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