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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Latest Bag Buy: Kate Spade Cobbi Hill Little Minka

I don't like pink.  I really do.  My favorite color is blue.  But I noticed in the past months or at least late last year, I've been drawn to this shade in some of my belongings.  Maybe I just decided to add color to some of my stuff like clothes.  Blue colored garments are still dominant in my closet but its nice that I also found pink and other lighter shades.  Now I have this bright fuchsia pink bag from Kate Spade! It was also coincidental that my boyfriend gave me this wonderful double strap Guess watch of the same shade.  Plus, I already own a Victoria's Secret Pink fragrance mist in of course pink color.  All are PINK!

I remember I've been eyeing Kate Spade bags since 2011 as I read my previous blog entry about it.  Cobbie Hill Small Leslie was specifically what I'm eyeing for.  Then last summer, my sister pointed me out a different version of Cobbie Hill called Little Minka.  What's lovely about this is that it is on sale!  Same fabric as Small Leslie (cowhide leather), the only difference is the handle.  Little Minka only has one handle.  Without hesitation, I asked my sister to order it for me online and have it shipped here through her reliable seller who does this kind of business: buying online for clients and delivering it to her US address and shipping it here in the Philippines.  I waited for 2 months before my bag arrived.  Well, the wait is all worth it.  I love this bag! Even if I'm not really attracted to the shades of pink but I think I'm starting to like it!

Weekend Sale at Glorietta and Greenbelt

It's payday weekend! And yes, it is also weekend sale to most merchants of Glorietta and Greenbelt malls.  Yesterday was also the first day of the Annual Greenbelt Sale which will last until July 14.  The month of July also marks the end of season by most of the imported brands like Mango, Topshop, Zara, etc.  Glorietta 5 also opened its new store, Uniqlo, yesterday so they offer discounts on all of their items which will run until tomorrow only.

I was able to grab great sale finds from the stores above.  I'm glad that Bershka and Stradivarius are now on sale.  I really want to try their clothes if its worth it.  The most discount I got was from Topshop, a jeans that is at 80% off!

So if you're looking for a bargain and great sale finds, this is the right time. Head over to Glorietta and Greenbelt and check out your favorite brands.  I think most are on sale, whether local or international brands.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Photoblog: Chasing Waterfalls

I just wanted to share with you a few waterfalls in the Philippines that I've been to.  Some were blogged already here while some I already forgot the name of it though I can still recognize the location.  Can you help identify them?

One of the best waterfall I've been to was the Tinuy-An Falls which I visited last Holy Week.  It's in my travel list to visit more wonderful waterfalls all over the Philippines.  I am so drawn with them and I always get amazed every time I see one.  Maybe you can share the various waterfalls you have visited so I can put them in my list.

Water Massage at Ace Water Spa

If you're looking for a different kind of massage or relaxation, you may want to try the water massages at Ace Water Spa.  As what the name implies, Ace Water Spa offers various water facilities that can massage different areas of your body using forces from water.  The best thing about their water massages is that each facility gives health information about the good benefit that you will get while taking that kind of massage. Required number of minutes is also indicated to better achieve the maximum benefit.  One can choose from soft, moderate and hard massages through these various water facilities.

Ace Water Spa also offers sauna, steam and hot herbal pools.  The hot herbal pools have various temperatures with different scents on each to achieve healthy benefit appropriate for that temperature.  Cautions were posted also in some areas as not all are appropriate for every one especially the hot pools.  It is also best to "rinse" on their cold pool after using the hot pools to achieve maximum benefit.  They also have an olympic size swimming pool if you want to do some laps or just swim around it. 

I've tried most of their massages and they're really relaxing.  My favorite is the rainfall acupuncture.  You can almost sleep with it while waters are falling on your back.  Another favorite is the jet chair as it is so relaxing.  Both uses moderate massages.  I also like the hot herbal pools but I don't take the cold pool right after it because the water is really really cold.  I just rinse with their other showers or back to the water massages. Most of the people I know who have been to Ace Water Spa for the first time really enjoyed this one of a kind massage.

Ace Water Spa has two branches: Quezon City and Pasig.  I've been to both locations and there's not much difference between them except that the Quezon City branch is much bigger.  The Pasig branch is also connected to their hotel, Ace Hotel and Suites (read my review about this hotel here).

If you have Belle De Jour planner, it has 2 coupons which offer buy 1 take 1 on Ace Water Spa at any branch.  One has a duration of January to June while the other one July to December.

Review: Ace Hotel and Suite

It was a not so well planned anniversary weekend when my boyfriend and I decided spend it around the metro rather than taking an out of town trip.  Our budget was constraint yet we wanted to find a nice hotel with a relaxing pool within metro manila.

Browsing through my Belle De Jour planner, I found a coupon for Ace Water Spa. I've been wanting to bring my boyfriend there since its a one of a kind massage which I know he will enjoy.  Besides, with his stressful work, he really needs a good massage and relaxation.  Browsing further through my planner, I came across another coupon, 30% off on published rate at Ace Hotel and Suites.  The coupon already includes a free entrance at Ace Water Spa.  I think that's already a good deal!  Plus, the discounted rate really fits our budget.

Ace Hotel and Suite is quite a new hotel, located in the Pasig area.  Ace Water Spa in Pasig is also quite new as well.  I'm just not sure which of these open first or both was launched at the same time.  The location of Ace Hotel and Ace Water Spa are the same.  It's like Ace Water Spa was the swimming area of the Ace Hotel and Suite, located at the ground floor.

We availed the Junior Suite as we find it roomy and spacious unlike the Deluxe Room.  Plus, it has a mini sala perfect for our plan to have a midnight snack on that area.

It was an ordinary weekend yet customers were quite full and in line at the reception area. It didn't took us long though when we were served.  It was a smooth transaction and no questions asked when I handed the Belle De Jour coupon for the discount.  Well maybe because I have prior reservations and informed them about the coupon.  Our room accommodation is inclusive of buffet breakfast, free one time use of Ace Water Spa for two and two discount coupon on next visit to Ace Water Spa.

Even though we only have one backpack, a bellboy still assists us in our room.  I like the security of their elevator.  Only authorized people can use it or those who have their room key card.  You will be flashing the card before pressing the desired floor for it to be operated.  So I guess visitors would really have to be fetched at the reception/lobby area by the tenant.

Our room was indeed spacious and I love it.  They also provide closet with slippers, laundry bag and a safe.

work area and the sala

tv between sala and bed

spacious room

our bed with side table and closet

We have also a mini bar with coffee, tea, mineral water and wine as complimentary drinks.

work area with mini bar at the back

complimentary wine

Fruits were also served in our room minutes after our arrival.

complimentary fruits

The air conditioning in the room was great as it is strong. Our bed was huge! The bed sheets and pillow cases were clean.  The pillows were fluffy yet comfortable enough to sleep on.  The blanket or comforter was just thick enough to cover us from cold.  I like how their tv can swivel so we can watch whether we're on our bed or on the mini sala.

facing the sala
facing the bed

Complete toiletries were provided including razor, shaving cream and comb which you don't normally see in some upper middle class hotels.  They also have hair dryer in the bathroom.  They have an enclosed shower area with rainfall shower head. The toilet has an available bidet.  Our only concern though is that water easily gets clogged at the shower area.  Waters from the shower and faucet both have hot and cold temperature regulator.

enclosed shower area

organized container for toiletries placed on the sink

On their buffet breakfast, there are quite a number of choices combining american and filipino dishes, though the buffet area is not that big.  You can also ask them to cook omelette with your choice of toppings and some pasta.  Drinks are also a variety: fruit shakes, tea, coffee, water and juices.  You also have a choice to order ala carte instead of availing the buffet breakfast.  Besides, they only served it until 10am.

I will blog about Ace Water Spa in my next post.  Overall, we enjoyed our stay in Ace Hotel and Suites.  They also offer longer stays with details below.  I would definitely love to go back to this hotel.  We truly feel relaxed and we don't even have to travel far to experience it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Genesis Super Salon by Louis Phillip Kee

The Genesis Super Salon by Louis Phillip Kee had its dry run opening last June 2.  They offer 40% off on all their services until today, June 9.  Since its the last day today to avail the discount, we expect it to be jammed packed.

Located along Dona Soledad Avenue in Better Living, Paranaque, it was indeed full of customers by the time we got there, about 4.30pm.  We waited about 30 minutes before my sister is called for her haircut.  I followed after her.  The haircut with shampoo and blow dry took about an hour.  The price for haircut is different for men, women and children. You may refer below for their pricelist.

My hair is long, about below the bra line at the back.  I planned to have it just trimmed, about an inch.  I'd like to maintain a long hair as this is what my boyfriend desires.  But after my sister's hair was done, I find her cut nice and stylish so I intend to copy her haircut.  It was a layered cut specifically on the sides and in front.  The back was just trimmed but a bit layered just to make it appear thin.  I requested for some bangs which the stylist made it a side swept cut.

My sister and I's stylist is John Kessel.  He has been a stylist fo Louis Phillip Kee's Salon for quite some time already.  He has a different style of cutting one's hair, well at least for me and my sister.  He let us stand while he cut the back of our hair.  I think this makes the cut accurate and even in case of the layered style.  This is unusual for me but I find it better as the cut was made with precision.  Besides, you wouldn't stand for so long or on the whole duration of cutting.

Our stylist

The hair shampooing and blow dry is also quite different.  Angel, who shampooed my hair, did a little massage on my hairline and scalp.  Most salons I've been to only massages the scalp.  The shampoo and conditioner they use does not have strong smell, just right.  After shampooing, I noticed that they do not have a wide tooth comb to untangle my hair.  But the great thing was they don't force your hair untanlge it which will cause hair breakage.  They instead use their fingers to gently untangle your hair, especially the ends.  They are also careful in blow drying your hair.  They don't pull hard your hair and the heat from the blow dry was just right.

My sister had a pedicure or more like cleaning of her toenails as she does not want a polish to be applied on it.  She enjoys this service as she didn't experience any pain unlike other salons who put much pressure in cleaning toenails which can be painful.  Original price of this cleaning is only Php 100 but my sister only paid Php 60 applying the 40% discount.

The design of Genesis Super Salon is just right, not too spacious and not too small.  There is a somewhat kitchen on the right side upon entering the salon.  We are told that it will soon be a cafe.  The receiving area only has one sofa.  So other customers sat on the "kitchen area" while waiting for their turn.  Magazines were provided but all were back issues as late as 2008.  At the back of the reception area was the hair cutting area.  Further to it was the mani-pedi, foot spa area.  There is stairs in the middle of the room which leads to the massage area and other services on the second floor.

I'm not sure if it just the last day but Mr. Louis Phillip Kee arrived at the salon to checked on the staff and customers.  He also helped out in blow drying, conversing with customers and even preparing the chair for the next customer.  He also provide guidelines to his staff on how to properly assist customers from the receiving area up to the time they leave the salon.  His guidelines, as I see on how he converse with his staff, were polite, not making them look stupid or scolding them in front of the customers.  He was there at around 6pm and was still there when we left at around 8.30pm.  I guess he will stay there until the salon closes.

Overall, I would love to go back to this salon and try their other services.  I was happy with my haircut so as my sister.  She also likes her pedicure.  i would like to try mani-pedi-foot spa package and relaxing my hair next time.  The staff were all nice, and no hard selling for the services they offer.  Prices for their services were quite reasonable.  We were told by the receptionist that they will have another discount on their grand opening sometime in July.  I will definitely watch out for that.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Off to Krabi, Thailand... For Free!!!

Well not really 100% free.  I still need to pay for my airfare and transfers but the accommodation is free, for 3 nights!  How?  Well, it isn't a sponsored travel as a blogger but I won a contest posted by Inspire Travel Magazine.  This magazine is Singapore based and they feature luxurious destinations quarterly through their publication.  One of their feature is the Pimalai Resort and Spa in Krabi, Thailand.  A 5-star luxury resort located in one of Thailand's beach destination.

A fellow Girltalker posted the magazine's fb link contest in our travel group.  The prize to be won is a 3-night stay in Pimalai Resort and Spa.  The contest runs from mid May and ends 6th of June.  I joined the contest and post it in my FB timeline 4th of June at almost midnight.  So I just have about a day to go before the contest ends.  When I got home on a Friday early morning (about 1am), I checked my FB notifications and a friend tagged me to his comment in Inspire Travel Magazine's post, congratulating me since I was declared the winner.  Checking the Inspire Travel's FB page, it was posted there that I was indeed the winner.   I was overwhelmed when I saw it.  I seldom join contest in FB.  I don't usually have the luck in winning any contest or raffles.  But this time is different.  I was so lucky!  It was almost a last minute post to join the contest and my post was like the 2nd contest I joined this year.  And I won.  I was so happy!  It will be my first time to travel to Thailand.  The best part, it was a beach destination!  My favorite place!

So now before I placed my booking with the magazine, I need to research first on how to go there.  Is it by Bangkok, Phuket or Krabi?  Can you help me out please?  Anybody went to Pimalai Resort and Spa?