Angelic voices of children filled Le Bar, the bistro-patisserie of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, as the hotel kicked off the season of giving last week with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, the opening of its holiday village, and the turnover of more than P500,000 to the Virlanie Foundation.
Adam Laker, Sofitel general manager, handed over a check worth P650,000 to Virlanie’s executive director Thomas Mouliac. The proceeds came from Goblin Run, the fun run that Sofitel held during Halloween for street children under the care of the nonprofit group.
The foundation, in turn, sent its choir to serenade hotel guests with a rendition of “Hosanna In Excelsis (Ding Dong Merrily On High),” aptly delivered in time for Sofitel’s Art de Noel celebration dubbed “A Christmas Melody.”
The hotel lobby has been made to look like a winter village complete with stores selling colorful wooden toys like Saint Nick and nutcracker soldiers. There are also xylophones, snow globes, reindeer and sleds.
Baked goodies on display feature Yule logs, freshly made crepes, marzipan and gingerbread houses. Meanwhile, turkey, foie gras and ham are on the hotel menu.
Laker said the retro look is deliberate. “We are looking at Christmas the way it was in children’s storybooks,” he told Lifestyle.
He also proudly pointed out that the lobby’s main corridor channeled the festive streets leading to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Tanguy Gras, Sofitel’s food and beverage manager, later got into the holiday spirit by filling drinking glasses with water and striking them gently to play “Jingle Bells.”
The night’s highlight, of course, was lighting the traditional 30-foot Christmas tree that towered from the floor of Spiral—Sofitel’s popular buffet venue—to the ceiling of the hotel lobby.
“You have the shops, the look of a European chateau, the fireplace—the amalgamate of all elements of the French capital,” Laker said.
Call 5515555 or visit www.sofitelmanila.com