I have a confession: Metro Manila makes me anxious.
In fact, I wish I don’t have to go through the Philippines’ capital city whenever I go back to my first home, in the south. Why? Because I am not familiar with the place and the stories and news of crime don’t help erase my anxiety. I hate the traffic as well. However, since there is no international airport near or in my hometown, I have no choice but to pass through Manila International Airport each and every time I visit my parents in the Philippines. Even if I arrive in Manila in the morning, the long haul flight (9 hours from Dubai), I always prefer to stay overnight to rest it out, especially if I travel with the kids and fly out by noon time the next day.
So my goal is to find a clean, safe place to stay for the night + not too far from the airport. This time around, we stayed at The Bellevue Manila, in Alabang, Muntinlupa.
Wait – I did say I wanted a hotel not too far from the airport but Alabang? I know most will be quick to ask, “but isn’t Alabang far?
Filinvest City, Alabang where the hotel is located isn’t exactly ‘near’ the airport per se, if you look at the map. Makati would probably be nearer in distance but surprisingly, the trip from the airport to the hotel only took less than 30 minutes via the Metro Manila Skyway. The Bellevue Manila’s location within the Alabang Business District brings you close to dining and entertainment spots like Alabang Town Center, SM South Mall, Festival Mall and Alabang Business District.
The check in was smooth and fast, the staff on the desk was very friendly and accommodating and made sure we get our room access cards quickly so we can rest. We were assigned to the 16th floor of the main wing of the hotel.
We were asked to give a PHP2,000 deposit per night, per room as incidental deposit. This was refunded during check out.
What do you check first when you get in your hotel room for the first time? I check for views outside the window! Philippines is into the rainy season right now and overcast skies like this is very common – as in every day, especially in the afternoons. I love how green Alabang and the surrounding areas are. It’s definitely a relief from the concrete jungle of central Manila.
The kids and I stayed on a deluxe room with very comfortable king bed. The room is clean and wide with the usual amenities like a wide screen tv with cable, a work desk and a free WiFi with strong connection.
One of the things I love about this room is the bathroom. What is your bathroom preference (be it in your home or in hotels)? Mine is separate shower and bath tub. There was also a hand shower as bidet near the toilet bowl. Now that was a surprise as it’s the norm in the UAE and I actually prefer that than without after living in Dubai for a long time.
We could see the pool below our 16th floor room so I know we have to check it out. The weather was overcast at around 30C but there was wind and humidity was low. The water looked really inviting! I love that the pool is long enough for laps to relieve jet lag.
For dinner, we checked out the Japanese restaurant Hatsune inside the hotel, in the Tower Wing. There were many Japanese guests, which means, the dishes served are trusted to be authentic enough. We have not dined out in a Japanese restaurant for a while in Dubai because our favorite joint was closed during the whole month of Ramadan.
The next day, we woke up early to have breakfast at Cafe d’ Asie. The breakfast spread was good with Filipino, Korean, Indian and Japanese dishes. We love that there was miso soup and maki rolls.
We ventured out outside when we saw a 24 hour Jolibee restaurant outside the hotel. If you’re a Filipino living abroad, it is but imperative and automatic reaction to eat at Jolibee as soon as you’re back home. I don’t usually go out of hotels where we stay to keep safe (unless the hotel is connected to a mall) but the streets outside Bellevue Manila were clean and very peaceful. I did not feel unsafe at all.
We enjoyed our short stay at The Bellevue Manila and it definitely satisfied the requirements that I needed for a safe, clean accommodation while in the capital and it wasn’t far from the airport at all! Our flight was at 12 noon the next day and we left the hotel at 9:45 am, just in case. We reached the airport at 10:30, took a little time as there was little traffic at the Skyway because of the rain.
Next week, we’re off to another Bellevue property – this time, in Bohol island!