Who would ever think that you’d find a cocoon of comfort, leisure, and culinary treats right in the middle of the concrete jungle of North Edsa.
Being a long-time resident of Malate in Manila, I’ve always regarded this northern end of the highway that cuts across the metro as that “faraway cluster of shopping malls which is along the way to and from Baguio.”
You can imagine how surprised I was to learn of a new hotel that just opened right in the center of that area. Always excited to try new things, I decided to check in at the hotel for the weekend, with my sons and their families in tow.
The Park Inn by Radisson is a 238-room property, one of the eight hotels owned by SM Hotels and Conventions, and is managed by Radisson, its fourth in the country, but its first in Metro Manila. All its guest rooms are functionally very well-designed and are non-smoking.
What makes the hotel attractive to those who are always in search of “retail therapy,” in other words, those who are “blackbelters in shopping,” is the hotel’s direct access to The Block, which is SM City North Edsa’s extension that houses the high-end consumer brands.
And going one floor up after passing through that pedestrian access from the hotel to the mall, is the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Chapel. It was very convenient for my family to attend the Anticipated Saturday afternoon Mass, then meander around the many retail outlets in the mall, and stroll back to the hotel for dinner.
It is, therefore, not surprising that this early, just two months in operation, the hotel has already become the favorite of families for their weekend “staycation.” I learned that the hotel posts a 100 percent occupancy on weekends and a “healthy” 70 percent on weekdays. I’m confident that, when the business enterprises will become familiar with the hotel’s MICE facilities, this weekday occupancy rate will hit the roof!
The Park Inn by Radisson prides itself on having state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment in their Banahaw Meeting Rooms and in the Makiling Grand Ballroom which can easily be partitioned for smaller gatherings. The hotel also offers dedicated pre-function room areas for coffee breaks and receptions.
What impressed me and my children so much was Chef Edwin Infante, the hotel’s executive chef. When the hotel management found out that it was the birthday of my one-year-old grandson, Chef Edwin immediately whipped up a seven-course dinner fit for a king!
We had marinated Chicken Wings for starters, followed by a healthy Adlai Soup, then we had Pasta with Mediterranean Vegetables and low-fat Ricotta Cheese. We were then served the mouth-watering and the best Grilled Seabass I ever had! Served with Eggplant Salad and Salted Egg, it was out of this world!
After clearing our palates with Orange Campari Sorbet, we were ready for the heavenly taste of Slow-Roasted Beef, so tender that it practically melted in our mouths! As if all those culinary masterpieces were not enough, the meal was capped with a Trio of Dessert that would excite any jaded sweet-toothed foodie!
Chef Edwin is indeed a wizard in the kitchen, putting to good use his 30 years of experience in various hotels and restaurants here and abroad. And to think he started working as an accountant right after college, but his deployment in a restaurant got him interested to learn more kitchen skills. He developed this interest, underwent trainings, seminars, and even got his acquired skills certified by TESDA.
Already convinced that culinary arts was really his calling, he further honed his skills, which opened more opportunities for him in deluxe hotels abroad. After many years of working in the Middle East, he decided home is where the heart is.
Chef Edwin was also the executive chef of another deluxe hotel here in the metro when he decided to move to Park Inn by Radisson to have more opportunities to further unleash his creative juices in the culinary arena. He and the hotel management take pride in being able to offer customized menus for any gathering, whether at their Casa-Urban Restaurant, like what they did for my family’s dinner, or in any of their function rooms.
I have to commend the hotel’s general manager, Nils Sven Rothbarth, for having assembled an outstanding team of people-pleasers. Everybody I came in contact with at the hotel made me feel like I was right at home, but with all the conveniences of the hospitality trade.
No doubt, Park Inn by Radisson will soon be a destination of choice for those who are always on the lookout for the finer things in life. A bright new STAR now sparkles in North Edsa!
For feedback, I’m at [email protected]YOUR weekend CHUCKLE
Old is when your “sweetie” tells you: “Let’s go upstairs and make love,” and you answer, “Pick one, I can’t do both!”
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