A Rainy Day Staycation at Discovery Suites Manila, Ortigas

The hubby and I decided to treat our kids to a staycation as a last hurrah before they started the schoolyear.  We had very specific criteria in mind when we were scouting for a destination, and because of these, we were able to experience Discovery Suites Manila in the Ortigas district.

So. We were three families with kids, with some coming from the north and some were coming from the south of Manila.  We decided to get three rooms to accommodate the lot of us: two adjoining deluxe suites with two queen beds each, and a one-bedroom serendipity suite.

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It was a busy Independence Day Weekend at the hotel
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The Ball was excitedly exploring the lobby while we checked in
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At one corner of the lobby, there was a model of Discovery Suites Manila as the center of the Ortigas business district
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And because it was the Independence Day Weekend, there were some historical memorabilia on display.

I’m happy to say that based on our primary decision criteria (decision criteria talaga eh!), Discovery Suites Manila did not disappoint. Here’s a rundown of the reasons we had for choosing this as our staycation destination:

1) Good reviews but would not break the bank.

We searched online for a hotel that would offer staycation deals that were kid-friendly but give value for money. Discovery Suites Manila was #2 in the Ortigas hotels on TripAdvisor, and we found a good deal on the hotel’s website which included breakfast with the rooms. So we booked online, and were good to go.

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These greeted us upon our entry into the rooms.
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A closer look at the sweet stuff. The kids devoured these right away, leaving the fruits for the adults. All three rooms had welcome treats like this.

 

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Nice touch
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Our deluxe room with two queen beds. Perfect space for our family of two adults and two kids. Two of our rooms were like these.
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I was so looking forward to binging on some TV time, but the kids got to the remote first.
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Yep, this is how the Ball “explores”.

 

 

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I know. My heart stops every time.

One mishap though during check-in was that we needed to request for a different one-bedroom. The first one given to us had a strong smell of paint, presumably from the construction work going on on the floor directly above the suite. Lesson Learned: Ask about on-going construction and renovation work when booking, and request for rooms far away from it.

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Kitchen and dining area in the first one-bedroom we were given. We also requested for a cot for my brother-in-law’s family, and it was there when we went to check the rooms.
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The Princess was already getting comfy while I called the front desk to request for another room. Sorry Princess.
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Bedroom of the One-Bedroom Serendipity suite. I honestly liked the layout of this one better than the next one we were given.

Because the hotel was almost fully booked, the only other one-bedroom suite available was on the floor below ours. We would have all wanted to be on the same floor so the cousins’ rooms would be next to each other. But this was no biggie, the transfer was done promptly and courteously.

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Dining area of the one-bedroom they gave as replacement for the first one. It looked a tad outdated compared to the first, but was functional nonetheless.
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The bedroom was bigger in this one, albeit for me, a tad less cheery.

I appreciated the spaciousness of the rooms and the open corridors, which made the hotel feel roomy but cozy at the same time. The rooms and the amenities were complete and clean, and I appreciate the welcome touches which made the kids feel excited about our stay.

2) Accessible and convenient for all.

We wanted to stay somewhere mid-way, translating in anywhere from the vicinities of Ortigas to Makati. Discovery Suites Manila is conveniently located in the Ortigas Business District, so more-or-less equal travel time for everyone.

3) Must have a small kitchenette.

Since the cousins love to play together and run around in the room, food and drink must always be on-hand to fuel their energy. The one-bedroom suite had a small kitchenette equipped with a microwave, toaster, stove, basic cookware, glassware, cutlery, and refrigerator. Perfect for heating up those leftovers or eating in as a family.

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Kitchenette of the one-bedroom Serendipity Suite

4) Must have a pool.

It was a somewhat rainy Independence Day weekend, but we were bent on having the cousins go for a swim. The fact that Discovery Suites Manila advertised a partially-covered pool practically sealed the deal for us.

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Though smaller than most hotel pools, the fact that it was covered while it raining made it feel “safer” for the kids to swim.
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That’s the whole pool

5) Near a mall and food establishments.

When the hubby’s side of the family plan staycations, one usual requirement is that the hotel be near or next to a mall. That way, we can easily buy food and other essentials, plus the ladies can conveniently take turns watching the very active kids in the room and going on “mall time”.  Discovery Suites Manila is right across from Podium, plus it’s walking distance to El Pueblo (where there are several restos), and has a convenience store right at the back.

But actually, because of the weather, we didn’t even leave the hotel the whole time we were there. We just had food from the nearby restos delivered during mealtime and ate in our rooms.. while all the while the kids wrestled, played, ran, jumped, and ate their way through the weekend.

If you’ve read my blog entries on our staycations, you’ll know this mom always looks forward to the breakfast buffet (translation: takaw!). We really enjoyed the hearty breakfast buffet at the hotel’s Restaurant 51. The breakfast spread had all the essential elements to make this mom smile: cereals, yogurt, and pasta for the kids, meat and chicken entrees, garlic rice, veggies, bread and cheese, jams and spreads, juice selections, an egg station, and of course, unlimited crispy bacon!

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Restaurant 51. My family really enjoyed the breakfast spread.

Service was also prompt and welcoming. Even if we took our sweet time enjoying breakfast with lots of happy and cheerful kids, even lingering over coffee while the kids played or colored at the table, we didn’t feel like we were being hurried at all.

Aside from what I already mentioned, something that got a very big thumbs up from me was the Kiddie Romp Room. After eating our fill at breaky, the cousins had a blast at the hotel’s playroom which was located on the same floor.

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Kiddie Romp Room.

Upon entering the Kiddie Romp Room, you’ll discover it’s actually a two-bedroom suite converted to a playroom. So, the whole area is made up of three connecting rooms. There’s a sink for washing hands upon entering the foyer and where you leave your shoes (where the kitchen used to be), and the other two rooms have their own bathrooms. The designs on the walls and mounts seemed to be well-thought of, and the area was both inviting and very functional, with lots of different things to do. There’s also an attendant there who assists you, reminds you to take off your shoes, and asks everyone to log in upon entry.

Here let me show you.

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What used to be the living/dining room. There’s a small toddler slide, toddler seesaw, mini-stage, and several wooden and plastic toys the kids can play with. There’s also a landline and couch to the side for the guardians’ use. You can see doors of the two adjoining (bed)rooms on the right.
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Left wall of the main area
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The mini-playground sets were safe for even my three-year old to explore by himself
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Toddler slide and swing set
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Right wall next to the first adjoining room
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I like that I could take quick breathers on the couch while watching the Ball climb and play
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The Ball in the house of balls
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Bowling sets and pins which the Princess and the Hubby tried out
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Playroom house rules. Bedroom 1 is on the right side of the rules, while Bedroom 2 on the left.

Though the main room had a lot of toys and playground sets already, the other two rooms were awesome to play in, too. It gave the kids other areas to explore. Here’s converted Bedroom No. 1.

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The Ball running into Bedroom 1, which had wooden toy sets on the wall and on kiddie tables and chairs, big comfy pillows to relax or read on, a small tent, and….
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…A Wii console! 
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The selection wasn’t extensive, but it did keep the Princess and her Papa busy while the Ball and I played with the wooden toys at the back
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Princess: Wahoo!! I won at bowling! C’mon, try it, try it!
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Ball: Sige you play lang there, Ate. I’m giving Mama a break and playing quietly with these wooden farm toys before I run around again.

Converted Bedroom No. 2 had a lot to offer, too.

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More wooden, plastic, and stuffed toys in Bedroom No. 2. There was a mini kitchen, toy pastries and treats, and tea sets for a tea party. There was even a small bed where guardians can relax (and moms maybe breastfeed too)!
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The Hubby and the ball trying the wooden puzzles out
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Still going at ’em puzzles while there were other kids (and parents) having a tea party on the table.
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Yep, still going..
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There was also a mini-stage where your child’s inner diva/rock star can have a go.
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Leaving the wooden toys for a while and playing with the stuffies

So yeah, the kids loved the Romp Room. I like that the toys and features were age-appropriate for my kids. Kami na ni Hubby ang sumuko. The kids didn’t want to leave and would have probably spent even more hours there if we let them.

Aside from the fact na na-tense kami lahat while parking (their basement parking is insane! If you’re bringing an SUV, have the valet do it. You WILL thank me.), I’m happy that the family had a staycation at Discovery Suites Manila. The facilities were good, we enjoyed the pool and the rooms, we had a great breakfast, and there were lots to do. We didn’t even feel the need to leave the hotel, and a good thing too, since it was a rainy weekend. This was indeed a very fitting huling hirit before taking on the challenges of a new schoolyear.

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