As I’ve argued with my mom a dozen times, staying at a hotel, whether it be in the metro or somewhere far from home, is still an escape. An escape from everyday drudgery, housework, karaoke-singing neighbors, cavorting cats in heat. That is why, aside from the fact that our family loves old Manila, I am making this the last of my 2017 Summer Escapes post. We had also planned it as a birthday weekend for the sister and I, as our birthdays are just 1 week apart.
How to get there (from Manila): That’s the best part. You can take a bus, jeep, Uber, Grabcar, tricycle, bike, whatever you feel like or can manage to ride to the place. It is right beside Luneta Park (or Rizal Park), a prominent historic park that almost everyone in the Philippines is familiar with.
Things to do: Museum-hopping (National Museum of Fine Arts, of Natural History, and of Archaeology, the Planetarium, Metropolitan Museum, Museo ng Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Museo Pambata, Bahay Chinoy, etc.), tour of old churches, historical places (Intramuros), malling (Mall of Asia), entertainment (concerts, etc). So much to do! Just please check in advance, though, as there are days when some places are closed (like Mondays).
Budget: from PhP2500 to PhP5800 (net) (USD 50- USD 117) per night.
Suggested side trip/s: For this trip, since we’ve been to almost all the museums around the area we planned on the following itinerary: Rizal Park, the Planetarium, Baluarte de San Diego, the Tap Room of the Manila Hotel.
I had wanted to drop by the National Library, since it’s been a while since I had last been (like, hmmm, 20 years?), but it is closed during the weekends. Oh, well.
Feedback: The Luneta Hotel was a delight to stay in. It’s a small hotel, so it has its quaint features and very helpful staff. My sister and I were talking about the staircase going to the second floor and taking some photos while waiting for the elevator, so the guard turned on all the lights and told us we could look around if we liked.
I got a “family room with balcony” which was good for 4. Beds were comfortable and the A/C was super cold. The bathroom is clean with new fixtures, which is just ok by me. (It did not need to go with the old world feel of the hotel. I’m fine with it being out of place.)
There is a cafe downstairs, but we opted not to eat in, so I am no help in that department. There are restaurants nearby, a 7-11 and a Starbucks, so you have a wide range of choices in terms of food.
Parking is on the street, just outside the hotel, and may be limited, though when we went, we were the only car parked there the first night. I am not sure what happens when there is high occupancy of locals with cars.
Visit their website at http://lunetahotel.com/
Photos by Isiah Flores (IG @travelingiceman)