Manila Update


Sofitel Philippine Plaza’s Imperial Residence
At Sofitel Philippine Plaza’s Imperial Residence, even the ensuite baths afford great views.

With Manila set to host the annual PATA Travel Mart from September 25-28, the Philippines and its capital are poised to build on momentum from some encouraging tourism numbers. Nearly 1.5 million visitors arrived in the country from January to April 2012, an increase of almost 15 percent over the previous year’s volume for the same period. This puts the multi-island nation on target for its international visitor goal of 4.6 million for 2012.

Roughly a quarter of a million Americans visited the Philippines over the first third of 2012, ranking the U.S. market second, not far behind Korea and well ahead of Japan, as it accounted for 16 percent of the total traffic—an increase of 4.7 percent over 2011.

“The world is now starting to see that ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ is not just a bunch of words on a streamer,” said Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. in a statement. “It is a competitive argument for choosing the Philippines as one of the world’s top tourist destinations.”

One of 2012’s more intriguing tourism developments is the opening of the The Imperial Residence on the 11th floor of Manila’s Sofitel Philippine Plaza, host property for the post-Travel Mart PATA Executive Board and PATA Board meeting. The 6,200-square-foot space that former Philippine first couple Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos dreamed up has been re-imagined as a collection of five spacious suites, which guests can book separately or, for $10,000 per night, as a whole. Guests will enjoy panoramic views of the sea and city from the wrap-around balcony and a wealth of luxury amenities such as a 72-inch flat-screen TV and a master bedroom with an ensuite bath that includes a central therapeutic tub and Japanese bidet.

Just eight months ago, The Bayleaf Intramuros opened within the walls of Manila’s historic city-within-a-city, Intramuros. The boutique hotel has 53 rooms and four suites, all equipped with Wi-Fi, 32-inch TV and other amenities; all-day penthouse dining at 9 Spoons; Sky Deck Bar; and meeting facilities for up to 400 people.

In other Manila hotel developments, Worldhotel and Residences Makati is scheduled to open in late 2013 in Makati Avenue, Metro Manila. The four-star property will have 252 guest rooms, including 72 suites, while the residences will comprise 149 serviced apartments.

The Radisson Hotel Manila Bay is slated for a November 2014 opening. The 500-room/suite property will be situated in Manila’s popular Mall of Asia Complex, a vast leisure and business development. Suites will afford views of Manila Bay.

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