As part of my vacation in the Philippines, I thought of booking a hotel for my mother and aunt.
I didn’t have a hotel in mind; eventually, I made the right choice at the right time. Perfect timing it is.
I booked two rooms for four people and spent Mother’s Day at Sofitel Hotel in Manila. It wasn’t my intention to spend Mother’s Day at the hotel because I was preoccupied in reviewing my itinerary in Manila and for a 5-day trip in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The Cost of Five-Star Luxury Hotel
Booking for Sofitel is the opposite of what I paid for Angkor Pearl Hotel in Siem Reap.
Sofitel Hotel is an expensive five-star hotel.
An overnight stay to a Superior Twin Room was worth CAD 202.09 (or Php 7,878.87 @ Php 39 = CAD 1.00 exchange rate).
For my first-time booking of a five-star hotel that price did surprise me. I never thought I’d have the guts to spend a night at such price.
Note: Breakfast is not included yet. This made me think about the buffet breakfast at Angkor Pearl Hotel.
Waiting in Line
We arrived at the hotel after our lunch (Php 2,578.00) at Golden Fortune Seafood which I highly recommend. It is across the National Museum of Natural History which we also visited.
After going through a somewhat-airport-security check, we were greeted by a long line.
At this time, it donned on me that the following day is Mother’s Day; hence, there’s an influx of guest at the Sofitel Hotel. Maybe this is always the case. Can somebody either confirm or negate my idea.
Checking in was a breeze. If you hate queue, you can check in online.
I had to make a Php 6,000.00 deposit through my no foreign-currency-fee credit card (HomeTrust Preferred Visa). Everything that we will purchase will be deducted to the deposit.
My Canadian driver’s licence was accepted as an identification. The last valid Philippine ID (with photo) that I had was a Postal ID.
We were given key cards to our rooms which are closed to each other.
It was fun staying with our mom and aunt. We get to teach them how to use the key card (which they didn’t use, oh well) to get in and out and telephone to call us in the other room (they love using it).
My mom spent time munching biscuits (her baon) and watch TV all the time. At home, she only watch the news and listen to the radio all day long.
Whereas, my aunt loved the bed and slept tight all night/afternoon.
They enjoyed doing nothing other than the bare necessities of life: eating, sleeping, washroom break.
We did the same ha ha. Gaya gaya lang. Except the TV part. Even in Siem Reap; we didn’t turn on the TV with cable. My sister and I spent our time exploring the hotel with a camera taking photos and selfies.
Roaming in Rooms
Looking at the room from a corner, so this is what a five-star hotel room looked like. For the price we paid, we sure did get a huge room.
I’m scrutinizing the area for my blog review (of course) and trying to ingrain it in my memory.
Everything is an upgrade from the affordable hotel I’ve been in USA and Canada like Holiday Inn.
We get to have a huge desk with a menu on top (of course) which I dread to open ha ha.
For millennials, we were thrilled to see so many outlets with 110v and 220v; guest without power adapter like me is saved at that moment. But I need to have one other than a power bank.
And the washroom, all is sleek and clean except the mirror. Somebody missed a spot. (I’m a bit OCD.) I’m quite particular with mirrors although I don’t use it much except if I’m wondering whether my whitening toothpaste works.
Opening the closet, we found robes and slippers. Just curious, can a guest take home the slippers? Or will it be charged to guest’s credit card?
This is the expenses that we budgeted well. Remember the menu at the desk. Let’s have a look.
Local Breakfast – Php 600.00
Fried Noodles – Php 480.00
Congee – Php Php 480.00
Breakfast of Champions – Php 320.00
Ham and Cheese Omelette – Php 320.00
Plain or Flavored Yoghurt and Seasonal Fruit Tart – Php 320.00
Evan 330ml water – Php 320.00
It’s easy to call for room service for our food but the food is ridiculously pricey. Is it reasonable to spend Php 320.00 for 330ml water? Good thing we have free limited bottled water and a fridge.
So off we go to a fastfood outside the hotel. My sister and I strolled that night and passed by a busy Star City.
For our supper and breakfast (the following day) we bought a package meal for four and added regular extra rice. I don’t understand why Chowking, Jollibee, and Tokyo Tokyo do not accept credit card.
For Php 673.00 we bought meals enough to last during our stay.
The funny thing was, we were worried if the staff would say anything about the food bought outside.
I’ve read an old story that food bought from outside wasn’t allowed inside the hotel. Fortunately, it wasn’t the case anymore.
Spiral Buffet and Food Cost
After booking at Sofitel, I sent a message through Agoda asking about meals.
The meal range from Php 1,000.00 to Php 4,000 ish; my jaw dropped. Thousands of pesos for a buffet meal which I’m sure is worth every pesos.
Sofitel is known for its Spiral Buffet.
The hotel do have a spiral stairwell were we went down leading to the pools and garden outside.
I decided early on not to avail their buffet because 1.) it’s expensive 2.) my mom and aunt don’t have huge stomach for a variety of food.
Tip: You can dine in instead of checking in at the hotel if you want to experience the famous Spiral Buffet.
Lounging at the Garden
The following day, we woke up early and start the day with the leftover breakfast.
Good thing there’s a microwave and electric kettle. They had coffee and I had tea from the mini bar. Other drinks have to be charged through guest’s credit card at the check out. (I bought an electric kettle for our house because my mom was so fond of it.)
After our breakfast, we fixed our stuff, made our beds, and checked that we didn’t leave any of our things.
We spent more than an hour in the garden. The night before, there was a wedding ceremony with few guests.
The place is crowded especially the kiddie pool. We were told that you can invite other family members which we did but they couldn’t make it.
None of us went for a plunge.
We preferred to bask under the sun while it isn’t that hot. Watching people in such a beautiful garden is a great way to past time.
Spending time outside our room has even made our stay (and fee) more worthwhile. Sulit talaga.
Now I know how to optimize one’s stay in a five-star hotel. Next time I’ll do better in booking a room for my family in the Philippines.
My sister and I planned to have lunch at SM Mall of Asia but my mom wanted to go home instead. Guessed she had too much staycation already. If you check in at the hotel, you can go to SM MOA (and vice-versa) through shuttle service.
Drop Off – Sofitel to SM MOA
Pick Up – SM MOA to Sofitel
Address: CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City 1300 Philippines
Sometimes trying something new does open up possibilities.
Who would have thought that we can successfully sneaked in food from outside the hotel although we didn’t want to.
Next time, I’ll give a room service a go but in a much affordable hotel to even out expenses. Spend but don’t overspend.
The best part of my vacation in the Philippines was that I was able to pay all my travel expenses either in cash or credit card. I paid online my credit card before I go back in Canada to take things off my mind.
If you want to treat your family in Sofitel Hotel in Manila. Go ahead. The place doesn’t disappoint especially if you have kids that will enjoy the pool.
For foodies, Sofitel boast sumptuous varieties of cuisine.
Enjoy your stay but don’t break the bank.
It’s nice to remember all the fond memories without debt or credit card racking up high interest for not paying the balance in full at the end of the month.
Have you been to Sofitel Hotel in Manila? What cuisine you like the most?