Thursday, December 27, 2018

Hotel Review: Hotel Route Inn, Fukuoka JP

CS and I embarked on a 5-day Costa NeoRomantica cruise across Japan last August - one of the many things I am grateful for 2018. Since the boarding in Fukuoka is at noon time and most flights out of Manila won't connect, we thought it was best to just spend a night in the city. Only requirement that we considered is location - hotel must be near the bus stop that would take us to Hakata Port. Such specification brought us to Hotel Route Inn - Hakata Ekimae.

Check-in was fast and efficient; the staff spoke fluent English so communicating was not a problem. For check-out, you can drop your key cards in the designated boxes and you're off to go.

I booked a double non-smoking room with breakfast for 2 via Agoda for about Php5,500 per night. Room was basic and small - barely enough space to move around especially with luggage.

Room features include a double bed, air-conditioning/heater, television with local channels only, dresser, personal ref, instant coffee and tea, and private toilet and bath with Shiseido toiletries.

Most people who have been to Hotel Route Inn also commends the property's superb breakfast selection. An ample variety of Japanese, Western, and Asian cuisine to start off your day - and yes, I had more than one plateful of rice and grilled saba (mackerel).

Pros: Proximity to Hakata Station, affordable room rates, delicious buffet breakfast, well-maintained room, courteous staff, and availability of onsen bath at the hotel basement.

Cons: Old hotel with small rooms, no housekeeping service, and non-working WiFi.


Hotel Route Inn Hakataekimae
1-1-20 Hakataekimae
Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, Japan
Tel.: (8192) 477-8885

Friday, December 7, 2018

Luxury Club Room at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

UPGRADE. A word that always brings joy to my heart and butterflies in my stomach. After the staff told us that we were give a room at the Imperial Residence, her next statements came out blur. Next thing I knew was were being ushered to our luxurious home for the next two days.

Trivia: When former President Barack Obama visited the Philippines a few years back, he stayed at the Imperial Suite along with his entourage so the entire floor was off-limits to other guests.

A masterwork by Spin Design Studio of Japan in an investment of over $1M, the Imperial Residence is a collection of four Luxury Club Millésime Rooms and the Imperial Suite. Redefining the art of luxurious living, the Imperial Residence boasts of a fully-equipped kitchen, a formal dining room, lavish bath facilities and outdoor living area overlooking Manila Bay. The 562 square meter premier residential destination boasts of luxury and versatility. The seasoned traveler may tailor the rooms to preference and convert units to include a personal gym, private spa or a home office.

True to its claim, the luxury club room indulges guests to a modern and plush interiors reminiscent of autumn in France with its orange and olive green hues. The spacious 44sqm room has its own private balcony offering a magnificent view of Manila Bay - perfect for sunset watching.

More than the aforementioned features and access to the exclusive Club Millésime, Sofitel's Luxury Club Room amenities also include the following:

  • King size bed with lush pillows and bedding
  • Coffee and tea making facilities
  • Work desk
  • High-speed wireless internet connection
  • LED television with cable channels
  • A fully-stocked mini bar
  • In-room safe
  • Spacious bathroom with soaking tub, shower, and Lanvin toiletries

We came back to a plate of treats and bottles of Evian and sparkling water after spending a good few minutes at Club Millésime. Really impressive hospitality as Sofitel makes it a point that guests are well taken cared of and have the most unforgettable holiday/staycation.

Pros: Five-star service, efficient check-in and check-out service, spacious and well-appointed room with panoramic view of Manila Bay, Lanvin bath amenities, and complimentary parking.

Cons: Nothing because despite having mixed reviews, we had an enjoyable and pleasant stay at one of the oldest yet well-maintained hotels in Manila.


Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd.
Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 573-5555

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Hotel Review: Savoy Hotel Manila

Whenever a hotel claims that its "close to the airport", I usually double check on Google Maps the exact distance between the two. I have been deceived one too many times so being extra thorough is a must. With the upcoming holiday season, one would expect that heavy traffic would get even worse especially during peak hours. So if you have a flight to catch, I might have just found the perfect hotel for you to consider staying the day before your flight - Savoy Hotel Manila.

Photo grabbed from the hotel's Facebook account

Located right across Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, Savoy Hotel Manila is the newest urban hotel in Newport City from Megaworld Corporation with a total of 681 suites to cater to all types of travelers - whether you're alone, with your significant other, or with family.

Photo grabbed from the hotel website

It was hard to take a decent photo of the festive but very busy lobby with people checking-in and out of Savoy. These photos from the hotel website is exactly how it is in real life.

Photo grabbed from the hotel website

I booked an essential queen room via Agoda at Php5950/night exclusive of breakfast. Sounds steep for an overnight stay but considering that its conveniently located across Terminal 3, I would rather pay for a night stay at Savoy Hotel than risk being late for a flight and pay the airline's exorbitant rebooking fees. You can also check the hotel website for promos and special deals.

Savoy's cheapest and most basic accommodation is a 21sqm room equipped with a queen or twin beds, a working desk, cable TV, instant coffee and tea, and a safety deposit box.

Pros: Unbeatable location, clean and cozy room, fast internet service, free use of board games at the common area, ample free parking space, and complimentary airport transfers.

Cons: Pricey room rate, room is small and has no view, and smelly shower curtain. The staff also failed to discuss the hotel amenities (a pool and a gym) upon check-in so unless you're familiar with it, you won't be able to enjoy such privilege during your stay.


Savoy Hotel Manila
101 Andrews Avenue
Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 317-2869
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