City of Manila

The Grand Dame by the Bay (Part 2)

With the many changes the Manila Hotel underwent through over the years, there is still this old world charm that it has managed to somehow retain today. This is evident the moment you step in its doors and be greeted by its iconic grand lobby.


From the lobby to the room, every inch of the hotel manages to still retain an old world charm that reminds you of what Manila was in the past.

As far as hotel dining is concerned, the Manila Hotel has managed to make its mark thankss to its Ilang-Ilang Restaurant which offers a rich buffet of dining choices from different parts of the world.

Given its long history, there are countless stories that have been told in this hotel, from the illustrious guests that made their way through the grand lobby, or even at the hotel bar, where legend tells that sometime in 1946, an American businessman Roy Farrell and a group of journalists brainstormed for a name for his new airline. It was decided then and there that its name would be…Cathay Pacific.


At the same time, it strives to strike a balance with the new with incorporating modern design and architecture that will complement the hotel overall.

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Of course there have been stumbles along the way. It is no secret that the hotel has suffered from a downturn in recent years due to competition from the plush Makati hotels and issues with ownership. It did not also help that hotel managed to put up some “epic fail” plans at the time, such as the opening of a Manila Hotel events venue called “Tent City” which was said to have been set up for it to compete with venues like the NBC Tent in Taguig. Unfortunately, it does not manage to complement the iconic edifice and it stands today as an “odd man out” in the hotel complex.

But if the recent efforts are to be taken into consideration, the Manila Hotel is at least on the right track as it strives to establish itself firmly as “The Grand Dame” of Manila that reassures it will live on as a symbol of the city’s past and a beacon of hope to what Manila can be ahead.


Acknowledgements to the Manila Hotel

© The Urban Roamer

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