Hotel holiday happenings

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This Christmas, indulge in 5-star festivities from seven of the metro’s upscale accommodations

There’s good reason why many choose to spend the holidays in a premier hotel or serviced apartment. Besides their super-luxe rooms and suites, the city’s best accommodations pamper its guests to the hilt with dazzling Christmas displays, special menus from their in-house bars and restaurants, and unlimited drinks leading to a rousing New Year’s Eve countdown.

Welcome 2023 in rich comfort and style when you book yourself in any of these high-end homes away from home during the last days of the year.

Ascott Philippines

(Denise Olegario The Ascott Limited Philippines Director of Sales and Marketing, Jenna Liwanag The Ascott Limited Director of Revenue Management, Zenddie Delos Reyes The Ascott Limited Philippines Country Financial Controller, Yen Diego OIC – Operations Manager of Somerset Millennium Makati, Cecile Teodoro General Manager of Ascott Makati and Somerset Millenium Makati, Philip Barnes The Ascott Limited Philippines Country General Manager, Rennan John Reyes General Manager of Ascott Bonifacio Global City and Citadines Bay City Manila, Joyce Agsaway Residence Manager of Somerset Alabang Manila, Susan Salcedo The Ascott Limited Philippines City Manager, Gwen Contreras Assistant Residence Manager of Ascott Bonifacio Globas City, Faith Quijano Assistant Residence Manager of Citadines Bay City Manila, Pauline Zamora Assistant Residence Manager of Somerset Olympia Makati)

This Christmas, the leading luxury serviced apartment brand teams up with poverty alleviation and nation-building movement Gawad Kalinga (GK) to make everyone’s dreams come true. Through a campaign called Hopes and Wishes, a P200 donation to GK entitles you to purchase a wish card where you can write your personal wishes. Wish cards will be hung on the Christmas Trees of all Ascott properties, and the Ascott team will make one lucky wish-maker’s dream come true per property. Glorietta 4, Ayala Malls, Makati, (02) 7729-8888; 5th Avenue, corner 28th Street, Taguig; (02) 8860-9888.

The Manila Hotel

Hamper

With the lighting of its Christmas Tree on November 9, The Manila Hotel signaled the start of the holiday season—a Filipino-themed one at that, courtesy of Manila Hotel Creative Design Consultant Rachy Cuna.

The day also saw the launch of The Manila Hotel Christmas Hamper 2022, a wonderful present to give—and receive—that contains many of the iconic hotel’s exclusive items: a Willy the Bear plush stuffed toy, The Manila Hotel Regular Prestige Card, The Manila Hotel Notebook, The Manila Hotel USB Flash Drive (4GB), The Manila Hotel Tumbler, The Manila Hotel Drip Coffee, The Manila Hotel Cookies, and tablea 125g. Available till December 21, it’s a steal at P5,000 nett. 1 Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila. (02) 8527-0011.

Diamond Hotel Philippines

A Holly, Jolly Holiday

Nothing says Filipiniana Christmas quite like a barong Tagalog-clad Santa Claus making his grand entrance via kalesa. Adding to the luxe local flair are native ornaments and trimmings in mocha, gold, and white by event stylist FJ Sionson, as well as heartfelt performances by Bayanihan, the National Folk Dance Company of the Philippines, and the Summer Wind Choir.

Local charities Better World Tondo and Kanlungan ni Maria are the beneficiaries of the hotel’s efforts to give back to communities this Christmas. How to support the cause? Simply donate P300 for the privilege of hanging an ornament with your name on it on the hotel’s stunning Christmas Tree at the lobby. Roxas Boulevard corner Dr. J. Quintos Street, Manila. (02) 8528-3000.

Okada Manila

Medley Buffet

Book a Yuletide Staycation deal at the Forbes 5-star integrated resort from November 18, 2022 to January 14, 2023 (with stay dates from November 19, 2022 to January 15, 2023 in Okada Manila’s deluxe and suite rooms on all days of the week) and get ready to be spoilt by the package’s superb add-ons. In addition to the excellent accommodations, you’ll get P2,000 worth of dining credits at the property’s select restaurants, free vouchers from PLAY for a one-time access for 2, a 30-minute massage for 2 adults at The Sole Retreat, and other irresistible perks.

For a taste of Christmas, visit Kiapo for bibingka, puto bumbong (in classic, cheese, and leche flan flavors), and other festive Filipino staples, or treat your tastebuds to a wide array of choices at Medley Buffet’s Holiday Medley Fiesta. You can also share the season’s sweet and savory selections with those near and dear to you. The Lobby Lounge sells cakes, cookies, chocolates, and other goodies packed in attractive Yuletide hampers.

At Okada Manila, Christmas came early with the lighting of its 38-foot-tall Christmas Tree at the Fountain Foyer last November 18, and the launch of a Christmas Village and Light Show at the Crystal Pavilion events place. New Seaside Drive, Entertainment City, Paraňaque. (02) 8888-0777.

Novotel

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The Araneta City-based hotel ushered in the holidays with a tree that truly captures its commitment to take environmental and social issues seriously. This year’s tree is made of 20 layers of 707 empty wine bottles illuminated by over 2,600 light bulbs.  General Aguinaldo Avenue, Araneta City, Quezon City. (02) 8990-7888

Seda Vertis North

Seda Vertis North Tree Lighting

A Winter Wonderland in Quezon City? That’s what you can expect when you spend the holidays at Seda Vertis North. The largest and premier hotel north of Metro Manila rung in the holidays on November 15 with the lighting of its Christmas Tree and the unveiling of a Winter Wonderland-themed color scheme of blue, white, and silver.

If the cozy ambiance is tempting you to linger a little longer, ask about Seda’s staycation options, inquire about its Festive Holiday Celebrations package, or have your fill of the yummy offerings at the hotel’s various outlets. Misto Lobby Dining has sumptuous buffet spreads starting at P1,800++ per person, and Straight Up Rooftop Restaurant has party packages inclusive of hors d’oeuvres, alcoholic drinks, and more starting at P1,700++ per person for a minimum of 50 persons. Vertis North, Sola corner Lux Drives, Diliman, Quezon City.  (02) 7739-8888

Sofitel Manila

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The gift of gastronomic delights is what you can expect this yuletide season from the international luxury hotel brand with French roots.

Take family and friends to Spiral, where Wagyu beef Gueridon, main lobsters, king crab, Hokkaido scallops, Beef Wellington Royal, tomahawk steak, stuffed roast turkey, and so much more are served in its 21 dining ateliers. Make a date to celebrate Christmas Eve Dinner at P6,900 nett per person, Christmas Day Brunch at P6,500 nett per person, New Year’s Eve Dinner at P8,900 nett per person, or New Year’s Day Brunch at P6,200 nett per person. All are inclusive of free-flowing wine, champagne, soda, chilled juices, and a welcome cocktail, and there’s a non-alcoholic inclusive option for those who don’t drink.

Love al fresco dining? Head over to Sunset Bar and the Food Truck, which offers the irresistible likes of smoked prime rib, slow-cooked beef brisket, giant bringhe paella, signature bellychon, premium grilled meat and seafood dishes, and more. Book a table at Sunset Bar for Christmas Eve Dinner at P5,900 nett per person or Christmas Day Dinner at P3,900 per person. Both are inclusive of free-flowing local beer, soda, chilled juices, and iced tea.

If an intimate ambiance is more your thing, check out Sofitel Manila’s Le Bar and its elevated 3-course menu. It’s Christmas Set Menu (P3,900 nett per person) includes 63 degree egg, choice of black cod or beef bordelaise raviolo, white chocolate & coconut, and a glass of champagne; while its New Year’s Set Menu (P4,900 nett per person) includes seafood tian, choice of Hokkaido scallops or Dingley Dell pork tomahawk, Louvre cake, and free-flowing champagne.

Free-flowing special curated cocktails, soju and soju mixes, iced tea, chilled juices, and soda are served in Sofitel’s The Best Is Yet To Come in 2023 New Year’s Eve Concert, set at P7,777 nett per person. CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay. (02) 8573-5555.

SM Aura Premier Takes Visitors on a Golden Christmas Journey

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SM Aura Premier invites all to spend Christmastime in resplendent shades of gold, an immersive tunnel display, and a light show overlooking the city of BGC.

As Christmas draws near, mallgoers will be welcomed by brightly lit archways, hundreds of golden Christmas baubles, crystal chandeliers, pearlescent orbs and curtains of light at the high-end mall’s façade and entryways. The grandest of them all is the yearly awaited Christmas tree centerpiece at SM Aura Premier’s Upper Ground Level Atrium. Measuring more than 30-feet high, the lavishly decorated tree is accompanied by equally larger-than-life embellished structures, broadway lights that spell out “Holidays at Aura,” two life-size giraffes, and sprawling swirls that enclose nearly a thousand gold and silver Christmas balls.

Nights of Dazzling Lights

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The theatrical room isn’t the only technological experience the mall has. Equally spectacular is a choreographed light and sound display at SM Aura Premier’s Skypark at Level 5. Visitors of the Skypark enter a space with tall tree-like sculptures made of strings of lights. As they go through a forest of lights, a jaw-dropping musical show will entrance and excite them. Visitors can stop and enjoy the choreographed audio and visual performance at 7pm on all Sunday nights of December, including December 25th itself.

Holiday features and activities aren’t the only offerings to bring marvelous cheer. There are Holiday pop-up markets, exciting giveaways and amazing deals and discounts from participating stores around the mall. This can even be enjoyed online through SM Supermalls’ new shopping app, SM Malls Online.

For more information on SM Aura Premier’s holiday offerings, visit @SMAuraPremier on Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok.

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