Airport – Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)
We had too much excitement leaving the gate and the process was better than anticipated. Immigration process was quick and efficient. It didn’t take long for us to get our bags from the relevant carousel. Security were also helpful whenever we needed any direction. Don’t be alarmed when staff start calling you “Mum” (ma’am) or “Sir”. You’ll be hearing this everywhere you go in the Philippines. Money changers are also available just before leaving the building so this is where we exchanged most of our Australian dollars. The buy rate is okay but it’s probably better in other outlets such as shopping centres, malls, etc.
Be prepared for really tight security measures here. Our bags were scanned twice and manually checked by staff by an additional two times (both your check in and carry on luggage) on the way to the boarding gate from the first entrance. Our flight was at 7pm and we were lucky that our transfer to the airport was there half an hour early. Even though it only took us 30 minutes to get to the airport (and it’s usually estimated to be 1 hour travel given traffic), the check in and immigration process took a very long time. A bit of a tedious process but if you’re there early enough, you shouldn’t feel stressed at all. There are a few cafes around to ease the hunger before the flight but don’t expect any fine dining.
Hotel – Remington Hotel ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
My partner and I were only staying one night in Manila before catching another flight to a different island in the Philippines. The Remington is placed conveniently opposite the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and adjacent to Resorts World. We took the free shuttle bus from NAIA to The Remington. The stand was just located across the road so it shouldn’t be hard to find, but airport security are more than helpful if you need any assistance. The shuttle bus also stops at other hotels around Resorts World such as the Marriott Hotel Manila.
Upon arrival, staff collected our bags while we checked in. The lobby looked gorgeous. Reception staff were polite, efficient and provided quick service. The staff with our luggage showed us to our room, which was clean and adequate for one night’s stay. That same night, we enjoyed the bar service located just at the back of the lobby. Happy hour was from 5pm to midnight, which was a delightful shock to us Aussies whose happy hour is usually only from 5-7! Happy hour absolutely exceeded our expectations with cocktails at 120PHP each and at the time would be about $3.23 AUD! My partner also ordered a beer bucket (5 beers) which also only costed us 250PHP. Complimentary breakfast was also part of our reservation. The adobo and corned beef was a really good breakfast to wake up to. Staff were again more than accommodating for our departure. No issues or problems with our stay at all. I would definitely recommend this place if you’re on a budget and prefer location convenience.
Entertainment – Resorts World Manila
Resorts World Manila was just across the road from where we were staying and it gave us our first taste of the night life in the Philippines. Within Resorts World, we browsed the shops, took way too long to decide where to eat (because there were so many amazing options with various cuisines), played with some pokies machines and enjoyed the live music in the casino. Everywhere we went we noticed how well staffed each place is, especially in regards to security so we had no concerns regarding the lack of our safety. One thing we learnt is to make the most of the night life there. We decided to make it an early night to explore in the morning, only to find out that everything doesn’t open until midday! One night was enough for us at Resorts World. If you’re into gambling, drinking and partying, you’ll enjoy Resorts World.
Food – Crisostomo
For our first night in the Philippines, we decided to try the busiest restaurant there that night to see what the hype was. The menu was overwhelming with so many Filipino dishes to choose from. Complimentary cornick was provided to snack on while we were deciding and waiting for our food. Their red sangria was tasty with the perfect combination of wine and fruits. We had Carriedo (sautéed prawn gambas), KKK Barbeque (pork) and Escolta (pancit/noodles with meat, seafood and quail eggs). There were no regrets with our order because the food was well cooked with the right flavours and we didn’t wait that long either. The total cost of our food was only 1085PHP which is approx 29AUD at the time. Definitely worth it.
Rosheen Delos Santos | March 2017
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