Fun Friday: "Aquatic" Weekend Experience at Hotel H2O

Third Friday of the month: Holiday / Recreation

My kids love staying at hotels even for one night, it's already a family vacation for them. We usually plan a summer outing or a getaway during the holiday season so it's really something they look forward to. Last month, Hotel H2O invited me to experience their marine-themed hotel with an activity-filled stay with my family. The kids can't wait after I showed them the room we'll be staying in! Timing was perfect since there was a long weekend - everything was set for August 25-26, so off we went to Luneta park and we felt like tourists for a day!

Relaxed and comfy amidst the aquarium wall, I shared this bed with the kids
"Hotel H2O takes its inspiration from the waters of the Philippines.
Perched atop Manila Bay, its marine-themed rooms and suites allow you to "sleep with fishes", with easy access to Manila Ocean Park all combine to make Hotel H2O a hotel like no other. Hotel H2O is a member of Worldhotels, the largest and most established Europe-based global group for independent hotels and regional brands." - www.hotelh2o.com

Main driveway and drop-off point for valet, with external concierge services

Like most of my family holiday features on the blog, I'm sharing our Hotel H2O holiday stay via a photo essay for you to better appreciate the one-of-a-kind hotel features and services of the establishment.  Enjoy the "photo tour"! =)

It was Sunday noon when we checked-in at Hotel H2O, inconspicuously located behind Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park, Manila.  That photo above is their drop-off point for guests with vehicles.  That "H2O" facade is so cool! We were immediately assisted with our baggage and led to the other building leading to the hotel and park.  I then realized that the hotel shares an entrance with Manila Ocean Park, which is an affiliate establishment.

We did not expect a large crowd that day, plus, there was a "Million March Against Pork (barrel)" by the grandstand the next day (Monday) so the hotel was fully booked.  The main lobby and front desk is on the 3rd floor and check-in line was long when we got there - the reception area was very busy.  The good news was we were given a room upgrade - from Aqua Supreme to Premiere Suite with aquarium wall! Woohoo!

From the reception, we passed through their swanky Club Lounge, where you can order snacks, bar foods and appetizers, set quite meetings, or just enjoy the view of the bay while relaxing on their pod-like chairs. The lounge leads to the hallway going to the rooms.

The Club Lounge overlooks the White Moon Bar and also features private areas with LCD TVs, computer station, and a cigar room.  Free Wi-Fi hotel-wide but you need log-in code and password for each gadget/unit you're using, which you can ask from the front desk.

H2O Hotel's structure is low and wide, perched and facing the bay.  I learned that the minimalist and upscale interior design was intended to simulate a feeling of being in a ship, with stark, dimly-lit hallways leading to the rooms, and floor to ceiling windows for a full view of the beautiful seascape day and night. 

Suite 3316 was our home for a day. A fruit platter and personal note welcomed us to our Premiere Suite ideal for families.

"With up to 69 square meters that encompass either a massive aquarium wall or floor-to-ceiling views of Manila Bay, the Premiere Suite is a veritable oasis..."
  • queen-sized bed
  • free-standing bath tub with separate shower in main bedroom
  • second bathroom by the receiving area with coffee table
  • work station with high-speed Internet access
  • two flat-screen LCD TV sets
  • bar and refrigerator - with complimentary drinks and snacks

What's special about H2O's premiere suites is that they have a sliding door that separates the bedroom area (for more privacy) and the receiving area (photo above) with sofa bed, work station, TV, and it's own bathroom.

Standard closet with bath robes, slippers, hangers, and a safe for valuables.  Their mini ref and bar are also stocked with complimentary water, beverages and snacks.

Since we're in a suite, I was expecting a king bed.  Apparently, all their rooms have either queen or double sized beds.  But this queen bed looked and felt bigger.  Well, regardless of the size, I always request for an extra bed since our usual hotel room sleeping set-up is having the kids sleep with me on the master's bed, and J gets to sleep soundly... alone! :p  The extra bed was set-up by the receiving area.

Of course, the highlight of our suite (and our whole stay, hehe...) is this expansive aquarium wall that stretches from the receiving to the sleeping areas.  It's well maintained and has a dedicated staff that cleans and operates the aquarium and feeds the fish on schedule.

View our suite's aquarium wall with roll-up curtain here!
(with background song by the girl, heehee)

The kids don't want to leave the room and were so fascinated by tropical fishes in the large aquarium. It just felt so serene just by looking at the fish swim back and forth.

Opposite to the aquarium is the spacious toilet and bath in the bedroom area with sleek and modern fixtures like this rain shower and free-standing tub.

The lavatory has the usual set of toiletries and towels, as well as a digital weighing scale and hair dryer. I wished they had a bidet.  The hotel also has provisions for first aid and basic meds as needed by guests.

Hotel H2O also has a wellness area with a fully equipped fitness center, and Zenyu Eco Spa.

Part of our stay is a wellness treat for two, consisting of fish spa, full body massage and half hour on the hot bed at Zenyu Eco Spa. With the boy and the girl around, it's impossible for us to get away from them, so J stayed with the kids.  I sneaked out to try the hot bed treatment before dinner and skipped the massage and fish spa altogether.  Sayang! :\

I went into a room fitted with antioxidant ceramic floor and wall, and supplied with high concentrations of negative ions - clean pure air molecules.  The room was set at 45 degrees celsius to make us sweat, relax and gain the benefits of antioxidant absorption.  That's my disposable sheet and mug of water on "bed" 4.  It was my first time to try this treatment and even though I just lied on the "hot" floor, I did feel cleansed, rejuvenated, and aching muscles were relieved.  I highly recommend this treatment since it's still easy to breath and doesn't feel heavy unlike in a sauna.
Zenyu Eco Spa - massage room and hot bed treatment room

Makan Makan Asian Food Village is Hotel H2O's main food and beverage outlet that serves Southeast Asian cuisine.  They are reasonably priced and is also open to walk-in customers so they had a full house for lunch and breakfast when were there and even had to wait for a table.

After checking in, we had lunch at Makan Makan and devoured our steamed garlic prawns and crispy spareribs, while the kids had their no-fail spaghetti bolognese. Looking back, I wished we tried their bestsellers like chili crab and Hainanese chicken rice.  For dinner, we all wanted something light and called for room service instead.  It's just salad and dimsum platter for the adults, and grilled cheese sandwich for the kids.  I especially liked the hakaw stuffed generously with shrimps.

The morning after, we went back for the breakfast buffet but had to wait longer this time since there were full of diners that Monday morning, many were joining the "Million March Against Pork". Food were still being replenished by the time we were seated so I was not able to try the rest of their breakfast fare.  The selection is more ordinary compared with other hotels we've been to. But as long as they serve eggs, bacon, and have a bread selection, we're good.  That's my omelette up there. =)  The girl liked my porridge with egg and adobo so she asked for her own bowl too.

After brunch, we headed to Manila Ocean Park.  Hotel H2O also threw in 4 tickets for us to see the attractions.  This is our third time to visit the park and, in fact, their favorite before was watching the Jellies here. We were only able to tour the Oceanarium this time but we still had fun seeing the sea creatures and learning about each species just like the first time.

A visit to Manila Ocean Park completed our whole "aquatic" experience at Hotel H2O, even if they missed swimming due to renovations for their newest attraction.  Before leaving the hotel, we went back at the Club Lounge to relax, watch TV, and enjoy some delicious hearty snacks of bruschetta, shrimp cakes, fresh fruit shakes and halo-halo.

Hotel H2O is the only hotel of it's kind in the country, with integrated services and facilities that provide total family entertainment with a unique cruise-style experience by the bay. Many thanks to Ms. Lily, Arlene, Tonet, and Bryanne for our unique and memorable stay at Hotel H2O.  The kids are already convincing us to go back 'coz they want to "sleep" with the fishes again! =)
HOTEL H2O by the bay - photo from their official Facebook Page

Book your stay now and enjoy the same experience we had with Hotel H2O's Dream Packages Promo here until October 2013!  Or, be one of the first to avail of their newest attraction - the Sharks and Rays Encounter with special Package for 4!

Follow Hotel H2O on Facebook for updates on special promo packages and events.
For inquiries and reservations, visit their official website: www.hotelh2o.com
Call: (632) 238-6100
Email: inquiry@hotelh2o.com

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