The Army and Navy Club Transformed: A Peek Inside Rizal Park Hotel

City of Manila

The Urban Roamer has talked about the Army and Navy Club a number of times now, bearing witness to its sorry state, a then-unknown future, and its renaissance-in-progress. And after years of work, the Army and Navy Club reopened recently, this time as a new hotel near Rizal Park named, Rizal Park Hotel.

The hotel actually opened back in July this year though from what I understand, there are still some parts of the hotel that are yet to be finished. But it is seeing a good flurry of activity since its opening, despite the competition from nearby hotels, most notably the other historic hotel named after the park area, and the Grand Dame located a few meters across it.

Going back to the topic at hand, a visit to this storied hotel and how it looks now is long overdue. And taking advantage of the Christmas festivities going around Rizal Park at this time of year, it figures it is time to revisit the Army and Navy Club and how it is faring in its iteration as the Rizal Park Hotel.

First things first, the work done for the hotel’s restoration must be commended. While some design changes were made, they did not in any way adversely affect the overall character of the building and the 100+ year history that it bears. Sadly those changes include the disappearance of some of the club’s facilities like the tennis court and swimming pool.

The hotel’s interiors evoked a sense of history and old grandeur the old club had, which is a nice touch. From the choice of marble floor to the chandeliers on the ceiling, it felt like stepping back in time. Kudos to the architectural team who spearheaded the restoration, led by none another than Palafox Associates of Architect Felino Palafox Jr.

The hotel has about 110 rooms throughout the 2-level structure. It also has a restaurant which can be seen from the entrance on the left while going straight to the door leads you to the outdoor dining and cafe area known as The Courtyard.

Further on the hotel’s north wing is a separate area where one can find the hotel casino which is frequented by casual and avid gamers alike. From what I heard, the casino was a way to help recoup some of the costs incurred in the restoration and maintenance of the building.

Also, if I understand correctly, there are still some parts of the hotel that have yet to be completed (not sure if the infinity pool is already complete at this time of writing). Also on the pipeline is another building to be built which will serve as a wharf.

Sadly, the Urban Roamer has not explored the hotel much but here’s hoping for another opportunity in the future. Maybe a staycation in the hotel would help make that experience more enriching. Wink, wink.

For more information, visit the Rizal Park Hotel website.

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