This weekend, we decided to go on a staycation.
Why go on a staycation?
- save on travel time – no flights, no hour-long drives
- save money on travel expenses – flight costs, toll fees, terminal fees, that stupid travel tax that as far as I know, is only found in the Philippines
- you’re still accessible should there be any emergency
We stayed at BSA Twin Towers – St. Francis Suites & Resort Condotels – this is just behind SM Megamall A. You literally just cross a small street and you’re at SM Megamall.
One of the main reasons we chose to stay there was because they had a kitchenette. We stayed at a 1-bedroom executive suite for P3,000 net per night.
The price for their studio unit is P2,600 net. It was just a P400 difference between a studio and a 1-bedroom suite so we got the 1-bedroom suite instead.
They require a P2,000 deposit when you check in, or they can swipe your credit card. Don’t worry, you get the deposit back when you check out (assuming you don’t damage anything).
There’s no breakfast included in this price, but I was told that breakfast is P250.00/person should you want to go.
I checked around on booking.com and airbnb.com, and this looked like the best value for at this price range. They provide free wifi (Sky Broadband), the place looks great compared to other hotel rooms in the P3,000 range, and the location is perfect! You just have to cross the street to buy anything you need – like food (groceries), water… It also has a kitchenette so you can cook your own food. This saves a lot of money.
The only problem with staying there is that there is NO PARKING FOR GUESTS. If you’re thinking that you can park overnight at Megamall, well, you can’t. We asked the parking attendant and SM Megamall only accepts overnight parking for vehicles that have been damaged (battery problems, flat tire and the like). That Overnight Parking fee on their signage sure is misleading! We ended up parking at the open parking lot beside the condotel that charges per hour.
If you want to save money, you can do a combination of parking at SM Megamall and then moving your car to the open parking lot before 1:30am.
The 1-BR Suite
They also provided a small frying pan and 2 pots with cover, an old school kettle (not electric), a small chopping board, as well as knives and basic non-stick cooking implements. You might want to bring your own though.
They also provide 2 dinner plates, 2 salad plates, 2 bowls, 2 forks, 2 knives and a serving plate, and the dishes are all Noritake. They are not the fancy gold-trimmed Noritake sets. These are just ordinary white dinnerware, but I appreciate that they provided good dinnerware and flatware. The forks and spoons are the good stainless steel kind – not those bendy, deformable things you find at foodcourts.
There is no rice cooker so if you want to cook rice, you have to do it with a pot or bring your own rice cooker.
You’ll need to bring or buy your own dish soap and sponge and kitchen towels.
Here’s the bedroom. The door to the bedroom is a sliding door. The bedroom has a TV (with Skycable), a closet (that has an ironing board and a safe), a desk with mirror, and a bed. The bed is comfortable (just like a good hotel), with a nightstand and a lamp. There are also at least 4 well-spread ceiling lights – I like that the bedroom can be lit anyway you want to – dim when I want to relax, or bright and evenly-lit when I want to read or work.
The whole suite is cooled by a split-type airconditioner. It’s big enough to cool the entire unit.
The bathroom is small but well-appointed. The hotel provided 2 full-sized towels, a floor mat towel. No hand towels. Shampoo, soap and 2 toothbrush kits were provided. The shower has hot and cold water.
We really liked our stay. The room is nice, clean and looks new, the price is value for money and the location is convenient. The only problem was the lack of parking.
Being there made me feel “away” from the problems of the outside world, like inside a soft, cool cocoon, but knowing that the outside world was accessible should we ever need anything.
We cooked simple food — good steak, and onions and vegetables, rice and soup. We brought in our own seasonings. We also brought our own pint of Ben & Jerry’s, greek yogurt, and bought sliced fruits from SM Supermarket. It’s just like camping! Only with civilization! I’m not into outdoor camping, obviously 😛
We spent our time enjoying the quiet, the cool aircon, and when we got tired of that, we watched shows and movies on the TV (we brought our own HDMI cable to connect our laptop to the 42″ TV). Forget problems and responsibilities, chores, naggers and what not for a day or two!
Who says you need to go to the ends of the earth to get a vacation? A staycation’s where it’s at!
I find that when I go to other places, I tend to want to maximize my time exploring that new place, seeing as much as I can, that I spend most of the time exploring rather than relaxing and just chilling.
Stay at least 2 nights so you have time to really chill. A one-night stay will just make you upset that you have to pack up so soon when feel like you’ve just arrived!
A staycation is my favorite vacation and BSA Twin Towers Condotel is going to be one of my favorite places to go.
BSA Twin Towers – St. Francis Suites & Resorts
Julia Vargas Avenue corner Ortigas Bank Drive
Ortigas Center 1550, Mandaluyong City
Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone Number: +63 2 632 1010
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The Barat Queen
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