Last Updated: December 6th, 2017
The Peninsula Manila (sometimes called Manila Peninsula or Manila Pen) is one of the earliest luxury hotels in the country. While seemingly nondescript compared to the towering Makati Shangri-La across the street, Manila Pen definitely secured its place as one of the best luxury hotels in Asia.
1. Designed by Gabriel Formoso, the 11-story The Peninsula Manila was opened on September 4, 1976, in time for the International Monetary Fund Conference.
Having obtained his degree in architecture from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Formoso went on to design some of the most iconic landmarks in the country. This includes Dusit Thani Manila (formerly the Manila Garden Hotel/ Hotel Nikko), the Asian Institute of Management Building, Metropolitan Museum, Pacific Star Building, and the design of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex.
2. Honolulu-based Wimberly, Whisenand, Allison, Tong & Goo (now known as Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo) was also tapped as consulting architects for its design.
Founded in 1945 with offices in nine cities, WATG has worked on the design of several big-ticket hotel projects. This includes The Venetian in Las Vegas, Atlantis, The Palm, and Emirates Palace, both in the United Arab Emirates, and the Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas, among others.
3. It is currently the oldest hotel in Makati City and was the first property to carry the Peninsula brand outside Hong Kong. Currently, the Peninsula brand is present in 10 cities including Hong Kong, New York, Beijing, Beverly Hills, Bangkok, Chicago, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Paris.
4. It has hosted a number of statesmen and celebrities including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Bill Gates, Queen Sofia of Spain, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Kobe Bryant, Katy Perry, and Paris Hilton, among others.
5. The Peninsula Manila is owned by one of the world’s oldest hotel companies– The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited.
Incorporated on March 2, 1866, it is currently the oldest registered company registered company on the Hong Kong Companies Registry. Aside from the Peninsula brand, they are also behind several properties in Hong Kong including The Peak Tram, The Peak Tower, St. John’s Building, and The Repulse Bay Complex.
6. Manila Pen consists of two wings located in both Ayala Avenue and Makati Avenue with a total of 497 rooms and suites.
7. On November 29, 2007, the hotel was the site of a failed mutiny led by Senator Antonio Trillanes and Brigadier General Danilo Lim.
In a scene that seemed to be straight out of a movie, Trillanes and Lim walked out of their court hearing in Makati and marched along Makati Avenue before occupying the Rizal function room on the second floor of the hotel. Their second failed mutiny which called for the ouster of then President Gloria Arroyo lasted for several hours before they were arrested by government forces that barged into the glass door of the lobby.
Albeit suffering some damage that was estimated to cost around Php 12 million, the hotel quickly recovered and was able to resume operations in less than a week.
8. To assist guests in getting around the city, the hotel runs a fleet of Mercedes S-Class in the hotel’s signature dark green color.
9. A 12-meter “Sunburst” installation by National Artist Napoleon Abueva is displayed in the hotel’s lobby.
– The Manila Project
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