The 6th Pool Bar and Lounge at Novotel Araneta Center: Your Newest Chillout Destination

Enjoying The 6th Sour, a Midori based cocktail

I’m always on the lookout for a new place to hang out in Quezon City (Metro Manila, Philippines). As a northerner, I often have to travel all the way to Makati or BGC for a nice, fairly upscale place to chill.

I’m also often stumped whenever I need a place to have a nightcap after watching a concert or attending an event at the Araneta Coliseum. The establishments around the dome often close early or they just aren’t the kind of place I really want to hang out in.

Luckily, the Novotel Manila Araneta Center (Hotel) opened its doors just beside the Coliseum. While I have stayed at the hotel a few times before, this post isn’t about that. I will tell you more about the hotel next time but right now, want to talk about The 6th Pool Bar and Lounge. 

A few months ago, I washed off the nostalgia from watching the GOO GOO DOLLS by having a few drinks at Novotel’s pool bar. This time around, I’m back to learn about their sustainable cocktails.

Before I get into that, let me tell you about the ambiance that greets you upon arriving at The 6th Pool Bar and Lounge. The extensive outdoor area surrounds the hotel pool. I have spent some lovely cool evenings enjoying drinks at the extra large outdoor booths. They can accommodate up to 12 people comfortably gathered around for a few drinks, munchies and good conversation.

Right beside the pool, there are cocktail tables and lounge beds. If you’re feeling more relaxed and looking for a more private setting, this is the place to be. If you’re a hotel guest, it’s also a nice spot to enjoy a cool drink while sunbathing during daylight hours.

Closer to the actual bar, there are tables that are set-up under a trellis.

On most evenings, there’s either a DJ or a live band that entertains patrons.

During the hot summer evenings, I choose to stay inside the air-conditioned part of the bar.

Enough about the ambiance, we are here to talk about the drinks. Let me first show you Novotel’s sustainable infusions. These lovely drinks are actually gin based concoctions which are infused with various fruits, herbs and spices. These infusions later end up as a base for many different cocktails that can be enjoyed at the bar.

Here you can see pieces of melon, chilies, rosemary, star anise and a few other things. We were told that Novotel has a strict policy of limiting food wastage and promoting “SUSTAINABLE MIXOLOGY.” Just like any big hotel, they have several dining options in the building. Apart from the pool bar, they have a massive restaurant called Food Exchange, which serves their buffet meals for breakfast lunch and dinner. There’s also the Gourmet Bar and of course, room service. All things considered, the hotel serves a lot of food. With that comes a lot of opportunities to waste food.

One way that Novotel limits the amount of food waste is through their drinks. Some vegetables and fruits that are still fresh and edible but just don’t look perfect or have not been cut in the right way end up being used here instead of heading straight into the bin.

Apart from the infusions, the leftover strawberries that were laid out as part of your breakfast buffet could very well end up as your frozen strawberry margarita in the same evening. While you could liken this to recycling, they make sure that only the freshest ingredients are used. Anything that’s past its prime is no longer served.

The bar offers an extensive list of your usual familiar beers, spirits and cocktails. However, they also have some creative cocktails that are unique and worth trying. Here’s a small spread of some of the drinks we tried:

I particularly enjoyed “The 6th Sour,” a Midori based cocktail that’s prepared the way you would traditionally make a whiskey sour or an amaretto sour, egg whites and all! Totally legit.

Because it’s still sweltering like it’s the middle of summer, I also enjoyed all the frozen drinks. A fair warning though, the Strawberry Margarita is very potent. Because it’s tequila-based, I stayed away from a second round. (I know better now).

However, the Rosemary Lychee Martini allowed me to enjoy a sweet, refreshing cold drink without having to worry about remembering everything by tomorrow. All the drinks taste great, but they don’t scrimp on alcohol. You’re getting your fair shot of booze in those drinks. Here’s my friend Nicole sizing up a frozen cocktail:

Because we’re Filipino, we obviously need to eat something while drinking. Luckily, The 6th Pool Bar has an extensive selection of dishes that complement their drinks.

In true Filipino fashion, there’s a selection of skewered meats on the menu. These come with a variety of dips which would be familiar to any self-respecting Filipino who’s ever had a barbecue. Everything was tender and flavorful.

The tuna skewer was also a big hit. These were pieces of tuna, wrapped in Italian Pancetta and seared on all sides but perfectly rare in the middle. Surf n’ Turf on a stick!

Moving over to Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine, the bar also serves a sharing platter of pita bread with Hummus, Baba Ghannouj and Tzatiki (pictured below). They also serve a mean Murg (Chicken) Tikka and Kofta balls. I particularly enjoyed the  mango chutney that came with the Indian dishes.

If you know me at all, you would know that I was drawn towards the Italian corner. The Pizza Lungga with Organic Rucola and the Pizza Bianco with rosemary quickly made me go over my carb limit for the week. No regrets! Their pizzas are served on a thin crust that’s clearly been baked in a brick oven. What a delight!

Because I’m a certified member of the #titasofmanila, I don’t like going to crowded bars with watered down, over-priced drinks. The 6th Pool Bar and Lounge at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center is the kind of place where you will be finding me!

Star Rating 5/5

Location: Novotel Manila Araneta Center, General Aguinaldo Avenue, Araneta Center, Quezon City,
The 6th Pool Bar & Lounge - Novotel Manila Araneta Center Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato