Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lucky Coins

I do a lot of walking. Really. Every morning from Mondays to Fridays, I walk along the streets of Ayala to reach my office destination. There's not a day in a week that I will not walk from our house to our village gate since tricycles in where I live are hard to come by. I also used to walk almost everyday from our office building in Ayala to Greenbelt area, even reaching SM Makati, during my lunch break. I still do that but not as often as before. Yes, I have grown to have strong legs and I don't tire easily anymore because of this frequent walking. But, this post is neither about walking nor related to the health benefits of frequent walking. This is all about the coins I often see along my way enroute to wherever I'm going. I call them my "lucky coins". It started with just a single coin, of course, and after about 2 years, I see my collection growing. Hahaha! I keep them in a wallet given by an officemate, an LV (Lucky Vivian's, hehe).

Well, I am not at all superstitious but I really don't now why these coins fascinate me and why I have tagged them as "lucky". I'm thinking maybe, I will have these coins buried in the soil during the groundbreaking rites where I will put up my future orphanage. These coins will symbolize the journey I took as I fulfill a dream of building a home for the orphans.

Our Dusit Experience

One of our grandest and most memorable hotel stays happened last year. It was my husband's 41st birthday and we opted to celebrate it in one of Dusit Thani's Grand Rooms. We were so excited, that a week before our scheduled check-in, everything was planned. Our 3 daughters couldn't keep their excitement as D-day grew nearer. As I was packing their small tent and few of their toys, board games and favorite stuffed dolls inside our big bag, I knew in my heart that our one-night stay in Dusit Thani would be a blast.

August 28, 2010- Upon our arrival in Dusit's busy but impressive hotel lobby, we were greeted with warm smiles. A lady in Thai national costume accompanied me towards the line to the registration while my kids roam around. I was glad my request for an early check in was granted! Weeeee! Happy, indeed! Oh, we felt so at home right away.

As soon as we opened the door to our Grand Room #1105, my kids immediately looked for the bed and jumped on it, while my hubby checked the TV channels, haha!

The view from the entrance door. Straight ahead is the bedroom. A wall separates the bedroom and the living area.

The Grand Room has a separate living area which is simple but elegantly designed.

The living area

The pantry

The bedroom is spacious with a designated work station. And oh, there's an LCD flat screen TV in both rooms so there's no need to fight over the remote control. There were two of them, anyway. It proved to be very ideal for us since my hubby is such a basketball freak while my kids are into Playhouse Disney.

Family picture in the bedroom

The view from the bedroom and look at the red thingy there, it was the kiddie tent our kids set up. Ain't it cute?

Our Grand Room also has 2 bathrooms. The master bathroom is fully-equipped with all the amenities and toiletries you need. Name it, they are sure to have it. See for yourself and check out the L'Occitane shampoos and lotions. Nice!

Just as we were about to check out the pool, the food that we ordered arrived while my hubby's family was also waiting for us to fetch them at the lobby. Everyone was excited, I could tell!

Picture taking at the spacious living area after my hubby's birthday merienda celebration. See, the Grand Room could fit us all!

Swimming time is bonding time
One of the things that I consider important whenever we stay in a hotel is the pool and everything around it. We have 3 kids who love swimming and really enjoy playing by the pool (in fact, one of them even wants to be a mermaid), so much so that whenever we pack our bags, I do make sure to pack their water toys. Well, not really water toys but toys which they can play with while in the pool.

All dressed up for the afternoon's highlight -- SWIMMING fun!

Dusit Thani's pools are lovely. Months before we checked in, I already checked out the pool area and I fell in love with it. I went home that day telling my kids how nice and lovely Dusit Thani's pool area is. I guess, it's like seeing a glimpse of Thailand, although I haven't been to Thailand yet.

Dusit Thani has 3 pools. One very shallow pool more for toddlers, one less shallow pool for kids and one adult pool. Those three were all very inviting. The very shallow pool with a nice little mermaid sculpture is not limited to children, by the way. I stayed there the entire time with and without my kids.

They also have an area, like a small pavilion, where you can chill out, relax and just spend time reading, reflecting or taking an afternoon nap. There were thin mattresses lying around the wooden floor. I was really tempted to get one for myself and take even just a 15-minute power nap. But I was too busy taking pictures to capture those wonderful moments my family was having.

See, much of our family bonding time during our stay there was spent in the pool.

An oasis that was Devarana Spa

Stepping into the Devarana Spa was like stepping into an oasis. The mood was just so relaxing and the ambiance was so light and tranquil.

My hubby related to me step-by-step how he spent the most luxurious time of his life when he experienced the Devarana Spa. How I envied him for that. But it was his birthday and he deserved a day of pampering, free of stress and just enjoy living the life!

The lobby
It was late at night when we sneaked out of our room and hubby brought his camera and tripod along. We took the liberty of posing at the grand lobby of Dusit Thani while everybody was asleep. See, nobody's around....

Feeling like a queen and king

Going loco over coco at Dusit Gourmet
I discovered something delicious at Dusit Gourmet - their Coconut Bread! Their mongo bread was also good but it was their coconut bread that made me go loco, hahaha! I took home two loaves of this.

I was looking for a cake that night for my hubby. He doesn't have a sweet-tooth nor is a cake-lover like me, so I wanted to give him a treat that wasn't too sweet. I thought the Apple Tart would be perfect. I brought it into our room and we had it as midnight snack together with the Coconut Bread. And yes, that was what we served when 2 more guests arrived that night. Lovely!

and much more at BASIX
At Basix was where we had our complimentary breakfast buffet. There was a variety of food which could satisfy different tastes - Asian, Western, Indian, Continental.

I love their fruit and bread selection --- abundant & fresh! It was where I headed first. And then after finishing my fruits and breads, guess where I headed next -- the BACON section! I just had a few pieces, mind you.

Lots and lots of bacon! I love! Weeeee!

My hubby was so happy with his breakfast. He had a plateful of his favorite breakfast fare - tapa, tocino, corned beef, bacon and a lot more. My daughter on one hand, who was the only one who joined me and my hubby (our other 2 daughters were still asleep) at that time, was happy with her fruits and some freshly baked pastries.

A donut for breakfast? Well, why not, donut?

No, we weren't coy at the Koi Pond
After having breakfast at Basix, all our kids were up and were raring to explore the rest of Dusit Thani. We went to the koi pond and Zen garden where the kids enjoyed feeding the fishes.

A must-see for the whole family - Dusit's Koi pond

The Koi pond, Zen garden and the mini bridge are not to be missed when visiting Dusit Thani. It was so refreshing to see these koi fishes swimming in the pond. Being here gave me a feeling of serenity maybe because of the zen-like atmosphere. I felt like a Japanese girl in a Japanese park :-)

A great place for the whole family, I swear

Everything is great at Dusit! - location, food, service, staff, ambiance, amenities

Dusit Thani Manila is a wonderful place for the whole family. The hotel is very family-oriented. During Sundays, the lobby is transformed into a mini wonderland, a place where there are lots of attractions for the kids. Oh yes, it has something for everyone.

Our stay in Dusit had been very pleasurable and most memorable. I, my husband and our 3 daughters couldn't wait to go back here. My husband wants to celebrate his birthday here every year. How I wish we could afford it... (sigh).

This place has left a lasting impression on us. It has left a soft spot in my heart. Truly, it was a delight to experience Dusit.

Dusit Thani Manila website:

Hotel hopping

Our family loves checking in at hotels. Hotels have become our home away from home. I have lost count of how many times I have stayed in a hotel. You see, even when I was single, I was already fond of spending my paycheck checking in hotels. I would spend special occasions, like my birthday or New Year, in hotels. I remember spending a New Year in a posh hotel in Makati...alone. It would seem pathetic, spending New Year by your lonesome, but it was a very liberating experience for me. I was alone but I was not lonely. I even enjoyed the experience :-) It was, in fact, an adventure.

Now, I always have my hubby and my daughters with me when I check in. God really has a way of blessing us with the things that we desire, actually, much much more than what we truly desire.

These are the hotels we had stayed in last year.

February: Hotel Sofitel (Nisi's birthday )

June: Linden Suites (with my brother's family)

June - Discovery Suites (Noelle's & Nala's birthday)

July - Linden Suites (with my hubby's family)

August - Dusit Thani (hubby's birthday)

Haven't you noticed, wala akong birthday celebration sa hotel? Tsk, tsk. Oh, I know God has something in store for my birthday in the years to come. Who knows, maybe a grand vacation at a posh hotel somewhere in Greece, my dream destination.