Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Hotel Review: The Grand Hotel Myeongdong

With its unbeatable location - a short 5-minute walk from the airport bus stop and within the coveted Myeongdong address (close to the shops but on a quieter side of the main shopping belt), The Grand Hotel was our top choice when we traveled to Seoul early this year. It was our first time to book at The Grand and we were happy that we made the right decision and splurged a bit for about Php7,000/night for a standard room with breakfast for two. I say splurge since we usually stay in guesthouses/hostels in Seoul at average nightly rate of Php3000 only.

This time around though, we were hosting some people with us in Seoul so booking a nice accommodation is an unspoken rule. Besides, our luggage cannot fit the small rooms in most hostels we've stayed in the past and we needed space to hang our formal gowns and suit.

Just how "grand" is The Grand Hotel? Kindly take note that this is a boutique hotel so grand doesn't equate to extravagant or magnificent interiors but grand in terms of offering memorable service and ensuring a wonderful stay courtesy of their efficient staff and high-class amenities.

The Grand Concept promises that each room is equipped of the following:

  • Innisfree environment-friendly bath amenities made with green tea
  • Bath robes made of luxurious materials
  • Bean coffee and various well-being teas
  • 100% pure cotton sheets for sound sleep
  • Free Internet (both wired and wireless) 
  • Elevator security system 

Pros: Superb location in Myeongdong area, excellent customer service, reliable and complimentary internet, spacious rooms with complete amenities, and free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate (our personal favorite) at the lobby lounge open 24/7.

Cons: Limited breakfast options and strict check-in/check-out time.


The Grand Hotel Myeongdong
38 Myeongdong 8ga-gil
Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel.: (822) 777-7900
Website: http://us.thegrandhotel.co.kr

Friday, November 22, 2019

Foodventures: Gatten Sushi Myeongdong, Seoul SK

In times when we wanted to break off from eating samgyupsal and kimchi in Seoul, fresh sushi and sashimi is our no-brainer choice. In fact, Japanese is the only cuisine we would never get tired of eating and one of the many reasons why we love going back to Japan. Anyway, this post is not about Japan but another Pinoy favorite destination - South Korea!

Our favorite area to stay when in Seoul is any hotel in Myeongdong due to its endless offerings of street food, shopping, and restaurants specializing in various cuisine. One name that immediately caught our attention was Gatten Sushi, one of Japan's famous conveyor belt sushi chains.

What we ordered

If you don't fancy anything off the conveyor belt, you can always push the call button and order from the staff. Most staff speak English but if not, you can always show your order from the menu.

Halibut - KRW4,700 (Php200.00)

Grilled Sea Eel - KRW4,700 (Php200.00)

Abalone - KRW4,700 (Php200.00)

Scallop - KRW4,700 (Php200.00)

Did we liked it? Down to the very last piece as everything we ordered were fresh and not to mention, affordable too! Our favorites were the scallop and unagi sushi (we had 2 orders each) which were a steal for its price given its excellent quality and huge cuts.

Salmon - KRW2,300 (Php99.00)

Tip: If you plan to travel to South Korea anytime soon, bear in mind that visa application now takes up to 1 month processing via accredited agencies only. Most first time applicants are given a single-entry visa with 3 months validity but BPI and BDO Gold and Platinum Cardholders are issued 3 to 5 years multiple-entry visa subject the embassy's discretion, of course.


Gatten Sushi
12 Myeongdong 3-gil
Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel.: (822) 3789-1479

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Bali Hits & Misses: Sana Vie Villa

Verdict: One of the best options in Seminyak area - surely, its a hit!

I have always fantasized about having a pool next to my room where I can just dive right in every waking morning. While it may sound like a far-fetched idea, our Bali trip last year made the dream a reality - welcome to our modern Balinese home in Seminyak for 5 days!

Perfect for honeymooning couples or small families on vacation, Sana Vie Villa offers luxurious accommodations with 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom villas with private pools and bath tub for the ultimate break we all deserve. Since it was just CS and myself, we booked a 110sqm 1-bedroom villa complete with all the standard amenities like a double bed (with extra bed feature), LED TV with Netflix, iPod dock, mini bar, living area, toilet and bath, and a dining area.

Guests can opt to have the Instagram-famous floating breakfast for a minimal fee. The breakfast is complimentary but if you want to have it in the pool, the hotel charges for the set-up. Other romantic surprises like candle light dinner, floating candle light in the pool, full flower decoration, fresh fruits in the tub, special wordings for different occasions (proposals, birthdays, or anniversaries), and other surprises may also be booked in advance for your significant other.

For days that we have scheduled day tours or early departure, Sana Vie Villa offers breakfast to-go of breads, pastries, and fruits, or you can dine in their restaurant as early as 6AM. Just make sure you advise the front office a day before so they can arrange it with the kitchen staff.

Pros: Outstanding customer service, reasonable room rates at Php5,000/night, clean and well-equipped rooms, private pools with tub in all villas, delicious breakfast, and free Netflix.

Cons: None as we enjoyed every minute of our stay at Sana Vie Villa!


Sana Vie Villa
Jl Tangkuban Perahu
Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
Tel.: (62812) 1025-8889
Website: www.sanavievilla.com
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