Not sure if you know this, but this week actually marks the 10th anniversary of one of the most popular gaming venues in the metropolis: Resorts World Manila in Megaworld’s Newport City township development.
I know I do because the Urban Roamer (which was just two weeks old at that point) was there when it had its grand opening 10 years ago. And not to brag but the Urban Roamer was one of the first blogs that wrote about Resorts World and the Newport City township when it was published just a few days after the grand opening. You can check out what I first wrote here.
Since then, the Urban Roamer has covered Newport City a bit more in-depth a year later, along with some event coverages in the area over the years. During those times I was there, more so when I hadn’t gotten the chance to visit, the area would further be developed, despite the height and land area limitations in place. More structures were being built in the hope of attracting visitors, as well as would-be residents.
This congestion, not to mention the distance especially from where I am, has made me skip Newport City for a long while. But now, with its prime landmark Resorts World Manila celebrating its 10th anniversary and considering that the Urban Roamer was there at the start, a revisit was in order as the Urban Roamer and Newport City have both reached their 10th-anniversary milestones.
Newport’s New Hotels
After Marriott and Maxim, both of which were already operational when Resorts World Manila opened 10 years ago, Newport City has built 6(!) additional hotels. I suppose it’s taking advantage of the property’s proximity to the airport but 8 hotel overall?
Two of these hotels (Belmont and Savoy) are actually Megaworld-owned hotel brands, with the rest being international brands. One of those international hotel brands is scheduled to open later this year (Hotel Okura) and another is actually a mid-tier brand (Holiday Inn Express). But perhaps the most notable of those hotels in Newport City are Hilton Manila and Sheraton Manila, two 5-star hotel brands that actually had a presence before in the metropolis up until the 1980s. Actually both hotels are housed in the same building, but Hilton is probably has the advantage in terms of interiors and location of its main entrance.
It just is unfortunate that both Hilton and Sheraton, despite their brand power, don’t have much of a presence in the area on the account that they came in a bit later. As it is now, the 10-year old Marriott Manila still remains the most dominant hotel in Newport City, especially now that it has two wings and a separate facility that is home to the largest grand ballroom in the Philippines.
Expanded Gaming and Entertainment
During the early years of Resorts World Manila, I distinctly remember that it occupied two floors at least for the general public. Now, the original Resorts World site only occupies the original ground level space, with the second floor closed off and to be replaced with…something. I have no idea yet.
The gaming facilities on the second floor though were moved to a separate building, the same building Hotel Okura will occupy. The extension itself is a bigger area and known as the “Grand Wing.” and it has some retail stores which have yet to open at this time of writing. A few blocks away is House Manila, a night club and bar.
Aside from the mall at Resorts World, Megaworld also built retail space at the northern end, where one can find the supermarket.
Runway to the Airport
Another recent, and most certainly welcome, development in the area is the Runway Manila facility. Despite the fancy name, it’s actually an elevated crossing, albeit nicely designed, which connects Newport City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. At the very least, it promotes better accessibility between the two areas.
Apart from the anticipated opening of Hotel Okura and the Grand Wing becoming fully operational, Newport City is pretty much stacked as far as development is concerned. Some may see it as a good thing, but the Urban Roamer thinks otherwise.
Let me get this off my chest: Newport City is a congested mess. The lack of even a little open green space in an already limited land area makes me feel suffocated. Which is sad especially since I remember there used to be a nice little open space with a fountain and some green right in front of Maxim/Marriott which was a nice touch. It wasn’t much but it was very much welcome to provide a breathing space of sorts in the midst of the activity going around the area and surrounding it as well.
Sadly, Megaworld seemed to see open space as a hindrance for them to build some shiny building so that open space had to go to make way for new buildings left and right. Now Newport City looks as soulless as any other urban development here. Apart from the gaming facilities and it being an airport, it has no unique character that will make it stand out more. Indeed, many people just see it as a convenient place to go before their flight departure or upon their arrival and that’s it.
Having been witness to its beginning 10 years ago, it is unfortunate to see Newport City like this today. Considering there’s nothing left to build on. I’m not holding out hope of a positive surprise in the near future. For now, I’ll just see as “one of those” that I can visit from time to time if I’m at the airport. Maybe.
Kyle Victorino de Leon
Megaworld is really a hit and miss. They are loved by condo buyers because renting is easy due to high volume of BPO, Mainland Chinese visitors, but it only has so many quirks. It will also do well to create its own look rather than constantly importing cheaper version of Europe’s best sites.
The Urban Roamer
Noted on that. Though cringeworthy as they are, IMO it’s not a grave of a crime in property development as their blatant disregard for open green spaces.