I used to work for the newspaper (I still write in!) from 1996 to 2001 and I still remember the one-storey McDonald’s a few meters away that used to be in this spot. Now it’s being occupied by The Bayleaf, the newest boutique hotel to rise in Manila’s historic district of Intramuros.
I can’t help but wax sentimental, especially since so many places are being torn down in Manila to give way to high-rise condos and the like. But at least, they did a good job with The Bayleaf. Aside from the old McDonald’s, this area used to have only roadside stalls servicing the major universities around (Lyceum, Mapua and the nearby Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila).
I’ve made a mental note to stay in The Bayleaf in 2012 because it looks enticing. I heard that the view from the hotel’s Sky Deck is really good. Their main restaurant, 9 Spoons, also has great ambiance. You can dine here while glancing at Manila’s old landmarks like the National Museum and Manila City Hall with its giant clock.
Cioccolata Churros Cafe is the only food outlet I’ve tried in Bayleaf so far. Even though it is only a small spot in the hotel, I give it high points for its coziness. What to eat here? the churros, of course! This pastry of Spanish origin is simply divine when dipped in rich, hot chocolate. The fare they serve in Cioccolata doesn’t fail me in this regard. Only P75 for an order.