Novotel Manila Araneta Center just officially opened last March 2016, and since then, they have been offering promos to encourage Metro Manilans to check them out.
When I first heard about Novotel, it did not immediately click in my head that it was THE international hotel chain that I’ve been seeing abroad. It is, though. It is a French hotel chain that is a part of the Accor Hotels group, which includes the hotel brands Sofitel, Raffles, Fairmont, Mercure, Ibis, etc… Novotel is the group’s mid-range, family-friendly hotel brand.
The Novotel Manila Araneta Center is the first Novotel in the Philippines and is located in the heart of Cubao, right beside the Smart Araneta Coliseum. It’s just a couple of minutes from Gateway Mall, right across from Shopwise Supermarket, and a block away from SM Cubao – this is very convenient in case you need to buy something, or for emergencies.
This weekend, we stayed at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center because I needed a staycation – a break from the daily routine to recharge and catch up – but I did not want the extra effort of making a long drive or the hassle of going through airports. There’s just something about being away from the daily humdrum and chores and constant asks that makes me more focused, too.
We stayed at a Superior Room, at P5,500 net per night with buffet breakfast for two. In case you bring kids to your staycation, up to two children 15 years old and below can also eat at the buffet breakfast FOR FREE! See? Family-friendly!
I love their colorful design. So chic and celebratory!
The room was new and had a sleek, contemporary design.
The bed is big and comfortable.
The bathroom has modern fixtures. As with most modern hotels, the bathroom has a glass wall. But there’s an automated blind that rolls up or down with the touch of a button to provide some privacy. The shower has both a rainfall shower head and a telephone shower head. There’s also a hair dryer.
It’s missing the cotton buds, but we brought our own. I think maybe you can request some from housekeeping if you need them. I appreciate that they made the effort to support fair trade products.
There’s a fridge and a coffee / tea station:
There’s a desk and a big flat screen TV, and yup, you guessed it, it was a movie marathon kind of staycation! I finally saw Olympus Has Fallen, and London Has Fallen. Being the US president is hard, always being attacked and all, LOL. The story is kind of ridiculous but just roll with it, the movie is fun, anyway. Bring your own laptop / player / Netflix account / HDMI cable, of course. So glad the room is set up so guests can easily watch TV from the bed, there are some hotels where this is not the case. Wifi is available.
But what I really appreciate are the electrical outlets! Check out all the different kinds of ports / plugs:
Love how Novotel Manila Araneta Center made the extra effort to put this in. There are also outlets on both sides of the bed, as well as below the desk, and at the coffee station, too. I don’t think you’ll ever run out of sockets to charge your gadgets with.
There is also a closet with bathrobes and slippers, and a safe.
Access to the Premier Lounge is included when you get an executive room. You can also purchase access to the Premier Lounge for P2,500 nett per day per person. The Executive Room is P8,000 net and the Executive Suite is P9,500 net, and both already include access to the Premier Lounge for two people, so getting those rooms instead is the better value if you want access to the Premier Lounge (and you get better rooms, too). In our case, we were given complimentary access to the Premier Lounge, a surprise from a friend.
The Premier Lounge, at the 24th floor, provides exclusive personalized service. It is open from 6 AM to 11 PM daily, and you get a lot of complimentary use of amenities — but most importantly, you get complimentary food & beverages!
The food & beverages you get at the Premier Lounge include fresh brew coffee, special teas, fresh fruit juices, assorted beer, etc… For teas, I recommend the Manila Mango if you like berry / fruity teas, and the Bavarian Mint because it seems to be really popular.
This is their schedule:
- Buffet Breakfast – 6:30 am – 10:30 am – typical breakfast spread with cereals, breads, bacon, etc… but with more premium ingredients like gravlax, etc…
- Afternoon Tea – 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – finger sandwiches
- Evening Cocktails – 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – light finger food + some wine
- All-Day Refreshments – 6:00 am – 11:00 pm – cookies & candy, coffee & tea, fruit juice
You can just totally hang out at the Premier Lounge all day, haha. I liked working on my laptop at the Premier Lounge while munching on cocktails and drinking teas and fruit juices. It has a 360-degree view of the surrounding area.
The Premier Lounge has a smart casual dress code; also, children need to be accompanied by adults.
Being Premier Lounge guests, we had the option to either have our buffet breakfast at the Premier Lounge, or at the Food Exchange Manila on the ground floor.
Premier Lounge Buffet Breakfast
We chose to have breakfast at the Food Exchange Manila because it has a wider selection than the Premier Lounge’s.
Food Exchange Manila Breakfast Buffet
The Food Exchange Manila is located at the ground floor of the hotel, near the lobby.
Food Exchange Manila is gaining a reputation for its excellent Indian station, so it was nice to see that the buffet breakfast also includes some Indian fare.
Here are some chutneys:
Here are some Lassi:
Make sure to try the Chai tea, as well
The breakfast buffet has a savory section (the place with the pots) with dishes like adobo, stir-fried beef, beef pares, plain Jasmine rice, garlic rice, arroz caldo, champorado, etc… they also have a good selection of breads, cereals, yogurts, etc… The Chinese station has some noodles you can request made to order, and some dimsum.
They have home-made corned beef:
Low-fat Canadian Bacon:
There is a station where you can request for some scrambled eggs, different kinds of omelets (with fillings). Pizza is also available, and I totally recommend their specialty – the Margherita Pizza, try to get it freshly baked out of the oven! I liked drizzling some basil oil on my pizza.
My first round the first of many…
They also have a puto bumbong station, fresh hotcakes, waffles, ensaymada, bibingka, etc… there are also breads and jams.
On our first buffet breakfast, we saw this honeycomb setup where you can get fresh honey yourself. I didn’t see it on our second time on the buffet though.
There’s also a juice bar where you can have fresh juice:
The hotel stay includes the use of the pool, the gym, etc… there is also an exclusive children’s play area near the Premier Lounge for Premier Lounge guests with children.
Parking is free (one car per room).
We had such a wonderful stay that we even extended another night! We really, really did not want to leave! Service was excellent everywhere, from reception, F&B, housekeeping, etc… all the staff seemed really happy and helpful. The hotel management is really very hands on, I always see them around the hotel even during the limited time we had walking to and from the buffet and lounge, making sure that everything is perfect.
If you want a stress-free staycation getaway, check out the new Novotel Manila Araneta Center. It is a conveniently-located family-friendly hotel that also has the biggest ballroom this side of Quezon City (more groups are starting to have conventions at Novotel now). You can even stay at the suite that Ms. Universe Pia Wurtzbach stayed in and feel like Ms. Universe yourself! Happy getaway!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!