Why you’ll love the Discovery Primea
The brand new Discovery Primea is 68-stories high overlooking the business and shopping district of Makati. The land was acquired from ex-Miss Universe Armi Kuusela and her Pinoy husband Virgilio Hilario. Still in its infancy (it opened in February 2015 and took 12 years to build) the hotel has a few projects in the pipeline due to open in the next 12 months – namely the cigar lounge and fine dining restaurants on the 16th floor.
The warm welcome as we checked in to Discovery Primea was exceptional. On top of this was the fact that we had space to spread out in our gorgeous Executive Suite complete with open-plan kitchen/dining room that included a dishwasher, sink, washing machine, hob and oven.
The hotel offers a 24-hour nanny service, which we booked in order to enjoy dinner for two on the first night. The nannies undergo stringent background checks and are all employed in the housekeeping department, so they already have a strong relationship with the hotel. Our nanny was presentable and very sweet with the kids.
My husband and I snuck off to the spa while the kids were with the babysitter. The Terazi Spa is brand new, with a huge treatment room and very calming ambience. I loved the foot wash and treatment at the beginning of the massage which set the tone for a totally zen experience.
However, the best thing about Discovery Primea for me was the Salad Room in the Tapenade Restaurant. I have yet to find anything like this in the Manila and I will definitely return for my guilt free pleasures. The Salad Room brims with platters of cured hams, cold cuts, cheeses, nuts, dried fruit, oils, vinegars, a plethora of leafy salads, sashimi, and best of all – all you can eat oysters. It is the healthiest place to eat in Makati and so delicious.
Looking for things to do in Manila with Kids? Take a look at our suggestions.
Why the kids will love the Discovery Primea
Maya (4) and Gillan (1) are now seasoned travellers, fun seekers and masters of mischief! It is wonderful when we stay somewhere that offers something distinctive to amaze their little minds. The TVs in the bath at the Discovery Suites offered that unique quirk which had Maya soaking in the suds for hours.
Due to living in a hot country I rarely take a warm bath and favour a cold shower. However the temptation of watching “Scrubs” whilst in the tub was too much for me. However, my moment of “me time” was totally hijacked when Maya decided to come in for a second dip.
The hotel also provided a cot for Gillan and a pushchair. This was ideal for our morning walk around the Ayala Triangle, a little park opposite the hotel fringed with cafes and restaurants where the locals practice morning Tai Chi and Martial Arts.
Huge art works and tapestries adorn the lobby area whose grand entrance hall offers a warm welcome to guests. The suites are neutrally decorated, and easy on the eye with fantastic views over the city. If I wanted to watch the Christmas fireworks as a family from the comfort of a living room this would be a great option.
There are four categories of suites at the Discovery Primea:
Best Rooms For Families: The Executive Suite and the Premier Suite are best for families owing to the space. The Premier Suites have two bedrooms.
For me it was all about the Salad Bar in The Tapenade restaurant with its buffet of all you can eat oysters, leafy green salads, mixed dried fruits and nuts, cold cuts, cheese platters and array of oils and vinegars. Healthy options are a novelty in the city so it was a lovely surprise to find such a gem in Makati. I would be lured back every weekend by the oysters if I had the time.
The Tapenade restaurant also offers a selection of Western meals with a European flavour. There are pizzas and pastas for the kids and high chairs available.
The Gilarmi Lounge offers interesting cocktails alongside a huge selection of TWG teas. The lounge is flanked by huge windows which look out onto decorative fountains bordering the bustling street. It’s a relaxing little haven to take a break from the busy city.
Due to launch in December 2015 is The Edge a garden lounged located on the 16th floor.
Also set to launch at the end of 2015 is Flame, that promises contemporary continental cuisine and a view overlooking the Makati Skyline.
1824 is a cigar and whisky bar.
For Kids: The Tapenade Restaurant in particular has a number of dishes that kids will like. There is no specific kids’ menu.
The hotel has a great swimming pool and the spa is fantastic. There is also a very well-equipped gym. Nearby are a number of activities that the entire family will enjoy.
The Ayala Museum, located opposite the hotel, is a really interesting museum with a brilliant display on the second floor ideal for children to grasp a little about the history of the Philippines. A series of dioramas (3D models) bring to life major events and themes in The Philippines’ history and are a great way for the kids to learn about the country. The models are also available view via this Google Art Project.
The Greenbelt Mall, also opposite the Discovery Primea, is a lovely place for families to spend a few hours. Ponds, rivers, and public art sculptures are interspersed between the shops. There are even terrapins and giant Koi in the ponds to amuse the kids as well as huge metal Buffalo sculptures which my daughter loves to climb.
Just alongside Greenbelt 3 there is a new kids’ playground with interesting sculptures to climb on and explore. Greenbelt also has a kids’ play-centre where kids from 4 years onwards can be left by parents and accompanied by the play-centre staff (kids under the age of four need guardian supervision).
We took Maya to Kevin’s Toys and Library at Greenbelt 4 (4th floor) where she happily spent a couple of hours playing while we shopped. These play-centres have finger print technology for collecting the children at the end of their play so are also a very safe option.
Ayala Triangle There isn’t much green space in Makati, however, if you want to take a break from the busy city then the lush gardens of Ayala Triangle make a lovely refuge. This is a great place for picnics, people-watching and playing with the kids. We took a couple of balls down to play catch with Gillan and Maya and ended up meeting up with a very friendly dog owner who the kids ended up playing Frisbee with. The restaurants that fringe the triangle offer refreshments and a place to sit in the shade. At Christmas time there is a spectacular light and sound show here which is free to experience.
A/C, babysitting available for an additional charge, common rooms, handful of baby cots available, doctor on call, laundry, pushchair-friendly (and pushchairs to borrow), shop, spa, swimming pool, travel desk, Wheelchair access WiFi (complimentary and available throughout the property).
Environmental measures and social responsibility: WWF Partner. The company also has an outreach project for out of school youths in neighbouring province Cavite.
When to go:
The best time to visit the Philippines is between December and February in the cooler months. The wet season is from June onwards. Be careful travelling in the months from September to December as this is when the typhoon season is. Temperatures range from 27 – 40+. Avoid travelling during the busy holy weeks of Easter and Christmas.
Location & Travel:
Discovery Primea Makati is located in Makati City, dubbed the country’s Central Business District. Makati City is one of the 16 cities that make up Metro Manila in The Philippines.
Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport is the closest airport (also known as Manila International Airport). It is one of the two international airports serving the Metro Manila Area and is the main international gateway to the Philippines. The hotel can assist with airport transfers. The hotel is just under 9km from the airport.
1) Eat lunch at the Salad Bar.
2) Use the hotels’ babysitting service so that you can try the couples massage at the spa.
3) Take an evening stroll around Ayala Triangle with the kids to catch the evening ambiance.
Disclosure: Philippa and her family received one night complimentary stay in addition to complimentary meals and drinks and a complimentary massage. As always, all opinions are entirely our own.