Acacia Hotel

This is our last hurrah for this summer vacation courtesy of good ol’ Mama. Thank you Mama! Our requirements this time were simple: Mischa and Maxine have to swim, and the place mustn’t be too far because we didn’t want to drive all the way. So I chose from among nearby hotels (from our place), and we ended up at Acacia Hotel.

I didn’t get to take a picture of the lobby but it looks a lot of awesome to me. With its veeeerrry high ceilings and wide expanse, it shouts of elegance and class. We got connecting rooms, and from check in to check out, everything was a breeze. We loved their attentive and accommodating staff. And we absolutely loved our room! It has a great view of the Alabang business district.

Included in the room package are welcome drinks, in which case you have a choice of sparkling wine or pandan juice. We also had vouchers for tablea ensaymada and unlimited coffee, which we sadly weren’t able to avail of.

Then it was down to swimming business for that afternoon and the next morning.

It was so cold and windy, but nothing will stop the kids haha! Not even Maxine’s lips which keep on turning blue after a few minutes in the water that we had to get her off and warm her up for a bit before getting her back in the water.

We mostly ate inside the hotel. We were supposed to go out for dinner Saturday night but it rained so we stayed in. Their buffet selection was also quite good-enough choices so that you don’t get too umay. It was not too pricey which was the best thing hehe. Morning called for room service because we were too lazy. The best was getting upgraded from buffet breakfast (supposedly included in the package) to buffet lunch. Wheeee, we didn’t have to hurry and wake up early so we can catch up on breakfast.

We had one of the best vacations here. I like that everything was unhurried, we were taken cared of very very well by Southern hospitality, and we were home in about 10 minutes!

Basil

Rainy nights call for Thai food! The spice and flavor which made this cuisine famous would surely heat up and cheer up gloomy nights. This new restaurant in MOA did just that after we finished our dinner here. It was a weekday, and as I said, a rainy one at that, and the place was practically empty. I liked its modern vibe, with a smattering of Thai elements, but still has some Filipino aura to it. Maybe it’s the wood, or the plain and obvious hospitality and warmth of the staff. Whatever it was, it was a great dining experience.

Their servings were huge (hence price was not cheap) so we couldn’t order a lot. We settled for our favorites, his green curry chicken, and my pad thai. We washed it down with basil lemon shake and Thai iced tea.

Green Chicken Curry

Pad Thai

Lime Basil Shake and Thai Iced Tea

Paragon Hotel and Suites

It’s been a month, I know, since our family holiday in Baguio City. And as I said in my last post, I have some sort of mental blockage that’s preventing me from writing about a devastating thing that happened last June. But ever so slowly, I am getting back in the thick of things because I truly aim to document most of our family life for the kids to read later on. Before I write about the details of our trip, I want to get this review of our hotel done with.

I booked the Paragon Hotel and Suites through booking.com. Since we were going on a long weekend, by the time we have decided to go, most of the better hotels were already fully booked. I chanced upon Paragon because it has good reviews, most especially on the location as it was a stone’s throw away from Burnham Park. Also, I was hooked on the promise of a good family room as there are 6 of us.

When we got there past noon, they were kind enough to let us check in early as it was not yet 2:00 p.m. True to its claim, it was about 300 meters away from Burnham Park. The site itself, however, was not very conducive, and kind of stressful, as it was fronting a market and a transportation terminal (jeepney, taxi and van). And during the two nights we stayed there, loud sounds coming from a videoke could be heard resonating from the area to the rooms. You could also hear all the goings-on from down there, of vehicles coming to and fro. On the whole, the rooms and the whole hotel were not sound proof.

The reception was located at the third floor of the hotel as the first and second floors were dedicated to restaurants and function rooms. Despite the seemingly unruliness on the outside, the inside was very charming and cozy. All the staff were also very pleasant and cheerful, and one could feel the homey vibe of the modern hotel.

I was also very impressed with the vastness of the Grand Suite, which we got. It has its own living room, a kitchen with ref, microwave and kettle, a dining area, the bedroom and a bathroom with a tub. We didn’t use the kitchen for much, just for washing the baby bottles, but it was good that they were there for guests who would opt to cook their own food. But roomy as it may be, the beds were narrow, so we cannot all share the room. Ma and Dad had to stay in the couch, which was comfortable enough. However, we were still charged for extra persons despite us not requesting for extra beds. We gathered that this covered breakfast, and extra pillows and blankets. It would have been really awesome if they didn’t charge this because we really liked the hotel. They even had separate TVs for the bedroom and the living room.

Breakfast was a good enough affair. I wished they had buffet but we made do with plated meals. It was just okay tasting though. The dining room’s decor, like the rest of the hotel, was artfully and tastefully done. Five stars for all decor!

All in all, we loved our stay here. I would even recommend it for families like us. However, I’ll probably be looking for another hotel the next time we go up here. Didn’t really like the vicinity at all.

Hillside Cafe and Juice Bar

After binge-ing for the past couple of days, time to detoxify! This restaurant is not typically my cup of tea, but we were meeting Mico halfway from the north to our home, he suggested this as it was near where he was working out. You could guess that, from among what we ordered, mine was not green 🙂

Hillside Greens (spinach, moringa, mango, chia seeds, coconut meat and water)

Raw zucchini pesto pasta

Tofu teriyaki

Corned grass-fed beef short ribs

Squid ink pasta

It’s not so bad. For someone like me, doesn’t really look appetizing, eh? But it worked for the rest of my family.

Kamana Sanctuary

Over the weekend, the hubby joined our colleagues in our yearly teambuilding activity. This year, we had it in a resort-spa called Kamana Sanctuary. It is a cozy and secluded resort right on Subic Bay that is accessible only by private car so you can be sure that there will be no scalawags or unwanted personas around the area. As soon as we came in, especially inside the rooms, I regretted that we didn’t bring the kids (and the older folks too). I thought that it was perfect as the resort was not big that we could get lost, and the amenities are all within reach. But the rooms were huge and our family would fit right in, and the kids could burn off energy running around without us having to worry too much about it. They have a smallish pool and beach access, a playground, and volleyball and basketball area. And the food was awesome! We had to have a mad dash for the bacon in the morning, but worth it!

Tenya Tempura Tendon

We tried Tenya Tempura Tendon, one of the new restaurants on Macapagal Ave., right before the turn to the also newly opened NAIAx, the gateway to the airport that promises faster travel because of the new flyover. And we liked it so much that we had dinner there two days in a row! As the name implies, their specialty is the tempura. And I was happy because it is not limited to the usual shrimp/prawns, but they have a basketful of goodies, such as mushrooms, crabsticks, etc. As a plus, they make a dish especially for kids (which is just tempura, but put on an attractive plate), perfect for picky eaters.

I heart Tenya!

Morganfield’s

This is my kind of food! I could eat here everyday without batting an eyelash. I like the all-American vibe, plus the barbecue and pasta constitutes what I call heaven.

My beef, though, is their serving time. It was all worth it though. The mini carnivore platter we had has the right combination of pork, beef and chicken with salad, fries and corn on the cob. One has the option of changing the variations so we had the hickory spareribs, grilled chicken, and sausages. It’s good to have a little of everything. Next time, I’ll try the seafood platter.

Mini carnivore platter

Bacon and egg aglio olio