A reliable hotel is easy to spot in the frenzied urban scene of Makati City when you know exactly where to look. It stands imposing at more than 30 storeys in a highly accessible neighborhood. It runs the full gamut of amenities that surprisingly feels warmhearted regardless of your country of origin. It's one of the favorite hotels to book in Metro Manila for New Year's Eve and other special occasions. The aptly named City Garden Grand Hotel is what you're looking for.
Booked for a weekend overnight at this hotel last November, I can affirm its reputation to be true. The weather during my stay was balmy and sensational for a pool soak. From its roof deck, 32 floors up, I found my idle hours to have been well-spent at the poolside. There was nothing much to do except to relax and linger as the impressive space pretty much lent its own when it came to a topnotch swimming pool view. It's probably one of the best spots to see the skyline of Metro Manila in one's swimwear, rain or shine.
|At the roofdeck pool|
|Afternoon snack of Blueberry Cheesecake|
The grandiose experience felt seamless elsewhere at this hotel. What it lacked in an elaborate garden entrance, it sure made up for in its display of native capiz shell chandeliers at its high-ceiling lobby. The whole space definitely evoked the stellar reputation of the City Garden brand and it sure matched the 36-square meter Deluxe Room that I temporarily called home.
Impressive Deluxe Room and Access To Amenities
From the narra hardwood flooring and furnishings to the same spectacular city view, the room naturally showed credence to what's grand above anything else. My booked room came with access to hi-speed wireless internet, a spacious bathroom with bathtub, the rooftop pool, gym, buffet breakfast at Spice Cafe and massage by La Fomosa Wellness Spa (in-room or at the spa). Here, sunset-gazing need not be done on a private terrace. I simply had to part the curtains and enjoy the vista from my king-sized bed.
|The roofdeck pool by night|
|The view from the room|
|32 floors up the hotel|
Unrivaled for its combo of upscale cuisine and panoramic views of the metro, Firefly Roofdeck Bar was where I had a sumptuous dinner of its Rib Eye Steak, a must-order that compliments the pulsating grid downstairs. I also sampled its highly recommended pasta dish called Frutti di Mare, a spaghetti tossed in tomato sauce and fresh seafood and served with garlic bread. Kooky cocktail drinks of Mojito Classico (Bacardi white, lime concentrate, mint leaves and soda) and Peach Kiwi Daiquiri (white rum, triple sec or distilled, kiwi and peach) sealed the meal.
|Dinner at Firefly Roofdeck Bar|
|A city view corner at the Firefly Roofdeck Bar|
|The roofdeck bar in the afternoon|
|Rib Eye Steak for dinner|
|Frutti di Mare for dinner|
|Peach Kiwi Daiquiri (left) and Mojito Classico (right)|
Buffet Breakfast At Spice Cafe
Buffet breakfast is always served at the seventh floor where the hotel's F&B facility called Spice Cafe is located. It's open to both guests and walk-in visitors and the city view is as spectacular.
I've enjoyed its buffet spread in the past and its topnotch quality has not changed a bit for my revisit of the hotel. The panoply of choices were still diverse from omelette, cereals, a wide variety of baked treats that included cinnamon rolls, ensaimada, pandesal and muffins to a roster of Filipino and Western dishes. There were just several options to choose from to make one's morning meal quite hefty which can serve as the reason for booking a long stay here.
|Buffet breakfast at Spice Cafe|
Relax At La Famosa Wellness Spa
During my stay, I invited a friend of mine to drop by the hotel and try the massage at its onsite spa called La Famosa Wellness Spa. I've already tried its Foot Spa in the past at a sister structure of City Garden Grand Hotel across the street and that made me look forward to trying its whole body massage this time.
My friend tried the Hilot Massage which borrows ancient techniques from the traditional neighborhood healer by using banana leaf strips laced with coconut oil while I settled for the Hot Stone Massage, a type of massage that uses smooth volcanic rocks and designed to relieve muscle tension and pain, reduce stress, and boost immunity, among others.
|Hot Stone Massage at La Famosa Wellness Spa|
|Hilot Massage at La Famosa Wellness Spa|
Unique Location In Makati City
Foreign travelers will love how it's just minutes away from Metro Manila’s sought-after business centers. EDSA, Ayala Center, Ayala Triangle, and Makati Central Business District are roughly 10 minutes by car. Less than 30 minutes away is Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and the international airport is almost as close.
It's a stroll away from a couple of malls, the Rockwell Center, and a bevy of amusing spots that include distinct restaurants, quirky bars, and vintage shops. Striking a unique balance between the cosmopolitan and what's simply grassroots, Makati City's frenetic district is at its most authentic here.
Whether you're the type of tourist who thrives on digestifs or one who gets by with a hot cup of coffee in the morning, City Garden Grand Hotel is the perfect space in Makati City for an overnight stay. You simply have to stay another night to connect with that other side of your persona.
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Photography by Aubrey Gacer and Karl Acepcion
Aubrey Gacer is a Manila-based freelance photographer. Check out his work at Gacer Photography.
City Garden Grand Hotel
Official website of City Garden Grand Hotel
Address: 8008 Makati Ave. cor. Kalayaan Ave., Makati City, Philippines
Email: [email protected]
Events and Corporate Bookings: [email protected]