Our 2021 Staycation at Shangri-La at the Fort During Covid-19: A Review with Contact and Booking Information
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My husband and I were quite adamant on the idea of us going on a staycation during the pandemic but the protocols and guidelines of Shangri-La convinced us otherwise. Major factor is that they did not accept any reservations from guests in quarantine including those coming from abroad. Another huge come-on is that all guests are required to undergo antigen swab tests to ensure that everyone in the hotel is COVID-free prior to staying in the hotel. It doesn't really assure you of 0% risk but at least the hotel follows government protocols and does its best in keeping its staff and guests safe. We had considered other hotels but they were either quarantine hotels or are not allowed to operate yet for leisure stays. This staycation was definitely not cheap but it also doesn't necessarily break the bank. Shangri-La has a lot of promos that you can choose from, which I think they were offering just to stay afloat at this time of pandemic. Here is the package that we got:
Promo Name: Extended Staycation
Room: Deluxe Room (cheapest available option)
Dates: February 13-15
Total cost: P17,020.56
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Check-In Process and Antigen Swab Test
When we got to the parking lot, we felt that the number of staff has been reduced, which was totally understandable as there were obviously only a handful of guests in the hotel. You will only be greeted by a staff once you get to the main building and out of the parking elevators. We went through the usual temperature check, sanitation and check-in process. The check-in process requires all guests to provide their personal information such as full name, address and health declaration. After providing these information, a QR code will be given to you which you will have to keep handy as this will be used every time you enter the hotel or visit the restaurants, gym and pool.
We arrived at the hotel around 7:00 am because that was our schedule for the antigen swab test. The room where the swab test needs to be done was quite difficult to find and we had to ask three different hotel staff before our dumb asses finally found the place. This was the first time we are undergoing such test and we had no clue of what to expect. We were the only ones there and the staff explained the process which was surprisingly very quick. The swab test itself was more ticklish than painful and made my husband sneeze non-stop after. The waiting for the result -- that was the most nerve-wracking but the staff made us feel comfortable and calm. And of course, the result came out as negative. This will be emailed to you and you will have to show this to the check-in officer at the reception as part of the check-in process.
The Deluxe Room
Right after checking in, they told us that our rooms were already ready which made me so happy because I can finally go to sleep. I worked that evening until around 4:00 am and I didn't bother sleeping because we had to wake up at 5:00 am and leave Quezon City at 6:00 am. The receptionist asked us if we need assistance with our bags but we only had one backpack each so we just went upstairs by ourselves.
The room we chose was a Deluxe Room, which was the cheapest option they have. We specifically requested thru email that we want a room facing the Makati skyline and they took the liberty of booking us in a higher floor which was, of course, a delight! We were booked at the 36th floor — room 3623 to be exact. The view did not disappoint and it was even more impressive during sunset until nighttime. The photo below was taken in between sunset and the city lighting up at night,
The room is around 45-50 square meters in size and entire room is carpeted. The bathroom has very luxurious marble tiles plus it has a bath tub as well. The shower is separate from the tub as it’s sometimes not even in 5-star hotels, which I honestly don’t understand. It even has a sufficiently spaced workstation with more than enough plugs and a couch right beside it just in case you need to stretch after sending that lengthy email. All in all, it’s really a perfect place to work-ation if you’re starting to get fed up with working at home.
The room also comes with a lot of extra amenities — we had the usual coffee/tea facility — both were a little meh but still okay. Mini-bar was there too so we had other options which is good. Of course, it has a flatscreen TV with cable which is situated at a very good angle from the bed. The room also comes with a self-care kit which has 2 face masks, a small bottle of alcohol, a small pack of wet wipes and a note detailing what you have to do to stay safe while outside of the comfort of your hotel room.
Toiletries I found in the bathroom include the usual toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and bar soap, but it also has hair dryer, lotion, comb, shower cap, cotton buds and hair tie. The shampoo, conditioner, lotion, bar soap and shower gel are all L'Occitane.
And can I just talk about the bed? Shangri-La took sleeping to another level. Not all guests might have noticed this but in the Shangri-La app MEET SUSIE, they have what they call a PILLOW MENU. Here, you can request for any type of pillow that matches your needs. Options include soft feather pillow, firm feather pillow, foam pillow, contour pillow, lavender pillow, etc. My favorite so far is the lavender one -- it's a small pillow but saturated with lavender scent to help you sleep. The only problem is that it doesn't say anywhere in the app description of these pillows so we had to call the reception to ask, which kind of defeated the purpose of being able to request thru the app. Listing down all the advantages would help guests pick out their pillows in the app easier and faster. But nevertheless, this is the only hotel I've come across with that offers this kind of service.
The entire Shangri-La at the Fort Manila has 576 rooms and 97 residences. Among the 576 rooms, there were two types -- deluxe rooms and the suites. You can choose two kinds of deluxe rooms -- one facing High Street and another facing all other directions. High Street gives you a view of the east so you'll have the morning sun. If you want to see the sunset across the Makati skyline, request for a room facing the west. The suites, on the other hand, has 4 types -- executive, premier, specialty and Shangri-la suite. As you can guess, the latter is the most expensive and the website doesn't even publish the nightly rate. You can read more about the room offers here: Shangri-la at the Fort Manila Accommodation
The photos below showcase the suites and these are taken from the Shangri-La at the Fort Manila website photo gallery. All of these rooms are at least 93 square meters in size and have separate living room, dining area and bedroom and of course, boast of panoramic city views.
Photos take from the Shangri-La at the Fort Manila Photo Gallery:
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The hotel has 7 restaurants: Ministry of Crab, Canton Road, High Street Cafe, Raging Bull Burgers, Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar, Samba and Bake House. All of these are located within the hotel premises itself and offer different cuisines. Being a sweet tooth myself and a coffee lover, Bake House is my favorite place to hang out in. It is conveniently located at the lobby level so it's easy to access even if you are not a guest of the hotel. Below are some photos I took from the Bake House Manila Facebook page. They are open 7:00 am to 9:00 pm and accept orders via third party delivery apps but you must contact them first thru Instagram or Facebook direct message to double-check availability of your orders.
Photos from the Bake House Manila Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/bakehousemanila/
During our stay, buffet breakfast was served at the Grand Ballroom. The ballroom was humungous and had enough room for overnight guests to social distance. Before guests get in, they are required to show the QR code which they were instructed to keep during the check-in process. You will be required to give your room number and get your temperature checked as well. You will be ushered to your desired table and asked whether you would like coffee, tea, juice or water, which they will serve to you. We sat at a table nearest the buffet stations for obvious reasons. There were about 7 buffet stations, as far as I can recall -- the beverage station, fruits and starters station, meat station, seafood station, omelette station, pastries and desserts station, and the soup and noodle station.
Most of the time we would just stay in the room, watch cable, listen to TED Talks, write blog entries or just sleep. Yes, we are boring and lazy most weekends 'coz our weekdays can go hella crazy at work. We had our lunch and dinner ordered via room service several times. My husband also tends to be very cautious and would rather eat-in than go out. The first time we ordered, we didn't know what the protocol was. Apparently, the food will be delivered to you in an insulated delivery cart to keep your food warm. I guess this is what they always use to deliver food to the rooms but now, the staff are not allowed to come into your room and set the food on your table like they've always done before COVID. They will leave the cart with you and you will have to set them on the table yourself.
As of February 2021, the only amenities available for guests are the pools and the Kerry Sports gym. And these can be accessed for free by hotel guests. We were not able to visit the gym but I believe most of the zones are open. Best to check with the hotel before going there. If you want more information about Kerry Sports Manila, you may visit their site here: Kerry Sports Manila. Or you can also call them up at +63 8820 0888 or email them at email@example.com.
The pool is open from 6:00 am to 3:30 pm but you will have to book your pool time through MEET SUSIE. Only 2 persons at a time is allowed in the pool area for lane swimming (no leisure swimming is allowed). Guests, of course, are required to wear masks and face shields except when in the water. Health check, as always, is required upon entry. Just a warning, chlorine levels were increased by the hotel management to keep the water clean.
Shopping and Dining at High Street
What I love most about Shangri-La at the Fort Manila, which we were not really able to maximize, was its proximity and accessibility to High Street. A bit farther away from the main lobby, there is an entrance/exit leading straight into the road right across to High Street. I would love to have explored around a little bit more but unfortunately, didn't. The only few places we visited were Shake Shack, Cotton On and Mango. We planned to have late lunch at Din Tai Fung but the restaurant was full when we got there and we had to rush back to Quezon City to pick-up something at Vertis North. Here are a few photos I took during that short afternoon we were roaming around High Street.
Overall, I would rate our stay with a 10 out of 10. I wasn't able to explore the entire hotel as much as I should have but I'm sure the experience would still exceed expectations. The check-in process was very convenient and we felt completely safe in the hotel given the protocols and systems in place. The deals and promos were value for money despite the limitations in accessibility to some amenities. The service, the view, the early check-in and late check-out and its location made it totally worth it.
If you'd like to check prices, you can compare prices in Agoda and the resort's website. You can also call them up using the contact information below just in case they have promos.
Address: 30th Street corner 5th Avenue Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City Philippines
Number: (63 2) 8820 0888
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (as of February 2021 in Tripadvisor)
See more reviews here: Tripadvisor Reviews of Shangri-La at the Fort Manila
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If you have any comments or questions, feel free to post them here: