I haven't been to the beach lately and there are no plans yet even if there's just a month left before the rainy season starts to hit the Philippines. To compensate for a summer escapade without having to leave the city, a night at F1 Hotel Manila is the choice.
After storming booking websites, my choices came down to three. But we were a bit curios about what F1 Hotel Manila was all about. What was peculiar about F1 Hotel is that it isn't a member of an international chain so you really come with a vague expectation about the hotel. It is just one of the two (soon to be three) hotels in the Fort Bonifacio Global City area which is an upscale destination, a personal favorite. We wondered how F1 would blend in to the hype of BGC.
Just a few blocks away from Serendra and Bonifacio High Street, F1 Hotel Manila was conveniently located, this is the best thing about the hotel, but there's more to know other than where it stands.
The published rate of F1 Hotel Manila (as of April 2014) is Php 9,000.00 (apx USD 200) so this was my benchmark in reviewing what this crib was all about.
I was expecting something grandeur upon entering the hotel. What rather greeted us was a simple, minimalist reception with courteous staff at the fifth floor. However, I like the interiors of the area and wondered if it was consistent all over.
True enough, I was very delighted upon entering the room, the lay out was a bit unusual than other hotels and I perfectly love this bizarre arrangement, I also love the color palette used, how they chose the right kind of fixtures and furniture, especially the sofa and the coffee table. They mimic a modern bachelor's pad that's very fit for a place like BGC and you'd feel it was your own space, forgetting it was actually a hotel.
I only have four things I wish the hotel would look closer though, the fridge was empty of drinks for sale, there was just one complimentary bottle of water, a single bathrobe and a pair of slippers for a room that's supposed to be good for two. Loud sounds can be heard from the lobby or from the next room as well. Lastly, the pillows were too soft and nowhere near firm and it causes the neck to hurt a little bit, maybe depends on your preference. Other than these, it was certainly a cozy night spent inside this deluxe room.
As this was supposed to be a summer escapade, the swimming pool was one the things we eyed on this hotel. There were three pools at the third floor, the largest being a 4.5 ft deep olympic pool with marble stones floored beneath, a detail I personally loved! It was close to be an infinity pool and the view of the city was just amazing. The wind was blowing the waters and it gave some wave effects to make it seem like the ocean.
Summer is best felt in this spot in the hotel, just beside the pools was a bar they call "The Canary", a replica of the Canary Islands where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the day with your friends.
The buffet consisted of a classic menu from pastries, to cereals to heavy meals and the all traditional eggs station. However, I think they could still widen their menu and would have loved the croissants and pancakes if they were freshly baked and soft, or maybe it was because we arrive an hour before the buffet closed. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed my head start.
It was a pleasure to spend the moment in F1 Hotel Manila and it was great to find a cozy spot to sleep in a cozy metropolis. A cozy crib in a cozy concrete jungle.
Hoisting a conclusion based on the price benchmark I've mentioned earlier, the cost is a bit too extravagant than what it should be based on our stay, but the location makes it reasonable.
I always love this part of the city and summer in this place, although with little brushing up needed, was still an exceptional experience.
The Wander Dan Notes:
BDO Credit Card holders can take advantage of the 50% discount on published room rate until September 2014.