this 2015

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One of my favorite houses in the place… Look at that color and materials 🙂

There;s this side of the resort that looks like a village. Very beautiful and the craftsmanship of each house is superb! Look in the details of everything!

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These stones… imagine, piece by piece…

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Check-out time at: 12NN. For commuters, they can call a tricycle for you and you just need to wait at the gate in the entrance to be fetched.

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The reception at Casa Mexico

They also have a day tour package which you can avail at 1,800 per person. But what’s really special here is that most of the houses in the resort are for rent. At different rates, you get to stay in this historical houses. at One house, you get to have your own butler plus Hermes toiletries!

Our overnight stay in the heritage resort brings a blissful moment to relax and just appreciate the past. I am the type of person whose into history and culture, the reason that I enjoyed the place very much. I strongly recommend this place… Take the time off and disappear into a place where time stands still.

To know more about Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar:

Bo. Pagasa, Bagac, Bataan (+63 2) 546.9123

Manila Sales & reservation Office: Mezzanine Flr. Victoria Towers, Timog., QC

(+63 2) 332.5338 |  335.3032  | 332.5286

reserve@lascasasfilipinas.com   |   www.lascasasfilipinas.com

Had a wonderful time in Bataan,

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Year-end Trip 2014: SAGADA

Days after Christmas, I find myself in a van paving its way in Halsema Highway through the mountains of Cordillera. It is not an easy road to travel especially at night, but I guess the dark has protected me against the fear of falling in the what seems to be very deep cliffs. This goes on for five hours…

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Manila to Baguio: 8PM – 1AM then Baguio to Sagada: 2AM-6AM

The road towards SAGADA itself is ragged,steep and quite dangerous, but the breathtaking views once daylight approaches combined with the heavy fog and cold breeze can calm and distract you in a good way.

 

Warning: from here onwards, pictures overload! 

All tourist need to register in the Municipal Hall. Then you will be ask to proceed in SAGGAS to get your tour guide. In every tourist spot you get to, you need to register in SAGGAS and have a tour guide with you. This has been recently implemented by the government to organize and protect everyone. (There’s an incident sometime in August that led them to do this…)

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Day 1 has started and so we geared for the most challenging part of this trip. SPELUNKING in Sumaguing Cave!

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Note: Wear leggings, dri-fit shirt and sandals. As from what I observe this seems to be the most appropriate outfit. There are 3 levels where after each one the guide will ask you If you want to proceed on the next one. Personally, I find the first level to be the most challenging of all because of the slippery stones and uneven rock formations, Stages 2 and 3 is fun because you get to walk barefoot, submerge in cold waters and slip in tight ways.(Where you enter is where you get out). So step 1,2,3 then 3,2,1… but you won’t feel too tired here because of the cold temperature inside the cave.

Check-in at our hotel: Rock Valley Inn

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Every bath you take is literally an ice bucket challenge experience. Tag no one as everyone in Sagada, Mountain Province is doing the same (except if their using hot water)…

Next stop, Traveled via topload – Sagada Bonfire Festival for an entrance fee of Php 350, Sorry, but it isn’t much. I am thankful for the big bonfire that kept me warm and was comforted by the live band. that.is.it.

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Ready for the next adventure: Hiking for 4 hours. Our destination: Bomod-Ok falls. Get your cameras ready especially that panorama shot because it is beautiful. Be sure to get a walking stick, It is a need and you’ll be thankful you have it when its the only thing your holding to on your way back up.

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By noon, walk your way towards Echo Valley and the not to be missed Hanging Coffins. You’ll pass by St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church. Visit their normal cemetery with a cell site that does wonders to my wifi signal, (it is a super strong and stable connection!!!) Re-enact a local film in Echo Valley or simply scream anything you want the whole place to hear. Then walk more steps below and see the historical hanging coffins above you.

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Note: Be sure to cover up (socks, jacket, blanket, scarf) If you plan to see the sunrise in Kilpetan Peak to warm you. This is a hit or miss experience, so you better bring some luck too.

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Random thoughts about Sagada:

– Some locals speak better in English than Tagalog

– Try out the breads in Masferre, they are delicious! They also serve breakfast at Php 150.00

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– Jeepney fare cost Php 20.00 per person

– Meals are quite pricey (Presyong turista)

– Famous places to eat in: Yoghurt house, salt n pepper, the sagada lemon pie house, pinikpikan house (If your going there at peak season be ready to wait and fall in line, since the places are small, and there’s too many customers to the point that they cannot accommodate anymore, or simply, there’s no food left).

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– Buy your pasalubong in Benguet, the vegetables are really affordable. Pechay baguio at Php 20.00 per bundle of 3. Broccoli at Php 35.00 per kilo. Sayote at Php 20.00. Lettuce at Php 30.00 and Chicharo at Php 40.00… Get those bulalo, pancit and beeg broccoli ready…

– The hot chocolate in Ysagada is heaven!

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Well, That’s SAGADA… be sure to pack lots of clothes, energy, love of nature and everything adventure. This will test your body, the extreme activities will tire you off and the cold temperature will take you to dreamland easily.

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Note: Safety first! Be sure to register 🙂

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FYI: We did avail a package tour for this trip. For a group of 12 at Php 3,500 / pax.

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Lovin’ this year-ender trip,

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AirAsia promo: Booked!

This is a good week!  Last Tuesday I booked a seat sale worth Php 2,998 for 2. Manila-Tagbilaran round trip in AirAsia… It was the promo’s last day and so I was really exhilarated when I received the email confirming my payment and itinerary. I paid via 7-eleven connect with my printed reference number.

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Just a few thoughts though, I think they should not charge that high for a merchant’s payment. get this: 120 each pax if paid in Cebuana Lhuiller, Robinson’s, 7-Eleven, and If you’re using a credit card you get to pay 500 fee. (I am not sure if its per pax…)

But aside from that, all in all the experience is good, I am booked for Bohol in my birthday month 🙂

 

See you in October tarsier!!!

photo from: birding2asia.com

photo from: birding2asia.com

 

photo from: fineartamerica.com

photo from: fineartamerica.com

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The Manor at Camp John Hay Promo Rates 2014

Just this morning I sent an inquiry message to THE MANOR at CAMP JOHN HAY asking for their rates on a specific date in July cause upon looking in their website, there are no rooms available. And so wanting to make sure I sent an email… and much to my delight, they have PROMO RATES!

Maybe due to the dates covering such rate is that of rainy days –  Effective June 16, 2014 to October 15, 2014 but still this is a great deal considering that THE MANOR is one of the best hotels there is in the City of Pines. Anyway, here are their promo rates:

GARDEN VIEW

ROOM TYPE           MIN.                     MAX.                   REGULAR RATES       PROMO RATES

Superior                   2 persons            3 persons            Php 7,200.00                Php 3,600.00

Deluxe                      2 persons             3 persons            Php 7,500.00                Php 3,750.00

1-Bedroom              3 persons            4 persons           Php 9,800.00               Php 4,900.00

2-Bedroom              5 persons            6 persons          Php 14,400.00             Php 7,200.00

 

FOREST VIEW

ROOM TYPE           MIN.                    MAX.                     REGULAR RATES        PROMO RATES

Superior                  2 persons             3 persons              Php 6,800.00                 Php 3,400.00

Deluxe                     2 persons              3 persons             Php 7,200.00                 Php 3,600.00

1-Bedroom             3 persons              4 persons              Php 9,500.00                 Php 4,750.00

2-Bedroom             5 persons              6 persons             Php 14,000.00               Php 7,000.00

 

** Applicable to individual and group booking; SUBJECT TO ROOM AVAILABILITY

** Over and above the MINIMUM Capacity, additional room charge of P 750.00 per night per person

** Rates are NET, inclusive of all applicable taxes and charges.

** Children 12 Years old or younger sharing room and bed with parents are free of charge

** Check in time is 2:00pm; check out time is 12:00nn

** rates are subject to change without prior notice

** Rates are for room accommodation only. Buffet breakfast is a separate charge.

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Just give them a call for reservation.

E-mail Addess: reservations@campjohnhay.ph

The MANOR at Camp John Hay

Loakan Road, Baguio City

Hotline: (02) 584-4911 / (02) 584-4892

Tel: (074) 424-0931 to 43

Fax: (074) 424-0956

www.campjohnhay.ph

and they have another promo which is for the month of April. Click here: www.baguiosmartdeals.ph

Book now and Enjoy your trip guys! Be careful on your vacation!

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Wishlist destinations in 2014

2014  is planned as my SAVINGS year. So, I try my best to really stick to my budget as I have a target amount at the end of the year.

But every now and then, whenever I browse the net I find myself spotting the best places ever! and the good thing is they are just a few hours away from home. I live in Rizal Province and may I just boast that we have high end resorts here, with just the perfect view, fresh air and relaxing ambiance, all in without the hassle of long hour driving.

I have gathered the places that I planned to go to hopefully, before the year ends or maybe, even 2015 ends… I promise this is all lovely!

1. PUNTA DE FABIAN (Baras Rizal)

www.puntadefabian.com Before you reach the boundary of Tanay Rizal via highway, you’ll spot their super steep entrance (there’s a grotto at their gate). An infinity pool with a good top view of Laguna de Bay. And upon looking on their site, their accommodation costs starts at only 3,000+

Funny that I spent most of my weekends in Tanay, and I passed this resort everytime but never really get the chance to experience it. Guess, this’ll be my first stop when I start this bucket list.

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2. LAS CASAS FILIPINAS DE ACUZAR (Bataan) – February 2015

lascasasfilipinas.com If you’re into history like me, then you’ll dig this place. It’ll take you the past, as If you’re back in time where Spaniards still reign the country. All houses has been restored and get this they also have pools and a beach. What I like best and exciting is THE BRIDGE… also, for a price you can have a photo wearing Filipino traditional costumes (Your own antique picture!). I want to see those cobbled streets… hmmm….

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3. CLUB MANILA EAST (Taytay Rizal)

www.clubmanilaeast.com  10 minutes away from home, and it is a shame that I haven’t been here until now. Several times I’ve been at the entrance as I go jogging in the area, and still I never get to enter 😦

With an overnight rate of 3,000+ (accommodation included), big huge, huge pools, lazy river, wave pool and other activities such as surfing and ziplined, this resort is all packed with goodies.I promise to find time and really dip in their pool sometime.

4. PASEO RIZAL (Tanay Rizal) – December 2014

facebook.com/paseorizal This has 2 branches; one in Tanay and the other in Morong. I’ve been to their branch in Morong and the nachos (is looooveee!!!), the place is full of art and nature, and you get to relax with good food and music. Upon checking on their site, they have a room to rent worth 2,000+ but they’re only two so you have to book ahead I guess… the road trip is worth it, especially in Tanay as you get to experience real road trip with just fresh air and no traffic!

5. THUNDERBIRD RESORTS (La Union and Rizal)

thunderbirdresortslaunion  Santorini inspired. La Union’s beach, pool, huge rooms, movie-set paradise. It’s all here. Though, the price is around 6,000+ per night plus around many hours of travel time. This should really be a well-budgeted adventure that you want to save for. But its the perfect getaway for couples 🙂

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thunderbirdresortsrizal  30 minutes away from home to be on a luxury hotel with the most scenic view in Rizal. More affordable than that of its other half in La Union, at around 4,000+ / night. Biking is the most appealing activity here, as they have no beach guess I have to settle in the pool and go site seeing since I am not into casino which they have here.

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And there goes my top destinations mostly around Rizal, with a few items on other provinces:) **Another trivia and something to boast about is that Rizal has the best churches… whether you’re into modern or historical portrayal of Faith, you will love those Architecture. I’ll have a separate post for them when I get the chance, but for now… Hope this helps you in your next adventure!

pictures are taken from the resort’s / restaurant’s website.

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