Category Archives: Hotel

Cool Treats from Novotel

Cool treats as the summer temperature rise and long hot months arrives, Novotel Manila Araneta Center in Quezon City  gives us the coolest and sweetest reasons to beat the smoldering summer heat and visit Novotel Manila Araneta Center on April 16 onward – as Ice N Cream by Novotel, the newest ice cream destination in town will start scooping their fun, creative and most of all delicious ice cream flavors!

Novotel, Araneta Center- Cubao, Quezon City

What is nice with their ice cream is that they uses no stabilizers like gum arabic , gelatin or any form of emulsifier. On the left side was Carmen’s Best ice cream and Novotel own artisanal ice cream chef .

tropical fruits like soursoup /guyabano , calamansi, durian, mangoes, passion fruit ,coconut , avocado, ube are just some of the ice cream flavors

There are a lot of flavors ranging from Philippines tropical fruits such as calamansi with honey to passion fruit and vanilla ice cream with real vanilla essence .

ice cream toppings

There are different kinds of toppings to choose from : chocolate sprinkle, gummy bears, corn flakes, jelly candies, chocnut bars, merange, dried fruits , chocolate crinkles, cookies , marshmallows, raisins  among others.

Ice N Cream Promo 

To jump start the launching season, Ice N Cream by Novotel will generously extend complimentary one (1) scoop of ice cream for every purchase of one (1) scoop of any ice cream flavors (diner pays for the higher priced ice cream flavor) starting Easter Sunday, April 16 to 29.

Media and Bloggers

What’s more, if you are  social media savvy and aspiring “IT” girls and guys, join Novotel iScreamers: search for the Ice N Cream Dream Team, simply follow Novotel Manila Araneta Center’s Facebook fan page at and share why should you be part of Novotel iScreamers, take your shot to be part of the lucky five (5) to win generous and exciting prizes such as a year’s supply of ice cream at Ice N Cream by Novotel (two scoops per day until April 2018), one (1) overnight stay in an Executive Suite with breakfast and Premier Lounge access, exclusive pass to product tasting, events and new flavor launches, meet and greet with Bb. Pilipinas Candidates on April 28 during the Ice N Cream grand launching plus much more.

Executive Chef Micheal Schaub

Made from premium local and imported ingredients from Germany and France, gluten-free, less sugar and stabilizer-free, the Ice N Cream by Novotel showcases yummy flavors like Cocoyeah, creamy coconut milk mixed with slivers of young coconut meat; Passionista, pleasantly sweet and tart silky passion fruit goodness; Papa Don Preach (alcoholic), plump, juicy raisins enhanced with a kick of warmth from rum; Oh Honey Honey (sugar-free), local lime zing blended with Tagaytay honey; Yo Berry Yo!, merriment of tartness from Swiss yogurt and mixed berries; Leche De Almond, velvety leche flan crowned with crunchy Almond Florentine; Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, rich notes of coffee with real coffee bean crunch; and more luscious flavors. Ice N Cream flavors are reasonably priced from Php100 nett per scoop.

Carmen’s Best Ice Cream

More than the delish ice cream offerings, Ice N Cream by Novotel also features freshly made pastries and baked favorites like Coconut Cheesecake, Chocolate Praline Cake, Mini Mango Passion Cake, Croissant, Danish breads, Double Chocolate Chip cookies, Honey Pistachio cookies and much more.

With Novotel, AccorHotels offers every guest the freedom to fully enjoy their stay.

Korean chef

 Novotel Hotels, Suites & Resorts provide a multi-service offer for both business and leisure guests, with spacious, modular rooms, 24/7 catering offers with balanced meals, meeting rooms, attentive and proactive staff, kid areas, a multi-purpose lobby and fitness centers. Novotel has over 470 hotels and resorts in 61 countries, ideally located in the heart of major international cities, business districts and tourist destinations.

AccorHotels, the world’s leading hotel operator, is present in 95 countries with more than 4,000 hotels and 240,000 employees.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center is strategically situated inside Araneta Center and just few steps away from shopping malls, entertainment centers, Araneta Coliseum and business offices. For more information and reservations, please call (02) 990 7888 or email To know more about Novotel Manila Araneta Center, visit or

Family Holiday Vacation at Azalea -Baguio

Family Holiday Vacation is never complete without a stay at Azalea Hotels and Residences in Baguio . This 4 star service apartment hotel is consistently ranked #1 by travel sites like TripAdvisor and other independent travel and tour operators .


The 99-room hotel had also a branch at Boracay and is planning to expand to key cities like Mandaluyong in Metro Manila , Iloilo and Davao .

Azalea Residences -Baguio


Azalea Hotel and Residences is located at Leonard Wood Loop, off the busy central district of Baguio City but conveniently close to the city’s must see destination, the narrow uphill street leading to Azalea Residences Baguio is very unassuming of what lies ahead.


This is just adjacent the Teacher’s Camp and a few minutes away from Burnham Park, Session Road , SM Baguio , Baguio Museum , Mansion , Baguio Cathedral . One can walk or ride a jeep to their favorite destination.

complimentary drinks

Our group arrived past 9:00am on March 25 Saturday and We were greeted by Sir Paul Kristian Fil Darang ( Concierge ) , Ms. Bestudio Makhalim and Mr. Arfourth Samadan. The group also got complimentary ‘welcome ‘ drinks. The we were ushered to the breakfast buffet at the tent area .

Tradisyon ( Pinoy Comfort Food )

The restaurant had a good choices of breakfast menus which composed of local dishes , international menus , pastries , soup ,fresh fruits, dalandan juice, mango juice and unlimited coffee and chocolate .

breakfast buffet

 We stayed at a 2 bed room apartment suite with sofa bed . Mr. Allan, Mr. Orlee Pasion , Sir Ver Garcia , AXL Guinto and the author stayed at room 403 . There is a window and balcony area .

The two bedroom apartment suite can accommodate 4 adults with 2 children or 6 adults – Peak rates is at Php 15,000 ( October to May ) while off peak rates cost Php 13,500 ( June to September ). It is also advisable to pre-book at least 2 week in advance at weekday rates are cheaper compared to weekend. There is also a lot of perks and privileges , when you join the club .

Azalea Vacation Club is a premier vacation ownership that makes having a vacation as simple as a cup of tea on a restful, quiet afternoon. Featuring the best vacation spots on the famed Philippine islands where everything is simply more fun, Azalea Vacation Club offers members a vacation experience that is never boring, always memorable and worth every cent.




Fun and Relaxation at Azalea Hotel and Residences in Baguio

No. 7 Leonard Wood Loop, Brgy. Manuel Roxas, Baguio City

It was past 6:30 am when our group left Quezon City , passing several towns and provinces on our way to Baguio City ( Summer Capital and Flower Capital ) of the country. Our group wanted to have fun and relaxation within Baguio .  It had been 4 years since i last set foot in the city.

SCTEX toll gate

The travel was smooth and comfortable . Despite the ongoing road construction at Kennon road  , We manage to arrive safety within the hotel premises by 11:00 am , A good 4 hours and 30 minutes drive from Metro Manila. Our group had 2 brief stop over one at NLEX and La Union .

lion’s head

We spend about 5 hours and 30 minutes when we last visited Baguio in 2012.  The lion’s head is located at Camp 6 and is considered as an iconic landmark of Baguio.  There were a lot of stalls selling handcrafts and souvenir items not only around Baguio but also nearby provinces .

Azalea Hotels and Residences -Baguio

Azalea Residences -Baguio is a new hotel and building compound which is located along Leonard Wood street, the end of the road is a magnificently massive deluxe serviced apartment / hotel which had 99 modern suites, each unit having its own kitchen, living , bedroom and bathroom areas.


deluxe room with its own kitchen and dining area

The hotel also had dedicated 2 rooms for People with Disability ( PWD) within the ground floor.  This is the only hotel in Baguio with full services and amenities of an upscale serviced apartment . There are also seasonal fluctuation on room rates ( off-peak rates if one booked from monday to thursday ) Please check their website .

ramp way

There is also a ramp way for people with disability . The ramp way  is also  good to use for those people having difficulties in climbing the stairs .


The hotel is getting positive reviews from their clientele and foreigners . I have met a foreigner from Europe and He told me that the building reminded him of houses in Switzerland and Germany .

center fountain

There is also a pocket garden with a fountain located at the middle of the building , this also serve as a focal point and great photo opportunity site for those visitors to the hotel premises.

hotel balcony

  The building is modern with a touch of Swiss chalet style in design and some rooms have scenic views of the surrounding mountains, buildings and pine trees.


The hotel had a playground for kids and a small garden with a lot of flowering annuals plants and azalea flowers .

azalea flower

Azalea is a flowering shrub which is found growing in higher elevation and in temperate countries . I think the proprietors choose the name because of the unique features of the flower and its vivid colors . However , I think this flowering plant will not survive the hot and humid conditions of Metro Manila .  There are also some native azaleas growing within the vicinity of Baguio .

vertical wall garden

parking space

There is also an ample parking space for visitors of the hotel ,  I would recommend guests to pre-book parking slot if you are planning to bring a car or family van.

spacious dining area ( Tradisyon ) 

breakfast buffet

breakfast buffet meal viands includes regional , national and international flavors

fashion and lifestyle bloggers enjoyed the hearty meal

lifestyle , travel , fashion and online writers

The hotel also conducts tours for team building, visitors , guests at different scenic spots within Baguio and nearby location . ( More about the other popular tourist spots and restaurants within Baguio on my next update )

Azalea Baguio: 7 Leonard Wood Loop, Baguio, 2600 Benguet (across Teachers’ Camp)
Mobile Numbers : 0917 861 1641 and 0919 994 4140

For Reservations:

Website :

Facebook Page: AzaleaResidencesBaguioCity


Special Mention : to  Ms. Grace Bondad Nicolas, Mr. Melo Villareal , Ms. Mikka Alaia Nalupa, Ms. Elisa Escobar  for the opportunity to visit  and have fun at Azalea Hotel and the tourist spots within the city.

Hotel Sogo Reinvents Brand for Barkadas and All Types of Celebrations


Hotel Sogo , Quezon Avenue -Quezon City , Philippines

Hotel Sogo, the largest hotel chain in the Philippines, beefs u its Go! Go ! Sogo promo encouraging barkadas and couples to patronized the hotel for bonding , relaxation , group study and for all types of celebrations with the family.

Hotel Sogo branches

Hotel Sogo boasts of exquisite features and comfort at affordable rates ! Families can enjoy free Wi-FI access , cable TV with in-house movie channel , digital music system , 24-hou food and beverage service among the hotel’s most popular amenities.

sky bar function areas overlooking the city line

The Hotel Sogo-Quezon Avenue branch ( Skybar had a SRO of around 350 pax and with sitting capacity of around 250 PAX) One can view the skyline with over 180 degree view  of the surrounding cities and building. In fact, they would get 20 to 25 company during the peak season like during the month of December and January .

Hotel Sogo 2016 Media Thanksgiving Party

The promo also highlights the hotel’s accessibility , high- quality  and affordable service . Hotel Sogo is also known for having courteous , well -trained and hospitable employees for its continuous trainings and seminars at their House Hospitality Training School called Hotel Management Institute of the Philippines.

Hotel Sogo employees and management

Coinciding with its promo, Hotel Sogo extends help through Doctors on Wheels ( DOW) Program , by providing free medical consultations and medications to under-served communities throughout the country.

Dj Ligaya together with Ms. Sue Germinaino

” Hotel Sogo has always believed in being of service to the Filipino , not only to the patrons of our hotels, but especially to the underprivileged community . Since Hotel Sogo started its operation , Hotel Sogo has strived and has been committed to delivering important service to the Filipinos’, adds Ms. Sue Germiniano . Since the inception of DOW in 2015 , about 3,000 indigent residents have already benefited from the program.

catering services

Moreover, this coming May , Hotel Sogo is launching its first ever Digital Film Contest for amateur and professional film makers throughout the country . The contest aims to help convey their creativity and imaginations through Digital Films.

prizes allotted to the media and bloggers 

Three entries will be chosen as winners and will receive Php 100,000 ( 1st Prize) , Php 70,000 ( 2nd Prize ) and Php 50,000 ( 3rd Prize ) . Mechanics and Guidelines will be release this May for interested film makers.

Some branches would host band concerts, bikini contest and singing contest in some of their branches.

Note: The author would like to ” THANK” Think Tank Global Branding , Inc. and Hotel Sogo management for the invitation.

You can also find them on twitter:

Chinese New Year Sumptuous Buffet at Hotel Ramada-Manila

 Hotel Ramada Central – Manila , Philippines

Ramada Manila Central

Binondo Fireworks and Firecracker Lovers Organization in partnership with Walk with Chan organized a Chinatown tour together with freelance writers, bloggers , instagram users, advocates and balikbayans from the United States.


We decided to book at the Hotel Ramada, Manila – Special Chinese New Year buffet to spend quality eating good food , cozy atmosphere , away from the crowded restaurants and have our moments inside the hotel.

stuffed monkey

This is the best and classiest hotel within Binondo district with 4-star rating classification.

buffet table

They also offers regular breakfast and lunch buffet at the second floor ( News Cafe) which cost around Php 390 to Php 400 plus .  With tens of thousand of people, foreigners , balikbayans , tsinoys and even pinoys are within the vicinity of Chinatown attending the event . The restaurants within the area cannot accommodate all these people with hungry appetite for food and adventure. It is wise to try their buffet meal for a little change.

Luna Function Room

The management choose a ballroom which can accommodate between 250 to 300 PAX specially intended for the occasion . A big leap from 150 to 200 PAX last year held at the Luna Function Room with a spacious balcony overlooking streets and skyline .

Plaza Calderon dela Barca  aka Plaza Binondo , Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila with iconic Binondo buildings

Despite last minute advisory about the buffet schedule ( They have an earlier and longer promo last year 2015 )  , We still manage to huddle around a dozen people and referred at least some more thru our social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.


Chinese kikiam ( quekeng ) ala Hotel Ramada

The group was later joined by Mr. Ralph Soriano and Mr. Ronald Ongham after about half an hour later at past 12 noon .Mr. Ronald Ongham is a regular client at the ( News Cafe) and the waiter instantly recognized him from our group.

Atty. Dulce Punzalan enjoyed the lunch buffet

pork asado and peking duck station

salad station

sushi station

steam pork with special sauce

group photo with the manager

The group stayed about an hour or so at the function room . We enjoyed the hearty meal and photo opportunities .

Here is our group review of the Special Chinese New Year buffet meal and a few other people which also ate there  . The ratings are based on our criteria like pricing , service , quality of the foods, presentation and ambiance of the hotel.

Pricing – There is not a big difference between eating a Chinese lauriat-style dining and the buffet meal, considering it is Chinese New Year and almost all the restaurants within the vicinity area are full to their capacity .

Food – In general , our group liked the foods that they have included in their menu minus the Peking duck ( which is a little wet – I think they only marinated the duck for just a day or so ) Some of our group always eat at Chinese restaurant so there is a difference over the Peking duck that we have tasted .

Yang Chow Fried Rice

Yang Chow Fried Rice , A little bit soggy ( the rice is a little bit malagkit at dik-dikit ) I am not fond of eating rice which i cannot see the grains.

Almond gelatin – We missed the white fungus soup served last year .

Desserts and Pastries are almost similar to last year . They also have fried tikoy

Chinese style-kikiam ala Ramada Hotel is better compared to other traditional kikiam in Binondo.

Drinks – Having a bottomless powdered juice by Oishi and bottomless brewed coffee is definitely a big change over last year .

Sushi bar , Soup Station, Dimsum corner and Salad bar – are almost the same as last year with slight changes.

We also think that they should have brought back the boneless lechon and marinated chicken with sauce last year .

Overall , We gave the rating of 7.80 out of a possible 10 points which is fairy good but those who have eaten in last year’s buffet would rate the 2015 Chinese New Year edition higher .

Enjoying Breakfast Buffet Meal at LaiLai Hotel

LaiLai Hotel, Sabino Padilla corner Ongpin street, Binondo , Manila -Philippines

LaiLai Hotel entrance

We decided to meet at the Lai Lai Hotel and try their breakfast buffet meal within Binondo district in Manila. The hotel had been offering  buffet meals for the past one year to their guests and walk -in clients .

buffet area

The hotel is well-known within Binondo district for several decades and it is favorite place among Chinese, Koreans and Japanese tourists.

Buffet area can accommodate up to 80 people at any given time, Since it was sunday – Most of the clients ate there at around past 8:00am.

Buffet meal cost Php 148 per person and according to the staff of the hotel, they change some of the meal viands everyday .

buffet table with hotel staffs

The price is pretty okey , One can choose from about a dozen viands which includes misua soup , congee , garlic fried rice, salted vegetable ( kiam chay ) , tocino , steam fish in light soy sauce with chilies , deboned fried milkfish ( bangus) , scrambled  and fried egg, tasty bread, steamed tofu in light soy based soup, stir fry bitter gourd with egg (sir fry ampalaya ) and bottomless powdered grape or orange juice , brewed coffee or ordinary filtered water.

The hotel also have buffet lunch and buffet evening supper at Php 299 and Php 399 respectively .

Note: Please refer to the buffet meal guidelines of the hotel and no sharing of foods , no leftovers and not applicable to other promos and senior citizen discounts.






Meeting of Stamp Collectors at the Lotus City Garden Hotel

Lotus Garden Hotel , A Mabini corner Padre Faura street , Ermita, Manila-Philippines

I was invited by Mr. Reynaldo Ong de Jesus and Mr. Hans Becker after the stamp awareness exhibition at the Saint Stephen High School last November 9, 2015 . He just told me that an important stamp collector is in town and a well-known local philatelist is also visiting .

collectors had fun time chatting

I quickly joined the impromtu meet-up at the Lotus City Garden Hotel.  This is also the place where Mr. Hans Becker is staying until his departure for Cebu the following day. When we arrived at the hotel lobby, Sir Rey told us that we are going to meet Mr. Nigel Gooding and his wife Velda together with local philatelist and stamp book author Mr. Jorge H. Cuyugan of Pampanga .

Mr. Jorge H. Cuyugan holding one of his books published in the mid-1990’s

Mr. Cuyugan is author of several philatelic and numismatic books which were published in the mid -1990’s and early 2000.  I have featured him conducting free public lectures at the PHLPOST vicinity way back in 2011.

Link to previous post:

The hotel lobby had a mini-collection of dolls from the Philippines and from other countries affix on a doll case. The dolls are some sort of attractions to the visitors of the hotel and restaurant.

There is also a breakfast buffet which only cost Php 300 per head, however we were not able to catch -up since we arrived past 11:00am

chicken and pork adobo meal -good for 2 person

The group just ordered a-la carte meals and desserts by Cilantro restaurant.

 I have tasted better and more tender adobo compared to the ones being served at the hotel, Perhaps they are catering to the foreign guests at the hotel which does like the strong vinegar taste.

pork tocino meal

Collectively , the hotel had an interesting Filipino ala carte breakfast meal served to their guests, each plate cost Php 250  had a combination of beef tapa/ boneless bangus , longganisa / pork tocino / corned beef , served with garlic fried rice and pickled papaya ( atchara ) with coffee or tea or sliced fresh fruit in season.

pork adobo meal


I have the privilege of speaking and meeting with Mr. Nigel Gooding, This is my first time to meet him in person. I have seen his vast collection of Spanish- Philippines stamps ( via internet and some publication of IPPS)  and on covers . I must say it is quite impressive. He started his stamp collecting when he was studying in Xavier School way back in the mid- 1970’s.  He was born in the Philippines and stayed for several years before studying in Australia and now staying in England .

blueberry cheese cake

He is quite fluent in Filipino and got a chance to ask him about stamp clubs that he joined when he was still in the Philippines. He told me that there used to be more stamp clubs when he started collecting them.

He met a lot of old -time stamp collectors and dealers which were quite helpful . Prices of Spanish-Philippines stamp and on covers were not that expensive when he started collecting. He began with mostly Philippine republic stamps and FDC ( First Day Covers) which were quite cheap and can easily be bought with pocket change or school allowance then gradually moving to the more difficult covers and Spanish era .

The group had quite a good long chat before we parted ways, Mr. Robert Tan ( former President of Philippine Philatelic Federation ) joined then in the late afternoon . Mr. Reynaldo Ong de Jesus, Mr. Jorge Cuyugan and the author had to rush for our afternoon appointments and we had to go before Mr. Tan arrived at the hotel.

It was a good meeting and i learn a lot of things from these people whom i consider as pillars of philately ( stamp collecting) in the Philippines. They tirelessly promote stamp collecting . It is quite rare now a days that people would really concentrate on these things.  We bid farewell to one another and hope that we will have another fruitful acquaintances in the future.

Nigel Gooding :