Conrad Manila, the newest 5 star luxury hotel to open in Manila will be accepting guests this June 15, 2016. I got the chance to see the hotel before it formally opened. The hotel has 347 guest rooms, two restaurants, a bar, and a cafe/chocolatier at the lobby. The hotel is located on top of S Maison, a high end retail complex.
The lobby and check-in counter are on the third floor.
On the same level is C Lounge where you can have afternoon tea or coffee during the day and cocktails at night.
You will see a lot of beautiful stone used all over the hotel.
The laser cut metal detail on the wall and ceiling was my favorite part of the lounge. The beautiful furniture was designed by our very own Kenneth Cobonpue.
During the day you get a view of the Manila Bay. At night you will see the MOA Eye, the tallest ferris wheel in the Philippines at SM MOA By The Bay Amusement Park.
I loved this wood stool which they use to hold womens’ bags.
Taro chips, nuts and olives for snacks with our cocktails.
This was their temporary menu. They had a lot of unique cocktails and some with popsicles as ice.
After drinks we went to their Chinese restaurant called China Blue by Jereme Leung. Mr. Leung is Singaporean and is known for modern Chinese cuisine. The interiors were gorgeous! At the entrance there was a wall of sculptures by Indy Paredes.
They had several private rooms. The one on the right can be expanded to fit two tables.
This was the largest room with a huge table for 18 pax. The lazy susan was motorized to ease the burden of spinning such a large surface. The charger plate was specially designed hand-painted bone China made for the restaurant.
We sat in the best table in the restaurant with a view of the kitchen.
This was their temporary menu.
I found the gumamela iced tea too sweet so the server suggested I try the iced chrysanthemum tea which was unsweetened. I loved it!
I’m not a fan of siomai but this was excellent. I’ve tried a lot of har kau in Manila and for me this was the best. The skin was thin and fine and the large pieces of shrimp were tender crisp.
They take as much effort with the presentation as with the preparation of their food. Be sure to order these two outstanding buns that taste as good as they look.
Don’t be put off by the black buns. They’re filled with exquisite custard with salted egg. Take a bite and be prepared to swoon.
I’m not sure about the serving size of the next two dishes. They could have been split for our big table. The fried mushrooms were something new to me and very addicting.
The soya braised fish was another favorite of everyone in the table. It’s a staple in Shanghai cuisine and can be eaten cold.
The radish cake needed tweaking but the taste of their signature X.O. sauce was spot on.
I highly recommend you splurge on this bowl of soup. It looks creamy but it was actually very light just like clear soup with a little squash puree if I’m not mistaken. The flavors were fantastic!! You can really taste the depth of flavors which you can only get from slow cooking.
I noticed that the food at China Blue was less oily and salty but not short on taste. Take for example the chef’s interpretation of hot shrimp salad which is usually swimming in mayonnaise. Giant prawns were fried to perfect timing and drizzled with some wasabi dressing and tossed with mango salsa. You get the same concept but with a much cleaner taste.
Tender Angus beef tenderloin without any baking soda which some Chinese restaurants use to tenderize cheaper cuts of beef. Quite peppery!
The Sweet and Sour Pork wasn’t on the menu but they wanted me to try it. They had a different way of preparing this. Instead of the thinner crunchy pork that I like a thicker pork tenderloin was used so it was quite meaty although very tender. It did lack the crispness I look for and they promised to work on it.
I was too full to appreciate the fried rice. Look at how non-oily it was.
I may be full but I’m never too full for dessert. There’s another compartment in my tummy saved for dessert. It was a pretty unique dessert for a Chinese restaurant. Instead of the usual mango pudding or mango sago we were served tart lime jelly with a refreshing mojito sorbet. The lace decoration was made with a charcoal powder. It didn’t have any taste so I didn’t bother with it. What really impressed me was the mochi ball stuffed with a banana and rolled in Oreo crumbs. It was so much fun to eat that I suggested they offer it separately too.
After dinner we continued to tour the hotel. The two giant wood pods behind us were actually modern bathrooms for the use of the ballroom nearby. The main ballroom can accommodate 1,500 guests.
The ballroom is on the left. Notice the flooring and sci-fi looking doors.
The executive lounge was still undergoing finishing touches.
Hot and cold meals were located in this enclosed area.
From the lounge you can see the pool and S Maison, the retail complex with a Director’s Club Cinema with La-Z-Boy Power Recliner XR+ seats and new restaurants like Uma Uma Ramen from Fukuoka, Japan and Chibo Okonomiyaki from Osaka. I’m most excited about the opening of Paris Miki, the biggest optical shop chain in Japan. I need new eyeglasses!
Finally we went to see a couple of rooms.
Room 4096 was a Bay View Diplomat Suite that measured 95 sqm. The room had a Nespresso machine as well as a bluetooth speaker.
The bathroom had a separate shower and bathtub as well an in-mirror TV.
The next room we saw was a 60 sqm King Premier Room. I covet that Herman Miller chair!!
Take a look at the detail in the lighted closet. It had narrow shelves where you can store your things. What a beautiful hotel! Everywhere I look I saw the finest materials used. It’s truly a world class hotel that will be part of the Hilton group.
When I was growing up eons ago the only new hotels were Shangri-La Edsa and Makati. Now there are new hotels popping up left and right. That’s great for tourists as well as the locals. Now if we can only have a better airport with more than one runway.
Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way
Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, 1300, Philippines