My friends and family know me well for not being a big fan of staycations. I just think that staying and sleeping in a hotel room in a city is not entirely different from staying at home. Further, I never lived for cities. I always got a feeling that the buildings and people are constantly squeezing me in making me feel suffocated and claustrophobic. Well, I am true sucker for some actions, beach, camping, ocean waves, free diving, forests and nature – anywhere near the waters and flora. But then, the frequent out of town has got me so tired and spending at the same time that I needed some off from my usual “off”. On the other hand, I may not be a big fan of staycation but I do not totally hate the idea. Well, it all depends as to where I’m going to stay; if it is budget-friendly, has waters where I can swim, stunning view and a place with greens – I’m in. These conditions got me booking a ZEN room in Gramercy Residences in no time.
The ZEN Rooms
ZEN Rooms is a fast-growing budget hotel chain around Southeast Asia. It offers affordable yet quality accommodation to travelers in Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore and Gramercy Residences is just among its many partner hotels and accommodation. It is operating in over 5,000 rooms in 50 cities in the seven aforementioned countries. Guests are guaranteed with fast Wi-Fi, clean air-conditioned rooms equipped with hot and cold shower. Booking can be accommodated any time with their 24/7 service in their website and mobile application.
My Zen Rooms Gramercy Residences Experience
We looked up to the tallest tower in Makati City as we walked across the foyer to its doors. The staff welcomed us courteously as they opened the tall glass doors before us. The lobby is spacious and grand with a touch and fusion of minimalist and modern Victorian style in its interior. We settled in a corner when a staff from Zen Rooms came to welcome us and issued me with an access card. The access card basically is more than just a usual key card. It gave me access not just to my room but also to the other facilities of Gramercy Residences like the elevator, doors to the pool and the fitness center. It actually has my photo and my name. Prior to my actual stay, I was asked to send a soft copy of my passport or any valid identification card. This was where the photo and other details in the access card came from. Take note that it has to be brought all the time as the security personnel will check on it especially if you’re going in and out the hotel.
Upon the issuance of my access card, we were assisted by the staff to our room at the 20th floor.
A neat minimally designed loft-type room came into our sight in threshold. The room has kitchen, dining and living room at the lower level and the bedroom and bathroom at the loft. Cooking and storing food is allowed as the kitchen has induction cooktop with range hood, utensils and refrigerator. Across the sink is the dining area with a wooden furniture, table and chairs, for four. The living room guarantees coziness and comfort with its sofa set and a cable television right across it and a window with a view of the city skyline. Our room on the 20th floor was a best spot to watch the sunset. The room has a balcony, too. At the loft lies a queen-sized bed ventilated with another centralized air-conditioner. The bathroom, on the other hand, has hot and cold shower, body soap and towels. Bathrobes are also provided. The room has its own high speed Wi-Fi. There are also telephones: a landline and one for the concierge. Food delivery is also allowed but it has to be coordinated with the concierge. I commend their system and operations as these really ensure the security of everyone in the building. Extra care has to be taken as the management of the Zen rooms may charge the guests for stained, lost or damaged property.
|The living room, Lovely view right outside that window, isn’t it?
Facilities and Amenities
Checking into any of the 21 ZEN Rooms in Gramercy Residences gives one an access to all of its amenities and facilities. Among those are the following.
1. Swimming Pools at the 36th floor
This, I must say, is the best place and way to enjoy the stay in Gramercy Residences. The daylight promises a view of the city that seemed to be not bustling down below. It gets lovelier at dusk when the sun shies away behind the skyscrapers and the city lights start to light up and add colors to the night.
|A snapshot from the 37th floor’s balcony with the view of the pool and the city skyline
There are three swimming pools at the 36th floor of the building. Two of which are mainly for recreational use and the other is an Olympic-sized. Swimming lessons can be seen to be be held at the latter. The facility is open from 6:30 AM to 11:30 PM. Four guests per room can be allowed to use the pool and may be lend with towels. The management is very strict regarding the swimming attire. Strictly those who are particularly in swimsuits, trunks and rash guards are allowed to swim. Also, professional cameras are not allowed in the facility. They won’t entirely kill the joy, though, as mobile phones’ cameras are allowed.
|The Olympic-sized pool
The sauna is also located at the 36th floor’s bathroom. The bathroom itself is also equipped with hot and cold shower, body soap. vanity mirrors and lockers.
3. Fitness Center
The Fitness Center is just by the 37th floor with a balcony sharing the view of the cityscape with that of the pool’s. Up to four guests per room is allowed to use the gym and can be provided with towels. Proper attire should also be observed. It is equipped with latest equipment for different types of workout and is open from 6:30 AM to 11:30 PM.
4. The Garden
Nestled at the middle of concrete jungle exists a city-blended garden that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. There is a mini playground with slides on the side for the kids. Like any other public-use facility, professional cameras are also not allowed in the area.
Booking and Promotions
For booking and more details and information, you may reach them at:
Mobile: +63 2231 3338
You may also download their mobile application on Google Play and App Store for a more convenient booking and update notification.
1. You may use my promo code THEQUEENSESCAPE to get up to 20% off the regular rates of your chosen room.
2. Stay in any ZEN Rooms for free and get a chance to win a free night.
3. Zen Rooms also have their flagship hotels. You may use the code ZENFLAG15 to get up to 15% off the regular rates shall you book to one of these.
Where to Eat
Since Gramercy Residences is seated at the heart of Poblacion Makati, looking for a place to eat is not a problem at all. Guests can go directly to Century Mall from the building itself. A-venue also offers options that one can explore. There are convenience stores around the corner and few restaurants offering different cuisines nearby. The weekend markets in Legazpi Village and the Little Tokyo can also be an option. For utmost convenience, guests may call for a food delivery.
|The sunset at our balcony. Isn’t it stunning?
Where to Go and What to Do in Manila
For those who will be checking into any of the Zen Rooms in Manila, the following places and activities can be best enjoyed:
1. Visit the National Museum
Know more about and be fascinated with Philippines’ history and art as you visit the National Museum located at the heart of Manila. The museum is free and open for everyone from Tuesdays to Sundays.
2. Intramuros Pasyal Sunday
Go back in time and delve deeper into Manila’s history as you walk around the streets of Intramuros on a Sunday
3. Visit Manila Chinatown and Little Tokyo
Experience the diverse culture seated at the Metro as you visit the Chinatown in Binondo and the Little Tokyo in Legazpi Village, Makati.
4. Visit Weekend Markets
Stroll down and food crawl at Salcedo Community Market on Saturday and Legazpi Market on Sunday.
5. Experience Manila Night Life
Feel more alive in a pool of people on a party in Taguig, Makati and Malate. Hop from a bar to another and experience the vibrant life in the Metro all night long.
|the view of the gorgeous city skyline at night in 37th floor
What do you think about Zen Rooms in Gramercy Residences? Try it and share your experience with us!