Words by Rachel Surgeoner
If you’re travelling to Manila for business or pleasure, The Peninsula Manila should be top of your list for somewhere to stay. Why? Because a Peninsula property is so much more than just a place to lay your head and catch up on emails. In fact – if your trip is for business – you’re going to want to take some time to enjoy all the pleasures the hotel has on offer too.
Old hat at hospitality, the hotel opened in 1976 and will celebrate its 40th year in 2016. Positioned in the heart of Manila’s central business district, on the corner of Ayala and Makati Avenues, The Peninsula Manila has long been a lifestyle and entertainment destination.
On arrival you’ll be greeted at the doors by the bell-hop and as you enter the grand 1,280 square metre lobby a very movie-like consciousness washes over you, as you admire its soaring four-storeys without a pillar in sight. Your eye catches the 'timeless Filipino' accents such as the delicate capiz shell embellishments, and is drawn towards the roof where the lobby centrepiece, a magnificent 12-metre 'Sunburst' sculpture presides.
Located in Makati City, the hotel is walking distance from two of the city’s premier shopping destinations – Glorietta and Greenbelt – offering the latest in international and local fashion, as well as cuisine, jewellery and consumer electronics. The hotel is just 30 minutes from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport – however Manila is infamous for its traffic, account for longer travel time in peak hours.
Tip: Take your in-room ‘PenCities’ guide by LUXE out for a walk around the city to discover the best in dining and arts and culture. Always keep your ‘Pen’ concierge’s number on hand for priceless tips on the city and valuable know-how from getting around to getting a restaurant reservation.
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Rooms & Business Amenities
The hotel has a total of 493 rooms between its two towers, Ayala and Makati, including the 372 square metre Peninsula Suite. But it’s not only the hotel’s largest suite that’s roomy; each guestroom is an average of 40 square metres, one of the most spacious in the city. You can enjoy individual thermostat controls, complimentary internet access and a host of other features to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
If your in-room desk isn’t enough to conduct business from, consider booking into a room on the hotel’s Club Floor with amenities tailor-made to suit business travellers. ‘The Club’ offers the convenience of a satellite office within its Business Centre, where you can host meetings or run seminars from the Club Boardrooms. Club guests can enjoy the complimentary food and beverages and take advantage of butler service.
The hotel is fitted out with a state-of-the-art fitness centre to keep your training program in check. If you have the time, take advantage of the outdoor pool or perhaps book in for a wellness treatment at The Peninsula Spa.
The culture of the Philippines is described as a hodgepodge of “Malay, Madrid and Madison Avenue” – and the cuisine on offer at The Pen reflects the city’s multicultural flavours with five food and beverage outlets: Old Manila, Spices, Escolta, The Lobby and the captivating Salon de Ning bar.
Old Manila, the hotel’s signature restaurant, is a showcase of modern European cuisine in a fine dining setting. The Lobby is open 24-hours and has long been known as a much-loved meeting place for the country’s movers and shakers with live-music from the hotel’s String and Jazz Ensembles.
If you've got a sweet tooth, it’s the best place to sample the local delicacy, Halo Halo. Escolta offers a myriad of fine buffet style choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as brunch on Sundays only.
Spices celebrates the cuisine of several Asian countries – Indian, Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese and Singaporean in a relaxed setting. Last but not least, Salon de Ning is the perfect setting for a nightcap in the form of an inventive cocktail and perhaps even a late-night snack.
The writer travelled to the Philippines as a guest of Philippines Airlines and Tourism Promotions Board Philippines.