Where to Stay in Manila, Philippines

I’m on a quest to Take12Trips this year, and it’s going VERY well so far. 🙂

In January I visited Mumbai and in February I took another quick trip to Mussoorie; I explored the Delhi Zoo in March and had a fantastic time traipsing around Europe in April. In May I went off to Shimla up in the hills to escape Delhi’s unbearable heat and in June a work trip took me to Manila, Philippines.

It was an official trip after all, so I didn’t get a chance to sight see much at all; but I’m hoping there’s a next time! I stayed at the Dusit Thani Makati for the one night I was in Manila.

Just a twenty, twenty-five minute Taxi ride from Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, The Dusit Thani Hotel in Manila is quite centrally located. Many places of interest are within a few kilometers of the hotel, as is the Financial District of Makati, which is where I was required to be. Taxis can be flagged down right from the hotel’s front porch, and the Ayala Station for the Metro Rail Transit is just a short walk away.

The hotel façade is a bit unimpressive, and it isn’t much to look at as you drive up to it, but once you enter the lobby you can’t help being pleased. The dark brown and gold interiors in the lobby are elegant and appealing, and the staff is welcoming. Everyone from the door man to the concierge are pleasant, quick and efficient, making you feel you are in good hands.

I happened to be in Manila on the Philippines National Independence Day, and the hotel had an evening of celebrations planned, with a whole lot of singing and dancing.

I was booked into a Junior Suite but got upgraded to an Executive Suite (Yay!) which was spacious and comfortable. The huge bed was superbly soft and sink-worthy, with complimentary WiFi as well as a large flat screen television to keep you busy. Plus the rooms have got all the standard amenities like in-room safe, mini bar, coffee and tea, etc. The only thing missing was a good view. All I could see from the windows were the highway and a construction site. But there’s a bath tub in the bathroom for you to run yourself a nice bubble bath to soak in after a long and tiring day!

And if a warm bubble bath doesn’t work in relaxing you, don’t worry, there’s a spa and a pool at hand to do the trick. 🙂

But the best aspect of the hotel was the food. I loved everything I tried. The hotel has a number of restaurants for every taste. The three specialty restaurants are Tosca for Italian Food, UMU for Japanese and Benjarong for Thai; and though I had heard great things about each, I ended up eating all my meals at Basix, the all-day dining restaurant.

For dinner, I ordered the Singapore fried noodles with barbeque pork and shrimp, which was fairly satisfactory; and for lunch the next day I had the Nasi Goreng, or Indonesian fried rice with beef and chicken satay, served with peanut sauce and shrimp crackers, which was an absolutely marvelously prepared dish.

The breakfast buffet was a great and lavish spread. An extensive selection of breads, cheese, cold-cuts to begin with; followed by freshly prepared eggs; and Pancakes / Waffles / Cinnamon French Toast to finish with. I was one happy glutton. But that wasn’t all. One section of the hotel’s breakfast buffet was made up of local dishes, and of course I had to try them. There was Pancit canton – stir-fried noodles with shrimp, chicken, pork and vegetables; Danggit – dried fish, Beef Tagalog – marinated beef tenderloin with sautéed onions, as well as other Asian dishes such as Tadka Dal!

To say I hogged would be an understatement!


The Last Word: I had a very pleasant stay at the Dusit Thani Manila, and I would definitely recommend it. I just wish I had had a little more time to explore the city, even if it was just half a day!

One Word of Caution: In case you don’t want to make use of the hotel’s registered car service, go out to the front porch and wait for a taxi to show up, which it will in just a few moments. But be careful, just because the taxi is picking you up from right outside the hotel doesn’t mean the driver won’t try to scam you. Ensure he puts on the meter! Also try and get the hotel staff to communicate clearly with the driver and guarantee that he will go by the meter. Hopefully, this will work and you won’t get scammed like we did. Our smarty pants cab driver waited till we had driven a wee bit away from the hotel and into a traffic snarl to inform us his meter was not working. When we insisted, he threatened to turn around and take us right back to the hotel! We had a flight to catch, and as we already seemed to be stuck in a jam, we agreed, but please be careful.

Have you been to Manila, or anywhere in the Philippines? What did you do? Where did you stay? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


I’m linking this post up to the #SundayTraveler weekly blog party, co-hosted by some awesome bloggers.
You can link your travel posts here or here, or you can join the party by following #SundayTraveler on Social Media!

And I’m also linking this up to #WeekendWanderlust. Link up your posts here or here.


So, where are you off to today?

12 comments on “Where to Stay in Manila, Philippines

  1. Pingback: 2014 - The Year I Took 12 Trips in 12 Months - Life On My Plate

  2. Pingback: 2014 – The Year I Took 12 Trips in 12 Months | Life On My Plate

  3. Pingback: What I Ate in Singapore – A Photo Essay | Life On My Plate

    • I have heard so many good things about Benjarong since returning from Manila, I hate that I didn’t have a meal there. Hopefully I’ll get to go back soon; and yes it would be so wonderful to catch up

  4. I haven’t been to the Philippines yet, but thanks for the tips. That’s wonderful that you were upgraded. The hotel room and accommodations looked very spacious. Thanks for linking up to #WeekendWanderlust.

  5. Yes, I hear that the taxi drivers in Manila can be tricky. This looks like a nice option in Makati. How nice that you got an upgrade. When I visited Manila this summer, I stayed at the Edsa Shangri-la which I can highly recommend. Their breakfast buffet was incredible.

Leave a Reply