Friday, 23 November 2018

Grand Opening of The Peak at Grand Hyatt Manila (Taguig City)

The Peak at Grand Hyatt Manila

Bonifacio Global City, The Metro’s clubbing central, now has a grand addition to its roster of super clubs, private clubs, grills and speakeasies.   

Called The Peak at Grand Hyatt Manila (or simply The Peak), it is a beautiful, multi-level combination of a grill restaurant, speakeasy, high-energy whiskey bar and a music lounge, each a destination on its own.   

These, plus more, as it also has a view that can be found nowhere else, being perched on 60th and 62nd floors (each floor is two storeys) of the 281.78 m. (924.5 ft.) high, 66-storey and 461-room Grand Hyatt Hotel, the tallest building in the Philippines.

The Peak Bar 

The Peak had its official grand opening just last November 23, with members of print and online media invited as well as other guests.  

Inside the elevator, on the way up to the 60th floor, guests were serenaded, by the elevator attendant, with their version of the Frank Sinatra staple “Fly Me to the Moon.” 

At the lobby, we were welcomed and enthralled by a stunning and elegant interior inspired by the textures of traditional Filipino tattoo patterns, masterfully designed by Nao Taniyama & Associates (a Tokyo-based international design firm).  

Lounge area with leather seats

The feel of penthouse living 

The interior space, taking inspiration from organic nature and contemporary Oriental vibe, was not one big open area.  

Rather, its concept was inspired by penthouse living (where one room flows to another) with private, residence-style rooms with leather seats, set against the sweeping Manila skyline backdrop.  

Able to accommodate several intimate groups, it gave a cozy and laid back ambiance of a living room, truly a perfect spot for a night out with friends. 

Lounge area with Metro Manila's skyline as backdrop
Lounge area

Bartender at work
Cigars being hand rolled
Different, but still awesome, no two rooms are alike but all offer different de luxe experiences. 

A staircase connects the 60th and 61st floors. 

The pattern of the octagonal solihiya (split cane weave) is the prevalent design detail on furniture and panels and derivatives of it also form the woven structures. 

The solihiya motif is seen just about everywhere
Dining area

The Whiskey Bar has a spacious lounge where guests can unwind, a 14-pax main dining table and its own private kitchen, perfect for private parties.

A  rustic table with a top made from a single wood slab 
Whiskey Bar with its own private kitchen

The main restaurant is a grill steakhouse set with an open kitchen centerpiece where one can see how your food is expertly prepared by Chef de Cuisine Manuel Baenziger and his team.  And what an impressive array it was –Maryland crab cakes; succulent Coquilles St. Jacques (baked US scallop with mushrooms and gruyere cheese); artisan farmhouse cheeses with bread, cracker, dried fruit, nut and chutney; cured ham such as Pata Negra, Jamon Iberico from Spain, Jamon de Bayonne from France and Culatello di Zibello from Italy; properly cooked steaks (Australian Wagyu Rib-Eye, US prime beef tenderloin , etc.); grilled Tiger prawns with garlic, herbs and lime; and the best oysters (Fine de Claire, Belon or Irish) and the signature Chocolate Florentine Cake.

The open kitchen

They also have an impressive list of fine wine from California; whiskies from Scotland, Ireland and Japan; and French Champagne. They also offer hand-rolled cigars. There’s also a romantic open deck where you can hang out to watch the sunset (weather permitting), revel in the cool breeze and, as this is the perfect spot and height, to enjoy the 360-degree, skyline view of Uptown Bonifacio Global City.

Panoramic view of BGC skyline at night
Brightly-lit skyscrapers

To entertain guests throughout the night, the music lounge will feature international bands, DJs and other musical performances with Manila’s top bartenders serving the best cocktails. For the grand opening, The Peak headlined  The Legacy Band, with Lucile Bannholtzer and Michele Lurili, Clifford Myers, Thomas Gilbert and Rustein Merriweather dishing out hits from the 1980s (Bohemian Rhapsody, Dancing Queen, Play That Funky Music, etc.) to the present (Despacito, etc.).

Legacy Band

For more privacy and intimate conversations, guest can also settle on the upper level of the music lounge where you can still hear the live performance and get a bird’s eye view of the stage.

The upper level of the music lounge

This place was really an exciting place to see, hang out and have a good time, as it took us from dining, to drinks and then to an exceptional experience of the high life. 

L-R: blogger Mr. Melo Villareal, Ms. Karmina de Ungria (Director of Marketing Communications - Grand Hyatt Manila), publicist Mr. Pete Dacuycuy, blogger Ms. Ma. Joy Calipes-Felizardo and the author

Grand Hyatt Manila’s nightclub and entertainment center, this multipurpose concept steakhouse bar really offers the best in its culinary experience and impeccable service. 

Lounge area

Dining area

According to Benjamin Schertzer, Manager of The Peak, “We are excited to welcome guests and to show them what we have created for them; because we believe that The Peak is best explained through experience. From interiors, dining and live entertainment, there will always be something new waiting to be discovered.”

Dining area

The Peak at Grand Hyatt Manila: 60th and 62nd Floor,, Grand Hyatt Manila, 8th Ave. cor. 35th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City 1634, Metro Manila. Tel: (02) 838-1234.  Website: Email: Instagram: @grandhyattmanilaph. Facebook: Grand Hyatt Manila PH.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Bloggers Night: A Prelude to the 18th Grand Wine Experience (Pasay City)

Bloggers Night: A Prelude to the 18th Grand Wine Experience

The prestigious 18th Grand Wine Experience (GWE), the most illustrious wine event of the year, will feature over 500 world-class wines, spirits, beers and Japanese sake, plus a sumptuous, well curated buffet also prepared by Marriott Manila Executive Chef Meik Brammer.  

Organized by the Philippine Wine Merchants (PWM) and now on its 18th year, it will be held on November 16, 2018, Friday, 5 PM at the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel, Newport City.  

This year’s theme is “Diversity” to celebrate and showcase that no wines are ever the same and that each one of them has their own unique taste and are prepared in hundreds and even thousands of ways.

Check out "Launch of Grand Wine Experience 2018"

Bloggers and wine industry players gathered at the Wine Museum & Resto

As a prelude to the grand event, PWM again invited wine and lifestyle influencers to a Bloggers Night held at the Wine Museum Hotel & Resto. 

Our 7-course dinner, featuring an appetizer of croquetas (croquettes) and gambas al ajillo, a main course of crispy toro, fried chicken, callos and paella, plus a dessert of crepes, was complemented a bevy of wines, whiskeys and beers introduced to us by wine industry players (PWM, Fly Ace Corporation, Diageo, Chivas Regal and Booze Online, Inc.) who will be present in this year’s GWE.

Crispy Toro

Ms. Normita Franco-Wang
Ms. Tricia Apostol
First on the agenda was, fittingly, wines, and the first presenter was Ms. Normita Franco Wang, VP for Retail Operations (Concession Department) of event organizer PWM. 

She presented to us Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2016 (an excellent, very serious chardonnay with pie-crust and cooked-apple character; full body, tight, focused, beautiful and long) and Montes Classic Series Merlot 2017 (a European-style merlot, bone dry on the finish but full of tasty, savory and rather complex berry fruits).

Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2016
Montes Merlot 2017

According to Ms. Tricia Apostol, Product Manager of Fly Ace Corporation, one of the country's leading food and beverage consumer goods companies,   Casillero del Diablo, a widely recognized premium brand of Chilean wine which means the “devil's cellar,” was so named because winery  founder Don Melchor de Concha y Toro, spread the myth that the devil lived in the cellar to prevent theft.

Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

She introduced to us Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (a dark, ruby red wine with aromas of cherries, black currant and dark plums; very concentrated, rich in flavor, perfectly balanced, and boasts a satisfying and lingering finish) and Casillero del Diablo Devil's Brut (a sparkling wine with a gorgeous pale yellow color, is bright, very delicate and with small bubbles).  

Casillero del Diablo Devil's Brut

Mr. Ryan Asidao
Mr. Hamish Houliston
Now it’s the whiskey’s turn.  Mr. Ryan Asidao, brand manager of Diageo, the world's largest producer of spirits, introduced to us to The Singleton of Dufftown Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, aged 12 years, a straightforward, nutty, light and very smooth single malt whiskey with a warm pleasant finish; sweet and soft with a taste of summer and slightly nutty with a hint of raisins and wood. 

Mr. Hamish Houliston, Chivas Brothers Ambassador for the Philippines, focused on Chivas Regal Blended Scotch Whiskey, aged 12 years, considered to be the world’s finest Scotch whiskey. This exceptional whiskey had a great smell (flowers and vanilla) and, definitely, a great taste too, sweet, but not cloying, buxom, but not overblown. 

The Singleton Single Malt Scotch Whiskey 12 years old
Chivas Regal Blended Scotch Whiskey 12 years old

Mr. Chester Cabrera
And finally, there was the beers, specifically Belgian beers.  Mr. Chester Cabrera, Head of Marketing for Booze Online, Inc. (one of the leading companies engaged in importing and distributing global wines, spirits and premium beers), presented to us Hoegaarden Belgian White Ale (the key to its unique, refreshing flavor and spicy nose is real Curacao orange peel with a hint of coriander), Hoegaarden Belgian Wheat Beer (features the soft taste and subtle color of raspberries) and Stella Artois (a classic Belgian lager, originally brewed as a special holiday brew, golden in color, with exceptional clarity and a spicy hop character).  

The latter, popular Belgian brew was served in it own beautiful special, 16.9 oz. (50 cL), 8.5-in. tall, gold-rimmed glass or chalice, branded with the famous red, white and gold logo of Stella Artois, designed to enhance the beer's flavor by releasing the multi-textured aromas when the liquid is poured and increase the retention of the foam's head. An iconic work of art itself, its elegant "star" stem also encourages drinkers to keep their warm fingers off the cold glass, keeping the beer colder for longer.

Hoegaarden Belgian Wheat Beer and Belgian White Ale
Stella Artois Belgian Beer and its iconic chalice

Grand Wine Experience 2018: Grand Ballroom, Marriott Hotel Manila, 2 Resorts Drive, Resorts World Manila, Pasay City. Tel: +632 853-9894.  Fax: +632 831-7951. E-mail: Website: Facebook: For tickets, contact Jorge Joseph 09178537501 & use the discount/referral code: JORGEJ. The rate for the Grand Wine Event is Php 6,000. For registration, click here.

The Wine Museum Hotel & Resto: 2253 Aurora Blvd. (formerly Tramo Rd.), Tramo, Pasay City, Metro Manila.  Tel: (632) 239-4278.  Fax: (632) 853-5894. E-mail: Website:

Philippine Wine Merchants: 2253 Aurora Blvd., Pasay City 1300, Metro Manila.Tel: (02) 853-7423.  Email: Website:

Fly Ace Corp.: 7/F, Fly Ace Corporate Center, 13 Coral Way, Central Business Park, Pasay City, Metro Manila. Tel: (632) 807-9999. Fax:: (632) 807-9999 local 737 & 842. E-mail: Website:

Diageo Philippines, Inc.: 15/F, The W Fifth Avenue Bldg., 5th Ave., Taguig City,Metro Manila.  Tel: (632) 808-5921.

Booze Online, Inc.: Unit 909, Cityland 10 Tower 1, 156 H.V. Dela Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati City 1227.  Tel: (02) 895 7179. Website: