As was talked about in this piece some time ago, the beloved Mandarin Oriental Manila will be closing down its operations this year. The hotel’s closing was being done in phases for quite some time, but on September 9, after 38 years in operation, the hotel will finally shut down its operations for good, at least in its current location.
Come 2020, a new Mandarin Oriental hotel is expected to open its doors again, and it will be located right across its current location at Roxas Triangle, right at the northern tip of Ayala Triangle.
Mandarin Oriental Manila 2.0 is envisioned to have 275 rooms, considerably lesser than the 413 rooms in the soon-to-be-closed Mandarin Oriental. However the new Mandarin Orietnal Manila will enjoy having a bit more accessibility to the rest of the Makati CBD. The hotel is actually part of bigger development plan for Ayala Triangle as 80,000 square meters of office space, retail and dining spaces will be created around the area.
However, there is the concern that such development will further shrink the metropolis’ already lacking green space, though to be fair, that part of the Ayala Triangle where Mandarin Oriental and the aforementioned spaces will be built has long been a closed-off part of the traingle park.
Then there is the question as to the fate of the old Mandarin Oriental Manila building once the hotel shuts down. Ayala Land, the Makati CBD property developer is eyeing a mixed-use development project there, though nothing has been finalized yet it seems. This uncertainty has led to concerns being raised as to whether the building will face the wrecking ball anytime soon.
While it is not yet considered a heritage structure, (a structure has to be at least 50 years old to be possibly considered as such) it is a notable work of a National Artist for Architecture, Leandro Locsin. Works of National Artists are given utmost protection under Philippine law with the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009. (RA 10066)
Nevertheless, Ayala Land has assured that they will consult with concerned government agencies and heritage experts in the redevelopment of the old Mandarin Oriental building.
It will be interesting at least to see what Ayala will come up for this structure. We can only hope it can match the iconic character, if not surpass that, of good ol’ Mandarin Oriental Manila.
For the meantime, farewell for now, Mandarin Oriental. We shall see you in 2020.