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Oprah has her favorite things and so do I. Sitting mighty high on my favorites list are hotels. I admit it. I have a serious hotel addiction. Recently I asked my Grandmother if I could tag along with her on her trip to the Philippines. She agreed I could join her and stay with her at her house in Tanay Rizal Philippines about an hour outside of Manila, but when she heard about my flights one o clock in the morning arrival time, she said “You have to go to a hotel! I’m not going to the airport that late to pick you up”, I said, “With Pleasure”, and my hotel search began. When I started my search I knew I wanted to stay in a super luxurious instagramable hotel. I automatically defaulted to the big names in Luxury hotels and I started to check out photos of my options. I selected one of the big boys on the luxury list.
As I prepared for my trip to the Philippines I began to hashtag on Instagram the words Manila, Makati, and the Philippines. I would check the hashtags every day to find images that looked worthy of putting more research into in order to find stellar places to go. During my hashtag reviewing, I came across an image of a giant colorful birdcage suspended over an infinity swimming pool that looked out across the Manila city skyline. The image was taken at I’M Hotel in Makati. I put the research into that image and was so intrigued, that I immediately abandoned my original hotel selection from the big boy luxury list. I booked a room at I’M hotel and asked that the hotel arrange for my transportation from the airport. I’m actually laying in bed at I’m Hotel as I write this blog post!
It wasn’t peachy getting here. Early in the morning, I left cold foggy San Francisco and thirty exhausting uncomfortable hours later at one AM I landed in Manila at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. As I exited the arrivals terminal I didn’t see any hotel representative holding any signage with the hotel’s logo. As I searched a sea of people. I figured out that the very well dressed looking gentleman was most likely who I was looking for. When we made eye contact he put up his sign to identify he was who I was looking for. He took my baggage and walked me to my driver. It was a quick drive to the hotel. Upon my check-in, I was informed that my arrival was so early before my check-in time that if I wanted to immediately check in I would have to pay half of a one night fee. Without hesitation, extremely exhausted I paid the extra fee so that I could get some proper rest.
After very comfortable nights sleep on a softly supportive mattress perfectly dressed in crisp white linens, I drew the shimmery floor-length blackout drapes and light flooded my large airy hotel room and bounced off the planked floorboards. Floor to ceiling windows filled my hotel room with a large panorama of the Manila city skyline and awarded me for all of my hashtag research.
I went in search of the hotel breakfast and passed through the entrance of Bloom Restaraunt. I took a seat in a soft velvet banquette next to a floor to ceiling window. One quick walk thru of the buffet offerings and I felt my waistline grow! Bloom’s spread was like a thousand Christmas mornings prepared by well skilled and cultured chefs. I am no stranger to hotel breakfast. I am a culinary school alumnus and practically live in a hotel. Bloom offered the breakfast selections of many more cultures than the typical breakfasts of hotels catering to an international crowd. One look at the croissants and I knew where I was going to start. There was a selection of pastries, fresh fruit, pancakes, waffles, french toast, Filipino breakfast, salad, cheese course, sushi, Ramen, an egg station, and Indian food.
After seriously overindulging in Breakfast there was only one activity on my mind: burning it off, which was even more of an indulgence. I am a serious lap swimmer who really enjoys swimming, So I decided to do what I came for. Swim in the clear acrylic bottomed infinity pool. I put on my bikini and plunged myself into the water. It was cold! But I swam lap after lap. Even though it was serious exercise it was so fun. I felt like I was in a James Bond movie. It was a thrilling sensation to Float above Makati Avenue. Lap after lap I noticed the spectacle my morning exercise was causing on the street beneath the swimming pool. People were stopping and taking pictures. I wanted to laugh but I got a little nervous. I’m no bikini model and the last thing I wanted was to have my morning exercise someone’s vacation photo on social media.
After my swimming, I lounged around in the giant birdcages; then I heard the sounds of Manila, honking horns, revving engines, and motorcycles. It’s pretty noisy up there! In the evening the mermaid bar plays a nice lounge beat to help drown out the noisy city. As the sun was lowering in the sky my internal clock was like “Hey Mo! It’s almost cocktail time!”.
I gave myself a pamper party in my hotel bathroom. I took a bubble bath, and I showered and spoiled myself in the shower with all the Crabtree and Evelyn products that came with my room, But the real treat came when I pressed RD on the elevator keypad.
As I exited the elevator and turned left, I stepped into a wonderland. I was staring at hundreds of jellyfish floating on the twenty-sixth floor flanked by pink neon lights and dancing to a lounge beat. I was standing in one of the fifty best Bars in the entire world, Antidote. The bartender offered me a drink, but I was on sensory overload. I walked past him and out of the backdoor and emerged into another sky-high world. The view was massive and three hundred and sixty degrees. It felt like I was on top of the world. A deadly combination of jet lag and a pineapple cocktail induced an exhaustion that needed immediate attention. I wanted to party the night away but I turned into Cinderella and ran out of there. My inner party goblin felt like a failure, but my hotel stay was for several days.
After experiencing the noisy chaotic city of Manila, with its honking horns, loud motorcycles and hot sweaty weather I was beyond pleased with my choice to stay at I’M Hotel. It served me well with a comfortable place to lounge out, work, exercise, party, eat, and sleep. I would do it again and I would recommend it.