Lunch Buffet at Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

The Tomas Morato area is definitely a foodie haven. At practically every corner is an old and familiar or a new and exciting food destination, something that will spark a foodie’s curiosity and appetite.

One such destination is Vanilla Cafe along Mother Ignacia Avenue. Formerly known as Vanilla Cupcake Bakery, it has expanded its repertoire from cupcakes and pastries to pastas and classic Filipino food.

Enter its doors and you will be taken to a place of fun and cuteness with pastel-printed walls, plush floral couches and dainty chandeliers.

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Guess what: come around lunchtime and you can eat your fill at Vanilla Cafe’s Lunch Buffet where you can enjoy a delightful curation of Vanilla Cafe’s food offerings served with delicate country style flair.

Have a sampling of these dishes:

Prettily prepared canapes and veggie dips.

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Freshly made pastas.

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Binagoongan and Tinapa Rice.

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Classic Pinoy Favorites: Sizzling Tofu, Sizzling Sisig, Bagnet, Fish Sarciado, Chop Suey, Chicken Adobo, and of course, Vanilla Cafe’s famous Kare Kare.

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

And since there’s always room for dessert, have a cupcake (or two… or more!) because, why not!

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

This buffet is best enjoyed with pals as a barkada lunch date…

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Or as part of a festive celebration!

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

So check it out: the Premium Lunch Buffet is available at Vanilla Cafe Tomas Morato on weekdays from 11am to 2pm for only Php398 per person (+10% service charge).

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

This branch also has a Boomin’ Breakfast Buffet available everyday from 7am to 10am at Php228 for adults and Php114 for kids ages four to eleven (plus 10% service charge). Kids below four years old eat for free.

This Vanilla Cafe branch is located along Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 7.30am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 7.30pm to 12 midnight.  For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 2 83743783 or +63 918 8264552.

Other branches are located at:

  • Second Floor, Garden Wing, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, Evia Lifestyle Center, Daang Hari Road, Almanza, Las Pinas City
  • 20 Villamor Street, Lualhati, Baguio, Benguet

Planning a get-together? Why not order one of Vanilla Cafe’s Party trays? Pastas, entrees, salads and rice trays are available for order at any Metro Manila branch.

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Maximize your buffet restaurant visit. Read the tips in my buffet survival guide.

Check out my blog posts on other buffet restaurants in the Metro:

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

It’s great to have officemates who love to eat (not as much as I do, but still).

Before we took our holiday break, my boss decided to treat our team to dinner at The Alley by Vikings in UP Town Center.

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

What sets this buffet restaurant apart from the others is that it takes the form of a street-style food hall which incorporates concepts from around the world. Walking around the stations, you get a feel of touring the streets of the countries where the featured food items originate.

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

Instead of filling your plates yourself, you can request for small servings of the dishes from their respective stations, similar to the street food tripping experience. For example, our “food trip” here included the following stations:

  • Hao Chi – for Chinese dimsum and Peking Duck
  • Yatai – for Japanese sushi, sashimi and okonomiyaki
  • O’Sean Eleven – for seafood chowder
  • Just Steak a Minute – for freshly grilled steaks and other meats
  • Ferino’s Bibingka – for freshly made puto bumbong
  • Hunnycomb – for cakes and pastries

Buffet Rates:

  • Weekday Lunch: Php738 for adults, Php188 for kids 3ft for 4ft, Php388 for kids 4ft to 4ft 6in
  • Weekday Dinner/ Weekend or Holiday Lunch and Dinner: Php938 for adults, Php288 for kids 3ft for 4ft, Php588 for kids 4ft to 4ft 6in
  • Kids below 3ft eat for free

There are a lot of food choices, and more food stations than the ones I mentioned, which can be quite overwhelming. Refilling the more popular stations such as the sushi and the muscovado sugar for the bibingka took a long time.

I would also guess that the air-conditioning couldn’t cope with the volume of diners as it was quite warm where we were seated.

All that said, it was still a good time spent with my office buddies.

The Alley by Vikings, UP Town Center

This branch of The Alley by Vikings is located 2nd Level, Phase 2, UP Town Center, Ayala Mall, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 2.30pm and from 5.30pm to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 82771888, +63 2 82772888, +63 917 6735888 or +63 918 9078888.

Other branches are located at:

  • 2nd Level, Ayala Malls Cloverleaf, A. Bonifacio Street, Brgy. Balingasa, A. Bonifacio, Quezon City
  • C1, Upper Ground Floor, Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Planning a visit to The Alley by Vikings? Here are some promos you can take advantage of:
    • 20% off Weekday Lunch for every group of 5 pax from January 2 to February 28, 2020
      Birthday celebrants eat for free on the day of their birthday if accompanied by one full paying adult, or within their birth month if accompanied by four full-paying adults
  • (Note: Terms and conditions apply for the above-mentioned promos.)
  • The Alley by Vikings Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Maximize your buffet restaurant visit. Read the tips in my buffet survival guide.

    Check out my blog posts on other buffet restaurants in the Metro:

    Unli Japanese fusion dishes at Yakikai Buffet Restaurant

    Bid adieu to your diets, Quezon City peeps, because here’s another reason to eat all you can!

    Hidden away in one of the streets in Quezon City’s Scout area is a newly opened restaurant offering unli servings of Japanese fusion dishes: Yakikai. Its name is a combination of the Japanese words “yaki” (which means “grilled”) and “kai” (which translates to “meeting or gathering”).

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Set in a renovated two-story house along Dr. Lazcano Street, Yakikai offers diners comfortable seating options indoors or al fresco.

    Here, families and friends can meet up and enjoy each other’s company while indulging themselves in refillable yakiniku and a buffet of Japanese and Korean dishes.

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    And thanks to Yakikai’s Opening Promo, you and your gang can gorge yourselves on its set meals at discounted rates this December!

    Premium Set (Php339 from Php499). Includes chicken teriyaki, spicy chicken yakiniku, samgyupsal, galbi sauce pork, peppered pork shoulder loin, sliced beef, beef tare yakiniku, spicy beef and fresh shrimp.

    Emperor Set (Php599 from Php699). Includes chicken teriyaki, spicy chicken yakiniku, samgyupsal, spicy samgyupsal, galbi sauce pork, peppered pork shoulder loin, sliced beef, beef tare yakiniku, spicy beef, fresh shrimp, beef steak (chuck eye roll), jjamppong nobe, salmon sashimi and ebi tempura.

    Both already sets include unli refills of cheese as well.

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Plus, birthday celebrants can eat for free within their birthday month as long as they’re accompanied by seven full-paying adults and can present a valid ID.

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    With its comfortable surroundings, wide array of dishes and its accommodating wait staff, Yakikai seems poised to be the new destination of choice for buffet hunters.

    So go ahead and schedule the next barkada meet up or family celebration at Yakikai! And be sure to wear something loose (wink! wink!).

    Thanks to Bunny of AlwaysTheFunnyGirl for extending the invitation!

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai, Tomas Morato

    Yakikai Buffet Restaurant is located at 122 Dr. Lazcano Street, Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City, open daily from 4pm to 2am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 927 1383980 or +63 929 8235452.

    Yakikai Buffet Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I attended a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare to facilitate honest reviews and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

    Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

     

    Union of cuisines at Four in Love BBQ Hotpot Buffet, SM Manila

    Good food and good company come together in this newly opened restaurant at SM City Manila called Four in Love.

    A joint venture of four restaurateurs formerly based in Singapore and Thailand, this new dining venue seeks to introduce new and exciting food concepts to the Pinoy foodie while still offering familiar items.

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Here, diners can give in to their cravings for four Asian cuisines, all at the same place and at the same time:

    Korean samgyeopsal and Japanese yakiniku share the space on the table’s built-in grill.

    Japanese shabu-shabu and Chinese hotpot have pride of place in the hotpot area

    Thai mookata combines the grilling and hotpot in one crafty cooking method.

    Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH, I joined in on the resto’s opening day celebrations. There, we found some old favorites and new appealing tastes as we explored all that Four in Love has to offer.

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four in Love is designed for groups with tables that can seat as few as two people to as many as ten, interacting and eating together, with all the action centered on the meats, seafood and vegetables being cooked right on the table. The place is frenetic with activity, with servers hurrying to and fro to deliver refill requests.

    Diners can choose from three tasty and filling meal sets for their beyond unli-meat-ed food adventure:

    Harmony Set (Php399/person). Plain, sweet and spicy pork slices.

    Wealth Set (Php599/person). Plain, sweet and spicy pork slices; plain, sweet and spicy beef chuck: plain, sweet and spicy chicken thighs: pork belly, beef rib eye, squid, mussels, salmon belly, shrimps and Korean spicy noodles.

    Abundance Set (Php799/person). Plain, sweet and spicy pork slices; plain, sweet and spicy beef chuck: plain, sweet and spicy chicken thighs: pork belly, beef short plate, short ribs and rib eye; squid, mussels, salmon belly, tuna belly, shrimps, scallops and Korean spicy noodles.

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    (By the way, those Korean noodles sure are spicy!)

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    All sets come with unlimited refills of six hot dishes, cold dishes, fresh fruits and dessert. The Wealth and Abundance Sets also come with creamy mozzarella to be melted on the grill for dipping of the grilled meats.

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Do try Four In Love’s dipping sauces (from Thai peanut sauce to Japanese shabu sauce and more), mixed and matched with herbs, chilis, aromatics and other condiments which will add new dimensions to your food. Not sure how to make your own sauce? Easy-piece-y! Just follow the guide provided at the sauce station.

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    If your group wants to taste some exotic soups through the hotpot steamboat, just add Php99 for one soup or Php159 for two soups for hotpot per table. To experience a mukata and shabu-shabu combo, just add Php99 per table. The mala soup, for instance, with its distinctly Sichuan flavor, is definitely a must-try!

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Oh, and be sure to coat that mookata grill with some fat before grilling your meats so they won’t stick! Also, the juices from the grill will fall from the mookata straight into the boiling soup which will add more flavor to the broth.

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    All those bold and spicy flavors are sure to work up a thirst. Fortunately, you can just add Php39/person for free-flowing softdrinks!

    You and your group can enjoy all these for two hours, more than enough time to eat your fill of your favorites. Be sure to finish off all your meats, though; leftovers will be charged Php300 per 100 grams.

    So if ever you and the gang are in the mood for a four-in-one foodie adventure, just hie off to SM City Manila and have your meal at Four in Love! Take advantage of its Grand Opening promo and enjoy 20% discount on your food bill until October 7!

    Many thanks to the management and crew of Four in Love for the warm welcome and the delicious and filling meal!

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four In Love, SM Manila

    Four in Love is located at Unit 30, Lower Ground Floor, SM City Manila, Ermita, Manila, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 2923095.

    Four In Love BBQ Hotpot Buffet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I attended a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

    Five ways Saltitude, Anilao will make your next beach vacay your best ever

    Urban life is not a piece of cake for us city slickers, is it? Hectic schedules and those infernal traffic jams do take a toll on our dispositions, and sometimes, even on our physical health.

    Sometimes, don’t you just wish you could hie off somewhere, hibernate for a while and luxuriate in peace and quiet? Or how about taking a break from being a desk warrior and be out in the sun, getting your muscles in motion doing something fun? How about spending time with the people you love away from the stresses of city life?

    Well, guess what: you can do all these and more at Saltitude Dive & Beach Resort, one of the trendiest vacay spots to enter the Anilao beach scene.

    Saltitude Environment

    Saltitude Environment

    Saltitude Environment

    Spend your beach vacation at Saltitude and you’ll be bringing home not just a great tan but also a lot of great memories. How? Well, let me count the ways:

    One: Whimsically decorated rooms get you in your vacay groove.

    Each of Saltitude’s fully air-conditioned rooms is named, furnished and decorated according to the things you can do at the beach in or out of the water. The beddings, curtains and unique DIY tchotchkes are all in keeping with the room’s theme. Each door and some of the wall art are also hand-painted by the owners.

    Check them out:

    Twin-sharing rooms perfect for intimate trips of couples or BFFs.

    Dive.

    Saltitude Doors

    Saltitude Dive Room

    Snorkle.

    Saltitude Doors

    Saltitude Snorkel

    Kayak.

    Saltitude Doors

    Saltitude Kayak

    Fall in Love.

    Saltitude Doors

    Saltitude Fall in Love

    Saltitude Tchotchkes

    Talk.

    Saltitude Doors

    Saltitude Talk

    Triple-sharing rooms or huts well-suited for a small family or group.

    Sail.

    Saltitude Doors

    Saltitude Sail

    Saltitude Tchotchkes

    Chill.

    Saltitude Doors

    Saltitude Chill

    Saltitude Chill

    Saltitude Tchotchkes

    Sun-bathe.

    Saltitude Doors

    Saltitude Sun-bathe

    And a family room that can accommodate a larger number of guests.

    Party.

    Saltitude Doors

    Saltitude Party

    Saltitude Party

    Saltitude Party

    Two: A whole gamut of outdoor activities lets you make the most of the sun and waves

    Co-owners Malou Eaparrago and Jake Calangi are both dive enthusiasts and they let their guest take full advantage of their diving expertise and the resort’s proximity to some of Anilao’s best dive sites.

    In fact, newbie divers can get their PADI, RAID or SSI diving certification at the resort through Saltitude’s experienced diving instructors.

    Other activities that can be enjoyed while staying at Saltitude include swimming, snorkeling, windsurfing and even trekking to nearby Mount Gulugod Baboy.

    Read more details on the outdoor adventures you can have at Saltitude here.

    Three: Tasty dishes and delish dining events are sure to satisfy your food cravings

    Who would have thought that going to the beach will also present you an opportunity to indulge your inner foodie?

    Saltitude’s restaurant aptly named bar and restaurant Mingle serves up appetizing meals using fresh and local ingredients, bar chows and even Saltitude’s very own signature cocktails.

    The resort recently launched Brunchin’ at the Beach, a brunch buffet held every Saturday from 6am to 12.30pm where diners can enjoy a sumptuous and well-curated spread of dishes in line with a weekly theme cuisine, all while enjoying the cool and relaxing vibe of the Saltitude’s beach and premises.

    Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

    Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

    Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

    Read more about Brunchin’ at the Beach here.

    During summer, Saltitude holds beach barbecues every Saturday night so guest can all come together to enjoy freshly grilled meats and seafood, as well as the cool sea breezes.

    Guests with special diets have no need to worry. Just indicate your dietary restrictions when you book your room and the resort will find ways to accommodate you.

    Four: It gives you lots of opportunities to rest, relax and re-charge

    Who says you have to have a jam-packed itinerary while at the beach?

    Make the most of this escape from the stresses of city life by enjoying the scenic views or reading your favorite book while relaxing Saltitude’s beachfront loungechairs, cabanas or hammocks.

    Saltitude Relax

    Saltitude Relax

    Saltitude Relax

    Saltitude Relax

    Saltitude Relax

    Saltitude Relax

    Saltitude Relax

    Saltitude Relax

    Take this time to pamper yourself by booking a session with the resort’s accredited massage therapists.

    Saltitude Relax

    Saltitude Relax

    Consider your stay here your “me time,” and return to your city life fully refreshed, recharged and raring to face the challenges ahead.

    Five: It takes its environmental footprint seriously.

    Environmentally conscious guests can rest easy as Saltitude also champions environmental causes. It avoids the use of disposable plastic in its operations while also incorporating reclaimed wood and recycled items in its decor.

    On September 21, it will host a beach cleanup activity where participants can help in cleaning up a portion the local coastline and divesites while also taking part in environmental lectures and mingling with like-minded guests.

    At Saltitude, your beach vacation can be so much more than just some time spent away from the city. It can also be an adventure that stirs your spirit or a balm that soothes your soul.

    Saltitude Dive & Beach Resort is located along Manini Road in Mabini, Batangas. To book your stay or reserve a table at the restaurant, call +63 43 4101857, +63 927 4220428 or +63 939 9088843, or email info@saltitude-anilao.com. For more details, check out its website.

    Have a Festive Pinoy Fiesta every Sunday at City Garden Grand’s Spice Cafe

    Fiestas are so deeply ingrained in Filipino culture.  It is a time when family and friends can come together over good food to celebrate and spend time together.  It is also a time that we city slickers anticipate, as these occasions are usually the only times we get to taste the much-vaunted heirloom recipes of our lolas and titas.

    This is what my friends from #WeLoveToEatPH were treated to when we attended the food tasting event for Spice Cafe’s All-Filipino Breakfast Buffet.

    Spice Cafe is one of the restaurants in City Garden Grand Hotel located along the busy Makati Avenue. With its scenic view of the surrounding streets and buildings and its festive atmosphere, it provides a happy venue to enjoy one’s favorite Pinoy delicacies.

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    For instance, who could say no to starting your day with either a silog (sinangag and itlog – garlic fried rice and fried egg)? Digging into this winning combo with either a longganisa (sausages), tocino (cured pork) or bangus (fried smoked milkfish), or all three is sure to bring back memories of lazy Sunday mornings when our nanays or lolas would prepare for us a sumptuous breakfast.

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    For those who want to indulge their inner carnivore for their first meal of the day, check out its carving station! For one thing, who would say no to bacon, lots and lots of it? Also, the crispy pork belly is absolutely delish!

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Some people like to start their mornings with something light instead. How about some cereals and breads? Personally, I love Spice Cafe’s cheesy ensaimada.  It had the light and fluffy texture, and the salty cheese had a nice contrast with the sweet bread.  I also had trouble choosing between guinataang mais and champorado and I figured, why not both?

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Did you know that according to the American Dairy Association’s random sampling survey, pizza is America’s fourth most craved food behind cheese, chocolate and ice cream?  We Filipinos have grown to love it so much and made it our own.

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Have a sweet tooth? Take your pick from so many dessert choices available: leche flan, biko, mango sago and turon.

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    My fellow foodies and I had our fill of these treats, and, of course, took full advantage of the resto’s posh interiors for our photo opps!

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Good food in great surroundings plus great company equals a great time.  If our laughter and banters are any indication, you could say that we foodies truly had a very great time!

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Spice Cafe, City Garden Grand

    Fiestas embody the Pinoys’ love for family, friends and food, so treat your nears-and-dears to a festive fiesta with Spice Cafe’s All-Filipino Breakfast Buffet!  At only Php800, it’s available every Sunday from 6am to 11am.

    Spice Cafe is located at 7th Floor, City Garden Grand Hotel, 8008 Makati corner Kalayaan Avenue, Makati.  For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 8888181.

    Spice Cafe - City Garden Grand Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

    Check out my write-up of City Garden Grand Hotel’s Firefly Roofdeck here.

    Need some tips to maximize your eat-all-you-can experience?  Read my buffet survival guide.

    Check out my reviews of other buffet restaurants:

    5 reasons why Novotel is your family’s staycation destination

    Now that the holiday rush is over, I felt that the family deserves a treat. That’s why we hied off to Novotel Manila Araneta Center for our first family staycation.

    This hotel is the first Novotel in the country. Situated in the hectic commercial district of Cubao, it provides a haven where the metro’s denizens and visitors alike can enjoy great food and outstanding accommodations.

    There is a quite a number of hotels in the city but let me give you five reasons why Novotel is your family’s staycation destination.

    One: Luxurious comfort in simple yet elegant surroundings

    Upon entering Novotel’s well-appointed lobby, we were enveloped by a sense of welcome: from the clean lines and soft lighting of the interiors, soft music playing in the background, the hassle-free check-in process and the friendly assistance from the hotel staff – especially towards my inquisitive little boy – we were impressed by the feeling of warm hospitality and comfort.

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    We opted for a Superior Twin Bed Room, perfect for our family of four. It is tastefully designed to have a modern yet homey feel with earth colors accented by cool blues and greens. The beds have nice firm matresses covered in cool and smooth white linen sheets that made me want to snuggle in under the covers with my kiddies while watching movies on the big-screen TV. The couch by the window is also the perfect place to catch up on my reading.

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    A spacious closet is on hand to store clothes and other personal belongings with a mini-fridge built-in with complimentary bottles of drinking water for the guests’ convenience.

    If you forgot to bring your personal items, don’t fret because Novotel supplies guests with eco-friendly toiletries in keeping with the hotel’s advocacy for global sustainable development.

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Two: A wide variety of exercise and recreation options

    As he is already a pre-teen, my little boy eschewed the the hotel’s Kids Club and headed straight for the pool. There, he was able to splash around to his heart’s content. (And I was able to teach him how to float!)

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Hubby, on the other hand, preferred to continue his workouts at In Balance, the hotel gym the next day. Equipped with various exercise equipment, the gym is an excellent option to burn off those calories.

    I joined him for a while and worked on achieving my 10k steps on the treadmill.

    Afterwards, we each retreated to the male and female locker rooms to get a relaxing steam bath before rejoining the kiddos in the hotel room.

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Three: A myriad of food choices within the hotel

    When we hied ourselves over here, we brought our appetites with us; fortunately, Novotel has a great selection of restaurants to satisfy our cravings.

    Take Food Exchange, for example. The site for sumptuous lunches and dinners became our first stop for breakfast after a restful night.

    It featured a wide sampling of breakfast and dessert dishes from various cuisines. I absolutely adored the kind of cheesebread served; I’ve only tasted this kind of fluffy, sweet and salty pastries when I went on a Pampanga Food Crawl with my fellow bloggers last year. It’s perfectly matched with a cup of rich hot choco.

    My little boy was over the moon for getting his favorite food – pizzas! – for breakfast. The fact that he ate them immediately after downing a bowl of milk and cereal still astounds me.

    Food Exchange, Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Food Exchange, Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Indulge, the hotel’s ice cream bar, was my kiddos’ request from Day 1. And why not? We made sure to treat ouselves to some decadent gelatos and premium ice creams before we left the hotel.

    Indulge, Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Indulge, Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Indulge, Novotel Manila Araneta Center

    Novotel Manila Araneta

    Alas, a nightcap at Sabor Bar de Vinos with Hubby would have to wait until our next visit. He would surely love its distinguished wine collection, while I would love to sink my teeth into its signature tapas.

    Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

    Sabor Bar de Vinos, Novotel

    Food Exchange, Novotel

    Other foodie destinations within the hotel that I’d like to explore include the Gourmet Bar, a 24/7 lounge and and laid-back restaurant serving a gamut of dishes from breakfast treats, power lunches to midnight munchies, and The 6th Pool Bar, a relaxing venue where people can unwind beside the pool while enjoying the bar’s signature drinks and snacks.

    Four: Proximity to various points of culture

    This part of Quezon City is simply awash with things to see and places to go to.

    You can catch concerts and theatrical plays at the Kia Performing Arts Theater, while a short distance away is the Art in Island Museum where visitors can take their pictures against wondrous 3D backdrops.

    Within the immediate vicinity is Sining Kamalig, a contemporary Filipino art gallery within Ali Mall, which has become the home of works by the country’s finest artists.

    A little further off are university-based galleries Arete in Ateneo de Manila University and and Vargas Museum in the University of the Philippines. Both have extensive collections of native and contemporary art.

    Five: It’s loyalty program will make you feel welcome each time you stay.

    By signing up as a member of Le Club AccorHotels, you will earn rewards points and status points for every stay at any of the 3,600 hotels in 100 countries where the AccorHotels group operates. Rewards and experiences that await you include premium packages reserved exclusively for members, frequent flyer points with major airlines and other partners, unforgettable experiences such as attendance to sports and cultural events in A VIP box.

    As a new member, I was able enjoy online check-in and fast checkout, making the whole experience of our family staycation completely hassle-free.

    My family and I had a great time with our staycation in Novotel, and we would definitely be back to enjoy more of its offerings.

    Novotel Manila Araneta Center is located along General Aguinaldo Avenue, Araneta Center, Quezon City. For bookings and inquiries, call +63 2 9907888. For more details, visit novotelmanilaaranetacenter.com.

    Room rates for 1-2 persons are:

    • Superior Room: Php6,641 (room only) | Php7,274 (bed and breakfast)
    • Deluxe Room: Php7,274 (room only) | Php7,906 (bed and breakfast)
    • Executive Room: Php9,804 (bed and breakfast)
    • Executive Suite: Php12,966 (bed and breakfast)
    • Presidential Suite: Php189,750 (bed and breakfast)
    • Additional person: Php1,265 (room only) | Php1,898 (bed and breakfast)

    Disclosure: My family and I enjoyed a complimentary stay in a Superior Room, thanks to a voucher I received from the hotel.