A Weekend In A Hyatt World

For the past six months, I have been on a roller coaster ride--full of ups and downs; of surprises, both good and bad. It was such a challenge having to cope with such a whirlwind; to balance many hats at the same time. Needless to say, having quality time with my family was somehow put at bay. And when I finally had a chance to slow down, breathe for awhile, and disconnect from it all, I just couldn't resist.

The inviting pool
(photo courtesy of Hyatt City of Dreams Manila)

Without having to leave the metro, I had a well-deserved staycation in one of Manila's poshest destinations--the Hyatt City of Dreams Manila.

A part of  the 6.2-hectare integrated resort development, Hyatt City of Dreams Manila is a two-tower hotel amid an urban resort complex, which integrates entertainment (from child-friendly Dreamplay to exclusive clubs Pangea and Chaos), dining, shopping, and recreation among others. It is nestled just three kilometers away from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), and with the opening of the NAIA Expressway recently, the property is a quick three minutes drive from Terminal 1 and five minutes from Terminal 2. I cannot wait for the access to Terminal 3 to open towards the end of 2016! Its location makes it a top choice as an airport hotel--perfect for layovers while travelling in style.

Booking a room was easy. Just check out the hotel's official website at http://cityofdreamsmanila.hyatt.com where you can book rooms directly. Check the website from time to time for other amazing offers.

Talk about hassle-free
While booking through the website is fast, Hyatt's hassle-free check in is the best. You may opt to check in online (you will receive an email notification for this on your check in date) or through the Club Lounge at the seventh floor (for Club guests only). If you choose the former, there is even an option there that says "notify when room is ready." Very useful platform.

The Club Lounge
Table with a view
We arrived at the chic lobby, which is elegantly adorned by a chandelier inspired by the shape of a mother of pearl, a symbol of prosperity and good luck. A staff ushered us to the elevator and then off we went to the Club Lounge at the seventh floor. We came in a little early, so after filling out some forms, we were led to the dining area of the Club Lounge. Here, snacks such as cookies, prawn crackers, sodas, cold sandwiches, juices, coffee and tea are served all-day. Pre-dinner cocktails that include charcuterie, artisanal cheeses, croquettes, and other canapes are served alongside premium wines starting 6:00 pm. During this time though, children are not allowed at the Club Lounge.

Take your pick
Akisha's getting confused over the selections
Mango iced tea and prawn crackers
Hot chocolate and marshmallows
Cold sandwiches: beef pastrami and Mortadella
After having scrumptious snacks at the Club Lounge, we headed to our room on the third floor. It was located at the far end of an alley but the long walk was worth it. We opened the door to a rather cozy and spacious Aqua Suite. We were originally booked at a deluxe king room but to our delight, we got a super fabulous upgrade!

The Aqua Suite at dusk
Someone's too comfortable
 By spacious, I mean really SPACIOUS. At 85 sqm, this corner room has floor-to-ceiling windows that command unparalleled views of the hotel grounds including the manicured gardens and the iconic Fortune Egg — a golden dome-like structure that houses two upscale clubs,Pangea and Chaos.

The Fortune Egg as seen from the bath
More than the Nespresso machine (which I abused throughout our stay, by the way), what I love most about our room is the marble bathroom. You step in a walk in closet and  to the inviting freestanding bathtub, and finally, to the charming rainshower. If you know me well, you would know that taking a bath is a sacred time for me--it is my |me" time and so I really indulge in it. I can stay under the calming droplets of the rainshower or in the relaxing tub for hours and hours, I swear.

Rain or shine? =)
The marble bath reminds me of Kelly Hoppen
Luxe bath amenities

This room can be a nice choice for honeymooners. Actually, any room in this hotel is perfect for honeymoon. Warm lighting, plush bed, charming marble bathroom, excellent food choices on-call through room service, delectable cuisine at The Cafe, a pool and a spa at the neighbor hotel, Nobu--what else can you ask for?


Speaking of, after settling down in our room, we dressed up right away to check out the swimming pool at the first floor. Since it was a weekend, there were obviously a lot of guests in the area. But this did not stop us from enjoying the hot whirlpool and the even-depth kiddie and adult pools. As soon as we sat on a lounger, a staff handed us clean towels and water. If I abused the coffee machine, my daughter Akisha abused the pool. She enjoyed swimming until sunset.

Cheese time!
While Akisha was indulging the tub in our room after swimming in the pool, I went up to the Club Lounge again to have some pre-dinner cocktails alone. The canapes, cold cuts, and cheeses were tempting. The croquettes were to die for so while I was trying to restrict myself to get more, I gave in. I munched on a few pieces together with slices of beef pastrami and brie, and downed two glasses of Chardonnay. That's it, time for dinner at The Cafe! Off I went down to fetch Akisha and then we went to the hotel's 315-seater all-day buffet restaurant for dinner.

What "cut" would you like?
The Cafe also promotes "sustainable seafood"
A gargantuan talakitok
It was not my first time at The Cafe, but each time I go there, I would always pass on The Beast as either I was already too full from the six live culinary theaters including The Italian (pasta, pizza and Italian favorites), The Grill and Griddle (carvery, grill, Teppan griddle, satay, kebab, yakitori),
The Deli (sushi and sashimi, charcuteries, patés and cheese, salads, bread varieties and terrines, chilled seafood), The Asian (dim sum, Chinese barbeque, wok, noodles and rice), The Comfort and Favorites (tempura, fried dim sum, pressure fried dishes, fried food from around the world),
and The Pastry (soft serve ice cream, pancakes, waffles and crêpes, halo-halo, pastries and cakes, bakery). This time, I made sure to get a slice of The Beast (Snakeriver Farms wagyu beef) done medium. Together with luscious sidings of mashed potatoes (and truffle fries from another station), I got to fully enjoy my slice of The Beast...indeed a killer!

Meet The Beast
Prior to me having the succulent "beast" on my plate, I tried a variety of other options from the different stations. The sushi and sashimi at The Deli were freshly sliced and rolled. I had some spicy tuna maki and it was delicious and not overwhelmingly spicy. The laksa at the Asian station was also good, but what captured my taste buds here were the scallops and the spinach and prawn  dumplings --yum! Akisha, on the other hand indulged in chicken tenders, truffle fries, milkshake, and guess what? She loves the Jamon Serrano, which was freshly cut right before our eyes.

On weekends, there was also unlimited cocktails on offer--we tried some but we couldn't even remember the names of the concoctions. It was that good.

Everything I tried was delish! While it may not be the biggest hotel buffet in the metro, it wins my heart because everything is just well-curated and cooked the way I want. The Cafe is not too overwhelming and the price is reasonable. You may also book a table at http://thecafe.reservation.hyatt.com. Birthday celebrators also get to enjoy free lunch or dinner on the day of their birthday. So, you might want to consider The Cafe the next you blow those candles!

By bedtime while Akisha was fast asleep (tired from all the swimming she did), I indulged in more cups of my favorite Lungo pods: Fortissio (rich and intense) and Vivalto (complex and balanced) while enjoying the views from the window. After that, I lounged on the comfy bed and enjoyed watching a movie on the 42-inch LED television. This is the slow life that I have been longing to enjoy. I felt disconnected from the hullabaloos of the world outside the window but not too far away from being home. Plus, we could really feel the care and warm hospitality of all the staff at the Hyatt City of Dreams. Truly Filipino hospitality that is.

Despite the caffeine rush, I was able to complete more than eight hours of sleep in our cozy suite. Besides a warm shower and bath, sleep is another luxury for me. I was able to recharge big time!

The croissant is to die for
My cappuccino and blueberry yogurt
The chef in action

Breakfast came next. We had it at the exclusive Club Lounge for a change. Exclusive to Club room guests, the Club Lounge serves a delectable buffet-style continental breakfast. The smell of freshly baked croissants and brewed coffee instantly awaken our senses. You know that delicious smell when you wake up to your mom's cooking? It was like that. There was also an egg station where you can have it your way--sunny side up, scrambled, omelette--and a noodle and dimsum station. Nothing beats a very good breakfast to kickstart the day!

Chicken noodle soup
Beef noodle soup
Chicken siomai 
There is also a fitness center complete with state-of-the-art equipment on the same floor as the swimming pool. Fitness buffs will definitely take pleasure in burning those calories while moving to the beat of the surround music.

Te fitness center
Should you also wish to stay longer, you may also want to check out the nearby attractions in the Bay are such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Intramuros, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, SM Mall of Asia and even Star City.

It may just be a less than 24-hour break for me but the quality of time I had spent with my daughter was priceless. I enjoyed a quick R&R at Hyatt City of Dreams and it will definitely be not the last. For the food, room, location, and facilities, I give Hyatt City of Dreams a thumbs up! The holiday season is just around the corner so you may want to book your room now!


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