Eating In Style – At Half the Price

The Psychology of Hunger

The Psychology of Hunger

A sea of gastronomic fare set amidst gleaming cutlery, lit with chandeliers dripping from adorned ceilings, while strings serenade the night – it was a sight to behold and I tried to hold back the moan gurgling from my chest.  I look over at my husband and I know he feels the same.  I can see the same desire in his eyes.

A buffet spread in all its glory.

And we are paying for all of this gastronomic, marvelous, excellent (I could go on) – food – at half the price.

Half the price.

Oh, and did I mention, the setting is a five star hotel.

Sofitel and Shangri-la, Spiral versus Heat

Allow me to usher you to the world of the truly rich, where USD$50 dinners can be had for – yes – half the price.  But – there is a but – (and here it is again) but only if you are a member of the privileged set.

Knowing – just the simple expedient of knowing – would open doors that you never knew existed.

I would read about Heat and Spiral’s buffet in several blogs and I would be raring to try them (we-love-food) but when I see how much it would cost, I would choke on my longing.  Who in their right mind would pay more than $50 for a meal (per person)?  I figured I would not.  Not until a door was opened up to me.


I ask a lot of questions from friends.  Some out of curiosity, some just because… and it was this getting into other people’s business (ehem, sometimes people do like to talk) that got me into Accor Advantage Plus, the membership program of the newly renovated (now) French hotel, Sofitel.  With my membership, I got…

•    Up to 50% dining discount (this was all I wanted but they gave me more yey!)

•    One night complimentary accommodation

•    Transferable “Member for A Day” certificate – friends or family can swim in the pool the whole day and also get 50% discount on the buffets

•    Red Hot Rooms – extra special offers just for members

•    Discounts in hotels around the world (haven’t tried this but their partners are Ibis and Novotel, which are pretty decent hotels, I think)

Back to buffets – I love Spiral’s Sunday Brunch and the champagne that flowed freely with it.  Match this with the sun bouncing off its sparkles from the waters of Manila Bay, and you get a feeling of elation, the giddy, wonderful kind.  Spiral’s staircase (hence, the name) and fountains saw us return several times – during our anniversary, Valentine’s day, when my mom visited from the US, my daughter’s birthday (the kids ate free!), family dinners (my father in law got hooked and wanted to do this every month!)…

Only USD$240 (website price) for one year (I got mine for only USD$150), the overnight stay alone would have paid for the membership.  Looking around at all the affluence and all the affluent people, I could only think of wealth attraction – this is it.

Buffet prices are: breakfast Php1,127.53, lunch Php1,704.81, brunch Php2,318.94 and dinner Php1,950.46 (Sunday to Thursday) and Php2,196.11 (Friday and Saturday).  These are already net of taxes.  Remember, you pay only half with this card.  Do the math.

Club Edsa

I stumbled upon Club Edsa when I was looking for a way to stay in Shangri-la Mactan for less than the published rate.  While my membership in Club Edsa only brought me a 10% discount on the meals that we ate at Shangri-la Mactan, here are some of the perks that I look forward to enjoying with my Club Edsa membership:

•    Certificates valid for 50% discount on total food bill for two persons (eight certificates)

•    Complimentary cake and special occasion cake

•    2 certificates for an overnight accommodation at a Chi premiere room, with breakfast and massage for 2 (pay USD$200) (this I am really looking forward to and might just book a room for my birthday yipee)

•    Weekend packages that range from only USD$80 to USD$150

•    Free supplementary card

Heat, to us, is teppanyaki ice cream (think Cold Stone), chocolate fondue, selection of cheeses (quite spectacular), seafood – oyster, shrimp, squid, crayfish – iced or grilled or smoked.  And then there’s the prime rib, the Chinese station, the Indian station, the dessert station.  Heat has seen me through an anniversary, Father’s Day, laughing gaily with some good friends…  Service is exceptional, decor is tops, food – simply wonderful.

Buffet prices range from Php1,127 (breakfast) to Php1,293 (lunch), to Php1,785 (Sunday lunch) to Php1,490 (Sunday dinner).  These are net of taxes.  And again you pay half.

If you fancy dinners that have the makings of one of the greatest gustatory memories of your life, this may be the way to go.  Email me privately so I can tell you who to talk to.

They say that you get what you pay for.  If you are rich, almost always, you get more than what you pay for.

Be rich,


Article by Issa. Art by D. Copyright 2009.


Email: [email protected]

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  1. Adam Rasbury says:

    We are planning a vacation to the Philippines and want to get some ideas on some of the better places to visit with my family (including the kids). I have been told the Bohol & Palawan are both great. Would anyone here have an opinion on those places?

  2. Issa says:

    You would not go wrong with either Palawan or Bohol. Try to stay during the lean months and you would not believe the deals you could get.

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