Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Hotel Review: Ascott Makati

I've always liked living in the province, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. In fact, I never imagined myself residing in a condominium but staying in a service apartment like Ascott Makati gives me an idea of how its like to live in one. Besides, the thought of having Glorietta Mall right below your apartment and Greenbelt within walking distance is the most exciting thing ever!

Hotel check-in is at the 6th floor of Glorietta 4 with designated slots for hotel guests in the basement parking. Just tell the guard that you're an Ascott guest and he will instruct you where to park your car. If you're not driving, you can request to be dropped off at the entrance of G4.

I booked a 1-bedroom executive room but unlike most hotels, Ascott's executive rooms does not automatically make you a club floor guest. Such perk must be specified in the hotel voucher which unfortunately was not written in ours. My disappointment flew out of the window as soon as we entered our expansive and luxurious room - talk about a first best impression!

Ascott Makati's one-bedroom executive room amenities include:

  • Living room with 2-seater sofa
  • Flat screen television with cable channels and home entertainment system
  • 4-seater dining table
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave oven, toaster, and rice cooker
  • Cooker hob and hood
  • Glassware, cutlery, and utensils
  • Coffee machine
  • Iron and ironing board
  • A king size bed
  • In-room electronic safe
  • iPod docking station with radio and alarm clock
  • Bath tub with shower
  • L'Occitane toiletries

Pros: Superb location, efficient service, well-maintained and spacious room, complimentary parking, fast stable WiFi, tight security, and kid-friendly hotel.

Cons: Long waiting time at breakfast with limited selection.


Ascott Makati
Glorietta Mall, Ayala Center
Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 729-8888

Friday, June 14, 2019

Bali Hits & Misses: Sushi Tei

After a disappointing dinner at Sushimi Japanese Restaurant, we made sure to ask our driver/guide Dewa of his recommendation rather than relying solely on online reviews. His top pick, Sushi Tei, is actually a renowned Japanese restaurant in Indonesia with 35 branches and about 16 years of experience in bringing the cuisine to sushi enthusiasts in the country.

What we ordered

Crunchy Lobster Roll - IDR55,000 (Php200.00)

Toro - IDR38,000 (Php140.00) per piece

Salmon - IDR23,000 (Php85.00)

Shimaaji - IDR23,000 (Php85.00)

Hotate - IDR53,000 (Php190.00)

Maguro - IDR25,000 (Php90.00)

Strawberry Frozz Tea - IDR25,000 (Php90.00)

With only the freshest ingredients offered at affordable prices, no wonder Sushi Tei was packed even at 9PM on a weekday! If only the service was faster, I would rate this restaurant a perfect 10 but then again, its still a highly recommended place if you're craving for sushi on a budget.


Sushi Tei
Jalan Raya Kuta No.4, Kuta
Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia
Tel.: (62361) 846-4972

Friday, May 31, 2019

Costa NeoRomantica Day 5: Busan, SK

Final leg of the Costa NeoRomantica Cruise brought us to Busan - South Korea's 2nd most populous city next to its capital, Seoul. It was both CS and myself's first time in Busan and the allotted 6-hour port call was insufficient in exploring this bustling city known for its fantastic seafood, glistening beaches, historic temples, and majestic natural wonders.

One of the many things we wanted to do in Busan was to visit a local market and a short research brought us to Gukje Market - Busan's largest traditional outdoor market. Open from 0900AM to 0800PM daily, visitors can enjoy an assortment of local street food  and shopping fashionable apparels, agricultural products, kitchen appliances, toys, and souvenirs.

You have not been to Korea if you do not smell like barbecue at least once a day! So for lunch, we just randomly chose a local restaurant in Gukje Market and delightfully enjoyed a filling meal of grilled beef and pork marinated in different flavors with loads of kimchi.

A trip to the local supermarket is also a must if you like hoarding Korean snacks, biscuits, nuts, and sauces like me. We also dropped by a bakery for some breads and danish to go.

That concludes our 5-day Costa NeoRomantica Jewels of the Far East Cruise; hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I loved reminiscing the delicious meals, the incredible shows, the enjoyable port calls, and the amazing staff we met at Costa Cruises!

Click on the links below to read on my previous posts on our Costa NeoRomantica Cruise:

Friday, May 10, 2019

Costa NeoRomantica Day 4: Sakaiminato, JP

Day 4 of our Costa NeoRomantica Jewels of the Far East Cruise brought us to Sakaiminato -  a city in Tottori Prefecture, famous for being the home of GeGeGe no Kitaro creator Shigeru Mizuki. Kitaro's spirit can be found along his namesake road, a street dedicated to all the characters (about a thousand on both sides of the road) that appear in Mizuki's stories.

Japan comic/manga fans can buy souvenirs from several local shops along the street. It was also a welcome retreat for us to cool down from the piercing heat of Japan's summer season.

For lunch, CS and I headed out to Kaiten Sushi Tairyomaru, a conveyor sushi belt place conveniently located beside the JR Sakai Line station. Using seasonal and fresh seafood caught from the Sea of Japan, Kaiten is one of the most popular sushi places in Sakaiminato so be prepared to wait in line especially during rush hour. Price per plate starts at JPY100 (Php50).

Sake (Salmon)

Amaebi (Sweet Shrimp)

Inari (Tofu Skin)

Akami (Bluefin Tuna)

Unagi (Eel)

Akagai (Ark Shell)

Toro (Fatty Tuna)

Hotate (Scallop)

Hokegai (Surf Clam)

I have yet to find a sushi place in Japan that I don't like because everywhere we go, food is consistently fresh and delicious! For dessert, we just randomly chose an ice cream truck nearby before taking the shuttle bus back to Costa. Definitely creamier and cheaper than Godiva!

Dinner aboard Costa NeoRomantica was filling but average. As always, the staff generously brought more dishes for us to try than we initially ordered. The biggest mistake one could make when cruising is eating often, eating in multiple helpings, and not skipping dessert just because everything's free! So learn to be wise - choose the healthier option, watch your portion sizes, resist the urge to overindulge, skip the drink-all-you-can package, and hit the thread mill!

To read on my previous posts on our Costa NeoRomantica Cruise experience, click below:

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