Christmas parties came as early as the first week of December for me, Dec. 5 to be exact. Not complaining at all because free buffet dinner and karaoke, yay! To really make the day special and since the party was in Ayala, Sis and I decided to avail of a promo stay at a nearby hotel – Maxwell Hotel. And so this is a recollection of that fun and satisfyingly restful weekend!
A Bit of Context
This started when a friend who I used to work with invited me and my sister to join their work party. They are basically a group of writers who churn out excellent trending content for an offshore post. Not sure if I am authorized to divulge their company name so let’s just call them the LP writers. Anyway, there were less than 10 of them and so they agreed to bring guests so there will be more people.
Long story short, my friend Desiree invited me, my sister and Jane (another ex-colleague). As mentioned, we were coaxed to go out by the free buffet 😀 Not so much the karaoke because I really don’t know how to sing booo.
Anyway, since the party starts at 8:30 PM, the sister and I knew we would be going home really late, which is not ideal since we live in the mountains and the only public vehicle is habal-habal (motorcycle). Our place is known for dangerous drivers and thieves on motorcycles combing the streets when it gets dark, so yeah safety when going home late is always a concern for me.
It’s been a long time since I went out with the sister for recreation, so thought I’d check if there were any cheap hotels near Ayala and we could make the whole weekend an event. Fortunately, the Christmas season always brings out the promos and we did get a lot of nice options from Hotels.com.
Checked In at Maxwell Hotel
We were able to book a Twin Room in Maxwell Hotel with breakfast for two included. We actually went to Ayala first to get some food. The sis treated me to some pizza and hot wings. She can be so lovable sometimes! 😀
Check in was at 2:00 PM but we actually arrived there at 3:30 PM. Check in was a smooth process. We filled up their guests form and they photocopied my ID. The front desk staff were very friendly and welcoming and they gave us the internet password without being prompted.
The only hitch was that they still asked us to wait for close to 20 minutes before showing us our room. They said it is still being checked, which I found off because, after all, we made a reservation and check in time is 2:00 PM so they should have the room prepared by then, right?
Anyway, we finally went to the 4th floor out of 5. The room we got was definitely spacious enough for two single beds, a private toilet and bath, a free-standing cabinet, and a table and chair. A mirror and a flat-screen TV were mounted on one wall. The room and sheets looked clean and there was no weird smell or anything.
What I really found nice was that we had huge glass windows that allowed plenty of sunlight to stream in. Heavy curtains were of course available for privacy. There wasn’t much of a view, just the concrete jungle. Still it was a nice enough room and we liked it.
Maxwell Hotel is also within walking distance of a 7/11, Mini Stop and Family Mart. The building had a restobar and an eating place that specializes in Lechon. A few restaurants are also nearby including Yakimix. Jollibee is also walkable.
The Case of the Broken Sandals and Flimsy Slippers
After a few minutes in the room, I realized the straps of my sandal broke! I was stuck there without footwear. I decided to dial the front desk if they could help me. Fortunately they had slippers, but for Php 20.00. With no choice, I asked them to give us 2 pairs since my sis was wearing shoes. I’m sure other places would have provided in-room slippers for free. When the slippers did arrive, they were quite flimsy and wouldn’t last a day of outside use. They were all we got though so we went with them.
The next problem was that we still had a party to attend and no way in hell was I gonna socialize with strangers wearing hotel slippers that can easily be mistaken as hospital slippers. I’m sure they’d think I was a loon escaped from some mental institution lol.
So we went out and I actually had to walk to and enter Family Mart to find better slippers or maybe even sandals or shoes. They didn’t have them 🙁 I wasn’t gonna say anything but they didn’t even have toothpaste, what the? And of course my strange footwear was already attracting lots of stares so I hightailed it out of there.
We just decided to go to Metro Ayala to find me some shoes before the party and after lots of thick-faced maneuvering among the shoppers there, the crisis was finally solved. Unplanned expense though, sigh.
Red Box Party with the LP Writers
Finally, we met up with Desiree and Jane and we joined the LP writers in Red Box, Ayala.
People sung, Jane and I danced (more like I moved my shoulders side to side 😀 ), and we played games. The buffet dinner filled us up and the salad was particularly delicious. We met new people and overall had fun!
The sister even won 100 at the ice melting game while I failed the freeze dance game. We danced and sung to the songs of Bruno Mars, Eminem, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and other artists I didn’t know. Of course I skipped on all the singing because I’m hopelessly tone deaf 😀
The best thing? Everything was for free! Desiree even gave us gifts. Jane and I got lunch boxes and my sister even got a Bluetooth mouse. Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho!
After midnight, the party disbanded and we went back to our cozy hotel room.
TV Binge Watching and Laziness Overload
I believe I’ve already said this many times in this blog but in case you didn’t catch it – I am an introvert. So is my sister. Actually, so is my brother haha. So when we say we are going out, making a day special, or making a day an event, we still do introverted things. So this hotel staycation was really wonderful! For us :p
We watched movies after movies and channel surfed like there was no tomorrow during our overnight stay there. Because there really wasn’t since we don’t watch TV at home (we’re always in front of the computer). There was still leftover pizza and hot wings from that afternoon so we finished that off. We then proceeded to just lie there on the bed and attempted to melt and become part of the furniture 😀
Seriously, we were so lazy until check out time and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! When not watching TV, we just talked a bit but mainly kept to our own thoughts. And for us, that was bonding. That was satisfying. And that’s all that matters ^_^
Breakfast and Going Home
As mentioned, breakfast was part of the room rate we paid. There was a menu in the room and all I did was called the front desk and told them what we want.
The food was brought to our room a little later. My sister got coffee, sunny side up, rice, and pork adobo. I got the same order except I went with an omelet. The food was tasty enough and filling. We have no complaints about the breakfast, though I wouldn’t rave about it.
In the middle of eating, the front desk called and asked if we got food and if we were eating it already. I immediately got concerned because I thought there might be something dirty or poisonous in the food. When I asked why they’re asking, the lady on the line said that the food we got was not for us and that it was mistakenly delivered. Hmmm. We got exactly what we ordered and we already ate some of it – I told the lady this and she just said okay and put down the phone. Did not hear from her after that.
Finally, at 11:00 AM, we showered and prepared to leave. We managed to watch Frozen on the TV that morning by the way, which I think was fitting because we needed to let it go, let it go~
We checked out at 12:00 noon and that was that. Staycation over. Weekend over. At least we got re-energized to face the week that followed. And started Christmas celebrations early. And yes, despite being an agnostic, I’m still looking forward to more of the holiday spirit. Bring on the bright lights, gifts, and cheerful people!