The first five-star luxury hotel and casino in the Philippines’ Central Luzon region just threw open its doors. Rosa Ocampo appreciates the calming Zen design and luxe feel the property exudes
The property is located in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga province. It’s less than a two-hour drive north of Manila, and five minutes away from Clark International Airport. Attractions like the Nayong Pilipino cultural village, and various golf and country clubs are within a three-kilometre radius.
Midori doesn’t scrimp on space. Upon entering the hotel, I am struck by the expansive lobby, while spacious hallways, high ceilings and vast gardens characterise the open layout.
The hotel feels at one with nature, decked out with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that frame views of the sky, mountains and forests, and a Zen chic interior featuring an abundant use of wood and earthy colours.
This commodious concept is also evident in the rooms, with the smallest Superior Room being 43.4m2. My 52.5m2 Deluxe Room boasts an extremely comfy king-sized bed, an impressive pillow menu that included hypoallergenic goosedown and bamboo foam options, plus a spacious marble-and-wood bathroom filled with Acca Kappa and L’Occitane amenities.
The most delightful luxury is the bathtub in the balcony. It is best for a relaxing soak come evening, and a subtle scent of patchouli and clove makes it even more pampering.
The Taiwanese executive chef and his staff of 39 are in charge of the five F&B options – Toscana Dining, Baccus Lounge, Café Midori, Baci Bar and Cigar Maduro. The Cigar Maduro, aside from serving wines and cognacs, has an impressive cigar collection from around the world.
Breakfast and dinner at Toscana Dining were to my liking, especially the Japanese rice, local sausage called longganisa, and steamed shrimps. I also had sandwiches at Cafe Midori, which didn’t disappoint.
The hotel’s Wi-Fi is strong and constant, even when I was strolling in the garden.
The gym has a lovely view of the forests and gardens, while the Chan Spa has three treatment rooms for massages and beauty treatments that make use of Phytomer and Pevonia Botanica products.
For MICE and social events, the Festa Hall on the second floor of the Midori Entertainment Mall has a maximum capacity of 450 pax.
As I visited during the soft-opening, the 35m-long swimming pool, Jacuzzi and kid pool, and Sera recreation centre with four KTV clubs and three mahjong rooms were still under construction.
The casino, located in another building facing the hotel, was partially-opened. Touted to be one of the most modern casinos in Asia, the casino makes use of a Radio Frequency Identification technology that uses sensors on casino chips to determine the amount a player is betting.
Midori will also soon have its own helipad for private air transfers from Manila to tourist destinations like Palawan, Boracay and Cebu.
I had a fuss-free check-in, while the hotel’s shuttle van took us from Manila to Clark without any problems. The staff were friendly and accommodating. Notably, the ratio of staff to guest is two is to one.
For this city slicker who has to make do with a shoebox home in metro Manila, Clark Freeport’s quiet, clean and green environment is another world altogether. Staying at Midori was a calming and energising experience.
No of Rooms 111
Rates From 6,000 pesos (US$128)
Tel (63) 45 308 8888