For the first time in a long time, we were welcomed into the grand dame of the Philippine capital city—The Manila Hotel. And we came at a special time, right when they just unveiled their spectacular Christmas display and introduced their offerings for the holidays. Read more…
Right before the APEC 2015 meetings, we were invited into the unveiling of The Manila Hotel’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. However, I had to fly to Hong Kong for some commitments. And so, we went a few days back to see their Christmas display for ourselves for the first time.
To say that it is grand would be an understatement, and quite frankly, I underestimated how it would look like. Imagine this: a real gingerbread house welcomes visitors, cheerful lights and ornaments adorn all corners of the lobby, and a tall Christmas tree stands brightly at the center—all these while a pianist plays Christmas carols. The place surely felt festive, to say the least.
After savoring their mouthwatering bibingka (rice cake), we went to check out their rooms at the Main and Tower Buildings of the hotel. Both their Grand Deluxe (Main Building) and their Superior Deluxe (Tower Building) exuded a classic luxurious appeal, but I was gravitated towards the latter, as it incorporated some modern touches well.
What blew us away though was the historic MacArthur Suite, which was named as such because Gen. Douglas McArthur himself stayed there in 1935-1941. The penthouse suite, one of the most spacious I’ve ever seen, was renovated recently for the use of President Michelle Bachelet of Chile during her state visit and the APEC 2015 meetings. Accompanied by a splendid view of Manila Bay, it is divided into a masters bedroom with a dressing room, a guest room, two baths, a powder room, a study, and a kitchen. Of course, experiencing the suite doesn’t come cheap—the nightly rate in Philippine peso totals six figures.
We concluded our visit with lunch at the famed Café Ilang-Ilang. Listed as among the best buffets in Metro Manila, it serves a sumptuous, extensive array of Western, Asian, and Filipino fare. I focused on their Japanese selection, and I was impressed how authentic the food tasted.
The Manila Hotel has come up with a slew of offerings for this month to make every holiday merry and bright—from room packages to dining specials. Plus, led by Willy the Bear, they’ve built a Christmas Village, where kids of all ages may check out its attractions, including Willy’s Emporium by UK toyshop Hamleys, and Page, Turner, & Co. for books by Adarna House.
For more on The Manila Hotel’s holiday offers check www.manila-hotel.com.ph/promotions.