Binondo’s big surprise

My eldest son is a “man about town,” much like myself, when I was still his age. He runs his own marketing consultancy, Brandish (more info at and makes it a point to try new things, go to new places, and do new activities that he reads about in the papers.

Just the other day, he came home raving about a new destination right in the heart of old Manila—Binondo. He told me that I should make it a point to visit this newly opened world-class accommodation near Chinatown because I would enjoy myself there. He knows me and what I want, and I trust him, so I’ll visit the place soon.

In fact, let me share with you my son’s detailed account of his experience at The Blulane Hotel, chronicled in his blog which may be accessed through his website.  This is now my eldest son, Juan Carlos Lobregat Zozobrado, talking: 

Just a few minutes from the world’s oldest Chinatown in Binondo, I discovered modern luxury in true Hong Kong style. Side-by-side with the local Filipino-Chinese stores and the lovely intricate pagodas and arches is The Blulane Hotel and its 17-story wonder that brings together the classic Binondo feel and the vibrance of today’s glamorous hospitality establishments.

Located in close proximity to Old Manila’s renowned tourist landmarks, the hotel was established primarily to cater to the whims of local businessmen and foreign visitors, as well as those of domestic tourists. It provides guests with that exceptional mix of world-class service and state-of-the-art facilities for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. 

But, why did I have so much fun at The Blulane Hotel? First things first. What does one do in such a place? Here are some of the things I did which you might also want to put at the top of your to-do list, after you have checked in:

The Staircase Selfie. The moment I walked into the hotel, I was greeted by the warm and smiling staff. Then I received an even warmer welcome from the majestic staircase which takes one to the Mezzanine. Whether you’re a business executive, a “staycationer,” or a millennial on the loose, the urge to take that mandatory photo with the hotel’s grand staircase will be irresistible. I think I snapped quite a number of shots right there.

The Blulane Hotel’s majestic stairway from the lobby to the mezzanine
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth. If you fancy dessert and other sweet treats, the Coffee Shop is just a few steps away from the grand staircase. You will surely find a quick excuse to break that strict diet once your eyes spot those scrumptious confectionery treats. I’m sure you’ll get tempted easily, like I was, by their best-selling Mango Royale and their Chocolate Fudge Brownie.

Some of the hotel’s sought-after Chinese culinary treats
A Well-deserved Massage. Once you’ve checked in to your room, you might want to treat yourself to a relaxing, rejuvenating massage at the spa on the 16th floor. On that level, you’ll definitely feel closer to heaven, like I was, with any of the Swedish, Shiatsu, or the other spa services. I certainly decided to pamper myself with a massage, to live a little, and enjoy a long-deserved “me” time.

Cozy Up to Your Bed. After the “life-changing” massage, you will want to snuggle up in your room and enjoy its amenities, being your refuge from life’s pressures and stressors. I enjoyed the calming and culturally-rich view of the Binondo cityscape, where the Chinese pagodas and arches blend with its modern high rises.

Sing Your Heart Out. After a little rest inside my well-designed room, I decided to make it a Videoke night and trotted off to the penthouse on the 17th floor. I tackled all the classics and karaoke staples to rid myself of the blues. The smiling bartender was ready to whip up a surprise mix for me which, he said, could wash out anybody’s worries and troubles away. It did.

Of course, the hotel’s crowd drawer is its array of delicious culinary treats that Chinese cuisine is known for, courtesy of the Hong Kong chefs. They have this unique combination of Roast Duck with Japanese Maki, which was so good, I couldn’t get enough of it. And, their Dong Po Pork with Steamed Buns made it very difficult for me to have just one piece. Seafood lovers will drool over the Fried Crabs basted with salt and pepper.   

I really like The Blulane Hotel and its warm and friendly cheongsam-clad staff who treats each guest like family. My overall impression of the hotel is one that provides an atmosphere filled with the world-famous Filipino hospitality, coupled with an authentic Chinoy touch.   

More information on The Blulane Hotel may be obtained from (02) 777-2258 or through [email protected]  I’m glad I discovered Binondo’s new surprise!

For feedback, I’m at [email protected]

Topics: Brandish , Binondo , The Blulane Hotel , Hong Kong style , Old manila
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