Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Break 2016 (Part I): Aruga By Rockwell


Since it was the end of the school year for my nieces (my nephew Joaki will have his by end April) and the eldest, Joanna, is graduating from High School, I arranged a staycation with them at Aruga by Rockwell this Easter break. As anticipated, there was hardly any traffic, the only time of the year that we Manileños get such a respite.

I booked a two-bedroom suite. It was a good size at 107 square meters with spacious living, dining and kitchen areas. It even has a laundry room with washer and dryer, which is practical for long stays.

The fully equipped kitchen
The rooms were rather small. The master’s bedroom has a king bed that can fit a couple and a child (or maybe a slight teen). The second room has a double bed that is good for two. You may request for a rollaway bed but since the rooms don’t have enough space for one, I assume it will be set up in the living area.The kids loved the soft beds so much they hardly noticed they were cramped. They slept so well they almost missed breakfast.

The master's bedroom
The second room
There were two bathrooms, one inside the master's and another beside the second room. I was expecting to find a bathtub but neither had one.

Probably one of the best things about staying at Aruga is getting access to the Rockwell Club. Aruga has its own pool and gym but the Club's are much bigger.

Aruga's pool area
The Rockwell Club also has more amenities to offer including a spa with its own Jacuzzi, steam bath, and sauna; a wider selection of restaurants such as the topnotch Chef Jessie; sports courts; and, dance and fitness studios. From Aruga, we took a buggy to take us to the Club (it was close by but we were on staycation mode).

The Rockwell Club's pool area
Julia at the pool
The Clubhouse all lit up when evening set in
The teens trying to earn their dinner

For dinner, we opted to go to Dean & Deluca (next post), which the kids haven't tried and is right beside Aruga. We had reservations at Powerplant Cinema for the 10:30 p.m. screening of Batman vs. Superman. I booked and paid for our tickets and chose our seats earlier in the day using their very convenient online payment system.

The following day, we had breakfast at Aruga's cafe. Since it was small and we were having our meal very close to the 10 a.m. cut-off, I anticipated it would get packed. I decided to advise guest services that we will be needing a table for five. They called our room when our table was ready (it didn't take  long). They had to set up our table at the lobby just outside the cafe entrance but we didn't mind.

The cafe
Inside the cafe
The buffet selection was spare but it had all the breakfast favorites of the kids such as cereals, beef tapa, corned beef, eggs, and pancakes, and bonus treats like lady fingers with nutella and chocolate eggs.

Aruga By Rockwell
Waterfront Drive, Rockwell Center,
Makati City, 1200
Metro Manila, Philippines
PHONE (632) 818 0000
FAX (632) 230 6732

Pros: Location and proximity to shopping and a great selection of restaurants
         Access to the Rockwell Club and all its facilities
         Attentive Service
         Tastefully decorated and fully equipped suites
         Late checkout until 2 p.m.
Cons: Relatively expensive
          No bathtub
          Check-in was quick but the room wasn't ready even if we arrived late (we had to wait about 20 minutes)
          We spotted a roach in our living room but it was most likely an isolated incident because every corner of the suite was spotless

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