Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hotel H2O at Manila Ocean Park

Hotel H2O Manila

I woke up a few minutes after dawn. Seeing my buddy still asleep, I eased myself off to bed. I slowly walked toward the window and pushed aside the heavy drapes that revealed the huge glass window, the soft light from the morning sun touched my face. The vastness of Manila Bay was such a refreshing sight, sunrise on this famed spot was a first. I sat on the carpeted floor and closed my eyes. Mornings at Hotel H2O can be this peaceful and relaxing.

It was yet another staycation for the usual suspects and this time we’re in for a great adventure. The plan was to conquer the first ever marine theme park in the metro and staying at its hotel was just perfect (check here for discounted tours, transportation and activities in Metro Manila).

Hotel H2O Manila Lounge
Club H2O Lounge
It was a Friday and the bustling streets of Manila welcomed us as we dashed into Roxas Boulevard, leaving our cab behind, and walked to our point of destination. Manila’s traffic can be as problematic as your Algebra class or your love life.

We arrived at Manila Ocean Park’s premises and went straight to the hotel lobby located at the third level. The cool ambience from the hotel lobby was in perfect contrast with the stressful scene outside. We were offered some welcome drinks that cooled down our worn-out bodies.

Hotel H2O Manila

Hotel H2O Manila

Hotel H2O opened its doors in 2009 with 128 rooms and 19 suites on two floors. They have eleven differently-themed rooms (check room types and rates).

The group specifically wanted to have a unique experience so we opted to be housed on different rooms. Everyone was rooting for the Aqua Room which was immediately picked by one of us. I fell in love with the Jellies Room but was instantly chosen again. In an instant (because of the pressure), I picked the Club Bay Room because of its great view of Manila Bay.

Hotel H2O Manila Club Jellies Room

Hotel H2O Manila Club Jellies Room
Club Jellies Room
Hotel H2O Manila Aqua Room
Aqua Room
We were handed our individual key cards and off we went to our respective rooms. We’re on the same floor but the hotel was so vast that it felt like we’re on a maze as we raided each and every room.

As I tapped on the card, it opened up to a loft with a wardrobe closet on the right side and glass-enclosed bathroom with a Jacuzzi on the left, yes, a Jacuzzi (which I actually used).

Hotel H2O Manila Club Bay Room Jacuzzi
My Jacuzzi!
Hotel H2O Manila Club Bay Room
Club Bay Room
I climbed down five steps and went straight to the heavy drapes that revealed a panoramic view of Manila Bay. I comfortably sat on a funky yellow lounge chair and enjoyed the sunset from the comforts of my room. And it was wonderful.

Afterwards, I checked out the amenities of our Club Bay Room. It was well-equipped with a queen-sized bed, side tables with lamps, individually-powered air-conditioning, flatscreen TV with local and international channels, coffee and tea making facilities, complimentary mini-bar, separate work station and complimentary WiFi connection.

Hotel H2O Manila Club Bay Room

Hotel H2O Manila Club Bay Room
Ze view
All the snacks and drinks at the mini-bar are complimentary, which I totally love. Plus the fact that I could enjoy the majestic view of Manila Bay even while resting on our bed was such a nice treat. I wouldn’t trade it for the Aqua Room or even the Jellies Room.

Hotel H2O Manila Club Bay Room
Everything is free!
For dinner, the group headed to Makan Makan Asian Food Village. Located at the second floor of Manila Ocean Park, the in-house restaurant of Hotel H2O is a fusion of Asian favorites. The open kitchen cum hawker stalls was very enticing. I was itching to get Kopi Ice and Teh Tarik right away that I asked for it even before I could skim through the menu.

Hotel H2O Manila Makan Makan
Makan Makan Asian Food Village
It was a feast; an Asian feast that is. For a group of ten, the selection was kinda extreme, bordering to gluttony. After our two-month backpacking trip around Southeast Asia with some of the team, I definitely was craving for our favorites; Hello Mee Goreng!

We had Indonesian Roti Prata (P150), Chinese Dimsum Platter (P850), Indonesian Satay Pork and Chicken (P150/5 pcs.), Singaporean Punggol Mee Goreng (P220), Singaporean Laksa Seafood (P200), Chinese Deep Fried Spareribs with Salt and Pepper (P350), Singaporean Hainanese Chicken (P450/half), Singaporean Crispy Cereal Prawn (P550), and Chinese Makan Fried Chicken (P800/whole).

I super loved the Crispy Cereal Prawn and the Chicken Satay. I would definitely come back here, even just for Asian food quick-fix.

Hotel H2O Manila Makan Makan Satay
Pork and Chicken Satay
Hotel H2O Manila Makan Makan Dimsum
Dimsum Platter
Hotel H2O Manila Makan Makan Deep Fried Spareribs
Deep Fried Spareribs with salt and pepper
Hotel H2O Manila Makan Makan Crispy Cereal Prawn
Crispy Cereal Prawn
The celebration lasted until the restaurant closed. We continued the party somewhere in Malate and had our beer session that lasted in the wee hours of morning. We went back to the hotel at around four in the morning. The dawn was starting to break and as we reached the room, I surrendered to the comfy bed.

It was weird but after just two hours of sleep I effortlessly woke up and noticed the skies turning from deep blueish to purple to magenta to orange and finally to its flaming red state. I sat on the carpeted floor and for the first time I finally experienced sunrise at Manila Bay.

I went back to bed and cocooned myself inside the duvet. In no time I went back to dream world.

Hotel H2O Manila Club Bay Room
So snuggly
All in-house guests are treated to complimentary buffet breakfast at Makan Makan Restaurant. Local and international breakfast fares are on the spread.

Hotel H2O Manila Makan Makan Breakfast
My brekkie plate
We had a full day ahead so we decided to check out Zenyu Eco Spa. We tried the hot bed and fish spa. After which, we headed to the private spa rooms and were treated on a very relaxing Swedish massage.

Hotel H2O Manila Zenyu Eco Spa
Zenyu Eco Spa
We also checked out the outdoor lounge pool located at the ground level of Manila Ocean Park complex. It was a Suaturday and the neighboring restaurant was packed with diners so we didn’t really have the chance for a private pool party.

Hotel H2O Manila Lounge Pool
Lounge pool
After checking out, we headed to Manila Ocean Park to have a quick trip. Being first-timers, we're running around like kids as we explore the attractions inside this huge complex.

Manila Ocean Park is the first marine theme park in Metro Manila. Divided into different sections, you could actually choose what to see and skip during tours. There are separate entrance fees on each section but fortunately they have promos for combined attractions.

Manila Ocean Park Oceanarium
Manila Ocean Park Oceanarium

Manila Ocean Park Oceanarium

Manila Ocean Park Oceanarium

Jellies Exhibit was my favorite (I dunno why) and Oceanarium was next. The Sharks and Ray Encounter and Sea Lion Show were my least favorite. Maybe because I have this thing for caged animals, well, that’s just me. The finale being the Symphony Evening Show which filled the Acquatica area of Manila Ocean Park.

Manila Ocean Park Sea Lion Show
Sea Lion Show
Manila Ocean Park Jellies Exhibit
Jellies Exhibit
Manila Ocean Park Tunnel
The Tunnel
Manila Ocean Park Tunnel

Manila Ocean Park Tunnel

Manila Ocean Park Symphony Evening Show
Symphony Evening Show
The group went to one of the restaurants inside the complex and had an early dinner. We still didn’t wanna leave so we ordered bucketsful of beer as the sun started to fade out. Our fun-filled weekend was about to end and we had this great view, once again, of the famed Manila Bay sunset. It was definitely one of the memorable staycations of TeamRH.

Manila Ocean Park Manila Bay Sunset
Manila Bay Sunset

Hotel H2O (book online)
Rizal Park, Manila, Metro Manila
Contact Number: (+632) 238.6100

Manila Ocean Park (book online)
Rizal Park, Manila, Metro Manila
Contact Number: (+632) 567.7777 local 118, 119, 123

1 comment:

  1. I stayed at the Manila Hotel about a week after this post. While I should have stayed at the H2O (it looks beautiful), I did see burning trash from the bus parking depot next door. Save your money if you plan to do a staycation at the Manila Hotel. Too many mosquitos in the room and dirty blankets on the bed.