Stay | Apsaras Tribe Siargao

Star trail night at Apsaras Tribe Resort
Star trail night at Apsaras Tribe Resort

Hearing the word apsaras readily reminded me of the elegant female figures carved at the Khmer temples in Cambodia. Generally, apsaras are celestial maidens represented in different interpretations depending of the places. As for Apsaras Tribe Siargao, this is the newest seaside hotel in the surfing capital of the country. An appealing container-type style accommodation with direct view of the Pacific Seas.

(more…)

Stay | Fleur De Chine: 5-Star Elegance at Sun Moon Lake

Balcony view from my room at Fleur de Chine
Balcony view from my room at Fleur de Chine

As beautiful and serene Sun Moon Lake is, a fitting complement on a visit here is a luxurious stay at Fleur De Chine. A 5-star resort at the northern shores of Sun Moon Lake. Home of the first ever hotel built on the site in 1975 under a different name. After a major Taiwan earthquake in 1999 where the original hotel crumbled, the hotel was reborn as “Fleur de Chine (Flower of China)”. Along with the renovation is a discovery of a natural hot-spring in the area. A high quality “sodium bicarbonate” hot spring which is colorless, odorless and potable. It became the spring board attraction of the hotel aside from its key location views of Sun Moon Lake.

(more…)

Sunway City: Thrilling Sunway Lagoon Park and Lifestyle Hotels

View from our room at Sunway Pyramid Lagoon
View from our room at Sunway Pyramid Lagoon

Sunway City can be an overwhelming complex to visit. It has grown vastly from my first visit in 2009. A sprawling 800-acre township developed as an integrated lifestyle and entertainment destination roughly half an hour away from the KLIA airports or from the city in Selangor, Malaysia. It has three hotels, a huge theme park in Sunway Lagoon, a mall and a number of businesses and facilities for education and medical. It’s an ideal place to stay for families and friends looking for a convenient getaway that combines comfort and adventure in one place.

(more…)

Seda Vertis North: Filipino Art Meets Filipino Hospitality in QC

Seda Vertis North 3rd floor hallway
Seda Vertis North 3rd floor hallway

From my window up 15 floors, I see the EDSA traffic but thankfully couldn’t hear it.   I’ve passed through this area time and time again, mostly onboard the MRT and what I remember is the long stretch of not-so-idle land in between the intersection of Quezon Boulevard and the corner in front of SM City North EDSA, as well as the space where an MRT train makes a detour, parked quite away from motorists plying the main thoroughfare  Then, Trinoma happened.  Now, a newer, more prominent landmark has opened this side of Quezon City — Seda Vertis North.

(more…)

Stay | Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit: East Meets West in Luxurious Fusion

The luxury king room at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit
The luxury king room at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit

I turned up the volume of the Bose speaker connected via bluetooth to my smartphone. The acoustic harmony of the Hollow Cove’s “The Woods” filled my large Luxury Room. I split the curtains wide and see the Sukhumvit street below early in it’s early morning bustle. “We’re all falling and we all need a place… to hide!” I somehow echo the lyrics of the song. After a week of exploring Bangkok and Chiang Mai, I welcome a little indulgence to cap my last few days in Thailand. Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit welcomed me with their 5-star comfort and warmth. My birthday was just five days ago but it felt this was the time to celebrate.

(more…)

Stay | Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino: Amidst Manila’s Historic Center

My Deluxe Premium room at Waterfront Manila Pavilion
My Deluxe Premium room at Waterfront Manila Pavilion

Manila and its ironies. The city is both charming and chaotic which can be a challenge to new travelers in the country. The superficial grime and bustling streets can be intimidating but find time to see past it and discover Manila’s true character beyond skin-deep. And what a better way to start is staying at the heart of city, Waterfront Manila Pavilion. A 50-year old hotel in Ermita brimming with history yet keeping up with the modern times. An iconic witness to the ever changing city.

(more…)

Stay | Batanes Pension Ivatan: From Hometel to Boutique Hotel

Pension Ivatan at night
Pension Ivatan at night

In a span of a decade, I can say I am seeing how Batanes transform. Recently, accommodations are on the rise to cater to the increasing number of tourist in the country’s smallest province up north. While new ones are being built or old homes converted into homestay, a long-time establishment asserts its place in Basco. Pension Ivatan, a small hometel with a restaurant known to serve Ivatan cuisines is already considered an institution. I have seen the trend of dining options come and go in Batanes but this is one of those that has stayed ever since I remember.

(more…)