Novotel Manila: Staycation Hotel Review (Araneta Center, QC)

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We started our stay at Novotel Manila Araneta Center with a delectable afternoon tea or merienda at their exclusive and luxurious Premier Lounge where they offer canapes, pastries, cakes, coffee and tea. As Executive guests, we received free and unlimited access to the lounge on the 24th floor and enjoyed said menu delights with breathtaking views of the city. The Premier lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a 360 degree view of Manila’s skyline, the bay, and the Rizal mountains. We found ourselves a cozy spot from which we took in the scenery and relaxed for a bit prior to checking in to our Executive Room.

Our Executive Room was decorated with bright and lively colors. The walls’ cheerful colors and geometric patterns set off the crisp white sheets on our Live N Dream bed. We intended to bring our work with us that night, so we were relieved to find out that our Executive Room has an ergonomic desk and chair, numerous international friendly electric plugs with built-in USB chargers for devices, Bluetooth speaker for jamming out to your favorite tunes, and HDMI ports to connect your device to the TV for projecting movies. After unpacking, I made a fresh cup of coffee with their espresso machine and placed my feet up on their chaise lounge by the window while I admired the view of Quezon City below. Meanwhile, Raina enjoyed the modern bathroom with its spacious, open concept design with motorized privacy curtains, revitalizing rain shower, and exclusive brand of fair trade bath products.

All freshened up, we went back up to the Premier Lounge for some Pre-Dinner Cocktails to sample their red and white wines, signature cocktails and ceviche. We brought out our drinks to the balcony and enjoyed the sun setting behind the iconic Manila skyline.

For dinner, we headed over to the 6th Pool Bar & Lounge. It’s the go-to hot-spot in Quezon City after a game or a concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum next door, locals gather here to celebrate and wind down. Business professional stop by for after-work drinks and casual meals. The stylish outdoor area beckons with its oversized loungers and parasols. We had a sumptuous meal paired with talented, live musicians for Acoustic Thursday.

First up was their Sharing Platter (PHP 530) which is a sampler of all home grown, organic, and delicious three dips (Hummus Bi Tahini, Baba Ghannouj, and Tzatziki).

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Sharing Platter (PHP 530)

Next, we ordered a pair of all of their skewers:

Parmesan Stick (PHP 370) with Tasmanian pepper and spring onion
Dried Mango Candy (PHP 470) from El Dorado Garden and bacon skewer
Tuna Skewers (PHP 570) from Roxas and Pancetta stick with coriander
Sous Vide of Beef Skewer (PHP 630) with cashew nuts and maldo sea salt

As if that wasn’t enough, we also shared Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (PHP 370)  and another bestseller, the Fried Dilis Basket (PHP 370) served with sweet potato fries.

Finally, we ended off our evening with extremely tender and juicy Australian Lamb Chops (PHP 1350) served with a side of pan fried potatoes.

We got up particularly early to work out and get our heart pumping on advanced cardio machines, all-in-one weight trainer, and free weights at their Fitness Center. Thankfully, the Fitness Center is open from 6AM because we wanted to get a work out in before we started stuffing ourselves with great eats at the Food Exchange Manila.

As soon as we walked in, we were welcomed by a kaleidoscope of colors and a vibrant setting for breakfast. The culinary theater showed off 6 overflowing and interactive cooking stations: Japanese, Chinese, Indian, grill, international favorites and desserts. Whatever you are in the mood for, you can find it at Food Exchange Manila: Filipino favorites, authentic Chinese stir fry and noodles, Indian cuisine, pizzas, seafood, desserts, specialty drinks, freshly prepared churros and even an array of salts to heighten your meal. The bright modern decor represents the beauty and diversity of the Philippines, while an al fresco area surrounds you with lush greenery. Breakfast buffet is open from 6:30am to 10:30am so if you want to beat the crowd, you better be an early bird.

Right next to the Food Exchange, we headed over to the Gourmet Bar to try out the delicious Chef’s Specials which feature seasonal organic produce from their farm in El Dorado Rizal. They’ve got a relaxing lounge and a laid-back restaurant that’s open 24 hours – it’s the perfect spot for impromptu meetings and casual get-togethers in Metro Manila’s Quezon City area. We ordered the Chef’s Double Burger (PHP 670), Black Linguine with Crab Paste (PHP 390), and Pizza Lungga Braesola Con Rucola e Grana (PHP 470).

Before checking out, we just had to stop by and beat the Manila heat with refreshing gelato treats from Indulge, which features creamy and interesting flavors from Carmen’s Best. Raina and I grabbed a cone and cup of their homemade gelato made from natural ingredients and with no preservatives. Indulge tempts you to try all the gelato flavors from familiar to some you’ve never imagined. In true Italian form, Indulge also offers the country’s traditional sweet treats to include the Classic Tiramisu, Cannoli and Zeppole.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center is a modern hotel in Quezon City’s business and leisure district and the first Novotel in the Philippines. With the Smart Araneta Coliseum right next door, the Gateway Tower Mall nearby and public transport (MRT, LRT and Araneta Center Center Busport) on your doorstep, Novotel Manila Araneta Center is in the prime location from which to explore the city. As with every guest, we loved how were treated like VIP! With its Grand Ballrooms and Function Halls, Novotel Manila is the perfect venue to host corporate events, weddings, debuts and other life events. It also has an Events Pavilion and a round hanging garden on the 6th floor near the pool for a more relaxed environment.

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