Tuesday, September 12, 2006

our weekend Hyatt-us

free for all!

my family and i spent the weekend at the Hyatt Hotel - for free!!

last year, a family friend gave us a Club Hyatt booklet, with 2 vouchers of free overnight stays and food freebies (lunch buffets and dinner). the booklet also comes with a membership cum discount card. whoopee! :D

so, we tossed our domestic problems out the window and, for two glorious days, basked in The Hyatt experience.

i was actually looking forward to check in after lunch but we had to wait because the people in room 430 haven't checked out yet. grrrr. it was a good thing they gave us welcome drinks because we waited for an hour. a glass of fresh calamansi juice and a blueberry muffin later, we were finally ushered in our room.

room 430 is the second to the last room at the end of the lengthy 4th floor corridor. the room is simple, understated, and, according to my parents (who are architects), needs improvement in the interior design. my papa couldn't help but comment on the huge mirror and bulky lamp on the cabinet in front of the beds. instead of placing the mirror on the dresser where we could actually use it, the mirror was used as an aesthetic piece. it annoyed my dad to no end. he complained about it at least 3 times, i'm sure. everytime we had to brush our hair while watching tv, we had to stand on the bed just to see ourselves in the mirror. they had a full-length mirror actually but we still wanted a dresser mirror so we could primp while watching tv (we're a multi-tasking bunch). so, if you know Hyatt's interior designer, please tell him that we appreciate his/her efforts, but we want cash. ay, labo! haha!

the other areas in the hotel weren't that bad. the lobby was elegant and cozy. i liked their use of the dark wood and neutral colors. it made the accents, like the lamps and centerpieces, pop. the design extended to the Calesa Bar, which was right next to the lobby. i also loved their huge windows! when i took a quick tour saturday morning, the windows were glazed with frost from the centralized aircon. it made a beautiful backdrop to the furniture and created the perfect touch as you gaze at the garden.

anyways, enough of the design. let's talk about the food. ooh, the food!! i'm drooling just remembering our dinner and lunch at
Cafe Al Fresco, where we used our 50% discount (dinner) and free lunch buffet. i just wished i could bring home all the wonderful dishes in their buffet tables. i was so caught up in my gastronomic experience that i forgot to take photos. hm, that's been happening to me recently. i'm beginning to think i'm getting old.

well, at least i remembered to use my underwater camera when gelli and i swam in their pool. finally, i can have the film developed! yes, it's the same camera i brought with me when we went to
puerto galera last summer. i'll post the photos as soon as i have the negatives scanned. i hope the previous shots are still clear!

but, of course, the underwater cam wasn't the only camera we used. hehe.

i suddenly recalled my previous post about my narcissistic nature. weeeeelll, it definitely runs in the family. :D

gelli and i were so excited to swim because we were the only ones there! well, save for the hotel staff, that is. but we really didn't care. we certainly made the most out of our morning break. :)

wait, before anyone thinks that all we did was take photos, i just want to make it clear that this pictorial happened after we swam for an hour. from all the photos we have, i have a feeling our pictorial took an hour, too. these are just some of the photos. konti lang, ano?

tonet, my other sister, wasn't able to join us because she slept til noon! tsk, tsk, tsk...at least now she knows how we spent our morning - we used her digicam as well. when she opened her camera's gallery, she was immediately bombarded with photos of gelli and me.

that woke her up in an instant. hahaha!

not to be outdone, tonet also insisted to be included in our Hyatt photos. there you go, sis.

oh, we included the parents, too. hehe.

Mall of Asia, revisited

after checking out, our parents had to go to their own appointments. papa went to the dentist while mama had a full-body massage (lucky her!). tonet had her own gimmick with her high school friends and just dropped us (gelli and i) at the
mall of asia where we killed time until our parents came back.

unfortunately for gelli, she had to study for her college entrance exams next week. so while she was reviewing in starbucks, i decided to take a stroll around the mall. now, a normal stroll usually involves casually walking around and taking in the sights with a sense of relaxation and calm. shopping at the mall of asia is most definitely NOT a leisurely stroll! that place is HUGE! even if the buildings (i think the mall has four separate buildings) are just two-storeys high, they cover a wide expanse of space that you can easily get lost while shopping. not that i got lost. or went shopping.

from what i know, the mall of asia is SM's second mall that offers al fresco shopping. i've already been to the baguio branch but unlike baguio's completely aircondition-free buildings, mall of asia only has several strategic locations facing manila bay that are open to welcome the fresh and salty breeze. but they do have something that the mall in the summer capital of the philippine's does not - two viewing decks that stretch over the street and onto the bayside. so if you want to take a romantic stroll along the bay, you just have to pass the bridge and you're there before you can say HHWWPSSP.

oh, did i mention the skating rink? much bigger than the one in megamall, mall of asia's skating rink is set against a beautiful winter backdrop. the snow-capped mountains are a perfect reminder of the philippine's recent Mt. Everest conquest, a definite confidence boost for the amateur skaters. even if reaching the top of Mt. Everest and learning how to skate are two different things, they both involve a lot of ice, perseverance, and courage (especially if half of the mall's population is watching you make a fool of yourself in the skating rink).

after i went back to starbucks to check if gelli drowned in her green tea frap, we got a text message from our parents that they're already in the Shrine of Jesus for the anticipated mass. oh, ok. at least we can rest tomorrow.

the mass ended just in time for us to find a spot along the staircase facing the bay for the weekend pyro show. i just want to commend the SM management for this brilliant idea. i mean, what can be more perfect than ending your shopping spree with a spectacular fireworks display? it will surely take your mind off the money that you just spent. at least for 15 minutes. :)

a free hotel stay, free food, and free fireworks. the best things in life are so free!

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