main lobby of Park Inn Radisson (photo by
Let's be honest. No matter how grand the amenities are, now matter how posh and comfortable your hotel is. There is always this nagging feeling that you're somewhere unfamiliar.

You can't put a finger on it, but it's just the feeling of being somewhere you don't necessarily belong.

In Filipino colloquial terms, we call it 'namamahay" derived from the root word 'bahay' or house/

I always get this feeling when I stay somewhere away from my own condo unit. Although I usually get this feeling after a day or two. I still don't like to feel it in the first place.

After some observation, I realized that part of this feeling emanates from the fact that most hotels where we stay have the same dull, generic colors, mostly pale yellow, white, or cream.

These colors give the hotel a feeling of unfamiliarity and it's a glaring reminder that this is not your home, and you are just passing through.

Absent are the colors we use to make our personal space more personal and intimate. Case in point, my room wall is covered by pictures showing a barrange of colors. It gives me that warm feeling and it evokes happy emotions.

This awareness on the importance of color and the emotions it gives you must have been a top consideration in building the all new Park Inn Radisson in Lanang, Davao City.

Park Inn Radisson Davao is the latest project of SM Hotels and Conventions Corp., next to Radisson Blu in Cebu, Pico Sands Hotel in Hamilo Coast Batangas, and Taal Vista in Tagaytay among others. It is in partnership with Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the largest hotel chains in the world.

This 204-bedroom structure is basically a businessman's hotel but it threw convention and stereotype to the wind by providing a burst of colors everywhere, resulting in a hotel that mimics  just your own personal space: that space where you can just relax and enjoy. A space where you can be you.

This is quite apparent as soon as you arrive. Park Inn Radisson Davao's main lobby is the most colorful lobby I have ever seen and that's saying something given the number of hotels/hostels I've seen here and abroad.

It screams you are welcome and you will instantly feel it

Once you get over the hues, you will notice the bits and pieces of furniture that makes the lobby quite warm and relaxing.

Because this is a mid-scale business hotel geared towards visiting business and leisure guests, who are always out touring the gorgeous sights and spots of Davao City, the rooms are not as big, but each one is equipped with the basic services you will ever need.

There's also a gym and a pool, which is actually not present in most business hotels.

Security is tight and you can only use the elevators through your electronic card key.

For dining, the rbg grill is located the left side of the main lobby. This also serves as the breakfast area of the hotel.

Park Inn Radisson Davao is located in Lanang, just in front of the newly constructed SM Lanang and SMX Davao so the location is quite convenient for those attending MICE events.

There's even a walkway from the second floor of the hotel to the mall.

It is also close to various attractions such as the Crocodile farm and the outdoor events center.

I was really happy with my stay at Park Inn Radisscon because it provided the basic luxury and amenities I needed during my three-day visit. And quite honestly, I never really had to get over that feeling of discomfort at another hotel because of the warm, friendly and familiar ambience the hotel gives.

Add to that the very accommodating staff and my stay was simply memorable.

When I visit Davao City, again, Park Inn Radisson will definitely be my hotel of choice.

You know me. I won't back out of a good meal, regardless of the price.

I have braved the priciest hotel restaurant buffets in the metro, so I guess I can convince you that I am not a cheapskate, hahaha.

But I am also after value for money.

When my family asked me to try Yakimix at Robinson's Ermita, I was really hesitant. In my opinion, it has lots of similarities to Tong Yang, which I love, and which is much cheaper, so I was really having a second thought.

Why should I pay more if I can get something similar at a cheaper cost?

My family bugged me for two weeks, noting that Yakimix is always full of people whenever they pass by. A tell tale sign that it's worth my money.

I finally relented and decided to bring my family to Yakimix, and boy, I was really glad I did.

Contrary to my earlier assumptions, Yakimix is totally different than Tong Yang. While both restaurants offer smokeless grills, Yakimix's food offerings is mostly Japanese (duh), with lots of seafood choices.

The main strength of Tong Yang is it's shabu shabu and the wide selection of meat products, but this is easily trumped by Yakimix but offering the same amount of meat products with the addition of better-tasting Japanese selections.

I wrote in my previous blog that the Japanese section is the main weakness of Tong Yang. But at yakimix, you won't have to worry about that.

The tempura is awesome and the supplies of sushi (salmon, tuna among others) is endless. The serving plates are always re-filled so you won't have to wait.

Japanese ramen is also available and you can mix your own toppings.

Their grill section is also impressive. They have tuna, tanguige, bangus, and other fish selections for grilling. They also have sausages, bacon, and chicken satay.

Surprisingly, Yakimix also served lechon macau which I totally love. They also serve pork sisig.

The dessert section offers halo-halo, ice cream and several cakes such as chocolate cakes, tiramisu and Japanese buchi.

Looking around, you can see that the customers are really enjoying their meals. In fact, I saw several Japanese tourists dining in groups and they seem to be having a great time. If actual Japanese folks are enjoying Yakimix, then definitely, I don't have any excuse not to do so hahaha.

What I don't like about Yakimix is their package does not include beverages and you have to order it separately.

We dined on a weekend, so the price of the eat all you can is P660 and another P75 for bottomless drinks. But if you dine from Monday to Friday, the rate for eat and drink all you can is P520 and the dinner rate is P620.

All in all, I had a really great experience and I was finally able to realize what the fuss is all about.

And much as I hate to admit it, I enjoyed Yakimix a lot better than Tong Yang. That's saying something since I've been an avid customer of the former for several years now.

Edit: Since we first tried Yakimix, we came back two more times.

ticket machine at the Airport Link
Bangkok is the gateway to Southeast Asia.

And while the city itself is a major traveler destination, Bangkok, formost part serves as temporary stop to both local and foreign tourists who want to explore the northern and southern regions of Thailand, or simply cross borders into other Southeast Asian countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.

Majority of those transfering from Bangkok to other destinations, choose to go directly to Huamlamphong station as soon as they land at the Suvarnabhumi airport. Hualamphong station houses trains movingto Nong Khai (boundary of Thailand and Laos), Chiang Mai, Ayuttaya and Udon Thani in the north and trains to Surat Thani in the south.

Unfortunately, unscrupulous taxi drivers take advantage of them and charge a steep fee. As it is, taxi fares are expensive already.

A trip from the airport to the train station costs about 250 to 300 Thai Baht.

If your are one of them, worry no more, since transfering from the Bangkok International Airport to the Huamlamphong station is easy enough, if you have the patience and physical stamina for it.

After exiting the immigration office at the airport, go down to the basement level three towards the Airport Link.

There buy a ticket for the Makkasan Express costing 90 Thai Baht. This is non stop train to Makkasan and will by pass stops in Lat Krabang, Ban Tap Chang, Hua Mak, and Ramkhamhaeng. The train ride takes about 20 minutes.

The train is airconditioned and the seats are very comfortable.

At the Makkasan express, you will exit the terminal and walk about 100 meters to the MRT Phetchaburi subway station.

Hualamphong train station
The MRT system extends 20 kilometer to Bang Sue in the north and Huamlamphong in the south, near Chinatown and the Central Railway System.

The MRT ride takes another 10 minutes and costs about 30 baht.

If you are in a hurry to catch your train ride, then the fastest and most efficient way to get there is to take the airport link and MRT.

Taking a cab might be less strenuous but with the heavy Bangkok traffic jam, you'll always have that worry at the back of your head.

So to save time and money, this is the fastest route you can take.

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