While my husband and I were walking along Jones Bridge, Manila, I just can’t resist taking a picture of the majestic-looking Philippine Postal Office. It’s really a beautiful building, though, I have no idea what it looks like inside.
I’ve been anticipating Hotel H20’s opening since it’s the first and only aquarium-themed hotel in the Philippines located at the heart of Manila Ocean Park.
One fateful day, I read from Mig’s site (Everything in a Budget) that Hotel H20 is offering an opening blow out rate promotion of Php2,010++ for an overnight stay (regular rate is Php6,000++) from Dec. 1 to Dec. 29. Realizing it’s a sweet bargain, I immediately called up the hotel, booked a room, done! Reservations was a breeze. Though when I called, the hotel said Dec. 15 was the only available date left, but we didn’t mind. It’s also a book and buy promo; so they requested for my credit card info over the phone to avail the Php2,010++ rate.
Dec. 15 came and we arrived at Ocean Park at 3PM due to the Wednesday traffic in Baclaran (Wednesday mass). It’s our own fault tho because we left at 1PM coming from Paranaque.
Going to the hotel is the same as going inside Ocean Park. You’ll have to park your cars in Kalaw side (the side where Harbor View restaurant is) and pay P25.00. Parking fee will be refunded after you have checked out the next day. Just make sure to ask the receptionist about the parking clearance once you check out.
From the parking lot, we have to walk all the way to Ocean Park’s entrance. We didn’t mind the walk, but if I bet other travelers who are exhausted from their trip would find this an inconvenience.
Just a few steps from Ocean Park’s entrance you will find Hotel H20‘s entrance on your left before you reach the “dome”. We were told by the friendly manong guard to go up to the 3rd floor where the front desk was.
The Hotel: Front Desk
As we entered the hotel, we only saw the hotel staff, but no customers. It’s a plus for us because no customers means no lines and we were well-taken care of. The staff were all smiles, asked if they could take our luggage – everyone’s eye was on us. It was the first time I experienced that kind of treatment in a hotel. It was quite nice.
As we were walking through the hallway, we noticed that their hotel rooms were all on one floor only; so it’s a pretty small hotel.
As we entered our room, we were immediately wowed by the beautiful sight of the aquarium! My son was thrilled to see it. I was glad I reserved the Aqua Room. We were also informed that they offer complementary mini bar and WIFI (they’re free! Yey!) You just need to call the receptionist for the WIFI’s username and password to have internet access. Their WIFI connection was also pretty fast.
Likes and Dislikes
At first, we were disappointed due to the absence of a bathtub, but it was compensated with a “rain shower”, uh, shower so we got over it quickly.
Their queen-sized bed was so soft, almost comparable to then Hyatt Regency’s soft linens and bed. Their bed frame had a foam placed inside and was covered in a leather-like material so the edges were not sharp or dangerous for kids to play on.
Since the hotel is new, everything is new – the carpets, the bed, their Samsung flat screen TV, the toilet, the sink, even the thermos! 😀 Unlike in other hotels when you go barefoot on their carpets, you’ll see your feet colored black due to dust accumulated by the carpets. We didn’t experience this in Hotel H20. So I wasn’t worried whenever my son would sit down and play with his toy trucks on the carpet. I just hope they could maintain this kind of cleanliness.
I was about to give all pros to the room, but my husband reminded me of the few cons we experienced:
1. No chain lock at the door. If there were just adults staying in the room, then this wouldn’t be a problem. But since we have a 3-year-old with us, he could easily reach the door knob and open the door to get outside without our supervision simply because there’s no chain lock above the door.
2. Peep hole at the door was too high. My height is 5.1″ and it was difficult for me to peek at the peep hole because it was too high for me.
3. Whenever we take a shower and since there is no shower curtain, only a glass door, water was leaking out of the shower room and the water would even reach the carpet in the bedroom even if we close the glass door. We were surprised that the complimentary slippers we placed on the floor near the carpet were soaking wet because water had reached them from the shower room.
I, therefore, conclude that staying overnight in Hotel H20 was a very refreshing experience! No other hotels can offer this kind of leisure and no other hotels have big aquariums in their rooms! Staying overnight was a real treat and my family really enjoyed their stay.
Oh! Did I mention that the room rate already includes buffet breakfast for 2? Yup! We ate a full buffet breakfast in MakanMakan good for 2 (kids eat for free). Their buffet spread was not as grand as other hotels, but it definitely filled our tummies.
Below are the pictures we took from our weekday getaway:
It was one hot election day and I just finished voting. Since the keyword there is “hot”, we decided to cool down and went to a nearby fast food chain, Tropical Hut.I really like eating here. It has a certain ambiance to it and you got a lot to choose from in their menu. Plus, they’re open 24/7 and they deliver.
Nico looking at the promos.
Halo-Halo with one scoop of ice cream (Php 59)
Delicious and refreshing.
Mais Con Hielo w/ 1 scoop ice cream (Php 46)
If halo-halo is too heavy for you, why not try mais con hielo? This is what I usually order when I don’t feel like eating halo-halo.
Black Gulaman (Php 30)
Sweet and refreshing drink. This is my sister’s favorite summer drink.
Savory Chicken has been famous since Vilma Santos’ movie, Relasyon, showed in the big screens and I think that was some time around the early 80’s. I say this because the name of the restaurant, Savory Chicken, was mentioned in that movie by Vilma Santos herself. I guess that’s what happens if you watch too many Tagalog movies in Cinema One channel.
Since I live in the south, I was delighted to know that Savory has a branch in Alabang Town Center and Festivall Mall, Alabang. The difference between the two is that in ATC, they’re located in a food court so their store is pretty small, while in Festival Mall, it’s actually a restaurant inside the mall.
We ordered 2 solo meals which costs around Php 155 each inclusive of 1 quarter chicken, 1 side dish, 1 cup of yang chow fried rice and one dessert. Drinks not included in the price.
Their fried chicken is very delicious. You have to try it yourself to see the difference among other fried chickens in the market.
We were about to go to Starbucks inside SM Southmall until we saw the colorful sign of Cara Mia.
As we approached the store, we were welcomed by the view of their mouth-watering gelatos being displayed at their store.
And so, we gave in and didn’t waste any time ordering the following:
One scoop of Strawberry flavored gelato and one scoop of Mango Jubilee
(Php 60 each )
We told Nico not to touch the gelatos yet, so he patiently waits until we’re finished taking pictures of them. (So cute!) My husband and my son got addicted to the Strawberry-flavored one. I really can’t blame them because when I tasted it, the flavor is just so rich and so yummy! Same goes with the mango, but, we like the strawberry better.
Caramel Espresso Gelato Shake (Php 130)
I like this drink. It’s actually similar to your typical milk shake – milky, flavorful, delicious! I also like its not-too-sweet flavor because of the espresso mixed into it. I’d say it’s a refreshing alternative to your typical iced coffee.
A slice of Brazo de Mercedes (Php 45)
Just your good old fashioned brazo de mercedes.
All in all, it was a very satisfying dessert experience. We’ll definitely go back to try out their other flavors.
FYI: They also accept major credit cards for payment.