A weekend at Lotus Garden Hotel Manila + food trip in Adriatico
Rare are the times that I get a chance to take a break from my daily grind. So when I was offered a complimentary stay at Lotus Garden Hotel Manila via one of our managers, I accepted. It’s like getting a day off the usual routine and a chance to experience the offerings of one of the more established and budget-friendly accommodation providers in the storied city of Manila.
I, along with a colleague, made way from the office at Makati to Ermita, Manila via jeep to LRT Libertad. From there, we rode a train to UN Avenue and walked towards the corner of Mabini and Padre Faura Streets. Lotus Garden Hotel won’t easily be missed, the white-and-green structure on the corner that’s just a few blocks from Roxas Boulevard.
We were scheduled for an overnight stay in the Deluxe Room, but was upgraded to a Grand Deluxe located at the hotel’s extension, the Marilo Wing.
We asked some of the staff that we met about the history of the Marilo Wing building, but none were able to tell us. I got to read about it in my research on TripAdvisor: it used to be an old apartment that was used by the Americans during the 1950s. It was refurbished to be the extension of Lotus Garden Hotel Manila’s main building.
Our room had 2 single beds, but there are also rooms with double beds. Other amenities included an LCD TV, writing desk, and a well-stocked mini-bar. Accommodations also come automatically with air-conditioning. Wi-Fi Internet access is available as well (you can ask for a password at the front desk), but it was intermittent during our stay.
So after settling in, my friend and I went outside to grab dinner within the neighborhood. And this is one thing I like about Lotus Garden Hotel Manila — its location. Apart from quite a number of jeepneys plying myriad routes like Divisoria, Sta. Cruz, Cubao, and even Munoz in Quezon City just outside its doors, there’s not a shortage of food shops and convenience stores in the area. Beside the hotel, along Padre Faura, is a 24-hour Chowking branch. Beside it is Mercury Drug. Across the street and a few steps before reaching the Adriatico side is a 24-hour Jollibee branch and 7-11.
And because Adriatico Street is just nearby, it meant a short walk to many other restaurants and bars. We strolled its stretch, passing by Korean, Persian, and Japanese eateries, Robinsons Place Ermita, and the cutest The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf branch I’ve seen.
After a 15-minute walk, we reached Remedios Circle. Bombarded with a host of food choices, we opted to eat at Go!Kizip, because my friend wanted to try Samgyeopsal.
After filling our tummies with lots of meat and veggies, we went to Cafe Adriatico for some coffee (let’s take a break from the usual coffee shops, shall we?).
I had a Cafe Americano while my friend had White Chocolate Coffee. Afterwards, we went around some streets like J. Nakpil (which, we found out, wasn’t as bustling as, well, years ago). Then we headed back to the hotel to cap the night. I had quite a comfortable sleep!
Next morning, we went down to the hotel’s restaurant for breakfast. Our stay included complimentary buffet breakfast for 2.
After breakfast, we explored a few parts of the hotel, including the function room and gym at the main building’s 2nd floor (which were both unused that time), and the jacuzzi and soon-to-open lobby in Marilo Wing.
By 12 noon, we checked out at the hotel. The process was quite fast, like during check-in, no long waits.
Overall, our stay at Lotus Garden Hotel Manila was a good one. I would recommend this hotel to those seeking a budget-friendly accommodation in the Ermita area. Note, however: some rooms don’t have great views from the windows, other rooms are facing the street so you might hear the bustle outside, and pedicab (pedaled taxi, like a bicycle with sidecar) drivers will charge quite a hefty fee to take you to places that are accessible within a few minutes’ walk (one pedicab driver told us that it’s PHP30 each person for a one-way trip to Remedios Circle). But in terms of comfort, staff service, and location, Lotus Garden Hotel Manila hits high on my scale.