Saturday, March 31, 2018

Rediscovering the Weekend Vibe at Discovery Primea

Sometimes, you just need to stay in for the entire weekend to fully recharge for the coming week ahead...

One memorable weekend at Discovery Primea is more than enough to rediscover the perfect staycation experience for that ultimate urban escape. Staying in, and enjoying every minute of Discovery Primea.

It was my first time to spend a weekend at Discovery Primea. I've always been impressed with the hotel's dining establishments, including Restaurant Tapenade and Flame Restaurant, and these alone are enough to make any weekend at Discovery Primea special. The sleek, elegant and seamless fusion of Mediterranean Chinoiserie-inspired lines of Discovery Primea is a vibrant addition to the ever-changing skyline of the metro's premier commercial and business district. The latest hotel in The Discovery Leisure Company's expanding portfolio of luxury properties, Discovery Primea is ideally situated at the heart of Makati with its vibrant commerce, leisure and cultural attractions within walking distance for added convenience. But when you want to get away from it all, no worries. You can do exactly that at Discovery Primea.

But it's the warmth and hospitality of the hotel staff that makes you feel special at Discovery Primea. From the minute you enter the lobby and register at the front desk to the servers at the hotel's dining establishments, the long chain of memorable experiences are linked together with the warmest of smiles.

Checking in is a breeze, and your luggage is conveniently taken directly to your room. Any special requests are quickly handled by the front desk, and you're off to start your weekend staycation at Discovery Primea. A warm smile sends you off as you head for the elevator...

At the eleventh floor, a bowl of fresh apples greet guests as they step out of the elevator on the way to their suites...

...before entering my home for the weekend at Discovery Primea. The spacious and elegant Primea Suite is a lavish 94 square meter suite with two separate and well-appointed bedrooms, an open layout with a living room, work and dining area and a fully-furnished kitchen.

A full-sized refrigerator, induction range, toaster, microwave , washer and dryer, and coffee-making facilities ensures you have everything you need in your very own Primea Suite. A separate work area with a desk and all the cable connections you need to plug in your devices is incorporated just in case you need to catch up on work. 

The massive king-sized Discovery Primea Hypoallergenic Goose Feather Mattress with velvety-smooth and plush linens guarantee a good night's sleep. The Primea Suite features two bedrooms, each with the same king-sized bed. Pretty cool. 

Each room has its own 46" LED TV as well as one more in the living room for a total of three units. No need to argue over TV channels when you bring your family to the Primea Suites. Complimentary High-Speed Internet Access for multiple devices, Pressreader access, in-room safe, a fully-stocked refreshment center with coffee and tea-making facilities and mini-bar, think of the Primea Suite as your own self-contained cocoon at the heart of the city.  

My Primea Suite at the eleventh floor featured panoramic views of the cityscape...

...including the dynamic skyline of The Fort...

...with Rockwell at the center and the Makati commercial and business district to the left. The day's shifting light also casts a unique glow to the cityscape, changing and transforming the views with each passing hour. 

The Mini-Bar and Refreshment Center has everything you need for a refreshing tipple anytime of day along with tasty snacks. The Nespresso Machine ensures you get a soothing cup of freshly brewed premium coffee anytime you need a quick fixer-upper...  

...and having a cup of coffee is quick and easy with the Nespresso Machine. Simply pick your capsule and press the button.

With all the modern and convenient in-room amenities, including a master control unit (L), your weekend staycation at Discovery Primea is looking pretty good. And when the in-suite master tub & bath has its own 19" LED TV (R), you know this weekend is going to be special.

Along with luxury and comfort, Discovery Primea adds innovation with the Handy Smartphone providing guests with a convenient mobile device for free local calls and 4G internet access as well as international calls to the US, Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong at no charge. The first  of its kind in Makati, the Handy Smartphone is one of those little perks that add peace of mind to your travels, and staycations, at Discovery Primea. Think of it as another game changer at Discovery Primea. 

The Handy Smartphone also provides connectivity with social media essentials like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other pre-installed travel apps. You can also customize your Handy Smartphone with Google Play Store Apps, making this more than just a standalone mobile phone. For foreign travelers, there's no need to purchase a local sim card, just use your Handy Smartphone at Discovery Primea. Just like any mobile device, bring the Handy Smartphone with you to the hotel pool, spa, or gym and stay connected without skipping a beat. And once you check out, the integrated property management systems automatically performs a complete factory reset for security.

At the dining table, indulgent chocolates added a sweet welcome to my stay at Discovery Primea, just in time for the afternoon's games.

But there's more. Tempting sweet bites are just some of the little touches that go a long way in making that weekend staycation experience a memorable one. But it's time for lunch...

Today's lunch is arranged at Restaurant Tapenade, where you savor the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean, from the rich spice blends of Morocco and Istanbul, the rustic notes of Provence and Sicily, and the sunny flavors of Greece and North Africa. From classic brick-oven pizzas to pasta and traditional tagines, you'll find it all here at Restaurant Tapenade (for more on Restaurant Tapenade, see my previous posts, Serious Beef. At Restaurant Tapenade on their impressive Bistecca alla Fiorentina, Mediterranean Flavors: A Late Sunday Lunch at Tapenade with their sumptuous Lamb Chops, Mama Mia! Mom's Day Lunch at Tapenade on their previous Mother's Day offering, Discover Mediterranean Flavors at Discovery Primea's Tapenade on my first dining experience at the hotel's signature restaurant, and Fresh: The Salad Room at Discovery Primea's Tapenade for the freshest selection of greens, salads, gourmet cheeses, charcuterie and seafood this side of the metro).

Your dining experience at Tapenade begins with fresh-baked bread (L) served with olive oil, paired with the signature Roasted Tomato Soup (P 290). You can also opt for the Soup of the Day made from the freshest seasonal produce from the market, simply ask your server.

A few refreshing sips of Watermelon Juice opens up the palate for Restaurant Tapenade's starters... the Crispy Salmon Fritters with Caper-Parsley Remoulade (P 290), with premium salmon draped in a crisp breading and delicately deep-fried and served with a side of fresh greens. The contrasting textures and the briny sweetness of the salmon combine for delectable bites capped by the creamy caper-parsley remoulade for balanced notes.

For the mains, I've been craving for an old-fashioned Beef Lengua for the past few days, and the hearty Lengua Sevillana with Mushrooms, Green Olives and Pan-Fried Potatoes (P 590) at Restaurant Tapenade does not disappoint. Fork-tender beef lengua slow-cooked in a rich sauce made even richer with mushrooms and olives just hits the spot, and you'll probably want some extra rice with this. Topped with fresh arugula and with potatoes in the classic dish, the Lengua Sevillana is a meal on its own. It's just one of my favorites at Restaurant Tapenade, along with their signature steaks, lamb kebabs, pizzas, and pasta dishes.  

For a lighter lunch option, diners can also go for the Pan-Roasted Snapper Fillet with Sicilian Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Spinach and Crispy Chickpeas (P 590) with the delicate notes of the fish kicked up by the sunny and tart tomato pesto. 

A cup of freshly brewed Latte caps another satisfying lunch at Restaurant Tapenade.

Back at my Primea Suite, more tasty surprises were placed at the table, including assorted gourmet cheeses, dried fruits, nuts and fresh seedless grapes...

...and dried mangoes dipped in chocolate for unique sweet and tart notes. Just perfect.

After a quick nap, why not go for a few laps at the pool?

If having a few rounds of Single Malt Scotch Whisky and other cocktails are more your style, Discovery Primea's 1824 is the place for you. A whisky and cigar bar, 1824 is named for the year when the first licenses for single malt distilleries were granted. The muted yet elegant tones of dark wood and plush leather combine for the sleek and sophisticated vibe at 1824 (for more on 1824, see my post, Single Malt Flights at Discovery Primea's 1824 Cigar and Whisky Bar). 

Or you can head up high at the 16th Floor for panoramic views of the metro's changing skyline at Discovery Primea's Edge. That day, Dr. Romar Sese set up his powerful Celestron Telescope at the bar for Earth Hour. Space-themed cocktails and clear skies at Earth Hour, just can't get better than that.

That weekend, the hotel geared up for Earth Hour scheduled for 8:30 in the evening. With the lights out, there's no better time to look up at the skies. And with the Celestron telescope, all you need is a phone to capture the moon's image against the fading blue skies as the sun slowly sets over the distant horizon.

Offering a wide selection of handcrafted cocktails, Edge is the perfect spot to unwind with a few drinks after a long day with breathtaking views of the metro. And the skies...

...time for one more drink and another shot of the moon through Dr. Romar Sese's Celestron telescope. Late in the evening, the moon shines an ethereal glow captured in detail through the telescope.

The moon, a few cocktails, and good company, Earth Hour was never this cool. You'll find all your favorite spirits at Edge for that perfect tipple while moongazing, celebrating Earth Hour or any day high above the metro. Have a few pre-dinner cocktails...

...before heading over to Flame Restaurant also located beside Edge. Flame Restaurant is a creative collaboration between General Manager David Pardo de Ayala and Executive Chef Luis Chikiamko offering its elegant and innovative modern take on classic European cuisine infused with Asian flavors for a unique dining experience (for more on Discovery Primea's Flame Restaurant, see my earlier posts, Power Lunch at Flame, Cocktails at Edge on their new lunch offerings, Flame Restaurant Fires Up For Lunch on their signature lunch menu, and Igniting The Next Culinary Standard at Discovery Primea's Flame Restaurant on my first ever visit). The restaurant's name is inspired by the culinary team's burning passion to create new and memorable experiences through food, masterfully executed with each dish. A plate of Amuse Bouche with tasty bites sets the tone for the evening's dinner.

But it gets better. Our dinner at Flame Restaurant began with a tasty signature starter from Edge, the savory Wagyu Cubes served in a glass bowl filled with aromatic smoke. A rich dashi and mirin-based sauce is then poured on the glass bowl, as the smoke gently clears to reveal the savory treat...

...of fork-tender, melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu Cubes laid on crushed sesame seeds and topped with fresh watercress and crisp garlic chips. The Wagyu Beef lines your palate with a savory richness tempered by the sauce. This is serious beef. And an absolute must-try.

For dinner, we go for a pair of the day's freshest catch, with Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Shiitake Mushrooms, Garlic Confit, and Madeira Mushroom Broth (P 1,400)...

...and the Roasted Norwegian Salmon with Braised Savoy Cabbage, Japanese Pickled Ginger, and Aromatic Sesame Sauce (P 750). Both dishes delivered fresh and clean notes, with the pure flavors of the fish coming through. Perfectly executed and elegantly plated, the fish are cooked just right, preserving its natural flavors.

A soothing cup of Caffe Mocha (P 240) caps a sumptuous dinner at Flame Restaurant, pairing well with Flame's Tiramisu with Vin Santo Ice Cream and Amaretto Crumb (P 360) for a playfully inventive deconstructed version of a classic dessert.   

I go for the Apple, Apple, Apple, a trifecta of sweet apples with Caramelized Apples, Calvados Cream, Apple Gelee, and Cinnamon Puff Pastry (P 320) for that perfect ending to another memorable dinner at Flame Restaurant.

Bright and early the next day, the sun rises over the cityscape framed by the wall-to-ceiling panoramic glass windows of my Primea Suite.

Pick your favorite spot at the corner with a freshly brewed cup of coffee with the day's papers. And just when you think it couldn't get better than this... does. For breakfast, can there be anything better than room service? A simple and quick call to guest services takes care of breakfast in no time. Breakfast is set up at the dining room, with the condiments and settings neatly placed on the table.

The comforting Filipino Breakfast (P 900) is a hearty set for that perfect start, with a choice of fresh fruit juice, seasonal fruits, fresh-baked pan de sal, two organic eggs cooked any style, and your choice of Beef Tapa, Lucban Longganisa, Pork Tocino or Daing na Bangus served with Garlic Fried Rice and Pickled Papaya.

Start with some fresh seasonal fruits...

...before diving in for an epic breakfast served at your own Primea Suite. Each Breakfast Set includes Lavazza Coffee or a selection TWG Silk Teabags, along with butter and jam. A leisurely breakfast with comforting local flavors enjoyed at your pace without the rush in your own Primea Suite. Now that's a weekend staycation.

Later in the afternoon, more guests arrived at Discovery Primea as my weekend staycation comes to an end. If only there were a few more days to a weekend. But two days are more than enough to rediscover the weekend Discovery Primea.

Discovery Primea is located at 6749 Ayala Avenue, Makati City or call (632) 955-8888 for inquiries and more information.

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