For Filipinos, the family is everything. And that is never more evident than when the Christmas season, or for politically correct people, the holidays, come rolling in. The father provides the necessary things, moms make sure the house gets spruced up in a festive mood and cook traditional and sumptuous Christmas dishes, kids provide the background noise of laughter and cheer while grandparents indulgently watch and extended families and friends drop in to share in the fun.
This is the ideal, of course. Unfortunately, there’s the harried lifestyle, busy schedules, the distance of overseas workers from their families, hassle of preparation and simply the lack of time because of traffic problems. And families would sometimes opt to have simpler celebrations or altogether shuck it and just order take-out food, while kids have their faces glued on their gadgets and parents would rather catch up on the much-needed sleep.
But there is an alternative that is gaining more ground these days. You can still have the traditional way of celebrating Christmas: the spruced-up surroundings, the festive mood, the delectable dishes and even the background noise of friendly neighbors and sociable people around during a staycation at your friendly neighborhood hotel.
“Metro Manila’s heavy traffic is keeping people from celebrating as they did in the past. They are now looking for alternative holiday venues that are easily accessible to all and away from traffic-snarled streets, especially during the season,” Brett Patrick Hickey, Seda Vertis North general manager, said.
Hickey added that this is what Seda Vertis North offers during the holidays — a convenient and comfortable getaway within city limits — with everything under one roof and just a stone’s throw away from two major shopping malls.
He said that during the holidays, more and more families are opting to do staycations, and also stay at the hotel during most social events like weddings, a debut, and a family reunion. To start with, a Seda Vertis North staycation up to 5 January offers a special rate of P7,400 net per room night for two adults and two kids plus holiday privileges.
And to reduce the stress of holiday celebrations, the hotel is offering a wide range of festive Christmas and New Year value packages for two to over 200 guests.
“We are also offering special holiday rates for guests that book two consecutive nights or more. During the week, we have many guests here to attend a seminar, meeting or to conduct official business. We have a healthy mix of business and leisure travelers — the best of both worlds,” he said.
For this season, Seda Vertis North Hotel’s all-day dining restaurant Misto now accepts reservations for sumptuous buffet lunch and dinners on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, starting from P1,800 net per person.
Misto’s private dining room, a premium Christmas table and a dedicated butler are available for groups up to 10 persons. At P35,000 net per table reservation, guests can indulge in Seda Vertis North’s wide spread of holiday specialties, a grazing station and the restaurant’s main international buffet. For those who like Chinese cuisine, Pin Wei serves an extensive menu of authentic Cantonese cuisine in a modern setting.
At the hotel lobby, carolers will set the holiday mood at 6 to 7 p.m. from 16 to 23 December and there’s the Meet and Greet with Santa on the weekends of 14 to15 and 28 to 29 December and the peak period of 22 to 25 December.
“More guests are choosing to stay in our hotel for the holidays rather than in their own homes. It only means the hotel becomes even more welcoming, enticing, and festive, and every corner is bustling; guest rooms, restaurants, banquet space and the recreational facilities,” Hickey said.
The hotel’s Straight Up roofdeck bar and its cityscape views are also a perfect party place for larger groups with its cocktails paired with a lineup of Christmas favorites like ham, turkey, homemade fruitcake and queso de bola cheesecake. The rate is at P1,500 net per person and a minimum of 50 persons with drinks unlimited for two hours.
For a party of at least 50 persons, the In Full Swing and In Good company packages offer a four-course sit-down menu, overnight stay for two with buffet breakfast and value-added concessions that are available from P105,000 net.
At P4,500 net per person, guests can enjoy the New Year Countdown Party on 31 December at Straight Up with free-flowing cocktails, a spread of hors d’oeuvres, carvings and desserts, a live band and fireworks.
Seda Vertis North’s holiday banquet packages are served at one of the spacious and high-ceilinged function rooms on the second floor of the hotel. No-frills to elaborate packages include The Simple Joys package, a four-course sit-down menu for as low as P1,700 net per person and for as few as 12 persons.
At prices ranging from P180 to P1,500 each, the hotel also offers Christmas goodies like chocolate chip cashew nut cookies, banana bread and gingerbread cookies individually wrapped or beautifully packaged in holiday gift boxes.