A Morning of Dismay at Heat, Edsa Shangri-la

Leave a comment Standard
After spending a fabulous night in Edsa Shangri-la’s Garden Premier Suite, I was expecting that the following day would be as perfect as it was– but it didn’t turn out  that way.  I was excited to experience their buffet breakfast that’s why I made it a point to be there with hubby and Shane at past 6am.  I knew that it would be jampacked with people if we came late.

 

When we arrived, we were greeted by Shai, who immediately asked us about our room number.  After few minutes, I sensed that she was having trouble in finding our names in her list, but she escorted us inside and let us be seated while she was double-checking.  When she came back, she asked us if nobody informed us that breakfast is not included in the room that we booked.  It’s a good thing that I asked because it was unbelievable.  How come that breakfast in Heat wasn’t included but one of the inclusions in our booking was access to their exclusive Horizon Club Lounge?  From there, something wasn’t right.

welcome letter shang

I told Shai that I was given that letter and I had the option to have my breakfast in either Heat or the Horizon Club Lounge.  She excused herself for few minutes to check again.  I was getting impatient at that time because I myself couldn’t visualize the looks on our faces if we would be escorted out of the restaurant.  Of course that would be very humiliating on our part– how stupid I was on that part— that I didn’t check beforehand that our breakfast wasn’t included.  I was about to give up but another part of me was insisting that it was part of our booking, so I grabbed my wireless landline and called their hotline.  A male agent answered my call and clarified that breakfast was included in our booking.  I was put on hold because I think he was already calling Heat at that time and when he talked again on the line, Shai already appeared and explained to us that breakfast for 3 pax  was included in our booking since we were staying in a suite.  In that point, I told the male agent I was speaking with that it has been settled already.  It was normal for a person to commit errors– it’s part of being human, but what we noticed was that Shai didn’t have the humility to accept her mistake.  She didn’t even apologize 😦  Because I was not in the mood to make any argument at that time,  I didn’t make a formal complain to her manager/superior.  Probably it was also because we were starving as well.   Anyway, I just shared about our experience– the fault of one person doesn’t reflect the entire property.  Let me show you what they had in the restaurant that morning for the breakfast buffet.

Table at the Heat

BREAD AND PASTRIES

Ensaymada

Jams

Yogurts

Yoghurt

Chocolate loaf and banana bread

ASIAN FAVORITES

Noodle station

If there’s one thing I regret about this, it was because I didn’t try their taho!

Taho

My daughter tried the Pork Siomai.

Siomai

Chicken sausage

INFUSED WATER

Infused water

The Juice Station

 

Juice station
DIFFERENT KINDS OF MILK

Milk station

FRESH FRUITS

Fresh fruits

Here are few of my favorites in the buffet:
1.  NOODLES
2.   Pizza

Pizza, quiche tart and blueberry tart

3.  Pancit Canton

Pancit canton

4.  Roasted Potatoes

Roasted potatoes hash brown

5. Corned Beef
I’ve tried this but was kinda disappointed– it was too soft:-(  I asked hubby and he had the same opinion as mine.

Corned beef

6.  Ice Cream
I super loved their ice cream.  I tried the Peanut Choco with Strawberry– super yummy 🙂

family pic 1

Honestly, the food was okay, but nothing special.  Probably, I actually lost my appetite because of the incident. How would I enjoy the food if my day was already ruined?  But the ice cream saved the day!  Too bad there was no chocolate cake– if there was any at that tme, I could have forgotten the whole incident (hihihi!).  Anyway, I plan to go back some other time.  I hope that this won’t happen again.

 

Advertisements

A Luxurious Family Staycation: A Review of Edsa Shangri-la Manila

Leave a comment Standard
There is no such thing as perfection– that’s what they say so as far as expectations is concerned, I always consider that we are only human and sometimes, we commit mistakes whether we like it or not.  Well, yes!  That is indeed a fact, but despite of some flaws or imperfections, an error or a slight mistake is acceptable, but if you have done more than one mistake, especially if you are a luxurious five-star hotel, that one is another story.  Let me share to you about our experience in staying at Edsa Shangri-la Manila a week ago.
As what I have said in my previous post, I wanted to give a memorable birthday gift to my daughter who just celebrated her 11th birthday and that’s the reason why I decided to book an overnight stay in Edsa Shangri-la Manila.

Registration at Shangri-la

I commend the Front Desk Staff for being very professional in dealing with us from check-in to check-out.  Even without asking, ESL offered us luggage assistance, which we appreciated much.   Let’s talk first about the things that we have enjoyed and loved about our stay.

jas lobby

stairs

 

1.  Let us have a tour of our Garden Premier Suite.

 

When we opened the door, we were impressed with the elegant furnishings.

Living room and birthday treat

Cake from Shangri-La
On the table in the living room, there are welcome treats for us– native delicacies and a slice of birthday cake for my daughter Shane.

 

Since the suite is for business travelers as well, there is an executive table with charging station and a fax machine.
Morning shane Shangri-la
I didn’t expect that there was an extra bed as I didn’t request one.  Extra toiletries, bathrobe and slippers were also given few minutes before we checked in.

 

They have a minibar counter wherein you can have goodies and drinks without going out– of course, you need to pay for what you have consumed.

 

Shower Shangri-La

I loved the spacious bathroom– we had a separate toilet, bath tub area wherein you can hear the sound of the TV program that you are watching in the speakers above.  There is also a shower area and a vanity area with luxurious toiletries.
The walk-in closet is connected to the bathroom and the bedroom.  I would like to adapt that brilliant idea in my own bedroom if I will have it renovated.

 

2.  The Horizon Club Experience

hrizon sign

If there is one reason I will go back in Edsa Shangri-la, I would say this is our Horizon Club experience.  As a club guest, you will be treated as a VIP and you are allowed to hang out in the lounge and get anything you want for free.  The videos below were taken after we have unpacked our things.  They serve free cocktails and canapes for their guests at 5 to 7 pm.

 

 

Yman horizon lounge
If you are practical, no need for you to have dinner somewhere else as they also have rice and other dishes.  Unlike the other luxury hotels that serve concentrated juice, in the Horizon Club Lounge, they serve fresh juice!

Real juice

 

They are open 24 hours so you can drop there anytime that you wish.  Because we were not there for business, I wasn’t able to use other priveleges like the free usage of the meeting room for 2 hours, the concierge and secretarial service and the free pressing/washing of the suits.

 

 This is an advantage for a coffee lover like me because you don’t need to have stocks of coffee sachets in your suite.  High tea is also available from 2pm to 4pm.

High tea

3.  The Swimming Pool
The swimming pool is one of my favorite amenities in the hotel.   This is where I can relax and forget all the troubles for a while.  This is also my daughter’s favorite activity—swimming!  The pool is big enough to accommodate the guests while we were there.  I was surprised to see that it’s not crowded.

 

The staff here were professional and very attentive to the guests’ needs.  As soon as we have arrived, we were assisted with the mermaid tail that I borrowed from the Health Club for Shane to use in swimming and short pictorial.

 

After the morning swim, my fave part is just to sit in the lounge chairs and watch the people.

 

4.  The Health Club

receptionist

In the Health Club, you can use the gym and the jacuzzi and lap pool inside the changing room.

 

gym1

There are cups, water dispensers, and fresh towels available for the guests to use.  There are also few tables and chairs where the guests can sit and have a cup of coffee or tea during break.

 

Of course, my visit won’t be complete without my favorite— the jacuzzi!

Jacuzzi 2 Shangri-la

 

The vanity and shower area is clean.   It’s also equipped with everything you need from the toiletries to comb.

washroom1

 

5. Kid-friendly 

Cubs and cubbies

 

They have a play lounge area called Cubs and Cubbies but we were not able to go there because Bruce had to go home on day 1.  Anyway, we were able to borrow a board game and X-box and they connected it in our TV in the suite.  The kids didn’t get bored 🙂 

 

I also borrowed a mermaid’s tail for Shane to use in swimming and pictorial.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:
1. No bidet in the restrooms
Toilet In our suite

the toilet area

Though I love their restrooms, it’s incomplete for Filipino guests like me without the bidet.
2.  No dining area in the suite/room

Kids shane’s cake

Probably the reason why they didn’t include a dining area is that they didn’t want the guests to cook or to bring take-out foods in the suite.   I do understand that– but comfortability wise, I think the other hotels are better like the Discovery Suites.
3.  No bubble bath   

Hot tub bath Shangri-La

It would be more fun in the tub if there is a bubble bath included.
4 .A disappointing experience at HEAT, where the guests have their daily buffet breakfast.

family pic 1

 

We went to Heat at around 6 am for our buffet breakfast.  The lady at the reception named Shai asked for our room number and when she had difficulty finding our names in her list, she ushered us inside so we can sit down while she was checking.  After few minutes, she came back and asked us if nobody informed us that F&B is not included in the room that we have availed.  I really couldn’t believe what I just heard.  I was confused because I received a letter upon checking in that we have complimentary breakfast in Heat or the Horizon Club Lounge as club guests.  I was puzzled  why we were welcome in the Horizon Club Lounge but how come that breakfast is not included in Heat?  She left again to double-check and while she was checking, I dialed 0 and verified if breakfast was really included in our room and when he confirmed that I was right, Shai came back and told us that it was already settled.  She informed us that since we were staying in a suite, it includes 3 free breakfasts.  I was waiting for her to apologize, but she didn’t.  If only I was in the mood to argue, I would– but we were starving at that time so I didn’t waste my energy to ruin my beautiful morning.  We were able to have our breakfast anyway– but I wonder what would have been our expression if she escorted us out of the restaurant.  We could have melted in humiliation! (The food will be reviewed in a separate post.)
After swimming, while I was resting in the lounge chair, I was bothered and suddenly, I just found myself dialing Shangri-la’s trunkline number, and I inquired if I have to settle something aside from the in-room dining we had the previous day.  I just wanted to make sure that there was NO problem anymore with that buffet breakfast.  When I heard the male agent’s answer, I didn’t know if I would get mad or just laugh. Was  I really that stupid not to understand that our breakfast is not included?  Was I just insisting that it should be free?  It’s as if he was wondering why we were able to have breakfast because he was explaining to me that I availed of the advance purchase; therefore, breakfast is NOT included in the rate.  I told him that we availed of the suite and it includes 3 people in the rate.  With that, he put me on hold and transferrred me to the front desk.  It was ringing for about eternity– that I decided to fix ourselves in a flash and appeared instantly in the front desk.
When we were already in the front desk, Ms. Len was there, who was very courteous, amiable and professional.  I was able to control my temper because of the way she handled customers.  She confirmed that our breakfast was included in the room rate and that I only have to settle the in-room dining charge.  She apologized for what happened in Heat that morning (which was actually Shai’s fault) and for the inconsistency of the information of the staff.  So, with that, we were pacified, and I really don’t know what would have happened if Ms. Len wasn’t there.

img_7353-1

The conclusion:

If only these incidents didn’t happen, our stay would have been perfect.  I hope that particular incident would serve as a lesson for them on how they would improve their service.

 

Will I go back?  YES, I love the Horizon Club Lounge, the pool and the jacuzzi, but I hope that those incidents won’t happen anymore.
EDSA SHANGRI-LA MANILA
1 Garden way Ortigas Centre, Mandaluyong City
Telephone Number: (02) 633-8888

 

Shane’s 11th Birthday-Staycation @ Edsa Shangri-la (TBIP’s Summer Diaries)

Leave a comment Standard
I wanted to give my daughter something special for her birthday and instead of celebrating her birthday at home, I booked a family staycation at Edsa Shangri-la.  I wanted her birthday to be memorable and a one-day luxurious stay there was the perfect present I could give her since she wanted it that way also.
I booked a Garden Premier Suite in Edsa Shangri-la, with the room rate of P13,200 plus P3,012.24 for taxes and charges via Booking.com (I paid a total of P16,000).  So, what was my impression?  Since it’s a five-star hotel and the room rates are exorbitant, the service must be exceptional.

View daytime 1

The check-in time is 2 pm, but we were able to reach the hotel at around 3pm.  I did not experience any inconvenience in the check-in process because all the staff in the reception area from the usherettes to the front desk staff are very friendly and professional.

img_7303

I didn’t fill out any registration forms– the staff just asked for my ID.  The funny and partly embarrassing part was that my IDs were missing in my bag!  Oh, well!  I was confident that my IDs were in my bag because I just used those in the airport a day ago.  Since I couldn’t find my PRC ID and company ID, I just handed the Philhealth ID and thankfully, she just asked about the date of my birth to verify the information.   I was also asked to present the credit card that I used to settle the payment and after few minutes, she asked me to sign in the tablet and ta-da!  Everything was already set– I got 3 keycards and a piece of paper wherein our benefits as guests were written.
img_7299
 img_7351
Even without asking, we were offered a luggage assistance and were ushered into our suite in the 7th floor of the Garden Wing.  While we were following him, we thought that we might get lost and that we really had to explore the hotel that night.
Luggage assistance Shangri-la

luggage assistance

img_7310

We were able to get in the suite at past 3 pm.  Instead of having an afternoon swim,  we decided to rest for a while and unpack our things.  Though the hotel is kinda old, it has remained to be a favorite especially to business travelers because of its elegant furnishings and first-class amenities.  We were impressed with our assigned suite though I was expecting a bigger one with a dining table (a separate post will be written for the review of Edsa Shangri-la Hotel with an exclusive tour of our suite and a review of HEAT, where we had our breakfast buffet).
Living room and birthday treat
Upon entering, we had welcome treats such as native cakes,  a plate of fresh fruits and a slice of cake for Shane.
img_7312
When I have spoken to the customer service representative of the hotel when I called to confirm if they have received my payment, I mentioned that Shane will be spending her 11th birthday there.   They took note of that and prepared a slice of cake saying “Happy Birthday!” which we really appreciated.

Cake from Shangri-La

After the short inspection in our suite, I ordered pizza for Shane’s visitors so they won’t get bored.  Hubby, Shane and I went to the Horizon Club Lounge, which is located in the 14th floor because they serve free cocktails and canapes at 5-7 pm.

Shane1 Shangri-La

 

Our stomachs were already full when we came back to the room, but we still managed of course to have a simple dinner with the visitors.  We brought spaghetti, chicken and cake with us when we checked in.
Family pic at Shangri-la

Family picture

By the way, Shane had only 3 visitors:  her two brothers Kyle and Bruce and her grandpa.   Before they leave, I called the concierge service and requested to borrow a board game and an X-Box so the kids won’t get bored.  Actually, the guests can borrow those without any charges.  Aside from that, I arranged to borrow a mermaid tail for Shane to fit and use for her morning swim the following day.
After we escorted them outside the hotel entrance to wait for their transpo service, we went to check out the gym at the Health Club and dipped in the jacuzzi.

 

After loosening up in the jacuzzi,  we checked the swimming pool and we went back to the suite to fetch Shane who was still playing with the X-box that we borrowed.

 

 

Coffee at horizon Lounge

One thing that I loved about our staycation is our Horizon Club priveleges and one of these is having coffee and having VIP treatment.  It’s open for 24 hours so you can drop by anytime to have coffee or soda.   Before we went back to the suite, we dropped by there for a drink then we had a good night sleep.

Extra bed Shangri-la

In the photo above, the photo shows the extra bed for Shane.  Actually, I didn’t expect that and I was very thankful that they included this.  I think we have made her feel special because she has her own space in the living room area and was very comfortable because it was airconditioned, has its own flat screen TV and has easy access to the bathroom.
The following day, we headed to HEAT, where the guests have their FREE buffet breakfast; unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding.  I will elaborate on this in my review about HEAT.  Anyway, we were able to have our FREE breakfast and after that we went back to our suite to get ready for Shane’s favorite- the morning swim!  We dropped by to the Health Club to remind about the mermaid tail that we would borrow for the swimming session and short pictorial.

Mermaid 1

Shane mermaid1

 

After the morning swim, I decided to go to the Front desk because I was really confused with the information I was receiving from their staff and I had to clarify everything before we check out.  Fortunately, Ms. Len of the front desk was very accommodating and she apologized about what happened. (Details will be in the hotel and restaurant review).  I appreciated also when she agreed to have a late check-out at 3 pm which I believe was also part of our privelege as a Horizon Club guest if there is room availability.
After the clarification, we went back to the suite and started to pack our things.  At 2pm we went to the scheduled High Tea at the Horizon Club lounge.

Tea time

High tea

Overall, Shane’s birthday celebration was a blast.  It may not be perfect, but it is something that she can never forget.
img_7354

Shane2 Shangri-la

EDSA SHANGRI-LA MANILA
1 Garden Way, Ortigas Centre, Mandaluyong City
Telephone:  633-8888

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TBIP’s SUMMER 2018 UPDATE

Leave a comment Standard

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