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Monday, May 1, 2017

I’M Hotel: A High-Rise and Stylish Accommodation in Poblacion, Makati


The Poblacion District of Makati is quickly shredding the infamous red light reputation. Thanks to a fast growing number of trendy bars, quirky cafes and a roster of restaurants serving various global cuisine, Poblacion has become a mini traveler’s hub in Makati. Coupled with this development are the existence of hip budget hostels and classy accommodations ranging from 2 star to 5-star hotels.


One of the leading 5-star hotels in the area is the towering 24-storey I’M Hotel standing at the corner of Makati and Kalayaan Avenue.
A Wonderful Surprise

Do not let the low-key name of this hotel fool you, because once I stepped inside its well-lighted and capacious lobby – my attention was instantly arrested by the lavish set of stunning interior. Every inch of the walls and square meter of the floor space appeared to have gone through a detailed design planning.

My check-in process went smoothly as the friendly front desk staff mirrored the attractive visual vibe of the hotel. The pretty and charming lady gave me a waiver to be signed; “We have an open balcony so we just like you to sign this up”. I joked at her “I have no plans of jumping, so don’t worry”. She smiled back at me as I handed her back the waiver.


As the bellboy ushered me to the elevator and into my one-bedroom suite I finally realized the scope of stellar preparation and scheming that transpired during the construction and finishing phases of the hotel.

Spending a Few Good Nights

In fact, it was more than good. My room – which measures 57 square meters, screams of post-modern movement without stepping out of bounds by remaining within a minimalist concept. The brown wooden floors appeared perfectly bared against a few other well-chosen furniture consisting of; a dark brown dining set for four, a spacious couch, a wall mounted wide screen LCD TV, another table set and a standing lamp. The walls are perfectly adorned by wide framed artworks said to be painted by resident artists.


Because it was conceptualized to echo a living apartment elevated by five-star hotel features, it has also a counter-top sink, a complete set of cooking ware and utensils with a tall refrigerator and a washing machine to boot. I am only describing the living room and adjoining kitchen.


Inside my room another LCD TV is mounted on the wall fronting a king-sized bed covered with a 500-thread white linen and a mound of pillows. The light colored theme of the room is a contrast to the dark marbled wall of the bathroom. Separated by a sliding door, it leads you to the shower room and bathtub bordered with the toilet and the sink by a tall clear glass. 


 Anything I need to hole up for a few days is right inside my room. I told myself.

Wait, there’s more

While I’ve decided to become a prisoner inside my suite for the duration of my stay, I was forced to come out to check out the other promising features of the hotel.

I’m Onsen Spa and Massage


Travelers who have been to Japan or South Korea must have been familiar with the Onsen Spa concept. In the Philippines though, it hasn’t much touched the regular consciousness. Enter the first Onsen Spa in the country.


The I’m Onsen Spa is also the largest urban spa in the Philippines measuring 3,800 square meters of floor area and spread over 6 floors of the hotel. Using Japanese-proven carbonated bath technology; one can instantly achieve a super high – of the relaxing kind - right here. Options such as couple rooms, communal beds or en-suite steam rooms and hot tubs as well as VIP and executive rooms are also available.


I invited a friend Milky to also try out the Onsen Spa and the massage. Afterward, she was all too thankful as she describes the treatment she received as “Just what the doctor ordered to cure all of the stress I incurred this week”

Capping off our soothing experience at the Onsen Spa, was a buffet meal at the Bloom restaurant of the hotel. I’m Hotel currently offers an all-inclusive spa treatment with a buffet meal at a very reasonable rate. 

In-House Physical Fitness Gym


The hotel’s gym also met my expectations because as a gym buff for the last year or so (a ‘moving-on’ therapy that became a daily habit for me), I always look forward to working out even during my travels or staycation in the city. Because of the coziness of the room though, I wasn't able to go for a proper workout during my two-night stay at the hotel. 

The Instagram-Friendly Swimming Pool


The swimming pool that made quite a buzz in the Instagram world a few months back. Yes, thanks to its inventive acrylic-bottomed infinity pool, swimmers can do laps and survey the busy Poblacion Street below at the same time.

Giant cage-like lounge areas are decked over and at the side of the pool, giving you a perfect spot to chill after an hour of swimming. 


Going Chinese at Empress Jade Restaurant

Aside from the aforementioned Bloom Restaurant, I also tried feasting on a few mean tasting Oriental dishes (mostly Chinese) at the hotel’s Empress Jade. Along with another friend I invited – a certified foodie because of her job as a food and beverage consultant, we feasted over dim sum to an array of sumptuous Chinese dishes, including my favorite; the Triple Cooked King Crab with Bee Hoon.


Wondering about my friend’s verdict? – Well, she loved it and gave Empress Jade a high mark. 

I’M Impressed at I’M

Having stayed at many fine hotels here and abroad as part of my job as a travel writer, I could say I’M Hotel can hold its own candle against the others.

Location – check
Rooms – check
Onsen Spa – check
In-house dining options – check
Swimming pool and gym – check


The check marks goes on and on. I hope the management keep up the good work and maintain the high quality of service so I can continue recommending this hotel to friends looking for a place to stay in this bustling and happy part of Makati. 


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