My kids Nicole and Gabbie are so fond of watching The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. The twins who live in Tipton Hotel with their mom, who is also the resident singer at the lounge. I remembered my childhood days when for months, we would stay in a hotel to spend our school break/vacation. Since my mom and dad are both born and raised in Manila (grandparents don't have houses in the province either, only distant relatives have), we don't have any province to go to every summer. My ever-loving Dad would check in a hotel and there we would bum around, watch tv, swim, play our tea-set and shop with my Mom.
My favorite is the Westin Philippine Plaza, the lagoon-shaped pool and the breath-taking Manila Bay, the sumptuous meals and the very efficient staff. We were there during our elementary school breaks, high school vacations & college semestral breaks. In fact some of the staff have grown old and they still remember the apat na maria (have 3 sisters). Who would forget four girls who all wear the same style of clothes. And I would always wear the green one, my other siblings would wear red, yellow and pink respectively. We would run around the hotel and treat it as our park. My sisters and I would fight over the stationeries and pens available on every table. We took home all the shampoos, small towels, soaps, box of match, hotel slippers as our souvenirs.
We also stayed at the historic Manila Hotel, The Holiday Inn (the hotel stationeries are inside a thick-leather binder, this binder is actually chained to the night table), Silahis Hotel (remember the stargazer disco) now renamed The Grand Boulevard Hotel, the Century Park Sheraton Hotel (in front of Harrison Plaza, which meant more shopping for my mom), Copacabana Apartelle (we didn't like it there, furnitures are quite old)...
After my first communion, we celebrated it at the Bayview Park Hotel with my teachers. My eldest sister had her debut at the Westin while my other sis had hers at the Manila Hotel. I opted to have the money than celebrate it that way. My youngest sis had her wedding reception also at the Manila Hotel...I don't know why we really like to stay in these hotels during vacations and special occasions, maybe the ambience and the superb service it offers and doesn't require long travel. When my kids wanted to relax after school ends, I brought them back at the Westin. They should have given me a loyalty rebate after all these years we've been patronizing them.
We also tried the new Hyatt Regency Hotel (has a new casino), the Makati Shangri-la (which offer buffets in long tables same with the Westin's), Oakwood Premier Hotel (actually a condotel, has a gym facing the big pool, staff are so friendly), the Renaissance Hotel (formerly New World Hotel) and the Discovery Suites in Ortigas (which by the way, has a wonderful spa). I think these hotels have tie-ups with the RCI, Marriot or some time-share membership accounts abroad. So if foreigners or Pinoy balikbayans are looking for a good place to stay, they can use their timeshare exchange holiday system in these hotels here in Manila. I can assure them high standards of accommodation, facilities and services as I have actually experienced.