Manila is often overlooked compared to other Southeast Asian cities such as Bangkok, Singapore, and Hong Kong. However, this dynamic capital of the Philippines has a lot to offer when it comes to luxury travel. From food to fashion and culture to adventure, Manila is truly a destination that can give visitors a unique and unforgettable experience.
Discovering Manila’s Best Attractions
Manila is a city of contrasts. The city features modern skyscrapers and traditional Spanish-style architecture. Travelers seeking to explore the city should not miss out on visiting Manila’s most famous landmarks.
Intramuros, the walled city located in the heart of Manila, transports visitors back in time with its old-world charm. Horse-drawn carriages or calesas are waiting to take visitors around the streets of Intramuros, while the Manila Cathedral, Fort Santiago, and San Agustin Church are some of the must-see attractions in this neighborhood.
For those who are looking for a more modern experience, head over to Bonifacio Global City or BGC, a financial and lifestyle district that is home to high-end restaurants, bars, and shops. BGC is also famous for its street art.
Luxury Hotel Options
Whether seeking an upscale experience or an opulent escape, Manila has no shortage of luxury hotels. Here are three of the best:
Shangri-La at The Fort – This luxurious hotel in BGC boasts sleek and modern rooms, several dining options, and a peaceful spa. This hotel is perfect for travelers who want to experience urban luxury.
The Peninsula Manila – This 40-year-old hotel has been recently renovated to match the hotel’s nostalgic atmosphere with today’s modern luxuries. This elegant and classic hotel is located in the heart of Makati and is perfect for travelers seeking to experience more of Manila’s history.
Solaire Resort and Casino – This award-winning resort in Entertainment City features a grand lobby, contemporary designed rooms, and picturesque ocean views. The resort also houses the Solaire Theater, where Broadway-style shows and concerts are regularly held.
Manila has become a go-to destination for many foodies in recent years. From traditional Filipino cuisine to international fare, travelers can find it all in Manila.
For authentic Filipino cuisine, Gallery Vask located in Bonifacio Global City is a unique dining experience, offering fine Filipino food in a contemporary gallery setting. The menu features traditional Filipino ingredients cooked in a modern, globally influenced style.
For a taste of the Mediterranean, No.8 in Conrad Manila hotel is a must-visit. The restaurant has a sophisticated ambiance, with a contemporary take on Mediterranean cuisine.
Culture and Arts
Manila is also known for its art scene. Some of the must-visit destinations for art enthusiasts include the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, and the Artinformal gallery.
Travelers should also watch out for the Manila Biennale which only happens every two years. The last Biennale themed “Open City” featured over 30 projects from artists around the world set up in different locations around the city.
For adrenaline junkies, Manila has a lot of adventures to offer. One of the most popular activities would be the ATV ride at Mt. Pinatubo. This experience takes travelers through the lahar fields and the rugged landscape of Mount Pinatubo, which is an active volcano that erupted in 1991.
Another adventure to try is skydiving. Air Adventures Flying Club offer skydiving packages that would take travelers up in the air to enjoy the view and jump off the plane with a professional skydiver.
Manila is also a shopping paradise. The city boasts a wide array of stores, malls, markets, and bazaars that cater to every kind of shopper.
For luxury shopping, there’s Greenbelt in Makati, SM Aura in BGC, and Powerplant Mall in Rockwell. These malls offer upscale fashion boutiques, designer shops, and renowned international brands.
Meanwhile, Divisoria Market is the perfect place for those who like to bargain-hunt. This market is full of stalls selling everything from designer knockoffs to cheap accessories and toys.
Manila offers a wide range of luxury travel experiences. Whether seeking to explore the city’s rich history or to indulge in the modern comforts of urban living, Manila has something for everyone. From fine dining to adventure and shopping, the city has all the right ingredients to satisfy travelers who want to experience an unforgettable trip.