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  1. #2767
    Quote Originally Posted by GoodEnough  [View Original Post]
    Thanks very much. I've stayed three times at Raffles, only because I was upgraded as a Platinum member of Fairmont. It's lovely, but at a list price of about $400 a night, surely not worth the money.

    Prior to the opening of the Fairmont, my default hotel was the Shang, but to me it's gotten somewhat old and outdated and I prefer the size and creature comforts of the Fairmont rooms.

    I may give the Pen a shot one of these days.

    GE.
    Glad to have been of service, GE. Agreed, the Shang Makati arguably at one time was the preeminent hotel in the area, but now has become a bit old. However, it is possible that you might feel the same way about the Pen if you were to stay there. Sounds like you are happy at the Fairmont, which is an outstanding hotel, and which apparently offers the opportunity for upgrades to the Raffles?

    Once stayed at the old Raffles in Singapore, long before its renovation. Think it was back in the early 80's, when prices there were still eminently affordable. Living history, but definitely seedy. Seem to recall an old stuffed tiger's head near the lobby, but couldn't swear to it. Rickety old wooden floors, with endless long narrow corridors, and a room which seemed like it took hours to reach! Ceiling fan in the old room, with antique water closet (commode). Remember enjoying a single malt at the Raffles bar there.

    However, it sounds like Raffles Makati today is beyond even my "splurge" budget and no chance for upgrade here. Per your post, may have to settle for a dinner at the Meleio Restaurant there, with a pre-dinner Pernod.

    Cheers!

    OM.

  2. #2766
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega3  [View Original Post]
    GE,

    I have stayed at both the Pen and the Makati Fairmont and, on balance, personally prefer the Pen.

    The Fairmont is newer and in a more strategic location to Greenbelt, the Landmark, Glorietta, and their many retail shops and restaurants, plus Ayala Museum. However, to me, the Fairmont lacked real character. Also, the swimming pool is located directly below two whole wings of rooms, with resulting lack of privacy. Remember once looking down from my hotel room window at a young couple making out at the otherwise deserted swimming pool area below, and wondering if they realized they were actually "on display" to the many rooms above. Also, the "L" shaped hotel wing configuration results in a direct line of sight to rooms in the wing perpendicular and, at night, with lights on in such neighboring rooms and their curtains open, you can actually see inside the rooms (and vice versa), with consequent lack of privacy. Of course, you can close your own curtains, but I like to keep them open to enjoy the view (but not of the other rooms). Also, once had a problem with front desk staff, but the supervisor was very courteous and helpful. Have never tried the breakfast at the Fairmont, but do know that there is no buffet there.

    The Pen is more "old school" elegance, especially evident in the lobby and in the deluxe rooms, also with lush green vegetation in and nearby the hotel grounds. Location a bit farther away from Greenbelt, Landmark, etc. , but just across Makati Ave from the Blackbird restaurant and the Ayala Triangle. The rooms are not all the same though. Once booked a room at the Pen at what appeared to be a great price (around US $80++) only to find that it was a much smaller and less luxurious room in the "new tower". That was disappointing. The buffet breakfast is sumptuous (although not quite as good as at the nearby Shangrila) and to be enjoyed in a leisurely manner if possible. This is the only breakfast buffet I have ever seen outside of Japan which serves "natto" (a Japanese fermented soy dish which many Westerners can't stand; it's an acquired taste).

    Have never stayed at the Makati Raffles, which I have heard is a step up. And, regrettably, never stopped by for a drink at the Writers Bar there. One of these years.

    Of course, it goes without saying that YMMV.

    Hope this helps!

    OM.
    Thanks very much. I've stayed three times at Raffles, only because I was upgraded as a Platinum member of Fairmont. It's lovely, but at a list price of about $400 a night, surely not worth the money. The new restaurant, Meleio at at Raffles is superb and surprisingly reasonable, and its terrace bar, which also serves light snacks from the restaurant menu is worth it for the outdoor terrace's view alone. It's also got Pernod and Absinthe, which I don't often see on bar menus here.

    I asked about the Manila Pen because the price you cited was so reasonable compared to the Fairmont, however my rate at the Fairmont does include breakfast and the Fairmont does have a buffet that rivals that of the Shang. In fact, I think it may be slightly better, but that's purely subjective. I'm surprised you thought it didn't have one. I've been staying at the Fairmont almost since it opened, and I get wonderful service there, though I agree that there's no old world elegance about it. However, I do enjoy the Writer's Bar and the Long Bar, both at Raffles but accessible to Fairmont guests. Prior to the opening of the Fairmont, my default hotel was the Shang, but to me it's gotten somewhat old and outdated and I prefer the size and creature comforts of the Fairmont rooms.

    Thanks again for responding to my post. I may give the Pen a shot one of these days.

    GE.

  3. #2765
    Quote Originally Posted by GoodEnough  [View Original Post]
    I've eaten at the Penn but never stayed there. I don't know if you've stayed at the Makati Fairmont, but if so, can you compare it favorably to that hotel?

    GE.
    GE,

    I have stayed at both the Pen and the Makati Fairmont and, on balance, personally prefer the Pen.

    The Fairmont is newer and in a more strategic location to Greenbelt, the Landmark, Glorietta, and their many retail shops and restaurants, plus Ayala Museum. However, to me, the Fairmont lacked real character. Also, the swimming pool is located directly below two whole wings of rooms, with resulting lack of privacy. Remember once looking down from my hotel room window at a young couple making out at the otherwise deserted swimming pool area below, and wondering if they realized they were actually "on display" to the many rooms above. Also, the "L" shaped hotel wing configuration results in a direct line of sight to rooms in the wing perpendicular and, at night, with lights on in such neighboring rooms and their curtains open, you can actually see inside the rooms (and vice versa), with consequent lack of privacy. Of course, you can close your own curtains, but I like to keep them open to enjoy the view (but not of the other rooms). Also, once had a problem with front desk staff, but the supervisor was very courteous and helpful. Have never tried the breakfast at the Fairmont, but do know that there is no buffet there.

    The Pen is more "old school" elegance, especially evident in the lobby and in the deluxe rooms, also with lush green vegetation in and nearby the hotel grounds. Location a bit farther away from Greenbelt, Landmark, etc. , but just across Makati Ave from the Blackbird restaurant and the Ayala Triangle. The rooms are not all the same though. Once booked a room at the Pen at what appeared to be a great price (around US $80++) only to find that it was a much smaller and less luxurious room in the "new tower". That was disappointing. The buffet breakfast is sumptuous (although not quite as good as at the nearby Shangrila) and to be enjoyed in a leisurely manner if possible. This is the only breakfast buffet I have ever seen outside of Japan which serves "natto" (a Japanese fermented soy dish which many Westerners can't stand; it's an acquired taste).

    Have never stayed at the Makati Raffles, which I have heard is a step up. And, regrettably, never stopped by for a drink at the Writers Bar there. One of these years.

    Of course, it goes without saying that YMMV.

    Hope this helps!

    OM.

  4. #2764

    The Peninsula Makati

    I was trying to book the Peninsula for my upcoming visit to Makati end of June but the rate for Deluxe King Room is $154 + tax, which comes to around $ 190.00. How early do you book?

    Quote Originally Posted by NattyBumpo  [View Original Post]
    I enjoyed my stay at the Peninsula. This is a true 5 star hotel that I was able to book on two separate occasions with Expedia for $113 (deluxe King room) with buffet breakfasts included. I would absolutely stay here again. NB

  5. #2763
    Quote Originally Posted by NattyBumpo  [View Original Post]
    Stykler, Yes I enjoyed my stay at the Peninsula. This is a true 5 star hotel that I was able to book on two separate occasions with Expedia for $113 (deluxe King room) with buffet breakfasts included. The room was large and well appointed. The buffet breakfast was great. The hotel is VERY girl friendly and tolerant. Read my last Makati postcard. And what I liked best was the large swimming pool / garden area. This recreational space was large enough to have PRIVATE pool party get togethers with my sexy Filipinas and not be bothered by other hotel guests. Location is good too. I would absolutely stay here again.

    NB
    I also have stayed at the Makati Peninsula numerous times over the years, and agree with Natty. A couple of additional "insider tips".

    There is a "side" entrance which actually leads from the Pen buffet area to Makati Avenue. If you cross over Makati Ave from this side entrance you will be at the Blackbird, which is a delightful western restaurant located in the control tower of the old Manila airport which used to be at the Ayala Triangle (where the very straight areas of Paseo de Roxas, Ayala Avenue, and Makati Avenue reportedly used to be runway areas). Blackbird is part of Chef Colin Mackay's culinary "mini-empire" in Makati, which also includes Sala Restaurant, Sala Bistro, and the (somewhat over-rated) People's Place Thai restaurant in Greenbelt.

    Also, across the Pen lobby from the front desk, there is a small staircase going down, which leads to a tiny subterranean retail area. In this area, there is a decent barber, and, at the end of the underground corridor, there is a cozy "mini-deli" serving sandwiches plus a deli showcase or two with tasty baked goods (breads and pastries).

    OM.

    Cheers!

    OM.

  6. #2762
    Quote Originally Posted by NattyBumpo  [View Original Post]
    Stykler, Yes I enjoyed my stay at the Peninsula. This is a true 5 star hotel that I was able to book on two separate occasions with Expedia for $113 (deluxe King room) with buffet breakfasts included. The room was large and well appointed. The buffet breakfast was great. The hotel is VERY girl friendly and tolerant. Read my last Makati postcard. And what I liked best was the large swimming pool / garden area. This recreational space was large enough to have PRIVATE pool party get togethers with my sexy Filipinas and not be bothered by other hotel guests. Location is good too. I would absolutely stay here again.

    NB
    I've eaten at the Penn but never stayed there. I don't know if you've stayed at the Makati Fairmont, but if so, can you compare it favorably to that hotel?

    GE.

  7. #2761
    Quote Originally Posted by NattyBumpo  [View Original Post]
    Stykler, Yes I enjoyed my stay at the Peninsula.

    {Massive Snip}
    Thanks Natty for your very useful (as usual) information.

    Styk.

  8. #2760

    the Peninsula Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by Stykler  [View Original Post]
    Natty. Have you enjoyed this ( Peninsula ) hotel? Recommend or not?
    Stykler, Yes I enjoyed my stay at the Peninsula. This is a true 5 star hotel that I was able to book on two separate occasions with Expedia for $113 (deluxe King room) with buffet breakfasts included. The room was large and well appointed. The buffet breakfast was great. The hotel is VERY girl friendly and tolerant. Read my last Makati postcard. And what I liked best was the large swimming pool / garden area. This recreational space was large enough to have PRIVATE pool party get togethers with my sexy Filipinas and not be bothered by other hotel guests. Location is good too. I would absolutely stay here again.

    NB

  9. #2759
    Quote Originally Posted by KrisMonger  [View Original Post]
    I just booked via airbnb a place in Oxford suites (it was strange that it got listed in airbnb) for a visit that I am making in 2 weeks time. Since, Oxford suites is a hotel. I expect no issues -but will post if I do run into those. I was also told by my friend that the airbnb listing "One pacific place" near Greenbelt was fine as well.
    Noticed recently several Oxford suites being offered on Airbnb. One was going for $20/ night, the other for $27/ night, both for full suite.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnaCarson  [View Original Post]
    Air bnb uUS s the only way to go.

    Knightsbridge or Gramercy or something similar.
    Knightsbridge / Milano (right next to each other) are bit more expensive, but still can be found in the $40-$100 range easily. Beautiful units. Drawback: its back far off Makati, several long blocks, 150 meters back in past Grammercy. There are no taxis approaching on Salamanca, so you must walk to the mall to get a taxi, or Uber / Grab. I walk to Burgos several times a day. Walking from Knightsbridge to Makati is literally uphill. Advantage: all the aircon units are split-type and mounted on top of the wall near the ceiling.

    Grammercy units are considerably cheaper in price, $30-$75 / night, and closer to Makati Avenue + taxis. Disadvantage: all the aircon units are standard wall units (not split-type), and all are mounted near the floor, and are right next to the bed, so whoever in the bed is closest to the window is going to freeze. Also the curtains in most units in Gram cover the aircon blower, so the only way to close them all the way is to cover the aircon.

    Another large condo system in the area is Jazz residences, located west down Jupiter, to the SM mall and cemetary. The units are smaller than Gram / Knights, but clean and new (and 5 pools), and even less money than Grammercy.

  10. #2758
    Quote Originally Posted by LongJohn001  [View Original Post]
    I plan to visit Manila in September and have been looking at apartments with AirBnb for my stay, and I must say that the vast majority of these properties (70%) have very strict House Rules about "no unregistered guests" visiting / staying overnight!

    Hope this helps!
    Was going to PM you some info regarding this, but you don't have PM. Time for a membership.

  11. #2757

    Airbnb in Manila

    Quote Originally Posted by LongJohn001  [View Original Post]
    I have stayed at AirBnB properties in many countries around the world, and you generally have 2 distinct problems:

    1.) The owner of the property (condo or apartment) doesn't have approval from the Condo Association to offer the property on a short term lease basis, as with AirBnB. And usually you don't' find this out until you arrive for your stay, so you always feel as if you shouldn't be there. Unsettling, but usually not a serious problem.

    2.) The second and more concerning issue is can you invite a guest (s) to visit or stay overnight without having major problems at the front desk / reception / security. Two years ago I was renting a property in Montreal, Canada, and I was faced with both of these problems. I managed to get the lady in question passed security at the front desk (just took the girl's hand and looked straight ahead), but one of the residence (Old Witch / *****) saw me going into the elevator with someone, who was obviously considerably less than half my age, and kicked up a stink with the owner and security. This was on the first of several nights at the condo, so no more guests!! Ruined most of my mongering plans.
    I just booked via airbnb a place in Oxford suites (it was strange that it got listed in airbnb) for a visit that I am making in 2 weeks time. Since, Oxford suites is a hotel. I expect no issues -but will post if I do run into those. I was also told by my friend that the airbnb listing "One pacific place" near Greenbelt was fine as well.

  12. #2756

    AirBnB Manila

    I have stayed at AirBnB properties in many countries around the world, and you generally have 2 distinct problems:

    1.) The owner of the property (condo or apartment) doesn't have approval from the Condo Association to offer the property on a short term lease basis, as with AirBnB. And usually you don't' find this out until you arrive for your stay, so you always feel as if you shouldn't be there. Unsettling, but usually not a serious problem.

    2.) The second and more concerning issue is can you invite a guest (s) to visit or stay overnight without having major problems at the front desk / reception / security. Two years ago I was renting a property in Montreal, Canada, and I was faced with both of these problems. I managed to get the lady in question passed security at the front desk (just took the girl's hand and looked straight ahead), but one of the residence (Old Witch / *****) saw me going into the elevator with someone, who was obviously considerably less than half my age, and kicked up a stink with the owner and security. This was on the first of several nights at the condo, so no more guests!! Ruined most of my mongering plans.

    I plan to visit Manila in September and have been looking at apartments with AirBnb for my stay, and I must say that the vast majority of these properties (70%) have very strict House Rules about "no unregistered guests" visiting / staying overnight!

    I had a similar problem earlier this year in Bangkok, so before booking I emailed the host / owner and asked specifically if they had a problem with visiting / overnight guests, to which they replied absolutely not, the front desk / security staff will simply smile as you walk bye!

    So if you want peace of mind about this issue and don't want your plans ruined always, always ask before booking!

    Hope this helps!

  13. #2755
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnaCarson  [View Original Post]
    Air bnb uUS s the only way to go.

    Knightsbridge or Gramercy or something similar.

    Hotel are expensive in Manila.

    Be sure you stay in a unit with split air conditioning and not an in the wall unit.

    The split air US quiet and cools very well.
    Thanks a lot, you have been very helpful.

  14. #2754

    Air bnb

    Quote Originally Posted by ElNice  [View Original Post]
    So I'm planning in the summer to go the Philippines, and wondering where can I find the best prices, I mean do I stick with booking? Or there's a better app for the Philippines? Or I just book when I'm there?. Last I think hotels cost me more than I expected, and I don't want to this happen again. I'm asking about hotels in Makati or something close to it, I don't want fancy hotels, I just need some decent hotels, I prefer hotel apartments. Thanks in advance.
    Air bnb uUS s the only way to go.

    Knightsbridge or Gramercy or something similar.

    Hotel are expensive in Manila.

    Be sure you stay in a unit with split air conditioning and not an in the wall unit.

    The split air US quiet and cools very well.

  15. #2753

    Hotel Apartments / hotels prices?

    So I'm planning in the summer to go the Philippines, and wondering where can I find the best prices, I mean do I stick with booking? Or there's a better app for the Philippines? Or I just book when I'm there?. Last I think hotels cost me more than I expected, and I don't want to this happen again. I'm asking about hotels in Makati or something close to it, I don't want fancy hotels, I just need some decent hotels, I prefer hotel apartments. Thanks in advance.

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