The many times I have been to Okada Manila, that iconic luxurious integrated resort sitting on 44 hectares of reclaimed land in Entertainment City, I have always been awed by its structural design. Its massive architecture cuts a smooth, soothing, and glowing outline against the calming Manila Bay backdrop.
Ever since the entertainment complex’s opening in late 2016, I’ve had the privilege of enjoying some of its offerings, having dined many times with friends at the Medley Buffet and at Kiapo. I also consider myself lucky to have been one of the selected guests invited to the opening of the grand and expansive The Fountain in March of 2017. Approximating the area covered by 50 Olympic-size swimming pools, this water-light-and-music attraction reminds me of what we see at Bellagio in Las Vegas, but this one is much bigger and more impressive!
I was also lucky to have been invited to the December 2017 opening of The Cove Manila, the complex’s indoor beach—the only one in the country—and nightclub, reputed to be the biggest in Southeast Asia. I remember the inaugural party was headlined by international disc jockey Steve Aoki. The Cove’s main attraction is its humongous 30-meter-high glass dome covering the entire resort area which has several swimming pools scattered around.
On the periphery of this sprawling 9,000-square meter attraction, perched three floors above it, are private cabanas for rent, each with its own Jacuzzi, and overlooking the indoor beach down below. At sundown, the nightclub, which is in the same location, reigns supreme, with its avant-garde light and audio systems continuously pumping energy into this way-beyond-its-time entertainment destination.
But, all throughout these years, I never had the opportunity to experience the guest rooms of the hotel. So, the other day, when I decided to spend time away from the daily depressing news on the effects of the pandemic, I went to treat myself to a Grand De Luxe one-bedroom suite at Okada Manila, and I’m very glad I did.
Entering the hotel through its Coral Wing at the back of this entertainment complex gives guests a sense of privacy because vehicular traffic in that area is not as much as that outside the Pearl Wing.
On the door of the room assigned to me, I immediately noticed the tamper-resistant safety seal, proof that the room has been thoroughly sanitized for my use. As I entered, I was awed by the size of the living area which could easily accommodate 10 persons, if such would be allowed, and the full-size window almost had a panoramic view of the hotel’s gardens, the swimming pool, and Manila Bay. The stunning vista and the luxurious comfort provided by the room’s cozy sofas convinced me right away that I was in for a relaxing “staycation.”
I also noticed that the usual items on the bar were individually wrapped in small paper bags and sealed, probably as part of the hotel’s much heralded “3T Campaign” (True Clean, True Safe, True Heart) which ensures the safety and health of the guests and staff. There was also a pack of health and safety essentials (face mask, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, etc.), a clear indication that the hotel is living up to its core principles of magokoro (sincerity) and omotenashi (hospitality) which it proudly banners on its website.
Still, there was more! Aside from what immediately looked like a sleep-inducing king-size bed in the separate bedroom, the adjacent bathroom also caught my attention because the bathtub was right beside the full-size window. The inviting layout right away convinced me to fill up the tub, dress down, jump into it and start my own style of emotional detoxification. With the sudsy warm water covering my whole being, and the sound of my favorite ballads floating in the air, I wanted to spend hours in the tub, but later decided not to, lest I turn into a merman!
Now I know that when Okada Manila claims to be “a one-of-a-kind masterfully created space for five-star pleasure,” they mean every word of it. Take it from somebody who gave himself some lovin’ by relaxing in the hotel’s facilities over the Valentine weekend.
YOUR WEEKEND CHUCKLE
Etc. – Three letters one uses to make others believe that he knows more than he actually does.
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