Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014





















B E D R O O M 

S U I T E   A N D

P E N T H O U S E









Ermita in Manila is no place for a beachgoer or a Francophile. It always seems to be humid in the streets even on a temperate weather what with the congestion of peddlers and people who are always on business. One look at the dizzying corners of junctions shrouded by decade-old buildings is enough to convince a visitor of the district to flee once a transaction is done.

Visitors are willing to be locals for more than a few hours just to avoid the early morning rush hour. This gives credence to the presence of more than a dozen of affordable accommodations in the area. An overnight stay at a value hotel is the best decision to make for an early processing of any document either at the US Embassy or other work-related destinations.








Surprising At 3-Stars

Thankfully, sticking rather oddly at the highly urbanized landscape is City Garden Suites (CGS)-Manila. For a three-star hotel, I was prepared to be ushered into a windowless room with pathetic lighting. What was surprising was my booked Bedroom Suite had a connecting veranda and a spectacular view of the district. And, oh, lighting was subdued but definitely not tacky. The 142-room hotel (45 rooms in the new annex) managed to disappoint my depressing expectations. Suddenly, I was a convert. For a little more than P4,000, I had access to a bathtub to drown my weariness of Metro Manila. I was experiencing luxury for a night that was valued at a price that I could afford.

The living room of the Bedroom Suite
Impressive Bedroom Suite

The Bedroom Suite was impressive on so many levels. It's spacious enough for a group of four people and I appreciate the fond approach to having a bit of everything inside the room from a bathrobe with accompanying in-room slippers to a nifty office kit (a set of ruler, stapler, paper clips, among others) and free coffee. I also adore the inclusion of a fancy lampshade that's built-in with power outlets for easy charging of gadgets at the living room corner table. Aside from the bathtub, the bathroom had a hairdryer which some value hotels I've stayed in did not have. Checking the room-based Wi-Fi, I did not have difficulty logging in to my Instagram and Facebook accounts for some social media love.

Upgraded To Penthouse

I enjoyed the value that I got with my Bedroom Suite so much that I had it upgraded to Penthouse on the same night! For just P2,000 more, I was nine floors up and with an amazing 180 degree view of Manila. An extended peek on both ends of the exclusive and vegetated roof deck allowed me to even have a glimpse of the Manila Bay.

The exclusive Penthouse roofdeck 
Strong room-based Wi-Fi
My breakfast table at City Garden Suite's Cafe Miranda
Kitchen area of the Penthouse





It was there when I had the idea to recommend it to a cousin of mine who's scheduled to be wed next year. I learned from the staff that the hotel has more than 10 prestigious years of banquet service expertise which includes weddings. Complete with audio visual facilities and able to accommodate a maximum of 200 guests, one of the three function rooms of the hotel can be the perfect fit for such a celebration.

Other rooms to choose from by guests are the hotel's Standard Room, Superior Room, Deluxe Room and Junior Suite.

Memorable Check-in

I immediately felt the fun, Filipino experience at the hotel lobby by the front desk that was lit by a burst of tropical colors in floral design for wall accent. Before I even walked to the elevator to formally check-in, I had the assigned welcome drinks be brought up to my room instead.

The living room of the Bedroom Suite
The hotel has been popular for long-term stays by law students who are on schedule to take the bar exam, foreign travelers who are on transit from the airport to a provincial destination, and locals who have appointments at the US Embassy or a nearby employment agency.

The Hotel's Cafe Miranda

With a buffet breakfast inclusion in the room rate, returning guests have become solid patrons over the years since it opened in the '80s. Guests can also book for more affordable rates without the breakfast feature. One can tell which wing he/she is booked in -- either the annex or the original building -- by the floor carpeting or lack thereof, respectively. However, the whole hotel is connected by its F&B outlet called Cafe Miranda where guests could dine for the night and take their breakfast as early as 6:00am. Check out my next blog post for an additional review of Cafe Miranda and the hotel's other facilities.





More Impressive Details

Outside of the hotel, the eclectic environment of old and new Manila was palpable. A visitor of the district can easily feel estranged if there's no itinerary to follow. Inside the sprawling premises of CGS, however, the prevailing ambiance was one of homey, almost of a familiar kind. The lighting was warm and the staff were friendly, day or night. The plush beds with generous pillows were good rewards for a hectic day. Warm underfoot, the parquet floors were charming. Filling the void of a business-and-home destination in the pulsating location of Ermita, CGS can easily be a favorite among locals and foreigners.


Cultural Destination

I happened to just stroll from the hotel to the nearest new museum in the area called the Museum of A History of Ideas (a result of a centennial project of the University of the Philippines), an antique shop, and La Solidaridad, an old bookstore.

Where Ermita Is

For those who haven't visited Ermita, the location of the hotel is smack dab in the middle of the vibrant business and tourist strip of Manila that's close to the US Embassy, World Trade Center, CCP Complex and Robinsons Place-Manila. Guests can visit nearby destinations such as Casino Filipino Manila Pavilion, Japanese Embassy, Ermita Catholic Church, Intramuros, Manila Ocean Park, Mall of Asia, Rizal Park and Fort Santiago. It's also near the Manila Doctor’s Hospital and Philippine General Hospital. Additionally, the LRT 1 United Nations Station is only walking distance, while the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 is 7.5 km away.



Photography by Michael Gacer and Karl Ace


City Garden Suites Manila

Official website of City Garden Suites Manila

Address: 1158 A. Mabini St., Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Phone: (+63) 2 536-1451 or  (+63) 2 526-0954 to 55
Domestic Toll Free: 1-800-1888-6789
Email: cityreservations@citygardenhotels.com and frontoffice_cgs@citygardenhotels.com

Note: Children below 12 years old are free of charge when sharing with their parents' room.





More Photos Below:

Bedroom Suite

Penthouse roofdeck view of Ermita

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