A Peek at Boracay 2018 (TBIP’s Summer Diaries)

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Happy Summer!  By this time you might be seeing my Instagram and FB posts.  For those who follow my posts and those who know me personally, you might be wondering why the hell am I here in Boracay.   I already have rebooked our scheduled trip to April 29 ro May 4, 2019 and I started searching for other summer destinations.   Well, I really tried my best to find one, but I always end up being disappointed.  It’s either the hotels are fully booked, per night is expensive or the sand is dark gray.  I already have conditioned myself that for this summer, I only have staycations to enjoy– not until the day I was searching for the rates of Boracay Cruise via 2Go.  I compared the rates to Airasia and I was surprised to see the low rates P13k plus for 3 pax (roundtrip). That moment, I had a sudden interest to go to Boracay before the closure on the 26th of April.

I immediately called Fairways & Bluewater and asked if it’s possible for me to rebook on April 15-17.  After 20 minutes, it has been approved by the Marketing Manager and the transfers and activities that were scheduled on the 29th will just be used on our trip.  Hmmm!  I was firm in my decision that I had to take a peek in Boracay Island this month.  Nothing beats the so-called paradise when it comes to the powdery white sand.  If I will be spending P20k plus to go to Batangas, Zambales or Pangasinan, it would be a better decision to go to Boracay for just P13k.    So, I booked our roundtrip Manila to Caticlan flights via Airasia and coordinated with BPHT and everything has been settled in few minutes.

I won’t be able to follow the itinerary that I have prepared for my 6-day Boracay vacay because it will just be a 3/d 2/n vacation instead.  Here’s what I have prepared:

April 15, 2018- 10:55am-Arrival to Boracay

11:30- Check in and explore Fairways

5:00pm-  walk to White Beach and D’Mall

April 16, 2018-  7am-  Breakfast

8am to 9:30- Morning walk

10:am-12nn- Parasailing

12nnto 1pm- LUNCH

1:00-3:30 pm-  Private Island Hopping

4pm-  Back to the resort to rest

7pm -Dinner

8pm- Night swimming

April 17m 2018 7am-breakfast

8am to 9am -pack the things and get ready

9:30am- Check out

The 6 Day Boracay Special will be scheduled on 2019 instead, but at least I will be able to see the island for the last time this year and on the peak season next year.  Watch out for my posts in IG and FB.  I will try to blog as soon as I get home on the 17th or 18th.   Bye for now, folks!

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My Horrible BATANGAS BEACH Search Experience (TBIP’s Summer Diaries)

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LIFE IS A BEACH.  These past few years, it’s been a habit for hubby and I to spend our summer vacay in Boracay.  People around us have been asking why do we always go there and why don’t we try other destinations?  I have actually considered to visit Palawan but I always end up in Boracay.  Now, I finally understood why…

Because of the Boracay closure, we decided to just spend our summer vacation in a nearer destination instead.  My friends and colleagues recommended Calatagan in Batangas and Pagudpud.  I thought it would be easy for me, but if I find a hotel that suits my taste, it’s either fully booked or too expensive.  I was surprised to find out that Boracay hotels and resorts are much affordable than hotels and resorts in Batangas, Subic and Pagudpud.  In Fairways, I paid P23k for 3d/2n and it’s just the same with average hotels in Batangas.  I even saw some that costs P20k per night and that would be the same as what I have paid in Discovery Shores.  What is funny is that Discovery Shores is a luxury hotel and that’s understandable for their rate, but absolutely NOT for those expensive beach resorts in Batangas.

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I’ve tried the presidential suite in True Home Boracay and it’s only less than 10k per night and that is BEACHFRONT, dear readers!

As I search in their websites, I also googled for reviews in Tripadvisor and blogs and based from what I have read, in Nasugbu, Batangas, the sand is grayish black and the activities would cost a fortune as well.  In that case, I prefer to wait for another year than to spend and waste money for something I would be disappointed with.  I know that I still have two months to have this VITAMIN SEA, but I need something decent and affordable.

There are white sand beaches in Zambales but those are campsites and probably the accommodations won’t suit my taste.  It has to be beachfront, airconditioned and preferably with sea view and a private veranda.  I know for a fact that I am choosy but we have to be comfortable in our stay and that is my priority.

I am also considering a Palawan cruise via 2Go but I will have to check if we have the budget and if the hotels are reasonably priced.  I might be able to try other destinations next year aside from Boracay but it has to be carefully planned.

To sum it up, I think it’s NOT a good idea to pick Batangas as my summer destination.  For now, I think I have to be contented in my upcoming staycations (Edsa Shangri-la and Holiday Inn Manila Galleria).  I will keep you posted if ever I will come up with a new travel plan.  I still have 2 months and I hope I can make the most out of that time.  HAPPY SUMMER!

 

My Boracay 2018 Shut Down Experience

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shane puka beach

Hello, everyone!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Everything happened so fast that I couldn’t figure out anymore what to do first.  It’s only few more days before our scheduled trip to Boracay, but unfortunately I will see Boracay after a year instead.  It was Wednesday evening when I received an email from the Philippine Airlines that my two of the flights I booked with them  (my father and kids’ flight) would be adjusted.  Instead of going back from Caticlan to Manila on the 1st of May, it would be on the 2nd.  I accepted the adjustment.  The same evening, I received another email from PAL that our flight has been cancelled. I called PAL customer service and the agent was apologetic and informed me that they had to cancel our flight because it has something to do with the Boracay closure issue.  I just asked for a full refund and it was processed in few minutes.  According to the agent, I had to wait for an email about the full details regarding our refund.

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I called Fairways and Bluewater and inquired about the Boracay closure issue and asked for a possible refund just in case the island would be closed.  The receptionist told me that in that case, they won’t give a refund but it is possible to have it rebooked.  I was also assured that as of the moment (while I was speaking to the receptionist), there was no formal instructions for them to close though the other establishments have already closed because they did not comply with the government’s order.  I was quite relieved but because I was still alarmed that we didn’t have a flight yet from Manila to Kalibo, I called Air Asia before I decided to book a flight because PAL cancelled my flight.  According to the agent, there was no announcement yet from the government so I can still book and if ever there will be an announcement, they will update me about possible refund/rebooking.  After few minutes, I booked our flight via Airasia.

After getting my new flight details with Airasia, I texted Ms. Mariel from BPHT.  She called to clear and confirm about the flight details and island hopping activity and she sent the updated voucher after our conversation.  I thought there will be no problem but my hubby woke me up at 3am only to show me a link in Facebook about the government’s decision to close Boracay for 6 months.  At first, I couldn’t believe it.  What happened to the one month notice they were talking about?  They have informed the people before that if the President would announce the Boracay closure on April 5, 2018, its effectivity would be May 5, 2018; therefore our trip won’t be affected because our supposed trip is April 29 to May 4, 2018.  I was confident because of that one month notice, and until now I still couldn’t believe I am experiencing this.

Luckily, yesterday morning, I got an email from Agoda Customer Service to inform me that my booking with them was cancelled because of the Boracay closure.  I didn’t have to worry about that anymore.

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I know that the government has done their part and even though they coordinated with the airlines to give us options (to get a full refund, reroute or move flight), still it has caused a big problem.  I’ve been trying to call Airasia yesterday but I couldn’t get through the line.  I was planning to reroute our flight to Palawan on the 29th but after my conversation with hubby, I decided to move the flight to April and May 2019 instead so I don’t have to worry about our trip next year.  Another thing is it is PEAK SEASON now and I only have few days to make my hotel bookings.  Most of the hotels are already fully booked and since I already paid Fairways with the full amount, I don’t have a budget anymore with another hotel booking.

After we had our breakfast this morning, I called PAL customer service and somebody answered my call in just less than five minutes. I was very thankful that the agent patiently answered my queries, cancelled the flights  and processed my refund for 2 more flights and I even followed up the refund of my cancelled flight last Wednesday.  So, mission accomplished for PAL but it took me 55 minutes for the Air Asia customer service call.  It took them 30  minutes to answer my call,  They put me on hold then processed my request for almost 30 minutes.  It was successful though and the confirmation email was sent to me for our April 29, 2019 flight from Manila to Kalibo.  They haven’t sent me yet the confirmation for May 4, 2019 for Caticlan to Manila flight.

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Just few minutes ago, I just got off the phone and called Fairways & Bluewater and requested them to rebook our reservation to April 29 to May 1, 2019 and I am glad that they are processing that already.

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I only have ONE BIG PROBLEM and because of this Boracay shut down, I am having difficulty in looking for a place to spend our family vacation.  So, we re not going to fly to far destinations this summer– we are actually thinking of having our vacay in nearer places instead.  Almost all the decent resorts in Batangas are already fully booked.  So, what do I now?  I’ve been searching for beachfront hotels/resorts in Calatagan, Batangas that suits my taste but it was unsuccessful.  I am looking forward to go to the beach this summer but it looks like we have a serious problem here.  I hope not to end up having staycations instead:-(

Whether we admit it or not, this Boracay closure has caused a problem not only to tourists like me, but to the business owners and workers as well.  We are hoping that this sacrifice would have a favorable result.  See you Boracay in 2019.

TBIP’s SUMMER 2018 UPDATE

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HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE!  Well, I purposely didn’t book for a trip/staycation this Holy Week as I would like to spend it at home with my family.  Yes, I just stayed at home and finished some paperworks (Unfortunately, I can’t rejoice yet and as much as I would like to motivate myself, I am still CLUELESS on what’s going to happen next.

I know that you’ve heard about the Boracay closure issue and our trip is scheduled on April 29 to May 4, 2018.  If President Rodrigo Duterte would announce his approval of the Boracay closure by the first week of April, there is a possibility for us to enjoy Boracay in the peak season because it will take 30 days after the announcement will be effective.  So, I am praying for a miracle– to think of it, it will be too much of a hassle.  Why?  I have to deal with airline rebook/refund.  If I will rebook, there is no guarantee though that I will get a hotel on those dates because it’s PEAK Season.  I just hope that they would do the closure on the lean season because a lot of tourists have already made their plans and it’s pretty frustrating if that would be cancelled.

I actually have included LABoracay in my itinerary since I haven’t celebrated it before and it will be my first time if ever.   Boracay is such a paradise and my sympathy goes with the locals, business owners and the tourists.    I support the government agencies in their plans of saving the island and I will do my part in preserving its beauty.  If our planned Boracay 2018 trip won’t be cancelled, I will show everyone how beautiful Boracay is and why it is considered as a paradise and one of the world’s most beautiful beach.  So, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed and will leave it up to HIM up there.

I hate to entertain negative thoughts, but just in case our Boracay trip won’t push through this summer, I’m thinking of going to nearer destinations like Subic, Pangasinan, Tagaytay or Batangas but again my fear would be most of the hotels are fully booked already 😦

Since this is the first day of April, I started it with good vibes.  Yesterday I went to the salon and treated myself with foot spa with pedicure and gel manicure.  The only disaster that I have so far  is my hair and I’m actually having second thoughts if I would have it rebonded or not.

 

 

I am also thinking of having a productive summer vacation so I might as well feature home improvement segment in my blog as well including an upgrade of the home furnishings, accessories and appliances.  By next week, I will be posting the parts of our humble home and hopefully before the start of classes, it will have its new look.

I will also feature beauty rituals you can do at home for spa/salon alternative since I know going to spa is kinda expensive.

Before our Boracay trip, I will show you my very own PINK luggage and its contents (My BORACAY 2018 Packing List).

After April 20 to 28 and on May 2018, my schedule is still open for hotel/restaurant features/reviews.  Feel free to shoot me a message in my email if you have suggestions, ideas or you wanted to collaborate with me.

Cream with Eggs Easter Facebook Post

 

FREEZE! The Toxic Month Update

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Hello, dear readers!  Ever since the month started, I haven’t had any opportunity to squeeze my precious time for beauty, destressing, staycation, fitness and pigging out sessions– it’s because I’m loaded with paperworks in school.  Next week will be even more toxic because we will start computing the grades and more paperworks to submit.

 

I already have anticipated this scenario that’s why I went to Fitness first on February 28 and asked the reception to have my March on freeze because I won’t be able to go to the club for the whole month.  I did the same thing for April so for two months, I will have my fitness routine and diet on my own.

It might take some time before I will have another blog post but I promise to give you updates as soon as I have finished everything on the first week of April.  Probably before April 6,  I will have my hair treatment, foot spa, manicure and pedicure session @ the salon to reward myself.  After that, I have two months of work and play 🙂  Vacation galore so I will spend my time to bond with my family.  It will start on April 19 for my daughter’s 11th birthday celebration @ Edsa Shangri-la.

Next will be the much-awaited 6-day Boracay 2018 special from April 29 to May 4, 2018.  I will be having a detailed review of Fairways and Bluewater Newcoast, Azalea Boracay and Estacio Uno Resort.  Please wait for my update because I will be sharing my Boracay 2018 packing list as soon as I have the time.  I am now in the process of sorting old and brand new swimsuits and ordering summer outfits.

I mentioned work and play earlier— of course, I need to work even on vacation.  Aside from being a public school teacher,  I am also managing SMART TUTEE In-Home Tutorials, On April 23, 2018 and May 7, 2018, SMART TUTEE will be screening in-home tutors for the following areas:  QC, Antipolo, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Cainta and Marikina.  We will be in the Linden Suites from 10 am to 12 nn to screen applicants.  Interested applicants may send their resumes to screening@smarttutee.net.

On May 8, I will also be in Holiday Inn for a staycation and will be visiting our new Smart Tutee office in Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas.  Starting May 18 also, we will be accepting registration in our new office for SY 2018-2019 and will screen tutor applicants.

I don’t know if I can still manage to feature or review hotels, spas and restaurants for April and May but I would love to do so 🙂  Please drop me a short message in my email for collab.  I will only take some time to rest this month but I promise to give you guys new updates soon!  Til next post, dear readers!

 

My Boracay Summer 2018 6-Day Itinerary

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Probably you are wondering why of all the places to go this summer, why did I choose Boracay despite of the negative issues? Well, I already planned this trip as early as August and I already have booked our roundtrip flights and transfers via BPHT.  Boracay is one of my favorite summer destinations– the primary reason why I decided to have the our 6-day summer vacation there is the awesome powdery white sand beach.  There is something enigmatic with this paradise– something unexplainable that makes me keep coming back.

Supposedly, I have an important even scheduled on the 30th of April, but it was rescheduled due to some problems.  Since the trip was already prepared, all I need is to enjoy this long vacation before I finally face work this summer.

I would like to take advantage of our long stay, that is why 3 different hotels were lined up for my hotel review.  Here is the 6-day itenerary for my summer vacation.

April 29, 2018

-Depart from Manila to Caticlan

I chose to have a morning flight to enjoy the rest of the day.  This time, not only hubby and I will travel, but my family members as well.  They will be in another plane via Kalibo in the afternoon.

boracay airport

-Check in to Fairways & Blue Water.

 

-Tour of Fairways & Blue Water for my hotel review.  I alloted the whole day just to roam around the place and see their different pools, restaurants, and other facilities.  I will also check their spa for my Spa Detective Series.

– Night stroll @ White Beach (take out of dinner and buying of grocery                                      supplies).

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April 30, 2018-

-Restaurant Review

– Morning walk @ White Beach

– Private island Hopping @ 1pm

 

-Dinner and review of Mama’s Fish House

May 1, 2018       –

-Horseback Riding

– Transfer to Azalea Residences and hotel review

– LABORACAY celebration and feature

-family dinner and restaurant review

May 2, 2018 

-breakfast and restaurant review

– Parasailing

-Tirta Spa Review (for my Spa Detective Series)

treatment preparation

-dinner and restaurant review

May 3, 2018          –  Transfer to Estacio Uno

estacio uno seaside

-Terra Wellness Spa Review  (for my Spa Detective Series)

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-dinner and Restaurant Review

May 4, 2018 

-Last stroll in the island

-Depart from Caticlan to Manila

NOTE:  This is not yet final and could be updated for changes.  For suggestions of activities or place that you would like me to review, OR for collaborations, please contact me @ jasmine@thetravelbloggerinpink.com.

 

 

5 Hours of Pampering: A Comprehensive Review of Golden Leaf Health Spa

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Black White Detective Murder Mystery Invitation

Welcome to the first review of my SPA DETECTIVE series.  As promised, I will give you a comprehensive review of the Golden Leaf Health Spa in Marcos Highway, Pasig City and ta-da!  Here it is!  If you will come from Masinag Market and you will go to Cubao, you will notice the sign at the right side. The spa is on the 3rd floor of the Semicon Bldg. (just before you reach Ayala Feliz Mall).

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A few days ago, I booked for body scrub and deep cleansing facial by texting their number.  The receptionist has successfully confirmed my booking for yesterday’s treatment at 11am.   Because I knew that I had to be on time, I even texted them while I was on my way to the spa– I got no reply.   When I reached the third floor, I thought that I had opened the glass door by mistake because it looks like an abandoned place, then I saw the Golden Leaf Spa sign– I was relieved that I came to the right place.   I was expecting that they knew about my appointment, but there was no receptionist when I came.  There were two ladies who entertained me and it was strange that they do not know about the services and packages that they offer.  They had to verify by calling the receptionist about the packages.

My first impression:  The reception area was just fine, but not that impressive.  In the metro area, I should say Z Spa has the coziest and most relaxing ambiance so far.  The place was big though, and I was excited to explore it.  There were decorations and floral arrangements, but the furnishings and accents are not as modern as what Z Spa and Soulscape Spa use.  Well, I knew that i couldn’t judge just because of the first impression and I waited patiently to find out more if I would enjoy the experience.

While the two ladies (which I found out to be food servers) were contacting the receptionist, they ushered us to the dining room area where they turned on the television and offered us glasses of iced tea and mini siopao.

After drinking the complimentary refreshments, Ms. Ruth ushered us to the Female Sanctuary wherein the wet area is located.  The place reminds me of Baguio City wherein the furnishings are quite old and worn-out, but I must commend them for having a wet area which is FREE usage in most of the services and packages that they offer.  Actually, that is what I am looking for in a hotel or fitness club– a functional wet area.  We were given the locker key and she assisted me with the use of the steambath, sauna and jacuzzi.

In the locker, there was a pair of old gold robe and shorts, old white towel, a bottle of mineral water, a pair of blue slippers and a mint.

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The place needs a TOTAL RENOVATION and MAKE-OVER as well as UPGRADE in everything that they use in the spa.  Theres should be new and fresh towels and linens.    In the wet area, there is one toilet, 3 shower areas, steambath, sauna and a jacuzzi.

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the vanity

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the shower area

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When I arrived at 11 am, I was the only one there so I had the wet area only to myself.  After almost ten minutes in the steambath and sauna, I had a hot shower and used the jacuzzi!  The good news is that I was the first one also to use it 🙂

After few minutes, I talked to Ms. Percy, their supervisor/manager and clarified about the service I booked.  Originally, I booked for body scrub ala carte for P650 and deep cleansing facial for P350–that already includes the wet area usage.  What I wanted was to find out if they have other packages close to my budget.  If I will use a private room, which I really wanted because of privacy, I need to add P300 and the total bill that I have to settle is P1300.  I was informed that there is a package amounting to P1499 which includes 24k facial plus body scrub and usage of private jacuzzi.  (I was thinking that it would be practical to avail this since I will just add P200).  My mind was already set that I will be having that package instead.  I knew that I only had the jacuzzi for myself that time, but there might be customers who will use the wet area in a while, and I will have NO MORE privacy at all.

When I was already prepared for the body scrub, I was confused because they led me to a room with a curtain.  I was thinking that I would be in the private room, but I also thought that probably, they a room intended only for body scrub. In my mind, I knew there was something wrong already because if I chose a private room with private jacuzzi, why don’t they let me use the room for the body scrub so I can have my privacy?

Because it was already past 12nn, I decided to eat first.  We had our unlimited dimsum which was also included in the package.  We had bowl of goto and glass of iced tea.  They have food servers to assist you with the food and drinks.

After lunch, we went back to the Maple room and I was surprised to see what they are using in their body scrub.

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Oats and Milk Body Scrub

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Oats and milk body scrub

According to Leah, our therapist, they use oats and milk to moisturize the skin, leaving it soft and smooth after the treatment.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t itchy and Ms. Leah made me feel comfortable also.  I was advised to go to the steambath and sauna again after the body scrub treatment for a better effect in my skin.  I dipped in the jacuzzi and while I was enjoying, a customer came to the wet area.  I inquired about the private room with private jacuzzi that I availed earlier.  I was aghast when I was told that I won’t be using a private jacuzzi and there was no private room either.  That particular moment, I was about to explode, but I controlled myself.  Honestly, though the place is quite old, I like their wet area and the private jacuzzi and bath tub.  I was about to complain because I was really upset how they were disorganized–suddenly, Ms. Percy appeared and told me that she already prepared the private jacuzzi.

When I asked about the facial (because I was expecting that I will have the 24k facial for 1 hour, she told me it’s the same a la carte deep cleansing facial that i will have in a few minutes and because I added a private jacuzzi, I will just settle only P1300.  It was like, “Oh no! What the hell are you talking about?  A while ago, I already told you what i wanted.  I emphasized the word PRIVACY!   How can you be guys that disorganized?”   (I was only yelling at them mentally) Probably, she could have sensed that I was getting impatient, she left to check their packages and told me that in the P1499, the inclusions are the following:  body scrub, deep cleansing facial, hot milk bath, full body massage and private room.  Only in that particular moment, we have understood each other.  As much as I wanted to complain, I didn’t ruin my day anymore– the fact that the reason I was there was to destress.  We were ushered to the Bamboo room, and prepared for our hot milk bath.

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In the room, there were two beds intended for couple.  There was no door to isolate the toilet.  It’s just an open space wheiren the bath tub and shower area is located with dividers for the lavatory and watercloset.    I had the milk bath for about 20 minutes (next time, I will have it loooonger).   It was the best hot bath I had so far and I will have it again in my next visit.

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After the hot milk bath, I went to the facial area for my deep cleansing facial.  It only lasted for less than 30 minutes.  Honestly, the P350 is not worth it 😦  I would love to try the 24k Facial next time.

After the facial, I went back to the Bamboo room and got ready for the massage.  I only requested to have a back massage and Shane availed of the remaining minutes left.

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I enjoyed the massage, it was too relaxing.  In other spas, you won’t feel relaxed.  On the contrary, it looks like you were beaten after the treatment.   Thanks to Leah for listening well.

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After the treatment, I asked Ms. Hazel, the receptioinst for a cup of coffee in the dining area.  I was expecting her to order the servers to prepare that for me since in Soulscape Spa,  the receptionist request the hot tea/water over the phone as well as the treatments to be pfrepared.  I was even more astounded when Ms. Hazel prepared the cup of coffee herself and gave us bowls of goto, siomai and siopao.  She even served the other guests.

I remembered Ms. Leah told me earlier during our massage treatment that all the staff that I see are also massage therapists including the janitress and food servers.

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Ms. Hazel

MY VERDICT:

I was satisfied with the body scrub, facial, massage and wet area, BUT there are few things that they need to improve.

  1.  The staff should be knowledgeable about their spa packages.  They should be coordinated as well.
  2. The receptionist should be there in the opening to welcome the guests.
  3. Since they own the place, they should renovate it and give a modern and more relaxing ambiance plus an upgrade of the furnishings and almost everything in the spa.
  4. Add more food in their unlimited dimsum.
  5. The staff should be professional in dealing with customers.

Though I was quite disappointed, I will come back 🙂  Why?

GOOD POINTS

  1.  The place is spacious enough.
  2.  They have unlimited dimsum included already when you availed of their packages/services.
  3. They have free usage of wet area (jacuzzi, steam bath and sauna).
  4. They have private jacuzzi and bath tub in the private room.
  5. Their spa packages are reasonably priced.

I definitely recommend Golden Leaf Spa; however, clarify the service that you avail to avoid confusion.

GOLDEN LEAF HEALTH SPA

3/F Semicon Bldg., Marcos Highway, Pasig City

0917-3323378

 

 

 

Certified Spa Detective 2018 Part I

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Yes, I admit that I am beginning to be a spa addict.  With my stressful work, I really need to destress and pamper myself.  I just had this realization recently and it’s true that if you love and give time to yourself, you will feel better and will be more productive.

Ever since, I had dry skin and ever since I had the body scrub in Z Spa and my dead skin cells were removed, there is an improvement with my skin.  And because I already have established my beauty routine, I really need to give my skin a treat every two weeks.   What I need is body scrub for  and facial to achieve that youthful glow.  I need a radiant skin for my Boracay trip on April 29-May 4, 2018.

As a journalist and spa detective, I know that I have to give my honest opinion (based from my own experience) and it is my obligation to provide you also with facts and helpful information.  I will start this year of comprehensive reviews of different spas.  My aim here is to suggest and recommend treatments suited for the readers and also to warn them if ever the service is terrible.

Here is the tentative list of the spas that I will review this 2018.

1. Golden Leaf Health Spa (Marcos Highway, Cainta, Rizal)

This weekend, I will have my review of Golden Leaf Health Spa located in Marcos Highway, Cainta, Rizal.  I have learned that they have a wet area and that’s quite interesting.  Other spas don’t have jacuzzi and they have a plus point for that.  I still have to check whether their service is excellent and the place is well maintained and of course— a relaxing ambiance.  I have to see and experience for myself.  If you see posts of Golden Leaf Health Spa in Instagram, TBIP Facebook Page and here in WordPress until April 2018, it seems I found the perfect spa for me.

2.  Chi, The Spa at Edsa Shangri-la (Ortigas Center, Pasig)

We have booked a suite for my daughter’s birthday celebration in Edsa Shangrila on April 19, so this is the opportunity for me to hit their fitness center and experience their spa.  I will update you guys if it’s worth the money or just a waste of time.

3.  Terra Wellness Spa (Boracay)

I already booked myself for their Beauty and Bliss (massage and facial package) on May 3.  I am quite curious if Terra Wellness is comparable to Tirta Spa so I might as well try to find out.

4.  Tirta Spa (Boracay)

 

I’ve been here last summer and so far, it was the best that I have visited.  During that time though, I had their massage and Biodroga facial.  This time, I would like to try the body scrub and their wet area.

This post will be updated for additional spas that I will be visiting for the entire year.  Since this a review, please expect that i will have my HONEST opinions featuring positive and negative feedback about their service.

Long Weekend Bonding: A Review of the Linden Suites

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I have modified my Valentine’s Day plan since we have a long weekend for the Chinese New Year on February 16, so I just decided to book for an overnight stay in a hotel.  In blogs and reviews that I have read, Discovery Shores Boracay is often compared to The Lind Boracay so I am quite curious about this property.  If DSB has Discovery Suites in Ortigas Center, the Lind has the Linden Suites.  Last October, we have already spent our wedding anniversary in Discovery Suites, so for the Post Valentine Celebration, I have settled to the Linden Suites.  I booked a one-bedroom suite via Booking.com for about P5,00 inclusive of taxes.

My excitement was replaced with disappointment when we have reached the hotel’s lobby.  It wasn’t what I expected–I was visualizing the same large lobby as what they have in Discovery Suites.  There weren’t enough chairs for the people and while I was on queue for the check-in, my hubby and kids were standing and after about 20 minutes, they were able to find vacant seats.  It took me about 30 minutes or more to check in (which was another disappointment 😦 ) When finally it was my turn, I was pleased with the professionalism of the receptionist.  She asked for my ID and the credit card that I used in booking.  She has explained clearly why we need to give a security deposit of P2,000 which can be refunded upon check out.  She also explained about the rules of the hotel.

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Upon checking in, we got 2 keycards (for the elevator and room) , 1 power card, the WIFI password details good for 2 devices and 2 breakfast coupons.

When we got our keycards, we waited for few minutes AGAIN for the elevator.  Our one bedroom suite was located in Tower 2 and our assigned suite number was 2107.  When we opened the door, I was quite pleased because the room was spacious.

 

I liked the kitchen–it is already complete with almost everything that you need.  You can cook there- no need to bring pans and other utensils.  They have provided liquid soap and soap dish, but there is no sponge.

What I like about Linden Suites is that they permit the guests to hold parties inside the room/suite but the limit of the number of guests is only up to 15 and they need to leave before 11pm.

 

Our living room has a small sofa and working table ideal for small family.

 

In the dining area, we have a welcome fruit plate and a complimentary tumbler courtesy of the hotel.  I was appreciative and thankful, but I couldn’t help but to compare with Discovery Suites.  With the latter, we were able to feel at home and special because they have carefully done their research.  There was a welcome banner, dessert and more freebies.

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A hotel stay is not complete without COFFEE, so I was thankful enough for these basic freebies (but I was not impressed).

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Anyway, we enjoyed our spacious bedroom.  The kids rested for a while while we have scrutinized every detail of the suite.

 

The floor was carpeted so even if our kids were super hyper, they were safe.

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This is our Post Valentine Date, so we just decided not to go out and just enjoy the room and other facilities.

 

There were two closets equipped with ironing board and iron (a plus for me!), but we were not able to use it during our stay.  We just noticed that there were only 1 bathrobe and 1 pair of slippers.  The one-bedroom suite is supposed to be for two people so they should have provided supplies for two.  I just let hubby used the slippers since we brought sandals with us.

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What I liked most about our stay is the spacious bathroom.  Literally, you can sleep inside! It was really convenient because there is enough room for you to change and there is even a vanity inside.  This is my ideal bathroom– so far, one of the best bathrooms alongside with Estacio Uno Boracay Seaside Suite.

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The free toiletries

 

 

 

Seeing the view made me realize that we shouln’t waste our time and we should enoy, enjoy and enjoy!

 

In my trips, most of the time, I bring my kids because BONDING with them is a very important moment that I have to treasure.  My daughter Shane loves to swim so she was looking forward to our swimming time.

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When i told her that we were going to swim, she immediately changed in her swimming outfit!

The indoor pool was located on the 9th floor inside the Health Club.  You need to sign first in the reception area and you will be given towels to use.  To my dismay, the pool was crowded with people 😦

 

 

 

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We went to the jacuzzi first since the pool was crowded with guests, but Shane immediately jumped to the pool.

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t swim in the swimming pool and just stayed in the jacuzzi.

 

 

After few minutes, hubby and Bruce tried the swimming pool.

 

 

 

 

It was bonding time for hubby and our four-year old son Bruce.  It was pretty obvious they have enjoyed the temperature-controlled swimming pool.

 

 

We didn’t notice that it was past 6pm already and we decided to just go back to our suite.  My plan was to head to the gym right after swimming, but since we wasted more or less 30 minutes waiting for the elevator, I just cancelled my plan.  I was planning also to go to their spa, but was disappointed because they do not offer body scrub. (Body scrub is what I was looking for to get ready for my summer-ready skin )

 

Out of desperation, we were about to use the stairs to reach the 21st floor but then the elevator door opened, and when we were able to reach our suite, we were already exhausted of standing and waiting.  We just opted to have room delivery service from the Happy Chef.

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While watching TV and waiting for the food, Shane offered me a mug of coffee. (How sweet!)

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We ordered Margarita pizza for P395 and Chicken a la Pobre for P355.  We loved the pizza but the chicken was too pricey.

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We slept early because we would like to enjoy more of the hotel.  I brought my lappy with me but I wasn’t able to use it– I had my beauty rest instead.

DAY 2

We woke up at 4:30am.  Hubby and I had coffee and planned how we are going to spend the rest of the morning in Linden Suites.

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I thought of going to the gym since I wasn’t able to go there the previous night due to the elevator problem.  Bruce was also sleeping at that time, so we just asked Shane to look after him while we were working out.

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And yes, we were ready to hit the gym!

 

At 6am, we were already in the gym and yay! We had the gym only to ourselves!  That’s what I really like–PRIVACY 🙂

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Well, it wasn’t big as the Balance Lifestyle Fitness Club.  I was looking forward to use the jacuzzi and the sauna in their female wet area right after working out.

 

Working out with sweetie 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After working out, I went to the restroom and asked if I can use the sauna.  UNFORTUNATELY, they haven’t prepared it yet 😦  There was no jacuzzi also in the female’s wet area.  The jacuzzi was in the indoor pool, so another X for me 😦

 

There were locker rooms and the shower area is quite old and worn out– it needs remodelling.  For a spa and beauty blogger like me, it would be a PLUS if the hotel has convenient and modern amenities like the gym and spa, but I wasn’t pleased with the female wet area and the spa services.

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We peeked in the indoor pool area and was tempted to have a dip in the pool while it was not crowded yet.

 

We decided to have our breakfast first becaise we have sensed that the restaurant will be crowded also at that time.  When we reached the suite, Bruce was still sleeping, so we took advantage of the time to enjoy the hot tub bath.

 

After the hot bath, we got ready for the breakfast buffet.

 

 

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The Happy Chef is located in the 2nd floor.  Our room rate includes the breakfast buffet already except for Shane. (We paid P275 for her.)

 

As what we were expecting, we waited for about 20 minutes outside and the reason for this is because they have small space for their restaurant and limited choices of food.  I didn’t bother to feature their food because there’s nothing much to show.

 

 

 

I just had garlic rice, chicken adobo, chicken hotdogs, chocolate cupcake, pancake with choco syrup, choco flake cereals and a slice of chocolate cake for dessert.  I had a cup of hot choco but I didn’t like the taste 😦

 

After the breakfast, we went to the 14th floor, so we used the bridgeway to Tower 2.

 

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It was time to go back to the suite and get ready to check out.   While we were preparing our things, Bruce was having his hot bath in the tub.

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So, there…  my final selfies before we go.

 

I got a call from the reception 30 minutes before the check out time, reminding me about their standard time of check out which is 12nn.  We left the suite before 12nn and as usual, the same scenario… crowded lobby.

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Hehehe, I realized I couldn’t compare it to Discovery Suites because they are NOT comparable– with the personalized service, professionalism, and the modern facilities/amenities.  Well, at least, we wouldn;t know if we haven’t experienced to stay there.

Would I recommend this to a friend who is also very particular with quality service like me? NO.

The Linden Suites

37 SAN MIGUEL AVENUE, ORTIGAS CENTER,
PASIG CITY 1600, METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES
TEL: (632) 638 7878