November 30, 2018

Staycation: A 5-Star Weekend Staycation at the New Clark Marriott Hotel

Who doesn’t crave a quick getaway every now and then? I love travelling to places I’ve never been to once in a while but you know how planning a major trip can get tedious: filing for a vacation leave, booking flights and accommodations, travelling back and forth the airport, half the excitement fizzles away just thinking of everything you have to go through. So it’s really nice to go on a staycation instead; you get to rest and rejuvenate without leaving your country. Plus you also get to rediscover local places and experience it like you’ve never done before.

Contrary to popular belief, staycations can be quite the experience. It’s more than just a few days spent in a hotel, staycations have the ability to alter moods, making you feel as if you’re at a different place and time. That’s why I got excited when my blogger friends Bettina and Princess invited me to join them on a weekend staycation at Marriott Hotel’s newest branch in Clark, Pampanga. Especially that it was my birthday weekend!

Marriott is on a journey to make your travels uncomplicated, unforgettable, brilliant. The beacon of hospitality, Marriott Group of Hotels welcomes Clark Marriott Hotel. Opened last September 2018 and is located at the central business district of the country's fast-rising megalopolis and Asia's next aerotropolis - Clark Freeport Zone in the Philippines. The first and only 5-star hotel in North of Manila is the most accessible destination for entrepreneurs and travelers with a short 5-minute drive from Clark International Airport.

It has 260 well-appointed rooms and suites with contemporary designs and local touches giving it a distinct and vibrant aesthetics. A noted aspect of Clark Marriott is that it embodies the culture and tradition of its home Pampanga. Local materials and suppliers from the province were employed for the construction, design and furnishings for the hotel. There are areas in the hotel made from the “lahar” or mudflow from Mt. Pinatubo. 

The ceiling light fixtures at the lobby was inspired by the falling ashes to when Mt. Pinatubo erupted back in 1991. In one of the halls leading to one of the hotel’s ballroom, one could find the ancient and modern writings of the famous Kapampangan song “Ati Cu Pung Singsing”. The carpets on halls of the hotel and the wall papers inside the rooms are outlines of the world famous “parols” or Christmas Giant Lanterns native to Pampanga. 

The Hotel Room
Our accommodation for that weekend is a 40 sqm Deluxe Room with two huge double beds with a beautiful view of a nearby golf course and the distant mountains. They even have free golf carts that you can use. Another variation of the Deluxe Room has one King Size bed. For a group of three girls, our room has sufficient space to move around. I personally love the big daybed/sofa placed by the floor-to-ceiling window which was fave spot inside our hotel room where I drank my coffee and just admired the view while the sun was rising the following morning. 

Deluxe Twin
Deluxe King

Let’s start from the door, from there the room has a built in closet containing a digital safe box, robes, hangers, bedroom slippers, laundry bags and ironing set which is always a plus point for me at hotels. Across the closet is a cabinet where one can find a mini-bar, a personal ref, coffee and tea making facility stocked with snacks and drinks. 

On one of the walls is a 55-inch LED TV screen with cable/satellite features. Below it is a wall-mounted space from wall to wall, where you can put your stuff. As for us, this is where we put our suitcases. Near the sofa is a moveable table with a lampshade where they put welcome notes and treats for us. This table can serve as your working desk especially that it is near the power sockets. I love that they put USB wall outlets in there too, those were definitely plus points. 

In between the beds is a side table containing a telephone and an alarm clock/Bluetooth enabled music player. Being someone who can’t get through her day without playing music, I totally loved that feature of the room as this is actually my first time to see a music player inside a hotel room. The beds were with fresh linens and were super comfy with just the right amount firmness. The pillows weren’t as fluffy as I prefer them to be; the good thing though is that they provided a lot of them. The AC was working well too. 

By the way, we also got to check out Clark Marriott's Presidential and Vice Presidential Suites. Those rooms are massive, nothing short of luxury and truly fit for royalty. Check out the photos below: 

The Bathroom
I’m quite particular with hotel bathrooms as unkempt ones irks me. Good thing the Clark Marriott did not disappoint. Well it’s fairly new too, so we expected nothing less of pristine. I love how the bathroom is so minimalist, has a relaxing atmosphere (I do believe that bathrooms can be a place for peace and refuge for some of us haha) and has everything that we need. Well, there's one thing missing though, a bidet! LOL! I wish they would install one of those in the future. 

There’s two mirrors in there, a hair dryer (yey!), luxury bath and hygiene products and ample amount of towels. The shower is separated by a glass door, with a marble seat and hot/cold rainshower head woot woot! The shower is actually encased in glass but you can pull down the curtain while someone’s in there LOL! 

The Amenities
Clark Marriott has events and meeting Facilities. The Marriott Grand Ballroom can accommodate 360 persons and the other four meeting rooms for smaller crowds. Outside the ballrooms and meeting halls is a waiting lounge where cocktails can be served. 

At the second floor of the hotel is where you can find the 24/7 Fitness Center, Kids Club and the Quan Spa. The hotel gym features state-of-the-art cardiovascular machines and a dance/yoga studio. The Kid’s Club is a worry-free crib where kids meet kids, interact with new friends, and enjoy learning fun-filled activities together.

We also had massages at the Quan Spa wherein I had a 60-minute “Sense of Aroma Massage”. The massage rooms inside the Quan Spa are huge and with a shower and closet. I’m someone who’s really not into massages as I easily get tickled. But man, those knots on my back that I’ve accumulated for months badly need some easing. I had a great massage and I definitely felt better after that session. 

The first thing that I look for in a hotel is if they have a pool and Clark Marriott’s Swimming Pool is one of the fanciest I’ve seen. It’s open daily from 6:00am-10:00pm and located on the 2nd Level. Surrounding the pool are a myriad of daybeds and you have a wonderful view of the nearby golf course and the mountains of Pampanga. 

Dining Options
Clark Marriott has five restaurants and bars to satisfy guests' discerning palates: Goji Kitchen + Bar, Noodle Inc., Smoki Moto, The Lounge, The Pool Bar and Urban Coffee Co. We tried four of them namely Goji Kitchen + Bar, Noodle Inc., Smoki Moto, and Urban Coffee Co. When we arrived and while waiting for our rooms to be ready, we had Italian Mocha Coffee (their best-seller) at Urban Coffee Co.

We had our lunch and breakfast at Goji Kitchen + Bar and Noodle Inc.  An all-day buffet restaurant, the Goji Kitchen + Bar, where world-class and homegrown tastes meet.

And we had a fabulous dinner at Clark Marriott’s specialty Korean restaurant, Smoki Moto, offering a feast for all the senses with authenticity and quality combined.

I will blog about these restaurants separately for more extensive feature. But for now, here are the some photos of the Pool Bar and The Lounge. The Pool Bar opens daily from 9:00am-10:00pm and is located at the 2nd Level. It is a Casual destination to escape the nuances of everyday life and bask under the sun. A fun, social, and buzzing atmosphere with great views, perfectly-blended drinks, and innovative bar snacks.

The Lounge is located at the lobby which is open daily from 9:00am-12:00mn. The Lounge is the soul of the hotel and is a hub of activity, day and night. It features crafted beverages with a 5-10-20-minute 3-meal menu program which lists immediate delivery (snacks) in five minutes, social sharing (bar food) in 10 minutes, casual entrée (lounge friendly meals), and miniature desserts in 20 minutes. Some of the seats here have power outlets which you can use if you need to connect your phones, laptops and other gadgets while waiting for the check-in/check-out process. 

The Service
Being a 5-Star hotel, we expected nothing but the best service from Clark Marriott and that was what was delivered to us. From our comfortable service and polite driver from Manila to Clark, to every staff that you would come across. They never fail to greet you good morning, good afternoon or good evening with a smile. The elevator personnels where the extra cheery ones IMO. The housekeeping staff was abrupt to attend to our needs and requests. The staff and cooks of Goji Kitchen + Bar, Noodle Inc., Smoki Moto, and Urban Coffee Co. were very welcoming and helpful as well. Two thumbs up for the great service that was extended to us especially by Mr. Jesse Mendoza.

Overall Experience
It was definitely a 5-Star Staycation experience at Clark Marriott. I enjoyed my quick getaway and birthday weekend. Also, I truly appreciated the surprise cake and birthday song spearheaded by Bettina, Jesse and the staff of Smoki Moto 😊. Surely one for the books!

5400 Manuel A Roxas Highway, 
Clark Freeport Zone, Mabalacat  
Pampanga, Philippines   
Contact No: +63 45 598 5000 / +63.45.5985001

Read more of my staycation at Clark Marriott Hotel:
A 5-Star Weekend Staycation at the New Clark Marriott Hotel
Goji Kitchen + Bar and Noodle Inc. at Clark Marriott Hotel
Smoki Moto at Clark Marriott Hotel

post signature
Follow Me:  Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment

Powered by Jasper Roberts - Blog