The historic landmark Manila Hotel, the oldest premier hotel in the Philippines, made it to the list of Top 20 Southeast Asian Hotels in a poll conducted by international magazine Condé Nast Traveler.
Earning a rating of 82.5 from the magazine’s 46,476 readers, who “elected 1,306 properties and places” for the 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards, the Manila Hotel sits on the list’s anchor position (No. 20).
The Manila Hotel was designed and built in 1908 on an area of 35,000 square meters on Roxas Boulevard near the Manila Bay, under the supervision of William Parsons. It was meant to rival Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines.
It officially opened upon its inauguration on July 4, 1912, the same commemoration date of American Independence. The hotel recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.
At present, the five-star white, green-tile-roofed California Missionary-styled edifice has 570 rooms that offer “the best westward view of Manila’s fabled sunset, the fortress of Corregidor, the poignant ruins of the medieval fortress that was Intramuros, and the palm-lined promenades of Luneta Park.”
“The hotel of diplomats. a real slice of history, and the magic of the past haunts this hotel. You can watch the ghosts of a nation dance by to the violin music in the lobby while eating salted nuts and drinking San Miguel beer. Also one of the best spas in Manila. the only downside is I was assigned a room in an awkward corner of the building,” said a certain “B.I.” of Washington in one of the hotel’s reviews posted on CN Traveler’s website (http://www.cntraveler.com/hotels/asia/philippines/manila-hotel-manila-ph…).
“Excellent, world class hotel. Beautiful lobby. Nice room,” commented Mary Farquhar of California.
Two other hotels in the Philippines, Edsa Shangri-La and Makati Shangri-La, also made it to the list, which is topped this year by Amandari in Bali, Indonesia (94.8).
This year’s Readers’ Choice Awards, which covered cities, islands, hotels, resorts, cruises, and airlines, is Condé Nast Traveler’s 25th annual survey.
For the “Top Hotels” category, Condé Nast Traveler readers rated hotels in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Siem Reap, Cambodia, and Malaysia.
Published by Condé Nast beginning in 1953 as a mailing sent out by the Diners Club, Condé Nast Traveler is an American magazine that lists locations that would take the card. It became a full-fledged magazine, The Diners Club Magazine, in 1960, then later took the name Signature. Condé Nast bought it in 1986, and relaunched it under its current name the following year.
Last June, Cable News Network (CNN) International, in the article “Then and now: The stories behind Southeast Asia’s heritage hotels” written by Tina Hsiao and Jules Kay, cited the Manila Hotel as one of today’s seven “heritage hotels” in Southeast Asia, alongside Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, Thailand and Raffles Singapore. The Manila Hotel is the only hotel in the country cited by CNN International.
(Story courtesy of Manila Bulletin’s Leo Ortega Laparan II )