Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Bayleaf, Intramuros, Manila: So We Sort Of Celebrated Valentine's Day

The newish kid on the block humbly stands within Intramuros' old walls. It ain't much of a looker from afar, but we effortlessly spotted it from the bedlam that is Taft Avenue on Valentine's Day 2013 — much thanks to the discernible sign posted on its facade just below the roof deck. Our car cautiously cruised Victoria Street, as we let a barrage of college students and belligerent pedicabs weave through the rush hour traffic.

The Bayleaf Hotel. Newish kid on a very old block.

Entrance to the hotel's basement parking is much less obvious however, for its steep access is on the other side of the block. This we learned when a security guard of the next door building shooed us from our public parking space so as we didn't have to pay the fee. He thumbed to the direction of the driveway. So off to the basement parking my mum and pop went, while the hubby and I and our daughter Luna walked to the lobby.

Bay leaves aglow at the lobby. Bay leaf is more popularly known as laurel in the Philippines, and Laurel is the family name of its owners.
I booked our superior room for two, priced at about $95, through the hotel's website. The check in process wasn't the swiftest we've experienced, and we bought what the front office staff said, "We're just double-checking the room... [insert toothpaste-commercial-worthy smile]". Our wait lasted a little under ten minutes, enough for me to wonder how often is the piano by the staircase played — which consequently led to my opinion that the lobby could use more of them plush chairs for guests to sit on while their rooms are being "double-checked".
The Bayleaf Hotel's superior room. It's blue for Valentine's.
We were asked for a P2,000 (about $50) deposit before we're finally endorsed to the bellhop. Front office also handed us a ticket to present to the basement parking attendant. I gasped as the bellhop let us in this gem of a room, as much as I gasped when I found out about the deposit fee. The white and royal blue mix was pleasing to our eyes. The headboard's pattern is playful yet not too busy, and matches a wall in the spacious bathroom. There's a mini bar plus a coffee and tea making facility. In-room WiFi is awesome, hurrah! The floor space is sufficient to allow maneuverability without letting your knees bump into furniture. I prefer my hotel floor carpeted, but a squeaky clean one will do as well.

Our own slice of the famous, storied walls. Beyond it is the golf course.

Our view from the window was the icing on the cake. We're fortunate to have been assigned such room given the occasion. Take note, there are a few rooms with no view at all. We were unlucky however in booking a table at the Sky Deck View Bar and 9 Spoons Restaurant for dinner that night. Our reservation literally went down the drain... The hubby and I saw his name scribbled on a piece of paper in a drainage on the roof deck the next morning. Our non-romantic Valentine's dinner with the family ended up at nearby McDonald's, to the delight of sundae-craving Luna.

Sky Deck View Bar, open 5:00 PM onwards.

The overnight stay includes a breakfast buffet that's served at the 9 Spoons Restaurant. Continental brekkie lovers may not rave about it, due to the limited choice of breads. I didn't find the spread outstanding myself. Maybe it was just the selection that day? And it's quite disappointing that the coffee took forever to be served. At least the muesli brightened up my morning.

9 Spoons Restaurant at the penthouse. 

The breakfast buffet counter.

The Bayleaf Hotel for me is a hit despite its wee misses. It'll do fine without a gym and pool. I hope someday though each room is provided with a simple kit containing information about the hotel's facilities, restaurants and most especially about its surrounding area. 

It is after all sitting on a heritage site, which is the hotel's primary draw.

Not-to-be-missed walk on the walls.


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Chyng Reyes said...
March 29, 2013 at 2:46 PM

been planning to stay there too, maybe abangers muna ng promo.
i love intramuros, it used to be my home for 5 years. hehe

Oman Serapio said...
March 31, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Have a blessed Easter to you and your family. Happy Valentine too. LikeChyng, maghihintay din ako promo haha :)

Gay Emami said...
March 31, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Have a blessed Easter to you too!

Missy said...
April 2, 2013 at 11:42 AM

It seems like you're not so happy staying in that hotel ;-) i think $95 for that kind of room is a bit pricey, di ba? When I saw your last photo I miss my college days in Intramuros waaaa, miss my alma mater, Mapua lol

Phioxee said...
April 2, 2013 at 3:55 PM

ang super mahal naman ng overnight stay. hang yaman mo po. pero honest review to for the hotel.

Gay Emami said...
April 2, 2013 at 5:09 PM

It's a boutique hotel, and such are priced that way. I think I'd be mayaman if I stayed in Mariott or The Peninsula.

Gay Emami said...
April 2, 2013 at 5:17 PM

I know a lot of [older] hotels in Manila and Makati with rooms that are not as nice but are priced within the same range. So I reckon it's still good value for the money.

Mga Batangala said...
April 3, 2013 at 12:33 PM

i miss my school days in intramuros. elementary and secondary in letran and mapua for my college. the bayleaf used to be a bank building formerly owned a BSP governor. Have you tried the Knights Hotel across the San Agustin church?

Mga Batangala said...
April 3, 2013 at 12:35 PM

i miss my school days in intramuros. elementary and secondary in letran and mapua for my college. the bayleaf used to be a bank building formerly owned by an ex- BSP governor. Have you tried the Knights Hotel across the San Agustin church?

Bonzenti | Con Tour Blog said...
April 4, 2013 at 2:50 PM

During our stay in Mallberry Suite, they never asked me to deposit. Maybe because we are a return guest. :-)....Bay Leaf sounds interesting since the owner is the "Laurels", yong dahon panghalo sa adobo?

Gay Emami said...
April 4, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Hahaha! Kuya Bonz, nagutom ako sa adobo :(

Gay Emami said...
April 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM

"Maghihintay muna ako ng mamahalin." - FTW!

Jeffrey Rilles said...
April 14, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Good Review :) sana may promo hehehe

Gay Emami said...
April 15, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Sana nga! I'd love to come back.

Roel John Bobis said...
July 8, 2014 at 11:23 AM

One of the best hotels in manila

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