Tuesday, October 7, 2014


         It was in 2013 that I declared that The Pickiest Eater blog would be expanding, and would now be featuring hotels around the country, including those located within the metro. Since then, I have had the good fortune of experiencing the accommodations and services of some of the finest establishments the Philippines has to offer.  

       With all the negativity you hear about our country, its always nice to see how we have hotel chains situated here that we can be proud of, especially with tourists. It's probably a given that their airport experience will not be all that pleasant, but at the very least, once they've checked in to their hotel, it's comforting to know that they will get the genuine, welcoming warmth that the Philippines is known for. 

       This year, I have been fortunate enough to travel to three different countries - Korea, Hong Kong, and The United States. All beautiful countries, no doubt, but when it comes to hospitality, there's nothing like the genuine warmth of the Filipino. 

      Which is why I always enjoy staying in different hotels, whether it's for a vacation or a "Staycation".

       Recently, Rina and I went on a Staycation at a hotel located at the bustling Ortigas Business District. I honestly wasn't really expecting much from Oakwood Premier Joy-Nostalg Center Manila. Truth be told, I didn't even know Oakwood had moved to Ortigas til Rina went there earlier this year

      Well, I was in for a rude awakening because I discovered that Oakwood is actually one of the finest hotels in the metro. 

      One would think that Oakwood would never want to leave it's original location, which was conveniently located within the Glorietta Complex, right in the heart of the bustling Ayala Center. But once they needed to look for a fresh start, they moved from one business district to another.. Ortigas Center.  

      Oakwood may not be as large as the other hotels in the nearby area, but you cannot deny the touch of world class elegance that its interiors exude, giving the hotel a sense of grandness. 
   Just like its Makati incarnation, Oakwood prides itself in also being "Serviced Residences", with their clientele including expats that stay in the country months at a time, apart from the rush of tourists. 

   Apart from that, Oakwood has been establishing itself as a Staycation destination of choice for locals. With its amenities alone, such as heated pools, fitness center and children's playroom, Oakwood would seem like a logical choice for a no frills weekend getaway, but when you take into account that it's also a few steps away from some of the most popular malls in the country, the lure of booking a staycation there becomes even more intriguing.


              We were billeted in the One Bedroom Deluxe Suite, which is easily among the best.. if not THE BEST Hotel room that I have stayed in my entire life. It is reminiscent of a one bed room condo unit, except, much bigger and definitely more luxurious. (I stayed in a One bedroom condo for 2 years, so believe me, I felt the HUGE difference).  

         Not only is there a spacious living room with a cozy sofa set (including a fluffy lounge chair and ottoman), but there is a modest sized dining table as well.

          Oakwood believes it is essential for its guests to feel right at home, so the One Bed Room Suite includes a full service kitchen, equipped with a stove, oven and a dishwasher.  

           Also included in the room is a Refrigerator (bigger than the one in my house, mind you), a microwave and even a washing machine! 

            The bedroom was huge, with a comfy King Sized bed, flat screen TV, a working desk and a reading nook. 

           An interesting design was the window that allows you a glimpse of the inside of the bathroom from outside, with Venetian blinds allowing the option of privacy (more on that in a bit). 

            The shower area is encased in glass, and had a small bench inside it.

          Which I realized was meant to be used when you convert your shower to a sauna with a few presses of a button!

              My favorite part of the room had to be the television in the bathroom.. Which I thought was a stroke of genius. Being able to soak in a warm bath whilst watching a good movie or your favorite show is a privilege one must experience at least once in their life.  

            This is me and what I called, my "Manly Bubble Bath". Yes, the bubble bath and other oils Rina poured in to made it all fru-fru, but you must understand.. I was soaking in the bubble bath while watching DIE HARD 4. Can't get more manly than that, right? 

       It was when I was in the shower that Rina decided to pull a little prank on me. If others sing in the shower, I tend to do full on production numbers that would make Vilma Santos proud. As I started to work my way through the stanzas of my "Kill Song" (Bohemian Rhapsody, of course), I didn't realize that she had turned the blinds up before I got into the shower.

          I was just at my favorite part (Galileo-Galileo-Figaro-Magnificoooooo), when I noticed my wife was recording the entire "performance"! She closed the blinds and let me continue my "set" in peace.


           We were elated to find a gift for Baby Rain waiting for us in our room, from her Tita Aleah and the rest of our friends at Oakwood!

Rain's reaction when she opened her gift and saw ? 
She immediately said, "Kiss Violet!"!



       The Oakwood Family experience is made even more fun with it's indoor swimming pool. This unique pool is the only of its kind in the country that has underwater piped in music in it!  

        At the end of the pool is a heated jacuzzi, with water jets all around. The Jacuzzi is equipped with "seats" strategically located so that you can relax and get somewhat of a soothing water massage. 

No one loves swimming more than Rain, I swear!

After an afternoon of swimming, Baby Rain and I were both so exhausted, we both nearly fell asleep in the comfortable lounge chairs around the pool.


            After a short nap, Rain was totally energized for playtime at Oakwood's Playroom!

       The playroom is equipped with a Little Tykes slide play set, as well as other stuffed animals and toys that any kid would definitely enjoy!

Umm.. And perhaps those that are "Kids at heart".. hehe 
(I could have sworn the elephant's eyes weren't crossed before I rode on him)

      Not only did Oakwood take into consideration the needs of the kids, but for the adults as well. A large flat screen TV with cable connection, as well as incredibly cozy sofas are lined across the room, allowing parents and yayas alike, the opportunity to watch over the children in comfort.    


           Oakwood Premier Manila also has an adequately sized fitness center, featured state of the art exercise equipment and an impressive selection of weights. Basically stuff that looks really heavy hehe. 


          All it took was all of 15 seconds for me to declare Oakroom's Jazzy Sunday buffet as one of my favorite Hotel buffet spreads that I've had the pleasure of trying. Admittedly, the spread is nowhere near as extensive as its contemporaries, but let's face it.. No matter how enamored we Filipinos are with buffets, the truth is, we only actually attack roughly around 4 or 5 viands. 

     Which is why I enjoyed Oakroom's buffet so much. The entrees in the buffet are the ones that matter.

          The Jazzy Sunday Brunch starts at 12noon til 3pm and features beloved American dishes prepared by Chef Jerome Cartailler, with a Jazz trio providing live entertainment, playing their version of popular tunes. The buffet costs a very reasonable P1,250++.


      Here's a run down of some of my favorite items in Oakroom's Jazzy Brunch spread.

The Baked Ham
Gorgeously glazed all around with a nice lining of fat!

RIBEYE.. Nuff' said.

The Bacon Wrapped Cheese Sausages 
and the Macaroni and Cheese were both divine.

The Baby Back Ribs were remarkably tender and were smothered in a stunning Southern inspired sauce.

The Philly Cheese Steak was also amazing. 
Strips of sauteed beef, drowned in a rich cheese sauce.. 
What's not to like?

      There's another reason why Oakroom's Jazzy Brunch has a special place in my heart. Since this was a "brunch" meal, there were breakfast items in the menu, including Pancakes and Strawberry filled French Toast! 

        And come on... How many Lunch Buffet stations have BACON in it!??!


A wide selection of Cupcakes!

 Deliciously fried Glazed Donuts!

Perhaps the best Pecan Pie I've had here in the Philippines! 

And their cheesecake has a wonderful buttery frosting! 

I think it's clear to see why Oakroom's Jazzy Buffet is among my favorites!

            I've got to say thank you to the lovely Aleah, the heart and soul of Oakwood's marketing communications team. She really went out of her way to make sure our stay was a memorable one. Weeks later, she introduced me and my KTG foodie friends to Oakwood's Jazzy Brunch! This is without a doubt, reflective of the high standards of service that Oakwood stands for.

       Thank you again, Aleah and to our new friends from Oakwood!

(Picture care of Spanky Enriquez)

In case it wasn't obvious.. We all had a blast!

To see my other entries on Oakwood, go here:

Oakroom's Tex-Mex Fiesta

Oakwood Premier Joy-Nostalg Center Manila
17 ADB Avenue
Ortigas Center, Pasig City


  1. OH myyyyy the bathroom scene!!!!!! Hahahahahahaha!!! That's why I always wait for your staycation posts!!! Super funny!!! Great Job sir!!!



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