There is no international airport near my home town (yet) and the quickest and most convenient way for us is to fly in and out of Manila. Depending on the flight schedule, I choose connecting flights but the weather during the rainy months of July and August is tricky. Flights could be delayed and even if I choose the earliest flight, if the plane leaves on time, I will end up waiting for hours at the airport in Manila…with kids.
That I didn’t want to happen during our recent travel (going back to the UAE after spending one month in the Philippines).
I chose to leave a day prior to our flight date and stay at a hotel in Manila. There are plenty of hotels to choose from depending on budget, location, reviews and word of mouth. We ended up staying at The Holiday Inn & Suites in Makati because of its proximity to the airport and safety/convenience factor.
I chose this hotel first and foremost for location: it is very near to the airport and it is situated at the heart of the business district of Makati. Also, one very nice advantage of this hotel is that it’s connected to the Glorietta Mall. If you’re travelling with kids or someone who is not familiar with Manila and feel uncomfortable venturing out to walk to the malls or to take a cab, this is actually a huge plus!
AIRPORT PICK UP
I requested for private pick up from the airport, though a little bit costly at PHP1,500 (as of this writing), because it gave me a sense of security. Unfortunately, Manila can be a dangerous place and I’ve heard and read a lot of horror stories of newly landed people (tourists or otherwise) being duped by taxi drivers. The hotel arranged one person with proper identification to meet us right outside the terminal and took us to the car, with full assistance on our luggage. I highly recommend their service!
Holiday Inn & Suites Makati is only less than 4 kilometers from the airport, according to Google maps but with the traffic in Manila, it took us about 30 minutes.
I expected to queue at the check in counter for the check in procedures, however, we were directly taken to our rooms where we did our check in. Easy breezy!
We had two queen size beds in the room, one for Pristine and the other for me and Benjamin. We had interesting pillows in the room. They have the words “soft” and “firm” mark so you can select which type of pillow you prefer! If the kids didn’t insist we go to the pool, I think I could have slept in this comfy bed all day!
The room was clean and functional with mini bar, complimentary water, coffee and tea. It’s a happy surprise that you would not need adaptors in the electrical outlets on the wall.
* Note that there is no tub in the bathroom but this is never an issue for us.
After a good night’s sleep, the kids woke up early! We were headed down at 7am. Breakfast was served at Flavors Restaurant at the Lobby floor and we were surprised that the restaurant was buzzing with diners at 7am. So different than in Dubai!
I am happy with the breakfast buffet selection and there was even pork adobo! Where in the world would you have pork adobo for breakfast?
After breakfast, the kids did not have anything else in mind except going to the pool. They saw it on the night we arrived and couldn’t wait to swim. As it was a weekday when we were there, we had the pool all to ourselves. They have two pools – one small and shallow for kids and one for adults.
The hotel also had a well-equipped gym – no reason to skip exercise!
We had a very pleasant stay at the Holiday Inn & Suites Makati. The staff are fantastic, always very professional and with a ready smile. Location was unbeatable, connection to the mall made moving around very easy especially it rained when we were there.
Oh and there is free WiFi!
If you are worried about the price that is a little high than other Holiday Inns, take it from me, this hotel is beyond any usual Holiday Inn. (Just think of the savings you can make by not requiring to hire a taxi to go anywhere for food, shopping or entertainment!)
It’s easy to assume a Holiday Inn hotel is mainly for business travellers. However, Holiday Inn & Suites Makati caters for families with children too with their “Kids Stay & Eat Free” campaign. I would gladly choose to stay at Holiday Inn & Suites Makati whenever we find ourselves back in Manila soon. And you should too!
We were guests at Holiday Inn & Suites Makati but all opinions are my own.