Thursday, November 23, 2017

A relaxing city staycation at AG New World Manila Bay

For our wedding anniversary, my husband surprised me by booking the presidential suite of the five-star AG New World Manila Bay in Manila, Philippines, writes Anina Magsaysay


AG New World Manila Bay

“I don’t want to get on an airplane or to spend time in an airport. I just want to stay in a hotel with a beautiful sunset view,” he said, by way of justification. Then he added: “And apparently the suite is great. It even has its own sauna. We can have a very relaxing spa weekend.”

Even with this positive introduction, I was still unprepared for the glamour and glitz that awaited us when we walked into our presidential suite on the 16th floor of the  AG New World Manila Bay





The suite had floor-to-ceiling windows encompassing the entire length of the study, the living room and the dining room – and straight across us from everywhere was beautiful Manila Bay.

“This isn’t a presidential suite,” I gasped, as we walked in and then around it. “This is my dream house.” Or dream apartment, to put it more accurately.


LIVING THE DREAM LIFE
IN A HOTEL BY MANILA BAY




The AG New World Manila Bay presidential suite is the kind of suite you’re likely to imagine a famous Hollywood actress living in. It’s bigger than most people’s apartments, and with an amazing view to boot, plus a large foyer, a fully functional kitchen, and a very spacious public area with state-of-the-art lighting and a Bang & Olufsen entertainment system. Veering off towards the left, there’s a long corridor that eventually leads to the private rooms of the suite.




The private area is separated from the public area by another foyer for complete privacy. It has a lovely mirrored walk-in closet room, a cozy bedroom with a sitting area that faces old Manila, and a large bathroom which is really more like a spa. 

There’s a stand-alone bathtub at one end and a shower room at the other and somewhere in between is a private sauna room that actually works just like a Russian sauna – it’s able to heat itself up to 100 degrees.


AG New World Manila Bay

The general atmosphere of this presidential suite at the
 AG New World Manila Bay – my dream apartment – reminded me of the penthouse suite of a luxury cruise liner, with its clean lines, blonde wood interiors, and contemporary furniture. And the best part was probably the luxury of space – there was truly so much of it, situated advantageously so that we had lovely views practically everywhere we faced.






ROOM SERVICE FOR EVERY MEAL



In fact, our suite at the AG New World Manila Bay was so nice we rarely left it that weekend. We ordered room service whenever possible as we wanted to make use of our large dining room and the proper kitchen. 

So almost everyday at mealtime, our orders were wheeled in on a trolley and arranged on our dining table just like at a fancy restaurant




In fact, it was practically a fancy restaurant because the room service menu contained dishes from the hotel’s restaurants – so it was like having the food of the AG New World Manila Bay’s famous restaurants brought to us, to enjoy in the privacy of our suite.

Of course, I ordered almost every meal from Li Li, which is the fine dining Chinese restaurant of AG New World Manila Bay. This has long been a great favorite of mine, and it was such a lovely anniversary memory to enjoy the exquisite food from Li Li in our suite.


DINNER TO REMEMBER




The only exception was on our wedding anniversary evening itself, when we decided to have dinner at Li Li. We began that night with wine and cocktails in our suite, enjoying the famous Manila Bay sunset. When the sun went down, we headed down to Li Li to savor a dinner worthy of an emperor.

The next day, we decided to order a Filipino breakfast with the works via rooms service: marinated milk fish with scrambled eggs and garlic rice. It was simple heaven. Unfortunately, the time to check-out of the AG New World Manila Bay eventually arrived and it was with a heavy heart that I began to pack the clothes I had so happily hung in the suite’s mirrored walk-in closet some days back.


Li Li  Restaurant, AG New World Manila Bay

“Do we really have to leave?” I asked my husband, only half in jest. “I could live here, you know.”

My husband replied with a smile: “Unfortunately, we do. But the good thing is that the hotel is so near, so we can always come back for another staycation.”

“I hope we don’t have to wait until our next wedding anniversary for another stay, though,” I replied.


NEED TO KNOW

HOME SWEET HOME
Enjoy a wonderful weekend at the AG New World Manila Bay, currently ranked #2 among hotels in Manila on TripAdvisor.com. The hotel’s Presidential Suite has a spacious living and dining area, perfect for the ultimate staycation or for entertaining guests. This luxurious 280-square meter suite also includes a powder room, a walk-in closet, and an Italian marble spa bathroom with a Victorian bathtub and a Scandinavian-style sauna, ensuring the highest comfort and pleasure.




A TASTE OF CHINESE
Li Li offers authentic Cantonese cuisine made by renowned Hong Kong chefs who use only the finest and freshest ingredients. Specialty dishes include the Imperial Peking Duck, braised whole abalone with oyster sauce, and the suckling pig sushi. Guests can also indulge in Li Li’s bountiful dim sum and tea selections.

FOOD BY THE FIRE
The Fireplace lives up to its name with its cozy but elegant stone wall interiors, wood-fueled oven, and top-tier European cuisine with premium selection of steaks.

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