Makati, the Philippines
August 24 – 25, 2014
Granted, a hotel is fancy and convenient, but for an extended stay, a big family, or a no-frills staycation, it can be pricey and unnecessary. There are digs that combine the ambiance of both home and hotel: the apartment hotel, which offers the downtown location and luxuries of a hotel and the homey comfort and privacy of an apartment. I had the privilege of enjoying such a staycation at one of the well-appointed units of Alcoves Apartments, located at several high-rise condominiums in Makati.
Upon reservation online, we were given a lock code for access into the penthouse unit of BSA Mansion. The airy, high-ceiling living room, warmly lit by hanging circular lamps, made us feel at home in no time. My mother plopped onto a rocking chair and my sister staked her spot on the sofa bed while I looked out the window at the south view of Makati. We had eased in nicely at our weekend digs.
Barely filling all that space, we imagined how the rest of the family could fit quite comfortably in the living room alone. Outfitted with wide-screen entertainment equipment and various furnishings, it could be a bonding space for a large group: A family snuggling together on a collapsed sofa bed for a movie marathon, a group of friends celebrating and partying, as what the previous guest did. The place would be ideal for balikbayans as well. Instead of staying at hotels where they would still be away from their families and loved ones, they could spend quantity and quality time together here without considering a cap on room occupants or paying for extra beds. The kitchen and dining room were rather small, relative to the size of other rooms, but would serve their purpose in such a sojourn.
While togetherness was the point of this staycation, we had our favorite nooks for some me-time. Mine was the rocking chair, where I surfed the Net, care of the unit’s Wi-Fi connection, with my feet up. My friend Ki’s was the tub for a relaxing bath after a long day at work. My sister’s was the master’s bedroom. Mom’s was the chaise longue. The next morning, I found her in her jammies snugly lounging on it and reading the papers.
The penthouse was a 4BR affair, two of which were on the lofts, both opening to indoor balconies overlooking the living room and facing each other. One loft could be accessed by a trapdoor atop the spiral staircase. The balconies, powered by several outlets, allowed simultaneous charging of gadgets and could be a personal space, although not entirely enclosed, for older kids where they could hang out, even literally. Two T&Bs were provided with toiletries and towels, changed by cleaning staff every other day.
Located right smack at the heart of Makati, the apartment was also a centrally-located meeting place. Coming straight from the airport, a family friend dropped in the next day, and we all walked a few leisurely minutes to Greenbelt for lunch. The previous night, we worked up our appetites by walking to the Ayala Museum to see another friend before we drove to the other side of Ayala for dinner at Salcedo Village and nightcap at Century City Mall.
An alcove connotes a cozy personal space, truly an appropriate name for such an accommodation in the country’s premier business district and entertainment center. For reservations and inquiries, click here.