An overnight escapade at Golden Phoenix Manila

It’s very rare that I get the chance to go to Manila for pleasure. Most of the time, it’s work related and i would always wanted to go back home to see my kids. Here’s my review about my stay at Golden Phoenix Manila.

But last May was different, I got a chance to enjoy a few days off from my busy life and meet my long online friends.  Yes, after years of online communication, we finally got the chance to meet each other and that would be a very rare occasion that we can get together since one of them is from the US and the other is from Palawan.

Since, our meeting place would be at SM MOA, it gave me an idea to find a  place near MOA but since it’s a commercial area, I know the hotels nearby would be so expensive. Good thing, i got a discounted gc from a fellow blogger.

I’m such in a hurry when i checked in at the Golden Phoenix Hotel but it was smooth, all you need to do is to present one identification card and make a deposit. (the deposit can be cash or card but it’s refundable upon checking out)

I could not get a decent picture of the lobby because there are so many guests at that time. I have overheard that they have more than 500 guests coming, I guess they came from Iloilo since they are wearing a local government shirt.

The place looks cozy but for some security purpose as they say, you have to ride an elevator and walk for a while to ride another elevator to get to your room. It is perhaps of the fact that the building was built as a condominium style but the bellboys are polite and very accommodating.

                                                                       although the room rates is a little bit high but it does exceed my expectation

Since, i am a hurry that day to meet another friend, I was not able to inspect the room more properly but when I get back at around midnight, it was my chance to take pictures and scrutinize the place more longer.

The room is spacious and good for a couple. (I am supposed to get a deluxe twin room, like the one I saw in some bloggers review) but I guess it was fully occupied, so the staff asked me if I would just want a deluxe king room) which of course I readily agreed since it would be too lonely to sleep on a room with two beds.

The first thing I notice about the room is the simple yet very elegant set up.  The bed is made with chiropractor -approved mattresses and upon researching about this bed, i found out that chiropractic beds  is a sleep system which is created to put your body in correct postural alignment to give you a better and healthier night’s sleep and indeed, I really have a very good sleep, I get the chance to even dream of my kids.

the safe

The buffet set up comes with different breakfast choices but I opted to eat the vegetables salad since I am preparing my stomach for a full meal lunch ahead since just I have mentioned, I am meeting my friends.

diet (hehehe)

The swimming pool is located at 7th floor but I could not get a nice pic of it because it was occupied by many males at that time, it was too awkward to take pictures of the pool with them on their swimming trunks, they may even get the impression that I’m after them.

I’m posting this map for you to know the exact location.  I went there with a taxi and ooh boy, we have to asked twice for direction.

(grabbed from Golden Phoenix Hotel)

I have read that it’s 5 to 10 minutes away from SM Moa.  Because of that, I thought of walking but OMG, my feet got really tired walking on the SM’s very long sky walk. I was laughing inside and at by the time I arrive at Starbucks where I would meet my friend, I am already dying of hunger. Yes it’s around 5 to 10 minutes but that is if your in vehicle.  So, never try to walk in going to SM MOA.  (LOL with evil grin)  

don’t ever venture to walk, unless you want to burn fats. Ha ha ha.

So, I know you are eager to learn about the price, for an overnight stay with buffet breakfast and amenities. (good for 2 persons)

my view at night

Deluxe King & Deluxe Twin is priced at Php. 9,250

Suite – 15,850

but I will suggest that you booked via some online booking since they offer discounts and of course book in advance.

Will I come back?

I guess, it’s a good and decent hotel for a relaxing overnight stay for you and your family.  I would come back for sure since it has a very strategic location and the bed is so relaxing.

Disclosure:  This is not a paid review.  I paid for my own stay 🙂 

Bagasbas Light House Resort and Catherine’s at Daet

bagasbas light house

Here’s  part II of my Daet Escapade. This time, let me introduce you Catherine’s Restaurant which you can found on the famous Bagasbas Light House.  If you happen to travel to Daet, Bagasbas Beach is one of their famous travel destination especially those who love to surf because the waves here are to die for. Yes, gigantic waves that surfers loves best but don’t try death defying stunts especially if your only a beginner.

bagasbas, daet

Don’t let your eyes deceive you.  It looks calming but there are days that the waves is too big to handle.

bagasbas light house hotel

Bagasbas Light House offers accommodation from backpackers room to deluxe room raging from Php. 550.00 ($15) to Php. 2,750.00 ($27) per night which is reasonable enough.

catherines daet

Getting back to Catherine’s, the restaurant serves different Filipino dishes and the serving is good and reasonable for its price. They also  offer fresh seafood and fishes caught from the sea.

catherines daet

I did not asked for their specialty but you can choose from different dishes on their menu.  We tried this one which I think is a santol dish cooked in coconut milk, a typical Bicol dish you can found in the province but their version is really yummy.

food

I know, we are supposed to try their sea food dishes but i have been having allergy with sea food lately.

foods, lots of foods

Walking around will lead you to the hotel rooms and souvenir shops which offers different local souvenir items and pieces that you can take home to remember your stay on this place.

bagasbas light house

The place is so cozy that you will definitely enjoy a relaxing view of nature and yes, there is a playground too for the little ones and young at heart.

bagasbas

You can check more about Bagasbas Light House and Catherine’s Restaurant here.

Prime Suite Daet – hotel review and how to get there

 

Prime Suite Hotel is just minutes away from the Daet Centro and very near the Central Plaza Mall which i think is the largest mall in the city.

 

Although, I have been more than ten years in Camarines Sur and it’s just almost 3 hours away from Daet, i have never gone to this place before.  So, I was very excited to see what Daet stores for new traveler like me so we immediately browse the net to find hotels that can accommodate us for the night.  We want it affordable yet descent enough and will give us a good night sleep after a long hectic day.

Too bad that only few hotels are featured in the internet and some have no reviews or incomplete data but the good thing is I can make a call without spending long distance call to inquire about hotel price and location.

I chanced upon to learned about Prime Suite on their facebook page although the details are incomplete and no reviews can be found on the net so far. So, I am hoping that this one can give a good insight on their hotel and services.  Although Prime Suite is not that big, they do have several rooms from Deluxe to Executive Suite which range to a very affordable Php. 700.00 (approximately $15) per night to Php. 2,000.00 ($50.00) which I think is affordable compared to big hotels here in Naga City.

The suite looks small in the outside but it’s spacious in the inside since there’s an expansion on the back.  The lobby and dining area boasts a beautiful design and fixtures like tables that made of Narra. Hubby and I decided to get the Superior Room which is good for 2 persons. It has a queen size bed (which you can check on the picture above).  It’s an air condition room with LED TV.

Although, the bathroom is not grand, it has a hot and cold water which is enough to have a soothing bath after a long day of travelling and what’s even nice is a closet that you can hang your clothes so as not to further wrinkle it.

Your stay includes a complimentary breakfast (for one visitor) so you need to order another one. And lastly, which I think is very important for many. YES they have WIFI and it’s free for hotel guests, you just need to ask the front desk of the password.

How to get there:

That’s the usual info that every traveler needed. Prime Suite Daet is located at Vinzons Ave, 4600 Daet, Camarines Norte, minutes away from Central Plaza Mall and some dining places in the city.

From Land: From Manila, you can ride a bus going to Daet.  (approximate travel – 8 hours) (prices differs on every bus)

From Air:  Since Daet airport is no longer functional, you can ride a plane going to Pili Airport (known as Naga Airport) and then ride a van from Naga City Terminal going to Daet.   (approximate travel – 2 to 3 hours)

You will get down on Daet Terminal and ride a tricycle going to the hotel. Fare is Php. 8.00 only for one person.

Visit their Facebook page to learn more and how you can book a stay.

Essential Kitchen Utensils

Jamie Oliver, Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart, these are just some of the famous names in terms of cooking, one thing is for sure they have their own favorite essential kitchen tools that they use each time they step in to their cooking haven.

 

Some can be extravagant and some may be minimalist, so here are some of the essential kitchen utensils that you need on your kitchen.  You can get them on your local store or thrifty store, perhaps you can buy on a yard sale or well loved store whatever the case maybe, make sure to choose the basics, read the labels and keep them affordable.

  • Mitts and hot pads – it’s very important since you don’t want your precious hands touching that hot surface.

 

  • Set of knives – it doesn’t need to be many but set of essential knives is a good to go for different purposes

 

  • A can opener – Ooh my, this kitchen utensil is my fave and i used them a lot each day.

 

  • Tongs and strainer – are just some of the must have on a kitchen. 

There are many utensils and gadgets you needed just to create a simple meal and above are just some of them.

A royal holiday

You invest a lot of your time and energy into working throughout the year. When you are not in the workplace, it is more than likely that you are attending to the high stresses that life tends to send your way. To stay connected with your family and to gain the rest and relaxation that is needed for a healthy lifestyle, vacations are a necessity throughout the year. Unfortunately, true escapes from the normal hustle and bustles of life can be quite costly when figuring in the most desired locations that you are seeking, airfare tickets, cruise fares, stay accommodations, and even meals.

Companies such as Royal Holiday provide people with discount vacations to some of the most luxurious destinations around the globe. These travel specialists are always searching for low cost features to create budget friendly vacation packages that people can take advantage of. Some of the regions people can choose from when searching for affordable vacation destinations include Oceania, Asia, the United States of America, Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and even areas of Africa and Europe. With some many options for vacationing available people will never run out of new adventures when seeking the right location for their next rest and relaxation destination.

To keep costs affordable and to provide their customers with a wide range of accommodations travel agencies such as Royal Holiday have invested in creating timeshare opportunities for their vacationing customers to choose from. Timeshares are private property spots that are available for sale, lease, or rent. You will find that by investing in timeshare vacation sites you will save even more for your vacationing experience. People that take advantage of the amenities that timeshares offer will find that they can save on dining out, prevent the necessity to stay in cramped or overbooked hotels, and enjoy the serenity that is only available when you can see it from your own backdoor.

Royal Holiday timeshare opportunities and those offered through other reputable discount travel sites give you the opportunity to see what you are getting before you pay for your vacation package. Many other mediocre travel sites that offer discount vacation packages make you pay before disclosing the timeshare or stay accommodations that you will receive when you arrive to your destination. Well this certainly can minimize the comfort most people have that their vacation plans are all in order before their departure. Many people feel as though giving up the ability to relax when it comes to their travel plans really defeats the entire purpose for their vacation planning when leaving home.

lithunia

For individuals that own property is regions where travel companies such as Royal Holiday offer from their vacation destinations, these companies have a lot to offer you as well. You can advertise your personal property for sale, lease or rent so that others seeking the opportunity to visit the sites your property is located in can see what you have to offer. You will save on expensive advertising and reduce the costs of having a home, condo, or other type of property sitting dormant when you are unable to be there. Utilizing the services Royal Holiday and other travel specialty service providers offer for timeshare properties is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Travel the World through your business


trip4business.com

If there is one job that I would definitely love to have is to travel the world via business class and make my way through the busy street or even the sleepy town of each country talking with someone who shares my own interest and making money out of it.

The idea of travelling the wild or seeing nature while documenting it is somewhat a dream for me to fulfill.  For years, i have been watching Discovery Channel or Lifestyle Channel and seeing different hosts going around the world to learn about new culture and studying different people and not to forget the fact that they were well compensated on doing this things.

Beside of this job, there are also many business people who earns big amounts of dollars that goes on business trip each month or sometimes even twice a month to get a deal and in the same time enjoying the country where they usually held this business ventures. Such job is so amazing that I believe it would be .

What do you think of travelling the Caribbean on a business trip and in the same time, enjoy the beautiful beaches that surrounds it or party your way on a private island somewhere in Spain with a multi million deal in your hand.  I guess this is what they called combining business with pleasure.

Morocco Holidays: Variety is the Spice of Life

Morocco is intoxicated with vibrant cultures, diverse landscapes, fine foods and exotic cities. You could choose staying in the bustling city of Marrakech or cool it off on the spectacular ranges of the Atlas Mountains. There are numerous activities to engage in to keep you invigorated: from trekking in the Sahara and Atlas peaks to surfing in Essaouira. Whether you choose a luxury holiday to Morocco or a backpacking trip on a budget, you won’t be disappointed.

Berber Accommodation

The Berbers have a long winding history full of charm and wonder, they have survived major wars and difficult eras. It is little wonder their wit is enough to charm snakes and also ‘eat fire’ literally. To maximize on this unbelievable culture, the best way is to experience an intimate stay in their outstanding Kasbahs. Most Kasbahs are converted Berber homes, made of mud and straw but fitted with modern conveniences’.

The Kasbahs are stylish, elegant and effortlessly charming; to enjoy the ultimate Berber hospitality you have to stay in one. Maroc Lodge is an excellent hideaway on the ranges of the Atlas Mountains and is a perfect base for exploring the Atlas Mountains and getting to grips with the Berber Culture. It is also a great accommodation close to Marrakech if you want to escape the city for a while. It also has a traditional Hammam where you can scrub your stress away.

Golf Holiday in Morocco

A golf holiday in Morocco is a chance to play in some of the most stunning locations in Africa: from the coastal city of Agadir, Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier is where most popular golf courses are located. Discover the luxurious Golf du Palais Royal d’Agadir and golf like royalty in this 18-holer private course. It is within the heavily guarded ramparts of the Royal Palace of Agadir.

Royal Dar Es Salam is another golfer’s paradise curved out of Zaers forest in Rabat creating one of the beat courses in Africa. The signature hole of this course is the par 3, 9 where the tee shot has to carry a lily pond complete with wading flamingoes to a shallow lush green island.

Spend Time Discovering the Ancient Cities

In any Moroccan city you will find an ancient city commonly known as a Medina, they are characterized by the decaying walls, souks, narrow streets and ornamental gates. The City of Fez, which was the old capital of Morocco, is a fine description of what a Medina is really like. It is the spiritual heart of this vast country and houses the Kairaouiyne Mosque built in the ninth century. The medrassahs, all built with unique craftsmanship, still stand today and create an unmatched attraction. It is also here where you find the amazing process of tanning and dyeing of leather taking place in the traditional tanneries.

Trek through the Desert

Before you leave the “country that travels inside you”, make sure to enjoy the sunrise or sunset amidst the hundreds of sandy dunes of the Sahara desert. The colors change beautifully creating a magical landscape. As the sun slowly fades or appears far away in the horizon the spectrum changes from sandy yellow, through ochre, to deep orange and verging almost on purple. It is a sight to behold: you enjoy these remarkable sights while on the back of a camel complete with a Berber turban on your head.

Experience Luxury Fine Dining at Lulu Restaurant

It’s a very rare chance for a frugal mom like me to go out and indulge in a place like this.  Although, i wish i can bring hubby and the kids here,  this is one good opportunity to bond with my step mom and siblings since it takes years for us to meet and eat together.

The place was once Lu Restaurant.  Further reading, you can see that it was sold and since people were used to Lu Restaurant, they have used  the name Lulu.  Located within the vicinity of Rockwell, Makati City is a great place for family and friends get together.  Although, i was thinking of a very formal place like the one in hotels or the resto i have seen in the magazine, Lulu Restaurant has a cozy ambiance and when you start looking at their menu, you can see familiar names. Many people  love to try different foods but of course, it is always enjoyable to make sure that you enjoy eating them,  there staff are very accommodating to help you, so i guess you won’t be lost along the way.

Lulu became famous because of the news that President Pnoy and his previous humored girlfriend Grace Lee dated.

Based from friends and some net reviews that their foods are quite expensive, so if you are planning to go there, you have to check out beforehand, what’s best to order especially for a big family like us. This Argentinian Empanadas are one of their best and they are indeed cute and very tasty.  It comes with a Roasted Tomato Chimmichurri Dip which i think is really unique.  Although, i found it expensive for the price of Php. 250.00.

Vegan lovers can get a lot of choices, since they have several salad, appetizers and main course that are served without meat. I love greens, i always prefer veggies over meat because it’s delicious and far more healthy. This mandarin feta salad is definitely one of my fave, it has spinach, mandarin oranges, almonds, the lettuce and of course the feta cheese brings out the best on this salad.

It is very tempting to try their different foods, just looking at the names in the menu will make you crave for one.  This quesos fundido is a dish from hot melted cheese. It has a foul smell but overly delicious and very popular in Mexico.

Here’s another view of this dish that will make you wish to have more.

For cheese lovers, you definitely need to try this Classic Mac with 5 cheese .  Yes, just as I’ve thought, this one is baked macaroni and it comes with five cheeses.  I always love macaroni and pasta and this one is definitely the best i have tasted.   I forgot what cheese are they so when you had a chance to come on their resto, this one is something you should try.

If you love something with rice, you can choose from their main menu .  They have lambs, porks , angus beef, green tea salmon, sea bass.    My sibling chose Chicken Turmeric and Grilled Chicken Supreme which is  very lean and tasty although i don’t like the skin, i wish it has been removed.

After a sumptuous meal, your drinks matter. Although, the place feels festive, you can always go for their  non-alcoholic beverage, i thought it’s best to settle with ice tea and yes, you think it right, mine is the green tea.

They also have cakes and I’m eager to try them but doing so means, i need to buy for my siblings too and that would mean spending another thousand of pesos,  so never mind this time.

Although prior reservation is not necessary.  It is still good to call in advance especially if your going in group and if it’s weekends.  The place were full at that time but what’s great is it’s not crowded.  Although, i wish we were here during lunch or we early dinner so i can get a good shot of the restaurant.

One of the owners , Chef  Tom Hines (his the one you can see in this picture ) was very hands on.  He was there at that night and making sure that everybody is having a great time but my shyness came into my nerve , so I was not able to ask him for a picture taking.  If you want to spend a romantic dinner or a memorable brunch, sumptuous meal and love spicy foods, then come and try Lulu’s Restaurant located at  the Ground Floor, Joya Building Joya Drive, Rockwell  Makati City 1220 (02) 403 3991.

How to Move From England to Canada

In order to meet its economic needs, Canada allows thousands of immigrants to enter the country each year. These immigrants also off-set the aging population, and there were over 500,000 applicants accepted into the country in 2009 alone. A large percentage of these people were economic immigrants, choosing to live and work in Canada because of the wealth of jobs and industry there.

Over the last ten years, a large proportion of English people have decided to immigrate to Canada, not only because of the increased economic stability, but also due to the stunning landscapes and amazing hospitality of the Canadian people. Let’s take a look at some of the best tips on how to move to Canada.

img (via net(

What Program?

One of the first things you will have to decide when considering a move to Canada, is what program works best in your favour. There are a number of different programs to choose from, and each will offer benefits that will suit your professional and financial situation. For example, if you’re looking to start up a business in Canada, there’s the business immigration program.

If have a skill that is listed in the CIC’s needed occupations, then you can apply for the skilled workers program. If you’ve worked in Canada before and have professional work experience, you can even apply for the Canadian Experience Class program. Finally, if you have family in Canada, then you can apply for sponsorship to live and work around the country.

Understand Your Package

Once you’ve selected the program you want to come to Canada on, it’s then time to download the application from the CIC website, and also get the money together for the application fees. Before you fill in the application and submit yourself to a program however, you should first understand the legalities, rules and regulations about moving to Canada, as well as the limits of your program. Some of these programs will allow you to stay up to a year without having to renew your visa, however other programs may only last six months before you have to reapply.

Preparing For The Legal Aspects

When it comes to moving to Canada, the application process can be swift or lengthy depending on where you’re moving from. Before you arrive in Canada (once you’re application has been accepted), you should seek out places to live, and have employment secured even if you’re not on an employment program.

Having full-time work on your visa application will benefit you if decide that you want to remain in the country for longer than your approved program. One all these factors are put in place, then you can start planning the logistics of your complete move, such as flights, removal vans, etc. Visit autoeurope.ca for the best car rental deals when moving to Canada.

Applying For Citizenship

If you have lived and worked in Canada for over three years, you can then apply to become a legal citizen of the country. You must be able to speak fluent English or French, and must also be over the age of 18. Furthermore, you must pass a government exam, and also have a good understanding of Canadian social protocols.

5 places for a luxury vacation in South America

South America is rife with panoramic views from lofty mountain tops, steamy rain forests, and spectacular coastlines. Besides the diverse topography, the cultures of its native people groups and the cosmopolitan vibe of its urban centres make the continent a prime choice for visitors on holiday. The scenic attractions, fine dining options, and first class lodgings draw international visitors to many South American countries. Here are a few places that stand out as top holiday destinations.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Many consider Machu Picchu located in the Cusco region of Peru to be the ancient dwelling place of a powerful Inca ruler. During the Spanish conquests of the area, the Inca abandoned the large city-like complex, and it surprisingly remained undiscovered by the new colonial powers until recent years. Today, visitors on Peru tours pierce the mysterious shroud surrounding the old landmark that sits almost 8,000 feet above sea level. Travellers desiring to see Machu Picchu and the surrounding area in unmistakable style take the Orient Express tour featuring upscale hotel accommodations in Lima and a memorable railway ride to the ancient citadel on the opulent Hiram Bingham train.

gettys image

The Misiones Rain Forest AndIguazu Falls, Argentina

The Misiones Rainforest is an area many experienced, ecologically-minded travellers visit because of its status as a threatened habitat. According to the World Land Trust, only about one per cent of all the forest in the area remains of the original environment. Whether travellers come to take a volunteer vacation or just to see the jungles before they disappear completely, the Misiones Rainforest is packed with exciting sights that are safely seen with the aid of experienced, local guides. The biodiversity adventure is not complete without a culminating tour of the world-famous Iguazu Falls that sit bordering three South American countries. While lodgings exist in the area, Puerto Bemberg stands out for its historic yet luxurious appeal. The hotel sits on large plots of land previously used to grow yerbe mate but now used by the hotel to grow organic produce for its guests. Along with its first class amenities, Puerto Bemberg offers guest tours of the rainforest and falls as well as access to a large multilingual library on the premises.

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Fernando de Noronha is a part of an archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Brazil. While the island’s original forests were cleared centuries ago, the new growth of vegetation offers shelter and food for many species of endemic animals. The warm, inviting turquoise waters surrounding the island make it a hidden treasure for recreational divers travelling there on live aboard luxury yacht holidays.

Archipelago of San Andres and Providencia, Colombia

The pristine islands of San Andres and Providencia are UNESCO declared biosphere reserves that present post card pretty beaches and legends of pirate treasure. The quintessential paradise islands have practically perfect weather year round, and some popular activities include snorkelling, hiking, and watching for glimpses of dolphins at play.

 

Quito, Ecuador

Quito is a stunning mix of a modern metropolis and a carefully preserved city that sits as the highest capital city in the world at over 9,000 feet above sea level. The intricate detail of the many historic buildings found throughout the city have surprisingly survived governmental changes and colonial upheavals. Quito is a well-kept secret for history buffs seeking luxury travel options on the South American continent, and many experienced travellers take lodging at the unforgettably elegant Boutique Hotel Plaza Grande in the heart of Quito.

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