Tuesday, October 23, 2018

My Top 3 Food Finds at Yufuin, Oita JP

It's been months since we've traveled to Yufuin but there are things - delicious things to be exact, that still haunts me to this day. I always tell my friends who worry too much on where to eat in Japan to just follow where the locals are lining up! Call me bias but I have not met a single person who doesn't love Japanese cuisine - even my 6 year old nephew requests it from time to time.

Yufuin's Yunotsubo Kaido is a long street of charming little cafes, restaurants, food stalls, and boutiques selling interesting souvenirs and local sweets. You'll be amazed how a simple treat can turn into a bestseller with people lining up to taste some of these Japanese ingenuity. If you're traveling to Yufuin soon, I've listed below my three favorite street foods to help you decide which ones to prioritize because trust me, you'll get confused with so many options left and right!

  • Yufuin Kinsho Croquettes - A delicious snack not to be missed, these croquettes are delicious, cheap, less oily, crispy, and warm which was perfect for the cold weather last February. You can choose from any of the following flavors for just JPY160 each: original, cheese (my top pick), curry, crab cream, and menchi (meat cake). 

  • Milch Cafe - With several shops in Yufuin, Milch is our go-to spot for one of the best bottled pudding in Japan at JPY300 per bottle. It was creamy but not overly sweet - a perfect dessert before and after each meal. I also enjoyed watching the chocolate melt with every stir in my hot drink, a great buy for JPY380 a cup.

  • B Speak -The first shop to greet you in Yunotsubo Kaido, B Speak sells the ever popular Swiss Rolls that come in two sizes - small (JPY475) and large (JPY1,420), which you can also get in either plain (original) or chocolate flavor. Remember to come early as these treats get sold out really fast! As with most things in Japan, the rolls come in a beautiful packaging and can be brought home in a cooler bag (additional JPY280 - JPY350) to preserve its freshness. As for the taste, the original flavored Swiss Roll we tried was light, fluffy, and really good; worth the hype if you ask me.

More than the delicious treats we tried in Yunotsubo Kaido, CS and I also get to enjoy the natural, traditional and modern scenery that Yufuin has to offer. Besides, we need to walk all the way to Lake Kinrin and back to burn those calories we gained from eating way too much in Japan!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Executive Hotel Lounge Review: Fairmont Hotel

One of the best club lounges in Manila, Fairmont Hotel Makati promises great value for your hard-earned money and delivers exceptional customer service as well. Read on why CS and I loved it here so much that we chose to book a room here twice last month for a weekend of relaxation.

To read on our Fairmont Gold Room experience, please click here.

Ambiance and Amenities.

Fairmont Hotel may be a business hotel but it never lacks warmth and genuine amiability. The moment we entered the lounge, the staff happily greeted us (like we're old friends) and immediately offered drinks. Only after we settled that he asked for my ID to process our check-in.

Variety and Abundance of Snack Choices.

The lounge offers limited but filling and delicious snack choices. On both occasions, servings of breads, assorted cheese, cold cuts, sushi, canapes, pasta, sandwiches, and desserts were available during the evening cocktails. Since I'm trying to cut down on my food intake, eating light at night is always a welcome idea which also saves us a few hundreds/thousands on dinner bill.

Unlimited alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages.

Tea, coffee, juices, and soft drinks are available throughout the day while a selection of complimentary spirits and liquors are served from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Operating Hours.

  • Afternoon tea - 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • Evening cocktails - 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Breakfast - 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM (weekdays) or 11:00 AM (weekends & holidays)

Full Breakfast Buffet.

Guests have the option to a hearty Continental breakfast served at the Fairmont Gold Lounge or choice of sumptuous international cuisine at Spectrum, the hotel's all-day dining restaurant. We tried both - at the lounge on our first stay then at Spectrum on our second. Variety wise, Spectrum wins as to be expected but if you want to avoid the crowd, the lounge is your best bet. In terms of customer service, we were amazed by the staff's dedication in making sure that every guest is treated with utmost respect and enjoys a wonderful experience in their Fairmont stay.

Other Perks & Services Offered.

  • Use of board room for up to 2 hours
  • One complimentary parking per room
  • Early check-in and late check-out (subject to availability)

Overall Service.

If I were to rate the service at Fairmont Gold Lounge, it would definitely be 11/10! From the security to the lounge staff, every single person we met at Fairmont were friendly, polite, genuinely helpful and would go the extra mile to address concerns and requests by the guests.


Fairmont Hotel
1 Raffles Drive, Makati Ave.
Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 795-1888

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fairmont Hotel Makati - The Gold Standard

With fuels hikes being implemented almost every week, going on a road trip and spending twice as much on gas alone (as compared to how it was two years ago) is a decision we're putting off unless its a business trip. So whenever we feel the need to recharge and recuperate, booking a staycation within Metro Manila is our best option. Since we've been to most hotels in the South, we thought it was the perfect time to venture in the Makati area where I bid hello to Fairmont Hotel.

The lobby was immaculate, well-lit, and smells really nice! When the staff confirmed that we were staying in a club room, she assisted us to the elevator going up to the lounge for check-in. The elevator requires a key card to operate so club floor guests must first proceed to the front desk to request assistance. More on the private Fairmont Gold club lounge later.

Now, let me welcome you to our vast and luxurious 40-sqm Fairmont Gold room.

Fairmont Gold room amenities and features include:

  • Choice of king or double beds
  • Air-conditioning with digital climate control 
  • Large work desk perfect for guests on business trips
  • 46” flat screen LED TV with 65 cable channels
  • Complimentary high speed internet access
  • Bed-side guest services panel that controls the room lights
  • 100% cotton and oversized bath towels and linens
  • Marble bathrooms with a walk-in rain shower and tub 
  • Le Labo bathroom amenities
  • Mini-bar refreshment center with complimentary coffee and tea

Pros: Reasons why Fairmont Hotel is our top choice in Makati: top-notch amenities, superb location (walking distance to Glorietta and Greenbelt malls), commendable customer service, spacious and well-designed rooms, relaxing hotel ambiance, and complimentary parking.

Cons: Nothing - we loved everything about Fairmont and we're totally coming back soon!


Fairmont Hotel
1 Raffles Drive, Makati Ave.
Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 795-1888
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