Last month, we thought we’d have another staycation and this time, stay for 2 nights! Our last staycation was a few months ago at The Manila Hotel (free overnight from our Prestige Membership, which I promise to write about soon) and it was bitin. I mean, we just got comfortable, and next thing we knew, we had to leave! Bummer. So this time, we made sure to find somewhere affordable where we could stay for at least 2 nights.
BEST WESTERN PLUS ANTEL SUITES PROMO
I read about Best Western from my blogger friend Celerhina Aubrey’s blog, and I also read a post from another blogger friend, Made It Through Mum, about a promo from Best Western. And just to be sure, I checked Best Western Plus Antel’s Facebook page and found this:
They had a promo for a 1 Bedroom suite for only PhP2,888.00 /room/ night net (no breakfast) if you book 2 nights! That’s slightly cheaper than our stay at BSA Twin Towers Condotel, AND a big advantage was that they provide FREE PARKING!
So we booked a stay a couple of weekends ago.
SLIGHT WRINKLE IN THE PLAN – GOT CAUGHT IN A HULI CENTER
I called ahead and asked them what the facilities were, and I was told that there was a small kitchenette, but that NO COOKING is allowed. We can just heat food using the microwave but no actual cooking is allowed. But anyway, this is not the wrinkle I am talking about.
We went to Robinsons Magnolia to buy some supplies (J wanted to use up some GCs he received last Christmas, and it was the least problematic Robinsons branch to go to in terms of parking, traffic and accessibility, or so I thought). After buying a small sachet of Joy, a sponge, bread, sliced ham, spreads, instant noodles, Tuna Paella, chips, yogurt, soft drinks, 5 gallons of drinking water, etc… we headed out to Makati, but Waze was taking its sweet time to connect and navigate. I am not really that familiar with the traffic routes in this area, but when I reached Aurora Blvd cor. Gilmore, I thought I could make a left turn to go to N. Domingo. I wasn’t sure, but I double checked:
- all the cars were going left
- it was a one way street with all cars going left
- I could see the NO U-Turn sign and the No Right Turn Sign in the middle of the road; as far as I could tell, those were the only signs I saw. I was looking for any No Left Turn sign but couldn’t see any
- I stayed in that corner, under the LRT, for about half a minute, unsure if I should turn left or not and even used a left turn signal, but nobody stopped me or told me otherwise
So I made the left turn, and as soon as I did, some traffic guy suddenly appeared and flagged me down. And I noticed all the other cars being flagged down all around me. Dammit, I got caught in what I call a “huli” center – it’s when you see a bunch of cops/ traffic people setting up shop in a certain street for a few hours, waiting to catch unsuspecting motorists.
I was too complacent that day, I guess, so my cop radar wasn’t working. Normally when I get a whiff of a huli center, I run away. When I see cops flagging cars down, I follow where the majority of the cars go, even if it takes me away from where I want to go, makalampas lang talaga ako sa huli center. I would rather go out of my way than run the risk of being caught in another of these huli centers. I am not running away because I think I have any violations. It’s such a waste of gas. I don’t think I have any violations, but then, I would rather not risk it, diba? Iwas nalang. I had an experience a few years ago kung saan naghahanap talaga sila ng butas, maka kotong lang. And I don’t want to give these greedy little bastards any excuse to get any more money from me.
So anyway, I got flagged down and I was explaining and apologizing to the officer that I didn’t see the No Left Turn sign, which he insists is there. He then arrogantly tells me I can go out of my car and walk to the corner and look (which, of course, I didn’t. Katakot na, baka ano pa ang gawin niya pag lumabas ako ng kotse). He insisted on getting my license, and as I was explaining my side and asking sweetly if he could just let me off with a warning, he tells me “hayaan naman natin kumita ang gobiyerno”. He kept insisting that I sign something on his booklet, but I was still trying to explain my side, and he just arrogantly threatened me that if I didn’t sign it, he would add another violation and make it something with a heavier fine. Not wanting to cause a bigger problem for myself, I signed it.
What makes me mad about this whole thing was that I did not intend to violate any No Left Turn rule they may have had there. I was at that corner, waiting to make a left turn, with matching signal light. They all saw me, but didn’t do anything! Huli time lang talaga sila. If I knew that I couldn’t make a left turn there, I would not have done so! If you saw someone about to make a mistake, isn’t the honest and logical response be to stop them from making the mistake? I admit I made a mistake, but it was totally preventable if there were good, honest cops/ traffic enforcers around. Nakita ng magkakamali, inantay lang na magkamali para may mahuli imbes na pagsabihan para iwasan magkamali. If they saw me about to make a mistake and starting to make a left turn, a good, honest traffic enforcer would warn me and tell me “Bawal po mag left turn dito”. Di ko naman ipagpipilitan kung ganoon, magpapasalamat pa ako. I would have listened and not made the left turn. Obviously here, it’s all about the money and their quotas and not about helping citizens.
Notes to self: next time, when in doubt, just follow the majority; and always have your cop radar on and set to High Sensitivity.
I don’t want any trouble and I am not telling this story to put any one in the spotlight. I am not interested in filing any complaint. I don’t want any trouble. This blog is like my diary and I am including this story just so I remember what happened to me during this event.
BEST WESTERN PLUS ANTEL HOTEL
Trying to put that horrible event behind me, we arrived at Best Western Plus Antel Hotel. This is in Makati somewhere behind A. Venue in Makati Ave and walking distance to Century City Mall.
We were booked at the Serenity Tower, this was on an adjacent building (different building than where the parking area is). Checking in is the usual process, we were asked to leave a deposit or a signed credit card slip.
We were very happy with the 1 Bedroom Suite. Can’t beat it for the price
This is the Bedroom:
The lamp is cool. It can be operated by touch! There’s a phone, but there’s a P15 local calls charge, so take note of that if you are thinking about having food delivered. You can have food delivered to your room (we ordered some Jollibee and Rufo’s), just tell them your room number and registered guest’s name. The Best Western staff will have someone bring up the food (no extra charge, but you might want to tip). They also have an in-house menu for room service.
There’s an aircon remote and a TV remote (SkyCable). Honestly, there wasn’t really anything interesting in their cable line up. Fortunately, we planned to spend our staycation marathoning some shows. Hey, this is our version of quality time! We like that we pick a show and watch it together, nobody skips ahead! That way, we are always on the same page on something, and we have our own inside jokes based on the show. It is TV and bed-vegetable time for us (what’s the bed equivalent of couch potato?).
It is great! Nobody bothers us, nobody calls, no chores, no obligations – forget the outside world for a few days and just watch TV, have the aircon as cold as you want! Hungry? Just heat up something instant, hahaha! Or order in. There is no need to leave the room, ever.
The TV has HDMI and USB ports, and the usual ports to hook up your DVDs and other gadgets. Bring your own cables, chargers and extensions. The hotel has free Wifi, but it was very weak and barely usable. It was stronger in the kitchen area and almost non-existent in the bedroom. If internet access is important to you, bring your own.
Since we stayed there mostly to marathon some shows together, the spotty internet access wasn’t that much of a big hassle for us. We also had our own mobile internet, anyway, in case we wanted to check on anything online.
There’s also a closet and a place to put your things:
Here’s what it looks like outside the bedroom:
Here’s the Dining Table, you can see half of the small sink on the left.
Here’s the kitchenette. There’s a microwave oven and an electric kettle. Aside from the 2 cups and 2 saucers and 1 tablespoon, and 2 glasses, there was nothing else. No plates, no cutlery. If you need them, bring your own. Fortunately, I brought some leftover food with me so we were able to reuse the plates and bowls they were stored in, and we managed with plastic spoons & forks. I’ll take note to remember to bring some plates and real utensils next time. If you use a lot of paper towels, bring some, too. None are provided.
Here’s the ref. We stored our butter, sliced hams, yogurt and drinks here. Unfortunately, the big 1.5 L of Coke didn’t fit, and there was no ice available in this refrigerator.
However, overall, the kitchenette was adequate The microwave took a bit longer to heat food than what we were used to, but it works. The electric kettle is great for boiling water for instant noodles, instant oatmeal, instant cereal, instant coffee, and other instant drinks (yep, I brought packs of these, hahaha. My favorites at the moment are Energen Go Fruit Banana and Lucky Me Curly Spaghetti). The refrigerator works and keeps food cold. The sink has hot and cold water and uses the much more practical swan-neck type faucet (makes it easier to wash things).
For the sala, we had this sofa bed instead of the usual sofa. Thank you to whoever was thoughtful enough to do this. Granted, the sofa bed was not the most comfortable of mattresses, but it was more comfortable to watch TV on it than sitting on a sofa (folded sofabed). We had our marathon hooked up to the bedroom TV, but watched news and cable shows here. The TV here is bigger than the one in the bedroom, I think this one is a 32 inch.
The bathroom is complete! They provide towels, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, cotton buds, etc… I was so used to hotels having these necessities that I almost had a mini heart attack when I thought Best Western, being known as a no frills hotel, might not have them. I totally did not pack any of those things!
I was so glad when I saw them:
It was kind of weird though that we only had one glass, but 3 dental kits… just like we only had one teaspoon in the kitchen to be shared among 2 cups and saucers. It’s really nothing to complain about, but just weird.
I had a slight problem with the Hair Conditioner bottle. Somehow, I ended up cracking both bottles trying to get the conditioner out of the bottle…
The bathroom is simple, but nice and clean. It has a rain shower head and a telephone type shower head, too. Hot and cold water is available.
Hair dryer is also available.
Here’s a 360-degree virtual tour of the rooms at Best Western Antel!
We were very content during our stay at the Best Western Plus Antel Hotel. We even decided to extend another day, but Ouch, they wouldn’t give us the P2,888 promo price if we were only going to book one extra night. We could only get the P2,888 promo price if we booked for another 2 nights. The price for the extra night was P3,999 net.
We didn’t want to leave our cold cocoon of lazy-land so we didn’t get out of the room much, but there are many places you can go for food if you wanted to – there’s a small SM Hypermart just outside, and there are many restaurants within walking distance near Makati Ave – the nearest are those in A Venue, and Century City Mall is just a stone’s throw away (there is a Rustan’s Supermarket there). If you don’t want to spend too much on food, many fastfood restaurants are located along Makati Ave., like McDonald’s, Jollibee, Wendy’s, Rufo’s, etc… and I’m sure they all deliver. Keep their numbers handy because like I said, wifi can be a bit problematic. If you want to dine in or get room service, I think they use the Azzurro restaurant on the 4th floor, but I am not sure if it is related to the one that was famous about a decade ago, which was more Italian.
I would recommend Best Western Plus Antel as a good staycation place, just keep an eye out for promos. Their regular rates are a bit high (P8,925 for this same room, with buffet breakfast for 2), but when you find these rooms on promo, they’re a really good deal!
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The Barat Queen
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