After almost 4 hours on the plane, I was keen to get through immigration, grab my luggage and get out of the airport. 4 hours direct flight ain't long compared to the arduous journey I went though to get to the US. I knew the sun set earlier here and I wanted to get enough rest before reporting to work the next day.
I was pleasantly greeted by name when I opened the door to the Mandarin Oriental (MO) lounge at the airport. The lady took my luggage, checked my name and promptly got my Toyota Altis ready. Not a limo like in Chicago, but still, a really nice comfy car!
The chauffeur asked if I was comfortable with the car temperature, offered me towels and drinks. The ride was smooth, I was protected by the tinted glass from the evening sun and street peddlers. I soon realised that the road leading to the city would be quite a contrast to CBD where I was going to be based at.
Reaching the entrance of MO, the bellboy opened the door, ushered me inside, and I was immediately whisked to my room. No need to wait and stand in line to check in. Everyone I met along the way greeted me "Ms Lee". It's as if everyone had been waiting for my arrival!
While I was given a tour of the room and its facilities, the Front Desk officer promptly prepared my check in documents and presented me pick up and drop off coupons. I got 2 a day, available for me to use anywhere within Makati. Since I was on business trip, I had to limit these to going to the client office instead. >.<
I was informed I would have free laundry service for up to 3 pieces of clothing, and have complimentary breakfast everyday. Found out later that these were all part of the corporate arrangement.
The room I was placed in looked like a typical deluxe hotel room, but it was the personalised touch and superior service that really won me over! Everytime I pick up the phone to call Housekeeping, or Room Service or most anyone, I would be greeted by name.
On some mornings when I was rushing to work, the lady at Concierge noticed I was packing some muffins in paper napkins. She asked if that was all I was having, and promptly got another staff to bring a paper bag to put my food, and even included some drinks to go along with those.
I was quite tired that evening, so decided to order room service for dinner. That was my first time doing in room dining! Come to think of it, the stay at MO was probably my first staying in a 5-star hotel. So I'd like to reiterate, I was pretty much bowled over by the whole ambience and treatment.
Dinner was served on a portable table, decorated nicely as if in a restaurant. There was even complimentary Filipino dessert. Unfortunately I picked the wrong choice of food - everything looked the same colour! From the kids macaroni and cheese, broccoli soup and calamansi juice. Recovering from a slight cold, I wanted something warm and simple, but forgot that hotel food isn't the best around!
Kitty came along, just like how some people can't sleep without their stinky pillow or security blanket.
I was given a seat near the poolside on my first morning. Too bad I'm not a morning person, I had to push myself to wake up early just so I wouldn't miss the scrumptious breakfast spread. Found out later they rotate guests in different parts of the restaurant so people like me wouldn't hog this seat every morning.
As inviting as it was, I didn't get a chance to swim in the pool. I saw for myself why travelling on business ain't all fun and games. What a pity - really nice hotel but couldn't fully utilise! I stayed there only for my 1st week, and now I'm placed in a serviced apartment, really miss the service at MO.