6.360 Lobster, Maybe

6.360

31 (Thu) December 2015

Lobster, Maybe

1.0

at

(New World Manila Bay)

-Malate, Manila-

with the family

New Year with the Family, Day 6 (see previously 6.358 Pork Tenderloin Elaina).

After spending the first 10 days of my winter holiday in Seoul (see most recently 6.354 Christmas Special Dinner), the remaining 6 days will be here in Manila.  Arrived together Saturday morning.  The wife and kids fly back on January 2.

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New Year’s Eve at New World Manila Bay.

To splurge on the occasion, we booked a Residence Club Room (junior suite) for the night, even while my apartment is 2 blocks away, taking advantage of the 20% room discount thru my Club Epicure membership (see generally 6.266 Spinach Soup…), which includes a 20% discount on rooms (New Year’s Eve is a blackout date for the free room voucher).

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A view of the ‘hood from the 8th floor.

For the kids, the primary attraction at the hotel is the swimming pool, which we regularly avail by paying a walk-in fee (see for example 6.044 Lobster in White Pepper Sauce).

The one time that we get access as hotel guests, they’d rather play in the tub.

I left them to it, water running.

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A few minutes later, I returned to check the water temperature and discovered to my utter horror that they were splashing around in what appeared to be sewage water.  Fortunately, it didn’t smell bad, just looked dirty.

When I demanded to know why he’d stayed in as the water turned brown, DJ just shrugged.  Such a knucklehead these days.

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A bit more floor space…
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…but slightly lower ceilings, so not much better overall.

The hotel manager, who purportedly conducted an investigation with his engineering staff, later claimed that no other rooms had yet reported anything, and that nothing like this had ever happened before.  Right.

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Better view from the 24th floor.

Claiming to be fully booked, the best that the manager would offer was transfer to a larger junior suite on the upper floor.

Probably could’ve squeezed more from the situation, but wasn’t in the mood to raise a fuss.

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The Residence Club allows for expedited check-in and provides all-day snacks and beverages, including sparkling wine.

Did manage to get both me and the wife into the Residence Club for the evening cocktail reception, previously limited to one guest per room — seems ludicrous in retrospect, but must’ve made sense at the time, for reasons that I can’t now recall (perhaps we’d booked a cheaper room with limited benefits?).

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Dinner was at Market Café (see most recently 6.214 Lobsters, for My Babies).

The meal was a flop, to the extent that any of us even cared.  Arriving after eight, most of the good stuff was already gone.  The restaurant manager tried to compensate by defrosting a couple lobsters to grill, but the effort fell short.  Anyway, the grownups weren’t at all hungry, having eaten in the lounge.  And the kids were too tired to enjoy.  Oh well.

In the end, the manager — incidentally, the one who’d sold me the Club Epicure membership — only charged us for one adult.  A welcome gesture, particularly in light of the crappy customer service response to the bathtub fiasco.

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Where I spent 2015 (in days) [compared to 2014]:

  • Philippines: 256 [259]
  • Republic of Korea: 58 [55]
  • Fiji: 12 [6]
  • Thailand: 7 [4]
  • USA (Guam): 7 [0]
  • Lao PDR: 6 [3]
  • Malaysia: 6 [0]
  • Jordan: 5 [0]
  • Solomon Islands: 4 [0]
  • Switzerland: 4 [0]

That’s 10 countries [12], including 5 [12 cities that I experienced for the first time (Subic, Chiang Mai, Amman, Honiara, Chavannes-de-Bogis), not counting 1 new city where I registered a meal in transit [Brisbane].

With increasingly diminishing returns on travel — same countries/cities, same flights/routes, physical/mental/spiritual exhaustion upon return — I’m hoping to stay closer to home next year — and by “home,” I mean Manila.

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Happy New Year!

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