What Used to Be One Of The Swankiest Hotels in the 70s Has Returned: Inside The New Hilton Manila
One of the first stories I ever heard from my childhood was how my maternal grandfather—a gentleman, stoic, clean shaven chap who rarely smiled—bawled at my late mom’s wedding ceremony.
He wore sunglasses throughout the duration of the event—as pictures in our old photo album attest. The venue of the nuptials: The old Hilton hotel in Ermita, Manila. All agree, it was the swankiest hotel in the city back in the 70s.
The Hilton brand stayed in the minds of Filipinos, despite leaving Philippines years ago. It stayed in the popular culture because of Hilton’s introduction of excellent services, classy interiors, and innovative hospitality practices.
This 2019, the brand re-enters the country with the official opening of the new Hilton hotel in Resorts World Manila (RWM). The new hotel is thoroughly modern in appearance, but retains the same quality of service the brand is known for.
The grand launch, which saw in attendance top corporate executives, government officials, foreign dignitaries, and members of the media, happened at Hilton’s Grand Ballroom. The venue was filled in every corner with food and drinks; there was lechon, of course.
The grand launch of Hilton Manila was a well-attended affair.
Ice Sculpture at the Hilton Manila's Grand Ballroom
RWM’s Chief Operating Officer Stephen Reilly, welcomed guests to the event, while Hilton Manila’s General Manager Simon McGrath gave a speech about the “Hilton Effect.”
Hilton Manila general Manager Simon McGrath at the grand launch of Hilton Manila
According to McGrath, the “Hilton Effect” is the positive impact of the brand on its guests and communities where it operates worldwide. “Historically, throughout the world, whenever a Hilton hotel opens, it becomes the benchmark for all the other hotels in the area. Our practices are emulated. Our amenities, copied. Our innovations are always at the forefront of hotel practices in the industry.”
Forefront indeed. At the launch, McGrath, along with RWM President and CEO Kingson Sian, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, Department of Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr., and Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto, and Alliance Global Group, Inc. CEO Kevin Tan, showed guests how in the future, hotel patrons will only use a “digital key” to open their room. Soon, you only need an app on your smartphone to reserve, book, check-in, and open your rooms.
(From left) Hilton Manila’s Commercial Director Joanne Gomez, RWM Chief Operating Officer Stephen Reilly, Hilton Manila’s General Manager Simon McGrath, Alliance Global Group, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Kevin L. Tan, RWM President and CEO Kingson Sian, Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto, U.S Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, and Department of Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr.
As a treat to guests, Hilton Manila’s topnotch culinary team prepared a feast featuring the hotel’s signature offerings at its various restaurants: Kusina, Madison, and Hua Ting Brasserie Chinoise.
A yellowfin tuna from Zamboanga City was also served. The fish was expertly carved during the programme to showcase Hilton Manila’s Kusina, which primarily offers local cuisine that highlights seafood.
Looking at the hotel’s elegant interiors and experiencing the excellent services of the staff during the event, it seems this new Hilton Manila would live up to the legend of the old Hilton in Ermita.
Hilton Manila at Resorts World Manila has 357 modern and elegant guest rooms furnished with Hilton’s signature features and technology such as the Serenity bed and four-point bathroom and world-class recreational facilities such as its expansive lagoon pool and 24/7 fitness center.
Hilton Manila at Resorts World Manila is located at 1 Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay City. For more information, or to make a reservation, travelers may visit www.hiltonmanila.com or call +632 239 7788.