Dubbed the ‘Grand Dame’, The Manila Hotel certainly lives up to its reputation as the city’s oldest premiere hotel. Built in 1909 to rival the nearby Malacanang Presidential Palace, the building sports 570 rooms and has hosted political and social elites the likes of Ernest Hemingway, John Wayne, Michael Jackson, The Beatles and US President John F Kennedy.
On the outside, the hotel doesn’t look too impressive, but wait til you step into the lobby…
Words that come to mind: Grand. Opulent. Elegant. Expensive.
The ceiling is wood, and features five beautiful chandeliers made from brass, crystal and seashells. On both sides of the lobby lounge are white Doric columns, while the floor is Philippine marble. For Christmas, the hotel has put up decorations of giant gold Nutcracker statues, shiny red and silver trees and a small shopfront at the entrance.
The lounge area has comfy, cushy chairs and tables made from Philippine mahogany. The service was a bit slow, but this isn’t the place to rush through a meal. :D
So sit back, chill and enjoy the ambience.
Frothy iced coffee with just the right balance of milky sweetness. Extremely refreshing after Manila’s hot weather.
Beef lasagna, served with bechamel sauce and a side of garlic bread. Tender layers of savoury minced beef and gooey cheese are sandwiched between soft layers of lasagna, making for a delightfully cheesy and creamy dish. The portion is big enough for two small eaters.
Also tried a Filipino dessert called Puto Bumbong – long, sticky rolls made from glutinous rice and steamed in bamboo. The purple colouring comes from purple yam powder. Traditionally it is served during Christmas, but Manila Hotel offers it all year round. The sweet dish, which is chewy and sweet, is served with brown sugar, shredded coconut and grated cheese. I liked having the cheese with it coz it brings a bit of saltiness that balances out the sweetness well. I think this is my new favourite dessert. :D
The Manila Hotel
One Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila 0913
Opening hours: 6AM – 12AM