Crispy pata and silky maja blanca at the breakfast buffet. Attentive and hospitable staff. Striking interiors. Cozy suites. And just darn beautiful stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo. Last February, I stayed at this hotel for two nights when I visited Iloilo City. Kind of grateful that since December last year till February, I was in this city and Bacolod thrice, after a few yearsâ€™s absence. This staycation was just like previous staycations I had: a time to just relax. I usually take this time to catch up with online work or editing but not this time. It was just sleeping, reading a book, gazing out into the expansive view outside the window and being a breakfast glutton. Or just do nothing. Not even watching TV. Sleep. Eat. Read. Sleep. Eatâ€¦
A good high end hotel option
Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo opened in May 2018, providing a good alternative for high end hotels in the city. What makes the hotel ideal is its location which is right smack in the middle of Megaworldâ€™s Iloilo Business Park, location of the former Manduriao airport. It is just beside the Iloilo Convention Center and just a few steps away from the Festive Walk mall, restaurants, shops, an art museum, cafes and corporate offices.
I love itâ€™s interiors. Minimalist and inviting. Rooms are cozy with a comfortable bed and pillows for restful sleep. Floor to ceiling windows provide a sweeping view outside, especially if youâ€™re staying at a south suite. Or you can just close shut the black-out curtains if you want uninterrupted sleep. Thereâ€™s a gym, the pool and pool bar at the second floor which is the perfect place to stay and wait for the sunset.
The Marriott Concierge Lounge
Located at the 15th floor, the Marriott Concierge Lounge provides a more intimate space for guests who are booked at the junior suite and the Concierge Club rooms as well as Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite holders. It has stunning views of the surrounding area and, especially during late afternoon, sunsets are just spectacular. On a clear day, one can even see Guimaras in the far distance. Guests who have access to the lounge can have unhurried breakfast here and indulge on hors dâ€™oeuvres and light snacks early evening and cocktails later on. You can also spend a quite time here to hang out, read, or go online.
The first time I heard about Runway Kitchen, I thought it was odd to name it to something related to Fashion. But I had a good laugh when Nico, the marketing manager explained to me that it was actually named after the airport runway where the location used to be! Runway Kitchen is the main restaurant, where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. I like its airy and contemporary interiors and mornings are bright with beautiful light streaming in.
I do love the breakfast buffet. Lots of options that, I have to admit, I ate too much when I was there! I was such a glutton that I can just skip lunch later on. I never expected to indulge on crispy pata for breakfast but there I was, silently picking out chopped pieces, carefully choosing the crispy skin and a bit of meat. The main spread does change everyday so you wonâ€™t get bored if you stay here long enough. Being in this city, the Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo has its own dedicated batchoy station too!
There was charcuterie and several cheeses and nuts. Fresh fruits, salads and pickled dishes. I readily indulged in the homemade blueberry yoghurt and juices. And for dessert? Darn, you should try the silky smooth maja blanca squares! Too bad, it was served on the second day and I was already too full to have more. The other native delicacies like the biko, the ube flan and muffins were also good.
Itâ€™s the best place to stay in Iloilo
I really enjoyed my stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo. Itâ€™s actually my first time to experience the brand and I wasnâ€™t disappointed. The first time I entered the hotel, I was just impressed with the interiors, especially that I am an Architecture and Interiors photographer. The lines, the colors, quite sophisticated. Although it can be a bit intimidating that you have to go past a baggage scanner, the security staff was actually friendly and accommodating.
Once you get past that, youâ€™ll just feel home. The food is great. The deluxe room I stayed in was more than perfect and cozy. Best of all, its Ilonggo hospitality at its best. And you would want to come back again.
TIP: Visit the Lobby Bar. Not only admire the interiors but you should really order the Marriott Burger! Itâ€™s a big burger with a 200gm beef and juicy patty that I can readily say is one of the best burgers I have had in my life!