Sunday, March 13, 2016

Erica's Travels: Discovery Primea Staycation Part 1

Before I left for Paris, I made sure to take time to enjoy and pamper myself because once school starts for me here, I know it's going to be all work and hustle. After my Palawan trip, I immediately checked into Discovery Primea, where I was again treated ( more like spoiled! ) by the ever thoughtful people behind Discovery Hotels.

I love this! I was greeted with a bouquet of flowers, a platter of "Welcome Home" chocolate and another personalized "FatKitch-SkinnyKitch" platter of sweets! I was supposed to be with Ananda, but she followed the next day, so guess who got first dibs on all of this? Again, I love how Discovery personalizes everything- and this goes for ALL Discovery hotels. Just because I want a break from my real home, doesn't mean I don't want a suite that's just as homey, albeit a little bit more fancy ( Umm, do you do home service for this set up so I can have this every time I come home to Manila?)

One thing I love about this hotel- the pool! Not only does it have a great view, it is also HEATED. Yes, heated! Usually when pools are on higher floors it can get really cold. I should know, my condo's pool is on the 9th floor and I never swim because it's freezing all the time. This pool was at the prefect temperature and I wish I had more time in it. I spent about an hour and a half enjoying it before I had to go up to start on dinner. I invited my parents and some friends over for a small despedida dinner where I was going to cook! For those looking for a home away from home that really feels like home- with a kitchen and all, this is the place for you!

I made mussels with a white wine and thyme sauce, braised beef shank and roast chicken stuffed with blue cheese. Since the rooms don't have an oven, the hotel kitchen was kind enough to roast my chicken downstairs. All this without the pots and pans that I'm used to and in a hotel! Pretty cool right?

Next entry about Discovery Primea, I'll talk more about my favorite thing ever.... food of course! :) Stay tuned!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Erica's Travels: Club Paradise Part 1

Among all the beautiful beaches the Philippines has to offer, I have to say that Palawan is definitely my favorite, and after the first time i went to Coron last year, there's no other beach I would rather go to! When I got the invite to go to Club Paradise, I jumped at the chance, even rearranging my schedule to accommodate the trip just a couple weeks before my move to Paris.

I was not disappointed. First of all, I love the seemingly small but very meaningful gestures of Club Paradise, and ALL Discovery hotels and resorts. I was with my friend Amanda, and when we got into our room, we didn't only have welcome pastries, but also a sign hanging on the wall AND framed photos of us on our bedside tables! When we left, we had a little send off jar of cookies and handwritten notes for each of us! The night before we left, management sent over a small cheese plate and 2 glasses of wine. How's that for great service?

It's a good sized island with a lot of rooms, and when we went, we were told that it was almost fully booked, but honestly, although you see other people, it never seems crowded. In fact, in some of our pictures, it really looks like Amanda and I were the only people on the whole island!

Our first day, we went straight to the beach after a hearty lunch before a sunset cruise. We were totally surprised when we realized the cruise was just for us! How romantic HAHA! Usually, guests can sign up for this and it's a  good way to make friends with other people on the island. It was great having the boat all to ourselves and Coron always offers stunning sunsets. You will not be disappointed!

 When we got back to the island, we had a few more drinks while watching the resident bats fly off into the sunset to hunt for food. They usually come back around 6 am or so. It's definitely a sight to see! It's almost unreal.

 More on this crazy beautiful island in my next Club Paradise Post :)