There’s the story about how an ugly, slow caterpillar transforms into a beautiful, graceful butterfly. We know how the story goes. We know how the caterpillar eats its heart out in an eat-all-you-can vegetarian buffet, then “sleeps” inside “somewhere” (or “something”), while it is magically transformed into a butterfly. And if the process of this transformation is called metamorphosis, what’s the name of that “somewhere” where the metamorphosis happens?
No, it’s not called a spa (well, to a certain degree, yes, because one goes in a spa all stressed out and come out rejuvenated, a “fresh” person ready to face the world). It’s also not called a rehabilitation center or a medical tourism clinic. It’s called a cocoon. And that’s the inspiration of the Cocoon Boutique Hotel. It’s a hotel, a spa and a rehabilitation center all rolled into one.
According to Cocoon, it’s a “nesting place where you can safely let nature take its course and you come out renewed and invigorated.” Cocoon’s philosophy sounds like a great reason to go against the grain during holy week exodus from Metro Manila. Too much time is wasted on the road during the holiday rush and too many people are crowded in vacation spots outside the metro. Better to stay in Metro Manila during holy week, where people, even zombies, would have deserted roads to freely roam.
If you judge the hotel from the street, with no prior information on what exactly the Cocoon hotel is, you’d probably not give it a second look. You’d probably not bother to go in and inquire. It’s architecture is simple, painted in earth tones. It doesn’t scream “look at me!” It’s found at the sleepy intersection of Scout Tobias corner Scout Rallos Streets in Quezon City, overshadowed by the more popular Tomas Morato Avenue and Timog Avenue nearby. Right in front of the Cocoon hotel are tons of crisscrossing cable and telephone wires that look exactly like how your hair looks like after a long night’s slumber. At the other side of the road is a sari-sari store and a karinderya. There’s no driveway that curves right in front of the main door. Definitely not plus points.
So, as we parked on the street fronting the hotel (limited slots at the basement parking), we seriously questioned our decision to book a weekend at the Cocoon Boutique Hotel. Even so, we didn’t back out because we’ve heard a lot of great things about this hotel. More importantly, we already paid for the booking. We can’t just leave. Turned out we made the right decision to stay. It’s pretty much like Rihanna’s song, We Found Love. C’mon, don’t tell us you’re too old to know this song. The chorus is an endless repetition of the line, “we found love in a hopeless place.” We found a perfect cocoon out of nowhere.
The reception area looks and feels spacious with the high ceiling, bathed by natural sunlight through the glass wall of the main entrance. Beautiful chairs and sofas and colorful throw pillows at the recessed sides, looking like comfortable nooks, await guests as they zip through the reception process. So much contrast could be achieved by pouring in artificial lighting, yes, but the reliance on natural lighting during the day is consistent with the environment-friendly theme of the Cocoon Boutique Hotel, fleshing out its tagline, “Where Luxury is Responsible“. Simple. Elegant. Luxurious. One with nature.
From the reception area, into the elevator, on the way to the designated room. It kept on getting better. Every step builds an aura of sustained excitement as each facet of the hotel is revealed. Now we understand Agnes, the youngest in the brood of three in the movie Despicable Me, when she blurted out, upon seeing a white stuffed-toy unicorn, “It’s so fluffy, I’m gonna die.”
But first, we had to figure out how to operate the elevator. Just enough size and brightly lit. Clean and shiny. With no visible buttons resembling the usual ones. There’s a little opaque glass at the side that covers a set of lighted displays that come through as muted lights, akin to gummy bears. We’ve seen touchscreen but this is a bit different. Cool.
The warm lights on the hallway lounge, provided by the row of wall lights, welcomed us as we stepped out of the elevator. Another set of sofas with green throw pillows that look like woven banahaw leaves. Earth tones.
It’s ironic that Metro Manila offers a lot of hotels and venues to choose from, but the choice is not exactly easy. There’s only so little time to spend in similar hotels so the challenge is to pick out something different. Choosing the features of the venue revolves around one important fact — kids. For the huge segment of the traveling population with kids, including ourselves, there are a number of minimum amenities that a hotel or venue must have to keep the kids occupied during vacations. The Cocoon Boutique Hotel, with its eco-friendly approach to secluded relaxation in the heart of the bustling Metro, is a perfect choice.