As part of my stay at the Hyatt City of Dreams in Manila, I perused the entertainment complex that comprises the property. Shopping, food, a casino and even a mini-theme park for kids hold guests interest.
Close to the airport (about a 15-minute drive in good traffic, about $6USD with tip), the City of Dreams complex is not technically in Manila, it’s just south of the city. Passive visitors like myself wouldn’t make the distinction… until you get into a cab and face the tremendous traffic.
Address: Asean Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard Entertainment City Manila, Parañaque, 1701 Metro Manila, Philippines
I’m not a gambler. Well, my investment account begs to differ… as does my terrible attempt at cryptocurrencies, but I digress. I don’t play table games or spin slots so while the casino was different than how I recall them in the US, it was, in essence, a blinging, ringing entertainment zone for gaming as one would expect.
It spans two levels, but what surprised me was how open the casino was specifically from the second level looking down into the rest of the casino floor. My limited exposure to casinos tended to be darker inside within confined environments.
It wasn’t the smoker lounge that some casinos can be, but it wasn’t smoke-free either. I didn’t collect any photos at casinos as that’s usually not permitted.
The animation studio, Dreamworks, has built an indoor mini-theme park targeted at children who love their films. My daughter would have loved it I assume. While she wasn’t a huge fan of Shrek, a character was walking around when I peeked inside and that will forever be a hit with children.
Dreamplay was reasonably priced at about $25 USD, offering 22 different stations including activities from the movies: Shrek, Trolls, Kung Fu Panda and more. If visiting Manila with children, this would be a welcome escape.
Restaurants and Shops
There is a limited shopping mall, mostly high-end shops which do not compete with the Greenbelt mall about three miles or thirty-minutes drive away in Makati nor the breadth of the largest mall in the Philippines, the SM Megamall not far from the property.
- Rimowa – In addition to shopping for luggage, basic repairs can be made to handles, locks, and wheels in the shop.
- Nobu – The famed Japanese restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – I did not eat here without my wife for lack of a better couch to spend the holidays on. Omikase seemed reasonably priced at about $110/person given the venue and quality. I realize that is very expensive generally, but for a chance to eat at Nobu, it seemed appropriate to me.
- Starbucks – I am a creature of habit, there is a Starbucks within a five-minute walk from the hotel lifts.
One of my favorite things about Megamalls in Asia is their fantastic food courts. As they increase in popularity (malls seem to be strong as ever in Asia in contrast to the US brick and mortar retail sector). This is not a megamall but they have done something great with the Garage, a small vendor food court.
Set up as small outlets or stationary food trucks, coffee, Japanese, pasta and pizza, and desserts are available. The design is cool, the food is great and the prices are reasonable. If you’re staying at City of Dreams or nearby, this is a must-do for lunch or dinner.
Have you been to the City of Dreams? Is there something I missed? Is there someplace else you prefer nearby?