Living in Metro Manila can sometimes feel like you’re living in two different cities at the same time. This is especially true during the long holidays, when the metro transforms from a bumper-to-bumper cluster of red lights along EDSA to an almost unrecognizable, traffic-free metropolis where you are free to traverse the city in minutes in what would normally take hours.
With the Holy Week weekend bound to have travelers leaving Metro Manila and populating the nearby holiday destinations reachable by land (think Tagaytay, Pampanga, and Baguio), it is as if the Manileño travelers pose a heavy burden on provincial peace. So here’s some food for thought – we are The Foodie Station after all – why not spend your holiday right where you are! As the millennial saying goes ‘what a concept’, right? Why book last minute accommodations out of town when you could find comfort and relaxation less than 30 minutes from wherever you might be in the city?
We took a little staycation of our own at F1 Hotel in BGC. Upon arrival at our City Suite, we were greeted with a large, spacious, yet uniquely laid out room. The setup was different, to say the least. Two double beds were almost literally in front of the door, setup parallel to the rest of the room. A nice touch was the Frozen/Star Wars pillows laid on the beds sure to please any kids you may have in tow.
The living room area was what we would describe as suave. Think of it as a mash-up of what you’d see in a Mad Men episode mixed with a hint of James Bond. Take that for what it’s worth.
If there was anything that was sub-par, it would be the bathroom. The shower-head stream did not have much power to it, and the temperature function was funky at best.
After settling in, we had to get what we always look forward to – the food!
The lunch buffet theme at F All Day Restaurant varies, and we were able to enjoy a Filipino-Mexican fusion themed lunch that day. The tacos, nachos, and DIY tortillas were quite scrumptious, and there were also a good selection of seafood. We loved the dampa-style spread where chefs can cook the seafood in whichever style you prefer. The sashimi and sushi tasted fresh – always a good sign!
As far as dessert goes, they have dessert staples such as cakes and ice cream. We do give bonus points for the ice candy, a rare sight at any fine dining establishment. You can avail all of these at Php1699 net per person for either lunch or dinner, available from Friday to Sunday.
Cue in food coma. But after a quick power nap back in the room, it was time for (you guessed it), more food. This time we got treated to a ‘Glamping’ experience, a term that many might not be familiar with, but is sure to gain more traction here in Metro Manila as people start trying to do more ‘outdoor things’ within the city.
Bean bags, barbequed meat, s’mores, acoustic guitar sounds in the background; the only thing missing would be an actual campfire. All this was at the Canary Lounge, an outdoor patio area on the third floor of the hotel. For those that want the full tito/tita glamping experience, wine and alcohol is available, complemented by a decadent platter of Tapas and Cheese.
After dinner why not have a massage? The spa was very nice – clean, quiet, and refreshing even before a single hand was placed on us. The 30-massage service left us relaxed, pampered, and wanting more; which only meant the therapists have done excellent work.
For those that want to break a sweat and make up for any calories gained during the food you’re sure to consume, the gym is small but has treadmills for your cardio needs, a small rack of dumbbells, and a multi-purpose exercise machine to target multiple body parts if this is up your alley.
Bed time meant deep sleep under heavy, warm sheets. A great bed is key in a staycation, and F1 delivers on this front in spades.
The next day, we had to start with the most important meal of the day. The breakfast buffet boasts of an omelet station, breakfast meats – bacon, sausage, you name it – and a really cool DIY noodle station. The buffet also has champorado, another Pinoy treat that you don’t often see in restaurants, which gives the selection a uniquely Filipino touch. Overall, you can start your day right with F1’s breakfast buffet.
Alas, our time at F1 had to end. But we didn’t travel far from home, so no daunting 3-5 hour drive back to the metro. For us, that fact alone would make a staycation in the city a welcome change of pace.
Avail F1’s great offers from Mar 26-Apr 1, 2018. The Easter Room packages, inclusive of breakfast for two, start at Php5,400 and Php6600 net per night for the City Suite and Fort Suite respectively. You may also take advantage of the discounted rate of the Summer Safari Easter Party perfect for kids on Apr 1, 2018. Regular price of the Easter Party is Php1,888 net per person, inclusive buffet brunch, and enjoyable activities like magic shows, balloon twisting, and traditional easter egg hunt.
Enjoy the Summer Weekend Room packages wherein a Deluxe Room and a City Suite are available for only Php4600 and Php5100 per night respectively. These special weekend deals are inclusive of buffet breakfast and pool access.
Will your next vacation be a staycation?
F1 Hotel Manila
32ND STREET, BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY TAGUIG CITY 1634
Contact Numbers: +6329087888 / +63292898888
-Video and article by JC Tevez edited by Mia Aguila (The Foodie Station Correspondents); Photos by Reese Rayos