Novotel Manila Araneta Center Staycation Review

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Exterior Main Door

Novotel Manila Araneta Center just officially opened last March 2016, and since then, they have been offering promos to encourage Metro Manilans to check them out.

When I first heard about Novotel, it did not immediately click in my head that it was THE international hotel chain that I’ve been seeing abroad. It is, though. It is a French hotel chain that is a part of the Accor Hotels group, which includes the hotel brands Sofitel, Raffles, Fairmont, Mercure, Ibis, etc… Novotel is the group’s mid-range, family-friendly hotel brand.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Front Desk

The Novotel Manila Araneta Center is the first Novotel in the Philippines and is located in the heart of Cubao, right beside the Smart Araneta Coliseum. It’s just a couple of minutes from Gateway Mall, right across from Shopwise Supermarket, and a block away from SM Cubao – this is very convenient in case you need to buy something, or for emergencies.

This weekend, we stayed at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center because I needed a staycation – a break from the daily routine to recharge and catch up – but I did not want the extra effort of making a long drive or the hassle of going through airports. There’s just something about being away from the daily humdrum and chores and constant asks that makes me more focused, too.

Novotel Manila Lobby

THE ROOM

We stayed at a Superior Room, at P5,500 net per night with buffet breakfast for two. In case you bring kids to your staycation, up to two children 15 years old and below can also eat at the buffet breakfast FOR FREE! See? Family-friendly! 

I love their colorful design. So chic and celebratory!

Novotel Manila Hotel Card

The room was new and had a sleek, contemporary design.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Superior Room

The bed is big and comfortable.

The bathroom has modern fixtures. As with most modern hotels, the bathroom has a glass wall. But there’s an automated blind that rolls up or down with the touch of a button to provide some privacy. The shower has both a rainfall shower head and a telephone shower head. There’s also a hair dryer.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Superior Room 2

It’s missing the cotton buds, but we brought our own. I think maybe you can request some from housekeeping if you need them. I appreciate that they made the effort to support fair trade products.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Superior Room Toiletries

There’s a fridge and a coffee / tea station:

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Superior Room Ref Bar

There’s a desk and a big flat screen TV, and yup, you guessed it, it was a movie marathon kind of staycation! I finally saw Olympus Has Fallen, and London Has Fallen. Being the US president is hard, always being attacked and all, LOL. The story is kind of ridiculous but just roll with it, the movie is fun, anyway. Bring your own laptop / player / Netflix account / HDMI cable, of course.  So glad the room is set up so guests can easily watch TV from the bed, there are some hotels where this is not the case. Wifi is available.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Superior Room Desk TV

But what I really appreciate are the electrical outlets! Check out all the different kinds of ports / plugs:

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Superior Room Electrical Outlets

Love how Novotel Manila Araneta Center made the extra effort to put this in. There are also outlets on both sides of the bed, as well as below the desk, and at the coffee station, too. I don’t think you’ll ever run out of sockets to charge your gadgets with. 

There is also a closet with bathrobes and slippers, and a safe.

PREMIER LOUNGE

Access to the Premier Lounge is included when you get an executive room. You can also purchase access to the Premier Lounge for P2,500 nett per day per person. The Executive Room is P8,000 net and the Executive Suite is P9,500 net, and both already include access to the Premier Lounge for two people, so getting those rooms instead is the better value if you want access to the Premier Lounge (and you get better rooms, too). In our case, we were given complimentary access to the Premier Lounge, a surprise from a friend.

Novotel Manila Premier Lounge 2

Novotel Manila Premier Lounge

Novotel Manila Premier Lounge Letter

The Premier Lounge, at the 24th floor, provides exclusive personalized service. It is open from 6 AM to 11 PM daily, and you get a lot of complimentary use of amenities — but most importantly, you get complimentary food & beverages!

Novotel Manila Premier Lounge Drinks

The food & beverages you get at the Premier Lounge include fresh brew coffee, special teas, fresh fruit juices, assorted beer, etc… For teas, I recommend the Manila Mango if you like berry / fruity teas, and the Bavarian Mint because it seems to be really popular.

Novotel Manila Premier Lounge Coffee Tea

This is their schedule:

  • Buffet Breakfast –  6:30 am – 10:30 am – typical breakfast spread with cereals, breads, bacon, etc… but with more premium ingredients like gravlax, etc…
  • Afternoon Tea – 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – finger sandwiches
  • Evening Cocktails –  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – light finger food + some wine
  • All-Day Refreshments – 6:00 am – 11:00 pm – cookies & candy, coffee & tea, fruit juice

You can just totally hang out at the Premier Lounge all day, haha. I liked working on my laptop at the Premier Lounge while munching on cocktails and drinking teas and fruit juices. It has a 360-degree view of the surrounding area.

The Premier Lounge has a smart casual dress code; also, children need to be accompanied by adults.

BUFFET BREAKFAST

Being Premier Lounge guests, we had the option to either have our buffet breakfast at the Premier Lounge, or at the Food Exchange Manila on the ground floor.

Premier Lounge Buffet Breakfast

Novotel Manila Premier Lounge Buffet Breakfast 3

Novotel Manila Premier Lounge Buffet Breakfast

Novotel Manila Premier Lounge Buffet Breakfast 2

Novotel Manila Premier Lounge Buffet Breakfast Fruit Juice

We chose to have breakfast at the Food Exchange Manila because it has a wider selection than the Premier Lounge’s.

Food Exchange Manila Breakfast Buffet

The Food Exchange Manila is located at the ground floor of the hotel, near the lobby.

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Entrance

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Seats

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Manila Breakfast Buffet

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Manila Breakfast Buffet 2

Food Exchange Manila is gaining a reputation for its excellent Indian station, so it was nice to see that the buffet breakfast also includes some Indian fare.

Here are some chutneys:

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Breakfast Buffet Chutney

Here are some Lassi:

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Breakfast Buffet Lassi

Make sure to try the Chai tea, as well 

The breakfast buffet has a savory section (the place with the pots) with dishes like adobo, stir-fried beef, beef pares, plain Jasmine rice, garlic rice, arroz caldo, champorado, etc… they also have a good selection of breads, cereals, yogurts, etc… The Chinese station has some noodles you can request made to order, and some dimsum.

They have home-made corned beef:

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Breakfast Buffet Homemade Corned Beef

Low-fat Canadian Bacon:

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Breakfast Buffet Low Fat Canadian Bacon

There is a station where you can request for some scrambled eggs, different kinds of omelets (with fillings). Pizza is also available, and I totally recommend their specialty – the Margherita Pizza, try to get it freshly baked out of the oven! I liked drizzling some basil oil on my pizza.

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Manila Breakfast Buffet Pizza

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Manila Breakfast Buffet Mustards

My first round  the first of many…

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Breakfast Buffet First Round

They also have a puto bumbong station, fresh hotcakes, waffles, ensaymada, bibingka, etc… there are also breads and jams.

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Manila Breakfast Buffet Puto Bumbong

On our first buffet breakfast, we saw this honeycomb setup where you can get fresh honey yourself. I didn’t see it on our second time on the buffet though.

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Manila Breakfast Buffet Honeycomb

There’s also a juice bar where you can have fresh juice:

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Manila Breakfast Buffet Juice Bar

Novotel Manila Food Exchange Manila Breakfast Buffet Drinks

AMENITIES

The hotel stay includes the use of the pool, the gym, etc… there is also an exclusive children’s play area near the Premier Lounge for Premier Lounge guests with children.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Pool

Novotel Manila Araneta Center Gym

Parking is free (one car per room).

SUMMARY

We had such a wonderful stay that we even extended another night! We really, really did not want to leave! Service was excellent everywhere, from reception, F&B, housekeeping, etc… all the staff seemed really happy and helpful. The hotel management is really very hands on, I always see them around the hotel even during the limited time we had walking to and from the buffet and lounge, making sure that everything is perfect.

If you want a stress-free staycation getaway, check out the new Novotel Manila Araneta Center. It is a conveniently-located family-friendly hotel that also has the biggest ballroom this side of Quezon City (more groups are starting to have conventions at Novotel now). You can even stay at the suite that Ms. Universe Pia Wurtzbach stayed in and feel like Ms. Universe yourself! Happy getaway! 

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xoxo,

The Barat Queen

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3 thoughts on “Novotel Manila Araneta Center Staycation Review

  1. Aaron Black

    Safety concerns –

    It seems this hotel is more concerned with their profit margins than the safety of their guests. The staff is not well trained and wait for management to help them make decisions regarding guests issues. We had 6 guests staying at the hotel in 6 rooms, 3 rooms coordinate by me personally. Our of total of six rooms, the following concerns were raised to management:

    1) Lax security procedures when entering hotel. Really a façade as they are not fully checking bags and cars as they should, more interested in other distractions available.
    2) Failing to answer the phone calls to the operator and/or front desk – If an emergency, they would never know. This happened daily and causes great concern for my guests.
    3) Seems like a lot of unpaid interns working in key positions of the hotel. While I love to see training, not at the expense of the guests’ experience and all interns really know how to say when there are issues are “I’m sorry” and then smile and/or set up a meeting with a mid-level manager, who then is not interested in helping if they feel they will have to give you something in consideration of bad experience.
    4) Management that hide behind the “policy” to prevent making concessions when things don’t go right during a guests stay including:
    a. Circuit breaker problem which caused guests power to not come on due to improper wiring it seems
    b. Offers no concession when bookings are incorrect (dates, 3rd party adverse impact saying “you should have book with us directly as since you booked with 3rd party there is nothing we can do” even though it may or may not be your fault
    c. Cold water in the shower that engineering doesn’t understand how to fix and having to get a more senior person (unpaid interns)
    d. Valet procedures having interns drive your car that don’t even own their own car.
    e. Room service food that looks like it has been left out/prepared in advance from their limited menu if you order at night past 12am.

    What we were told was we are sorry on each situation. Sorry isn’t good enough when it comes to the safety and security of guests at your property. I’m happy to say our groups will not be staying at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center and not holding any events there for the safety of our clients.

    Room Tip: Lots of inexperienced interns learning at this property so they can keep costs down it seems.
    See more room tips
    Stayed November 2016, traveled on business

    Reply

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