A luxury staycation in Manila especially at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel & Casino is a worthy hotel to stay when in this historic city. It is one of the first high end hotels in the country and is currently undergoing renovation and refurbishing with only 20% left to complete. Location wise, its at the center of the action in Manila whether for business or leisure. It’s just a stone’s throw from Rizal Park, and near Intramuros. LRT is just a few minutes walk to the UN station. In terms of comfort and service, it is known for its top notch hospitality and has award winning cuisine.
One of the Philippines’s first high end hotels
The hotel started construction in 1967 and opened in 1968 as the Manila Hilton International. It was owned by the pioneering Delgado Brothers. The building itself is a landmark and beautiful architecture designed by Carlos Arguelles and William Becket. And it is this modernist look, giving it a timeless touch that first captivated me when I saw this building while shooting the interior of the Philamlife Theater across the road.
In 1988, it became the Manila Pavilion and the first refurbishment was done. The top floor became the executive floor. In 1995, with new management, it was named the Manila Holiday Inn and in 2004, the Waterfront Philippines, the owner of the Waterfront hotels and casinos in Cebu and Davao came on board. Today, the hotel is near completion of its P400 million renovation with just 20% left to finish. Although the exterior of the building is the same beautiful modernist archtiecture and newly painted, the refurbished rooms breathes new life.
Through out it’s life, it will celebrate it’s 50th year next year, 2018, it has been the preferred hotel of several privileged people, celebrities alike and a hospitality landmark in the city of Manila.
Luxurious rooms and suites
Choose a room for a luxury staycation in Manila Pavilion and you will be greeted with cozy yet sophisticated and spacious as well as well designed rooms and suites. The beds are perfect, not too soft and not too hard. I actually find the down filled pillows quite comfortable, ensuring good rest after a day’s tour. Be it at the Deluxe Premium room, at 30 sqm and where I was billeted or the bigger Ambassador Suite, located at the higher floors and affords great views of either the Rizal Park or the urban constructs at the other side. This floor gives you access to the Ambassador Lounge for that exclusivity.
If you want a more luxurious suite, both the Aquino and Romulo Suites, at 161 sqm, and named after two historic figures, Ninoy Aquino and Gen. Carlos P Romulo, respectively. These have their own living and dining rooms, a beautiful foyer and a recreation room. The bedroom is spacious as well.
Good food and dining
Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino has three food and beverage outlets of which I’ve tried Seasons, the hotel’s main dining venue and Patisserie, the cafe. Seasons is an interactive lifestyle restaurant which offers various cuisines in its open kitchens serving Asian and Continental, salads, desserts and beverages. I love that their breakfast buffets have an extensive offering from breads to hot noodles, pancakes and typical breakfast stuff and also a good selection of local delicacies.
But you also have to try the ala carte dishes. The hotel has won two bronzes and one silver in the prestigious Philippine Culinary Cup 2016 for its entries in different categories. Based from the food served us for lunch and dinner, I especially love the melon wrapped prosciutto which brought back memories of my stay in Terrassa, Barcelona. Then their unique take on the vegetable kare-kare which was one of the winners last year was simple yet flavorful. This served with their humba was another memorable dish. The adobo ravioli was another hit with us.
For those indulging in coffee and bread, Patisserie, a French style pastry shop has interesting offerings. The mini ensaimadas, I’ve tried three flavors: ube, plain and the one with salted egg, are just so good. Soft and fluffy and, especially the salted egg variant, is something that you would want to take home. But don’t forget to try the blueberry cheesecake, just delectable and heavenly.
Manila historical tour
What is a luxury staycation in Manila if you don’t visit historic Intramuros? Whether you visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site listed San Agustin Church, the oldest stone church in the Philippines and appreciate its ecclesiastical treasures in its museum; or walk along the cobbled streets in this walled city or learn how the wealthy ilustrados lived before by visiting Casa Manila. Or retrace the last steps of Dr. Jose Rizal in Fort Santiago. These are activities within Intramuros and the hotel is a good base as it is just less than a kilometer away. You can even walk around the Rizal Park which is just across the road.
Thanx to Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino for the staycation.
Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino
United Nations Avenue Ermita Manila 1000
PHONE: +632 526-1212 | FAX: +632 526-2552