Saturday, October 22, 2011


I visited Manila for a few days for a Convention which happened to be held in a very historical venue, the Manila Hotel, a place which opted to retain its classical charm. 

The Manila Hotel is the oldest premiere five star hotel in Manila, Philippines and is situated in the Manila Bay area close to the Rizal Park and the Manila Ocean Park.

I would like to share with you some data about the Manila Hotel which I gathered from the Manila Hotel  website and also from Wikipedia, so pardon if many of the trivia in this blog were lifted from these websites and I noted these in italics. 
I took many photos of the Manila Hotel which I would like to insert with what I learned about it.

The Manila Hotel was built in 1909 almost at the same time as Malacañang Palace (official residence of the President of the Philippines) and was opened in 1912.

The Manila Hotel which opened in 1912 and extensively remodeled in the 1970s is a Philippine landmark, home to high society and to political intrigue, and often a scene of historic events.

1898- Judge William Howard Taft issued of the first decrees of the Second Philippine Commission, to create an urban plan for the Manila. Architect and city planner Daniel Hudson Burnham drafted a wide and long tree-lined boulevard that would begin at the park and at the spit’s end of the bay, a boulevard that would be dominated on one end by a hotel.
1908 - William Parsons was appointed to continue where Burnham left off. He supervised the design and construction of Manila Hotel and was completed four years later. Soon, a magnificent, white, green-tile-roofed California Missionary-styled edifice emerged housing 149 spacious and high-ceilinged rooms. Since then, it is a hotel that commands the best westward view of Manila’s fabled sunset, the fortress of Corregidor, the poignant ruins of the medieval fortress that was Intramuros, and the palm-lined promenades of Luneta Park.
July 4, 1912- On the commemoration date of the American Independence, Manila Hotel was inaugurated and officially opened. With the Hotel garbed in full regalia, four hundred handsomely groomed and elegantly attired guests were ushered in for a dinner of American roast, Philippine lobster, and French champagne.

A magnificent, white, green-tile-roofed California Missionary-styled edifice emerged housing 149 spacious and high-ceilinged rooms.

Note the architecture at this time with the balcony, windows with canopies, grills and lamps. Of course, the white and green color is classical for that era.

1935 to 1941- Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon invited General Douglas MacArthur to build the Philippine Army in 1935, Gen. MacArthur responded to the request of his long time confidant and sailed back to the Philippines. During his tenure as the Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines, Gen. MacArthur, his wife Jean and son Arthur made Manila Hotel their home. 
Quick fact: To handle the cost of MacArthur’s suite, he was given the honorary title of “General Manager”. He attended the monthly meetings. He, however, ignored the figurehead status and instead took control of hotel management. MacArthur’s favorite food at the hotel was lapu-lapu, a grouper fish native to the Philippines, wrapped in banana leaves.
It has hosted numerous historical persons and celebrities, including authors Ernest Hemingway and James A. Michener, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, The Beatles, King of Pop Michael Jackson, Actors Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and John Wayne, publisher Henry Luce, entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr., Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, and many various world leaders. 
Other luminaries include Bob Hope, Marlon Brando, Tyrone Power, Secretary John Foster Dulles, Senator Robert Kennedy, Sir Anthony Eden, Charlton Heston, Burgees Meredith, the Rockefeller brothers, John Wayne, Publisher Henry Luce, Vice President Richard Nixon, Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Here are some wall plaques I saw from the National Historical Institute.

The Manila Hotel is a 570 room hotel built in an area of 3.5 hectares along Roxas Boulevard.
The hotel contains the offices of several foreign news organizations, including The New York Times.
On January 17, 2008, at Number One Rizal Park, the Manila Hotel Tent City's was opened with the conference halls seating 7,000 guests, and it will accommodate another 2,500 guests, for wedding receptions, anniversaries, conventions, and exhibitions.

As I entered Manila Hotel, we are greeted by smiling gentlemen dressed in Filipino inspired attire.

The main lobby was designed for sitting as well as for making grand entrances. Measuring 125 feet (38 m) long by 25 feet (7.6 m) wide, the lobby is lined with white Doric columns. 

The floor is Philippine marble, the chandeliers are made of brass, crystal and seashells, the furniture is carved out of Philippine mahogany which is used throughout the hotel.
We were also greeted with smiling staff from the Reception and Customer Service.
Their Filipiniana attire is again very eye-catching with the ladies wearing the terno, but in bolero style.

Huge paintings are also seen throughout the whole hotel.
This is the main lobby from another vantage point. 

At this side, there is a pianist who plays very beautifully and pleasant live music is heard throughout the huge lobby.

Near the pianist is the foyer to the elevator which I also took photos of.

I can't help but be overwhelmed by the size and grandeur of the Manila Hotel lobby. 

The other function halls also caught my attention and here are glimpses of the Meeting Rooms that I saw in the Manila Hotel.
The data are also lifted from the Manila Hotel Website.
FIESTA PAVILION (Pandanggo, Polkabal, Rigodon)
Capacity: Up to 2,500 guests Area: 2020.14 square meters
The Fiesta Pavilion is a popular choice for big conventions. But it is also easily divisible into three self-contained function rooms, namely the Pandanggo, the Polkabal, and the Rigodon, for smaller events such as weddings and balls. Ornate chandeliers decorate the high ceilings of the ballroom, bathing guests in a golden glow.
This is the huge hall outside of the Fiesta Pavilion.
The Fiesta Pavilion really is massive, but there was an induction of a professional group the first day and  the Lions Club induction the second day so I didn't dare enter the hall. 

Capacity: 1250 guests Area: 1072.5 square meters
The Centennial Hall has two spacious sections that can be merged to accommodate large events but is also easily divisible into two halls that are perfect for smaller functions. On the right side of the venue is a majestic stage ideal for grand elocutions, plays, and recitals.
This was where our Convention was held and just right for a plenary for a group of 300 to 500 participants plus several booths where exhibitors showed their equipment and products.

This is in the Events Center.
Capacity: 1000 guests Area: 658 square meters      The Millennium Hall is situated at the end of Manila Hotel’s ballroom hallway. It has a spacious foyer that also leads up to the Maynila Ballroom.
It is in the Millenium Hall foyer where I saw the markers from the National Historical Institute.

Capacity: 300 guests Area: 630 square meters
A vision of Philippine National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin, the Maynila Ballroom lends a native sophistication to any event with its five-meter high hand-carved narra arches, hand-painted ceiling and massive capiz shell chandelier framed gracefully by an Arabesque canopy. Magnificent multicolored Tiffany bay windows, studded lights and indoor water fountains lend an added magic to nightly ballroom dancing for the finest in entertainment. Dining in our Maynila Ballroom makes for a truly unforgettable experience with its regal design concept that is more art than architecture.
The Hall is indeed charming with a gazebo effect and the fountains within the hall!


Capacity: 150 guests Dimensions: 22.9 m x 12.10 m Area: 214.5 square meters 
Situated inside the Champagne Room, the Champagne Salon is the perfect venue for small stately events. Its interiors are simple and yet grand and ornate.
Capacity: 150 guests Dimensions: 14.5 m x 9.8 m Area: 142 sq. m.
Roma Salon is located at the left side of Manila Hotel’s magnificent main lobby. An ornate and remarkable wall decor that spells out an anagram of ROMA and AMOR greets and amuses guests at the entrance. Inside, the interiors are reminiscent of Roman architecture, with white columns and classic angelic figurines that decorate the walls. Roma Salon is the perfect venue for small seminars and events.

What caught my attention were the art works on display.
On a usual day, the white wall where the frames are hanged is removed and we can see the large windows better.

I couldn't help but also glimpse into the smaller room which looked very interesting from the outside.

 As we go out of the Tap Room Bar, this is the Main Lobby facing the Front Desk.

These are just glimpses of several areas of the Manila Hotel and I guess I can be proud to have the Manila Hotel as a showcase of Philippine culture!
Declaring that this historical landmark,
Manila Hotel, built in 1912 "has become part of the
National Economy and Patrimony"


  1. how much is the roma salon??

    1. Oh, I am sorry since I really was just amazed at manila Hotel and started clicking away and blogging about it...but I am in no way connected to it nor did I even ask about the prices! It is best to connect with them directly!