MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is getting its fair share of classy and famous hotel brands, as Fairmont Hotels & Resorts announces the opening of the five-star Fairmont Makati along Makati Avenue, Ayala Center, next Monday, December 3.
The 30-story Fairmont Makati offers 280 deluxe rooms and suites, including Fairmont Gold, the hotel’s exclusive hotel within a hotel. It also houses Raffles Makati, a 32-room, all-suite hotel; and Raffles Residences, with 237 one- to four-bedroom residences for both short- and long-term stays. Raffles is a sister brand under the parent company Fairmont Raffles Hotels International.
The hotel has made use of local materials such as coco-twig white resin, crushed mahogany seeds (embedded in the walls) and abaca laminated glass. A focal point of each guestroom is the floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the central business district.
The luxury hotel, which is now accepting reservations for stays starting December 4, has seven restaurants and lounges including Long Bar, inspired by the famous Long Bar at Raffles Hotel Singapore and which will also serve the renowned Singapore Sling.
The hotel is offering an introductory “Seeing Is Believing” package from December 4 to March 31, 2013, which will allow guests to stay for three nights but pay for only two nights. Rates start from $239 (P9,800) per night, excluding taxes.
Inquiries can be made at +632-5559888 or [email protected].
7,486 additional rooms in Manila
The Philippines faces a rosy outlook in terms of hotel construction, unseen a few years ago. STR Global, which tracks down hotel development in the pipeline, notes in its report update for October 2012, that in the Asia-Pacific region, Manila, next to New Delhi, India, registered the highest expected hotel-room growth at 34.8-percent, or the equivalent of 7,486 new rooms in the pipeline. These rooms include those in construction, final planning, and planning stages.
New Delhi reported the largest expected room growth (+42.1 percent)—that is, if all the rooms in the total active pipeline were to open (11,056 rooms). Aside from Manila, the other markets that reported more than 20-percent expected room growth were Bali, Indonesia (+24.3 percent with 8,595 rooms); Mumbai, India (+22.5 percent with 4,456 rooms); and Jakarta, Indonesia (+21.4 percent with 6,702 rooms).
PAL, Airphil Express terminals
Starting last October 28, Philippine Airlines and budget Airphil Express have designated the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 (also known as the Centennial Airport) as the airport for domestic flights to and from Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo (flights 239, 240, 249, and 250), Laoag and Tagbilaran.
Naia Terminal 3, on the other hand, is the departure and arrival airport for flights to and from Busuanga, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Calbayog, Catarman, Cotabato, Caticlan, Dipolog, Dumaguete, Kalibo (flights 081, 082, 561, 562, 565, 566, 975, 976, 969, and 970), Legazpi, Masbate, Naga, Ozamiz, Puerto Princesa, Roxas, Surigao, Tacloban, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga.
PAL’s Manila-Toronto flight
Starting November 30, Philippine Airlines will fly from Manila to Toronto, Canada, non-stop every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The airline will use its new Boeing 777-300ER, with “spacious and ergonomically designed seats.” PAL also promises state-of-the-art flight entertainment both in Mabuhay and Fiesta classes. Reservations at 855-8888.
Gorgeous hotel lobbies
Makati Shangri-La has made it to the list of Conde Nast Traveler’s 2012 Gold List of “27 Gorgeous Hotel Lobbies,” ranking No. 22, ahead of Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok (No. 26) and Mandarin Oriental Bangkok (No. 27) but behind Hotel De La Paix in Siem Reap, Cambodia (No. 16). The magazine says of the top-rated lobbies: “You might never want to go to your room with lobbies this grand.”
Manila is No. 4 in Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice 2012 list of 10 Asian “destinations on the rise.” Trip Advisor describes Metro Manila as “historic and modern, rich and poor.”
Travelers ranked the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial as No. 1 of 64 attractions followed by Corregidor Island, University of Santo Tomas, Intramuros, Fort Santiago, Taal Volcano, San Agustin Church, Casa Manila, Rizal Shrine and San Sebastian in the top 10.
Trip Advisor also says that Manila “is filled with museums, shops, parks and churches, plus enough nightlife to last until dawn.”
For full list, log on to www.tripadvisor.com.
Bonifacio Global City outdoor fair
Bonifacio Global City is organizing a big outdoor fair called the BGC Passionfest 2012
from November 23 (Friday) to 25 (Sunday). The opening ceremony featuring Music Grooves and Art Moves Mobile Concert will be at 5 p.m. on 9th St. in Bonifacio High Street. Performances by bands/artists are the highlights.
The second day will feature kiddie shows and outdoor movies. There will be roaming entertainers like jugglers and balloon twisters beginning at 4 p.m.
November 25 will be the BGC Christmas Season opening featuring the lighting of over 15 ornamented construction tower cranes and the performances of The Net Group Christmas Chorale, Ballet Philippines and Tanghalang Pilipino.