A Weekend at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

Our home for the weekend: a cosy deluxe room at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila
It has been almost four years since Marco Polo Ortigas Manila opened its doors, and I could still remember my first stay in the hotel back then when rooms weren't 100% completed yet, and the only restaurants opened were Cucina (the hotel's all-day dining hub) and Cafe Pronto. Since then, I had only visited the hotel on ocassional assignments that are mostly F&B-related.

On my recent stay at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, I must admit I initially got overwhelmed at the sky lobby on the 24th floor. What used to be a quiet, high-ceilinged reception is now a busy floor with guests coming in and out 24/7. The service though remained consistently efficient and swift.

We were handed our keycards and off we went to our deluxe room on the 33rd floor. While the fruit basket and sweet treats to welcome us weren't really something new at the hotel, our room looks more contemporary and current than the one where I stayed years ago. Panoramic views of the Ortigas skyline were framed by floor-to-ceiling windows draped in ash-hued curtains. The sun peeks through perfectly while still able to control the heat from the outside going in. The room was freezing but totally manageable with just a click of a button.
Sweet start

The bathroom was another story--average in size but the fittings are world-class from the tub to the rainshower and everything else in between. I might sound exaggerated but a "quality" shower makes me happy. You see, it's the only time you are truly alone and away from the cruel world outside--a relaxing activity for me! One can enjoy watching his or her favorite TV show straight from the tub through a glass wall. This was Akisha's favorite part, of course! The non-slip flooring makes it child- and senior citizen-friendly.

The sleek bathroom

Akisha settling in

My mom and tita enjoying the 
There is now the Flow Spa for those who would like to have a rejuvenating massage or mesmerizing face and body spa treatments. The gym and the infinity pool were pretty much the same as before, only now there are nicely designed locker and shower rooms complete with a sauna and spacious changing areas. Filipino guests love the infinity pool for obvious reasons: that it is an indoor pool and thus they won't get tanned (or worse, burnt); and that it is not too deep for kids to enjoy.

The indoor infinity pool

Inside the locker room
Dining is perhaps one of the strengths of the hotel. It was my third time to dine at Lung Hin, the hotel's signature Cantonese restaurant, and I must say food and service are consistently good. The service staff were efficient but not intruding and they happily help us choose among the many delectable offers in the menu.

Modern interiors at Lung Hin
We tried the six-course executive menus (A and B) and some of the popular dim sum. It's nice to know that they serve dim sum even at dinner time so we were able to enjoy our favourite prawn and scallops dumpling.

Sichuan-style spicy chicken, honey-glazed barbecue pork, and suckling pig

The serving sizes  were generous and I felt like if I was to finish all of the six courses I would actually burst. Of course, that's an exaggeration, but kidding aside, the executive menu is really good value for money.

The dim sum selection is of course the star. Besides the usual hakaw, I ordered the scallops dumplings and it was divine--something that I would order again for sure.

Prawn dumplings and scallops dumplings

See those gold flakes?
The main courses were really filling and flavourfu, among which, my favorites were the black pepper deep fried pork spareribs and the wok-fried US beef rib with fresh mushroom in black pepper sauce. Lighter and pescetarian fare were the steamed tiger prawns with enoki vermicelli in garlic and the steamed grouper fillet with eggplant and preserved vegetables.

Deep-fried pork spareribs

Wok-fried US beef ribs with fresh mushrooms in black pepper sauce

Deep-fried chicken with pickled ginger plum sauce

Steamed tiger prawns with enoki mushroom vermicelli in garlic

Steamed grouper fillet with eggplant and preserved vegetables

Pan-fried crispy egg noodle with prawn ball and minced pork
Chilled mango pudding

Breakfast (or even lunch and dinner) buffets are worth checking out at Cucina, too. Good thing that despite the busy traffic of guests at around 8:00 am, the restaurant still did not feel and look full and the staff were able to attend to the needs of the diners quickly. The buffet spread was varied and includes the usual breakfast staples of croissants, pancakes, waffles, congee, noodles, garlic rice, bacon, and omelette among others, as well as some special fare like the flavorful salmon in lemon butter sauce (blockbuster!) and aloo gobi with roti. Plus, as in the other Marco Polo properties in the Philippines (they have one in Davao and Cebu), do not miss the delightful bread pudding drizzled with vanilla sauce and topped with blueberry coulis--pure heaven. If they serve ice cream, ask for a scoop to make it a la mode. Just sinful.

Salmon in lemon butter sauce got five thumbs up from me!

Choose your noodles!

Mine was Nanking beef noodles

Eggs in flying colours =)

Make your own omelettes

Miso soup with fresh wakame

Crispy bacon is LOVE

Pancakes and waffles
If you have time and energy, check out the VU bar at the 44th floor where they serve their signature cocktail, Sapphire Road.

A weekend spent at the Marco Polo Ortigas Manila was well worth every centavo. You get to detach from the noise outside world plus you could enjoy the hotel's award-winning restaurants within an arm's reach. Can't wait to stay there again.


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