Have you enjoyed your summer vacation? Probably, you have read about my Boracay summer diaries series. Unfortunately, our 6-day summer family vacay in Boracay wasn’t enough for me– as everything didn’t turn out well as planned. I badly needed a break– to condition myself–mentally and physically before I go back to work. I managed to squeeze some time to reward myself for a five-star staycation few weeks before the opening of classes. I knew for a fact that it would be another busy schoolyear and before I engage in those stressful paperworks and school activities; therefore, I should destress.
This time, I wanted to stay in a place where I haven’t been to– somewhere affordable but has a five-star rating. Yes, it is still possible to book for one– I was lucky enough to discover that they still have a promo and you can experience luxury without spending a fortune. Let me share about our overnight staycation in the fabulous and world-class Manila Hotel. I have tried to experience modern five-star hotels like Edsa Shangri-la and Marco Polo Manila, but I would like to experience how it feels to stay in this grand historic place. Despite of the hotel’s age (107 years old), it has maintained its class and elegance.
I already had a terrible experience with Marco Polo Ortigas and Edsa Shangri-la with my previous staycation with them. Five-star hotels aren’t perfect at all– sometimes they fail to satisfy their guests because the staff are incompetent or not well-informed about their services. I always have this in my mind so I didn’t expect that much.
When I saw the Rizal Park, where we often take a stroll when I was a kid, I couldn’t help but to smile and reminisce the old times. My parents used to bring me there once or twice per month and sit by the bay, play in the park, walk and just enjoy then go to Manila Zoo and eat at Ma Mon Luk. ‘Twas a loooooong time ago already. Since I was 3 and in College when I cross-enrolled to Lyceum of the Philippines, I got to take a glimpse at the Manila Hotel when I enjoy walking from school to Intramuros and to Luneta. I never thought that I would be able to experience a five-star staycation here and I was so excited.
Upon reaching the hotel, I instantly approached the guard and inquired about their valet service as well. In just a flash, one of the staff took care of Virgil (our car) and another assisted us with our luggage.
As expected, we entered the classy lobby with a marvelous, relaxing feel/ambiance. Manila Hotel stands out for me because it is not the usual five-star hotel with a lavish, modern touch; instead, it showcases the rich Philippine culture in their interior design, and furnishings. Paintings of Filipino artists are displayed in the hotel premises like the lobby, corridors and suites.
During our stay, there was a display/exhibit of Filipiniana outfits in the lobby that showcases the extraordinary work of Filipino fashion designers.
I would like to thank the Marketing Team of the Manila Hotel for letting us have a tour in their Presidential Suite, the famous Mac Arthur Suite, Executive Club Rooms and their amenities. As soon as we checked in, the front desk staff escorted us to the lounge where Bella (our guide), Mr. Richie Lo and the Marketing Manager Ms. Stephanie Flores, gave us a warm welcome.
Our luggage were sent to our room while we were having our tour in the following:
The Executive Club Lounge
We visited the Executive Club Lounge first located in the 15th floor. This is perfect for business travelers. I should have upgraded to this one instead because with this inclusion, I can have unlimited coffee/tea, mini-cakes, snacks and other treats during my stay.
The guests in the Executive Club can have the following benefits (taken from the Manila Hotel’s website)
- Express Check-in and Check-out.
- Exclusive Concierge Service.
- Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages for two (2) throughout the day (Coffee, Tea, Chilled Juices and Soft drinks).
- Complimentary afternoon tea for two (2) from 3 pm to 5 pm.
- Unlimited alcoholic beverages for two (2) during Cocktail hour from 6 pm to 8 pm.
- Welcome fruits.
- Complimentary one (1) suit pressing per day and shoeshine service, non-cumulative.
- No surcharge on express laundry, dry cleaning and pressing services.
- Charges on local calls are waived.
- Daily newspaper.
- Complimentary 2-hour use of Club conference room upon availability (first come, first served basis).
- Complimentary use of computer booth with internet access.
- Complimentary use of Health Club facilities and swimming pool.
- 20% discount in all of the hotel’s restaurant outlet (dine-in only).
- 20% discount on Spa treatments and packages, dry cleaning and laundry services.
THE PRESIDENTIAL SUITE
We had the opportunity to take a tour at their most expensive suite (the Presidential Suite) which costs P600,000 per night. We used an exclusive elevator to reach the topmost floor of the Tower Building where the suite is located. The guests who stayed here are mostly presidents and high-ranked government officials. It was indeed a great pleasure to have a tour inside because obviously only those who belong to the aristocrats can afford staying in this suite. Here are the features of the Presidential Suite:
- Newly redesigned bathroom with Italian marble and a separate walk-in rain shower room
- LCD TV
- Senso memory foam mattress
- Bvlgari bathroom amenities and toiletries
- Mp3 dockable clocks
- Ving Card door lock system
- Full-service kitchen
- Electronic Lighting System
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access
- Paintings by renowned Filipino artists
- Safety vault
- 24 Hour Butler service
- The Executive Club access
THE MAC ARTHUR SUITE
After that, we proceeded to the famous MacArthur Suite, which was named after General Douglas MacArthur. who managed Manila Hotel for 6 years and later on commissioned Pedro Luna, son of master painter Juan Luna to build a penthouse suite for the General atop the 5th floor of the hotel. Here is what you can have in the suite that costs P400,000 per night.
- Master bedroom with a dressing room
- Bvlgari bathroom amenities
- One guest room with twin beds
- Two baths and one powder room
- A study room
- Formal dining room overlooking the bay
- Well-equipped kitchen
- 24 Hour Butler service
- Balcony with a stunning view of the Manila Bay
- The Executive Club access
The Office of General MacArthur
THE GIFT SHOP
THE HERITAGE MUSEUM
Special thanks to Bella, our tour guide for the day 🙂
We stayed in a Superior De Luxe Room (40 sq m)- not that big, but enough for me, hubby and Shane. We didn’t have any complain with the room; actually, we were completely satisfied with it.
Though Manila Hotel is already 107 years old, we didn’t feel like we were in a haunted hotel where every furniture is unpleasant and dusty; instead, everything is marvelous. I remember my grandparents’ television inside the cabinet when I was a kid, we go there to watch soap operas. The only difference is that this cabinet is open, unlike my grandma’s cabinet wherein you have to open the cabinet door before you can turn it on.
Luxury comes with comfort. A must-have for me inside the room is an iron and ironing board for my clothes. Only five-star hotels have this in the closet. I need this because I am not skilled in folding clothes in the luggage, so when I unpack, they are not pleasant-looking at all.
The afternoon won’t be complete without a cup of coffee 🙂
We have a view of the Manila Bay so we felt relaxed while watching the rainfall and the view.
One of my favorite places in a hotel is the bathroom, where I have my usual morning and night beauty rituals. I super loved the spacious bathroom with premium toiletries– they have a television so you can watch your favorite TV program while soaking in the bathtub. The towels were clean and fragrant too.
THE POOL AREA
We really wanted to take a dip at the pool, but because we were dead tired after the hotel tour, we just opted to have a short stroll at the Luneta Park before we go back to our room.
We have received complimentary chocolates few hours after we have settled in our room. T’was just small servings— those were not enough for a chocolate lover like me, but I appreciate it anyway. As the old saying goes, “It;s the thought that counts.”
Hubby was too excited when he saw the piano in the lobby; unfortunately, the guests are not allowed to play.
Because we didn’t stay in the Executive Club Lounge, we had to buy food for dinner, and luckily, we were able to have inexpensive dinner after watching the dancing fountain. We were able to buy our dinner at P50 per head, some chips and candies.
After having dinner, we listened to the musical performance in the lobby and headed back to the hotel room. We didn’t go to the gym as what we have previously planned because we wanted to rest.
Watch out for the Part 2 of my Manila Hotel Staycation and The Blogger Princess’s rating as well 🙂
One Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines