Sometimes the best vacations are those which doesn’t require you to leave town. Yeah, I know this may sound like a lame excuse from someone who’s almost out of budget but I kid you not when I say that I found this staycation package unlike no other!
I was browsing through the net and was surprised to see that Ramada Manila Central in Binondo offers hotel accommodations with Binondo Wok Tour. This happened when our reservation on a resort out of town was cancelled and we were desperate to look for an alternative. Luckily for us, Sydney Tan, the Senior Corporate and Marketing Manager, patiently assisted us by letting us know that the said deal was offered exclusively through DealGrocer (a voucher buying site) and we can do backward booking instead.
We hurriedly arranged for the payment and sent the bank forms to ensure that everything would be set by the next day. I would like to take this opportunity as well to send a big, fat KUDOS to Ms. Tan for helping us out despite the time constraints and we also would like to apologize for putting you through this.
Giddy and excited, we showed up at the hotel earlier than the check-in time the next day for our Binondo Wok Tour (to read about this delightful field trip, click HERE). The receptionist offered to house our luggage until we returned and we were quite overwhelmed by their hospitality and friendliness despite our usual rugged, casual look. We were treated without discrimination, which is rare on hotels.
When we arrived after, we were assisted to our room and they sent our bags shortly. We were even given a phone call just to ensure that we were settled in just fine. Our room was commendable! It was an executive room and it was clean and elegant. I was even surprised that the view from our room was that of the Binondo Church! I went around, snapping away and ensuring that I document the room while it’s still untouched. My partner, on the other hand, flopped in the King Bed and decided to nap.
The room has an office area where you can work during your stay (not advisable!) and it has a lazy chair where you can just sink away and indulge on your favorite TV show. They also offer free coffee and tea, and bottled water which I immediately took advantage of.
Their toilet and bath is a whole new paradise! The hotel does not have a pool but our room has a bath tub fully equipped with a heater just in case you’re like me who despise cold water. Their bathroom accessories were all too chic and complete from your usual toothbrush to their mini sewing pack! It was too good to be true! Their shower area is also nestled on the other end of the bathroom, separated by a glass cubicle to avoid the messy, wet chaos shower areas are prone of.
As soon as my partner woke up, we went out and had our dinner. We were told that if we wanted to get our money’s worth when it comes to food, the Estero Fast Food is the best place to be. Just to set your expectation, the place isn’t for the delicate. If you are the type who does not get bothered by the location and simply cares about the food quality, then this is for you. The place was named Estero for the obvious reason that it’s situated near an inlet. Estero is Spanish for marsh, by the way, and the scent of the water can be pretty strong on rainy days. Good thing it wasn’t raining that night!
We ordered Beef in Satay Sauce and Scallops in Oyster Sauce. No words can describe the flavor! Each serving is good for two and costs no more than 300! We also ordered Yang Chow Rice to top it all of. We were sooo satisfied and to think that our bill never crossed the 1000 Php mark! Free tea was also available to wash all the food down.
After our hearty meal, we walked around looking for good coffee. We passed by Cafe France and Starbucks but decided that we ought to try something far from usual. Cafe Mezzanine was our best bet. It was located next to our hotel on the second floor of Mr. Ube
What sets this cafe apart is that Cafe Mezzanine was originally established to pay tribute to our fearless fire fighters of Binondo. The place originally served as their lounge where they can relax, have good coffee, and eat their stress away. Another cool fact is that all revenues from this cafe is donated to the Binondo Paco Fire Search and Rescue Brigade! Near the entrance, you can even view their plaques of bravery and newspaper clippings that proves how valiant they are.
If you are to end up here one day, please do try their Iced Coffee Jelly and Black Forest Coffee. Aside from it being meticulously presented, the taste is something worth raving about!
The evening was too good to end so we took advantage of the hotel’s lounge and had our usual late night talk. We marveled at the artsy lamps and how elegant the place is, although not that big. The concierge were all polite and greeted us whenever they pass by. They also didn’t miss the chance to ask if we were enjoying our stay.
Come the morning, we headed to News Cafe and had our buffet breakfast. Although the selection is not that extensive, the dishes were cooked well and were very much scrumptious. They have siomai, of course! They also have an egg station where I simply adored the chef for making my omelette moist, just the way I preferred it to be!
We were impressed by the interior of the place, too. It wasn’t that spacious but every corner would have a classy piece you’d most likely love looking at. We took the seat next to the window and chowed down our breakfast.
When it was time to leave, unexpectedly, rain poured and we were too late for the shuttle heading to Mall of Asia. We saw that there were 2 umbrellas in our closet and embarrassingly asked the front desk personnel if we can have one so we don’t end up getting wet. She instantly approved and we were so grateful to this act of kindness!
Overall, we had such a precious time staying in Ramada Manila Central. If I would be asked if I would stay here even without the Binondo Wok Tour, I will not bat an eyelash and instantly say yes. The hotel offers so much comfort! Whether you wish to stay here for relaxation or for business, Ramada Manila Central ensures that you get your needs accommodated. Thank you for such a wonderful time!
How to go to Binondo:
If you are using a private vehicle, you can click this LINK for the best route courtesy of Google Maps.
Should you wish to take the public transport:
- Ride the MRT to Edsa Station.
- Walk your way through Metropoint Mall until your reach LRT1 Edsa Station and ride the train to Carriedo Station
- Turn left at Rizal Avenue, and walk past Sta. Cruz Church towards Bustos.
- Turn left at Bustos, and walk a block until you get to Ongpin.
**Ramada Manila Central is located at Quintin Paredes Rd, Binondo, Manila. You can check their official website HERE for more information.