The 30-storey twin tower Ascott Makati (formerly Oakwood Premier apartments) is right smack in the middle of the Ayala Center and the Glorietta 4 shopping mall. Its 306 apartments include studios, one to three-bedroom residences and penthouses. Make use of Broadband access in each apartment at US$20 per day or go Wireless in the public areas. Long-staying guests may also avail of special rates. Expect an outdoor pool, two outdoor tennis courts, spa and massage rooms. In-room facilities include TV, fridge, microwave, toaster, cooking range and coffee machine. Security may be a tad heavy at times. A Filipina friend of mine with a family pedigree demanding instant prostration has been stopped several times at the elevator by anxious guards suspicious of Asian faces. She told me she made it to the upper-floor restaurants, eventually. Another Makati service apartment and longstay option is its sister-property Somerset Olympia Makati. Close to The Peninsula, it is the cheapest of three Somersets in town, and with an excellent location though cabs are not the easiest to come by on Makati Avenue at peak hours.

A quality option for a Makati service apartment is Fraser Place Manila, near Salcedo Village not far from the Mandarin Oriental. Expect well-appointed residences with jet pools and multi-point showers, TV with DVD hook-up, Broadband, hairdryer, large refrigerator, microwave, cutlery and iron with ironing board. A handy feature is all apartments come with a maid’s room and toilet. There is also an open-air pool, a play area for kids, a wading pool, gym, and business centre for the dads. Internet is complimentary with most packages.