ALABANG is far from where I live. Even from my place of work, which is Makati, it still takes some time and effort to get to Alabang. But I recognize Alabang as a developing commercial and business district that can, in due time, rival those in Makati and Ortigas Center. This early, it is already showing its promise as a luxurious, upper class community and its unique character not just as a commercial and business district but also as a leisure capital this side of the metro.
Yes, leisure! As much as it is a pleasure to hold corporate meetings and close business deals in any of Alabang’s five-star hotels, it is also most relaxing and enjoyable to curl up in bed in an air-conditioned hotel room while watching your favorite show on cable TV or, perhaps, dining on exquisite a la carte entrées prepared by multi-awarded chefs in an elegant restaurant with a cozy atmosphere. It’s the good life that Alabang represents.
Just recently, my husband Raff and I got to enjoy a staycation at Crimson Hotel Filinvest City Manila. It’s one of the two hotels under FilArchipelago Hospitality Inc., the hospitality management company of the Filinvest Group. The other one is Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, which is a sprawling 6-hectare beach resort and spa located in Mactan Island, Cebu. Soon, there will be a third property in Boracay to be called Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay, a 192-room resort property located in Barangay Yapak, Boracay Island, targeted for a 2017 opening.
Crimson Hotel Filinvest City Manila, sometimes referred to as simply Crimson Hotel Alabang, is an ideal venue for a staycation because it’s conveniently located in the heart of Alabang, Muntinlupa, specifically in Filinvest City. It’s not too far from Metro Manila, and yet it’s far enough to afford you some precious privacy and distance from work and the rest of the world. Being within a metro center, it is just a stone’s throw away from shopping malls, such as Festival Supermall Alabang, so it offers a unique live-work-shop-play kind of lifestyle in a seamless way. Golf courses and theme parks, for those interested in them, are also just a short drive away.
The five-star hotel boasts of 345 guestrooms, including 20 Suites (one Presidential Suite, five 2-Bedroom Suites and 14 1-Bedroom Suites), 34 Executive Rooms, 82 Premier Deluxe Rooms and 209 Deluxe Rooms, all stylishly designed with guests’ utmost comfort in mind.
Those who are seeking premium amenities can stay in the Executive Rooms and Suites, since an Executive Lounge on the 28th Floor is offered exclusively for guests staying in Executive Rooms and Suites. Thus, they can go to the lounge and enjoy not just its breathtaking view of the Filinvest cityscape below but also enjoy its comfortable work spaces while sipping coffee or tea and enjoying a bite or two at any time of the day.
It’s important to note that each guestroom has custom-designed interiors meant to give guests a more comfortable sleep experience and is equipped with amenities adhering to international standards, including free high-speed WiFi connection, cable channels on a 40-inch LED TV with DVD player, and, get this, an energy recovery ventilation (ERV) system for better indoor air quality. The Executive Room where Raff and I stayed, for instance, was a spacious corner unit with a layout that deviated from the usual layout of a hotel room. The most notable difference was the location of the toilet/bath. Instead of the usual location right by the door entrance, opposite to the closet, the toilet/bath was right in the end, to the left of the picturesque windows, where the receiving area was located.
Everything I look for in a hotel is there – coffee and tea making facilities, electronic safe in the closet, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, complimentary bottled water, a just-right cold temperature setting for the central air-conditioning… I was impressed and satisfied, so that I slept well that evening after working on some articles on my laptop.
Then came Raff’s favorite part of every staycation: the buffet breakfast the morning after. We went down to the eighth floor (yes, that’s where the lobby, the reception counter, the concierge and Café Eight, the hotel’s all-day dining facility, are located) at around 8:30 a.m. and got to enjoy the breakfast buffet spread that offered everything from breads and pastries to appetizers, salads, cereals, fruit juices and milk, an egg station, congee, noodle soup, pancakes and waffles, hot dishes on chafing dishes, rice, fresh fruit slices and desserts. We had a group interview with the chefs that morning, so we had to speed up breakfast action, but on an ordinary day, without a scheduled interview, you should be able to enjoy breakfast at a more leisurely pace and savor every spoonful a little bit more.
And, oh, just in case you’re wondering if Crimson Hotel Alabang has a swimming pool and a fitness center, yes, it does, and guests are entitled to free use of both. It’s also hassle-free when it comes to parking because it has two spacious floors dedicated to guests’ parking needs. From the parking floors, you just take the elevator up to the eighth floor, where the main action is, to check in. That’s also where you check out afterwards. In case you’re being dropped off by your driver at the ground floor, just take the elevator up to the eighth floor, and you’ll be fine.
(Crimson Hotel Filinvest City Manila is located at the Entrata Urban Complex, 2609 Civic Drive, Filinvest City Alabang, Muntinlupa City 1781, with telephone number 863-2222.)