First impression. New World Manila Bay Hotel has one of the best views of the famous Manila Bay. It's also an ideal location for exploring the city sights.
Check in. One of the hotel staff accompanied me to the Residence Club Lounge on the 10th floor for check in, a refreshing welcome drink and cold towel. Check in was quick, but I was tempted to linger, enjoying the floor-to-ceiling windows with a 180-degree view of Manila Bay.
Room. I stayed in the 74sqm Premiere Bay View Suite, with full-length windows in the living room and bedroom giving a spectacular view of Manila Bay and its famous sunset. The suite is promoted on the hotel's website as "offering the highest level of comfort and service". For one, it does not scrimp on space. It has a bedroom with king size bed and a large en suite bathroom, a dining area that seats about six people, a living room and space for a desk. Full-length mirrors enhance the space even more.
Designed in warm hues, the suite is fitted with modern amenities including two flat-screen cable TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, telephone, minibar with a bar fridge, coffee and tea maker, and a safe.
The luxury bathroom has Italian marble counters, two sinks, a bathtub and separate shower, and Ellis toiletries.
Food. There is a variety of dining choices at New World Manila Bay Hotel. To kick off the night, the Residence Club Lounge opens at 6pm for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Guests can choose from a wine bar or make their own cocktails. The buffet spread is extensive enough for a full meal with cold cuts, bread, salads, pasta, sushi and more. I particularly liked the shrimp in mango salsa and the smoked turkey in barbecue sauce. Residence Club Lounge is also open for club members for breakfast.
Biggest of all the hotel restaurants is Market Café, where my friend and I tried the dinner buffet. Multiple stations stretch out offering a taste of different cuisines – Western, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Filipino – in one convenient place. The grill station is an excellent place to start with choices of beef, lamb, chicken and fish. I loved the blue marlin the most, tender with a smoked grill flavor. Fresh seafood is plentiful with clams, shrimp, crabs and salmon.
Market Café's morning spread is as large as its dinner.
Other dining choices available are Li Li, for authentic Cantonese dishes; The Fireplace, steakhouse; The Lounge for casual drinks and entertainment; the small Pastry Boutique; and the Pool Bar.
Activities. New World Manila Bay has outdoor swimming pools at Club Oasis on the eighth floor. There's a 25-meter lap pool, a children’s pool and a whirlpool. Located on the same floor, the Fitness Center has modern equipment and machines, while a separate studio offers a private space to practice yoga, pilates and other fitness regimen. The hotel also offers spa and massage services. Other entertainment outlets include the Music Bar, and Casino-Filipino Manila.
New World Manila Bay can also arrange to take tourists shopping, dining or to see cultural and heritage sites.
Service. The staff are warm, prompt, and efficient.
We like. The suite, top-notch amenities and the endless leisure activities available in and around the hotel. A personal favorite is the Residence Club Lounge, the perfect spot to sit and work or hang out for cocktails.
Not so keen. Very few and minor: no bubble bath soap provided, no couches and lounge area in the main lobby.
Verdict. Highly recommended. This is a convenient place to stay for travellers who want to explore or rediscover Manila City.
Rooms are from P5,800++ (US$108) per night for two people, without breakfast. The Premiere Bay View Suite is P11,800++ per night.
New World Manila Hotel, 1588 Pedro Gil cor. M.H. Del Pilar, Manila, tel +632 252 6888.
Cover photo is courtesy of New World Manila Bay.
Published November 2016