A holiday in Makati


The new Holiday Inn and Suites in the Ayala Center in the Makati business district is a curious mix of business hotel and family vacation place. It’s located near enough to some of the most important business headquarters of Metro Manila, yet sits comfortably beside one of it’s most popular shopping destinations.

Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

The rooms are — well, not too large, but they’re rather roomier than similarly-priced hotel rooms in the area. But the bathrooms are simple, and all but the most expensive suites have only a shower, and no bathtub — how does one have a proper vacation without a tub in one’s hotel room? (The wonderfully scented bath products — ginger and lemon! — almost made up for it. Almost. But I do appreciate it when a hotel pays attention to small details like bath products, because most hotel soaps are boring. Yes, I’m looking at you Intercon.)

Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

The work desk is set up for efficiency, like it was meant to be used for actual work, and not just as a bigger table to put on one’s make-up. The large flatscreen TV is standard in most nice hotels, but this one had something I’ve never come across before: an iPod dock. Yes, you have the choice to forgo the boring standard radio and rock out loud to Iron Butterfly or whatever you have on your iPod. Definitely a vacation hotel sort of feature, isn’t it? And if movies and TV shows are more your thing, you have the option of forgoing cable and catching up on your favorite new television show if you have the episodes in a flash drive. I find most hotel rooms sometimes makes watching videos too complicated that I usually have to call for a staff to set it up for me. Most of the time, we take a small DVD player with us, but here all I needed to do was turn on the TV and stick my flash drive in the port, and the menu pops up immediately.

Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

There is a proper — albeit small — swimming pool, and a bar beside it. And the whole area looks like it was designed for lounging under the sun, not just a quick dip between meetings and conference calls.

However, there are no large welcoming hallways, like that of, say the Intercon or Shangri-la. And the bar, although nice enough, is small, and not somewhere I’d choose to take clients out for drinks unless I (or they) were staying there.

All in all, Makati’s Holiday Inn is mostly more ideal for business travelers, but it should work as a vacation hotel in a pinch. The public areas are small, yes, and spartan in some ways, but because it’s practically smack in the middle of the Ayala Center, you’ll always find something to keep you entertained, whether it’s the pool or one of the many, many restaurants in the area.

Which is not to say, however, that it’s not worth taking your meals in the hotel. The breakfast buffet is a good size, and the pastries were excellent. Plus, there’s an outdoor dining area if you prefer to breakfast in the sunshine and morning air. I ordered a local dish for dinner, and I found it actually tasted homemade and authentic, so I recommend dining in at least once if you’re a tourist from abroad looking to sample the local cuisine.

The staff was friendly, efficient and flexible, especially when it came to checking out on New Year’s Day (so many people we booked for New Year’s Eve staycations, so it was not a pretty site at the lobby when they all checked out together the next day). If I could suggest an improvement (other than putting a tub in every bathroom — yes, I’m not letting that go) it would be to add more elevators (although I’m not sure if that’s possible) because the ones they have can’t seem to be able to handle the traffic. When I try to use the elevator during check-out time (around noon), it’s an almost ten-minute wait.

How about you? Do you prefer to stay in business hotels for business and vacation hotels for leisure, or do you prefer hotels that cater to both?

Holiday Inn and Suites
Glorietta Mall, Palm Drive, Ayala Center
Makati, Philippines
Tel. # 1800-1651-8888




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