The great escape: 10 places to go to during your Manila staycation

Want to hop on a plane to get away from it all? You don't need to go far to be on vacation with this nifty list of spots to stay in and things to do in the city.

Vacations don't always require road trips, a plane ride or a passport. A "staycation" is always a handy alternative for burned-out urbanites while staying close to home. rounds up a list of places in the city which you can explore and retreat to this week:


1. Bonifacio High Street for Walkway 2010: Reflections on the Stations of the Cross
Address: Bonifacio High Street, Fort Global City, Taguig

Why go now: Reflection isn't exclusive for the Holy Week, but if you're staying in Manila, catch the stations of the cross on display at Bonifacio High Street until April 4, Easter Sunday.
Don't miss: Even if you're not religious, the contemporary visual takes on this annual Catholic tradition would be worth checking out.



2. Discovery Suites
Address: 25 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Tel. No. 683-8222

Why go now: Nothing beats staying in with your favorite book or favorite DVDs at Discovery Suites' comfy rooms –veg out with your friends or whip up a movie marathon feast.
Don't miss: 22 Prime's juicy steaks located on the twenty-second floor. They also serve free, refreshing iced-tea with cookies while you lounge the day away by Discovery Suites' posh swimming pool and Jacuzzi.


3. Herald Suites
Address: 2168 Don Chino Roces St., (formerly Pasong Tamo), Makati City. Tel. No. 759-6270

Why go now: The Old-world inspired rooms and suites take you to another world, without having to leave the city.
Don't miss: "Little Tokyo" is just around the corner from Herald Suites, where you can have your pick of restaurants that offer the most authentic Japanese dining experiences in Manila: Hana (339-3855), is open until March 31, Wednesday while Kiku fuji (893-7319) will be open the whole week.

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4. Legend Villas
Address: 60 Pioneer corner Madison Street, Mandaluyong City. Tel. No. 702-2700

Why go now: You can get a bi-level villa suite, with your own kitchenette, dining area and a receiving area for less than P5,000 on weekends with a buffet breakfast for two and full access to the pool.
Don't miss: The private villas make for the perfect city getaway whenever you want to just take time off for some much needed R & R.



5. Manila Hotel
Address: One Rizal Park, Roxas Boulevard, Manila. Tel. No. 527-0011

Why go now: The newly-renovated rooms at the Manila Hotel may just entice you to stay as long as General McArthur did. (He stayed at the hotel's suite for six months in 1935.)
Don't miss: Café Ilang-Ilang opens to a garden that allows for summer alfresco dining. Go up on the second deck and lounge at the hotel's pool area, with a new sun deck, wet bar and a re-engineered swimming pool. If you can't take a break from your exercise routine, a pilates, yoga and aerobics room cans also be found at the hotel's gym.

6. Manila Ocean Park
Address: Quirino Street (behind Quirino Grandstand), Luneta, Manila. Tel. No. 567-7777

Why go now: You've convinced yourself the place is not just for kids and seeing all the underwater creatures is really kind of cool.
Don't miss: The White Moon Bar, is also located at the Manila Ocean Park complex with its captivating sunset view and chill ambience. Manila Ocean Park will be open on Monday to Wednesday, Thursday (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. only), Friday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. only), and Saturday and Sunday.



7. Neo Day Spa
Address: Net One Center, 26th St. corner 3rd Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City (815-8233) and 35 Wilson Street corner Washington Street, Greenhills West, San Juan City (584-6789)

Why go now: There's nothing like a long day at the spa to recharge, heal the body and get ready for a new month at work or school.
Don't miss: Facials, massages and other treatments can be combined to create the ultimate spa day. Neo Spa is open on March 30, Wednesday, April 3, Saturday and April 4, Sunday. Reservations are recommended.



8. Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences
Address: 119 LP Leviste St. Salcedo Village, Makati City. Tel. No. 828-4774

Why go now: The colorful, creative rooms and suites at Picasso may just spark much-needed inspiration. It's also in the middle of Salcedo Village in Makati, an area you can explore by foot. Book from April 1 to 4 and get 50% off on your second night.
Don't miss: Picasso also houses Art Cabinet, an art gallery that showcases works from local daring visual artists. Eat at Brasserie Boheme, located at the ground floor, which offers an affordable but sumptuous brunch buffet at P390 and set meals at P350.


9. Resorts World Manila
Address: Resorts World Manila, Newport Boulevard, Pasay City. Tel. No. 836-6333

Why go now: It's Manila's newest entertainment and dining destination, with four restaurants: Chinese restaurant, Passion, Ginzadon for Japanese food, Mercado for a taste of the best local cuisine, and Noodle Works for Asian noodle dishes.
Don't miss: Maxims Hotel's all-suite rooms comes with an assigned personal butler 24/7. If you're feeling really indulgent, you can check into the villas with your own individual pool, garden and massage room.


10. Sofitel Philippine Plaza
Address: CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila. Tel. No. 551-5555

Why go now: You get the best seats to Manila's sunset views plus a lagoon swimming pool to beat Manila's scorching heat. After long days at the pool, you can sink into the luxurious beds in your posh guest room.
Don't miss: A stay at Sofitel isn't complete without a round at the buffet stations at Spiral.

Photographs from Marianne Chua (Stations of the Cross), Discovery Suites, Herald Suites, Legend Villas, Manila Hotel, John Javellana (Manila Ocean Park), Neo Day Spa, Picasso Makati, JJ Yulo (Passion), Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

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