Wikipedia definition of Shangri-La: Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Hilton describes Shangri-La as a mysitcal, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains.
What is Makati Shangri-La for me?
It’s the beginning of a long journey that has brought me to stay in Manila, making it my home.
They say “Home is where the heart is.” Well, many years ago, I found my heart in a boy named Nino in a place called Makati Shangri-La.
Back in December, I was asked by The Business World Ladies Who Lunch to give a short talk on Entertaining for the Holidays. I was super up for the challenge and was very excited to meet and make new friends through this lovely organization. Because of this lovely endeavor, I was gifted a staycation, that I knew I would take advantage of with my boyfriend, when the time came that we could both tear ourselves away from work, the kids, and the home.
What better way to spend my Labor Day Weekend then a staycation with my love, where it all began? I was super excited leading up to our staycation in the “city.” I have been working really hard to do my best in everything that I’m involved in and it’s suffice to say that I have been a bit frazzled. I know that Nino has been stressed with work and other things as well, so this past weekend was a lovely respite from our daily grind.
It’s always nice to remember where it all began…but it’s even nicer to remember where it began if it’s a place like Makati Shangri-La. Pulling up to a hotel where they take your bags, valet your car, and then checking in is seamless makes the experience even more enjoyable.
Nino put it this way, when we were talking about once we got home, ” How can you not enjoy a place where your bags find their way to your room, while you are checking in? The Staff is always smiling, ready, willing, and able to help you with what you need. The room is cool when you enter, the amenities are top notch, and the food is consistently delicious. It’s as if they know the drill, they anticipate what you need-and boom…it’s there.”
Yes. That’s how it is when you stay in a luxury hotel.
And it’s also things like this…
So after we hung around the room and reminisced about how we never actually went upstairs to ANY room when we met all those years ago, I was set to meet up with Patti for coffee downstairs in the lobby where it all began.
As Patti and I were chit chatting about how things change, and how change is good, I also shared the story of how Nino and I began in this lobby. How I read his tarot cards, how I kept some of what I read to myself, but how overall, I have such a fondness for this iconic hotel in the middle of Makati.
Patti shared more of the special treats that Mothers would experience through the Mom & Me staycation that Makati Shang had planned for all of their guests during the upcoming weekend, and I am grateful to have experienced them during our stay as well.
I would totally recommend the couple’s Hilot Massage. The massage therapists are well trained, attentive, and would ask if the pressure they were using was ok, through out the whole process. I have been having some trouble with my right shoulder lately, I was happy to experience some relief from the pain when we were finished. After we were done, we enjoyed the fresh cold fruits and ginger tea which was served to us while we were still coming around from the relaxing stupor of our massages.
Confession: I had so many plans for us! I wanted to get dressed up, go out, have a few drinks, (even if it was only downstairs in Sage) and take advantage of the fact that we (er… Nino) didn’t have to drive home by enjoying my favorite Cosmopolitan (shh. don’t judge.) to kick off our NIGHT OUT in the city!! In reality, what really happened was a night without alcohol, relaxed shorts and sandals instead of the dress that I brought to change into, and a slower paced kick off to the night due to the relaxing hands of our massages. In fact, the latter was probably what matched the crazy hectic schedule of the work week that we both endured, anyway.
And in all honesty, it was just as nice to sit in the bath with some salts and L’Occitane bath gels, and then hunker down for the night by chatting on the sofa in our suite, and not being interrupted by little ones who deem what they need to say of the utmost importance at that very minute in time…
When we were going to sleep that night, we were joking each other how far we had come since those nights when we were getting to know each other. Back then, freshly graduated from college and coming off of a not so nice relationship, I remember picking Nino’s brain about everything…politics, human rights, and everything that is wrong with this world, democracy, human kind and how we could fix it…because we knew better…
What a complete 180 degree turnaround from the conversations we had back then…because before we closed our eyes, we spoke about everything that is RIGHT in this world and all the things we could still do to help…and how our four little ones changed our perspectives because they chose us to be their parents…
I considered cutting into this delicious cake (I’ve had one like it before because my friend gifted us one for Christmas) before bed, but decided we would enjoy it more as a family together at home.
THANK YOU CIRCLES!
Breakfast the next morning was something we looked forward to because both of us love BREAKFAST BUFFETS!! HOORAY FOR BREAKFAST BUFFETS AT CIRCLES! I’m sure you know that Nino and I have very different tastebuds when it comes to choosing our breakfast food.
After breakfast, I asked Nino if he wouldn’t mind sitting by the pool with me for a while.
Truth: He hates the sun (like most Filipinos I know) and I am a sun worshipper. (shhh don’t tell my derma.) But he agreed to sit for a couple of hours (in the shade) while I soaked up the hot summer sun on the fourth floor pool deck.
Oh, how I loved just sitting and being still, and quiet.
A photo posted by Michelle Aventajado (@mommanmanila) on
Thanks for indulging me, Babe.
Because we also had access to the Horizon Club, we were able to check out the brunch offerings before heading back to the room to clean up for check out.
The Horizon Club serves breakfast from 6 am until 12nn on Saturdays. We enjoyed cocktails and apps the night before, so I knew we should make the time to check out HC before going back to the room, even if it was just for a light snack.
By this time, Nino was already getting antsy to see the kids and wanted to start our drive back home. I have to admit, after one night away, I already wanted to hug The Bean and I was looking for kisses from my big kids.
It was such an enjoyable night, it was great for us to recharge, revisit our beginning, and talk uninterrupted. I was able to experience all the joys and treats of being pampered at Makati Shang for Mother’s Day…and then I was ready go home and enjoy the four reasons why I am privileged to be called Mom.
I think it would be even more enjoyable to do all of these things with the kids so that we could be “tourists (all 6 of us) in the city” where it all began.
Then it would make it even easier for us to share our beginning with our kids…I feel like that’s important for them to know…don’t you?
If you would like to plan for your staycation this Mother’s Day at Makati Shangri-La for their #MakatiShangMomandMe celebration, please call 02-813-8888. Surely, you will enjoy the perks and the gifts that they have in store for you, Momma!
ALSO: You can enter to win your #MakatiShangMomandMe #staycation for free if your photo posted on IG is chosen with the funniest words of wisdom from Mom. Don’t forget to make sure your profile is set to PUBLIC so they can track your entry.