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Tips and Guides

6 Staycation Options Before You Welcome 2018

Get some down time, no matter what kind of vacay weekend you’re looking for

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Photography: courtesy of the Author and the Hotels

With traffic at an all-time high this Christmas season, people are trading in the typical holiday hop (house parties, office outings, etc.) for steadier, more peaceful celebrations spent indoors. If you’re looking for a change of scenery but don’t want to miss out on the comfort of a whole Hygge day spent in bed, consider these staycation options that will have you indulging in some guilt-free snoozing and chilling.

For the Luxe Solo Traveler: Aruga Rockwell

  • Waterfront Drive, Rockwell Center, 1200 Makati City
  • (02) 818-0000
  • www.aruga.com.ph

Aruga means nurture, and there’s nothing more nourishing than an entire weekend devoted to self-love. From the minute you step into Aruga’s well-appointed lobby until you’re brought to your room by the graceful hotel staff, you’re met with absolute care. Whether you’re staying in a studio unit or a suite, each room is equipped to give you the absolute best solo staycation experience possible.

Relaxation comes easy at the hotel’s pool area, which gives a lovely view of the complex. If you’ve ever envisioned owning a highly prized unit at Rockwell, a stay at Aruga will be enough inspiration to get cracking on that dream investment. One of Rockwell’s strong points in its developments is its units’ smart layouts. Aruga’s suites do not compromise on storage space (great if you’re staying longer than one night), and have ample space for entertaining too (in case you get lonely on your solo staycation).

One of the perks of staying at Aruga Rockwell is your proximity to Power Plant Mall. Fancy cooking dinner for yourself? You have private access to the mall so you can make a last-minute grocery run. Want to gift yourself a spontaneous shopping spree or a nail spa treat? You don’t even need to cross the street to get things done. The in-house restaurant, Aruga Café by Mesclun also boasts of a great breakfast selection that offers a wide range of cuisines.

From the coffee machine to the well-stocked kitchen supplies, lovely-smelling bathroom accessories to all the fluffy pillows, you’ll find your room is decorated with keen attention to detail—perfect for someone who knows that it’s the little things that can make or break a self-care themed getaway.

For the Old Souls: The Henry Hotel Manila

If you’re looking for a last-minute gift idea for your parents or grandparents, it’ll be wise to book them a staycation at The Henry. The boutique hotel is situated in a complex of colonial houses, restored and updated to bring its original baldosa tiles, geometric motifs, and vibrant spaces back to life. With rooms that pay particular attention to design, pattern, texture and historical context, a weekend spent at The Henry is akin to rewinding back a few decades and enjoying Manila in its heyday.

Another benefit to staying at The Henry is getting out of the traffic-riddled CBDs during the holiday season. Bringing your parents there may instigate a welcome wave of nostalgia for the days when the old capital was really the center of everything. While the rooms are retrofitted to function like any modern hotel does, they don’t lose their old world flair with details like clawfoot tubs, window grills, verandas, and a wealth of trees.

No stay at The Henry is complete without savoring a dinner at the Apartment 1B-operated restaurant right by the lobby. Comfort food plus the comfort of staying indoors all day are certainly great reasons to make the trip to Pasay.

For the Barkada: Discovery Primea

For groups with busy social calendars, you’ll do well to schedule a stay at one of Makati’s newest five-star offerings, Discovery Primea. Accessible via P2P (ditch your car for a hassle-free commute) and near some of the city’s most popular spots for coffee, cocktails and dinners, getting your group a room at this centrally-located hotel means you can reach everyone and everyone can reach you. Another bonus? If you’re looking for a place to crash after a late night out on the town, you can’t do much better than this.

One of the tallest buildings in the country, Discovery treats you with some of the best poolside views (more reason to stay in and just have the rest of the fam drop by), excellent spa services, and great dining options at in-house restaurants Flame and Tapenade. If your group has done a Boracay vacation at Discovery Shores, it’ll be fun to switch things up by going Discovery in the city, and getting the same “service that’s all heart” treatment.

Another upside to staying in all-day is the streaming potential offered by Discovery Primea’s high-speed internet. If an all-day marathon of The Crown with your best friends seems like a good idea, then we highly suggest checking in.

For guests who book getaways from now until January 14, a 20% off on room rate, along with 20% savings on all F&B outlets at the hotel are on offer. (A minimum of two nights is required for those checking in through December 24 and 31).

For Couples: Picasso Makati

If weekends have become a humdrum thing for you and your partner, it might be a good idea to ship yourselves off to a different locale for the weekend. Salcedo Village’s serviced residences at The Picasso mix art and the “art of weekending” well. With rooms themed on Pablo Picasso’s work—warm colors, graphic patterns, and an all-around warm and friendly vibe take you out of your everyday and have you experiencing Makati in a whole new light.

A well-lived weekend can meet different things for different couples. Whether your idea of a perfect morning is strolling through the stalls of Salcedo Market, settling down for a fine cup of coffee (Picasso offers great brews at its resident deli, Cartel), upping your art appreciation at a local gallery, or going for a luxurious massage, this Salcedo Village landmark has something on offer. (And for couples who can’t seem to stay put? A stay at Picasso comes with complimentary shuttle service around the Makati CBD and Ayala Malls).

From now until December 30, overnight stays at The Picasso with a breakfast for two come with a special, limited edition Pablo bear.

For the Kids: Crosswinds Resort Suites

Head south to the city of cold weather and delicious eats to get your kids off their iPads and out in the wild. If you’re jonesing for a Disney-esque getaway to entertain your children, the two-hour drive from Manila to Tagaytay’s Crosswinds Resort Suites will be worth it. As soon as you drive in, you’re transported to a fun Switzerland-inspired 100-hectare property that the kids will delight in, complete with pine trees, windmill, and giant red chair.

Crosswinds offers a three and one-bedroom suites that are perfect for big groups (bring your titos, titas, cousins, and friends), and queen studios for smaller families. Kids will delight in all the sites, accessible via free shuttle from the hotel. From a pool and playground, to wide, open green spaces, a Christmas village, and picturesque viewpoints, you’ll have endless opportunities to initiate some old-fashioned family bonding here.

Another perk of staying at Crosswinds is that every room has its own kitchen. Whether you ask the front office to assist you with some food delivery (complimentary breakfasts can be served right at your room!), bring substantial baon with you, or want to schedule a special lunch or dinner at the eclectic Café Voila just a short drive up (shuttle is free), you’re sure to stay delightfully fed and full at this family-friendly out of town spot.

For the No-Vacay Office Worker: Parque España Alabang

If you’re riddled with work all through the holiday season (no rest for the weary!), a staycation may seem like the last thing on your mind. If you book strategically, however, you could have the best of both worlds—the peace and quiet you need to finish that report, meet that deadline, or brainstorm with your team, plus a large enough space to accommodate your family. Parque España can offer both with its ample sized rooms that have a generous living and dining area, plus a private bedroom.

The Spanish-themed rooms of this south-centric residence hotel can perk up some dreary deskwork. Think dreamy blues, lively tiles, and vibrant patterns. Great internet connectivity means you can deliver all your requirements remotely without skipping a beat. While you’re spending your day getting work done or getting powwows on with colleagues, your family can take the complimentary shuttle to the nearby malls as well. If you prefer staying in, Bistro del Cielo can deliver their generously portioned meals straight to your room, making your work-cation incredibly hassle-free.

For those who already live south side, it may be fun to spend a weekend not at home, and be just a short walk away from popular restaurant, The Black Pig.

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