The original eight-storey building opened in 2009, and was followed by a second complex filled with meeting spaces. In early 2017 the West Wing opened beyond that, 13 storeys high and sporting a rooftop pool with panoramic views of Manila.
WHERE IS IT?
Within sight of Terminal 3 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, part of a district filled with hotels and apartments called Newport City. However, busy roads and elevated expressways lie in the way, so either a Php300 (US$6) cab ride or the free shuttle bus from Bay 12 will get you there in 5-10 minutes. (A skybridge across to the airport is planned but there is no fixed date for its completion.) Journeys into downtown Manila can take anything from 30 minutes to an hour plus, depending on traffic.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
There is a single entrance from the road, where armed security personnel check all vehicles carefully. The main building and West Wing have their own entrances, but at both once out of the car/shuttle bus your bags are checked with sniffer dogs, and you must pass through an electronic scanner every time you enter the hotel.
Once inside the mood changes to smiling, helpful staff within large, high-ceilinged spaces – the main lobby, called the Greatroom, has many areas to sit (and live music from 8pm to 11pm), while the West Wing’s central lobby space is given over to the Still Whisky and Tea Lounge. All three of the Marriott’s buildings are connected by spacious, well-signed corridors – this is a hotel that focuses on MICE clientele but doesn’t stint on luxury. All staff smile and say hello whenever you pass, and are willing to help at the drop of a hat. This creates a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
There are 521 rooms and 49 suites split between three categories in the main building and five in the West Wing. Rooms on the north side of the latter have balconies from which you can enjoy the views across a golf course towards the city (and take the opportunity to smoke if you so wish – the hotel has a no-smoking policy throughout its interior space).
I was in a Premium room on the south side – the view is less impressive, straight across a small road to the back of the Marriott Grand Ballroom building. At 46 sqm this is a spacious room, with parquet flooring, brown and beige décor, and leatherette detailing on the chairs and the wall above the bed. Bright artworks also helped give it a summery feel.
My room featured twin double beds but still felt roomy. A grey sofa and coffee table by the window faced a round, white-marble work table – not really ideal for spreading out papers or doing serious hours of work, but functional enough, with two white leather/metal chairs, a sensor desk lamp and telephone.
The safe was tucked away neatly in drawer under the large wall-mounted TV, which also included surround sound and a Blu-ray disc player. A Nespresso machine and complimentary shoeshine service were valued additions to the amenities, and a nice touch was the two waste bins – one for recyclable and the other non-recyclable items – which is in keeping with the brand’s eco-conscious mission (bed linen is also only changed every third day unless you specifically request otherwise).
The bathroom was large and well equipped with an articulated shaving/make-up mirror, Thann bathroom products, a great walk-in shower, smoked-glass doors for both the shower and toilet stalls, and a deep bathtub next to a glass partition with easy visibility to TV (piped-in audio allows you to watch TV whilst soaking in the tub).
My one gripe was that the USB by the bed did not work – though the one by the work table did, as did all the sockets.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
The Marriott Café on the ground floor of the main building is an all-day dining restaurant, with à la carte and buffet dining in the evening. Next to it is Cru Steakhouse (open 6pm-10.30pm), and there’s also the more casual Crema coffee shop and Mian Asian noodle bar.
The Still Whisky and Tea Lounge is located in the West Wing’s lobby area, while to the left of that is Man Ho, offering up Cantonese cuisine for lunch and dinner (there are six private rooms for business meals).
On the second floor of the West Wing, the Executive Lounge is a very large, open-plan space where you can enjoy a quiet breakfast in the morning, snacks and refreshments all day and cocktails in the evening. There’s a range of seating, from dining tables to bar stools, easy chairs and large sofas, with views out to the golf course. Near the entrance is a meeting room, and a small business room kitted out with both a PC and Mac.
The majority of these are spread over three floors in a separate building across a skybridge located between the main building and West Wing – there are 49 rooms in total throughout the hotel (around 960,000 sqm) in a bewildering array of sizes and styles, both indoor and outdoor, that could cater to any event. The Grand Ballroom is the flagship function area, 2,600 sqm in size, divisible into four smaller rooms, with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and able to host 4,000-plus people for a cocktail reception. A business centre in the main building’s lobby offers secretarial services, printing/fax machines and PCs/Macs (open 7am-9pm).
On the second floor of the main building is an outdoor pool and separate children’s pool, as well as a health club with steam/sauna rooms and a large gym. Also on this level is Quan Spa (open 10am-1am), which has eight treatment rooms including one for couples.
The top floor of the West Wing also boasts steam and sauna facilities plus another large, well-equipped fitness room. The rooftop pool (open 6am-10pm) with panoramic views is up a curving staircase, 20 metres long, 1.5 metres deep and surrounded by decking, with some loungers within the pool itself.
A comfortable hotel in a convenient location for easy access to the airport, with very high levels of service and a wide range of business and leisure facilities. A top event venue in the city… but it’s more than just that.
Standard internet rates for a Premium room in mid-June start from Php14,784 (US$284) including tax and surcharges.
2 Resorts Drive, Pasay City, Metro Manila 1309; +63 2 988 9999; marriott.com/mnlap