Lunar New Year celebrations around the metro

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THE city’s hotels are gearing up to celebrate Lunar New Year, with treats from lucky trees and cakes to auspicious room rates.

PENINSULA MANILAOn Feb. 10, the Peninsula Manila will be holding a Lion and Dragon Dance to spook away bad spirits, from 9:08 a.m to 11:30 a.m.

In honor of the Year of the Dragon, The Peninsula Boutique also unveils a limited-edition line of Lunar New Year edible fine chocolate trees: a Mandarin Orange Tree and a Golden Fortune Money Tree. Painstakingly molded and finished by hand, even the “soil,” trunk, branches, leaves, and fruit of the Mandarin Orange Tree and the goldfish-embossed gold coins of the Golden Fortune Money Tree are made of chocolate. The mandarin orange fruits are filled with an intense mandarin-flavored ganache while the gold-dusted coins embossed with lucky goldfish are made using dark chocolate. The large Mandarin Orange Tree and Golden Fortune Money Tree are available at The Peninsula Boutique for P3,888 while the small trees are P2,888 (inclusive of taxes). Also available are mandarin orange, green tea and lemon, mango jasmine, rum, and strawberry Chinese New Year Chocolate Pralines for P88 each (inclusive of taxes).

In the Lobby, The Pen offers the lo hei prosperity toss salad to greet good luck. First to be tossed into the platter are slices of smoked salmon, with everyone cheering “nin nin yau yu” (“let there be abundance every year”). Then the carrots are added, followed by a roar of “hong wen dong tau” (“good luck”). Then everyone puts in their chopsticks and mixes the ingredients together, tossing them as high as they can. This goes on for a while, as various components of the traditional Chinese New Year lo hei — or prosperity toss — are mixed and thrown in, and the higher they are mixed and lifted, the more good luck there will be in the new year. The Peninsula Chinese New Year lo hei is available for lunch and dinner at The Lobby on Feb. 9 and 10 for P5,888 (exclusive of taxes).

Also on Feb. 10, at Escolta, the lunch rate for the Lunar New Year celebration is set at P2,600 for adults and P1,300 for children six to 12 years old. The dinner rate for the special occasion is set at P3,000 for adults and P1,500 for children six to 12 years old. For inquiries, call The Peninsula Manila at 8887-2888 ext. 6694 (Restaurant Reservations), or e-mail diningPMN@peninsula.com.or visit peninsula.com.

SOLAIREAt Solaire, guests can get a glimpse of their destiny in wealth, health, and romance with exclusive fortune readings by Feng Shui Master Clement Chan. There will be a vibrant Dragon and Lion Dance on Feb. 10, plus other performances like a Chinese orchestra, Chinese Fan Dance, Wushu exhibition, and a War Drums exhibition from Feb. 9 to 11 at The Gallery at The Shoppes.

Toast to the  Year of the Wood Dragon with an abundance of food offerings like of Red Lantern’s Chinese New Year Eat-All-You-Can Dim Sum Buffet, which includes crispy fried prawn salad, Dong Po-style braised pork belly, steamed dim sum, Wok-fried noodles with assorted meat, and more. Indulge in premium set menus that highlight rich flavors of the Prosperity Yu Sheng salad toss with smoked salmon, steamed rock lobster, stir-fried wagyu beef, and a pan-fried rice cake.

Lunar Gift Hampers by Solaire contain treats like homemade cookies, homemade caramel almond sea salt candies, a glutinous rice cake bar, 30 Years Pu-er tea, Macallan 18 Years Sherry Oak, Remy Martin Louis XIII 700ml, and more. These are also available at Red Lantern.

As a preview to Valentine’s Day, Solaire is offering 20% off on bookings for all room types until Feb. 1. Valentine’s Day activities at Solaire include Our Time: A Solaire Valentine Concert featuring Marco Sison, Hajji Alejandro, Nonoy Zuniga, Nanette Inventor and Mitch Valdez. The concert is on Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. For inquires and reservations, call 8888-8888 or e-mail reservations@solaireresort.com.

MAKATI SHANGRI-LAThe hotel welcomes the Lunar New Year with a traditional Lion and Dragon Dance for its guests at the hotel lobby on Chinese New Year’s Eve, Feb. 9, at 10:30 p.m., and on Chinese New Year Day, Feb. 10, at 12:30 p.m.

Special Lunar New Year set menus at Shang Palace are available from Jan. 29 to Feb. 18. Rates start at P36,800 ++ for the Harmoney set menu, P46,800++ for the Prosperity set menu, and P49,800++ for the Good Fortune set menu. Diners can indulge in classic signatures such as braised e-fu noodles with wild mushrooms and black truffles, braised pork tendon with dried oysters and mushrooms and Yee Sang (another name for the prosperity toss salad) to bring in favorable blessings for the year ahead. All set menus are good for 10 persons.

Makati Shangri-La’s nian nao (sticky rice cakes) are also up for grabs, variations of which include the prosperity fish and the traditional gold bar. Nian gao rates start at P2,088 nett per single box. These fortune favors are available at the hotel’s main lobby from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For inquiries, call 813-8888 or send an e-mail to dining.makati@shangri-la.com.

CONRAD MANILAChina Blue by Jeremy Leung at the Conrad is offering two luxurious Lunar New Year menus, with one at P49,888 nett (Auspicious Reunions) and another at P68,888 (Grand Fortune). Both menus are good for 10 people.

As another New Year treat, Conrad Manila is offering nian gao with each set at P2,388 nett in two shapes and flavors (Big Koi Fish in white almond, and Small Koi Fish in brown coconut caramel and citrus). For inquiries, call 0917-650-4043.

CRIMSON HOTEL FILINVEST CITYFor 2,888 nett, Cafe Eight at Crimson Hotel offers a family style platter good for two to four people. The platter contains a soup, rice, a main dish, and noodles. For table reservations, call 8863-2222 or e-mail dining@crimsonhotel.com.