When I travel or go backpacking on my own, I don’t mind sleeping in run-down hostels with public restrooms, camping in a tent on the beach or even just hanging up a hammock somewhere for the night. But when I travel with my family, I want to make sure they’re comfortable. Hotel staycations are a nice way to relax and can be a lot of fun if you’re with family or friends.
My parents had just come from a long bus ride from Bicol to spend time with my nephew on his 8th birthday. I suggested a road trip to Tanay or Batangas, but the traffic getting in and out of the city wasn’t a very welcome prospect. They just wanted to relax and spend quality time together. So to celebrate, we decided to just have a very chill hassle-free family staycation at a hotel.
I browsed through the Traveloka App for a place that was family-friendly and in a good location in the city, where we wouldn’t get too caught up by the traffic and decided on Marco Polo Ortigas Manila. It’s a 5-star hotel in Pasig, not too far from Quezon City. Thanks to complimentary voucher codes and ongoing promos and discounts, we were able to get a pretty good deal on a room for 3 adults (kids are free!).
Centrally located in the Ortigas Commercial Business District between Quezon City, Mandaluyong and Pasig City, Marco Polo Ortigas offers a good base for those who want to go around the city. The hotel is just a short drive from major shopping and entertainment centers like SM Megamall, The Podium, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, and Robinson’s Galleria.
The app conveniently displays the nearby attractions on a map. It’s right across Metrowalk and on the same road as Capitol Commons and Estancia Mall. For those looking for entertainment for kids, areas like Tiendesitas and Greenfield District are close by too.
BOOKING AND CHECK-IN:
Since I wasn’t sure yet of our plans the day before, this was a last-minute booking on the morning of our stay. Thankfully, there were still rooms available at Marco Polo Ortigas. The Traveloka app showed all the amenities, the main facilities available like parking, swimming pool, elevator and Wifi. There were also ratings and reviews from guests and directions to hotels and maps nearby which I found useful. The rates and inclusions per room were neatly listed. Each room shows the maximum number of guests allowed and whether rooms come with or without breakfast.
With a few swipes on my phone, I was able to book a room easily. After applying the discount codes, I got the hotel voucher via email within minutes which I just had to show at the check-in counter (no need to print anything!) along with a valid ID. Based on the crowd at the check-in counter, the place is really popular for families. They were quite busy with people checking out, but the staff at the hotel were very friendly and checking-in was seamless even for a last-minute booking.
Take note that aside from the room fee, Marco Polo Ortigas requires a refundable deposit of P2,500 for consumables, either by cash or credit card, which they will cancel if you don’t consume anything.
Marco Polo Ortigas has 316 guestrooms including upscale suites and Continental Club floors offering the best views of the Ortigas skyline and panoramic valley and mountain views. We got a room on the 37th floor with a king sized bed, since twin beds were all out.
The room was very spacious and stylishly designed in elegant earth tones with an artistic green headboard art piece. The bed was super comfy that it made us all just want to lounge about.
There was a wide counter for working with outlets hidden under a wooden panel. There’s also a refrigerator stocked with a minibar, tea making facilities and a Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary coffee capsules, which my mom and I couldn’t figure out how to use. Snacks and drinks from hotels are really pricey, so it’s good to know that there’s a 7-11 convenience store right at the ground floor lobby going to the back exit where you can buy last-minute supplies.
The bathroom was huge, with separate cubicles for the toilet and shower area with a power shower and all the complimentary toiletries you need. My nephew really enjoyed taking a bubble bath in the tub.
Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas has four specialty outlets within the premises. Cucina, the all-day dining restaurant features live show kitchens; Lung Hin, the contemporary Chinese restaurant serving traditional and authentic Cantonese cuisine; Café Pronto, the relaxed and friendly coffee venue; and VU’s, the first of its kind sky bar and lounge located on the topmost 45th floor of the hotel.
But even if you aren’t eating at the hotel there are many dining options nearby. At the ground floor behind the hotel there are affordable restos like Pancake House and Senor Pollo. Since my parents relocated to Bicol, they’re only in Manila every other month, so we usually go for quality restaurants and their favorites that they can only enjoy in Manila.
Since we were near the Kapitolyo area, we went to Locavore, one of my favorite restaurants in the city that serves Filipino food with a local twist (like Sizzling Sinigang) and Beerhouse on Brixton for some craft beer, Podium for Cafe Mediterranean and made use of some complimentary GCs I had to try The Wholesome Table in Estancia Mall.
There’s a Kid’s Club on the ground floor with a small ball swim, books, and toys. My nephew scoffed and said it was too kiddy for him, but if you’re traveling with toddlers and smaller children they might appreciate it. We drove to Greenfield District in the afternoon to try out the Trampoline Park, which he enjoyed very much.
We weren’t able to check out the Fitness Center and Spa, but I heard they offer the best view of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges. The gym is open for 24 hours. The Spa offers a wide range of treatments and massage services perfect for unwinding and relaxation.
One of the best features is the indoor infinity pool located on the 22nd level of the hotel tower overlooking the Ortigas cityscape. It was a bit crowded when we went, but if you go on a weekday or early, you can probably enjoy it to yourself. The water is pretty shallow, but the view is great. They provide large towels here and citrus-infused water for guests and companions. There are a few lounge chairs for non-swimming companions. There’s also a hot tub area and steam rooms/saunas in the shower area.
WHO SHOULD CHECK IN:
Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas is ideal for families, couples, leisure travelers and business travelers who want to have a base in a strategic location in the city and want to stay connected. It’s for those who want luxury amenities, first-class service, quality and comfort. It’s clean, modern and the service is good. It’s a good hotel for a quick getaway.
ADDRESS & CONTACT INFO:
Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas. 600 Meralco Ave, San Antonio, Pasig, 1600 Metro Manila, Philippines. Website: www.marcopolohotels.com