There were moments when, looking from our bay view room at the Conrad Manila, I didn't know where the sky ended and the sea began. And, on our first day, when the sun melted into the sea, bleeding orange and pink into the surface of Manila Bay, we knew we'd be leaving the blinds open our entire stay.
Check in: 3PM
Check out: Midday
Staying at the Conrad Manila is like being on board a very new, very lux cruise liner, docked in the waters of a vibrant city. The building itself resembles the hull of a great ship, while inside, walls are curved and glimpses of ocean are common.
And just as cruiseliners these days have their own malls, casinos and more buffets than you can justify, so too does the Conrad (or at least does its immediate vicinity).
In the heart of the 42-hectare SM Bay City development, the hotel offers easy access to some impressive shopping, dining and entertainment.
Guests of the Conrad can easily wander out through the lobby, and walk via a series of enclosed air bridges to one of the world's largest malls, the Mall of Asia, or MOA to the locals. There's also a direct link to the SMX Convention Center.
But what really sells the Conrad is its position on Manila Bay. Yes, there's a Ferris wheel, and a row of famed all-you-can-eat buffets, but it's the bay itself (at sunset in particular) that will get you.
Locals line the bay shore as sunset approaches, but there is little better view than the one from our room or in the lobby - and the crowds are certainly thinner!
We're in an Executive Twin Room which gives us exclusive perks like private check-in and check-out, Executive Lounge access with complimentary breakfast, refreshments and meeting room usage.
The room itself has Filipino accents in an otherwise subtle decor. A 42-inch flat screen HDTV, WiFi and an espresso machine keep us entertained and buzzing.
The bathrooms are lovely, super spacious and feature overhead rain showers and aromatherapy amenities.
Conrad Manila is home to:
• A luxury spa
• A 24-hour fitness center
• An infinity swimming pool and pool bar
• Extensive MICE facilities, including a pillarless Grand Ballroom
• An outdoor function space overlooking the city
• 347 stylish guest rooms and suites with state-of-the-art amenities
• Two restaurants, a bar, and a lobby café/chocolatier
From Ria who walked us through all the gadgets in our room upon arrival to concierge Bryan, who was particularly helpful throughout the duration of our stay, staff were super professional and excessively friendly. They also helped with things like booking GRAB cars (like Uber) and recommending places to dine nearby.
LEAST FAVOURITE THING
Best breakfast buffet ever. I've had a lot of hotel buffet breakfasts in my time, but this one beats all. South East Asian breakfast buffets tend to be my favourites as they cater to so many different tastes, and the Conrad's went that step further. Think laksa, mushroom siao pao, garlic rice, heart of palm coconut curry, unique vegetable fruit juice blends (including things like bitter melon and dragon fruit), pomelo peeled just for you and organic eggs cooked to your request. The biggest winner for me was the tamarind ice tea.
Traveltalk stayed as a guest of the Conrad Manila Hotel.
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