Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Conrad Manila Experience

A distinctive ship-like architecture that commands a second look, the 8-storey Conrad Manila finally opened its doors to the public last June 15. The hotel which sits atop S Maison, a high-end retail complex with 3 state-of-the-art cinemas, is the perfect venue if you're looking for a place to relax and unwind without driving too far from home. Located within the Mall of Asia Complex, Conrad Manila is owned by SM Investment Corporation and managed by Hilton Worldwide.

Before my birthday, CS gave me a grueling task of choosing between staying a night in a suite or 2 nights in a deluxe room. But it was a choice I thought would be best if we both agreed on. So after days of meticulous analysis, we reached an agreement that excited us both and made us extremely happy even up to this writing. Now, let me share to you our wonderful Conrad Manila experience.

From the parking at the basement, we took the elevator going to the 3rd level where the main lobby is. I love the astonishing view of Manila Bay seen from the floor to ceiling glass that greeted us as we step out of the lift. Despite the tight competition among local and international hotels in the area, Conrad Manila prides itself with the absence of a casino, which makes it a family-oriented hotel targeting not only business travelers but balikbayans and local residents as well.

Conrad Manila has a total of 347 rooms, 6 multi-functional rooms, a 24-hour fitness center, the spa with a view of the bay, several fine dining restaurants and an executive lounge. All guests booked in the executive rooms and suites enjoy an express check-in and check-out service done at the lounge. Since the elevator going to the executive floor requires a key card, you have to ask the staff at the lobby to assist you. Four more levels up and we made our way to the executive lounge where were greeted by the courteous and friendly staff. While CS signed all the forms, I took a sip of the fresh pineapple juice served to me. I don't really fancy pineapple but they serve the sweetest I've ever tried that it instantly became my favorite drink throughout our stay. After getting our key cards, it was time to see our home sweet home aka the Diplomat Suite.

The 95sqm corner Diplomat Suite was stylish and spacious. The seating area with sofa was our favorite nook while watching TV because the bed was too comfortable it was so easy to fell asleep!

I received a lot of questions from friends regarding Conrad's complimentary mini bar that a popular website claimed. Sad to say that its not true but coffee and tea lovers will be pleased to know that there's an espresso machine available and the tea they provide was delicious and soothing.

A separate toilet area by the living room comes handy if you're expecting visitors.

The tastefully designed room was a pleasant retreat amid the jungles of the city. The luxurious bed with duvet covers was soft and smelled heavenly! Guests can also choose from the pillow menu located in your bedside table aside from the feather pillows already sitting on your bed. For your charging needs, there are sockets within your arm's reach that are already equipped with usb ports.

The black-out curtains are all switch operated as well as the blinds you can find in the bathroom.

The suites can either have a bay or a city view. Too bad that they only have the latter available that day because our city view was just a view of SMX and its building parking.

The bathroom connected to the room was extravagance personified! Guests will adore the granite counter top for him and for her which comes with lighted vanity mirrors and an in-room television.

Behind the counter is a bathtub guarded by Conrad's Nemo and is overlooking the hotel garden.

I could stay in the tub all day if only there's a TV or the vanity can make a 180-degree turn.

A separate toilet and bath completes the sizeable bathroom. For a 5-star hotel, we were surprised that no bidet was attached to the bowl. There's also a bad odor emanating from time to time.

A three-jet body shower was the best thing in this side of the room next to hot water.

Further down the bathroom is the walk-in closet with bathrobes, iron and ironing board, an in-room safe, ultra soft bathroom slippers, an umbrella and hair dryer. Conrad also offers a complimentary shoe shine for its guests, a teeny detail we appreciate and availed for CS' overworn work shoes.

Other exclusive amenities for guests staying in the executive floor include the use of the board room for the first 2 hours after check-in, breakfast at the lounge, afternoon tea from 2PM to 4PM, cocktails between 5PM to 7PM and free coffee, tea and drinks from 6AM until 11PM.

At exactly 5PM, we left the comforts of our room in time for cocktails at the executive lounge. I was expecting the usual canapes and sandwiches but was surprised by all the mouthwatering food laid on the counter. My top choices are the Tuna Tarte with Mango Sauce and Smoked Salmon.

Best time to avoid the crowd in the pool is last afternoon just as the guests prepare for dinner time otherwise, it gets really cramped. Wearing of proper swimming attire is also observed.

With all the buildup and promotions prior to its opening, I must admit that Conrad Manila, a 5-star hotel backed up by a global luxury brand, lacks the grandiose and wow factor I set in my mind long before our stay. If you can afford it, pay more to upgrade your accommodation to an executive room or a suite for the ultimate luxurious staycation and I promise you, it's worth the splurge!

Mall of Asia's fireworks display as seen from our suite


Conrad Manila
Seaside Blvd., Coral Way
Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 833-9999

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