During the last long weekend (Valentine’s / Chinese New Year), we had a staycation at Novotel Manila Araneta Center.
If you’re an avid reader of the blog, you know we’ve stayed at Novotel several times already. A few of the reasons I like Novotel are because of the hospitable staff, accessible location, and nearby mall / shops.
Novotel Manila Araneta Center is right beside Gateway Mall, so if you ever feel like catching a movie or if you need to buy things (like if you forgot to bring a swimsuit!), the mall is right next door! I’ve even heard of people who book a room at Novotel if they’re attending a concert or a show at the Araneta Coliseum so they don’t need to rush going to and heading home.
NOVOTEL MANILA EXECUTIVE ROOM
As usual, check-in was easy. We had coffee at the Premier Lounge while waiting for our check-in to be processed.
While we previously stayed at a Superior Room, this time we stayed at an Executive Room. I’m not going to repeat all the room details, I already talked about the room extensively in my previous blog post. It’s basically the same with a few upgrades 🙂 The Executive Room is located on higher floors and also includes access to the Premier Lounge.
They also have a safe for guests to use.
Something new that I did notice was the bathroom glass wall! Instead of the roller shades, it has privacy glass. The glass turns opaque by turning on a switch! To turn it on, just press the switch (the main bathroom switch needs to be turned on).
One of the other nice things is the Soundfreaq Bluetooth Speaker beside the bed if you want to listen to music. As for the bedside light, you can point the light to what you’re reading.
While I already mentioned this in my previous review, it bears repeating that I really appreciate the many and varied electrical outlets available around the room. No more having to compete to charge gadgets! And check out this hub.
We also got an illy iperespresso machine in the room with 2 capsules. We didn’t get to use it because we already had free coffee and juices from the Premier Lounge.
We also received some welcome fruit and cookies in our room.
Here’s the view from the room:
CHILLAXING AT NOVOTEL
A staycation is always so relaxing – you leave all your problems behind for a day (or two!), you don’t have a schedule you need to keep, and please don’t give yourself a “to-do” list during your staycation!
I spent the afternoon enjoying the cool room and comfortable bed, with no one bugging me for this or that. While one of my home goals is to recreate the hotel room experience in my own bedroom, it’s still a work in progress and I’m not quite there yet. That’s why I really enjoyed the memory-foam topped with mattress topper comfort of Novotel’s bed 😀
Not having to think about where to eat and what to eat is a relief. Staycation should be a stress-free time, so try to reduce any decision-making and say no to decision fatigue! 🙂
For dinner, we dined at Food Exchange Manila. FYI, buffets don’t give me decision fatigue 😀 If it looks delicious, I’ll put a little on my plate, no stressful decision needed. That night, they were having the Chinese New Year themed buffet. I have already covered this buffet before, so you can read that blog post for more details about it. But what I really like about the Food Exchange Manila buffet are the desserts like puto bumbong, churros and crepe that you can have made to order, the fresh pizzas, the different kinds of oils and sauces.
What also stands out about their buffet for me is the authentic Indian chef. I really wish they would utilize him more by doing more Indian dishes for the buffet like palak paneer, murgh makhani, dahl makhani, rogan josh. Maybe they do serve those and I just miss them every time… I do enjoy it when I chance upon them serving some pani puri.
For breakfast, we chose to dine at Food Exchange Manila buffet breakfast as well, even if we could have breakfast at the Premier Lounge. The buffet breakfast at Food Exchange Manila is just more extensive 😀 One of the highlights of the buffet breakfast is of course, the Chai! It’s there by the Indian station. The Filipino dishes like the different kinds of adobo are also quite good. The food is almost the same as the lunch / dinner buffets, except there is more emphasis on breads, cereal, egg dishes, and breakfast items like sausages, fried bangus, tocino, champorado, etc… You can have omelets cooked to order. The breakfast buffet kept us full the whole day!
I like this sisig pizza!
Harvest your own honey:
Fresh fruit and fresh fruit juices are available! 🙂
We went swimming! The pool is 4 ft deep, and there’s also a kiddie pool. Bring your own cover-ups. They provide a towel for you when you go swimming, but it’s to help you dry off so you don’t drip all over the hotel. You return the towel when you leave the pool area.
Ice N Cream + 50% OFF Promo
After swimming, we indulged in some ice cream at Ice N Cream. The Novotel team has been making their own ice cream for a while, and they have come up with some wonderful and unique flavors.
This time, they have 4 new flavors for summer:
- Hey Ginger, You’re so Pine – Ginger Pineapple flavor, candied pineapple in honey and rosemary, married with soothing ginger
- Say Cheese(cake)! – Amaretto Cranberry Cheesecake, tart raspberries with contrasting creamy notes from frozen cheesecake and white chocolate, laced with amaretto and hazelnut crunchies
- Build Me Up, Buttercup! – Buttered Popcorn flavor, freshly popped corn embraced in buttery goodness
- Burst of Summer – Four Seasons flavor, a sorbet melange of all things bright and sweet, watermelon, mango, orange and pineapple soaked in lemon
They also have an ongoing promo for 50% OFF on all pastries, cakes and breads from 8PM – 10PM! I must check this out next time! I only saw the promo when we were about to check out and we couldn’t wait until 8pm. Next time! I wonder what breads they have, I do like Novotel’s breads. I must remember to check this out when I’m at Novotel at night next time. Easy breakfast for the next morning 🙂
Parking is available for guests (basement parking). Just have your ticket validated by the front desk before you check out, and you have free parking for the duration of your hotel stay. Before leaving, don’t forget to have your parking card processed near the main hotel entrance. I made this mistake once, I forgot. I got to the parking machine, then realized I hadn’t had my parking card processed, so I had to park again and go back up to the lobby. So now I never forget and I always remind friends about it 🙂 After that, you have 30 minutes grace period before the parking card expires and is rejected by the parking card machine.
After our wonderful stay at Novotel, I have to drag myself to pack and check out 🙂 I feel refreshed but also just a little bit blue that we have to leave so soon. The staff are always so accommodating and pleasant, the whole experience is a breeze. After being a “suki” at Novotel for a few years, we have not encountered any problems. The relatively close location to home makes me feel that I’m easily available if there are any emergencies, but the hotel still makes me feel “away from it all”.
Staycations, for me, are little escapes that help to revive us from our daily struggles. It should be easy, stress-free, and should not involve too much effort (going to and from, as well as in terms of activities), so you’ll still feel rejuvenated when you get home and continue on the positive path. Novotel Manila Araneta Center certainly fits the bill 🙂
Novotel Manila Araneta Center
General Aguinaldo Avenue, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
Contact No. (02) 990 7888
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The Barat Queen
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