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.
The hotel boasted 413 rooms, including 29 suites on the top floors. While the Urban Roamer has not been able to check out the accommodations there, (sadly) I was fortunate to checked out its famed restaurant, Paseo Uno, in a visit there sometime last year. Personally, the selection was good though not as extensive as I expected. Or maybe I was expecting too much. But I digress.
As part of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, it was in the company of some of the world’s finest 5-star hotels, notably the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, as well as the Mandarin Oriental in Singapore, New York, and Hyde Park in London.
But back to the story at hand. In recent years, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Manila has somewhat fallen behind by the times. The hotel acknowledged that its current facilities and infrastructure are below par to the brand of luxury hospitality Mandarin Oriental has been known for. In addition, it is facing some stiff competition as newer hotels that are located nearer to the premier address of Ayala Avenue in Makati CBD. A recent piece posted on the Interaksyon site should provide a bit more context to the hotel’s recent “challenges.”
Sad as this story may sound, this does not mean the end of Mandarin Oriental in Manila as it bared it will return in 2020. Although they did not state it outright, it seems the new Mandarin Oriental Hotel Manila will be in a new location in some mixed-development project of Ayala in Makati.
For now, we shall have to say farewell soon to what has become an iconic landmark. At the same time, we can only hope that we shall see a better Mandarin Oriental Hotel Manila that will open its doors again come 2020 and “be a fan” once more.
with additional information from ABS-CBN News, Rappler, and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Manila website
you can also check out the Urban Roamer’s Flickr page for more photos of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Manila I uploaded from my files