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India remains to be among the destinations I dream of going to, but getting there takes at least two flights, almost ten hours of flying, a visa, and lots of planning. Exploring India may not be a part of my travel plans for now, yet I’m glad to have had a glimpse of it—through food. Today, I was taken to the Road to Gurgaon, India at the Hyatt City of Dreams Manila. Read more…

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For three days, I went to see and do (almost) everything Sapporo has to offer. Here is the second installment of the places I went to in the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture. Read more…

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Exciting news arrived in my inbox yesterday. FRHI Hotels & Resorts, which is behind the luxury brands Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissotel, has been officially acquired by AccorHotels Group:

Following the approval of shareholders at the General Shareholders Meeting on July 12, 2016, AccorHotels Group officially announces the acquisition of FRHI Hotels & Resorts (FRHI) and its three prestigious luxury hotel brands: Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel. This addition of three remarkable brands instantly positions AccorHotels as a leading player in the global luxury hotel market, increases long term growth potential and profitability, and significantly expands the company’s footprint in North America, world’s largest and most influential consumer market.

The acquisition means that Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel’s 154 hotels and resorts (of which 40 are under development) and 56,000 rooms in 34 countries are added to AccorHotels’ expansive network. And among these are the world’s most iconic and historic hotels located in key strategic cities like The Savoy London, Raffles Singapore, Fairmont San Francisco, New York’s The Plaza, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City, and Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris.

This also means that, in the Philippines, Fairmont Makati and Raffles Makati will join Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila and Novotel Manila Araneta Center in the same AccorHotels portfolio.

The acquisition combines FRHI’s proven track record and expertise in operating and marketing luxury hotels with AccorHotels’ robust global operating platform, extensive loyalty base, and industry-leading digital capabilities. AccorHotels plans to generate approximately 65 million EUR in revenue and cost synergies with the deal, and it will take advantage of FRHI’s customer base that includes three million loyalty members—75 percent of which are from North America.

To lead the two companies in this fundamental step, Chris Cahill has been named Chief Executive Officer, Luxury Brands. Later on, he will oversee a new structure that integrates Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel Legend, So Sofitel, Sofitel, MGallery by Sofitel, Pullman, and Swissôtel in one tier.

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Novotel Manila Araneta Center, which to us is one of the finest hotels in the country, is elevating the stay experience of its guests further with the opening of its Premier Lounge. Since we stayed in a room that included access to it, we checked the place out well. Read more…

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This July 2016, French food takes the spotlight at Food Exchange Manila of Novotel Manila Araneta Center. In commemoration of Bastille Day or the French National Day, the restaurant will feature a selection of French dishes, pastries, and desserts. Among the dishes highlighted are beef bourguinon, pot au feu, and chicken l’orange.

Buffets at Food Exchange Manila are affordable at 1,288 PHP net for lunch and 1,388 PHP net for dinner. Special Sunday brunch is priced at 1,588 PHP net.

In addition to sumptuous French food, the hotel is also offering this staycation package:

Novotel Manila Araneta Center is also celebrating weekends and the fun that comes along with them. Staycations are indeed better in Quezon City’s lifestyle and entertainment hub with its special weekend stay promotion for all weekends of July and August 2016, beginning at Php 4,000.00 nett per room per night. For an additional Php 1,000, guests can enjoy a choice of either: buffet breakfast for two at the Food Exchange Manila, two tickets to Asia’s biggest interactive museum Art in Island, or four movie tickets to the Gateway Mall Cinemas. With the hotel’s Kids Stay Free guarantee, all young guests 15 years old and below staying with their parents can avail FREE accommodations and free buffet breakfast at the Food Exchange Manila.

Call Novotel Manila Araneta Center at +63 2 990 7888 or email H7090-RE@accor.com for more information, while for updates, follow their Facebook account.

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MTV Music Evolution Manila ‘16, one of the biggest music events in the country this year, wasfor the books. The epic night saw a bunch of talented artists unleash pop energy to tens of thousands of people. Luckily, I was invited to join in on all the fun. Read more…

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Having slept in hotels that have impressed us us with their youthful vibe and contemporary aesthetic, we honestly didn’t quite look forward to staying at Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur. But on the days and nights we spent there, our expectations were exceeded—we experienced a gorgeously classic room and unparalleled service from its staff. Read more…