Hotels, Reviews

Hotel Feature: Meranti Hotel – A nice haven in the heart of Quezon City


The first thing I noticed, after entering the lobby, is the scent: woodsy yet sweet, comforting without being cloying. It’s the scent that lures you in and relaxes you. Later, we are told that the scent was especially commissioned by the owners to suit the ambience of the hotel. 
The hotel is MERANTI HOTEL, a four-star luxury hotel owned by The Max’s Group. The 12-story hotel offers 59 rooms to is guests, complete with a roof top deck, which also houses the quaint swimming pool and two function rooms.

Max’s Group, the company behind the brand, is one of the country’s recognized institutions in the F&B industry and is currently making its first leap in the hospitality industry with Meranti. According to Brix Sebastian, the young but very hardworking hotel manager, the hotel hopes to showcase the best of the Filipino. This is palpable as seen on the beautiful red wicker chairs in the lobby by internationally-known furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, while renowned Filipino design firm Budji+Royal Design Architects designed the interiors. 



To say we were blown away is an undestatement. I was pleasantly surprised to see this impressive hotel standing in a quiet street in Scout Castor, near Timog Avenue in Quezon City. Standing in front of the hotel is the first Max’s restaurant, whose function rooms also serve as an extension for the hotel especially for big social events. 

There is a covered drop off/pick up area which leads to the hotel lobby doubling as dining area for MAPLE FOR MERANTI, the in-house hotel cafe (more of this on a separate feature)

Soon enough, we were introduced to Genevieve Sebastian, the kind front office manager who will lead the quick hotel tour. 

The rooms are located from the fifth floor of the hotel going upwards and features heavy use of wood in its furnishings. Basic standard rooms are spacious and can comfortably fit a couple and a small child. Standard rooms usually feature a twin bed, with complete bath amenities and the standard bath kit.


We also had the opportunity of meeting many of the hotel’s team members and we remarked to Brix that he leads a very young and dynamic team. More than the standard hotel greeting, what is palpable is the energy among staff members: everyone seemed genuinely happy to serve you. 

Apparently in Meranti, they do not greet their guests with “Welcome…” – but instead with “Tuloy Po Kayo,” the hearthy Pinoy welcome that denotes warm hospitality and the promise of a good stay. 

For more information, go to http://www.merantihotel.com

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Hotels, Reviews

A date with the “Grand Old Dame of Manila” – The Manila Hotel

The Manila Hotel stands imposingly on the mouth of the Manila Bay, looking over her subjects like a regal queen granting audience. 

Ever since my days as a rookie lifestyle writer at The Manila Bulletin, it became a habit for me to gawk at the imposing structure, wondering the many secrets and mysteries hiding behind her walls. Consuming a vast number of books (both fiction and otherwise) retelling the glory days of Manila where the elite of Manila would dine under the three gigantic brass chandeliers. 



The imposing and majestic chandeliers were the first to catch our attention, as my sister, husband and I catch up over afternoon tea. A self-confessed aficionado of the afternoon tea, I can’t help but rave on how Manila Hotel made liberties to make the tried and tested British tea tradition into distinctly Filipino. 

Manila Hotel’s version has kesong puti, puti bumbong, bibingka and refillable tea or coffee, aside from the usual pastries. As we lounged on the lobby, we can’t help but steal glances on the large brass chandeliers hanging  overhead – a quick search online showed stated that when the current management took over the hotel, the first order of business is to tore down the three chandeliers and replace it instead with five – in respect to fengshui. 

We were assigned two twin rooms situated across each other. The halls were airy and bright, with a carpet muffling the sound of our footsteps. 


We were surprised to find our rooms very spacious and roomy. Since the rooms are across from each other, we had a view of the Intramuros golf course and the Manila Bay on both sides. 

True to its historical brand, the rooms use dark wood and rich fabric in all its furniture and drapes heavily. The beds are made of solid wood (we suspect it’s Narra), including the TV console which dominated the center of the room. Due to the use of dark wood and rich fabrics the room gave of an old world yet dated vibe. 

But what my dad loved more than any other is the flatscreen TV inside the bathroom. Every one had an excuse to stay longer in the loo.


We spent the rest of the afternoon until the evening at the hotel pool, drinking cocktails and beer ordered straight from the hotel bar embedded on the pool. Our parents loved the sun beds and lounged like a boss until sunset drinking margaritas and eating chips. 

The next morning, we had a quick breakfast at the buffet. Manila Hotel offers one of the most affordable breakfast sets and had the best rates for senior citizens. The selection is not as many and diverse as that of other hotels but it’s still an impressive spread, especially the wide variety of fruits available. 

my lovely sister

some of my greatest treasures, my parents and my niece – Penny


We spent about PHP15,000 for the rest of the  StayCation – including two twin rooms, food trip galore courtesy of the Manila Hotel lobby cafe and pool and a sumptuous breakfast. 

The nice price tag made all of us fans and converts of the idea of staycations. It was also a nice opportunity to get to know more the Grand Old Dame of Manila. 

In spite its age, the Manila Hotel still commands attention and love to those who walk its halls. I was unable to tour the hotel extensively due to family activities so I wasn’t able to see the General McArthur Suite but this only gives me reason to go back. 

As the Grand Old Dame of Manila, there were obvious signs of wear and age – nicks, bumps and scratches, little cracks of tiles and a crummy paint job on the elevator. But like a little old lady, nothing major that a good paint and maintenance check can’t fix. 

These are my two favorites photos of our little staycation: 

penny and me

my beloved


Book a StayCation at The Manila Hotel through their website or through Booking.com. 
Contact details: 

The Manila Hotel 

One Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines 

(02) 527-0011

Disclosure: 

Nothing to disclose. We paid for our stay. 

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