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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Review: Gaju Suite Hotel, Kathmandu

When looking for accommodations in Thamel, Kathmandu, make sure you do your research well so you don't end up in a 'hotel', which, really, is just a guesthouse, like we did. 

The first 'hotel' we stayed at doesn't have a lift (and we were given a room on the 4th floor), doesn't have an inverter air conditioner so we had to endure single digit temperature at night, we had to wait for 15 minutes (or more) for the hot shower to heat up, and breakfast takes forever to be served. It was unbearable I cannot wait to leave that place. haha

Anyway, on my remaining days in Kathmandu, I was very relieved when I stayed at Gaju Suites. It is conveniently located a few minutes away from Garden of Dreams, but far enough from the noisy and chaotic side of Thamel. There's also plenty of restaurants, souvenir shops, ATM & foreign exchange close to the hotel.

The hotel is within a business center, and the lobby is at the ground floor while the rooms/suites are on the 3rd and 4th floors. The restaurant-bar, Reef, is at the 5th floor. The building has a small lift, so guests don't have to worry about their heavy luggage. A staff also assists guests to the rooms.

I also appreciate that they have security guards at the building entrance, and at the 3rd and 4th floors.

I was given a modest sized Deluxe Room with modern amenities. 

The first thing I noticed was the air conditioning unit. Hello, 25°C! I was still nursing a cold then, so the warm room temperature plus the comforter gave me a good night's sleep.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Linden Suites: An Ideal Place to Bond with Family and Friends

I've always loved living in the south, but there are times when I just want to teleport because it's such a hassle for me to commute to Metro Manila. Sometimes I had to decline invites from friends because honestly, I dread the travel time and being stuck in traffic.

So when I got invited to a wedding in Mandaluyong, I knew I had to make arrangements. 

I found out the couple and their respective families were going to be staying at The Linden Suites in Ortigas since it's just about half an hour (traffic included) away from the church and really close to the reception venue. Together with my two girl friends, we decided to stay here as well for 3 days and 2 nights.

I took a bus from Sta. Rosa, Laguna and got off at Megamall. From there, I just walked for about 15 minutes to San Miguel Avenue. 

After settling payment at the front desk, I was given 2 keycards, our breakfast vouchers, and WiFi coupons. If you have other friends/guests arriving, they need to register at the front desk first so they could be given a keycard for the elevator and the room.


We were given a corner room at the 19th floor where, coincidentally, our friends and their families were also staying. I got to chat with them a bit before they got super busy with the wedding preps.

Living area of our 2-bedroom Deluxe Room. 
Apparently, this is different from a 2-bedroom suite. Check rates here.
Even though this is a not a suite, it's still very spacious. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Celebrating Father's Day at The Bellevue Manila

Just this past weekend, my mom and I celebrated Father's Day at The Bellevue Manila

Yes, you read that right. It was just me and my mom. You see, ever since my father passed away 6 years ago, my mom became both a mother and a father to me, so it's only right to celebrate her on this day as well, right? :)

Front Desk at the Tower Wing
Contemporary Oriental-designed sitting area at the reception

We arrived a bit past the check-in time. 

As expected, there were a number of families checking in, too, but with 4 Front Desk Associates on duty, everyone was attended to within a reasonable waiting time.

After filling out the form, I was handed the keycard, WiFi password, and 2 welcome drink vouchers. 

I was giddy we got assigned a Tower Deluxe room at the newly-opened Tower Wing. :)

Another sitting area at the Tower Wing lobby
Tower Wing's hall elegantly decked in black, white, and gold

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Review: Crimson Hotel Filinvest City

~~ This is not a sponsored post ~~

Having worked in Alabang for 8 years, I've seen its development. Its skyline was previously dominated by just two buildings: Insular Life and Vivere. Then came Crimson Hotel. Today, you cannot miss this landmark whether you're coming from the north or south. I was always intrigued by it, and finally had a chance to stay here last May 16-17, 2015.

To celebrate my nephew's 11th birthday and post-Mother's Day, we booked 2 Premier Rooms through Agoda; one room for my cousin's family, and the other room for me and my mom. Breakfast is not included, though. Boo!

Crimson Hotel's spacious and classy lobby

Crimson is part of the Entrata Urban Complex - a mixed-use building. Levels 1-7, I believe, are office and residential spaces. The hotel starts from the 8th floor.

The Grand Ballroom, Cafe Eight, Fitness Center, and swimming pool are on the 8th floor as well

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lao PDR Diaries: Luang Prabang & Vientiane

The alarm went off at 5:30 am.

I opened my eyes, and saw the eerily life-like portrait of a Laotian woman hanging on the opposite wall looking at me. Then I saw a stranger sleeping on the other bed. Well, not a total stranger. She is Guonmin from Guangdong, China. We met on the slow boat a day ago...or was it two days ago? I can't remember. All I know was that we were the only Asians on the boat...aside from the crew, of course.

We were both dead tired the night before because we were on the boat for 8 hours. After checking in and dumping our bags in the lodge, we scurried off to the night market for dinner. Of course we couldn't miss the famous $1 Laotian buffet. Turns out the one we went to serves vegetarian dishes. Bummer! All the while I thought all the fried things I dumped on my plate were meat. But because I was too hungry to bother looking for the grilled meats, I gobbled up what I got, and we went back to the lodge.

We agreed we should sleep early that night so we could wake up in time for the alms giving ceremony, hence, the alarm.

Took this shot from the other side of the road

Fortunately, our lodge was just a few minutes walk to Wat Mai in Sisavangvong Road where the alms giving starts. We could already hear the Buddhist chants as we passed by the morning market.

The ceremony is supposed to be a solemn tradition. Unfortunately, there are disrespectful tourists who treat this as an attraction. They even take pictures of the monks up close!