Marco Polo Or­ti­gas Manila

Bright and Boun­ti­ful Break­fasts at Cucina

Let’s Eat - - NEWS - WORDS BY SPANKY HIZON ENRQUEZ

Irather like this re­cent trend of hav­ing ho­tel lob­bies lo­cated some­where on one of their up­per floors. Not only does it pro­vide a wel­come sep­a­ra­tion from the hus­tle and flow and the noise and bus­tle of the city’s streets, it also pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for a spec­tac­u­lar in­tro­duc­tion to the stay­ca­tion de­lights a ho­tel has to of­fer. Quite a few ho­tels in Metro Manila have fol­lowed suit, but the very first “Sky Lobby” in the city is lo­cated in Or­ti­gas, on the 24th floor of the Marco Polo Manila. First time guests are stunned, then en­rap­tured by the panoramic scenery: from the val­leys of Marik­ina to the hills of An­tipolo to the moun­tain ranges fur­ther be­yond to the East. A sky­line framed by floor to ceil­ing win­dows eas­ily beats the sights and sounds of smoke-belch­ing jeep­neys beep­ing their horns ag­gres­sively just be­yond a ho­tel’s main doors.

It’s most apt that Marco Polo’s hash­tag is “Liv­ing the High Life”. The Sky Lobby is only the mid­dle of the prover­bial ice­berg. The tip, is the can­nily named “Vue”, a bar perched high up on the top­most floor of the ho­tel, the 45th. The cityscape far down be­low gets even more cap­ti­vat­ing from this van­tage point, and since it’s an al fresco bar area, cool winds be­come part of the ex­pe­ri­ence, and the well… view! Vue was the per­fect bar to watch the Fi­nals of the re­cent World Cup. Par­ti­sans of both France and Croa­tia roared with ev­ery goal made, and groaned with ev­ery goal missed. In­tense com­pe­ti­tion and even more in­tense bon­homie from foot­ball fans from all over, en­joy­ing ev­ery minute on Vue’s wide

“MARCO POLO OR­TI­GAS IS THE FIRST MANILA HO­TEL IN SIX DECADES TO RE­CEIVE THE GLOBAL FIVE STAR AWARD FROM THE FORBES TRAVEL GUIDE. IT’S NOW WON IT FOR TWO CON­SEC­U­TIVE YEARS, 2017 AND 2018.”

screens. Good times in­deed.

Good Vibes. That’s al­ways what I an­tic­i­pate, and al­ways what I take home with me, when­ever I visit this ho­tel of many sur­prises. Lung Hin is one. It’s an ex­cel­lent restau­rant that spe­cial­izes in Can­tonese dishes. Now I have a se­cret, or it may not be one at all: I’m not sure if this is com­mon knowl­edge, but it does have a cou­ple of in­ti­mate, and very pri­vate func­tion rooms, with the ho­tel’s sig­na­ture views of course. They’re per­fect for when you’re in the mood for love. Who says that Chi­nese res­tau­rants can’t be ro­man­tic? And of­ten, true ro­mance leads to, if I’m b0e5ing com­pletely hon­est… beau­ti­ful break­fasts.

Speak­ing of, “Cucina”, Marco Polo’s main din­ing out­let, on the same level as the Sky Lobby, is one of my fa­vorite break­fast spots in the city. I’m not a morn­ing per­son at all. I’m one of those peo­ple who, dur­ing staycations, crawl out of bed at 9:30am, mo­ti­vated by the thought of crispy ba­con and eggs over easy, and deeply de­ter­mined to beat the 10:00am last call dead­line for break­fast ser­vice. While ba­con and eggs are my morn­ing musts, Cucina has a spe­cial sta­tion that al­ways makes me break my vow to avoid car­bo­hy­drates. Right in the mid­dle of din­ing hall, is a space ded­i­cated to all man­ner of freshly baked bread, crois­sants, rolls, twists, dough­nuts, and Dan­ishes. I call it the “bread room”, for lack of a bet­ter term, but truly, it is, for all in­tents and

pur­poses, a tem­ple of temp­ta­tions. It’s the best smelling room in the whole ho­tel as far as I’m con­cerned.

In 2017, a ho­tel in the Philip­pines won the pres­ti­gious Five Star award from the Forbes Travel Guide. It was the first time in al­most six decades that Manila made it to the list of iconic prop­er­ties with flaw­less ser­vice and su­perb fa­cil­i­ties. This year, that ho­tel, the Marco Polo Or­ti­gas, won the honor for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year. I’m not sur­prised. Ex­cel­lence shouldn’t just be its own re­ward. It should be rec­og­nized, and in this case, most de­servedly awarded.

PHO­TOS BY GABBY CANTERO

01 01

1 Break­fast Sausages and Plat­ters2 The “Bread Room”3 Freshly Baked Breads and Pas­tries4 Crispy and Medium-Cooked Ba­con5 Break­fast Se­lec­tions6 Cucina’s In­te­ri­ors7 Bathrobes and Bath8 Bed and Bed­room9 Room with a View

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