We decided to welcome 2013 with a little bit of luxury by staying at The Peninsula Manila. I’m not a fan of fireworks really. And the pollution it creates that lasts until the next day doesn’t really make me happy. So we’d always check in at hotels for NY Eve. Usually, I’d book a room at The Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza, but they were already fully-booked since October for December 31st! I’ve learned my lesson and will book our rooms earlier next time. But I’m glad that I didn’t cancel on our stay at The Pen because we had a great time and it did not disappoint.

He loved the full-length mirror!

Check-in time was at 2:00 PM like most hotels, but we were already there by around 1:00 PM. Usually you check-in right at the front desk, but since there were a lot of guests checking in for New Year’s Eve, we were redirected to one of the function halls to check-in. There were drinks served while you wait, which was around 20-30 minutes for us, but it was no problem since we had seats and Jacob was playing (running after, rather) other kids.

We got a Deluxe King room facing Ayala Triangle Park, and we could actually see part of the New Year Countdown that was happening along Ayala Ave. I did try to request for a room change, one that isn’t facing all the noise and partying but the hotel was fully-booked. It was good though that the sound-proofing of the room was good enough that Jacob’s sleep wasn’t disrupted with all the music and happenings below. MORE AFTER THE BREAK!

Jacob asking Dad for more ‘bamama’ from the complimentary fruit plate.

I was lucky enough to avail of their New Year’s Eve package, which came with breakfast for 2 adults and 2 kids, a P1,500 dining voucher which we used for room service, 15% discount on spa treatments, Wi-Fi connection, and complimentary local calls.

Chillin’ with Lola!

Aside from the beautiful, well-appointed room we got at The Peninsula Manila, I particularly loved
and appreciated how the staff treat each guest. It’s definitely a 4.5-5 star hotel! I feel like I shouldn’t have experienced staying at The Pen because I’ll be comparing other hotels now to them. They spoil you here!

He figured out how to turn on and off all the lights! It went on for 10 minutes!

We got room service for late lunch/merienda. They actually have infant food that is prepared for your little ones for free! Yes, you heard me. Complimentary food for your little kid and if you don’t see anything on their infant menu that you think your baby will like, you can request something from them and they will try to do it for you.

The Pen Bear is so cute!
Infant Offerings Room Service at The Peninsula Manila
Kids’ Chicken Fingers and Mini Cheeseburger with fries

For dinner Jacob tried the rice porridge with chicken cuts and vegetables. In case he wouldn’t find food that I’d like, I ordered cheese omelette w/ bacon and bread from room service.

Once the sun was gone, we went to the swimming pool where Jacob had tons of fun splashing at me. It’s hard to wear contacts when swimming! It was a bit windy so we didn’t stay long. We just continued at the separate tub in the room.

We were planning on grabbing dinner from one of the restaurants at the park, but they closed at 6:00 PM. Good thing there were tons of food stalls set up along Ayala Ave where Oscar bought dinner. I had roast beef with mashed potatoes, Mom had fish fillet and vegetables, Oscar had sisig I think, and we shared an order of authentic Chinese noodles (which I found was already going bad, or the veggies mixed in were getting bad).

Party along Ayala Ave.

Like every year, The Peninsula Manila hosts New Year’s Eve dinner at The Lobby. This year, the theme was Pink Diamond Ball, with a huge portrait of Marilyn Monroe! It was fun, pink, festive, and fancy!

While waiting for 2013 to arrive and as Jacob and Lola enjoyed their sleep, Oscar and I watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. DVD players and movies are free for use and it was simply brought to our room and set-up with just a quick call to concierge. The list of movies that you can choose from can be seen from the menu on the TV.

Watching Harry Potter from the hotel’s collection!
Jacob’s Graco Baby Cot

A nice thoughtful touch, they sent us this box of chocolates. They were delish! Oscar and I were fighting for them!

Buffet breakfast was served at Escolta. Since the hotel was fully-booked, they also set up breakfast buffet at The Lobby and at one of the function halls again. I guess there were really a lot of guests!

I enjoyed their corned beef, bacon, grilled tomato, vegetable fried rice, croissant, and taho.

Kids can enjoy made-to-order pancakes. There’s also an omelette station and made-to-order sushi. I was happy with the buffet spread because they were my favorite. I wish I had taken photos of the spread but there were really a lot of people! Next time!

After breakfast, I prepared his first bubble bath for him. At first he was scared of the bubbles, but then we started playing “put bubbles on Daddy’s face and hair” and he loved it. He didn’t want to get out! After he was done, I drew myself my own bubble bath (new water, of course!) and relaxed for a while.

So happy!

We were given late check-out so we had lunch before leaving. A nice table was set up in the room so we can eat properly. For lunch the next day, Jacob had soft pasta with tomato sauce and banana apple and mango puree.

Check-out was a breeze, we only had to pay for the excess fees for the room service food. Mom had her senior citizen card which she used and got a nice discount from the total bill. We took a few photos before leaving, but all our photos as a family were blurry!

Until we left the hotel, we experienced outstanding service from everyone, from the concierge for our bags, to the valet. I hope we can go back soon and enjoy the luxury again! Maybe next New Year’s Eve who knows. Our journey to experiencing hotels in Metro Manlia goes on!

Mr. Jacob’s Mom
Mr. Jacob’s Dad

I would definitely return to The Peninsula Manila for any special occasion we may have in the future. I’ve been spoiled rotten by the hotel with the 5-star service we received during our stay. They gave us plenty of complimentary water bottles throughout the stay, filled our ice bucket for the night, and replenished toilettries upon request.

The room was well-appointed. The bed was firm, yet comfortable. The pillows, I love! But all three and a half of us shared all of them. Jacob’s baby cot was set-up nicely, with two bolsters and one small pillow. We forgot to bring a blanket for him so it would have been nice if they provided a small blanket as well.

The bathroom I give two thumbs up. I like how the toilet and shower is separated as well as the tub not being part of the shower so I was not as hesitant as I would be like in other hotels wherein the tub is part of the shower. I think that’s pretty gross.

Food was excellent, for both room service and the buffet breakfast at Escolta. Wish we could have tried other restaurants in the hotel, but it was just so busy around the place!

Of course, like everything else, there is always room for improvement. The LCD TV in our room wasn’t exactly of good quality. We struggled a bit with the picture options in making the images on screen more visible. We had to max the brightness and contrast just to watch Harry Potter properly. And I can say that the quality of the image on screen is a bit grainy, showing signs of aging. When it comes to lighting control, I would wish that there would be another button/control option where only the bedside lights would turn off. When you hit the master light control, everything turns off, even the power for the lamp on the working desk.

Happy New Year! How did you spend New Year’s Eve?


Roxi is happily married and mom to two boys (#SantiagoBros!). Mommy blogger since 2010, work-at-home Mom as a virtual assistant and web designer at Mommy Mover.

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  1. Hi Mommy Rox! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. I’m loving all the food I saw, they looked yummy. We stayed at home during New Year’s Eve. We played scrabble until midnight when we went out to watch the fireworks. After that we continued our game and kept playing until 5am. It was soo much fun.

  2. Anj says:

    What a great post, Roxi! I was wondering how noisy that area would be because of the big countdown on Ayala ave. and Makati ave. Glad to know it didn’t disrupt your vacation! Judging from your wonderful pics, Manila Pen surely does not disappoint! I should definitely give it a try next New Year’s Eve! 🙂 wishing you and your family a great 2013! Looking forward to your adventures this year!

    • Hi Anj! Thanks! Yeah, the noise wasn’t too bad. Although you know naman how it goes when there are about 10+ bass speakers, you can still definitely hear them but if you’re watching TV, na-ddrown out naman siya. Hope to see you there next NYE! 😀 Cheers!

  3. mitchelle says:

    Wow very nice place. We stayed at home during New Year’s Eve. Then at the hospital the following day. What a new year! Until now my son is not feeling well.

  4. Ayen says:

    wow! im like the infant menu! im making it now my priority to spend the next year in manila pen.

  5. ning llorin says:

    Seems you enjoyed your stay at the hotel! I haven’t tried spending holidays in Makati area. We usually spend our holidays at hotels too but near Malate where the fireworks are. Just like you we always bring along that Graco baby cot. Very handy aye? Anyway, good thing you were able to grab some dinner. I learned my lesson from last year’s holidays. This year it’s double effort because I have to prepare our noche buena and media noche and bring it all the way to the hotel because I won’t assume there are available food at the hotel.

    • It was our first time too. Usually we stay within the Ortigas area because of the proximity to almost everything. But it wasn’t so bad in Makati. I guess it would have been a tad better if there were restaurants opened til 10PM so we didn’t have to spend extra for room service, but it was fine nonetheless.

  6. I wish we could do that too, celebrating Christmas and greeting the new year in a nice hotel, (okay, nice is an understatement for Manila Pen). But mother is pretty strict in celebrating these occasions at home because of her pamahiin.

    Our New Year’s eve was pretty boring as we just slept it away. I hope next year will be a better one. =)

    • Hahaha! My Mom also always question me wanting to check in at hotels. I told her na I don’t like the noise and pollution going about during NY’s Eve, kawawa naman the little boy! So I got to persuade her this year. She was so close to not going though! 😀

  7. Huwaw! What a lavish New Year’s celebration 🙂 It sure seems like they do spoil their guests to bits. Late check-out, complimentary meals, FREE chocolates and infant food? Now that’s excellent customer service to a T. Super aliw ako sa infant food. Sana all hotels are as concerned about their guests as Manila Pen is 🙂

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  9. Joyce says:

    i love reading your blog, Mr. Jacob’s mom!

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