The grand launch of Marriott Hotel Manila’s new West Wing was cancelled as the management of Resorts World Manila, where the hotel is located, dealt with a crisis.
But operations had to continue. The hotel has beefed up its security, with the safety of guests as top priority.
Meanwhile, the media has been invited to experience the new annex—the 228-room West Wing which complements the Main Wing’s 570 rooms.
“Marriott needs more rooms,” says Bruce Winton, cluster general manager for Marriott Manila and the soon-to-open Courtyard Iloilo.
Aside from an increased demand for rooms from business and leisure guests, the Marriott Grand Ballroom’s extensive meeting spaces boosted the meetings and conventions market, thus creating the necessity for more rooms to accommodate events.
Luxury of space
As a premium product, the West Wing offers the luxury of space and additional 48 suites. The smallest guest room is 48 square meters compared to the main hotel’s standard 36 sq m. The West Wing will obviously cater to VIPs, their entourage, as well as Marriott Elite members.
Its streamlined architecture by Casas Design facilitates ease in the interior space planning and provides many scenic views.
The Gettys Group, an international firm that specializes in hotel design, integrated Marriott’s global design ethos of cosmopolitanism but with local touches. Works by Filipino artists Eduardo Castrillo, Zadro Castrillo, Hadrian Mendoza, Benjamin Cabangis, Rico Lascano and indigenous weaves from Mindanao lend a sense of place.
The Main and West Wings reflect Filipino design inspirations in the choice of colors, motifs and materials. There are botanical prints on the soft furnishing or a contemporary twist on bamboo weaves and screens.
Winton says occupancy at Marriott is “extremely good” vis-à-vis the 67-percent increase in the number of rooms.
As the world’s leading hotel chain, Marriott is known for excellence in operations. Winton says that the hotel is creative in finding new ways to delight its guests: “We have a broad spectrum of clients—from politicians, celebrities, businessmen, families … It’s important that we are innovative in catering to their individual needs.”
Members of Marriott’s rewards program can check in through the Marriott mobile app before they arrive. They receive an automatic notification if their room is ready. Upon arrival, guests can pick up their key card from the mobile check-in desk.
Winton points out that since food is an integral part of the hotel experience, Marriott has a wider range of outlets that caters to Filipino, Asian and Western palates. The West Wing is home to new dining destinations like Man Ho, a classical Cantonese cuisine restaurant led by executive chef Law Wui Wing. It serves rare dishes such as goose with plumb sauce, flown in from Hong Kong.
The West Wing’s Still Bar, although only the second lobby lounge of the hotel, is strikingly different from the Main Wing’s own bar which is known for its traditional afternoon teas and live music at night.
The warm color palette contrasts with the shiny textures and the intimate lighting, which makes the Still Bar an ideal place for intimate conversations.
The afternoon tea is served on a lacquered Oriental box, filled with mini scones and Asian hors d’oeuvres and Oriental teas.
In the evening, people come to unwind with drinks. The pièce de résistance is Dalmore, the single malt whiskey brand which has been acquired by Resorts World Manila’s Andrew Tan. The spirits are a good match to the Asian tapas and dim sum.
The West Wing’s executive lounge, one of the country’s largest, has its own kitchen and culinary team. It offers a picturesque view of the Villamor golf course.
“Breakfast and dinner are made to order. Ours is cooked à la minute if guests want their food delivered to the lounge,” says Winton.
Each room at the West Wing is built with a balcony facing the views. “You can enjoy coffee from the Nespresso machine while looking at the golf course from your balcony,” adds Winton.
Music buffs will appreciate that the rooms are equipped with JBL sound bar with bluetooth connection.
The bathrooms have separate walk-in shower and bath tub, a double vanity area for couples.
Winton appreciates the detail of the shoe trees and hangers made of cedar: “They keep the clothes fresh. It’s a small touch but I love it.”
The Chairman’s Suite is in keeping with the quiet refinement of the West Wing, with its spacious layout and lightness in mood. Equipped with a state-of-the-art kitchen, a pantry for the butler, a prodigious living room and dining room, a standalone bathtub by the window and a generous walk-in closet, the suite is hospitable without being flashy.
While the Main Wing is equipped with two pools for families and children and a gym, the West Wing has a 25-meter infinity lap pool that opens to a 27-degree view of Metro Manila and Antipolo. The new gym has state-of-the art equipment and an outdoor Jacuzzi.
Asked why the Marriott is always busy, Winton says: “It’s not one thing. There’s a fantastic location, a globally recognized brand, a superb team and there’s something for everyone. You can’t be a one-trick pony.” —CONTRIBUTED