Having gone to cities across Asia and Europe, I’ve been exposed to the world’s most prominent hotel brands. Having learned and experienced most of them, hotels excite me a lot nowadays. So when I heard that Conrad Manila was opening, I was giddy. And when the time came that I was to have a walkthrough of the hotel, I wasn’t able to hold my anticipation.
Instead of the hotel’s own porte cochere, my Uber car pulled into the driveway of the mall attached to the hotel called S Maison. It wasn’t too bad of a mistake, as I had the chance to check the mall out briefly—though it barely had anything inside yet. The security people directed me to the bank of elevators that were to take me to the same floor as the hotel’s grand lobby.
I was awed upon arriving at Conrad Manila’s grand lobby. It’s minimalist and modern, and the floor-to-ceiling glass panels not only allows ample natural light to penetrate the space but also provides a spectacular, unobstructed view of Manila Bay. With my mouth agape because of amazement, I was approached by one of the courteous lobby ambassadors who asked me how she could assist me.
Our tour began at the hotel’s different restaurants and bars. We went into China Blue by Jereme Leung, which I was told serves excellent Cantonese cuisine, and we also went into C Lounge, which serves high tea during the afternoon, and tapas and a superb selection of wines and cocktails all day.
We went up to check out the rooms next. The hotel has 347 guestrooms and suites, and they call them “intelligent” because they are “specially designed to anticipate your arrival, and move from energy saving mode to activating air-conditioning; opening your curtains and setting the mood lighting to match the time of the day.” I believe it was my first time to encounter such technology, so I was thrilled to see it work when we opened the room.
I liked the chic design because I’m a fan of modern hotel rooms. Their rooms, typically sized at a generous 40 square meters, are set in soothing neutral hues and designed minimally, and they come equipped with five-star amenities like an espresso machine, Bluetooth speakers, and an intriguing hydrotherapy shower.
After checking out the rooms, we went to the Executive Lounge, which is as elegant and luxurious as the rooms. Like other hotel lounges, it offers complimentary breakfast buffet, refreshments throughout the day, and cocktails in the early evening, and meeting rooms usage.
We also saw the different facilities the hotel offers: the spa, which I was told is functional but getting final touches; the fitness center; and the large swimming pool that’s gorgeously laid out.
We ended our walkthrough of the hotel with lunch at Brasserie on 3, which at the time was having an express lunch buffet. A steal at less than a thousand pesos, the buffet featured a Sinigang Bar, a small Japanese section, a carving station with steak, and a handful of entrees and desserts.
With all honesty, based on what I saw and experience, Conrad Manila is already among the contenders for the best hotel in Metro Manila and the country. I’m surely excited to stay there, eager to try out the bed, the breakfast, and the service of its staff. I’ll report back when I do.