By Lisa Niver Rajna and George Rajna

During the last fifteen months, my husband George and I have been traveling independently all over Asia. We knew we needed to return to Los Angeles for a family event in October so after being away since July 2012, we began to make our way back across the Pacific. Our last stop in Asia was Manila—capital of the Philippines—but we had a few issues along the way.

Remington Hotel, ResortsWorld
The Remington Hotel, inside the impressive Resorts World Newport City Mall

Our flight into Manila, on Air Asia affiliate Zest Air, was cancelled due to safety infractions. Passengers were therefore redirected on a two-hour Cebu Pacific flight to Manila from Kuala Lumpur. We arrived fatigued and a day behind schedule but fortunately our accommodations at the Remington Hotel were located within a few minutes of Manila’s airport. In fact, the Remington offers free transport from terminals one, two and three. Since we were flying to Bohol the following day, the hotel was an ideal location to spend the night.

Once at the hotel, we checked into the stylish and modern room meticulously maintained at a crisp 20 degrees Celsius (~70 Fahrenheit). The Remington Hotel is part of Resorts World Newport City Mall, home to an impressive collection of international cuisine and shops.

Resorts World could be your “first one-stop, non-stop entertainment and leisure destination in the Philippines that features exciting recreational thrills, superlative performances, unique events and spectacular lifestyle options.” Touring the complex with four guides, I witnessed entertainment everywhere! The Remington Hotel lived up to its billing as “cozy and superb accommodations for great value,” as one of three hotels in the complex (alongside the five-star Marriott and the all-suite luxury Maxims Hotel). The ultra luxury Royal Villa at the Maxims included breakfast, high-speed Wi-Fi, valet parking, entrance to the spa, use of the modern fitness center and pool in addition to welcome drinks; the stunning villa has several rooms for sleeping, a large dining room table and a private massage room.

Lisa in Cinderella's Carriage
Lisa in Cinderella’s Carriage

Inside the Resorts World casino, performances including acrobatic shows and live bands are often staged. Adjacent to the casino, I was entranced by Cinderella’s Carriage, situated at this locale to promote the October opening of the respective show. The theater seats 1500 people and has the largest LED screen in all of southeast Asia. It’s also the current home of The Voice of the Philippines.

I honorably sat in Cinderella’s Carriage and in one of the judge chairs for The Voice of the Philippines. I returned to the mall to check out the “Game Zoo” amusement center and the cinema. Later that afternoon we had a hard time deciding which restaurant to choose for lunch as there is such a wide variety of cuisines offered at this modern mall.

After spending many months in Asia, we were a bit surprised that entering “Resorts World” required passing through a metal detector followed by a serious pat down with nearby canine detectives prepared to investigate people and bags with their keen scent. Additional security included an elevator-room-key-card-secure activation mechanism. Later at Solaire Resort & Casino, we attended a travel event promoting tourism between Thailand and the Philippines; the escalator functioned only when someone stepped onto it.

At the Solaire Hotel
At the Solaire Resort & Casino

At the Solaire casino, Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” wafted through the airways while sounds of slot machines clanged away full time. And it’s possible to win here an Audi as they give one away every Saturday!

For more detailed information about how to prepare to travel to and within the Philippines, refer to Rissa Gatdula-Lumontad’s book, “Philippines: 100 Travel Tips.”

In addition, Ricky Tio at Cebu Holiday Tours tours can assist travelers with detailed information on where to stay and what to do once in the Philippines.

About the Authors: Lisa Niver Rajna and George Rajna are co-authors of Traveling in Sin and co-founders of We Said Go Travel. They are accomplished writers, speakers and travelers who are members of the Traveler’s Century Club, a unique travel club limited to travelers who have visited one hundred or more countries.

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