Manila: City of Dreams & the Fort

Writing during my last moments here at Hyatt (City of Dreams) Currently, I’m having a late breakfast at Cafe Society, located in the main floor of restaurants and shopping area. I had the Croque Monsieur –  toasted bread, gruyere cheese, cured ham and creme fraiche. This cheesy melted goodness is absolutely divine! I’m having this with my favorite Earl Grey latte … 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

City of Dreams 

I went and booked a hotel room at City of Dreams Manila. I really wanted to check out this place since it’s been endorsed by so many international supporters and actors, such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. I went with my cousins and also met up with my other cousin, Nikki. Going into the city area, wasn’t that much of a challenge even with the Filipino traffic. The City of Dreams is a part of a development of what resembles to a Las Vegas strip. With this new development, comes the construction for the new Skyway that will connect NAIA to this very city. I feel that there’s a hidden agenda to this other than relieving the traffic. Maybe it’s to avoid the traffic and hectic bustle, along with the realistic view of the poverty that surrounds the very city. But, its inevitable and unavoidable.

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

Back to City of Dreams… 

It’s really ridiculous how huge this place is. I mean the casino itself is multiple floors and there’s three hotels located in the center – Hyatt, Nobu, and Crown. I booked myself at Hyatt, but in my next visits I’ll probably book myself in the other hotels to compare. There’s only one parking garage and if you want to save yourself the trouble, go ahead and get it valet. Nikki and I didn’t know that so we dragged our bags. Fortunately, some good souls saw our struggles and escorted us in a golf cart to head to Hyatt. The staff gave us a mini tour of City of Dreams. He showed us the “egg” where the high-end bar Pangea and the nightclub Chaos resides. My first impression is that it looked so small. At night time, this egg in the middle of the city glows and sparkles in gold, like the rest of the buildings here. While going around the cart, you can’t help but admire the gold tinted glass on the buildings. It makes the place feel very expensive or “high-end”.

IMG_6368

When I was finally able to check-in, I took a look around the area. It feels like I’m on a cruise. I say this because City of Dreams felt like I was isolated into this paradise. People are here to have fun, relax and admire the amenities and entertainment that this infrastructure contains. It’s built that you do not have to leave the premises. Walking around you see many Filipinos, Koreans and other Asians. But you also see other international faces, like Americans.

I went to my bedroom and I was very happy to have such an amazing view of the pool! The beds (although advertised as twins) are actually queen sized beds. The sheets are wonderfully comfy, white and it smells so good. The bathroom is one of the best I’ve seen throughout my stays in hotels. It had a big tub and a shower area. There were two shower heads, the regular one and a rain shower head.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

The pool area was beautiful. All three hotels have a connecting area which is their pool side and Japanese gardens. The pools are all very modern. Just watch out for Crown, if you don’t stay there you can’t enjoy their pool. They all contain jacuzzis. Nobu hotel had a infinity style pool, and I really liked their style the best. The Japanese gardens are beautiful to walk around in during the day time, afternoon and night time. During the late night, while everyone else is gambling or sleeping, you should definitely take the time to walk around here, whether alone or with a loved one. It’s an absolutely gorgeous time to reflect and think. At least during the night, you can see the twinkling lights of the “egg” as well as the lights from the gardens, the city life and it reflects from the golden glass from the City of Dreams building. This area is not really busy, but it depends on the day and the time. The pools are a great way to cool off as well!

IMG_6400

There’s a restaurant/bar in between Nobu and Hyatt pools and you can order some snacks there. Nikki and I got a nacho skillet and some mango shakes!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

I went through the Casino, but I didn’t bother on gambling my money. But hey, looks like everyone is having a good time there, and I believe beer is free. (I just don’t like the smoke from cigarettes, I try to avoid those places as much as possible). There’s various selections of slots and games around. There’s a variety of restaurants and shopping areas as well. Restaurants are on the pricey side, but I believe that its decently priced. I tried out Erwin’s Gastrobar for drinks and dessert – their apple crumble and Bellini was sooo good! And the food, I’m currently eating now at the cafe is amazing too. I just ordered pistachio sans rival (Filipino layered dessert) to go (it has buttercream, nutty, crunchy pistachio, chewy and sweet baked meringue). Come the weekend, I believe I’m going to check out Chaos and put my thoughts on that as well.

The Fort

After enjoying the pool, my cousin and I got ready for our night out in Fort Bonifacio. According to Nikki, this strip is newly developed. While driving to the Fort area, it reminded me of a little bit of downtown Hawaii and Miami. With tall buildings, offices, shops and restaurants. We walked around the strip and you see dog owners take advantage of the area. There’s also live bands and performances here too (awesome acoustic singers during my walk around). The weather was agreeable as well! We ate at a Shabu-shabu (hot pot) restaurant and then shopped at Mango (which I didn’t know was a Barcelona-found company).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Overall, my stay here in City of Dreams was great! I did my best to do what I want to do (although there were some fall backs in plans).

Updates on Projects… 

Project: Redefining Me

You can enjoy things too while being alone. Yes, do I prefer having my boyfriend or friends around? Of course. But, traveling by myself has taught me that I can also enjoy the simple pleasures in life – such as having a drink or eating dessert by myself, walking around a beautiful garden, working out, taking a bubble bath and sleeping. I wouldn’t have gone out by myself if I were back in Miami. I had such a relaxing time, just enjoying myself for once as company. And for the first time during my whole travels, I was able to sleep well. There’s a simple joy and peace when you enjoy yourself. It’s weird at first, because you realize that you’re ordering because it’s your decision to do so. Meaning that your opinions or decisions on what you eat and what you want to do is entirely up to you. You don’t have to seek anyone’s approval or opinion. I spent the night and day the way I wanted it to be and it all goes according to my plans.

Lessons Learned: Have “me” time once in a while, you deserve it. It doesn’t mean when you’re alone that you are lonely. 

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

IMG_6401 IMG_6416

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 Wow, this was a long post. I’ll update you guys on Project50Series: Manila soon! Until then, enjoy! 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s