Monday, December 25, 2017

The Novotel Experience: A Christmas Weekend Staycation at Novotel Manila Araneta Center

Elegance and simplicity, it's the enduring trademark of any Novotel experience. Whether traveling alone or with family, on holiday or a business trip, the Novotel experience weaves a tapestry of rich memories that make each visit special.

A part of the LeClub Accor Hotels, Novotel has well over 400 hotels and resorts in 61 countries, each one with the distinct hospitality combining both elegance and simplicity for a unique and memorable experience. My staycation at Novotel Manila Araneta Center allowed me to experience this signature hospitality of Novotel in one memorable Christmas weekend...

My Christmas weekend staycation experience at Novotel Manila Araneta Center began with the exclusive check-in at the Premier Lounge, high up at the 24th floor (for more on Novotel Manila Araneta Center, see my earlier post, Novotel Manila: Luxury Comes To Quezon City and my post on my other travel blog, Novotel Manila: Transforming the Landscape in Quezon City). Private and exclusive, privileged guests can experience bespoke services from the courteous staff and indulge in a unique buffet spread, afternoon tea, cocktails, and use of the business center facilities with stunning views of the metro's changing skyline. As a Premier Lounge guest, you can enjoy the various amenities and privileges during your stay at Novotel Manila Araneta Center, including:
  • Private access to the Premier Lounge on the 24th Floor from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm daily.
  • Personalized Check-in and Check-out at the 24th Floor.
  • Late check-out until 4:00 pm with no additional charge depending on room availability.
  • Complimentary daily newspapers or over 4,000 online publications via the Premier Lounge's PressReader app available on both smartphones and tablets.
  • Complimentary access at computer workstations.
  • Complimentary local landline calls.
  • Free wireless internet access within the hotel.
  • Complimentary use of the In-Balance Fitness Center.
  • Complimentary two-pieces valet pressing per stay non-cumulative and 20% discount on laundry services.
  • Complimentary use of library and reading nook.
  • Complimentary use of kids play area at 24th Floor for guests under 15 years of age.
  • Complimentary use of meeting room for six persons for two hours per stay (charges will be applied should you exceed two hours).
  • Complimentary food and beverage can be enjoyed at the Premier Lounge good for two adults and two kids.  
Located high up at the 24th floor of Novotel Manila Araneta Center, the Premier Lounge offers panoramic views of the cityscape with its impressive floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Experience the shifting colors of the city from vibrant daylight to the afternoon's amber golden hues, to the evening's night lights from twenty four floors above.

The dramatic circular lay-out, with its all-glass lined walls, make the Premier Lounge an experience in itself. Checking in is a breeze, but stay a while and enjoy complimentary beverages like Apple and Cranberry Juices, coffee or tea along with some tasty walnuts, roasted peanuts, and beetroot chips to kick-off your Novotel experience.

After the exclusive check-in at the Premier Lounge, it was time to settle in at my very own private sanctuary at Novotel Manila Araneta Center. Fresh fruits and a spectacular view of the skyline, this was going to be another perfect weekend experience at Novotel Manila Araneta Center. Guests can choose from Superior Rooms, Superior Rooms with Lounge Access, Suites and Deluxe Rooms, each one styled with the clean and modern European design for comfort and luxury. Amenities include a large LED flat-screen TV, tea and coffee-making facilities, a separate work area, hand and rain shower, a safety deposit box and fast and free Wi-Fi to stay connected with the rest of the world.

Novotel Manila Araneta Center offers more than 400 rooms in various configurations to fit your specific requirements and budget. Bright and spacious with a modern and contemporary vibe, the smart layout offers flexibility with each room designed to be lived in. Elegance and simplicity remains at the core of your Novotel experience.

Novotel is committed to sustainable development and is part of the ambitious Planet 21 Programme, a worldwide initiative devoted to local sourcing, diversity, water, energy and waste management. Inside your room, you'll find little touches reflecting this corporate commitment to the environment, from the flow regulators installed in the showers and taps to the eco-friendly personal grooming products. And once you lay in the comfort of your bed, you just might not want to get up. But it's time for tea at the Premier Lounge...

The Premier Lounge offers Afternoon Tea daily starting at 3:00pm to 5:00 pm, with a wide selection of teas and sweet and savory bites for a leisurely afternoon at Novotel Manila Araneta Center.

Just pick your spot, and tea will be served. Feel the breeze and enjoy your tea al fresco, or stay inside the Premier Lounge and enjoy the quiet comfort of the spacious interiors. Whatever you choose, you're all set for one of the finest afternoon tea experiences this side of the metro in Quezon City.

Your fresh-brewed tea is served, and it's time to explore the buffet spread for tasty bites...

A plate of freshly baked Croissant and Chocolate Croissant, along with the Premier Lounge's Corned Beef Sandwich, Beef Sisig Mini-Pita topped with a slice of cherry tomato and Curry Egg Sandwich offers both sweet and savory flavors in one plate, and you can come back for more...

The wide selection of sandwiches and desserts make afternoon tea at the Premier Lounge different and special. At the Premier Lounge, you can customize your selection to pair with your tea, and you can come back for seconds. And thirds...

The sharp and distinct notes of curry spices complement the creamy flavors of the egg salad sandwich, the soothing heat from the chili layers the savory beef sisig with rich hints capped by the soft pita, and the corned beef sandwich on freshly-baked pan de sal delivers comforting flavors. One more round? Absolutely.

Another cup of tea and it's time for dessert...

That day, the Premier Lounge served an equally impressive array of desserts including decadent cakes and intricate pastries. A plate of indulgent Sans Rival, Cheesecake and Chocolate Madeleine caps your afternoon tea experience at the Premier Lounge.

Another sip of soothing tea and the calm serenity of the Premier Lounge makes you linger and stay a while longer. Take a walk outside the Premier Lounge's outdoor area for another view of the impressive Novotel property below, including its numerous pools and  magnificent gardens.

As the afternoon sun slowly fades in the horizon, the city below is draped in a warm amber glow revealing yet another facet of the northern part of the metro. Inside, the Premier Lounge also transforms, setting up the buffet spread for the day's cocktail service. And as the sun sets majestically on the distant horizon, it's time for cocktails...

Starting at 5:00pm daily, the Premier Lounge offers cocktails including ice-cold beer, wine and their signature handcrafted cocktails along with savory bites. The versatility of the Premier Lounge's kitchen is highlighted by the impressive array of savory bites served during cocktails...

...including a selection of fresh seafood appetizers like the Seared Tuna sprinkled with sesame seeds and served on a spoon.

A plate of Maki filled with seafood and vegetables, Seared Tuna, and crisp Crostini topped with beet root along with a savory tart sets the tone for another cozy afternoon at The Premier Lounge.

Fresh from the kitchen, the staff at the Premier Lounge offered their refreshing Squid Ceviche marinated in vinegar with the soothing heat of fresh chili. The fresh and clean flavors of the tender squid, with its briny sweetness, paired perfectly with the cucumbers and peppers capped by the subtle spice. 

Moutabel, a mildly spicy and creamy Lebanese dip made from eggplant and served in a shot glass, paired perfectly with the crunchy bread sticks at the buffet spread. Tasty appetizers and an ice-cold glass of beer, it just can't get better than that.

And there's just nothing quite like catching the sunset, twenty-four floors above the metro, with a glass of wine or beer at the Premier Lounge.

But there's more. The kitchen at the Premier Lounge served up even more tasty and savory bites, like the crisp Tofu Agedashi with a thick and sweet sauce and the crunchy and creamy Deep-Fried Cottage Cheese draped with marinara sauce.

Spanish-style tapas? The Premier Lounge's signature Calamari with toasted garlic, chili and olive oil is one other tasty appetizer not to be missed, perfectly washed down with an ice-cold beer.

And why not fall in love again this holiday season with The Premium Lounge's Secret Lover, a temptingly sweet cocktail with vodka, pineapple juice and Blue Curacao. Beer, wine and cocktails, paired with a wide selection of appetizers, the Premier Lounge is the perfect spot to catch the sunset.

It's also the perfect spot to start the day right at Novotel Manila Araneta Center. The Premier Lounge also offers a daily buffet breakfast from 6:30 am to 10:30 am with a sumptuous selection of breakfast favorites.

Start with a brewed cup of creamy Latte and some freshly-baked bread to start the day on the right track...

And head on over to the buffet spread for even more freshly baked bread and other breakfast staples including fresh fruits, salads, cereals and savory dishes. A cheese and charcuterie board also adds to your choice of tasty options. The Premier Lounge also offers a selection homemade yogurt and fresh fruit juices...

...including Watermelon (L) and Honeydew Melon (R) juices, conveniently bottled and chilled on ice. That day, fresh Carrot Juice was also displayed at the buffet spread. Freshly squeezed, the healthy juices are the perfect way to start your day at the Premier Lounge.

Indulge in the Premier Lounge's Smoked Salmon with a dollop of sour cream and capers...

...or go for some Black Forest Ham, Salami and Spianatta (L) paired with Edam, Bleu Cheese and Manchego (R). Then, come back for more. And there's no need to rush. The station is regularly replenished.
Savory options for breakfast that day included Homemade Corned Beef, Stir-Fry Chicken, Stuffed Milk Fish and Organic Buttered Vegetables (L) to spicy Thai Red Curry, Beef Pares, Nurnberger sausages, and Pork Stir-Fry, each one pairing well with Garlic Fried Rice for a comforting and hearty breakfast.

Then, there's fresh fruits including melon, watermelon, papaya, and pineapple as well as chilled fruit salads served in jars. Have another round of The Premier Lounge's freshly squeezed juices and you're on the right track for another perfect day at Novotel Manila Araneta Center.

A cup of creamy Latte, fresh Honeydew Melon Juice, Strawberry Yogurt, your customized breakfast at the Premier Lounge is looking good...

...with a pair of Sunny-Side Up Eggs perfectly executed with the soft and runny texture...

...a side of assorted premium Charcuterie and gourmet Cheeses...

...and the main course of Organic Buttered Vegetables, Homemade Corned Beef, Nurnberger Sausages and Garlic Fried Rice.

And that Homemade Corned Beef at The Premier Lounge deserves a special mention. Fork-tender beef brisket, brined and simmered for hours, is an absolute must-try and a personal favorite.

Cap your breakfast with another cup of freshly brewed Latte and one more round of Smoked Salmon, and you're just about ready for the day ahead. It's all about perfect starts, and you get that daily at the Premier Lounge. Buffet Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Evening Cocktails, and All-Day Refreshments, the Premier Lounge has everything you need and more to make your stay at Novotel Manila Araneta Center a memorable one.

A short nap and it's time for lunch at Novotel Manila Araneta Center's The Food Exchange. The Food Exchange offers a lavish buffet spread and one of the best buffet dining experiences this side of the metro. Start with a bowl of Grilled Black Mussels from the Grill Station...

...and a bowl of plump and succulent Clams from the fresh Seafood Station, delicately sauteed in butter and garlic. The Food Exchange has something for everyone, including the day's freshest catch at the Seafood Station, Salads and Appetizers, Pizza and Pasta, a selection of savory beef, pork and lamb at the Carving Station, fresh noodles at the Asian Station including a variety of roasts, and an impressive array of hot main dishes as well as an equally impressive line-up of desserts (for more on The Food Exchange, see my earlier posts, Flavors of Pampanga: The Kanyaman Food Festival by Chef Sau Del Rosario at Novotel Manila's Food Exchange on the recent Capampangan Food Festival, Bringing The Vibrant Flavors of Asian Street Food to Novotel Manila's Food Exchange showcasing the diverse culinary heritage and uniquely Asian flavors of the region, Celebrate the Flavors of the Season at Novotel Manila Araneta Center's The Food Exchange on a preview of its holiday dishes, International Flavors at Novotel Manila's Food Exchange on its variety of international dishes, and Flavorful Celebrations at Novotel Manila Araneta Center on its themed buffet offerings).

No visit to The Food Echange is complete without a stop at Chef Rajan's Indian Station with his selection of authentic Indian dishes. Using real Indian spices, Chef Rajan prepares each dish at his station recreating the rich flavors he grew up with, and you get a taste of the best of India at The Food Exchange.

At The Food Exchange, diners can embark on a culinary journey and enjoy global flavors, with each plate representing one part of the world. Pork Binagoongan, Beef Galbi Chim, US Prime Rib on a plate...that's just some of the many flavorful offerings at The Food Exchange.

After a sumptuous lunch, a cup of freshly brewed coffee rounds up another festive feast at The Food Exchange.

Bit save room for dessert. From Churros to Crepes, indulgent Cakes and Pastries, a do-it-yourself Halo-Halo-Station to comforting local favorites like Bibingka and Puto Bumbong, you'll find it all here at The Food Exchange.

And save room for ice cream too. Ice N Cream by Novotel is pure ice cream indulgence on a homemade waffle cone or cup. Velvety smooth yet thick and dense, it's another perfect ending to cap a memorable experience at Novotel Manila Araneta Center.

And the fun includes deciding which flavor to try at Ice N Cream (for more on Ice N Cream by Novotel, see my previous posts, Chill. At Novotel Manila's Ice N Cream... and Celebrate The Flavors of the Season at Novotel Manila Araneta Center's The Food Exchange ).

Try Ice N Cream's Avocado with Chocolate Chips...

...or one of the new Christmas-inspired flavors like the Holiday BAEbingka with chunks of salted egg for unique and comforting flavors. Have a double scoop and enjoy. It's the holidays, and you deserve an extra scoop.

Complete the festive holiday vibe at Novotel Manila Araneta Center with their tempting Christmas treats like the rustic and traditional Stollen, a fruit bread with dried fruits, nuts and spices dusted with sugar. Other holiday treats include the English Christmas Fruitcake, Gingerbread House, Buche de Noel, Elisen Lebkuchen, Bethmannchen, Walnut Beigli, Christmas Cookies, Domino Stones, and Ensaymada Panettone. The festive flavors, service and accommodations all weave a colorful tapestry in a vivid and seamless blend for a unique Novotel experience. Elegance and simplicity come together redefining memorable staycations. And with the new year just around the corner, spend the most joyful season of the year at Novotel Manila Araneta Center and discover the Novotel experience...

Novotel Manila Araneta Center is located at General Aguinaldo Avenue, Araneta Center, Quezon City or call 990-7888 for inquiries and more information.

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