For almost four decades now, the Peninsula Manila has become a favorite hangout of the rich and famous, politicians, professionals, business executives, socialites and even ordinary people like me. I’m always in awe of the hotel’s iconic lobby with its signature sunburst ceiling. The Lobby is also home to the Pen‘s famous halo-halo called Harana. I had it again recently and it’s even better than I remember.
Last month, we attended a very elegant silver wedding anniversary party at the Conservatory of the Peninsula Manila and my husband thought it would be wiser to take advantage of the occasion to have another family staycation at the hotel. We booked two Superior Rooms, and luckily for us, the Pen was having a special promotion at the time so we got two rooms for the price of one — a really fantastic deal.
The well-appointed 38-square-meter room is spacious enough, and has a nice view of the swimming pool. The furniture, Capiz lamps and framed photographs on the wall by Jorem Catillo lend a uniquely Filipino flavor to the room. It has all the features and amenities that one looks for in a comfortable hotel room.
Breakfast was enjoyed at the buffet dining outlet, Escolta. It has all these different interactive cooking stations to ensure the diners’ satisfaction.
I had a chance to dine at Escolta for lunch when it was fairly new. What I liked most about its buffet spread was that the choices were not too overwhelming and not too lavish. Everything I tasted was delicious! It’s a great place for those with monster appetites as it offers a sumptuous feast of a variety of cuisines.
For a more intimate, more romantic dining experience, there’s Old Manila. It serves traditional French specialties as well as modern international favorites in a fine dining set-up. I loved Old Manila’s Caesar Salad with Blue Crabs and the Grilled U.S. Angus Ribeye Steak.
Just a few days ago, I was back at the Pen for lunch, only this time at Spices. It caters specifically to lovers of these 7 Asian cuisines: Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Indonesian, Malaysian, Indian and Filipino. The restaurant promises authentic flavors and an enchanting, mystical atmosphere complete with dark wood panels and ornaments that transport guests to our neighboring countries. The dishes I’ve tried have the perfect blend of flavors that’s unmistakably Asian. The Roti Canai, Yam Plak Duk Fu (Crispy Catfish Salad), Sate and Phad Thai were all exceptionally palatable. Spices also offers unlimited servings of steamed Jasmine rice. My dining experience at Spices is one that’s not easy to forget and it’s safe to say that a return trip to the restaurant is very likely.
The Peninsula Manila has surely made its mark in the local hospitality industry as a haven for relaxation and gastronomy. No wonder it remains the hotel of choice for people with very discriminating taste and high standards.