On the last day of my most recent trip to Manila in January, my parents and I had to attend a wedding within the Resorts World Manila complex, an integrated entertainment and lifestyle hub. It just so happened that I needed to fly back to Iloilo the very next day. Ever since I moved to Iloilo in 2017, I no longer get to see my parents as often as I’d like, so I wanted to make a staycation out of the occasion. That’s when I decided to book at the newly opened Hilton Manila.
Since opening its doors in late October, I’ve been wanting to stay at Hilton Manila because of the posh-looking interiors I keep seeing in photos on social media. And on the way out of the airport, I saw just how close it is to Ninoy Aquino International Airport: It’s right across Terminal 3, and it’s a short car or cab ride away from the other terminals. It even has direct connections to Terminal 3 via the “Runway Manila” skybridge. It’s perfect for spending quality time with my parents, and I don’t need to rush to get to the airport in time for my flight because it’s so close by.
King Guest-Room with Pool View
If you’re thinking of celebrating a special occasion with loved ones anytime soon, be it a birthday, an anniversary, or even Valentine’s Day, I’d recommend checking out Hilton Manila. Allow me to share with you our recent experience plus details of a special Valentine’s Day dinner below.
Celebrate any special occasion with a staycation at Hilton
Hilton Manila marks the Hilton brand’s entry into the Philippine market. If there’s anything we associate with the Hilton brand, it’s luxury and sophistication—which is what you’ll experience during your stay.
Hilton Manila’s convenient location is what really drew me to the property, as it’s right across Newport Performing Arts Theatre and Newport Mall. (Soon, there will be a connecting walkway to the mall from Hilton, but for now, it’s still under construction.) Yet once I was inside the hotel, I never really wanted to leave; I just wanted to stay in my room. It’s really ideal for staycations.
Our King Guest Room with Pool View
Hilton Manila offers 357 modern and elegant guest rooms furnished with Hilton’s signature features and technology, including the famed Serenity bed (so comfy); 55-inch smart LED TV; and a well-appointed four-point bathroom comprising a vanity area, toilet, and separate bathtub and rain shower. Rates start at P10,870+++ for an overnight stay in a standard guest room with buffet breakfast for two at the all-day dining restaurant, Kusina.
Different areas of our King Guest Room with Pool View
My parents and I stayed at a King Guest Room with Pool View, and we enjoyed how much space there is. There’s a living area with a couch, and a king-size bed that’s so comfortable, you’re guaranteed a good night’s sleep—especially if you’re bundled in one of their plush robes. The spacious bathroom boasts of a large shower head—on both rain shower and detachable types—and Crab Tree & Evelyn premium bathroom toiletries.
What really stood out for us and made our stay truly comfortable is the fast and efficient service of front office and housekeeping (i.e. when we asked for more bottled water and towels to be brought to our room). Speaking of which, they use glass water bottles, not plastic, so they win major eco-friendly points in my book!
Crabtree & Evelyn bath toiletries
If you’re a Hilton Honors member, there’s an advanced digital room selection and check-in, as well as digital key or keyless entry using the Hilton Honors app. The innovative “direct-to-room” technology allows guests to use their smartphone or tablet as their room key for seamless access. It’s exclusively available to Hilton Honors members, so I wasn’t able to try it when I first checked in.
Living area of our King Guest Room with Pool View
So yes, Hilton Manila is part of Hilton Honors, the guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 hotel brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, such as an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi (which isn’t free if you’re not a member), and a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of points and money to book a stay. Members can also redeem their points for free nights and access to events through the Hilton Honors auction platform. To celebrate the opening of Hilton Manila, Hilton Honors members will earn an additional 1,000 points per night—valid to those availing the hotel’s Best Available Rate—for stays from now until May 31, 2019.
Lots of comfy sitting areas at the Hilton Lobby where you can relax while you wait for your room
Besides stylish accommodations, Hilton Manila guests can enjoy exceptional amenities and premier facilities. The hotel has a 24-hour fitness center with the latest fitness equipment and free weights. And if you have kids, there are wet and dry play areas for children to enjoy.
View of the Hilton lagoon pool from our room at night
Yet the highlight has to be the hotel’s expansive, free-form, resort-style lagoon pool, surrounded by dozens of sun loungers, complete with a hip swim-up bar. It was a busy stay, so I never got the chance to take a dip, but I can guarantee it’s a pretty popular facility of the hotel. I enjoyed admiring its beauty from our King Guest Room with a Pool View, especially when it was lit at night. And if you’re the type to swim first thing in the morning or before nightfall (to avoid the harsh sun), no need to worry about the cold: The pool is heated and even makes use of saltwater—no chlorine! I swear I won’t miss the chance to swim next time we stay.
Hilton pool view from our room during the day
A caveat: Since the hotel is fairly new, there’s still a lot of construction ongoing. Just come in knowing this, especially if you’re the type to be bothered by loud construction noises (i.e. drills while you’re having breakfast). I also took into consideration that the hotel was setting up for a pool party the night we stayed. Speaking of the party, we could still hear the music through our room’s windows since our room faces the pool, but it wasn’t loud enough to be totally bothersome.
Dining options and facilities for all occasions
Hilton Manila has innovative dining offerings at its three restaurants and two bars. Executive Chef Dennis Leslie, who has more than 20 years of F&B experience, brings new and exciting flavors and cuisines to the hotel dining scene, creating a food and beverage experience that focuses on healthy, nutritious menus utilizing ingredients that are locally sourced, sustainable, and organic where possible.
Lots of cozy dining spots at Kusina
I was only able to try Kusina, which serves Filipino cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood cooked dampa-style, classic Filipino recipes with a twist, as well as international staples at its interactive buffet stations. This is where they serve the buffet breakfast that came with our stay, and boy did my parents and I enjoyed that feast! At P1,450 net per person, you can definitely get your money’s worth with all the premium options you wouldn’t find in other hotel buffets (and trust me, I’ve tried a lot).
Kusina’s “Samalamig” drinks station and spacious dining area
The spectacular breakfast buffet spread included a Filipino farmers’ station (fresh produce); as well as international, Filipino, Chinese (dimsum galore), Japanese (sushi!), and dessert station (including Filipino sweets and taho). I loved the local touches in the form of decor and station names, like “Samalamig” for drinks (from where I had countless glasses of sago’t gulaman) and “Panaderia” for bread. I wonder if they even dried the fruits themselves: The dried fruits served with their selection of cheese and cereals didn’t seem like they came from a pack.
Cereals and coffee station, “Kapihan”
The other F&B outlets I look forward to trying when I visit next are Madison Lounge & Bar located at the lobby entrance, reminiscent of New York City’s dining scene, offering artisanal coffee and a grab-and-go selection during the day and exquisite cocktails, premium wines, and bar bites at night; Hua Ting, located on the second floor, featuring modern Shanghainese cuisine, using traditional recipes and locally sourced ingredients, in a casual yet upscale setting; Port Bar, which brings in the finest range of craft beers, premium whiskies, cognacs, and dark rums from around the world, with bartenders known for whipping up creative takes on classic cocktails; and the Freestyle Pool Bar, where guests can enjoy a light bite and expertly concocted cocktails by the poolside.
Madison Lounge & Bar
If you’re planning a bigger celebration, you’ll be happy to know Hilton Manila has six versatile venues to choose from, perfect for weddings, debuts, and other milestone celebrations. There’s a beautiful 545-square-meter ballroom with a 6-meter crystal-encrusted ceiling that can accommodate up to 600 people for a reception/cocktail set-up. All venues feature natural daylight and are fully equipped with the latest audiovisual innovations, such as smart LED TVs, tech-ready connections for laptops and other video sources, high-definition video conferencing suites, and wireless internet.
Valentine’s Day dinner date
If you want to experience something extra special, romantic, and unique for your Valentine’s Day dinner date, you may want to check out Hilton Manila’s special Valentine’s dining offering.
Surprise your significant with a picture-perfect Valentine’s Day dinner by the expansive resort-style lagoon poolside, featuring an indulgent 5-course degustation menu at PhP 2,500++ per person. Start your meal with cream of cauliflower soup, parsley oil and smoked tanigue, followed by an entrée of cured salmon with herbs. The main course is a sous vide Australian beef fillet, with truffle and potato puree, greens, herbs, and jus. Finish on a sweet note with dark chocolate, raspberry, and mint heart-shaped macaron, white chocolate ganache, rose petals and pistachios, and petit fours. Each table will be getting an adorable bear stuffed toy to remember this special day.
You also have the option to enjoy “in-pool” dining at P7,000++ per couple. There are limited tables “in-pool,” at the shallowest part of the heated swimming pool, which is about 4 inches deep, so better secure that reservation if you want this unique experience. (Otherwise, you can always just go for the traditional poolside dining at P5,000++ per couple.)
Cap off a sumptuous dinner with drinks and bar bites while a live band entertains you at the Madison Lounge and Bar.
Hilton Manila is located at 1 Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay City. For bookings and inquiries, call +632 2397788, or send an email to email@example.com for restaurant reservations or firstname.lastname@example.org for room reservations. You may also visit hiltonmanila.com.
Hotel photos by Trixie Reyna
Valentine’s photos courtesy of Hilton Manila