After settling into the pretty swanky Imperial Suite of the Sofitel for an all too short staycation, I headed down to the hotel’s spa for a nice series of treatments.
Of course, no hotel staycation is complete without some spa treatments to get you relaxed and in the holiday mode.
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I’d booked two hours, not really knowing what kind of treatments I wanted. After reading their menu, I decided on a signature deep tissue massage and a revitalizing facial that nicely filled the two hours.
Wow. I get massages all the time, but this particular massage at the Sofitel’s spa was certainly among the best I’ve had in a long time.
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When I got back to the suite, it was just in time for the sunset hour and Robert, the suite’s butler, had very thoughtfully laid out a pretty nice feast on the terrace for the cocktail hour.
It was simply beautiful and the sky was a bewitching shade of deep blue — how perfect it was to sit on that terrace drinking champagne and enjoying afternoon tea.
It was at about this point that I suddenly wanted to invite everyone I knew over.
This amazing experience was too good not to share with my whole world, I thought — or at least with everyone I knew who was staying in Manila between Christmas and New Year’s.
So a couple of good friends got instant text invitations for cocktails or dinner that night, or lunchthe next day, in the suite, just because I wanted to enjoy this experience with as many friends as possible.
THREE INSTANT PARTIES IN 12 HOURS
Fortunately, there were still some people in town and several showed up at one of my three “instant parties,” which I effortlessly threw, of course, with the expert help of my butler Robert and the room service team.
Robert, our butler, opens a bottle of champagne
I had people over for cocktails, for dinner and for lunch — and all I had to do was flip through a menu and order, and then tell Robert what time people were coming and how many they were going to be. How easy was that?
AN INSTANT HOME THEATER
“I can certainly get used to this,” I said to someone, as we watched a video in the living room, while waiting for the lunch guests to arrive.
The Imperial Suite has a very impressive audio system, by the way, and the living room can instantly be transformed into a darkened home theater. This certainly made me want to renovate my own living room at home.
THE EASY WAY TO HOST PARTIES
Lunch “at home” at the Imperial Suite of the Sofitel
There was a lot of bustling going on in the kitchen and I could hear someone setting the table in the dining room next door. Meanwhile, there I was watching a video in the last 30 minutes before friends arrived for lunch.
How ordinarily unthinkable, but how absolutely relaxing.
There’s Robert, literally taking care of everything for the parties…
The suite’s bar was party-ready when I checked in…
My staycation ended all too soon.
The suite was actually available for one more night and I was so tempted to close my eyes and just hand over the credit card again for an extension of my stay.
Unfortunately, I had dinner plans that same night, December 29, with dear friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and the restaurant and the wines had already been booked in advance for a nice long and liquid dinner.
This kitchen is ready for anything, including dinners by private chefs and large-scale private catering.
A NICE SEND-OFF
But I got a nice surprise at the end. I guess everyone who books the Imperial Suite gets this special treatment to ensure you feel you’ve had a stay fit for a queen (or king) — because I got a really delicious box of freshly-made chocolates and the hotel sent me home in their limousine, with the driver in white gloves and all.
Talk about a stressless and perfect holiday. So worth the pain on the credit card. So the next time I get a weekend with nothing much to do, you know where you’ll find me. And it won’t be anywhere near an airport.
A great staycation and just another day in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.