Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Avista Hideaway Resort & Spa: Beautiful and grand, BUT...

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Inside Vista, the resort's main restaurant.

With hundreds of hotels scattered all around Phuket, it was quite the task to choose where to stay. And although we were already set at staying in the island's tourist central, Patong Beach, picking a hotel was still a challenge. So we decided on splitting our 5-night stay in 2 hotels, the first of which was the wonderful BYD Lofts and the other one set farther away from the beach atop the hills--the 5-star Avista Hideaway Resort & Spa, where we spent a very short 2 nights.

Let me break our whole experience down into sections.

Monday, May 26, 2014

An hour-long visual extravaganza at Phuket Simon Cabaret

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Yeah, I found myself a statuesque lady while we were in Phuket a couple of weeks ago. No wait, it's a boy. No, a ladyboy!

We decided to watch Phuket Simon Cabaret on a whim. We just knew it to be a show featuring beautiful ladyboys lip-synching to some song in elaborate production numbers. Funny how quickly we dismissed the idea of watching it back in 2010, thinking marami namang ganiyan sa Pinas (referring to the fact that we also have a lot of lip-synching gay impersonators back in the Philippines). But after watching the show, I have to admit that Simon Cabaret is on a totally different level.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Patong's charm

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Parasailing in Patong Beach.

Arguably Phuket's most popular beach, Patong is pulsating with activity and is, as expected, its most crowded. And for that reason, people either love it or hate it.

On our first time in the island province back in 2010, we skipped the presumed crowds and opted instead for the much quieter Bang Tao Beach and later, Mai Khao Beach up north. This time around, however, we decided to embrace the chaos and the loudness of Patong, and booked a really spacious suite at BYD Lofts.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

[Lookbook 05.05.2014] Neon against the sun

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Feeling like a don here at Avista Hideaway, even after I had just sweat out a fever. Despite the medical scare, I still tried to enjoy what's left of our stay at this huge resort. The sun was up and just like my little trip to the beach in a neon tee, I did so again on this occasion. Though both look extremely similar, they're of different colors; this one's a neon green round neck while the other was a neon yellow v-neck. To me such bright colors are just perfect for summer.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

[Throwback (Travel) Thursday 05.15.2014] Maria Cristina Falls once upon a time

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This intense summer heat always has me thinking of the beach, air conditioning, and water. Back in 2002 I had the chance to see the famed Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City. It was one of those "famous" tourist spots in the country that I only got to see and read about in Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) textbooks in grade school. And of course I was glad to have seen it for real.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Our 100 sqm of wonderful at BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel and Serviced Apartments

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A mere slice of our 100 square meters of rented space.

It's no. 1 on TripAdvisor not just in Patong but in the whole of Phuket for a reason. Thanks to a sweet last-minute deal, we got to stay at BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel and Serviced Apartments for 3 nights last week. Here's a rundown of our experience.

Reservation and check-in
You can always get a room from a bevy of hotel booking sites but BYD has its own booking facility, which was no hassle at all. They also don't charge you the whole amount until you're actually there but of course cancellation policies apply. Guests also have the option to book airport transfers with them but because it's a Mercedes Benz sedan (two of them actually), it costs more than a regular cab. There's also a surcharge if your arrival or departure is between 10pm to around 5 or 6am I think.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Checked out: Nurture Wellness Village

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A row of gazebos for outdoor treatments at Nurture Wellness Village.

A couple of weeks ago we tried out Nurture Wellness Village in Tagaytay. I've read so many good things about this spa so my expectations were naturally high. We stayed at a different place and only booked a massage at Nurture, so I couldn't say anything about their accommodation.

Overall ambiance
Nurture Wellness Village sits on a mostly downhill terrain. After entering the gate, guests are greeted at an open-air pavilion with tea. Trees are aplenty but the property is not entirely shaded, so there are several nice open spaces of grass. The gardens are well-maintained and nestled among them are open-air gazebos where guests wait before being ushered to their massage rooms. I suppose this is also where foot treatments are done.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

[Lookbook 05.03.2014] Sleeping with big cats

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Oh yes, despite the little big scare I had related to my medical condition (hepatolithiasis, infection and all that), this definitely made my recent trip to Phuket. It was just so awesome sleeping with some big mimings (cats).

Friday, May 9, 2014

[Lookbook 05.02.2014] Pool boy

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A day after hitting the beach with a neon tee, we opted for our hotel's small rooftop pool this time. I wore one of my recent Speedo purchases (where I really had to restrain myself because I was loving the pieces at their store). It's part of their vintage-inspired line that evoke styles from the bygone era of the 60s and 70s if I'm not mistaken.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

[Lookbook 05.01.2014] Away from #LaBoracay

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So last week there was this marketing contraption of an event called #laboracay2014 where of course everyone was expected on the tiny island of Boracay. The mere thought of beach and party-goers coming in in hordes is enough to drive me away. I've long graduated from that stuff and I can no longer stand such a crowd. Signs of ageing, if you may.
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