Staycation chronicles: Lofty!
My favorite thing about doing staycation chronicles is discovering a lot of different accommodation options to suit a variety of needs and budgets right here in Metro Manila. The latest property I visited would fall under the category of “unique and affordable.” Nope, that’s not a euphemism for ugly and cheap. In fact, I really like this one, with its stripped down minimalism and ultra-casual vibe.
I’m talking about AurumOne Makati, a modest structure at the corner of Evangelista and Del Pilar in the neighborhood of Bangkal. The area is not known for elegance and luxury, that’s a given, but it’s a decent one, which is supported by the fact that there’s a FamilyMart on the ground floor of the building. (Tangent: The kind of convenience store a place has is kind of my litmus test to determine its level of decency.)
AurumOne has a total of 64 guest rooms – 43 deluxe, 10 suites and 11 lofts. Their signature guest room, and the one I stayed at, is the loft. At 33 square meters, it feels bigger than it actually is due to its configuration, and because its lower level is furnished with nothing more than a convertible couch with pullout, a small table and two chairs. There’s a kitchenette with microwave on top of the usual mini-fridge and coffee/tea facilities. Drapes conceal a floor-to-ceiling window. Remember, this is a loft so the ceiling, from the lower level perspective, is super high.
Don’t expect five-star luxuries from the bathroom. It’s appointed with basic necessities and does away with any flair. Extravagance is not the point here. But it’s definitely clean and the lighting is fantastic just in case you want to take selfies.
The loft is a flexible option because it also functions as a serviced apartment that guests can book for extended stays, like a one-month lease, at reasonable packaged prices. Targeting business travelers, it is convertible into an office and it’s spacious enough for inviting more than a few friends over for drinks (which you can get at the FamilyMart downstairs).
Now, this sounds all good, you may be thinking, but the location is curious. I agree. But there’s actually a strategy behind that. AurumOne is a joint venture between a private equity group and the Kapatiran Sa Kasaganaan Cooperative, an investment-focused cooperative of OFWs. The hotel is a social enterprise that provides investment, job-generating and reintegration opportunities to OFWs. It is also a product of the concept of developing a hotel in a strategic location – Bangkal – which is part of the ongoing urban renewal in Makati.
The AurumOne loft is offered at the published rate of P7,800. Since it’s an off-peak season, it’s available for about half that price through their website, www.aurumonehotel.com. But if you want to get the best rates, check out Agoda, where the loft is listed (as of this writing) for only P3,017.94. To book, go to www.agoda.com/aurumone-makati/hotel/manila-ph.html.
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