2022 in Review (Staycation Edition)


I wrote this blog post in the last few days of December 2022, in the middle of donning battle gear for my 2-month rotation in the general medicine service wards. Then this post naturally never got edited or finished because I got too busy… but I think keeping it in the drafts folder would be a waste.

Five highlights, five staycation weekends. I’ll be going on another staycation this April, probably, so here’s to more (reasonable) indulgences!

Self-care and a Soak in Hotel Okura Manila

Location: Hotel Okura, Newport World Resorts, Pasay City
When: April 2022 Easter Weekend

Review: We chose and booked this hotel primarily because of the hinoki wooden tub experience, which did not disappoint. Just be careful to book a room with a hinoki, otherwise you’d probably end up in an unexciting run-of-the-mill hotel room. The in-service food was excellent, and probably the best breakfast spread I’ve tried in awhile. It was hard to configure the TV to mirror your screen, but it still worked out for a nice lazy watching experience.

Read: A self-care weekend in Okura: a hot soak, Japanese food, and BTS

Rally and Rest in Fairmont Makati

Location: Fairmont Makati Hotel, Makati CBD
When: Final #LeniKiko Rally last May 2022

Review: Being at the heart of Makati CBC, Fairmont Makati really felt like a space for convenience and sanctuary away from the chaos. After diving in the crowds several times to show our political support, it was with a breath of relief that we had a place to stay right after. The place felt fairly clean, if bland and modest. A little unremarkable to be honest. Sorry this one reeks #privilege.

Read: I still believe in heroes: The Batman, Doctor Strange 2 and the 2022 Philippine Elections

BONUS: Not a staycation, but close enough

Location: YOTEL Singapore Orchard Road
When: Sometime in September 2022

Review: We stayed in what has to be the cutest, most well-thought budget hotel along Orchard Road. I say “budget”, but really any accommodation in this particular Singapore district will put a dent on the wallet. I particularly loved the view, the tiny-living-esque experience with fold-out desks and chairs, and its prime location. Our booking doesn’t come with a breakfast package (and I won’t recommend that for travel abroad anyways). There’s no such thing as room service –if you order a towel or something, a smart little robot will bring it up for you!

Read: Weekend Date with my Mom in Singapore 2022

Marching on from Marco Polo Hotel

Location: Marco Polo, Ortigas CBD, Pasig City
When: ASMPH Batch 2021 Graduation last July 2022

Review: Marco Polo Hotel was always just a street away from our condo when I was still in medical school, but I never really gave the hotel a thought aside from hearing good reviews about its food. Turns out the food was okay, and the accommodations gave the same no-nonsense business vibe as Fairmont. We got a fairly large room because we mean business for hair, make-up and styling (even though it was all covered up by the toga anyway). The pool was pretty cool though; I don’t remember the last time I tried an indoor one.

In hindsight, I realize I never actually posted about graduating from medical school. Oh well. On to greater and more exciting things.

Relaxing in Rizal Park Hotel

Location: Rizal Park Hotel, Manila City
When: November 2022 Birthday Weekend

Review: The facade is clearly amazing –especially from a distance. It’s renovated and jazzed up late 20th century colonial-era architecture. Unfortunately, everything else might need a lot more work on closer inspection. Some of the details literally crack, the new modern-looking building isn’t exactly complementary to the first, and the service leaves me guessing about the training. To be considerate, the hotel is maybe still trying to get its bearings after opening in 2017 and surviving a pandemic. It also reminds me a little of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, but with less the charm.

Read: Historical Weekend in Bataan

Christmas and a Wedding at Crimson Manila

Location: Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Muntinlupa
When: December 2022 holiday week

Review: Staying at Crimson Manila was a bit of a new experience; it’s been awhile since we found ourselves in Filinvest area. I can only think of our stay in a positive light because of all the good memories with family. The bakery goods were gratifyingly large and scrumptious, though the food selection in the buffet itself was limited — kind of expected for a hotel this size? The pool area, lobby and other shared spaces were spacious and satisfyingly decorated. The vibe really encouraged luxuriating and lazing about, which is excellent.

A very belated happy new year, everyone!

I’ll be facing some serious challenges in work this year, but here’s to serenity in stress and to continued growth. I hope for everyone’s good health and wellness.

Radio silence the last two months, but now I’m back. Up next — surviving residency and thoughts on general medicine, my #ArtFairPH experience this 2023, and maybe more.

Until next time! ❤️

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