The Manila Hotel; Discovering its History and Luxurious Stay

The Manila Hotel - ANAther Travel Show

Entering the iconic Manila Hotel, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe. With a history that traces back to 1912, this establishment is not just a hotel but a living testament to the rich cultural heritage of Manila. Let me take you on a captivating journey into the grandeur and elegance of this historic landmark. The Manila Hotel can be traced back to the era of American colonization in the Philippines. As the United States began to develop Manila as a strategic outpost in the Far East, the need for a grand hotel became apparent. Its neoclassical architecture and Beaux-Arts style exterior were an immediate testament to its grandeur. Over the years, The Manila Hotel has endured challenging times, surviving both World Wars and other significant historical events. During World War II, the hotel was taken over by Japanese forces, who used it as their military headquarters.

Despite the devastation caused by the war, The Manila Hotel remained resilient, eventually reopening its doors in 1945, a testament to the Filipino spirit of resilience. It became a symbol in the region, drawing guests from all walks of life, including dignitaries, diplomats, Hollywood stars, and famous writers. Renowned figures such as General Douglas MacArthur, Ernest Hemingway, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis were among those who graced its elegant halls. Each guest brought with them a piece of history, leaving an indelible mark on the hotel’s legacy. Throughout its existence, The Manila Hotel has been the backdrop for various historic milestones. In 1935, the hotel’s Champagne Room witnessed the signing of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, a moment that marked the country’s transition to self-governance. Countless diplomatic meetings, social gatherings, and historic events have taken place within its walls, making it an integral part of the country’s narrative.

My Stay

As I stepped into The Manila Hotel, the grand lobby took my breath away. The ornate chandeliers bathed the area in a soft, golden glow, while the regal charm of the grand staircase mesmerized me. It was evident that every detail had been carefully crafted to create a memorable welcome for all guests. As I walked through the lobby, I couldn’t help but appreciate the hotel’s successful blend of history and modernity. The 515 rooms and suites at the hotel reflected a perfect fusion of elegance and classic design, reminding me of its rich past. Upon entering my room, I was captivated by the seamless combination of historic charm and modern comforts. The traditional old Filipino home interior theme was screaming nostalgia to me with its weived wooden accents. The hotel thoughtfully catered to the needs of today’s travelers, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

I had booked the Deluxe Room, a spacious 40 sqm haven, at the price of P7500. You can also book through third-party sites like Agoda offered a more affordable option but the discounts vary almost every day. The room featured a king-sized bed and a spotlessly clean and expansive toilet and bath. The highlight of my stay was undoubtedly the balcony, offering breathtaking views of Manila Bay and Manila Ocean Park. Waking up to such a view was truly a mesmerizing experience, and it made my stay even more unforgettable. It was just so perfect! I love how the place is intricately maintained despite its age. So far, the Manila Hotel is one of my Top 5 picks and highly recommended!

Breakfast at Cafe Ilang-ilang

During my stay at The Manila Hotel, I had a free breakfast buffet at Café Ilang-Ilang. The hotel boasts seven different dining options, each offering a delectable array of Filipino and international cuisine to satisfy any craving. It was one of the hotel’s 7 different dining options to choose from. Café Ilang-Ilang’s breakfast buffet was a true culinary delight. As I stepped into the restaurant, the aroma of freshly baked bread and the sight of live cooking stations enticed my senses. The spread was a feast for the eyes, featuring an assortment of hand-rolled sushi, fresh pastas, Chinese noodles, and flavorful charcuterie. I was spoiled for choice with the array of artisanal ice cream and healthy green salads, making it a perfect start to the day. There was a ton of selection of Filipino specialties, allowing me to savor the authentic flavors of the Philippines.

From local favorites like Adobo and Sinigang to mouthwatering lechon, the buffet showcased the rich tapestry of Filipino cuisine. Café Ilang-Ilang was indeed a haven for food enthusiasts, providing an unparalleled dining experience. Whether it was the sumptuous breakfast or the delightful lunch and dinner buffets, the restaurant left a lasting impression on my taste buds. Visitors can also dine here for Php 875 – Php 3,790 per head. Café Ilang-Ilang serves breakfast from 6 AM – 10 AM, lunch from 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, and dinner from 6 PM – 10 PM. Ensuring a delightful culinary experience at any time of the day. The Manila Hotel’s dedication to culinary excellence truly shone through in every dish served at Café Ilang-Ilang.


  • Deluxe Room
  • Superior Deluxe Room
  • Grand Deluxe Room


  • Presidential Suite
  • McArthur Suite
  • Heritage Suite
  • Intramuros Suite
  • Honeymoon Suite
  • Sunrise & Sunset Suite
  • Veranda Suite
  • Luneta Suite
  • Bay Suite
  • The Executive Club


If you’re looking for more hotels in Manila, check these out:

How to get there?

  • Find the nearest LRT-1 station to your current location. The LRT-1 line runs from Baclaran Station in Parañaque to Roosevelt Station in Quezon City, passing through various stations in Manila, including United Nations Avenue Station, which is the closest station to The Manila Hotel.
  • Purchase a Single Journey Ticket at the LRT-1 station. You can get it from the ticket counter or a Ticket Vending Machine. Make sure to have enough change for the fare.
  • Board the LRT-1 train heading towards United Nations Avenue Station. If you’re coming from the southern part of Manila, take a train heading towards Baclaran (Southbound direction). If you’re coming from the northern part, board a train heading towards Roosevelt (Northbound direction).
  • Alight at United Nations Avenue Station. Once you reach the station, follow the signs and head to the exit.
  • From United Nations Avenue Station, The Manila Hotel is just a short walk away. Walk towards the direction of Rizal Park (Luneta) and you’ll find The Manila Hotel located at One Rizal Park, Manila.

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