Monday, July 27, 2015

The Manila Hotel: Staycation at Manila's Luxury Heritage Hotel

The Manila Hotel

The Manila Hotel is a 530-room luxury heritage hotel located at Rizal Park, City of Manila. This historic hotel was opened on July 4, 1912 in celebration of the American Independence Day. The five-story structure was designed by William Parsons, a New York-based architect hired by William Howard Taft, then Governor-General of the Philippines who would later become the 27th President of the United States. The hotel has become home to some of the most prominent figures of Philippine history, including General Douglas MacArthur, has faced destruction during WWII, and undergone several renovations and upgrading, winning it the title The Grande Dame of Hotels in the Philippines.

The Manila Hotel

I have attended countless weddings and debuts celebrated at the hotel's ballroom, and until today, The Manila Hotel never fails to amaze me by its timeless beauty. It all starts at the grandiosely spacious lobby with its brass chandeliers hanging from the wooden ceiling made of Philippine mahogany. Massive white columns support the high ceiling and surrounds the pillarless lobby with floor made of polished Philippine marbles. At the center of the lobby are tables and chairs where guests can comfortably wait near the front office. The lobby area is well air-conditioned and well lit. The furniture is in very good condition, the area is generally clean, same as the public washroom at the lobby.

The Manila Hotel

The Manila Hotel has an excellent front office area. It's one of the biggest we've seen in Metro Manila, which allows receptionists to serve multiple guests at the same time, thus less waiting time. Receptionists are very well groomed and carries themselves very professionally and with pride. They are very welcoming, polite and very engaging.

The Manila Hotel

We were billeted in a Superior Deluxe Room located at the MacArthur Executive Floor. From the grand lobby, we were assisted by guest services to the MacArthur Lounge on the 15th floor where our check-in would be processed.

The Manila Hotel

Guests staying at the MacArthur Executive Floor enjoy extra comfort with a seated check-in at the lounge with a spectacular view of the Manila Bay. We didn't have to wait long to get our electronic keycards. Special thanks to Ms. Denice Villa of the MacArthur Lounge for a hassle-free check-in.

The Manila Hotel

The Superior Deluxe Room, the lowest of the hotel's five room categories, measures 40 sqm, which is 33% bigger than the industry standard room size (30 sqm.) for five-star hotels. The room is furnished with a king size bed with furniture pieces and fixtures made of dark wood. Earth tone colors of brown, tan and beige matched with capiz wall panels and marble table tops add a warm and homey Filipino feel to the interior.

The Manila Hotel

Our bed features an 11.5 inch high density mattress foam that offers the perfect level of support and comfort to the body. The high density mattress is then covered with a bed pad, duvet filler and 500-600 thread-count bed linen that offers perfect insulation that eliminates the heat retention properties of the mattress, resulting to an enhanced sleep quality. Pillows of various sizes and firmness are also provided. Pillow fillers are hypoallergenic down feather and cotton. European boudoir pillows and bed runners add an extra touch of elegance to the bed.

The Manila Hotel

The floor to ceiling windows have low-e coating which allows natural light into the room while filtering warm radiations from the outside thus keeping the room from heating up. We requested for a room that faces the Manila Bay. Rooms located on the opposite side are facing Intramuros and the Manila City Hall.

The Manila Hotel

Welcoming us to our room are the platter of fruits, fresh flowers and a hand written note from the general manager. Other en suite amenities include a spacious writing table, a 42-inch LCD TV with local and international cable channels, an iPod/iPhone dock, a mini refrigerator with minibar service, coffee and tea making facility, and a 7-inches x 15-inches electronic safe that can fit a laptop. Free WiFi Internet access is also available inside the room and the whole executive floor.

The Manila Hotel

The en suite bathrooms is equally spacious and luxuriously lined with Italian marble tiles. The counter top has enough space to place personal toiletries. There's a wide mirror by the sink, as well as a magnifying mirror. Tap water has excellent pressure. The bathroom is well lit and looks well maintained. There are no signs of mold or mildew. The bathroom is equipped with a cable-ready LCD TV with a waterproof remote control.

The Manila Hotel

The toilet is made with strong solid material that looks and feels durable. It had good quality solid seat which has a built in bidet spray. Just like in other five-star hotels, the bath tub is separate from the walk-in shower. Water pressure was outstanding and water temperature was easy to regulate. An excellent range of towels made of 100% cotton are provided.

The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel

Further elevating the level of luxury hotel experience are the Asprey Purple Water amenities available in all guestrooms and suites. This luxury brand from London is the same brand of body and bath products used by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co which owns and operates 89 luxury hotels around the world.

The Manila Hotel

Staying at the executive floor comes with a premium, with that also comes exclusive privileges. Business travelers will enjoy two hours complimentary use of the board room that is fully equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and connectivity that will ensure the success of every meeting. The board room also has its own bathroom complete with a shower and toilet.

The Manila Hotel

Small corporate functions can also be hosted at the MacArthur Lounge combining a luxurious overnight accommodation for the participants and the modern conveniences of a first-class meeting venue. Booking four rooms will secure a whole-day complimentary use of the board room which comes with free flowing non-alcoholic beverages including coffee, tea, soda and juices.

The Manila Hotel

Staycationers and leisure travelers will definitely love the scenery, from sunrise over Intramuros to sunset over Manila Bay. Aside from complimentary drinks, guests at the MacArthur Executive Floor also enjoy complimentary snacks and cocktail dishes served during certain times of the day.

The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel

During afternoon tea (3:00pm to 5:00pm), guests are treated with sandwiches and light snacks that go perfectly with coffee or tea. During our stay, the hotel served bibingka and puto bumbong and we got to choose what we want as topping. There's also smoked salmon sandwiches and pandesal with kesong puti. We also tried some of the cookies on display.

The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel

At night time, the MacArthur Lounge comes to life with its pre-dinner cocktail (6:00am to 8:00pm) where guests enjoy a wide selection of cocktails and other alcoholic beverages served with various canapes and desserts in a buffet setup.

The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel

There's so much food to choose from, including some hot dishes. You could technically have your dinner here. Here are some of the dishes we tried.

The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel

Here are the dishes available that night. I particularly loved the sushi topped with spicy crabsticks and black masago. I think I had six pieces of those. I also got some cheeses, nuts and grapes which I paired with screwdriver, a cocktail drink made of vodka and fresh orange juice.

The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel

We also loved the spring rolls with sweet chili sauce. Edgar had several of those which he enjoyed with his San Miguel pale pilsen beer. I also loved the crab cakes and the prawn tempura.

The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel

Edgar had a couple more of beer while I had ice cold Coke zero to go with pizza. We stayed for a while at the MacArthur lounge watching TV and enjoying our drinks. We finished the evening cocktails with desserts. The chocolate cake topped with strawberry and the macaroons were absolutely glorious!

The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel

After dinner, we went for night swimming at the hotel's outdoor pool. It wasn't crowded compared to when it's daytime. The water also felt warmer which made it more enjoyable. The swimming pool is open from 6:00am to 10:00pm.

The Manila Hotel

Before we went back to our room, we had taken some evening shots of the hotel. Below is the tower building facing Manila Bay. Photo was taken at the swimming pool area.

The Manila Hotel

Below is a photo of the hotel's facade taken from the driveway. It was really difficult to take a photo here since there were a lot of cars passing by to drop-off or pick-up guests at the lobby. There were also a number of cars parked right in front of the hotel which perfectly served as photobombers that obstructs the graceful front view of the building.

The Manila Hotel

There are more than enough parking spaces at the side of the hotel so I hope the hotel would consider removing the parking spaces in front of The Grande Dame. Nonetheless, the structure looked really beautiful at night.

The Manila Hotel

Good morning! We were welcomed with sweet smiles at Cafe Ilang-Ilang, the hotel's all-day buffet restaurant that features local and international dishes in a chic casual dining setting.

The Manila Hotel

The first thing we noticed was the elegantly designed interior of the restaurant. We did a quick tour around the area and we were amazed how spacious it was. There are areas located near the windows for guests who prefer a bright and lively dining space, while a cozy and more intimate dining experience can be had at the tables located near the center of the restaurant.

The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel

Here's how my breakfast plate looked like. I usually have Continental breakfast whenever we go for a staycation, but this time I had a Filipino-style breakfast of garlic rice plus various meat dishes. I particularly loved the bacon, the tapa and the siomai.

The Manila Hotel

Here are some of the Continental breakfast options at Cafe Ilang-Ilang. I tried some of the pastries and I totally loved the croissants and the Danish. They reminded me of the pastries served at Le Chef at The Manor in Baguio City. There are also bread, cheeses, cold cuts and salads.

The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel

Hot dishes include some Filipino dishes of adobo, beef tapa and daing. There's an omelet station as well. Bacon and sausages are also available. At the Asian section, there's a variety of dumplings that Edgar enjoyed a lot. There's also a Korean section that caters to the hotel's Korean guests. Something very unique I noticed at Cafe Ilang-Ilang is the Halal Section that caters to the hotel's Muslim and Indian guests.

The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel The Manila Hotel

I vote for Cafe Ilang-Ilang's breakfast buffet as one of the best in Metro Manila, based on the wide selection of dishes and the high quality in terms of taste. An overnight stay at The Manila Hotel includes complimentary breakfast buffet for two persons at Cafe Ilang-Ilang which is available from 6:00am to 11:00am everyday. Walk-in guests can also avail of the breakfast buffet for P1,450.00 nett per person, kids get 50% discount. We are yet to try their buffet lunch and buffet dinner (P2,450.00 nett per person).

The Manila Hotel

Staycation at The Manila Hotel is a truly unique experience. No other hotel in the Philippines can offer luxury accommodation in a property that is rich in history. The Manila Hotel's timeless beauty matched with upgraded amenities, upscale dining destinations and world-class service will secure the hotel its title as The Grande Dame of Hotels in the Philippines.


The Manila Hotel
One Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines
Contact Number: +63 (02) 527-0011
Email: resvn@manila-hotel.com.ph
Website: www.manila-hotel.com.ph
Facebook: facebook.com/TheManilaHotel
Instagram: @manila_hotel

No comments: