So when my ever dearest Jane invited me to visit Alabang, and stay at The Bellevue Manila, I was thrilled! First and foremost to meet her and I have to be honest - it was also because of the breakfast buffet. Hahaha..
And so I went and drove to Alabang. I enjoy driving - but don't tell my Panget ha - because when he learns of this, he will for sure make me drive places. I honestly don't mind - but he's the 'boy' in the relationship, thus I have this standard that he still needs to drive me around - unless of course, he is indisposed - so I'd need to go solo and drive by myself.
On that sunny Saturday morning, I drove to Alabang with my son Connor in tow. The drive was really smooth - from my house in QC, would you believe that it just took us less than 40minutes to get to Alabang? Yes, you read that right - LESS than 40 minutes! I think the traffic just lies with the Metro Manila area, when you hit the Skyway - it was so smooth!
I honestly had no expectations whatsoever. I was familiar with The Bellevue Hotel mainly because of my friends who are based in Alabang were all praises with the hotel's Chinese restaurant, that it was really good! And that was what got me more excited too! Food - you know me and food! Hahaha...
Is it just me or is it really a different place when you're in Alabang? I felt like I stepped into a warp. After exiting the highway - its as if I stepped into an alternate universe where its still in the Philippines, but more laid back, people were following traffic rules, people are more friendly, the city is quiet and calm. What welcomed me was such a pleasant surprise.
We got to the hotel with the help of friendly people from Alabang. I took a wrong turn but I was able to go back in the right direction immediately. I made sure to drive slowly to appreciate the quietness and the view of The Bellevue Manila. I went ahead and parked my car, unfortunately - I didn't know that there were two towers! My son and I, together with his Yaya were a bit lost in the parking area but the attendants led us to the right direction and took the elevators up to the lobby.
When we exited the elevators, we were quite clueless but we were greeted by a bell service guy. I was asked where I was headed and when I told him the lobby, this bell service guy went out of his way to bring me to the lobby. I was then greeted by a pretty lady named Faye, she was so gracious and warm. She asked for my details and within minutes - I was checked in. Before I left the counter, she told me what was included in my stay - she also asked me if I needed anything. I told her that I needed assistance to bring up my bags from the parking area and she called a nice bell service guy. Within minutes my bags were all up and we were settled in.
I loved that the room was so cold! Yes, - I am particular with a hotel room's air-conditioning. It was a lovely surprise to see that I had a welcome note, with fruits! My son Connor immediately settled on the bed. He loved it actually! He was crawling all over the bed! And since he was without his sister - my he walked around the room owning the place! He enjoyed the space so much! The room is actually big enough to fit a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids) the bed is so very comfortable. The interiors look fairly new and modern. The room is very homey and the bed - its really really really inviting! The bathroom too is very modern - I loved that they still had a bathtub! Most modern hotels did away with the tubs - to minimize cost and space. Another thing that I liked the most was that when you dial the guest services - they immediately take your call and within a few minutes, your request is granted. I had to request for teaspoons, bowls and plates, plus tissues as I was heavy with allergies at that time. And they all accommodated my requests with a huge smile on their faces.
When my son was asleep, I had to run to the drugstore to buy some medicines. Faye from the front desk was really helpful. I mean, I swear - she was the friendliest staff that I have ever met. She really went out of her way to assist me. She led me to a concierge guy and waited until he was able to give me instructions. It also helped that they gave me a map to show me where to go. Within minutes I was at the drugstore and back to the hotel.
I am very much impressed with the hospitality given me. Everyone of the hotel staff, even the guards at the door were all smiley, very friendly, cheery, and happy! This is the kind of service that I really like. This is the signature Bellevue hospitality, and I think this will make us come back for more. I have always believed that the secret to a good hotel is its staff - if they are friendly and are willing to go an extra mile for their clients, then that is good enough. But what greeted me was much more than friendliness - it was the genuine willingness to help and go that extra mile. I have to say, that for a local hotel - this has impressed me miles and miles over!! I think the company was able to convey their vision to their staff very well - because it shows in their smiles and gestures - that they're happy with what they're doing.
Facilities wise, The Bellevue Manila is complete! They have ballrooms that can accommodate at least 500 person and conference rooms for meeting and the likes. They have a top-notch gym and of course restaurants! During my overnight stay in the hotel - I've witnessed two (2) weddings! That says a lot about the hotel's services right?
Phoenix Court - The Bellevue Manila's Chinese restaurant is so good! My friend Althia, has been telling me this for years. I swear, it's in the same league as the Shangri-La hotel chains! We were treated to a Lauriat feast and it did not disappoint at all! My review on Phoenix Court deserves a separate post which I will make soon! But know that Phoenix Court serves authentic Chinese cuisine. I need to let you know that I am very particular when it comes to Chinese food. Being spoiled rotten on Chinese cuisine (Hong Kong cuisine has trained my palate so very well), I can distinguish the good from the not so good - and Phoenix Court is very very good and so it passed with flying colors!
One of the most exciting meals I had was during breakfast - at the Cafe d'Asie. As I said in the beginning of this post, I love love love breakfasts! Cafe d'Asie's selection did not disappoint too! The selection wasn't as many as the other hotel chains - I think what the hotel did was give a good enough spread and then upped the ante for the quality of their food. Food selection was well thought of and wasn't overwhelming. Many hotels do this - they will overwhelm you with a huge selection of dishes but the quality is compromised. I'm glad that they opted for the quality instead of the quantity. Good Job The Bellevue Manila!
So to The Bellevue Manila - I am so proud that you have exceeded my expectations when it comes to the hospitality, service and food choices. I feel so proud that a Filipino owned hotel can rival those international chains. I really hope that we can patronize our homegrown hotel. I have told Jane and my friends and relatives over and over again - that I am very very much impressed with the staff and the hotel itself. It was such a revelation to me, a wonderful revelation at that; that a homegrown hotel can match those international hotel chains (I know I've said this - but I need to say it again for emphasis).
To the owners - Mr. Johnny Chan, Mr. Patrick Chan and Mr. Ryan Chan - you have done a marvelous thing! You have trained your staff very well. I was floored with the kind of service that you offer, its world class! Thank you very much!
Oh! Just to add, I like the fact that this hotel offers a shuttle service going to the malls nearby. They will also provide you with a map of the hotel with the establishments nearby! I felt so well taken cared of that weekend. I swear, the hotel's customer service is the BEST in the Metro.
Images are courtesy of The Bellevue Manila and me!
Thank you Jane of Sugar Spice and Everything Nice, so much for this opportunity!
I had the pleasure rubbing elbows with old and new blogger friends Joy & Edric of Teach with Joy, Sumi of The Purple Doll, Richie & Rina of The Pickiest Eater in the World, Fran & Paul of Frannywanny, Ro and Peter of Animetric's World and Rache & Anton of Our Awesome Planet