Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Staycation Chronicles: Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

Rainy days never fail to make me lazy. I tend to hibernate on gloomy days and find it challenging to get up. And the only activity I would be interested in would be to take a staycation. And a few weeks back, I got to spend the night at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila. 

Hello, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila.
Every visit at Marco Polo Ortigas is guaranteed to be memorable. This popular destination in Ortigas sure knows how to make every single interaction pleasant. From parking down to riding the elevator, we received nothing short of top notch service. Living to its 5 star rating from the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide, R and I looked forward to our staycation. 

Going up the ramp to the parking could be challenging if you are bringing a big car like Land Cruiser as the path's a bit narrow. But if you are worried about your car getting scratched, an attendant could assist you. 
We had to take a different lift to get to the reception and the hostess on standby by the elevators graciously ushered us to the 24th floor.
Checking in was a breeze. We were given our room card as soon as I finished accomplishing some paperwork. 
We stayed at a Deluxe King Room (PHP7,500/night inclusive of breakfast for two at Cucina).
The spacious room is equipped with a king size bed, ample closet space, basic toiletries (and bath salt for that relaxing bath), bath tub, LED television with cable channels, work table and lounge chair. 
There's also a Nespresso machine for your caffeine fix. 
Since we were on the 40th floor, we also had a nice view of the central business district. 
If your room has Club Lounge access, a scrumptious feast awaits you. Marco Polo's Continental Lounge is probably one (if not the most) of the most impressive lounges I've seen. Its food selection is beautifully selected and it's actually  good enough to serve as an actual meal. 
It even offers sushi and live pasta station! And a good selection of cocktails to choose from. 
It is an ideal place to work as you're free from being distracted by the comfortable and inviting bed in your suite. 
We headed to Lung Hin for dinner and had a fantastic set menu specially prepared by Marco Polo. 
I started off with my all time favorite Signature Iced Tea (PHP250) while R settled with a glass of Watermelon Shake (PHP330). 
First served was this marvelous Steamed Pork Bun with Foie Gras and Truffle Sauce served on spoon. 
I already know that Lung Hin serves lipsmackingly good dumplings but this one is something else. It was not just love at first bite. It was an unforgettable gastronomic experience! The blend of flavors was unbelievable. The earthy flavor of truffle and delicate taste of foie gras went harmoniously with the plump and fresh dumpling. Rich yet delicate, this dish sure woke our taste buds!
Next served was Baked Prawns with Cheese and Avocado. It was one combination I never thought would go so well together. The snappy huge prawn generously topped with cheese was superb! I love how the subtle sweet taste of the prawn was complemented by mild cheese. The slice of avocado further highlight the freshness of the prawn and added that mushy texture to put the snappiness of the seafood in the spotlight. 
A must in any Chinese meal is fish. I still remember how our China trips would always be filled with the most magnificent and impressive fish. Here in Manila, our staple fish would be grouper. And Lung Hin's Steamed Grouper Fillet with Mushroom and Chinese Ham did not disappoint. One cannot deny the freshness of this delicate fish. Its slight sweet taste was beautifully balanced by the slice of Chinese Ham and complemented by the crunchy bokchoy. 
But the star of our meal was the Braised Abalone Fried Rice with Supreme Chicken Broth
The texture of the abalone was to die for. Its enjoyable chewy texture and mild buttery taste won me in one bite. Though good as is, it's also great to pair with fried rice.
To cap our meal, we had Chilled Mango Pudding
It had perfect consistency and level of sweetness making it an excellent choice for dessert.
Full from dinner, we opted to walk around and headed to Vu's Sky Bar and Lounge, the rooftop bar of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila. 
Since it was a Sunday night, only a handful of tables were occupied. 
To end the night, R and I had Sapphire Road (PHP360), Vu's signature drink. 
It sure is an attention grabber as the drink will be put on fire with the flame in gorgeous shade of sapphire. Though R found the drink quite strong, I enjoyed it with its citrus and minty taste which reminded me of mojito. 
We were also surprised with cheesecake to enjoy as we watch the city lights. 
I ended the night with a relaxing bath while watching TV.
We headed down to Cucina the next morning for breakfast.
I was so happy that they offer taho, my favorite street food! 
There are also breakfast staples like bacon (served two ways), eggs, corned beef, pot roast and sausages. 
There's also a nice selection of breads and other pastries.
And different fresh juice to choose from.
We decided to go for a quick swim before heading out and it turned out to be a brilliant decision as we had the pool all for ourselves, or so for the next 15 minutes.
This modern indoor pool is heated making it possible to swim even when it's raining cats and dogs outside. 
There's also a jacuzzi on the side of the pool which I think is the most photographed jacuzzi in Manila. Just be careful as it takes time for the body to adjust to its warm temperature. Also observe the time you're in as going past 20 minutes might not be ideal. 
You might also want to check out Marco Polo's spa services and the gym too while there. 
Upon check out, I was surprised that I was handed a teddy bear and balloon. There was a slight miscommunication regarding my birthday but it was very sweet of Marco Polo to hand me this unexpected gift. Simple things like this is what sets an establishment apart from the rest, making it undeniably worthy of its 5 stars. 
Marco Polo Ortigas Manila might be a pricey option for a staycation compared to other hotels in the area. But with its superb service, scrumptious food and comfortable suites, you get your money's worth, if not more. 
Curious with what Marco Polo's Presidential Suite looks like? Here's a quick preview of what you'd get from its most luxurious room. 
Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is located at Meralco Avenue and Sapphire Street, Ortigas Centre, Pasig City.

VU's Sky Bar and Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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