Manila and its ironies. The city is both charming and chaotic which can be a challenge to new travelers in the country. The superficial grime and bustling streets can be intimidating but find time to see past it and discover Manila’s true character beyond skin-deep. And what a better way to start is staying at the heart of city, Waterfront Manila Pavilion. A 50-year old hotel in Ermita brimming with history yet keeping up with the modern times. An iconic witness to the ever changing city.
Waterfront Manila Pavilion
Constructed near the sprawling Luneta Park, Waterfront Manila Pavilion has one side which enjoys this view of Manila and its skyscrapers. The hotel has gone through several handlers since it was constructed in 1967. The Delgado brothers banked on the prominence of Hilton International to carry its brand. Carlos Arguilles and Welton Becket took in charge of the Architecture. Key political figures and socialites have graced its corridors from the Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, Conrad Hilton and other dignitaries.
In 1988 when Hong Kong Based group Acesite took over, the hotel was named Manila Pavilion. Major change was the addition of the casino and converting the top floors to executive rooms. In 1995 , Bass Hotels managed the hotel under Acesite under the Holiday Inn Manila to attract more international clientel.
2004 marks Waterfront Philippine’s take over. Continuing the legacy of the hotel is known for by bringing back its old name and stamping their brand, hence Waterfront Manila Pavilion. Being integrated in its chain of hotels from Cebu and Davao means enhanced service and dynamic management they are known for.
Deluxe Premium Room 2021
It was my first time here at Waterfront Manila Pavilion and was assigned at at the Deluxe Premium Room 2021 for the “Experience Capital Enjoyment” experience. The 30sqm room was comfortably spacious. I like the earth and teal color theme used here. My view is on the Robinson’s Ermita side. The room has what I expect a luxury hotel has in basics. From cable TV, fast WiFi, minibar, refrigerator, line extension in the bathroom, rain shower, and airconditioning.
While I liked my room, we were able to take a peek at some of signature suites. The yellow-themed presidential Aquino Suite is lavish at 161 sqm. Includes an entrance hall, master bedroom, his and hers bathroom, study, living area and kitchen. The Romulo Suite is similar in size and layout but of different teal-theme and design. High rollers and businessmen can enjoy the Ambassador Rooms exciting ruby-red theme and the other premium suites.
Business and Leisure
All rooms have access to the gym and poolside terrace. I was looking forward to using the gym but were undergoing renovations at the moment I was there. Didn’t have time to enjoy the pool though.
The Ambassador’s Club Lounge is exclusive to Ambassador Rooms and Suites guest. It’s an executive space where guest have their own butler. Complimentary breakfast and afternoon cocktails are served here. Private dining can also be arranged. There’s a business area with workstation and business services as well.
Perhaps my favorite during my stay are the tasteful offerings at Waterfront Manila Pavilion. I enjoyed the afternoon brewed coffee at the Patisserie. Their ensaimada is well-known and there’s a very good reason. Relish the creamy and melts-in-your mouth cheese and butter top with flavorful fillings. There are three flavors to choose from: I like the original but the hint of saltiness from the Malolos was also good and the ube (purple yam) flavor distinct.
Seasons is the main dining area. Buffet breakfast is served here. Choices are plentiful. I liked that they have native offerings of dilis (fried anchovies), tuyo (salted fish) and dangit(dried fish) together with their continental offerings. We also had a sumptuous four course meal to cap our staycation. Seasons have a dresscode. Sleeveless shirts for men are not allowed.
Morning after our overnight stay, we proceeded to our tour of the Walled City of Intramuros. The tour was facilitated by the Department of Tourism, Intramuros Administration (www.intramuros.gov.ph). I have done this tour several times already but its still interesting depending on who the guides are. Besides, there are new developments to see. San Agustin Church have new sections opened and airconditioned galleries. Fort Santiago also opened the dungeons. These sites are just leisurely walks away from Waterfront Manila Pavilion. Explore this historic side of Manila at your convenience while enjoying the luxury within this iconic hotel.
Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino
United Nations Avenue Ermita Manila 1000
Email: [email protected]
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.