WHEN GOING MINI MEANS GETTING MORE
A BACK STORY
I always feel a bit sentimental whenever I pass by the area of V. Rufino and Dela Rosa Sts in Makati, because that’s where I first got a job so many moons ago. This was the pre-MRT era, when traffic wasn’t so horrible, but commuting was hell. I remember I had this favorite dark green longsleeve polo and khaki pants, which were my favorite pair because they were so comfy. Looking back now, however, I imagine looking like a walking tree because of that combination, maybe that’s why I couldn’t get any clients—or dates.
Thank God there was still no Facebook back then—ah the good old days.
So when I got a call from a friend who told me about the Mini Suites at ETON TOWER, which, coincidentally was located at the same vicinity, I was excited to check it out. It was like going on a trip back memory lane.
We booked on a Sunday, which as it turns out, is the perfect day for a staycation in Makati—there was zero traffic in EDSA, and because there were no offices, the streets were almost empty, but all the malls and the restaurants were open so you could really enjoy some quiet time in what would otherwise be one of the busiest areas of the city.
THE MINI CONCEPT
As a writer I’ve been able to stay at some of the best hotels and experience the finest kind of service you can think of. I think there was even a time, I was offered a personal butler. These were the kind of hotels that makes you never want to leave your room.
But on my personal trips, I actually avoid these hotels, not only because they’d probably cost more than my entire budget, but I’d rather spend my entire day exploring. So instead, I choose a hotel based on its location, security, and after my experience in Taiwan, I now make sure that it has a private toilet/shower room, and most especially the price.
Comfy bed and pillows, a great view, free breakfast, modern clean interiors and facilities like swimming pool and gym are already bonuses, but can be hard to find especially if you are on a tight budget.
Surprisingly, I got all these—and more at the Mini Suites.
The “big on quality but light on the pocket,” concept originated from the Mini Hotel chain in HongKong, and the Mini Suites at Eton Tower, brings that comfortable and convenient experience to Manila.
Mini Suites is managed by Eton Properties Philippines, Inc., one of the biggest and most reputable business conglomerates in the Philippines. The idea was to build a hotel where dynamic travelers can stay with access to everything the city has to offer. The Mini Suites is strategically located at the heart of Makati City that gives guests direct access to Makati’s interconnected network of walkways, easily unlocking the city’s day-to-night offerings.
The words “Mini” and “more” don’t often go together but at the Mini Suites, it really opens up the possibilities of bigger values—more comfort + more savings = more fun.
CHECKING IN: SMALL SPACE = LESS AMENITIES?
We arrived just in time for check-in which was 2:00pm. Since it was a Sunday, there was no traffic and parking wasn’t a problem and I easily found a spot at B5. Going to the lobby was just as quick as there were several elevators that only serviced the parking and lower level floors. Unlike in other hotels where you have to wait 5 to 10 minutes for the next one.
It has a fair-sized lobby, big enough for those who are checking-in as well as guests leaving the hotel and waiting for their ride. There are several couches, and a sofa where you could lounge around.
Check-in was fast, and I have to commend the reception desk for doing such an efficient job even though there were lots of other guest checking in. Speaking of guests, we saw a LOT of foreigners at the lobby, Europeans, Americans and Asian/Chinese, but according to the hotel most of their guests are still Pinoys.
If the lobby area does get full, you can also find some seats /couches in the adjacent lobbies of the Eton Tower, or you could have coffee at Dean and DeLuca.
The Mini Suites has a total of 368 rooms spread across seven floors (from 6th to 12th floors). The building is still pretty new, and they’ve been operating for three years, so the design interiors are modern, simple yet stylish.
Each floor has four Family Rooms (FAMILY CLASSIC), good for up to four guests while the rest are single (MINI SOLO and double (MINI DOUBLE) rooms.
For reference here are the sizes of the rooms and beds:
- MINI SOLO – 14 sqm: 1 single-sized bed
- MINI DOUBLE – 16 sqm: 1 double-sized bed
- SMART PLUS – 29 sqm: 2 beds; A Single & Queen-sized
- SMART LUXE – 29 sqm: 1 queen-sized bed
- FAMILY CLASSIC – 37 sqm: A Queen-sized heavenly bed and a parlor with sofa bed.
Once you enter the room you’ll find a kitchen counter, sink, mini ref, and overhead cabinets. Next is the bathroom with a glass divider to separate the toilet and shower. And finally you’ll see the bed, LED TV (with cable TV), a small bedside table, telephone and a luggage rack and that’s it.
Basically that’s all you’d need anyway. If you do need a working desk, a kettle, perhaps a hair dryer, or some other stuff, just advise them before check-in so they could give you a room with a slightly different layout, or you could just call reception and they’d have it brought to your room in a jiff.
Ours was a Mini Double room, and honestly, I found it really “mini” compared to the other rooms I’ve stayed in. The layout was good though, and the placement of the large mirrors made it look a bit bigger, so it didn’t feel cramped. The large window also made sure that we got enough natural light as well as a pretty nice view of the surrounding streets.
They describe their beds as a “heavenly,” and it is really quite comfy. Not too springy or too mushy, though I’m not sure if it was an orthopedic bed. I did get some pretty good sleep that night and have no complaints. The pillows also had just the right amount of firmness.
There’s a drawer on the bed box that contains a hidden safety box, and I do like that they put a small hanging shelf near the bed where you can place your smartphone when charging and fold it up when not in use. Another space saver!
The bath and hand towels smelled clean. In case you forget your toiletries, there’s a bath wash/shampoo combo dispenser in the shower and a pair of toothbrush ready.
There’s free wifi in all rooms and public areas and it is fast enough for browsing your social media feeds, but does take a while to upload photos on Facebook, or watch videos. Note that you can only connect two devices per room.
My only gripe was that there’s no closet, which was understandable, but I wish there was at least a clothes rack. There were a few hangers behind the door where you could hang your jacket/coat but then there’d be no more place to hang your used bath towels.
Other services include complimentary parking space for in-house guests, housekeeping service and wake up calls.
As for their facilities and services; they have a Gym and swimming pool on the 5th floor that’s open 24 hours. You just need your room key to access them.
The gym has 5 treadmills, 3 bicycles, 1 elliptical machine and some free weights. It has a restroom, but there’s no shower. The equipment my partner said still looks new and seems very-well maintained.
I’m allergic to the gym (haha) so I headed straight to the pool. The swimming pool is about 4ft deep, but big enough if you want to do some laps. There are several lounge chairs if you plan on catching some sun, or read some books plus a mini playground for kids.
The pool is shared with the condominium residents but we were lucky and had the entire area to ourselves.
The hotel itself has no in-house food and beverage service, but it doesn’t mean you’ll ever get hungry.
For our afternoon snack, we headed to Dean and Deluca and tried their salads and sandwiches. I ordered the one with the chorizo but I head that their Umami chicken Sandwich and Buttermilk Chicken were also really good. We then had some milktea from Alishan located just outside the building.
I took a nap and woke up at almost 8pm just in time for dinner. My partner didn’t want to go far so we ended up at this Chinese Ramen place, one of the restos you can find at the Dela Rosa footbridge.
It was legit Chinese, even the cashier didn’t speak any English or Tagalog, so she asked the Pinoy staff to take our orders. It felt like we were in HongKong again coz we were the only Pinoys eating there. I ordered the pork and mushroom rice (P280) while my partner tried their beef ramen (P300).
The serving was deceptively big but the mushroom rice was a bit too spicy for me. The ramen, however, isn’t the same as the other ramen you’d normally have. Its more like our regular “mami” or beef noodles, but the bowl was huge—more than enough for two people. We should’ve ordered the small one instead, because it really hard to finish it and I think they put on a lot of pepper.
Looking back, I think we should have just chosen one of the dining places within the Eton Tower like Dean and Deluca, Motorino NY Slice, Picnic, The Pigpen, Moshi Koshi, Bo’s Coffee, Big Chill or even that samgyupsal place on the second floor of the building.
There’s also a McDonalds, a newly-opened Popeyes branch at Krome tower and a lot of other restaurants just a short walk from the Mini Suites. Or you go a bit further and follow the Dela Rosa pedestrian overpass to the Ayala North Exchange Mall or walk to the opposite side toward Greenbelt and Glorietta. Now that’s a lot of dining options.
We had buffet breakfast at The Pigpen located at the ground floor, and there was enough variety to choose from. There’s a salad bar, a few bread options, rice, scrambled eggs, soup and couple of other dishes, plus juice and coffee. Enough to power you through your itinerary for the day.
WHAT ELSE IS NEARBY?
You are in Makati so everything you need from chic restaurants and bars, gyms, offices, and shopping malls is just a cab ride or even walking distance from the Mini Suites.
If you plan on going around the Ayala Makati area, the Dela Rosa Pedestrian Overpass is the best way to go because it gives you direct access to neighboring office towers like The Enterprise Center and the Ayala shopping malls. Greenbelt 5, for example, is only a 15-minute walk away from the hotel, while Landmark, Glorietta and even SM Makati is just a bit farther away.
Some of the nearby points of Interest you might want to check out are:
- PNB Bank: Inside the Eton Tower
- Anytime Fitness: Inside Eton Tower
- Ayala North Exchange: 5- 7 minutes walk
- RCBC – Yuchengco Museum – 600 m / 9 minutes walk
- Makati Medical Center – 600 m / 7 minutes walk
- Ayala Museum – 750 m / 10 minutes walk
- Ayala Triangle Park – 900 m /13 minutes walk
- Greenbelt Mall
- Glorietta Mall – 1.7 km / 22 minutes walk
The best part of all is that you can experience all these at the Mini Suites at surprisingly affordable rates! Accommodation starts from around P2K for Mini Single / Mini Double to around P5K+ for the Family—but you could get even better rates when you book online!
The Mini Suites may be smaller than the regular hotels in Manila, but thanks to its well-designed room layout, you won’t feel cramped or confined, and you’ll find everything you need in the room.
It’s ideal for backpackers, travelers on a budget, company representatives who are attending conferences, a family of four, or couples looking for a sweet escape even for just a couple of days.
I actually had such a great, relaxing time at The Mini Suites, I booked another staycation this week to treat my parents!
What I liked:
- LOCATION: The Dela Rosa elevated walkway gives you easy access to restaurant, malls, hospitals and offices.
- SAFETY: There are lots of guards in the building and the area is fairly safe to walk around.
- DINING: You’ll never go hungry as there’s a restaurant nearby for any kind of food mood.
- FACILITIES: Despite the “Mini” and compact rooms, you’ll find everything you need and the rooms are very clean and smell fresh.
- PRICE: Surprisingly affordable!
What I Didn’t Like:
- No closet
- WiFi connection could be faster
The Mini Suites – Eton Tower Makati is located at 129 Dela Rosa St, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines (corner Rufino Streets) You can call them at +63 2 8686868 or visit www.theminisuites.com for more information.