The Nobu Hotel Manila in the City of Dreams is perfect for a stylish Japanese-style weekend staycation.
I’ve always been a fan of the Nobu restaurants in Tokyo and Los Angeles, and even in Moscow where I found a Nobu restaurant by accident on a recent holiday.
A staycation at Nobu Hotel
So a proper staycation at the Nobu Hotel Manila for a full-on experience has always been at the top of my bucket list, especially as City of Dreams Manila is 20 minutes away from the central business district of Makati. The final push to book a suite for a weekend came when I learned that the menu of Nobu is also available to hotel guests via room service.
“Can you imagine?” I said to my husband. “We can actually have the black cod miso via room service while watching Netflix in our pajamas.”
The black cod miso is one of the signature dishes of Nobu restaurants around the world. It’s a great favorite of mine because the fish is grilled perfectly on the outside and so tender inside, and the seasoning is so tasty. In all, the idea of enjoying this tasty dish in bed sounded so appealing that we decided to book a staycation at the Nobu Hotel Manila that same weekend.
The design of Nobu Hotel
The hotel entrance and lobby are sleek and minimalist — so very modern Japanese. The combination of dark interiors, simple lines, and stark photographs and artworks are so in line with the philosophy of Zen.
Meanwhile, our Nobu Suite on the first floor faced a rock garden and the common gardens of the City of Dreams complex. Actually, it felt more like someone’s stylish apartment rather than a typical hotel room.
Happily, it was also practically adjacent to the Nobu restaurant. Our suite was basically a hop and a skip away from the sushi bar, and this was very appealing indeed.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME IN NOBU MANILA
“I could live here,” my husband said, for the neutral colors and quiet design appealed to him. The Nobu suites are all about calm elegance and simplicity, with subtle touches of Japanese design.
There’s silvered wallpaper with faint outlines of bamboo, streamlined furniture, contemporary accents, and a deep Japanese-style bathtub in marble. We hadn’t even been five minutes in our suite and already it promised complete rest and relaxation.
DINNER AT NOBU RESTAURANT
For dinner, we headed to Nobu restaurant for the usual treats.
“Why don’t you try our o-makase menu?” Our waitstaff suggested. “It has most of the Nobu favorites like the black cod miso, and a few new ones.”
O-makase means to basically leave everything to the chef, and we decided to take her up on this. Fortunately so, too, as the o-makase menu was delicious. We liked every dish served, and it included the black cod miso as well.
A JAPANESE BREAKFAST AT NOBU
The next morning, breakfast for hotel guests was served at the Nobu restaurant as well. The breakfast offerings included the usual Western dishes along with Japanese food like okonomiyaki. There was even the Philippine taho. As I’m a health enthusiast, I took this opportunity to load up on green tea, miso soup, and tofu.
THE SWIMMING POOL AT NOBU
Then it was off to the swimming pool for the rest of the morning. City of Dreams has three hotels and each has their own swimming pool.The Nobu Hotel swimming pool is right in the middle, affording a wonderful 360-degree view of the golden towers of the complex.
It was very relaxing to lie on a floater on the water and to simply observe my surroundings that were so unlike anywhere else in Manila that I could imagine. In fact, I felt like I’d traveled abroad instead of just driven 20 minutes out of Manila.
“Let’s do this again soon,” my husband said. “This is so relaxing. It’s almost like we’re not in Manila anymore.”
THE BEST KIND OF LUXURY
I completely agreed. Fortunately, our mini holiday was far from over. After the pool, we returned to our room, jumped on the bed and chose a movie to watch over a Nobu room service lunch.
This was actually the part of the stay I’d been waiting for, as I wanted to savor the feeling of ordering Nobu food via room service. I opened the thick room service menu and immediately singled out the signature Nobu dishes.
BLACK COD MISO
“What shall we order?” I asked. My husband and daughter replied, almost in unison: “Black cod miso!”
So we ordered three black cod miso lunch sets for lunch. These arrived so nicely done, as if we’d eaten at the restaurant itself. The fish was the perfect temperature, and it came with rice and miso soup. What a delight it was to enjoy a delicious lunch in a beautiful suite with a good movie.
SPA TIME AT NOBU
“I don’t want to leave,” I said with a sigh. My husband replied: “You don’t have to yet. We still have a massage booked.”
My eyes lit up when I heard this. I’d completely forgotten that we had made reservations for the hilot massage at the Nobu spa.
So off we went to the spa, which was also on the same floor as our suite, right next to the restaurant.
Here two therapists awaited us with a tray of aromatherapy oils to choose from for our massage. Soon we were off to wellness bliss. In fact, I drifted off to sleep and only woke up when the treatment was over. This was definitely the best massage I’d had in a very long time.
WEEKEND STAYCATION AT NOBU
Walking back to the suite, I turned to my husband and said: “I loved this stay. Can this be the story of our lives? Can we book a staycation at Nobu every weekend?” I was so sure we would be healthy and happy for the rest of our lives if we did this.
My husband smiled and said: “Maybe every other weekend.”
Read more staycation stories in Travelife Magazine.