Valentine’s Day may be corny and contrived, but it has certainly not stopped the more business-minded among us from cashing in on the proceedings. One need only look at the restaurants and hotels that have turned all shades of scarlet in the past few weeks.
The fact that Valentine’s Day comes four days after the Chinese New Year ensures that everyone will be “seeing red” for next week or so.
One luxury hotel that has pulled out all the stops for a sensory overload like no other is The Peninsula Manila. From Feb. 1 to March 3, guests can book a room and show package for two—priced at P16,500 for a Deluxe room or P20,500 for a Premier suite. The show, however, won’t be staged at the hotel’s Conservatory or ballroom. Rather, guests will be brought to the RCBC Theater via limousine to watch the romantic musical “They’re Playing Our Song,” which stars Nikki Gil and Lorenz Martinez.
“Valentine’s Day is one of our favorite days, and nearly as busy as Christmas and New Year,” said Sonja Vodusek-Vecchio, general manager of The Peninsula Manila. “People like to celebrate special occasions with us, and this year we decided to celebrate Valentine for one full month with promotions that engage the five senses.”
The room and show package includes a range of romantic surprises that select members of the media were able to experience recently. As soon as we checked into the hotel, we were given a pink-hued cocktail topped with two rose petals. A souvenir picture was taken by the marble staircase leading to The Conservatory before we were whisked off to our floor.
This writer knew something was up since he was accompanied in the lift by several members of the hotel’s communications team, but he did not expect to be serenaded by singer Carlos Canlas who was dressed like one of the staff in a dark suit.
Turned out that this was just one of the come-ons of the hotel, one which will no doubt thrill girlfriends or wives, especially once they are handed a single, long-stemmed rose by the singer assigned to them. There were other surprises waiting in the room, including a bowl of heart-shaped gummi candies and a generous fruit platter of strawberries, two kinds of apples and a perfectly ripe peach.
Guests who book a night can either head to The Lobby for a Valentine-theme High Tea that will include heart-shaped pastries, chocolate-covered strawberries and an assortment of savory bites, or they can avail themselves of the three-course dinner at Old Manila with a glass of champagne and a bouquet of flowers before they are brought to the theater. If they choose the latter, the couple can still avail themselves of the High Tea the following day since they will be entitled to a late checkout.
The month-long promo was conceptualized by the hotel’s director of communications, Mariano Garchitorena, and 9Works Theatrical, in a bid to offer hotel guests more than the usual Valentine dinner.
“They’re Playing Our Song” is the award-winning musical by Neil Simon that follows the relationship of a straight-laced composer and a quirky, aspiring lyricist. It is based on the real-life love story of the late Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager.
At the end of the performance, a limo will be waiting to take them back to the hotel where they can enjoy the room and wake up to breakfast for two at Escolta, the hotel’s all-day dining F&B outlet.
Cocktails, a serenade, a good meal and a show. Flowers, fresh fruit, a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast. If it’s a Valentine’s Day overload you want, then you need not go far.