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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 historic Manila Hotel has seen the Filipino through the best and the most challenging times. Its rich heritage is intertwined with the country’s history, and the identity of the city it lives in.

On July 4, 1912, The Manila Hotel first opened its doors to the public, as announced on the front page of what was then known as Manila Daily Bulletin. A sprawling property located in the heart of Manila, the country’s first ever five-star hotel became the address of prominence visited by the most illustrious of guests.

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 as its different stages.

Today, the hotel takes pride in having its own character, which is uniquely Filipino. We have remained to be one of the most recognizable and celebrated hotels. We began welcoming guests in 1912. Our distinctive blend of history, luxury and genuine Filipino hospitality has made us a word-of-mouth across the globe. We continue that legacy with an unmatched selection of accommodations, activities and experiences that invite guests to immerse themselves in the beauty and traditions of the Filipino people. Come celebrate with us and discover the most historical hotel in Manila.