Saturday, September 10, 2011

MAXIMS TOWER - Hotel at Resorts World Manila

Maxims Tower Hotel in Manila

Maxims Tower hotel in Manila is an all suite luxury hotel that opened in late 2010 in the Newport City development next to Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines. Maxims Manila is integrated into the Resorts World Manila (RWManila) complex which has a popular casino and shopping arcades and is connected to the Manila Marriott Hotel.  (Update: The Remington Hotel has also opened next door.)  RWManila is a joint venture between Alliance Global a listed conglomerate associated with Andrew Tan probably known more for Megaworld and Genting Hong Kong (formerly Star Cruises).  RWManila was conceived as an integrated entertainment resort similar to Resorts World Genting in Malaysia and Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore.


Boutiques at Maxims Tower ground floor
The Marriott hotel is connected to Maxims

Maxims Tower Hotel Rates

A Maxims Suite has a listed rack rate of $300 per night not including 12% VAT and 10% service charge but a discount of up to 40% might be availed of for elite Resorts World members, a designation determined by previous play at Resorts World casinos.  A discounted listing for as low as $170 has also been observed on a hotel travel site.  A tax exemption is granted to foreign guests upon presentation of a foreign passport on check in.  It might be worthwhile to call and check the rate at the neighboring Marriott for a comparison to make sure one is getting a reasonable rate.  If money is not a consideration, one also has a choice of DeLuxe, Corner, Executive, Signature, Ambassador, and Presidential suites or Royal Villa. Complimentary Wi-Fi, breakfast, and parking are included for all rooms.

Restaurants and Food Outlets

Common area
Impressions
Passion Restaurant

Casino area

Cameras are not allowed in the casino area.  More restaurants can be found in the integrated Newport Mall, Marriott hotel, and other nearby Newport City buildings.

Contact Information

Telephone: (+632) 908-8888 or (+632) 908-8000 loc. 8220
Website: http://www.rwmanila.com/hotels-at-resorts-world-manila/maxims-tower
Email: maximshotel@rwmanila.com


Notes

Is Maxims Tower one of the best hotels in Manila? The Department of Tourism hasn't given it yet an official hotel rating, but the facilities for the most part raise it to the level of a top class hotel.  On the other hand one gets the impression the Maxims hotel plays a largely complementary or secondary role in the Resorts World complex which mainly revolves around its casino. Indeed the Maxims Tower does not have much of a hotel lobby or reception area to speak of.  Rather the foyer doubles as an entrance for the mall.  A small desk on the side, manned by a kind but also very busy individual who is constantly on the phone, serves as reception (Update: replaced recently by a larger more formal and better staffed reception desk).  For a self-proclaimed six-star luxury hotel this is likely to make for a disappointing first impression.  Early hotel reviews also seem to indicate the staff aren't as polished as they could be.  Still the slightly larger rooms, new facilities, and touted butler service might go some way to make up for it.

Casino at Maxims Tower Resorts World Manila

The casino is reputed to be the largest casino in the country and hosts a leg of the Asian Poker Tour.  It's a lively venue with a live band or show of some sort usually performing at Bar 360 in the middle of the casino area with gaming tables to one end, slot machines on the other, and restaurants tucked away on one side.  People are encouraged to become members.  Upon membership they are given membership cards which allow them to earn points by gambling at the casino, the points can then be redeemed for rewards and discounts.  With such perks RWManila has become a popular gaming destination but it is likely to face stiff competition in the future when a planned casino development hub along Roxas Boulevard is completed. 



Related

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kanin Club

Kanin Club photo
Earlier Kanin Club Alabang location.  It has since moved to another building very close by.

Kanin Club is a restaurant serving Filipino cuisine.  It was founded in 2005 by two couples, Anthony and Emely Mendoza, and Tony Cancio and Mariela Luna who are also the owners of Cafe Breton.  The story goes that Anthony and his friends after cycling around Laguna would regularly stop by the cafĂ© owned by Tony, a fellow biking enthusiast, to rest and replenish but felt that the crepes on offer weren't enough to satisfy them.  Instead they wanted something heartier—rice.  Thus Kanin Club the Filipino restaurant was born.    

For impressions and a restaurant review Kanin Club's branch at Westgate Alabang Muntinlupa was visited. Its other branch locations are its original branch in Santa Rosa, Laguna, UP-Technohub in Quezon City, F7 Building Scout Rallos Quezon City, Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati and The Hub Greenfield District in Mandaluyong.

Contact Info and Schedule
  • Kanin Club Paseo de Sta. Rosa - Tel: (049) 544-0332 Weekdays: 11am-2:30pm 5-10pm Weekends, Holidays: 11am-10pm 
  • Kanin Club Westgate, Alabang - Tel: (02) 771-1400 Weekdays: 11am-2:30pm 5:30-10:30pm Weekends, Holidays: 11am-10:30pm 
  • Kanin Club UP-Technohub, QC - Tel: (02) 332-5978 Daily: 11am-10pm
  • Kanin Club Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati - Tel.: (02) 621-6109 Daily: 11am-10pm
  • Kanin Club The Hub Greenfield, Mandaluyong - Tel.: (02) 631-0081

Notes

Ambiance
The Kanin Club Alabang branch is relatively small—cozy or cramped depending on one's mood and the number of other patrons.  Its interior evokes something between an Old Manila and a 70s retro chic with the capiz panels under the glass tabletops, wood tables and benches, colored stained glass windows, bright Filipino food-related expressionist paintings, and prominent wooden counter.

Food
Kanin Club's menu is composed mainly of Filipino food with a smattering of foreign inspired dishes that have become popular locally.  The food was good and a distinct interpretation usually with a twist on standard Filipino recipes was noticeable.  We ordered the crispy dinuguan, seafood kare-kare, tinapa rice, and a sago't gulaman shake.  The crispy dinuguan seems to be a popular choice, but while agreeable enough, I must confess a little disappointment with it.  The crispiness of the pork bits of dinuguan is novel but it brought to mind a comparison with chicharon, making me think of the dish as more appetizer than main course.  The mildness of the dark blood sauce was also perhaps too innocuous.  Dinuguan while standard Filipino fare could be seen as a little more on the daring side for those new to Filipino cuisine and I found myself missing the stronger sour and spicy taste of a standard interpretation of the dish.

Kanin Club Kare-Kare
Seafood Kare-Kare
Kanin Club Dinuguan
Dinuguan

The seafood kare-kare was more impressive with a bolder flavor than what one often finds; the distinct taste of what seemed like coconut came off well.  I do wonder though if the rich sauce will stand up well to repeated tastings or become cloying if eaten too much too soon.  The tinapa rice was fine with the smoked flavor of the fish being delicately balanced with the aromatics in the fried rice.

Kanin Club Tinapa Rice
Tinapa Fried Rice

Service and Value
Service could have been more attentive but was otherwise okay.  The price of the meal was within a reasonable range.

Other Filipino casual dining restaurants similar to Kanin Club in serving slightly more sophisticated Filipino dishes would be Abe, Crisostomo, and Serye.

More Information