Refreshing Birthday at Hotel H2O

Summer vacation plans can be overwhelming. There’s that part when one wants to get that well-deserved pampering in a hotel and there’s that urge to get out of the urban jungle to be one with nature. Both though, however contrasting, have one general benefit to everyone–an experience that soothes the senses. Then ask anyone and more likely than not there would be that common element they have in mind that is synonymous to relaxation. Water. 

Cruise ship docked close to Manila Ocean Park.

Thank heavens, we need not split friends or family members into groups anymore just to satisfy everyone’s wish and there’s no need to burn gas just to drive farther out of town either. Located within Metro Manila is a haven called Hotel H20 which provides the best of both worlds. Whether you’re in for an overnight staycation (when did this word come into life by the way?) in a comfy hotel or if you’re looking for opportunities to interact with wildlife, this hotel has it.

The Oceanarium tunnel.

Its name derived right out of our science subject, H20 stands for water–remember? Situated along the scenic Manila Bay area, and in close proximity to the historic Luneta Park, Hotel H2O  offers its guests a variety of refreshing options. All it takes is some good online deal hunting skills which thankfully my wife possesses–whether naturally or out of necessity.

A fan of Metrodeal, wifey was able to find a good package once again just in time for a birthday celebration. Our kid, Marcus, turned nine yesterday and this time he wished for nothing but to see fish. His regular visit to the hospital’s saltwater aquarium during his therapy sessions must’ve been a factor . So imagine his surprise when we entered Hotel H2O’s room and for him to see one whole wall where different colorful fishes swim back and forth 24/7. This beats any Ultra HDTV entertainment, yes?

Great for kids and working moms. Even Spongebob approves.

Our accommodation package includes access to Manila Ocean Park’s attractions that complete our son’s birthday wish like touching the once intimidating stingray in the Close Encounter with Sharks and Stingrays area. In the Oceanarium, we were surrounded by giant aquariums that made us all feel like Finding Nemo characters. It was a bonus that Marcus got to see the scuba divers feeding the fishes. 

Like being one with the ocean.

But Manila Ocean Park is more than just about water creatures. There’s Birds of Prey area where Eagles fly almost freely. Anyone who likes to see rare collection of toys would definitely want to see Yexel’s Toy Museum–the Iron Man set is must see. Then there’s the variety of jellyfishes that seem hypnotic as they move gracefully in their own aquariums. Our package does not include the Creepy Crawlies but the extra pay was worth it.

Yexel’s collections.
Colorful Creepy Crawlies animals.

This is Marcus’ fourth visit to Manila Ocean Park though our first time to stay in H2O Hotel. He discovered that we skipped the bubbly pool in the Liquid pool area so being a fan of pools he would want to be back soon. Hopefully by then improvements would have been made.
***

Waves have crest and trough. That’s ups and downs. In summary, here’s our Hotel H2O  experience.

Crest

  • P5000 was worth the package.
  • Bed and linen are clean and comfy.
  • Toilet fixtures are mostly functional
 
  • Most hotel staff are friendly and helpful.
  • For picky kids, the option to grab their favorite fastfood few walks outside the hotel is a big plus. I was out late night for a burger steak meal.
  • The attractions are PWD-friendly.
We always appreciate seeing something that Marcus could relate to.

    Trough

    • Bidet please.
    • Shower area doesn’t have enough recessed floor and the glass door has gaps so it water leaks out of the enclosure.
    By design, the door is shared by the shower and toilet area. Take note also of the clear glass walls.
    • PWDs would have some access challenge.

    • Don’t expect too much from the Liquid dining buffet. 
    • The penguin area needs some love.

    ***

    Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Pool time.)

    Mondays and Uphills

    The just concluded long weekend due to the holy week was worth it. Didn’t get us far from home but it gave me a chance to just bond with wifey and Marcus. This video of the goats playing around and showing off to Marcus was captured on a Good Friday at the first stopover on our attempt to get closer to Mount Makiling. We live nearby so no big deal but take note that Marcus is in a wheelchair.

    ***

    Mount Makiling is one of the regular Holy Week destinations for those who want to make their own sacrifices or for mountaineers who want to climb something challenging but not far from the city. The last time I was up there was about 20 years ago before I got married and when a good stretch of the road to the mountain wasn’t paved yet. Now it’s a bit wheelchair-friendly.

    That’s Mt. Makiling in the background taken after we made a bad turn finding a relative’s farm.

    Who needs 4×4?
    We reached the farm. Technically, these kids are Marcus’ cuz.
    On our way back down. This is the steepest we’ve reached so letting Marcus’ wheelchair roll freely was impossible.

    Next time we will try farther. And yes, next time we’ll wear something warmer.

    ***

    Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Just a day at work then another off for me.)

    Goodbye Old Pal

    After several attempts to sell the bike and ditching online hagglers, I found one whom I finally sold my bike to. It wasn’t the price I wanted to but to learn it’s going to be used by an excited young boy seems worth the wait. So there goes a significant piece from my young, free, and reckless days. BMX bike no more.

    Shined it for the last time today.

    Colorful Weekend

    Summer is here indeed and my in-laws held the annual outing courtesy of a birthday celebrator. This time the venue is barely half a kilometer away so pool exposure was longer than usual.

    Pink is embarrassing.
    Green is cool.
    Red looks better.
    Blue is best.
    Tan is unwanted. See who hated it the most.

    ***

    After changing from one floater to another, Marcus gathered confidence to once again try his vest. ┬áHere’s a clip.

    ***

    Wait. Let me correct myself. The most hated color would be gold. Got Marcus an Xbox Live Gold prepaid card a day before the outing and as of this writing, Monday, we can’t still make it work. We suspect it has something to do with our internet service. I suspect it was because I bought it the same day that freaky earthquake struck. We thought it’s my Xbox live account being suspended due to bad credit. My paranoia. Anyway, we had someone try activating it from the US but same error is encountered. My apologies for making your dogs’ late noon run getting delayed. I hope this gets resolved soon or that’s P2K from Marcus’ coin back going down the drain.

    ***

    Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Looking forward to a long weekend.)