Perhaps my celeb crush Keanu Reeves has his reasons why he prefers to stay in hotels and literally live out of the suitcase.
This is what I did over the weekend: gather all my kids in a taxi for a very short 10-minute or so ride to this nearby hotel. We may have stayed only overnight but the break was exactly what I needed to do the things I wanted to do: not go to the market and plan the menu ( it was a given that checking in meant eating out), give the maid a break from her domestic duties, and simply get out of the domestic ennui we were in. It’s not exactly refreshing to see our antique apartment’s old walls and wooden floors 24/7.
It doesn’t matter that I immediately felt claustrophobic once we were settled in. With all five of us, we could have done better with a suite or something. Not to mention the fact that Paolo kept jumping from one twin bed to another, like he was part of a trapeze circus. Or that the bath easily got flooded because the kids treated it like one giant swimming pool.
One thing I learned: why settle for the ordinary room when you can choose to be in the executive floor? For a thousand peso difference, you can have “personalized service, express registration/check-out, daily buffet-breakfast, all-day coffee, tea and non-alcoholic refreshments, a private library with a selection of reading materials, free internet/wi-fi access at the lounge with one-time free printing of five pages, free use of the boardroom, pressing of one suit upon arrival” etc. At least this was what the hotel’s welcome letter told me the moment I plunked down the couch and turned on the TV for a dose of cable.
The best part I thought was the free sunset cocktails that came with the package. I realized that nothing in the world could compare to the exhilarating feeling I got as a positioned myself in the lounge’s window seat on the 18th floor that Friday afternoon, watching Manila Bay’s world-famous sunset. It dawned on me that for all its madness and decay, Manila remains such a beautiful, ageless city by viewing and appreciating it from this angle: seeing the tree-lined stretch of Roxas Boulevard, Manila Yacht Club’s serene-looking marina, Mayor Atienza’s psychedelic lollipop bulbs down Baywalk and the architectural glory that’s the Cultural Center, among others. I swear I never wanted to be in another city that moment.
I would like to think that the hotel remains one of the most underrated in its class, which is partly good for us since it keeps them from raising their prices. The coffeeshop offerings maybe mediocre (or simply ‘hopeless,’ considering the number of times I’ve been here) but service is good and The View is totally priceless. Truth to tell, I wouldn’t exchange this one with any of Makati’s plush establishments.
The Traders Hotel Club Floor: Highly recommended, most especially for having one of the best views in Manila.