Manila bus

If you imagine a pinch of ancestral Spanish influence, a dash of organised chaos, a cup of American culture and whole lot of Filipino soul, you will begin to get a taste for the melting pot that is Manila: a booming industrial city that is blossoming into a cultural hotspot of edgy galleries, innovative startups, cool music scenes and a foodie’s paradise.

There will always be some sort of [bb] “cue” cooking up on every street corner. Pinoys love food and love people – there’s nothing like the comfort of a good Filipino meal enjoyed while watching the millions of smiles exchanged daily on the streets. Filipinos are among the friendliest in the world and if you’re worried that Manila is too exotic a location keep in mind that the language barrier isn’t too much of problem – nearly everyone speaks english. It is most definitely one of Asia’s most interesting and vibrant cities.

This guide and more from The Philippines was featured in SUITCASE 11 The Water Issue with Janine Gutierrez on the cover. Buy the issue here. 

To Stay

Raffles

If you’re looking to really treat yourself or are a busy business traveller, the newly constructed Raffles could be the answer. Featuring only suites, and with excellent service, it is arguably the best hotel experience in the central business district of Makati. The Long Bar downstairs is a fun place to grab a drink before hitting the town, and Spectrum’s famous weekend brunch would put the Romans to shame. Rooms from £242 per night

  • +63 2 555 9777
  • Go to Website
  • 1 Raffles Drive
    Makati Avenue, Makati
    1224

The Clipper Hotel

For more of an adventure, try staying in this Miami Vice-inspired bolthole. It sits on the corner of P. Burgos Street (now fondly known as Williamsburgos) which is full of character and has lots of lively bars. Rooms from £20 per night

Seda

Winner of the World Travel Award for the Philippines’ leading hotel group in 2014, you know you can’t go wrong with Seda. Sleek, modern and decently priced, this is great for younger travellers who want a bit of luxury and fun (there’s a brilliant rooftop bar.) The hotel is within walking distance of Bonifacio High Street, which has a string of shops, restaurants and bars. TIP: Seda El Nido will be coming soon. Rooms from £161 per night

  • +63 2 945 8888
  • Go to Website
  • 30th Street corner 11th Avenue Bonifacio Global City
    Lane P, Taguig
    Metro Manila
    1634

Fairmont

The Fairmont Hotel is a great alternative to Raffles, and offers more rooms and a greater variety of pricing options. As both hotels are in the same complex they share a fantastic spa and a pool. Rooms from £160 per night

  • +63 2 555 9888
  • Go to Website
  • 1 Raffles Drive Manila
    Makati
    Metro Manila
    1224

Raffles

The Clipper Hotel

Seda

Fairmont Hotel

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