Twelve nights in Osaka

Grace Glory Go - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -  The last time I was in Osaka was with my parents when I was still a child. Recently, I revisited Osaka with my son Vernon, my daughter-in-law Happee and my grandson Winter.

Since we returned after 12 glorious nights at the Intercontinental Residences in Osaka last May 23, I haven’t stopped telling my friends that the place to stay when they visit Osaka is the Intercontinental Residences.

The hotel boasts of 272 guest rooms and 57 luxury service residences. The layout of the residences is just perfect – spacious and cozy at the same time, even if this isn’t easy to achieve.

The Intercontinental opened its doors in Osaka three years ago, and it adheres to the Japanese way of being spic n’ span. There was not an insect in sight and the service is superb. Mind you, I’m not saying this because I was hosted... no, not at all! We were paying guests from May 11 to 23, 2016.

My son and his family had their own residence and I had my own but we were right beside each other on the 31st floor with a panoramic vista of Osaka and a magnificent view of the full moon, which felt as though it was just a stone’s throw away. The pink Japanese robe, which is like a home version of the kimono, was certainly useful to someone like me who probably stayed and enjoyed my Intercontinental residence more than most hotel guests… haha! I had room service every afternoon for lunch and never once did I experience an allergic reaction (a rarity for someone as highly allergic as I am). The kitchen was very careful and caring taking note of all my allergies, which I recited to them over the hotel phone. I thoroughly enjoyed my room until after Winter’s afternoon nap, which is about 5 to 6 p.m., before I stepped out with the family.

Another outstanding feature of the hotel is that it is ideally located in the Grand Front Osaka complex, which is the heart of the city’s newest premier commercial and shopping district, and which Vernon and Happee enjoyed visiting and revisiting. It is also a mere five-minute walk to the JR Osaka railway station and Umeda stations. So, we were able to travel through their train and subways even with two-year-old Winter and his yaya in tow.

Of course, our first stop was Universal Studios for Winter. We also visited Lego Land, which is right beside the Aquarium – one of the best I’ve seen in the world. An escalator that felt like a mile long brought us up the Aquarium, and from there, we started walking, spiraling down what seemed like an entire ocean of fish, sharks and manta rays, seals and penguins. It was more impressive for me than the Aquarium in Monterey, California where I used to live in the mid-’80s.

On our final evening, my son Vernon took me to dine at Pierre. We had one of the best corner tables in this charming French restaurant where I took a few pictures as we sat down to enjoy the French contemporary cuisine just before sunset. The veal I had was superb for someone like me who doesn’t like my meat charred or grilled but nicely cooked to a juicy pink. The presentation itself was a delight as you will see in my photo of Vernon’s entreé.

As they say, Osaka is a walking city. Thus, I definitely booked a foot massage prior to our departure. I have always stayed away from foot massages because I don’t like to be seated, but fortunately, when my lovely masseuse came to service me in my Intercontinental residence, she propped up my three pillows and I could lie on my bed with my two feet extended past the end of the king-size bed for her to skillfully wrap one foot in hot towels while working softly on the other foot. I had none of the hard-pressing pain that I expected from friends’ tales about foot massages here.

All of us enjoyed our 12 nights in Osaka. Weeks after our return, my son Vernon would say to me, “Our visit to Osaka was truly enjoyable,” and I would reply, “It must have been because we also enjoyed our stay at the Intercontinental Residences”.



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