CHRISTMAS 2018 MANILA: Staycation and Buffet Ideas!

01.City of Dreams Manila's Christmas goodies at Cafe Society and Chocol8 at The Garage

Gather your loved ones and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with mouthwatering feasts and sweet escape promos around the Metro.

Who says you have to travel far to enjoy staycation choices, various sights, and activities to unwind, bond and relax with the Family as you celebrate the holidays?

Here’s a list of ideas for an awesome 2018 Christmas in Manila!


Christmas 2018

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila celebrates the festive season with Art de Noël featuring The Enchanted Journey. Experience a voyage through the yuletide offerings at Sofitel’s Le Marché de Noël featuring traditional Christmas toys, memorable and rich selection of festive culinary treats. Discover a wonderland of seasonal adornments featuring a vintage propeller plane, hot air balloons, a 30-foot Christmas tree and larger than life French snowman visiting with his friends. Christmas is not complete without Sofitel’s special animations and a visit from Santa Claus. Visit your hotel of choice and be part of a magnifique celebration.

C’est Noël: Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila Christmas Special
Celebrate the season in an enchanted getaway. Embark on a Christmas staycation at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila featuring an overnight stay with breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children (11 years old and below) at Spiral, complimentary in-room family movies, La Boutique cash voucher worth Php500, Le Spa cash voucher worth Php500 and a Vietura Gift Certificate worth Php1,500. Rates start at Php8,000 per night subject to applicable government taxes and service charge. Book your holiday and avail of special rates applicable from the 1st until the 29th of December 2018. Terms and conditions apply.

Christmas 2018

An Enchanted Christmas Celebration by Spiral
Spiral takes you around the world in a gastronomic voyage of international dishes across 21 dining ateliers. Experience an enchanted journey of taste with family and friends with signature offers including Jambon a l’os, Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce, Beef Wellington, Lobster Thermidor, Beef Prime Rib, Foie Gras with Bell Pepper Jam, French Oysters, Savory Capelin Caviar and a rich selection of seafood favorites. The yuletide selection is enhanced with local favorites including the festive Lechon. Spiral’s L’Epicerie showcases a rich variety of artisanal cheese ideal for wine pairing as you toast to the holidays. The Chocolaterie and Creamery presents a sweet ending to your Spiral feast with its decadent selection including the Yule Log, Christmas Fruit Cake, Mont Blanc, Panettone and Filipino desserts. Hans Dimayuga and Diday Garcellano of The Voice Philippines serenade our gourmands for a wonderfully sensory and magnifique celebration.

Children and kids can look forward to a fun-filled holiday with a visit from Santa Claus and his little helpers. Jolly St. Nick makes his rounds in search for the children on the Nice List on the 24th of December 2018 from 7pm to 12.30am, Christmas Day.

Spiral’s Holiday Special is available with the following rates:
December 24, 2018
Lunch – Php2,900 per adult; Php1,474 per child available from 12pm to 3pm
Dinner – Php5,550 per adult; Php2,457 per child available from 6pm to 11pm

December 25, 2018
Brunch – Php4,950 per adult; Php2,475 per child available from 12pm to 3pm
Dinner – Php3,750 per adult; Php1,720 per child available from 6pm to 11pm
Rates are inclusive of applicable government taxes and service charge. For inquiries and reservations, please call +63 2 832 6988 or email

Our Awesome Planet

Le Marché de Noël
Stroll through a vibrant and colourful Christmas market or Le Marché de Noël upon entering the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. Enjoy special festive offerings with a lobby lined with yuletide treats featuring aromatic mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, local pastries, crêpes, Christmas treats, festive decor, kids’ toys and souvenirs. Santa will be paying a visit during his festive rounds to greet our guests a Merry Christmas.

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila’s Christmas Markets will be open from 9am to 9pm daily from November 6, 2018 until the first week of January.

Rates are inclusive of applicable government taxes and service charge. For inquiries and reservations, please call +63 2 832 6988 or email




4.Crystal Dragon.Steamed Cod Fish with Black Garlic Sauce and Garden Green (2)

Yuletide celebrations are made more festive at City of Dreams Manila with premium offerings from its three signature restaurants. With “Tease the Season” as its Holiday theme, the integrated luxury resort is teasing the palate and senses with a wide array of lavish menu choices — making City of Dreams Manila a gustatory destination of choice for memorable Christmas celebrations with families and friends.

Crystal Dragon celebrates the Holiday season from December 1 to January 1, 2019 with a six-course Festive Season menu priced at Php 2, 280++ per person comprised of: Combination Happiness platter consisting of Wok-fried Diced Turkey in Golden Cup with Brown Bean Sauce; Frisee Salad Roll in Honey Vinaigrette; Deep-fried Crispy Prawn Ball with Kataifi; Double-boiled Quail with Huaishan Yam in American Ginseng Soup; Steamed Cod Fish with Black Garlic Sauce and Garden Greens; Braised Pork Ribs with Red Wine Vinegar Reduction served with steamed “Yellow Rose Man Tao;” Braised E-fu Noodles with Chinese Cabbage, Mushrooms, and Lobster Tails; which then ends with Double-boiled Peach with Snow Fungus, Rock Sugar, and Red Dates.

16.Nobu Manila.Signature Trio Yellowtail Jalapeno  Tachiuo Tiradito and Unagi with Corn Puree and Truffle Oil1

A Japanese gastronomic experience awaits diners at Nobu with its Special Omakase offering for the whole month of December. The eight-course Omakase priced at Php 5, 400++ per cover starts with Salmon Red Onion Shiso Salsa with Caviar; and is then followed by Chef’s Choice Chirashi; Unagi Corn; and Yellowtail with Turnip Yuzujala Dressing. The sumptuous menu continues with Sous Vide Baby Octopus with Anticucho Sauce and Roasted Baby Vegetables; Wagyu Beef Katsu with Cauliflower Panacotta and Apple Tonkatsu Sauce; as well as Peruvian Vegetable Soup with Quinoa and Pork Cubes. Concluding the curated menu is a sweet treat of Black Forest composed of Chocolate Macarons with Yuzu Cream and Black Cherry.

15.Nobu Manila.Seared Wagyu Beef with Braised Daikon and Garlic2 (2)

On December 22 to 27, Nobu is also offering a Christmas Special Omakase priced at Php 6, 999++ per cover. Toro Tartare with caviar and fresh oyster in Nobu salsa starts the eight-course menu, which is then followed by the Signature Sashimi Trio composed of Yellowtail Jalapeno, Hotate Ceviche, and Snow Crab with Corn Puree. Chirashi, comprised of the chef’s selection of sushi, comes after, together with Salmon Sashimi Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing and Sea Bass Yuzu Miso with Green Papaya “noodles.” Next on the course is the Aka Miso Braised Short Ribs with Cauliflower Puree and Onion Dust, and a Clear Soup of Seasonal Mushrooms, Aji Amarillo and Cilantro. The Omakase concludes with a Christmas Truffle, a delicate medley of Red Velvet Sponge, White Chocolate, Cream Cheese, Ganache, and Hazelnut ice cream.

For inquiries, call 800-8080 or e-mail or visit



3. SEDA VERTIS NORTH: Your Home for the Holidays

Seda Vertis North Premium Ham

Seda Vertis North is ready to count down the days to Christmas and ring 2019 in with you and those you love!

Witness the Christmas tree lighting and be serenaded with Christmas songs by the Seda Vertis North Chorale in the lobby. Bask in your kids’ smiles and excitement

Witness the Christmas tree lighting and be serenaded with Christmas songs by the Seda Vertis North Chorale in the lobby. Bask in your kids’ smiles and excitement when you bring them to Santa Claus’s Meet-and-Greet or the Gingerbread House. Need gift ideas or even a breather from hectic Christmas shopping? Come drop by Misto Café to satisfy hunger pangs, and complete your gift checklist with the hotel’s curated holiday hampers and goodies from its “Holiday Corner” featuring the Seda Vertis North Premium Ham, signature banana bread, traditional fruit cake, homemade cookies, and other delectable desserts and pastries. Looking to celebrate your company’s milestones this year? Seda Vertis North unveils this season’s banquet packages for corporate parties to help make your bash one for the books.

SVN Holiday Room Packages

As the holiday rush creeps in, what’s not to love about a traffic-free and stressless staycation? Take advantage of the hotel’s special room packages for that festive Christmas or New Year vacation and welcome 2019 with the New Year’s Eve Countdown Party at the Straight Up bar. Revel in the live band entertainment and beats from their resident DJ as you enjoy a panoramic view of fireworks lighting up Metro Manila. On December 24, 25, 31, and January 1, their creative culinary team will lay out an irresistible, sumptuous, and exclusive holiday buffet spread for you and your family.

Rates are inclusive of applicable government taxes and service charge. For inquiries and reservations, please call +632 739-8888 or email




Christmas 2018

There’s nothing quite like a bountiful feast in a long table to share with the special ones. Savour all-time favourite holiday treats that bring happiness to the best company this season at Cucina, located at the Marco Polo Ortigas Manila.

As the hotel transforms to a Whimsical Winterland, the culinary journey brings indulgent dishes to life as they leave their own brand of magic on one’s taste buds. Christmas Eve dinner buffet highlights a wide array of dishes such as Roast Angus Beef Rib Eye, Caramelised Ham, and Crispy Duck Breast on Mango Basil Sauce. Have the traditional Noche Buena with a midnight spread that includes Filipino signatures Pancit Palabok and Cebuano Pork Humba. Staple Bibingka and Puto Bumbong will be served to complete the holiday.

Relish the welcome of the New Year with sumptuous dishes. Media Noche dinner features Iberico Pork Loin with Apple Sauce, Chinese Barbecue Duck, and Gratinated Prawns, Mussels, and Salmon with Wholegrain Mustard Cream. Have a feast of Orecchiette with Pepperoni and Tomatoes and Roast Leg of Pork for New Year’s Day.

Christmas 2018

Cucina is open daily for lunch from 12:00 NN to 2:30 PM and dinner from 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM. Midnight buffet will commence at 11:00 PM on the 24th and 31st of December. Holiday rates are at Php 3,800 for Christmas Eve Dinner, Php 1,800 for Noche Buena (Midnight), and Php 2,888 for Christmas Day. On the other hand, New Year’s Eve dinner is available Php3,800 while rates for New Year’s Day is at Php 2,888 per person.

For more information about Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Mad Holiday Feast, contact (632) 720 7777 or book online via or email:  Visit or follow @MarcoPoloManila on Twitter or Instagram.




Okada Manila

Feel the season’s music
Get in the holiday vibe with remarkable choir performances from the heavenly voices of the award-winning Himig Rizalia! Hear your favorite Christmas songs rendered with heart-melting vocals and excellent choral direction on all weekends of December until the 23rd.

A special Christmas for kids—and kids-at-heart
Santa Claus is coming to town at Okada Manila—and he’s ready to listen to Christmas wishes from kids and kids-at-heart! Okada Manila is hosting a meet-and-greet with jolly old Saint Nick himself at Santa’s Cabin by the Crystal Corridor junction on selected dates starting November 17 until December 25, from 3 to 5 PM.

Holidays are bound to be more fun with the Yuletide Kiddie Jam at PLAY (weekends from November 17 to December 16, and daily from December 21 to 25). Kids will get to enjoy activities such as storytelling time with Santa, Christmas caroling, and fun games. Kids can come in their Santa outfits to get a complimentary pass for both child and guardian for their next visit, as well as 50% off on a six-month MOON Pass.

PLAY also has fun activities in store during its Best Friends Day on December 2 and Kasambahay Appreciation Day on December 9. Both events include exciting activities like arts and crafts, Pinoy Henyo, Zumba, and more.

Okada Manila

Take holiday partying to the next level
Catch up with family and friends over a scrumptious meal as Okada Manila’s signature restaurants bring special treats to the table. Starting November 15, Okada Manila guests will get to enjoy delightful homemade treats created by Executive Pastry Chef Josef Teuschler, in a life-size Gingerbread House.


Enjoy hassle and worry-free holiday feasts at Kiapo with special set menus that will bring mouthwatering flavors to your Christmas reunions, as well as the Ultimate 8 Samgyeopsal from Goryeo which will deliver the most delectable Korean experience for the whole month of December. You’ll never run out of festive dining options from a wide range of international cuisines as Enbu, La Piazza, Medley, Red Spice, Lobby Lounge, and Yu Lei serve up their holiday specials.

As the year draws to a close, the fun doesn’t stop as you can still enjoy nights of revelry, drinks, and world-class music acts at Southeast Asia’s largest indoor beach club and nightclub, Cove Manila. This beach party destination will celebrate its all-star anniversary with the three-part party series, Crescendome, which will bring in world-renowned DJs for three consecutive weeks: Tiesto on November 30, DJ Snake on December 7, and Afrojack on December 15.

For more information on upcoming events and promotions, visit, like Okada Manila on Facebook, and follow @okadamanila on Instagram and Twitter.




B Hotel Lobby-2.jpg

Ongoing Promos:
* Stay with B Room Promo (Overnight Stay-Php 3,888 nett, 3-day, 2-night stay- Php 6,888 nett) *Promo Validity: Oct. 29- Dec. 30, 2018
* Party with B (Php 8,888 nett for 4-hour use of Mezzanine Bar Private Room)
* Sunday Brunch Buffet (11:30am-2:30pm)- Php 680 nett
Upcoming Event:
* 2019 New Year’s Eve Countdown Party
– Dec. 31, 2018 • 7PM
– Ticket Prices: Php 2,019 nett (Adult), Php 1,000 nett (Child, 6-12 years old)
– Entertainment by Myuzik Rewind

B Hotel Room 801-2.jpg

Ongoing Promos:
* Holideal Room Promo (3-day, 2-night stay): Php 7,777 nett *Promo Validity: Oct. 1-Dec. 20,2018
* Year-End Escape Room Promo (3-day, 2-night stay): Php 14,500 nett *Promo Validity: Dec. 29, 2018-Jan. 2, 2019*
* Paskong Pinoy Friday Lunch Buffet (12-2pm)- Php 650 nett
* Bistro Nights (Tues-Sat): 5PM-10PM





Makati Shangri-La, Manila presents a classic Christmas featuring all the holiday favorites – festive goodies, gingerbread cookies, holiday feasts, a Wonderful Holiday staycation package and a meet-and-greet with Santa Claus – making it the perfect venue for the festive season with its “All I Want for Christmas” theme.

Guests will be able to relive a timeless Christmas when they step into the hotel’s grand lobby and experience Santa’s workshop come to life. “All I Want for Christmas” offers everyone an opportunity to create lasting Christmas moments with their loved ones.

Guests may have a Wonderful Holiday staycation with the hotel’s room offer filled with festive activities and goodies. The Wonderful Holiday package includes breakfast buffet for two adults and two kids below 12 years old, in-hotel dining credit worth PHP1,200, a tipi-tent experience, a free kids’ minibar with snacks and drinks and Christmas-themed activities, such as arts and crafts and cookie-decorating classes.

Savories Flatlay

Rates start at PHP8,100 per night for stays from December 15 to 30 and from January 2 to 6, 2019. The offer is subject to availability at the time of the booking. Black-out dates apply.

Guests may reunite with loved ones, relatives and friends or just take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city with the Christmas Afternoon Tea for two at Lobby Lounge, priced at PHP1,600++ and available from 3 to 6 p.m. until Christmas Day. They can enjoy the relaxing views of the lush garden and cascading waterfalls while being serenaded by a live orchestra.

Guests can make lasting family memories at Makati Shangri-La, Manila this season.  For room reservations, they can call (63 2) 814 2525 or send an email to  For restaurant reservations, guests may call (63 2) 814 2580 or send an email to  They may also follow #AllIWantForChristmas and #ShangriLaLaLa stories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @MakatiShangriLa.





Guests who book from November 1, 2018, to January 6, 2019, can experience a festive treat on room accommodations when they choose to spend the Yuletide Season in the heart of Manila’s most vibrant city. With rates beginning at Php 11,000++ for a Deluxe Room, the offer includes: buffet breakfast for two at High Street Cafe, use of the gym at Kerry Sports Manila and the outdoor swimming pools, complimentary Adventure Zone access for up to two (2) children, complimentary local landline calls, late check-out up to 2 p.m. and complimentary wired and wireless internet access. Offer is available for stays from December 15, 2018, to January 6, 2019 (black-out dates on December 24 and 31, 2018).

For guests who wish to celebrate Christmas Eve in the hotel, rates begin at Php 13,300++ for stays passing through December 24, 2018. Guests who wish to ring in the New Year can book with rates beginning at Php 15,000 for stays passing through December 31, 2018.


‘Tis the season for festive fun with the family at Shangri-La Residences at the Fort, Manila for guests who prefer a staycation in a spacious, serviced and fully equipped one-or two-bedroom Residence. The offer includes the following: complimentary buffet breakfast for two (2) persons at High Street Cafe, daily complimentary access to Adventure Zone for up to two (2) children, complimentary local landline calls and late check-out until 2 p.m. Rates start from Php 15,000++ or Php 18,000 ++ for a one- or two-bedroom Residence respectively.

All room rates are quoted in Philippine pesos, subject to service charge and prevailing local government taxes. Advanced bookings are highly encouraged. For room reservations and further information, please call (63 2) 820 0888, email or visit




Christmas Buffet

Hotel Jen Manila ushered the yuletide season with its Christmas tree lighting ceremony held on 15 November 2018. Hotel Manager Frencie Duadua led the ceremony together with the owners Ms. Kitchie Benedicto, Ms. Pia Ongsiako and Mr. Juan Miguel Ongsiako. The event also kicked off the Holiday season for the hotel with the best staycation deal, festive delights, specially-crafted goodies and a spectacular countdown party overlooking Manila Bay.

Araw-Araw ay Pasko Staycation Package: Snuggle up in a comfortable room and celebrate Christmas in the heart of the city from December 1 to 30, 2018, and get the best staycation rate starting at Php 4,000++ for a Deluxe Room. This includes buffet breakfast for two at Latitude, complimentary scheduled shuttle service to SM Mall of Asia, complimentary parking and valet services, complimentary use of the pool and fitness center and unlimited and unrestricted Wi-Fi access.

Gingerbread House

Magsalo na Tayo at Latitude: Latitude, Hotel Jen Manila’s all-day dining restaurant, will be offering a hearty holiday feast with an array of fresh seafood, succulent carveries and decadent desserts. Along with the wide range of international dishes, the special buffet will include seasonal offerings such as Glazed Ham, Lechon on the carving station; classic Yule Log Cakes, Gingerbread cookies and more. From December 16 to 23 and 26 to 30, lunch buffet is priced at Php 1,000 nett per person while dinner buffet is priced at Php 1,200 nett per person from December 15 to 23 and 26 to 30. From December 24 to 25, 31 and January 1, 2019, buffet lunch is priced at Php 1,200 nett per person and Php 1,500 nett per person for buffet dinner. An á la carte menu is available upon request

For inquiries and advance reservations, please call (632) 795 8888 or email Visit Hotel Jen Manila’s website at and @HotelJenManila on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, for updates and promotions.


ABI of Team Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure:  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.

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