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Check-in: May 30, 2014
Checkout: May 31, 2014
Room rate: Free (via Club Marriott membership)
*Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Marriott Manila.
Club Marriott is an annual membership which entitles the member one free stay at Marriott Manila, discounts on food and beverages in Marriott restaurants, and plenty of useful vouchers. I would say the total worth of all the freebies and vouchers for a year is about PHP 30,000 (USD 795.99) which is a score considering I paid about PHP 8,500 (USD 193.31) for a year! Since I live in America, my aunt registered for my membership on my behalf and she also booked my free stay for me. Hassle free service. I didn’t have to send an authorization letter or identification cards unlike other membership services.
Now on to Marriott Manila… Ah-may-zinggg! Yes, I went there. Security is tight at Marriott Manila and I mean airport-security-TSA-pat-you-down tight! Cars aren’t allowed to enter without passing their vehicle inspection checkpoint in which you can’t try to surpass because of the spikes sticking up from the ground like rocket launchers and not to mention that the main entrance has a baggage scanner. I like the added security presence but now that I think about it… It was a tad bit extreme. Nonetheless, I felt very safe and comfortable during my stay.
The room — oh man. I could have just laid around for hours doing nothing in that room! It was beautiful. I loved the relaxing ginger aroma and the spacious closet! The odd, yet unique, feature of this room was definitely the bathroom’s ceiling to floor window. Yes, window. You could see the beds from the bath tub and vice versa. Of course there’s a button which lowers the divider for privacy but it was pretty cool yet strange. LOL.
Marriott met my expectations on the service level: quick, professional, and courteous staff. The pool was beautiful but small and shallow, it went from two feet to four — To prevent anyone from drowning, I presume. Room (which was the standard room Marriott had) was above and beyond amazing. Marriott Cafe was a bit expensive but served pretty decent buffet food. It’s not that big but the choices they offered were on point. Location is ideal: near all three airport terminals, connected to Resorts World Manila (shopping, restaurants, and gambling), and near many highways/freeways.
Couldn’t ask for a better first impression!
TIP: Don’t forget to stroll around Resorts World Manila. On the second floor, you’ll find the Resorts World Manila membership kiosk. This is free. All you need is to fill up a form and show a government issued ID. This card will act as your voucher in the casino and is also your pass to get on the free shuttle of Resorts World Manila. The shuttle runs hourly to different areas in Manila: BF Homes Paranaque, Quezon City, all three airport terminals, and many more.
Travel period: December 29, 2013 - January 1, 2014
Departure Airport: Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (Manila, Philippines)
December 29. We left Manila at around 5AM and arrived in Hong Kong at around 7:30-ish. Once we cleared customs I got to see the “hype” everyone was talking about. Hong Kong International Airport is more like a shopping center! Damn. They have everything from clothing stores to electronic stores. HKIA even has shower rooms, for a price …of course! Lol. Okay, back to the trip. We took a taxi to Park Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui and proceeded to the Victoria Peak Tram. First off, let me say that the line to buy the tickets to ride the tram is insanely long! Once you finally get your ticket, you’ll then proceed to squeeze your way through a small hallway to line up to ride the tram. There’s absolutely no organization. Get ready to push and BE pushed! (You’ll eventually figure out that it’s like this in most Southeast Asian countries.) The ride itself is pretty exhilarating — the tram rides up a pretty steep hill and the views are breath taking! Though going back down was a different story since you sit with your back towards the ground.
I was so afraid that it pretty much made me wanna pee in my pants! Lol. Once we got to the top it was windy, chilly, and not what I expected. Two shopping malls were perched up at the top of the hill! Talk about utilizing space …and tourists’ money! You can go to the observation deck on the top floor of one of the malls. It’s pretty much the same scenic view as you saw in the tram, the only difference is that you can take pictures from the deck. To be honest, I wasn’t that amazed by Victoria Peak. It felt more commercialized rather than authentic to me. If there’s anything I regret spending on during my trip it’d probably be the entrance fee to Victoria Peak! Tourist trap. Tourist trap. Tourist trap!!!
December 30. Took a ferry to Macau and from there went on a tour around the island! Visited Largo de Senado, St Paul Ruins, A-ma Temple, and the Penha Church — which has the most amazing view of Macau! After the tour was over we headed over to the Venetian Casino to eat lunch at the Imperial House Dim Sum! Top quality dim sum, super fresh and absolutely delicious. Before heading home, we played on the slot machines. It was the boyfriend’s first time in a casino and he was hesitant on wasting our money away. — But we eventually won at least 80% of it back! LMAO. If you haven’t heard, most casinos in Macau have a free shuttle services to other casinos and the ferry terminal. Headed back to Tsim Sha Tsui around 10PM and had a late lunch at King’s Lodge near our hotel. There dim sum is so good and for at 3/4 of the price of the Imperial House Dim Sum! Winner. I suggested you try the dumplings in sweet chili oil. There’s something in that chili oil that takes it above and beyond! [Quick fact: The Venetian Casino and Hotel in Macau is the largest casino in the entire world! Take that, Las Vegas!]
December 31. We did the most touristy thing you can do in Hong Kong — Hong Kong Disneyland!!! LOL. Yeah, we couldn’t resist! (Not to mention, I have “Go to all Disney theme parks in the world” on my bucket list. Hehe.) Getting to Disneyland was pretty easy, two trains and we were there. Loved the Disney train! Too cute! If you get there early enough, you can use the coupons Disney puts in their brochures. Most of them are only good up until noon so be mindful of the time. We rang the new year in at the harbor — bad call. There were thousands of people and we were getting pushed around, stepped on, and yelled at. Absolute chaos. Yup, not doing that again! What’s worse? We waited in that crowd for 3 hours and saw NO FIREWORKS! Why? The fireworks were so low that the mall, or whatever that building was, covered the fireworks! It took us 15 minutes to walk from the hotel to our spot near the harbor and it took us over an hour and a half to walk back! Not the best way to start the new year, by the way.
January 1. Checked out of our hotel and did a little sigh seeing near the harbor. We strolled down Avenue of Stars, got in some geocaching, and soaked up our remaining hours in Hong Kong.
It was an exciting yet exhausting city! If I go back to Hong Kong, I’ll make sure it won’t be during the New Year again! Lol
Till next time, Hong Kong. xx
I love Tokyo. If I had to eat only in one city for the rest of my life, Tokyo would be it. Most chefs I know would agree with me.
For those with restless, curious minds, fascinated by layer upon layer of things, flavors, tastes and customs, which we will never fully be able to understand,…
rained poured while the boyfriend and I walked from the Navy Exchange to the stadium (a good mile walk). The wind wasn’t forgiving either!
This year was different from the rest. First of all, if you have no idea what I’, talking about this is the All-Star game of the NFL (American football league — that’s obviously not what NFL stands for. Lol. Google it.) This year the teams were unconferenced, meaning it wasn’t NFC vs AFC anymore. Some NFL rules/guidelines weren’t going to be followed; such as “grounding.” But the worst change? SHORTER PLAYING TIME. It got cut to 15 minutes! ARGH.
To my surprise Fall Out Boy played during half time — whom I fully believed broke up. Since it was only the Pro Bowl, they sang only two songs: My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up) and Sugar, We’re Goin Down. They were pretty good!
Finally at the 4th quarter the rain let up and we walked home dry and cold. Lol. Here’s some pics from our day :D
(FYI: The boyfriend has never been to a football game…EVER.
He’s a basketball fan. Pfft. Lol)