at pearl farm

a former cultivation farm for south sea pearls, pearl farm beach resort in samal island davao city was a primary choice for me for a well-deserved stay during my vacation last june.  i was with my good friend, chyng and a night at this resort was included in our plan for a weekend trip in davao.

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i made an advanced reservation through contacting the resort from the e-mail address i got from their website.  i was still in my workplace then at the mideast so e-mail correspondence was convenient for me and having a room reserved that way worked out fine for their staff was courteous enough to follow-up everything including credit card payment.

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I reserved one of their “samal houses” which are built on stilts on the water.

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it reminded me of the accommodation I stayed on at el rio, where i spent a weekend alone in that resort in coron, palawan.

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the house that we were assigned to was the first one to reach from the reception and the restaurant.

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the room was of native d√©cor.  though the room looked old, it was clean and well maintained.

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there was enough closet space and complimentary toiletries are available.

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the shower room and the toilet are separate – i still prefer one which is not.

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a welcoming letter from the management and yes, the resort is undergoing renovation.

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the best part of the room of course, was the balcony.

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school of fishes can be observed in the clear water.  it feels great to have this kind of view in the morning as you wake up from a good sleep.

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we had buffet breakfast at their restaurant which was included in the package i got.

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the food choices was okay but i was more interested with the sweet jams they serve.

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unique flavors of mangosteen, durian and tamarind.  i loved the mangosteen jam, i actually tried to look for one at the stores at the airport so i can take some home but there was none available.  the least i liked was the durian, i’m really not a fan of this fruit anyway.

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watermelon juice and some slices of fresh fruits.

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this is the resort pool.

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there was a scheduled boat ride that chyng and i took to the island that pearl farm also owns which was named as malipano.

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a lush of greenery of towering coconut trees and grass was calming.

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felt a soft breeze and i ran towards a discovery.

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a part of the island which was isolated?!  naaah.

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light brown colored sand as fine as polvoron! haha!

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well, hello there!

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you really don’t need to go that far if you want the best beaches. ūüôā

dusit thani indulgence

the last time i was on days off i made a room reservation at dusit thani manila, a five-star hotel located in the heart of makati central business district. it used to be named as hotel nikko manila before it was acquired by dusit thani, a bangkok-based hotel and resort company. i invited my blogger-friend, chyng to join me on this indulgent stay.

i did my room reservation directly on their website where they offer their best rate. as much as possible, i always reserve directly on the hotel website to avoid hidden charges that i have met on certain online hotel reservation services.

though we had to wait for a few minutes to have our room available, we stayed on the hotel lounge near the bar and had our complimentary welcome drinks served.

near the entrance to the elevators was a woman playing a traditional thai stringed musical instrument called as the khim, where it produces a soothing and dramatic sound while being played. i have seen one before when i visited bangkok last year during an open-air cruise dining at loy nava, along chao phraya river.

we then proceeded to our room at the 10th floor.

the room is spacious with russet colored wooden furnitures.

a comfortable king-sized bed awaits a restful sleep. a sofa, separate work desk and lcd flat screen television (also in the living room) are available.

there is a bar counter with fully stocked mini bar and in-room coffee and tea making facility (watch out for the P500.00 half litre evian bottled mineral water!).

here’s the immaculately clean, brightly lighted toilet and bath. there is also a small washroom near the living room.

luxurious french toiletries from l’occitane¬†en provence.

chyng¬†and i¬†had dinner at basix, an all-day dining restaurant at dusit¬†that serves asian and international cuisine. i¬†actually have two 50% off vouchers that i purchased from cashcash¬†pinoy¬†that was all worth it. it wasn’t my first time to buy a discounted deal from them. i¬†never had any problem using it, i was only required an id, a signature and off we go to the dining area.

it was my first time to dine at basix. i chose roasted chicken, aglio olio pasta and some grilled shrimps and crab in butter that i shared with chyng.

though there were many dessert¬†choices like a variety of cakes and crepes, i¬†resorted on having some native rice cakes and halo-halo that i¬†miss most when i’m at work in the middle east.

the room rate includes a strong and good internet wireless connection.

divinely dusit.. using gifts of heaven to create heaven on earth.

spa service is available at devarna spa, at the second floor of the hotel.

we returned the next morning to basix restaurant for the buffet breakfast included in the grand room package.

black coffee to start up the day.

the DFiT fitness centre which is on the same floor as devarna spa provides guests a complete array of fitness equipment and facilities.

the outdoor swimming pool.

overall, dusit¬†thani¬†is a taste of thai¬†hospitality at its best. more of dusit¬†from chyng’s blog post, staycation¬†at dusit¬†thani manila.

touched by midas

there was this tempting offer from deal dozen months ago for a one night stay on an executive room at midas hotel, a boutique-style hotel located at roxas boulevard in pasay city. it was a very good deal to pass so i purchased one, considering that i have read some good sponsored reviews about it and it was a good chance for me to experience staying at this new hotel.

i found out from my father that this hotel was hyatt regency before. he knows this area of roxas boulevard by heart for he used to own a jeepney during the early 80’s on this route. i told him that it is now known as “midas hotel” after it had undergone renovation.

i invited my blogger-friend, chyng to share with me this one-night stay at midas. as we entered the hotel i noticed instantly that the lobby is ultra-chic and modern. i read from an article that the plush furnitures are from well-known italian designers.

a very conspicuous part of the lobby is the floor to ceiling shelves with different-sized “hermes-ique” orange boxes.

a fiber optic chandelier also adorns the ceiling of the lobby. it’s a first for me to see one.

we were given a room at the 9th floor beside the executive lounge.

i like the simple geometric design of the hallway from the elevators.

the room was okay with a masculine feel on it. the sheets were not tucked in as perfect as it should be then chyng noticed a few hair strands on the bed, there were dusty areas that needs more vaccuuming – not really a thing to make a big fuss considering they are still on their soft opening status but still, it has to be improved if they want guests to have that good first impression and to look forward on their next stay.

early morning we had the complimentary buffet breakfast that came with the offer.

i had my morning dose of black coffee, a great way to start the day.

the food choices was fine with me specially they have smoked salmon which gave a smile on my face ( i don’t usually see that on a breakfast buffet spread).

chyng harassing my breakfast like a paparazzi, hehe. visit her blog for more about midas hotel – feel the touch of midas.

there is one thing that i appreciated most at midas hotel which is the utmost service of the hotel staff. they actually gave me an hour extension that i requested when i was about to check-out, i received a number of greetings in the lobby, elevator or in the hallway from the staff during our stay and the guys in the main door entrance were helpful assisting me to get a cab and carry my luggage. i hope they maintain it the same as that to all guests.

a night in a historic hotel

one of my 10 things i have not done before that i posted at the start of the year was to spend a night in a historic hotel.  well the oldest hotel that i know of in manila is obviously manila hotel and to take it simply, if it is old its historic, hehe.

established in 1912, manila hotel has survived even the bombing of manila during world war II.  the japanese troops took over and maybe even ate buffet dinners at café ilang-ilang .. lol! 

when¬†i¬†was about to check-in at the hotel, i¬†told the front desk reception that i¬†had the reservation¬†done online but did not received confirmation.¬† they checked their records and voil√†!¬† my name was not listed and not confirmed!¬† i¬†thought i¬†won’t be¬†able to check-in and that will be a full embarassment¬†on my part for i have invited a friend for dinner.¬† good thing they offered to take my card and charged me on the same¬†amount as their internet rate.¬†

i¬†chose a deluxe room and was assigned¬†at the seventh floor, facing intramuros.¬† the room has its classic flair of furnitures and a modern marble-tiled bathroom with a water-proof lcd tv.¬† broadband internet and a fruit basket were complimentary – including nine pillows that almost took the space half of the bed! ūüėÄ

buffet meals are served¬†at caf√©¬†ilang-ilang¬†where i invited my blogger friend chyng¬†for dinner.¬† it’s my advance birthday treat for her for she’s like a little sister to me and is the first person whom i’ve¬†known who has the same birth date as mine.

i’m¬†not really into food blogging but chyng’s¬†post on caf√©¬†ilang-ilang¬†will surely be a feast in your eyes.¬† read chyng’s blog entry, caf√©¬†ilang-ilang at the manila hotel.

oakwood premier revelation

the last time i¬†was in manila, i¬†had a pre-planned friendly date with a well-known¬†local travel blogger.¬† i never thought twice of asking her out anyway,¬†we were just like two independent souls who were total strangers but instantly ‘clicked’ when we met.

it was her idea of spending a night in a hotel with a trusted ‘someone’ and chose oakwood¬†premier, located in¬†the heart of ortigas¬†in pasig city.

oakwood premier joy-nostalg center manila offers the ultimate experience in modern serviced living with 230 luxury apartments equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and world-class amenities to fulfill the modern-day client’s need for space and security in an elegant environment, combined with five-star service and the conveniences of home.

the sitting room of the deluxe suite really looks inviting that includes the home entertainment system with an lcd television (not pictured).

the basic kitchen items are all there from utensils, to pots and pans and even a dishwasher.

i wish i have the same bed back here in the mideast, i can literally sleep in this comfortable bed the whole day!

if you think viewing the televsion while having a luxurious bath raises your eyebrow, think again! ____________________________________________________________________________________

so, who did i¬†spent it with?¬† it’s my blogger-friend, chyng of¬†no spam, no virus, no kiddin’!¬† haha!

dinner is served¬†a’ la carte in the oakroom¬†international restaurant but chyng¬†and i¬†found it too pricey and both of us were craving for a buffet dinner so we went to ‘heat’ at the shangri-la¬†to top off our indulging hotel stay.¬† the next morning, we had oakroom’s¬†buffet breakfast and joining us was chyng’s¬†best buddy blogger, dyan of princess dyanie who came from her night shift work.

oakwood premier is actually considered as a full serviced apartment but it is really more than that and far more comfortable than hotels Рand that is the oakwood difference.

read chyng’s¬†blogpost¬†on our stay at oakwood¬†premier entitled, “the suitest of them all“.

gadget wishlist

i¬†start the year by posting my ‘gadget wishlist’ for 2011.¬† i¬†may or may not take hold of these stuff by the end of the year, but i’d¬†rather put them in my blog for ‘wishful’ purposes, haha!¬† sometimes it helps me out to forget about my homesickness when i¬†think about a stuff that i am wanting to buy.¬† so, here is my list!

1. zuiko lenses (zoom and macro) for my olympus pen e-p1 camera Рgoodbye sony cybershot!

2. i phone 4 that i have been considering as a rip-off, but never seem to cease my interest Рgoodbye sony ericsson!

3. macbook pro, to satisfy my curiosity as a first time user of an apple laptop Рgoodbye sony vaio!

so the plan is to save money within the year!¬† as my blogger-friend, chyng¬†reyes of no spam, no virus, no kiddin’s recent post title says, “a goal without a plan is just a wish”!