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Transformation underway at the Manila Hotel
Feb 24, 2014

For over a century, the Manila Hotel has stood witness to the different events that have shaped both the country and its people. Located at the heart of the capital’s historical quarter, it has hosted notable personalities like Prince Charles, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, former US President William Clinton, astronaut Neil Armstrong, and Michael Jackson, to name a few. The Grande Dame itself was home to one of the more prominent figures in Philippine and American history—General Douglas MacArthur.

Towards the end of last year, guests of the Manila Hotel began noticing subtle changes to the original structure which began with the re-opening of the Centennial Hall at the ground floor. Visitors were greeted by a more modern and functional space which has quickly become a favorite venue for conventions, exhibits and social gatherings. Aside from the recent updates to the Hotel’s facilities, patrons have also focused their attention to the costumes worn by its service teams.

Guests are welcomed by service personnel wearing tailored costumes reminiscent of the golden period in Philippine history. Designed by Bon Gavino Gautier, these costumes are inspired by the colonial period but carry a modern twist. The costumes vary depending on the day of the week and occasion. The designs draw inspiration from the Hotel’s roots, creating a fusion between the sophistication of old Europe and the utility of the New World. Fashion references were also derived from the Commonwealth Era, which was when the Manila Hotel was established in 1912. One can easily place these costumes in the early days of the Kahirup or Mancommunidad Pampaguena balls held at the Hotel which were the highlights of the social scene in the 1930’s.


What awaits visitors is a visual delight upon entering the Hotel’s gates—from the doormen who assist them from their vehicles to the front desk team who checks them in to their rooms. The gentlemen don top hats and long coats while the ladies are dressed in flowing dresses with matching headpieces and tiaras. Bell personnel have gone back to wearing their classic Manila Hotel white and gold service uniforms with complimentary gloves as they handle luggage with care. Nowadays, guests not just take photos of the different areas in the Hotel, as the staff members have become attractions themselves.

To find out more about the Manila Hotel’s heritage and its transformation, please log on to www.Manila-Hotel.com.ph or subscribe to updates via social media (www.facebook.com/ManilaHotel and @ManilaHotel on Twitter).  Please call 02-5270011 local 1175 to 1179 for room reservations while those eager to try any of the Hotel’s restaurants may call the same trunkline number and then local 1260 or 1261.