In my entire life, I have only been to The Manila Hotel (at least from what I remember) once – and that was my cousin’s wedding, which also happened to be my 21st birthday. All I know about the hotel is that it housed Gen. MacArthur when he became the Military Advisor of the Philippine Commonwealth.
I remember being in awe when I first saw the interior of The Manila Hotel over four years ago. It was grand, it had a smell that will definitely bring you to the past (which I love, I think I am an old soul!), and it had a sense of theater. I wanted to explore the hotel more then, but since it was my cousin’s wedding and I had a birthday party in another venue, I didn’t have the chance to go around.
The hotel first opened its doors in 1912. It hosted numerous big names in politics – heads of states, diplomats, officials. It also opened its halls to celebrities from all over the world, Michael Jackson being one of the most popular.
Before it reached its current state, The Manila Hotel had to be renovated a couple of times. The first renovation was done when Pres. Manual Quezon decided to house Lt. Gen. MacArthur and his family in the hotel. The intention of the renovation was to make the suite where the general will stay as beautiful, as grand, and as comfortable as Malacañan Palace, which was the first choice of MacArthur. The second major renovation happened after World War II since the hotel was badly damaged. The Manila Hotel was also renovated during the Martial Law, after which it was said that Imelda Marcos was often seen at the hotel restaurants. More renovations – major and minor – happened as time passed and the needs of its customers changed. Soon, another renovation will take place in the Fiesta Hall (Luckily, we will be attending the Rotary DisCon BEFORE the renovation begins so I will have a chance to take photos of the hall!).
When I received an invitation to join a tour around The Manila Hotel, I immediately grabbed the opportunity! I had no idea what the tour itinerary will be, but I signed up anyway. To my pleasant surprise, the itinerary included the most iconic and historic suites and restaurants of the hotel!
Since each stop has a story to tell, I decided to break down my post into five parts:
- Champagne Room
- Honeymoon Suite
- General Douglas MacArthur Suite
- Mabuhay Palace
- Cafe Ilang-Ilang
Follow my blog posts as I take you on a photo walk around The Manila Hotel. I promise that it will be an interesting and memorable journey!
The Manila Hotel Website: http://www.manila-hotel.com.ph
The Manila Hotel Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/TheManilaHotel
The Manila Hotel Twitter Acct: http://www.twitter.com/manilahotel
The Manila Hotel Instagram Acct: http://www.instagram.com/manila_hotel