A Historic Staycation at the InterContinental Hotel Manila

Last October, news came out that InterContinental Manila will be closing down by the end of 2015. In a press release* published on its website, AyalaLand Hotels and Resorts Corp (AHRC), a subsidiary of Ayala Land Inc and owner of the 46 year old five-star hotel property designed by National Artist Leandro Locsin, announced that it will be tearing down this iconic building at the corner of EDSA and Ayala Avenue to make way for a new mixed-use commercial development in the area.

InterContinental Manila, or Intercon for short, was the first five-star hotel to open in Makati back in 1969 and has gained the nickname "Grande Dame of Makati". From the 70's to the 80's, the hotel has become the premier choice of venue for various social events and functions, from weddings to debuts, and from private dinners to exclusive balls and galas.

As a child, I have attended various wedding receptions and debuts at the hotel. And on several occasions, my father would bring me and my mom with him to the hotel whenever former Pasig Mayor Caruncho would host council meetings at the Intercon.

InterContinental Manila is also one of the hotel of choice of our company to house our visiting colleagues from New York and Hyderabad. And just recently, Edgar and I had the opportunity to have a staycation at the InterContinental last August.

Our room had all the amenities you would expect in a luxury hotel catering mainly to business travelers. Furniture pieces were elegantly designed and very well maintained. It also did not fall short in terms of technology. There's a wide screen LCD TV with international and local cable channels.

The bed was very comfortable. The 5-star hotel grade mattress is covered with fluffy topper for an added comfort. The duvet was covered with high threadcount linens which were very soft and gentle to the skin. A generous number of pillows were also provided to ensure guests with a good night sleep.

Highspeed wired and wireless Internet connection is also available inside the room. There is a functional and spacious executive table where business travelers can comfortably work with their laptops.

The bathroom was luxuriously covered with marbles and there was a lot of woodwork used in the overall design. Lemon Verbena scented toiletries by San Francisco-based Agraria adds more touches of luxury to the bath experience.

InterContinental Manila has a prime location as it stands next to Rustan's and Glorietta 4 shopping centers housing a number of retail outlets and restaurants, as well as cinemas and other entertainment establishments.

Glorietta 4 as seen from our room
Right across InterContinental Manila is Glorietta 5 which houses some high-end restaurants and cafes. During our stay, we invited our friend Lea and her kids for dinner at Saboten, a Japanese chain of restaurants specializing in Tonkatsu.

Saboten Glorietta 5
Our stay at InterContinental Manila came with complimentary breakfast for two at Jeepney, the hotel's all-day dining buffet and a la carte restaurant. Just like the hotel, Jeepney has also become an institution in Manila's hospitality and dining scene.

The restaurant celebrates one of the icons of Philippine culture, the jeepney. And inside the restaurant, you can find miniature jeepneys, paintings and parts of jeepneys displayed as an ornament that forms part of the restaurants interior, giving color, life and a touch of fun to the overall dining experience.

Over the years, Jeepney has lived up to its reputation as one of the best buffet restaurants in Manila offering top quality dishes prepared by its internationally trained culinary team. The buffet features both local and international dishes including Filipino, American, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Indian cuisines.

Jeepney's breakfast buffet has one of the widest selection of dishes among the hotels in Manila, and more than the quantity, Jeepney has consistently demonstrated excellence in the execution of the food. Everything tasted as good as how they look on the buffet table.

Among the dishes I tried, it was the Viennoiseries that I loved the most, especially the buttery croissants, the Pain au Chocolat and the various Danish pastries. To top it all, Jeepney's staff delivered excellent customer service at par with global hospitality standards. They were very attentive to the needs of the guests, they anticipate need, and they serve with a genuine smile and warmth that is distinctly Filipino.

Having had this excellent staycation experience at InterContinental Manila makes it even more difficult for us to accept the news that the hotel will cease to operate by the year end. I am sure that the hotel's patrons and frequent guests will have a stronger sentiment. Nonetheless, we feel very privileged to have become part of InterContinental Manila's history as one of its guests. May this article serve as our last farewell to the Grande Dame of Makati.

You too can have a historic staycation at the InterContinental Manila by taking advantage of their Memorable Stay Room package starting at P4,600.00++ per room per night inclusive of buffet breakfast for two at The Jeepney. As of this writing, there are still rooms available until December 30 so hurry and book your InterContinental Manila stay now by calling (02) 793-7000 or send them an email at mnlha-resvn@ihg.com.

Be part of history by joining the 2016 New Year Countdown at InterContinental Manila and witness the Grande Dame of Makati take her last bow. Book your tickets by calling (02) 793-7000 extension 272. For more details, check out Facebook.com/InterContinentalManila

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