Here’s where we spent the “Holy Weekend”: Solaire Resort & Casino located on Solaire Boulevard, Entertainment City, Manila.
Solaire (“breeze from the sun”) is run by Enrique Razon in partnership with Global Gaming Asset Management (the same people behinld The Venetian, The Sands, and Marina Bay Sands).
Every bit of the hotel is brand spanking new, from the decor to the gambling machines to the service (minor slip ups here and there, but forgivable at this time as they are on dry run). Heck, the whole place smells like a freshly unwrapped present.
To be honest, I wasn’t so impressed with the facade when I saw Solaire from afar. It didn’t seem at all like a highly luxurious place to play/dine/unwind. But I changed my mind the minute we got out of the car and were ushered into the lobby.
There’s something about the infrastructure’s clean lines that give off a modern, cool, spacious feel. Luxurious place to play/dine/unwind? Now we’re talking.
(By the way, I don’t know what constitutes a “Solaire VIP” but this exact spot is where we temporarily parked our car while we unloaded our stuff. Haha!!)
See what I mean? So much greenery in this area, too, and mismatched sculptures that add a touch of class to the place.
Here’s an awkward picture of my brothers by one of the said sculptures. Solaire is very abundant with fountains, too — they have several spread out across the complex. One can be seen in the above photo.
This fella will greet you by the entrance. I could’ve sworn I saw look-a-likes in Macau. (Read about our Macau casino and hotel stops here.)
Solaire (literally) leaves its mark on the marble floors.
Outside, Solaire is very “glassy”, combining glass in different shades and sizes.On a (very minor) side note, those bronze doors were too heavy to pull and push! Passing through them was quite a workout haha!
Here’s their main lobby. Obviously a lot had opted to check in on Holy Weekend, too, so my parents took a while to check in and secure our rooms. So while they were busy with check in, I took a look around.
They have the most amazing selection of fresh flowers around the hotel. This purple-magenta-light pink bunch is only among the few that I saw and liked. They have grander arrangements in the other parts of the hotel.
I surprisingly caught this walkway at a good time. At the time of our stay, it was forever buzzing with people who, like us, were all about trying to discover Solaire grounds. Solaire’s is impressive — quite possibly one of the more upscale, well-maintained hotels in Manila right now. (For me though, it’s still behind Macau’s casino/hotels on the “grandness” scale.)
There are so many nice things to see in Solaire, including their chandeliers and other ceiling decor. This one is located in their casino area. Now, photo taking isn’t allowed in the casino, but I managed to take a quick snap of this sparkly chandelier before I was told off by security. HAHA
More prettiness by the lobby. This particular one reminds me of those I’ve seen in Macau’s Galaxy hotel. I think this is especially pretty during daytime when sunlight hits the crystals.
Another one of their grand lighting structures. You may notice that Solaire’s lobby decor isn’t a hundred percent consistent, but it isn’t all over the place either.
Check out their grand staircase. I’m not quite sure where this leads, but I am guessing only VIP members have access to this area.
When you see this grand staircase, know that several of Solaire’s restaurants are nearby: Yakumi (Japanese), Red Lantern (Cantonese), Strip Steakhouse (American/Australian/European), Finestra (Italian), Fresh (Continental), Lucky Noodles (Asian), Eclipse (Bar), and Dragon Bar (Bar).
Of the mentioned, we were only able to dine at Fresh (will save that for another entry). We did, however, manage to peek at Yakumi’s menu and saw the CRAZY prices of the dishes. As in why-would-sashimi-be-priced-at-Php12,000 crazy!
So for our first Solaire meal, we headed to their food court (which was, by the way, too expensive for a food court!). The food court has six stations: Sapporo, Pan Asian, Hong Kong, Chicken Licken, Americano, and Patisserie.
No surprise here: I gravitated towards the Patisserie station. Cakes and breads are my calling!
Here’s what we had for lunch, from top to bottom (L-R): cheese nachos; hawaiian pizza; grilled burger; ube cake; ribs; sweet and sour pork; blueberry cheesecake; and a choco banana cake. Not pictured is Jae’s satay which he hurriedly ate to spare us from the smell. Of these, my family liked the nachos and the burger. My parents’ ribs and sweet and sour pork were okay. My pizza was served cold; ergo, terrible. The cakes were crap. All in all a highly disappointing line-up. I hope Solaire can improve on the quality of their fast food.
So after stuffing ourselves, finally, we check in. Solaire’s access cards are all inscribed with verbs. Ours were “dream” and “enjoy”.
More fresh flowers in the hotel room. I particularly liked this lime orchid. Isn’t it beautiful?
They even left chocolate treats when we stepped out for a few hours. I thought that was a nice touch!
Let’s take a look around, shall we? Starting off with the beds. The beds aren’t the most comfortable of the ones I’ve tried through the years, but they were all right. I liked their pillows though — they follow the form of your head as you lie down.
A little reading nook in the corner (which Jae took over). The marble table accompanying the plush burgundy chair was hella heavy. It can be quite a challenge to move around.
The cabinets contain the basics (plus my dress :p). Each item is marked with the distinctive touch of Solaire’s happy/feel good branding.
Even the boxes of snacks are distinctly Solaire. The nuts must’ve cost a fortune as packaging in itself was so obviously superior — they came in really sturdy plastic cases.
Coffee, tea, water, and other condiments to jumpstart your day. All these were neatly stowed in a cabinet.
I loved Solaire’s his and hers slippers! The “hers” slippers are smaller and lined with a touch of orange. They were so fluffy!!!
The rooms and the bathrooms were all equipped with abstract paintings done in black, red, and yellow.
All the necessities can be found in the bathroom. They do not have a bidet though, in case you were wondering.
They even have a chest of stuff from Aromatherapy Associates: shaving kit, shower cap, dental kit, nail file, mouthwash, lotion, etc.
The bathtub section of the bathroom gets its own soap: Imperial Leather from Thailand.
My favorite part about the bathroom: two big ass shower heads! <3 Bummer that I didn’t get to enjoy these fully as I had a hard time controlling the heating system. :(
Anyway, that’s it for the mini tour around Solaire. It was, generally, an enjoyable stay. The place can very much rival Macau/ Vegas counterparts, though I reckon it would need to up its game a bit to fully compete. Still a great step forward for Manila for venturing into something like this. :)
Watch out for an upcoming entry on one of their restaurants, Fresh. I hope I get around to working on that soon.