Yay Holiday!

We’re going on a 2-week vacation! I’ve never been on one that’s for this long (5 days max is my longest one) so I am psyched about 14 days of no work and all play!

We booked our Manila-Sydney return trip last March via Cebu Pacific during one of it’s fare sales. Our flight was a steal and cost only about 9k per person (inclusive of baggage but no meals). The plane ride isn’t going to be as fun since we won’t have entertainment, free drinks, and 2 meal services on the flight but who am I to complain when it’s only 25% of the cost of a full-service flight. We choose a 12mn departure and plan to just sleep the whole 8-hour nonstop flight. Nice dinner before the flight would also be so much better than airline food.

Just last week, we thought a few days to see other places in Australia sounds like a plan so we booked a SYD-MEL side trip. Thanks to Jetstar’s Price Beat Guarantee, we booked our last minute domestic flights for only AUD 100 per person. Because last minute accomodations are also pricey, we decided to try airbnb for the 1st time. We choose a 10th floor 1-br apartment in the CBD that had amazing pictures, can’t wait to see and review the place.

****Work in progress***

A preference for boutiques

For some reason, I’ve always preferred Hong Kong Island over Kowloon but maybe only because I’ve never stayed on the other side. I hate searching for hotels by foot so we took a cab from the MTR and was surprised when the driver seemed to be going in the opposite direction from where I expected the hotel to be. And then it dawned on me that I booked the wrong Butterfly hotel, I had meant to book Butterfly on Morrison but booked Butterfly on Hollywood instead. Ooops.

Not much I can do since I’ve already paid the whole stay, cancelling would mean forfeiting one night. The facade of the hotel seems promising and it seems to be in a nice street, most of the stores seems to be trendy furniture/interior decor stores.

263 Hollywood Road

263 Hollywood Road

I felt even better when I entered the lobby, small but tastefully decorated — reception counter on the left, chairs on the right, 2 Macs on a high table for their internet/business centre, a short spiral staircase to get to the lifts, beautiful christmas tree. They made the lobby feel airy and bigger by using glass walls.



A sign of great taste

A sign of great taste


Lobby view from the stairs

Plotting on how take home this tree...

Plotting on how to take home this tree…

Being on Hollywood street, the boutique hotel lived up to the same theme. I especially liked the hallway to the lifts — red carpet, painting of photographers and then they smartly added strobe lights so it gives you the illusion of being snapped by paparazzi as you walk and wait for the lifts.

The red carpet walk

The red carpet walk

Feelin' like a rockstar

Feelin’ like a rockstar

Brownie point 1 for this hotel is they allowed early checkin! They did tell us that the room will not have a queen sized bed but just 2 twin beds put together, we didn’t mind as there is normally no difference. Brownie point 2 is they upgraded us to a hollywood deluxe room (not much difference except additional 20sqft but still an upgrade is an upgrade).

Up to the rooms we go!

The lift opens into a directors chair setup in each floor’s lobby (pretty cute). The rest of the hallway is lit in purple neon lights and the walls have academy award winners listed. The neon-esque ambiance reminds me of a motel and while it doesn’t bother me much, it’s the least that I like of the place.

More Hollywood theme

More Hollywood theme


Lasertag or strip joint?

Like what you would expect in Hong Kong, the room is small. It was however a bit bigger than I expected. So now for the good, the bad, and the ugly…

The room has a trendy design — the celebrity collage and the reel mirrors are a good touch. It’s also equipped with a 40″ flat screen, iphone/ipod dock, personal fridge (smaller than the usual version), safe, hairdryer (though it seems to only have cool and warm settings), and water kettle (for complimentary coffee & tea). Free high-speed wifi is also available anywhere in the hotel and you can connect all your devices!


Pardon the mess!

Now, what are the things that don’t bother me but might bother others? There’s no real bath — shower/toilet looks makeshift like it should have been the dresser (tall and big people will struggle with this one!). The sink is outside the makeshift cabinet in between the fridge/safe and coffee/tea making facility. No dresser, just space with a bar, hangers, and luggage rack.


No dresser dresser.


Sink, Kitchen, Business desk all rolled into one!

This is me nitpicking but the elevators are a bit slow… but that does give you decent time to muck around.

Ah yes, selfies... again

Ah yes, selfies… again

Totally enjoyed my stay in this boutique hotel and I will probably be looking at booking Butterfly property every time we’re in HK.

December 2013 Adventures: HK Day 1

For all newly-wed couples, reaching that 1st year anniversary is an exciting and important milestone. So despite not having made any plans in advance, my husband and I decided to book last minute flights. Our requirement was somewhere cool, no visa since we don’t have time to process anything, and hopefully we haven’t been to — it was 2 out of 3 and we went with Hong Kong.

2012-12-23 10.35.32

Lance and me on Dec 18 2012

Since it’s last minute and the fact that it’s December, roundtrip HK airfares were crazy expensive. The departure wasn’t so bad at Php 1699 each but return trip was a whopping Php 13-16K. Now if you’re going to HK, it’s always a good idea to have a day trip to nearby Macau and I was planning on doing that anyway so I looked at changing the itinerary to arriving in HK and departing from Macau Airport — that proved to be a better decision and the return trip airfare was cut to Php 6499. This comes asĀ  a bit of sacrifice though as I was looking forward to spending that tedious airport wait time shopping in the amazing duty-free HKG airport. Oh well, 10k is well-worth a little more boring airport. Total cost of booking through Cebupac including web admin fee and 15kg of baggage for 1 person is approx Php 22k. **Note that you’ll have to buy a ferry ticket from Turbojet to get to Macau around $182 plus $10 web handling fee or approx. Php 1100

Departing MNL

First tip, don’t leave phone charger at the office. I actually had to make a very early morning run to grab my charger from under my desk. Lucky that work is close to home but it was still the opposite direction going to the airport.

Second, leave early for the airport (ok, maybe if you’re not waiting at T1). I prefer early morning flights cause there’s no bloodcurling traffic and significantly less people at check-in — but lo and behold, there was traffic at 6am along c5 caused by 3 brokendown trucks.

Third tip, eat breakfast and then sleep in the plane…. or you can also take your selfies once the seatbelt sign is off.


Ah yes, selfies…

Touchdown HKG! We arrived 10 minutes ahead of schedule and yes, we were flying cebupacific (early morning flight FTW!).

Touchdown HKG!

Touchdown HKG!

Christmas everywhere!

Christmas everywhere!

Fourth and best tip i’m going to give you, Unlidata Prepaid Sim! Hopefully, you have a phone that’s not network locked (it’s the reason why I invested in one). Find the 1010 store in HKG airport which is on the 2nd floor near the check-in area. If you just arrived at HKG airport, go through customs, collect your bags, and then take the escalators that you see near the carousels. Cost of the sim is $98 and comes with a 7-day HSDPA unlidata plan at 7.2 mbps. The very friendly lady even setup my phone — all this in less than 15 minutes. No social media withdrawal symptoms for me! Yey!

Also, here’s a link to the blog that helped me decide what prepaid sim to use: http://www.browngeek.net/2013/01/prepaid-data-for-visitors-to-hong-kong.html

Fifth tip, if you only brought pesos, you should change your money in Manila. It was 6.70 in MNL T3 airport and only 6.17 in HKG.

From the airport, I recommend taking the Airport Express train. Our hotel is in Central so a one-way ticket is $100. If you’re flying out flying out of the same airport, grab the ticket with return at a discounted price of $180. You’ll be in the city in just 24 minutes.

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Inside the train, all bundled up and ready to reach 9 degree Central

Check out my other posts for the rest of our December 2013 adventure!