The Manila Hotel Story

The Manila Hotel is situated in the heart of the City of Manila. William Howard Taft created an urban plan for the city of Manila. He hired Architect Daniel Hudson Burnham who drafted a wide and long tree-lined boulevard that would begin at the park where the end of the bay would be dominated by a magnificent hotel. To execute Burnham’s plans, Taft hired William E. Parsons, a New York city architect, who envisioned an impressive, comfortable hotel which he patterned along the lines of Californian mission style architecture. 

The hotel has served as witness to how the city has suffered so much damage during the outbreak of World War II under the Japanese invasion. It also served as the official residence of General Douglas MacArthur and his family. It is also known as the “Address of Prestige” in the Far East to prominent people–presidents, royalties, public figures and rock stars–as well as other discriminating guests. 

As the “true heart of the Philippines,” the hotel also helped the city in its effort to rebuild itself and establish the city as a major economic center in the Pacific region. More than a century later, Manila Hotel’s stories continue to evoke nostalgia from people of all ages who remember the hotel at its different stages. Today, the hotel takes pride in having its own character, which is uniquely Filipino. It has that Old World Charm of Manila, with a sense of theater yet it is also elegant and modern.