A Post-Valentine's Staycation with Roomorama

Metro Manila's cityscape from One Rockwell's sky lounge
Last January, while I was contemplating on what to do on Valentine's Day, I had thought of having a staycation with my family. But this time, I want something different from a hotel or a resort, for the mere reason that I want the feel of a home away from home. Good thing I came across Roomorama, an online short-term rental booking engine that champions a new way to travel in Asia and the world over.

I was reading through the website and learned that Roomorama.com was founded in 2009 by entrepreneurs Jia En Teo and Federico Folcia out of their Manhattan apartment. Caught between professional obligations and the love of travel, the two would rent out their New York apartments to their friends. They used their earnings to subsidize their travel needs. Gradually became a habit, they advertised their apartment but noticed that advertising back then involved too many risks. They identified the need for a platform that will handle short-term rental transactions securely and quickly, thus, the birth of Roomorama.

I got intrigued by the concept, so I started browsing through their properties online, and to my delight, the wide array of accommodations they offer did not disappoint. Roomorama offers practically all sorts of accommodation around the world- from quaint rooms to opulent villas. There's this stylish executive suite in Soi Langsuan in Bangkok, a beachfront property in Sri Lanka, a luxury apartment in Taipei, a minimalist villa in Krabi...name it, they have it! And surprisingly, the rates (compared to suites and villas of the same size  and amenities in hotels and resorts) are way more affordable! Having seen this, I browsed through their properties in the Philippines, and in a snap, a plethora of different properties that they offer appeared on my screen. Imagine, they have vacation houses,villas, suites and rooms in Bohol, Davao, Palawan, Cebu, Metro Manila, Baguio and a lot more!

Since I have no plans of going out of town for Valentine's Day, I decided to check out their Metro Manila properties. Nice serviced residences, condominiums and apartments were available. There was even a beautiful house with a rustic Old Manila charm. Among these, I chose a loft at One Rockwell in Makati. Just a few clicks and voila, our V-Day celebration was all set. I must say that Roomorama is so fuss-free and easy to use.

I also had the chance to communicate with the owner of the loft I would rent for the weekend succeeding heart's day. The owners were so helpful and accommodating in answering my queries about the unit.

When I asked them what do they think of Roomorama, this is what one of the owners said:

"Booking a vacation property at Roomorama gives travelers more variety -- for a lower price. Our Loft for instance. We don't know of a hotel that has the kind of architecture that we have. It is fully furnished with complete dining, kitchen, living, bedroom & bathroom amenities and is located in a secured, posh community. The loft is also walking distance to practically everything you need; has 24-hour concierge; has 100% stand-by emergency power, has hi-class building amenities; has very good wifi & cable TV for FREE, selection of movies on DVD for free, has local assistance--all these-- for just  US$75 a night. It does sound cool, doesn't it?" says Chris, one of the owners.

On the day of our staycation at the loft in One Rockwell, the owners' caretaker met us at the chic lobby. The  owners pre-arranged the necessary permits from the property management office, so checking-in was fuss-free. The caretaker had given us an access card, which will serve as our pass to practically everything in the building - elevator, swimming pool and sky lounge.

When we entered the loft, I must admit I was so happy. Not only it is beautiful and well-maintained, the loft indeed feels like a home - exactly what I want for this staycation.

The cozy living room
The cozy living room has two sofas and a flatscreen cable TV. It is spacious and refreshing to look at since it has wide glass windows that allow natural light to come in. The entire loft has wifi, too!

"All the furniture in our loft (except the chess & console tables ) are originally from other countries; and were bought from different collectors--antique, designer & auctioneers," Chris adds.

Fully-furnished kitchen
The kitchen has its own range with rotisserie, a fridge, a coffeemaker, toaster, kettle and a microwave oven. There were plates, cups, glasses and utensils, too, so you can play Martha Stewart here. The dining room isn't so cramped unlike in other condos or apartments. The good thing about it is that you won't get tired of hotel food! This is more cost-efficient and convenient especially for families.

Dining Room
A beautiful painting welcomed us when we climbed the stairs to the second floor, where the bedroom and the bathroom is.

Staircase leading to the second floor of the loft
The bedroom has a nice view of Rockwell Center, and has a plush bed with fresh linens. There were also two extra mattresses that you can use (the loft can occupy a maximum of four guests).

The bedroom has a nice view of Rockwell Center
In the bedroom, this vintage luggage caught my attention. Very pretty! I wonder where did the owners get this from? Cute!
A vintage luggage serve as an accent in the bedroom
The bathroom is clean and has basic amenities. There's hot and cold water, bidet and washing machine. This loft is really perfect even for long stays!

The bathroom
After we settled in, we left the loft and explored the other facilities at One Rockwell. Our first stop is the sky lounge and the lap pool at the 53rd floor. The breeze here was so refreshing! I almost forgot that I was in Manila because the air was so fresh and it wasn't noisy with beeping cars. The lap pool was so inviting but the cool breeze made us decide to check out the other pool at the ground floor. Oh and by the way, there's a Jacuzzi here, too!

The lap pool at the sky lounge on the 53rd floor
We went down at the ground floor to check out the other pool and the kid's playground. From the pool, I had an amazing view of the modern exteriors of One Rockwell.

One Rockwell West Tower from the ground floor pool
My baby did enjoy the pool here. Water has the right temperature and the depth is kid-friendly. There were some lounge beds available for those who want to bask in the sun and just read a book. If you want some refreshments, the ground floor pool is just steps away from a row of good restaurants like Bizu, Kaya, Apartment 1B, UCC and a lot more. There's even a Starbucks there.

Pool at the Ground Floor
At sunset, my husband was able to catch this stunning Rockwell Center view.

Rockwell Center at night
I must say I did the right decision in booking a loft via Roomorama instead of a hotel this time. The amenities were at par and the cozy feel beckons us to return. Indeed, Roomorama is serious when it says it'll give you a home away from home. And for our Palawan and Siem Reap trips this year, booking through Roomorama is on top of my options. C'est la vie!




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