Tuesday, July 16, 2013


            In case you missed my previous posts, before the year began, one of my goals in 2013 was to be able to expand my blog to include entries on Hotels.. Be it through travels or Staycations. The month of June began with an incredible Staycation with my blogger friends, and ended with... you guessed it.. ANOTHER STAYCATION!

        This time, at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria! 

        I hadn't been to Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria since January 7, 2008. Before you get impressed with my remarkable memory, let me stop you right now. The reason I remember the date so vividly, is because.. 

        That's where Rina and I held our wedding reception. It was actually upon my suggestion, because it had the luxury hotel ambiance, yet I felt it was still reasonably priced. 

      Unfortunately, ever since our stay there for our wedding reception (Our wedding package included a stay at the gorgeous Bridal Suite), we hadn't had the opportunity to go back (Although we did do a staycation at their sister company Holiday Inn later that year). Over five years later, my bride and I would be making a return to the hotel where we held our wedding reception.. This time, with our beautiful little daughter. 

        Though Crowne Plaza shares basement parking levels with Robinsons Galleria Mall that it is connected to, it has its own area segregated for its guests as well.

       Walking into the lobby brought a flood of memories back to Rina and I.. Well especially to Rina, because she actually did most of the planning for the wedding (my job consisted more of staying out of her way).

Cozy waiting area on the ground floor

        I remember when Rina and I went to New York, last September. Though we had "work duties", Oreo made sure that we still felt like it was technically a vacation. When we were discussing all the places that we wanted to visit in the Big Apple, not once did we ever stop to think about hanging out at the hotel.. and mind you, this wasn't your run of the mill lodge in the big city.. this was The Hilton in New York. 

         But that's the beauty of the Staycation. You see, a vacation is all about your destination.. A Staycation is all about immersing yourself in your chosen hotel. 


        After meeting up with the lovely Aimee of Crowne Plaza for a short chit chat, we settled into our room. I've seen the rooms of Crowne Plaza before, so I didn't think the room would be anything out of the ordinary.. but BOY was I wrong. 

         First off, I loved the sheer size of it. You had two queen sized beds, and two comfortable lounge chairs by the window, that gives you a view of the concrete jungle known as "Ortigas Center". But the space in the center of the room was so wide, my maid could have played badminton in it! Exaggeration, of course, but that's what it felt like hehe..   

         The two Queen Sized beds and pillows were extremely fluffy, allowing me to feel like a practically sunk into a soft cloud of relaxation. Unfortunately, there was no way I could fit into the queen size bed with my two girls.. not with the way they both sleep, wherein they always seem to be imitating some Karate positions.  

Comfy Lounge Chairs

Once I sat my butt on that chair, it was hard for me to get up.

          Staying in the Club Floor gave us unlimited use of broadband internet and wifi in a room that already came with a 32 inch Flat Screen TV a mini bar and free local calls.

         The room came with a Welcome Fruit Platter, which consisted of Dragon Fruit, Oranges (I Think), Kiwi, Dragon Fruit. and a couple of grapes that Baby Rain immediately called dibs on. 

        Even though it began to rain, it was pretty hard to feel disappointed about it.. Especially considering we were in the safe confines of a luxury hotel.

            Nonetheless, the staff made sure we felt at home, by sending us a complimentary coconut drink! 

Which, of course, was immediately commandeered by The Boss, Baby Rain.

       Here's the very first Instagram video that I took! The shot gives you an idea how much space the room had! Check out Baby Rain running around!

  The bathroom was probably a bit bigger than my master's bedroom at home. 

Bathtub which Baby Rain loved

Glass enclosed Shower area.. sezzy... hehe


       An advantage that Crowne Plaza has over most of its competition, is that it is connected to Robinsons Galleria, one of the country's most popular malls. Rina and I contemplated crossing the bridge over to the mall and watching "World War Z" whilst Rain was a sleep, but I quickly extinguished that idea the moment I walked through the doors of the Crowne Plaza Club Lounge. 

           The lounge felt incredibly cozy, and after a hectic past few weeks in the office, I couldn't think of a better place to settle down for an afternoon of writing and being lost in my thoughts. 

          I'm fairly certain that staying in the Executive Floor is all in likelihood, more expensive than staying in a normal Deluxe room in the lower floors. But the amenities that come with your Club Floor room makes it all worth it. 

        The waiting staff, especially Rhon, was on top of everything, making sure we were comfortable and was enjoying every second of our stay. Rhon made it a point to reach out to the guests on a more personal level, never hesitating to engage them in a conversation and small talk, even opening up about his personal life. Guests don't feel like they were conversing with a waiter, but instead, a new friend who opened up his home to them. 

     When we arrived, we were offered refreshments.. Something available all day. Your choice of fruits, and soda are at your disposal. If you don't like it, the waiter will gladly whip up a juice or a shake for you. 

        As soon as Baby Rain saw the Watermelon, she kept pointing at it until we gave her some. When Baby Rain wants her watermelon, she GETS her Watermelon.

         When we checked in at 2pm, The Club Lounge had their "Afternoon Tea"  set up in full effect, which featured fresh honey to go perfectly with your selection of Twinnings Flavors. 

       Also available were assorted Pastries, that made for a wonderful afternoon snack! Yes, you could help yourself to as much as you wanted. 

        "Cocktail" Dishes are served at dinner, beginning from 5:30pm to 8pm. Unfortunately, Rina and I had dinner somewhere else in the restaurant (You'll see soon!), so we weren't able to take photos. 

           However, we were able to drop by to take photos of the continental Breakfast! You had a nice selection of cereals and juices.

          I was happy to see that they had a healthy supply of Bacon, and breads. I was also impressed to see that they even had Veal Chipolata Sausage!

And yes, for people in the Executive Floor, this is included in your stay.

      The Club Lounge also has a conference room that guests of the Club Floor may use for up to two hours. 

           For those that one to catch up on their reading, Crowne Plaza's Club Lounge offers a limited selection of books and daily papers for you to enjoy. 

    Rina was wondering why I was so engrossed in the book on "Quezon City". I had to assure her I had no idea someone put that issue of Esquire in between the book! 

            Kudos to Ynah, Millie and Kaye, and the rest of the hard working staff at The Club Lounge for making our stay at the Crowne a memorable one. It was amazing how we truly felt like VIP's! 


        Crowne Plaza shares some facilities with its neighbor, the Holiday Inn Hotel, one of them being the swimming pool. I think a genius move on their part was how they painted cartoon characters on the floor area of the pool, which would easily be recognized by (Rina) kids looking out the window, which would undoubtedly make them want to go for a swim!

            After the weather cleared up, Rina and I took Rain downstairs, and she had a wonderful time at the kidding pool, acting like she was getting tickled when Rina would bring her closer to the waterfall.

          Every time I tried taking a picture, Rain would lift up her feet like this! 

           If you guys were looking for another #OOTD Pictorial from me, I am very sorry to disappoint you.. There is none. Not for lack of trying, mind you.

         But those of you who are disappointed, I can only say one thing..

         Blame Rina. 

         Whilst we were at the Swimming Pool, I was trying out my new distinct "Look" that I had been working on. I had patterned it after my Idol, Derek Zoolander's legendary, "Magnum". 

         Since my look is obviously notches below Zoolander's "Magnum", I decided to call my look, "Cornetto".   

         Unfortunately, as I was trying to focus and internalize, I was unable to. Why? 

          Rina. She just kept laughing. 

         So all I have is this one picture. 

           I don't think she understands how difficult it is to do all these poses. How taxing it is for me to give the most smoldering, intense look that I can.
I know I make it look easy, but believe you me.. Looking good for you guys is hard work. 

       Something that Rina didn't seem to understand. 

       I didn't appreciate her constant laughing and unprofessionalism. If she was not going to take this seriously, I would have none of it. My readers deserved better than that.  












           And to this very day, I don't get what she was laughing at. 


          Fitness buffs such as myself will be happy to know that the gym facilities of Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria is handled by Gold's Gym, as they set up a smaller scale (If that's what you could call it, considering it's still pretty huge). 

              The gym even has a boxing ring for Boxing and Kick Boxing Classes!  As eager as I was to jump into the ring, I was on a Staycation, and I figured it would be the best time to give these guns a rest. 


         For an even more relaxing experience at Crowne Plaza, The Suriya Spa, which is also located within the Crowne Plaza - Holiday Inn Complex, offers several Spa Packages for you to choose from, which includes for individuals and Couples. 

           Though Suriya is a small, cozy area, their services are rather vast, ranging from Fully Body Massages, Body Scrubs, Facial Treatments, Aromatherapy, and Foot reflexology. 

          You know what's awesome Guests on the Executive Floor are given a complimentary 15 minute foot massage at the comfort of their own room!

Thanks Kath!

           This was truly one of the most amazing weekends of my life. Rina and I really got the taste of the VIP treatment, where everyone seemed to know who we were. It was nice to feel like rockstars for a weekend hehe... 

        Strategically located at Ortigas Center, (which can be seen as the center of the Metro) and having the convenience of a mall just a few steps away, Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria is the ideal hotel to have a staycation in. I would even highly recommend this hotel to anyone who would be traveling to Manila from abroad. 

Thank you to Aimee, Andrea, Ynah, Kath, Rhon, Millie, Kaye, and the rest of the staff of Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria for making my family's staycation, one that we will never ever forget!

          I know what you're thinking.. Where are all the restaurant posts?

          Coming up soon: Seven Corners and Xin Tian Di! 


  1. You gave me such a laugh with magnum shot with the seal... hahaha

    1. you meant, "Cornetto", right?? hehe

    2. Oops yes! My bad! Ha ha ha ha! Yours look better though... that Magnum is a copy cat! Tee hee!

  2. Richie, you surely are the OverLord of Funny Poses. What a way to start my day. :)Oh, this is near my office btw. That room is so spacious, my college friends and I will surely have a blast there. :)

  3. Awesome review! Crowne Plaza is definitely one of the best places to have a staycation. We met Ynah during our stay too. She was super nice.

    1. Thanks Toni! Yes, Ynah and the lovely ladies of the Club lounge were wonderful :)

  4. Sir.. I think we need to define "shy". Ikaw na talaga sir! I don't think I could muster that kind of confidence! It is awesome to see po that you had fun. Grabe! I love that shot talaga!!! It made me laugh and almost fall off my sit:D LOL!Pwede na sir pang print ad model :D :D :D!!!

    1. all for the sake of art, buddy! hehe

  5. I love your post...and your pose! Both made me laugh. I would dare my husband to try that "to-die-for-Cornetto" pose of yours and I'll see if he can beat you to it, hahaha!

    Reading this excites me even more since we'll be checking in at Crowne Plaza Galleria on my husband's birthday in August. I would definitely look for that seal, LOL. You made it such a landmark -- pwede kong ilagay dun sa wall after the photoshoot of hubby - "Sealed with a Cornetto pose" - signed "hubby of divine viva", hehe.

    Just want to let you know that I enjoy reading your blog and also that of your wifey, Rina. And let me just say this -- you have such an adorable Rain :-)

    1. Haha I'm glad you were entertained, Divine!

      And thank you about your kind words about Rina and Rain.. It means the world to me!

      I hope you enjoy your stay at Crowne Plaza as much as we did!

  6. They should provide "like" buttons in your pics...LOL!

    1. Haha i'm grateful you think that! others have feel that an "unlike" button is more appropriate!



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