12/26/15

A Farewell to Hotel InterContinental

As we in the metropolis are still having a Christmas hangover while looking forward to the New Year, unfortunately one beloved landmark in the city will bade farewell along with 2015 with the Hotel InterContinental Manila having its final day of operations on New Year’s Eve and its New Year’s Eve countdown to be held there being the last event to be held in this storied hotel.

The Hotel InterContinental Manila has been pretty much a part of the cityscape of the Makati Central Business District (CBD) and the greater metropolis of Manila for over 46 years. While the hotel may not be as iconic as the Manila Hotel or The Peninsula Manila, it has a unique charm of its own that has been remembered fondly by guests and visitors who have stayed and/or visited over those years. Continue reading

09/25/15

Grand Buffet Dining at Manila’s Grand Dame: Cafe Ilang-Ilang at Manila Hotel

It’s been a long while since the Urban Roamer has last stepped in Manila Hotel. And during that time, a lot of things have changed: a new logo, new uniforms of the staff. But the ambiance of old Manila remains alive in the hotel.

My return that day though was for a somewhat different matter, which was to fully immerse myself in a filling buffet dining experience at the hotel’s main restaurant: Cafe Ilang-Ilang.

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06/30/15

Viva Manila: Luneta Hotel Reborn

This is the 4th part of a series covering Carlos Celdran’s Viva Manila tour. Click here for Part 1Part 2, and Part 3

One of the stops of the Carlos Celdran Viva Manila tour was a visit to a historic hotel near Rizal Park that is not the Manila Hotel. I am of course talking about the Luneta Hotel which first opened in 1918.

Designed in the French renaissance style by Spanish architect Salvador Farre, the hotel with its charm and elegance, rivaled the Manila Hotel as a popular place of stay among guests, especially notable ones like dignitaries, elite, and marine merchant personnel. Dwight D. Eisenhower, during his stint in the country as aide to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, also stayed in this hotel and had good memories of it.  It also served as the hotel for the delegates of an international meet that was the XXXIII International Eucharistic Congress in 1937.

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06/28/15

Viva Manila: Manila’s Art Deco Hotel

This is the 3rd part of a series covering Carlos Celdran’s Viva Manila tour. Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

There are, sad to say, only a few hotels from the prewar years that have managed to survive and serve as living monuments to a bygone glorious era that we had. One of them was part of the itinerary of the recent Carlos Celdran Viva Manila tour.

Meet the Miramar Hotel, a hotel built in the Art Deco style of architecture built in the 1930s. As one can see, the hotel has done a good job preserving many of its original elements to be appreciated by generations of guests and travelers alike.

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06/5/14

A Farewell To Mandarin Oriental

Truth be told, this has been originally an entry long overdue of a write-up on this site since last year. For some reason, I never got around it for that long. While I have now gotten around doing this entry, I feel bad that I am writing about this storied hotel in the most unfortunate of circumstances as the news broke out recently that Mandarin Oriental is closing down its operations later this year.

This puts an end to the hotel’s 38 years or so of operation in the city that began with the opening of its iconic hotel building in 1976, housed in a uniquely-designed concrete edifice courtesy of no less than the National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin, right at the corner of Paseo de Roxas and Makati Avenue.

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