Stayed at the Manila Hotel for 5 nights in April and although happy with my stay was not blown away by any means.. I stay in Manila several times a year always in Makati but due to availability of my preferred Hotel I chose this instead and to be honest have mixed opinions overall.
There is no doubt this is a lovely Hotel the sheer fact it is over 100 years old and still operating is a testament to the place, the hotel is filled with old world charm and lovely architecture (Vaulted ceilings, wooden accents) etc but apart from the Pool and gym that have been renovated the rest needs a serious face lift and in my view is not a true 5 Star Hotel at present. The marble flooring and hallway carpets are out dated (Torn in places) and the fittings and furniture in the rooms are also showing their age in particular electrical outlets. But the most annoying part for me was the location; it is just too far away from everything including main Shopping areas and good restaurants. Robinsons Mall is very close and is an ok mall but there are no high quality stores as is the famous Ermita strip if you are into that sort of thing but besides that everything else is a considerable distance away.. I booked a suite room with views over Rizal Park but changed after one night see below. Rate included buffet breakfast and free internet and chose this resort after reading the other reviews on Trip Advisor. Check in fast and hassle free.
Location The Hotel itself is located opposite Rizal Park on Roxas Boulevard which is a mass of traffic and noise. Avoid this if you are a light sleeper as the windows and frames in this place do not block out any sound AT ALL, I actually moved rooms after one night it was that bad. Close by are the H2O Hotel and Ocean World which give an alternative dining option albeit mediocre. There is a 7 Eleven about 300M from the Hotel and is the only place nearby where you can get snack food and drinks etc.
Rooms - Suite rooms are huge and well maintained with separate living and sleeping areas and lots of space. The living area has a large Flat Screen TV, a small fridge, 3 piece couch setting, dinner table and chairs, business/writing desk complete with stationary box (yes there was complete with staples, tape, ruler, highlighter pens x2 and some paper clips). Power outlets throughout the room were old and not very well maintained and there were very not enough of them and had to unplug lamps just so I could plug in my laptop. Bathroom was just ok, the clothes cupboard was old and my room only had a shower bath. Toilet and bidet in separate area which I found rather odd…. Soap products were of good quality and also tooth brush and paste and floss etc and nice touch indeed. The bedroom had small table and tub chair and make up table and mirror if that’s what you call to accompany the very comfortable King size bed and nice firm pillows. Another flat screen TV and iPod docking station next to the bed an added bonus!
Dining – Lots of options at the Hotel and all the food here was good. Buffet breakfast was quite outstanding with huge selection of choices nothing was missing here both hot and cold and the buffet dinner was also excellent. In room dining was also good, I don’t normally eat in my room as the food in most hotels is quite average but was worthy of a mention here.
Recreation facilities – Great Pool c/w swim up bar and kids pool, with plenty of deck chairs and was never crowded. I spent most of my time here and enjoyed it. Mornings are best as the afternoon tends to cloud over a touch. The hotel gym was excellent and on par with the some of the best Hotel gyms I’ve seen. Plenty of free weights up to 40kg and load of cardio machines, squat rack, bench press everything you need. There was a steam room and spa for both men and ladies upstairs in the change rooms also.
Resort Spa is very good but expensive as you would expect at a Hotel of this caliber but well worth the $$.
Transport/Parking/Laundry – Valet parking is available but not sure of the cost, but I doubt any tourist drives here anyways. Hotel entrance and parking area is heavily guarded and security is tight, there are Dogs at the entrance and all cars entering are checked. There is a scanner inside the lobby. Transfer was hassle free. Free Shuttle bus leaves every 2 hours up to 8 pm i think. I used it twice to go to Robinsons Mall but then realized it was almost quicker to walk back and enjoy the exercise. I had my laundry cleaned here and the price was high as with most hotels but not overly expensive. I did return two articles because they were returned to me unwashed...
A few negative comments all age related I assume.
No hot water had to call twice maybe three times, sometimes it worked sometimes it did not.
Fridge in room was small and did not cool well.
Conditioner was extremely noisy and had to set on lowest setting to be functional
Room extremely noisy on Roxas side. Windows extremely thin and frames etc are severely corroded to the point that you can’t open the windows at all in some rooms.
All in all I enjoyed my stay here but I just felt the service was not as good as other similar rated Hotels in other parts of the world. I also felt that age has definitely gotten the better of this grand old lady. Service was good but not outstanding but the food and recreation facilities are excellent and that would probably sway me to return here in the future but only just. I think I would probably still choose Makati over this when next in Manila
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Manila Hotel embodies a rich tradition of elegant living, fine dining, and gracious service that goes back over 97 years. Here the city celebrated its most important events. Here the world’s personages held court and left their mark. At once, ageless and historic, Manila Hotel has always been everything a hotel should be: comfortable and gracious ... more less
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