In the heart of Quezon City lies Novotel Manila Araneta Center, an Accor Hotels brand, making the property a proud member of one of the world’s biggest international hotel chains.
Conforming to the reputed quality of Accor Hotels, Novotel Manila has succeeded in establishing itself as the premiere four-star hotel in its vicinity with the highest ratings recorded in terms of guest satisfaction.
Officially opening its doors in July 2014, the 24-storey building runs the city’s largest inventory of accommodations on record to date with a total of 401 rooms and suites, seven sizeable meeting spaces, and the biggest function area via the 1,200-capacity seating Grand Ballroom.
Besides these, Novotel Manila features a spacious outdoor events place with the Versailles Garden, as well as a premiere lounge and an executive sky lounge with a 360-degree view of the metropolis.
When it comes to the gastronomic pleasure of guests, Novotel’s Food Exhange Manila has become an attraction all on its own. An all-day dining restaurant, the well-appointed food and beverage outlet has seven interactive stations, serving Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Italian and Filipino cuisine. Critics hail the authenticity of its food preparation, considering the daily task of producing menus from flavors around the world.
Perfecting both form and service in the areas of accommodation, meetings and banquets, and food and beverage, Novotel Manila lastly rolled out its crowning touch to complete its guest experience with the opening of In Balance Wellness in the final quarter of 2016.
Envisioned as a “serene oasis” right in the middle of Quezon City’s first and enduring lifestyle and entertainment hub that is Araneta Center, In Balance Wellness is comprised of two components—the recreational spaces of In Balance Fitness with its state-of-the-art gym, Olympic-size pool and Kids Club; and the rejuvenation and relaxation haven that is In Balance Spa.
Speaking with The Manila Times, In-Balance Wellness Manager Mischa Cruz explained what makes Novotel’s gym different from fitness centers in other hotels.
“All the equipment that we have here comes from the Italian brand TechnoGym, which is a premier world leader in the design of fitness and wellness equipment. We have the regular cardio equipment, the treadmill, and weights equipment,” she enumerated. “But what we really highlight in In Balance Fitness is the Kinesis. This is a weights exercise that veers away from the use of traditional weights in a single machine. It is an amazing workout because it combines cardio, strength, and flexibility training into a workout as short as 30 minutes, and will help you re-discover your natural functional abilities, while building strength and flexibility.”
Cruz furthered, “Some people think that weight exercise is only about dumbbells and barbells. But while these are the basic things that come to mind, the Kinesis that we offer takes care of weights exercise using cords, which you pull on for the same effect and more. It is also ideal for those with back problems because the exercise is adjustable, so Kinesis caters to everyone’s needs.”
The gym also offers Arke, a special kind of gym equipment that replicates activities one performs daily. It ideal for those who want to work on their core strength, build stamina and improve agility.
“The Arke equipment is actually comprised of small props—we have the bosu, we have the ball, and the rollers. No machine is needed for this workout but each component produces exercises that are specifically targeted to workout all your inner muscles.” Cruz elaborated.
Located on the hotel’s sixth floor, In Balance Fitness is expertly laid out to provide separate areas for the different stages of exercise. For example, cardio exercises have their own designated space with three treadmills, two cross trainers for elliptical, and two stationary bikes. From there, the other specified areas for training follow, with a well-appointed steam room, shower areas, and locker rooms, of course for pre-and post exercise.
“We are proud to say that our gym is fully equipped with the latest machines, which our guests can use with confidence with the help and guidance of our fitness trainers and certified fitness instructors. We don’t leave our guests to wing their exercises so that every single person who comes in for a workout is safe and gets the maximum benefit in their choice of activities,” Cruz mentioned.
Best of all, the use of In Balance Fitness is not limited to in-house guests unlike other hotels. In fact, it is open to walk-ins and membership.
“Or membership rates are very affordable too,” Cruz enthused. “Membership entitles guests to the use of machines all throughout the year, and even comes with three personal training sessions and two fitness assessments,” the manager informed.
A gym membership is also a guest’s key to free use of the swimming pool, spa benefits, complimentary parking, and a year-round discount on room rates, and food outlets.
Rounding up a day of activities—whether at the gym or at work—In Balance Spa is perfect for a final stop at the hotel’s fifth floor. Soothingly sheltered from the chaos of the city, this is where one goes to relax not just the body but the mind and soul.
An artfully designed enclave, the spa has four single or suite treatment rooms and four double or couple rooms. The single treatment rooms feature a single massage bed and shower room, while the couple rooms besides the beds and shower have a mini steam room and Jacuzzi.
“Our massage is very inexpensive considering it is inside a luxury hotel. It is only priced at P1,500,” Cruz noted.
Asked for their menu of treatments, she detaild, “We have a signature massage which is a fusion of Thai and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massages. This is perfect for those who suffer from injuries as it is both gentle and therapeutic.”
“We also have Filipino hilot massage where we use banana leaves, and hot and cold stone massage, which relaxes the muscles. Our aromatherapy massage, meanwhile, provides ‘sigla at hulay’—sigla coming from the Filipino word energy, therefore boosting and uplifting; and hulay to calm and relax.
According to Cruz, while it is not a requirement to go for a massage after a work out, doing so completes the balance of one’s body from being active to relaxation.
“This is why we run these two components under one team, because here at Novotel, we advocate health and wellness too.”
She also added that Novotel is one of the hotels that will push people harder to have a healthy lifestyle.
Seconding the very able wellness manager, Novotel’s Marketing Communications Manager Michael Sarangan joined in and elaborated, “Given the demands of the modern world and the changing environment, we want to be able to offer our guests the option to strike a balance in their lifestyles when they stay with us, and even those who work or live near the area as much as we can. Besides the gym and spa and other recreational facilities that we have, even our restaurant offers healthier food options to our diners.”
In winding up, Sarangan, who joined Novotel Manila with his extensive experience in the hospitality industry, rightly noted, “In Balance Wellness is certainly the perfect name to this serene oasis don’t you think?”