Swimming, samgyeopsal, and more at Solaire

My mom got a wonderful surprise when she received a phone call after Christmas saying she has a free 2-night stay at Solaire’s Sky Tower.

My mom is in the transportation and tourism industry. She runs her own car rental business, and also arranges tours, connecting flights and accommodations for local and foreign guests alike. Hence, the occasional hotel freebie perk.

Perennially busy (and exhausted), even just an overnight stay at a nice hotel is a welcome treat for her. She gets her much needed R&R, on top of spending some quality time with her grand daughter. For some time though, since Akira developed a love for swimming, it felt like we were doing hotel stays a lot:

Thanks for the mini vacations, Aki! xx, Mom and Dad

Now not surprisingly, Princess Imp started developing a love for hotels, too. She loves everything about them – the big beds and fluffy comforters, bubble baths in bath tubs, crispy bacon and pancakes for breakfast, swimming all day. Come to think of it, what’s not to love? (Packing and bringing home wet clothes. But I digress)

Our room

This is not our first time to visit Solaire, but it is our first time here as hotel guests.

I wish Sky Tower had a separate entrance that led immediately to its lush, beautiful lobby, but unfortunately you still have to pass through the casino area.

Our room was a wonderful surprise – so spacious! In fact it’s the most spacious hotel room we’ve ever staycationed in (I think Discovery Primea comes second).

They did not scrimp on the bathroom either. It’s more spacious than most with its standing tub, high ceiling, separate toilet and shower stalls. The best part though? L’Occitane toiletries. You can bet my mom hoarded those little bottles!

As for the view from our room, it’s a tad sparse…

…but it’s not as bothersome compared to the amount of dust in the room. So disappointing. As a mother who takes great pains in keeping a clean house, and making sure the help doesn’t also neglect this important duty, it really just ruins that initial excitement of opening the door to a beautiful, ready-for-you hotel room once it hits you the room is not as clean as it should be.

Right?

I’m not sure if it registers well enough, but the dust on those drawers was too much. One swipe with a microfibre towel would’ve taken care of that.

In spite of that, I thankfully didn’t suffer from an allergy attack (the biggest hassle, had it happened), and we still had a lot of fun in our perfect-for-families room.

Our breakfast meals

I find it so endearingly Filipino to get excited about breakfast buffets when it comes to staying in hotels. Bacoooon! It’s all about the fried-to-a-crisp bacon. And then the swimming pool comes second. That’s me, but with J it’s all about the pool.

cheese_monster
Breakfasts at Solaire are at Fresh. Here’s the little cheese monster having her breakfast.

The restaurant is pretty big and it has a lovely, bright ambience. It’s as if you’re outdoors but you’re not.

I suppose it’s better for me, but I found the buffet spread a bit underwhelming. It’s pretty complete – continental fare, Japanese and Chinese options and some Filipino food, in addition to salads, fruits, cheese and cold cuts and breads. But let’s just say the food didn’t make me go for seconds.

In my experience, Manila Pen and Shangri-la do buffets very well, they’re really one of the best. Big props to Manila Pen too for having damn good coffee. Discovery Primea doesn’t do the usual breakfast buffet – you choose a set meal from a breakfast menu, but the serving is huge. Sofitel is also famous for its buffet at Spiral, but I think it has become popular to a point. It’s become crowded, and service can be slow.

I also remember being super impressed with the breakfast buffet at Nobu. It was just different from the rest. The spread is not a lot, just a few select items, but it blows you away with quality. Everything was delectable. They even offer Japanese brick toast cooked on the spot, in addition to the usual pancakes. To me, that’s setting yourself apart from the competition and truly offering a different kind of premium to the market.

So where’s the samgyeopsal? And the swimming?! Stay with me for part 2 of our Solaire staycation 🙂


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