My wife and I love hotels. Especially Bellevue, one of the more affordable 5 star hotels in Metro Manila. For us, it’s pools over beaches, breakfast buffets over Ihaw-Ihaw, and chilling in the city over road trips. Ever since we got married at The Bellevue Manila (located in Alabang) in 2014, we have been checking in every New Year’s Eve and almost all our wedding anniversaries. It was only this year that we celebrated our firstborn son’s birthday in Bellevue, since he wouldn’t stop talking about it after our last stay there.
We would always book a basic deluxe room, which is the usual 33sqm hotel room. During our anniversary celebration last March, the room felt smaller, because it was the first time we checked in as a family of four. When our then 6 month old baby wanted to sleep, I would have to bring him outside to the hallway because he would not sleep if his kuya was still awake and playing.
So we decided to book a larger room for my son’s birthday, particularly the Tower Suite, at P7,200 a night. This room was much bigger at 56sqm. The deluxe room we booked a few months earlier cost P5,850, or a P1,350 difference. We figured the extra cost would be worth it, since it would be more comfortable for the four of us. When we checked in, we were surprised to hear that we had access to the Signature Lounge and the following perks:
- Continental breakfast at the Signature Lounge – We had the option to have breakfast in the regular dining area, which actually had more food choices. But we chose to eat in the Lounge because it was less crowded.
- Pre-dinner drinks and hors d’oeuvers – Different kinds of cheese and spreads, maki rolls, pizza, and steak. It’s not exactly a dinner buffet, but as a proud frugal couple, we just stuffed ourselves with whatever we could and called it dinner.
- All-day tea, coffee, juice, and soda service – This includes whatever pastries were left from breakfast. I had 2 cups of coffee and maybe 5 cookies while the baby was asleep next to me.
Apparently, those checked into suites have access to the Signature Lounge and those benefits. There was no indication in the website and email reservation that we would have access to all those. So our experience was somewhat improved, since it was all unexpected.
Going back to Kuya’s birthday, we decided to invite his close friends and have dinner in the room. We just ordered pizza and chicken, which was way cheaper than eating at the Chinese restaurant downstairs – a dinner for 8 would cost at least P5,000. The Tower Suite was more than spacious for 8 adults and 5 kids (more like 5 kids and 8 adults 🙂 ). After dinner, the kids just played with their toys and jumped on the bed like monkeys.
FINAL RANDOM THOUGHTS
It wasn’t just like adding extra for a bigger room, such as upgrading a meal to large fries and drink. The extra P1,350 could easily be attributable to the unlimited coffee, pre-dinner buffet, and bigger room. I could argue that it’s actually cheaper than getting a regular room and having to spend on dinner and coffee. But it wasn’t the amount or quantity of additional perks that made the experience memorable. It was the ability to put our kids to sleep in a peaceful and efficient manner. It was the opportunity to have an intimate dinner with close friends even with hyper kids around. It was the yaya-less quality time spent as a family. And all the invaluable bonding moments and priceless memories to cherish forever. Okay, getting a little too cheesy. All I can say is, from now on, it’s a Suite or nothing at Bellevue for me and my family. 😁
*Room costs may vary. They offer a 10% discount if you book through your mobile phone.
*Other perks are access to the fitness center and business center in the Signature Lounge. You also get to check in and check out at the Signature Lounge floor to avoid lines.
*If you’re going swimming, make sure your swimwear has no ZIPPERS because their brilliant dress code says so.