It’s very seldom that we make plans with the family for a long weekend. We usually just stay home or go to the mall to dine, shop or watch a movie. But during the recent long weekend of August 9 to 11, we decided to celebrate my dearest mother-in-law’s 82nd birthday by spending the entire weekend at Hotel H2O within the Manila Park Ocean complex. Together with Mommy, my brother-in-law Gani, sister-in-law Anne, and my almost 2-year-old nephew Gabriel, we all trooped to the hotel for an exciting and fun-filled weekend adventure.
As its name suggests, Hotel H2O is a water-themed boutique hotel — the first of its kind in the country — situated right on top of a tiny portion of the Manila Bay. It’s been in the hotel business for only 3 years, but is gaining popularity among local and foreign tourists alike for its unique features and attractive packages. I was the one who booked our rooms using the hotel’s online reservation system. I was delighted to find out that Hotel H2O offers a 20 percent discount with its 30-day advance purchase promotion. My husband was reluctant to try the hotel’s signature Aqua Room because he said he might feel like drowning in it, so I booked two Bayview Rooms and one Park View Room at very affordable rates (P5,563.20 net per room per night and P5,075.20 net, respectively). Upon checking in, though, we were informed that, because it was a high occupancy weekend, our two Bayview Rooms were upgraded to a Deluxe Suite and a Premier Suite at no extra cost. Our Park View Room also got a free upgrade to a Bayview Room. Fun, fun, fun!
The Deluxe Suite (published rate: P19,700; best available rate with buffet breakfast: P9,300) is a chic 44-square-meter room with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to a breathtaking view of the bay. I totally loved the suite! It had the softest pillows and the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on. The Premier Suite (published rate: P29,700; best available rate with buffet breakfast: P12,300) provides a much bigger family space as well as a massive bathroom with a free-standing bathtub. It’s awesome! Aside from the usual coffee and tea-making facilities, all our rooms also got complimentary packs of peanuts and cookies as well as cans of soda from the mini-bar.
We originally planned on visiting Fort Santiago in Intramuros and the nearby Rizal Park, but found our hotel rooms so relaxing and so comfortable that we ended up just staying in the Manila Ocean Park complex for 3 days and 2 nights. Everything we needed was right there: we had lunch at North Park on our first day, then dinner at the White Moon Bar. We also enjoyed some cocktail drinks at The Lounge, where there are nightly live music performers to entertain guests.
Breakfast was served at Makan Makan, a specialty restaurant featuring Asian cuisines. I can’t complain about the buffet offerings — everything tasted wonderful. Even the steamed pork siomai was superb. The service was very efficient and the servers very attentive. My daughter Bea even said that the highlight of her weekend was the buffet breakfast. She loved the potato wedges and the hash browns! We also had a big family dinner at Makan Makan on our second night, a treat from my in-laws Claro and Tita.
On our second day in the complex, we decided to purchase tickets to some of the Manila Ocean Park attractions like the Oceanarium, Jellies Exhibit, Birds of Prey and the Sea Lion Show. Mommy was just as delighted with the sights as my little nephew Gabriel. Seeing all of us having a fantastic time was just priceless.
It was very important for us to ensure that Mommy felt extra-special on her 82nd birthday because it’s her first birthday in more than 60 years without Daddy by her side. We all missed him a lot while we were having fun, but I’m certain that he is happy that we treated Mommy to an enjoyable birthday weekend. Hotel H2O was a great choice — very good value for money, excellent service from the staff, world-class facilities that we can all be proud of, and a stunning view of the Manila Bay. It was such a blessing that it didn’t rain so hard during that weekend. I wish we could stay in Hotel H2O again and maybe try the Aqua Rooms next time.