Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel, a classic landmark, gets a facelift, and they’re starting out with accommodations. One weekend in the city, we got to try out one of their refurbished deluxe rooms and enjoyed thoroughly the new life they’ve put into it. Read more…
Situated in the bustling district of Ermita, Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel is strategically-located mostly for leisure. Tourist destinations Rizal Park and Intramuros are within walking distance, while the Malate entertainment district can be reached within ten minutes by jeepney. Those into gaming will find the casino inside the hotel convenient, while those who want a taste of Manila’s shopping scene will be pleased with Robinsons Place Manila nearby.
But for business travelers, the trade and convention centers of Pasay City, including SMX at the SM Mall of Asia, are only a short ride away by taxi or rental car. The business district of Makati, on the other hand, can be reached using the metro line or by a 30-40 minute drive.
The exteriors are honestly due for a renovation, so I wasn’t expecting much. However, the lobby was a contrast to the outside—welcoming us was a fresh, warmly-lit space with ornate décor and shiny tiled floors. My expectations then went high, as based on first impressions, I found the four-star property to match other top Manila hotels.
Lobby ambassadors welcomed us and directed us to the front desk. We were checked in quickly with a smile and true Filipino hospitality. That warmth, we found, was consistent as we stayed, dined, and checked out the day after.
We were afforded one of their newly-refurbished deluxe rooms at the top floors—in our case, the nineteenth. Waterfront Manila Pavilion is undertaking the renovations in phases, and a lot of their deluxe and Ambassador Club rooms have already been improved.
We opened the door and saw an elegantly modern room—minimally decorated but still seemed cozy. The bright white walls and carpeted floor were illuminated by sunlight that emanated from the skies of Manila, but at night, the room was lit by tasteful lamps that created an ambient sleeping environment.
Waterfront Hotels and Casinos prides itself in using the Slumber Splendor Bed across all their properties. The bed features “fluffy duvet covers of 100% Egyptian cotton, 300 thread count bed linens, a premium mattress top, and six feathery soft goose down pillows.” The number of hours we slept the entire time we were there is proof of how comfortable the bed was.
The room also had enough space for a small sitting area, a desk, a bathroom that is replete of towels and amenities, and a closet with bathrobes and a safety box. Other conveniences included strong centralized air-conditioning, a flat panel TV, a well-stocked minibar, and a coffee and tea making facility. Fast wireless internet was of course complimentary.
Since their other food and beverage outlets were being revamped as well, we had all three squares at Seasons Café, the hotel’s sole restaurant in the meantime. I was told that they brought in a Singaporean executive chef, so I saw laksa at the noodles station one time.
While they serve a la carte meals, Seasons Café is, for the most part, a buffet restaurant. Their selection isn’t as large as other top hotels, but they price a plate quite affordably—only 799 PHP for lunch during a holiday promotion (1,500 PHP regular).
The buffet spread was intercontinental—we had delicious Norwegian meatballs, chiles en nogada, and paella, along with Filipino favorites like bulalo (beef bone marrow soup) and kare-kare (beef and oxtail in peanut sauce), and lechon (roasted suckling pig). They also grilled fresh seafood skewers and salmon fillets on the spot for me.
What was very memorable for me though was their sumptuous hors d’oeuvres that were too beautiful to eat. Their desserts were likewise gorgeous, and let’s just say the selection was so extensive, my sweet tooth was very well satisfied.
The hotel has a swimming pool and a small gym, but I was informed that those are also due for an upgrade. What’s already finished though is the Ambassador Lounge, a stylish space that follows the minimalism of the rooms. At the lounge, those staying at the exclusive Ambassador Club are treated to express check-in and checkout, complimentary food and beverages, Windows and Mac workstations, and docks for iPhones and iPads.
Some online reviews claim that the Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel has seen better days. But with all the work it has so far undergone, the phase-by-phase renovation is definitely promising. Staying at their deluxe room, with the chic design and all the comfort it offers, I would say that the hotel is a classic refreshed.
WATERFRONT MANILA PAVILION HOTEL
United Nations Avenue cor. Maria Y. Orosa Street, Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Contact: +63 2 526 1212 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
Notes: Open for reservations online. Major credit and debit cards are accepted.