Last March 24, Orange Magazine TV and other selected bloggers were invited to have an exclusive sneak peek of the new official website of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila – a five star hotel in Manila.
The website’s re-launch coincided with the hotel’s “Sofitel Elite Bloggers Search” launch which was held at the Panay Function Room and was hosted by fellow blogger Vince Golangco of WhenInManila.com.
During the early 2000’s, the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, then known as the Westin Philippine Plaza, was where I would frequently conduct business meetings in when I was still working as a staff of the Philippine Senate. The hotel was also where I stayed for a week with an American priest friend whom I accommodated during his Manila trip here. Here’s sharing some history about Manila’s iconic hotel that was built in 1976:
Sofitel Philippine Plaza is a structural masterpiece created by National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin. The hotel’s grounds, resort pool, and gardens, on the other hand, were designed by Ildefonso P. Santos, another National Artist. Boasting of spectacular views of the Manila Bay as well as lush landscapes and greenery, this exquisite tropical setting within the city is unrivaled. The newly renovated structure with its minimalist interiors, breathtaking views, and traditional touches of local décor using capiz shells and coconut inlays make the muted elegance and luxurious details of the famous hotel by the bay a sight to behold.
The only 5-star luxury resort hotel in Manila, Sofitel Philippine Plaza is an iconic property standing amid an expansive tropical setting. Known for its spectacular views of Manila Bay sunsets, the hotel continues to attract local and international travelers alike with its signature brand of Filipino hospitality and the French joie de vivre that is reflected in its rituals in food and wine along with varied entertainment offerings.
Sofitel Philippine Plaza is located near well-known establishments and landmarks in Manila such as the SM Mall of Asia, Intramuros, US Embassy, Manila Ocean Park and major shopping centers. It is also near the PICC, the Coconut Palace, Folk Arts Theater, among others.
After all these years, Sofitel Philippine Plaza continues to be one of the best hotels in the country and still remains a five-star luxury resort hotel. Despite suffering minor troubles when it got flooded by the wrath of Typhoon Ondoy last September 2011, I can personally attest, during my recent visit, that the hotel is back to its great condition and even had major improvements from the last time I saw it in 2005.
Although I am already familiar with this hotel’s good service and excellent food, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it has more to offer especially when they presented to us their new and improved official website – www.sofitelmanila.com.
The new website is more interactive and easy to navigate. Its minimalist design makes it a breeze to know exactly what to find there. You can actually see almost everything already in the home page alone. One of the best features of Sofitel’s website is the quick virtual tour installed where customers can check out the hotel lobby, the poolside, and even the various rooms, among others in interactive 360 degree views. I also love the music that plays during the virtual tour. This saves guests from the hassle of searching longer for information because Sofitel Philippine Plaza actually has 609 rooms which includes two (2) Opera Suites, four (4) Luxury Suites, seven (7) Prestige Suites, 32 Sofitel Suites and the Imperial Residence.
And since I am also a food blogger, I highly recommend Sofitel Philippine Plaza’s Bars and Restaurants which will suit every guest’s tastes:
– Spiral is the largest cluster made up of interactive show kitchens in the Philippines and one of my favorite hotel restaurant. It features over 350 dishes from around the world which makes it a popular favorite of both local and foreign guests when it comes to hotel dining. Featuring cuisines from Japan, China, Thailand, India, and the Mediterranean, diners may opt to customize any dish to suit their tastes. Spiral likewise showcases a steaming and grilling station, a prolific dessert station, as well as a wine cellar offering a selection of old and new world wines to complement any dish.
– Le Bar is an innovative three-in-one concept – a bistro, patisserie and library – that offers a French bistro a la carte menu. It is the epitome of stylish elegance, with its mahogany interiors, deep brown leather seats and rich interplay of visual textures. Live jazz is on offer early evenings, and guests may enjoy French rituals in food and wine – choose from bread, wine, cheese and patisserie rituals. Innovative Sofitel Signature Cocktails and French High Tea are also available. Le Bar is open from 5 :30 am to 2:00 am daily.
– Manila’s most soulful sunsets are best experienced at SoChill, an elevated, grassy knoll fronting the sea wall. Giant white pillows are laid out every afternoon, paired with low cocktail tables, to create a soothing and relaxed atmosphere where guests can sprawl and rest their feet on fresh, green grass while enjoying their favorite food and drink. Local DJs spin an eclectic mix of chill-out tunes from dusk until early evening. Shishas are available for those seeking more exotic pursuits. SoChill is open from 3pm to 11pm daily.
– Snaps Sports Bar is Sofitel’s newly opened sports bar, designed with sports fans in mind. Sleek, modern interiors and large screen LCD TVs provide the optimum lounging and viewing experience, as guests may select from a menu of bar favorites – burgers, pizzas, hotdogs, as well as a delicious selection of gourmet comfort food. An array of wines and spirits are available for a sporting good time, and a billiard table is available for impromptu matches. Snaps Sports Bar is open 24 hours daily.
– Sunset Bar is the quintessential outdoor dining venue, featuring daily grilled barbecue buffets and an a la carte menu offering local Philippine favorites. The magnificent Manila Bay sunset may be enjoyed from this vantage point, while sitting next to the turquoise waters of Sofitel’s famous lagoon-shaped pool and manicured, tropical gardens. Local cultural shows and live bands perform at Sunset Bar regularly. Sunset Bar is open 9:00 am to 11:00 pm daily.
The website launch was attended by key personnel of the hotel headed by Ms. Chanelle Garvey, Director of Sales and Marketing.
Here are some videos I took during the Bloggers event’s Q&A:
After the website launch, we were also given the chance to see their luxury rooms including the famous Imperial Residence. Having been called home by celebrated personalities and icons of our time over the last quarter of a century, the magnificent Imperial Suite regularly houses royalty, celebrity, and heads of state. Measuring 462 square meters, the elegant, colonial-style Imperial Suite was designed by Spin Design Studios of Japan and features five separate suites which may be occupied individually or as a whole. Wrap-around balconies provide panoramic views of the majestic Manila Bay.
Room features includes:
• King beds, private balconies with panoramic bay views, atrium, three bedrooms, butler room, living and dining rooms, music room with grand piano, fully equipped kitchen, office and library, Roman tub, broadband internet access, coffee/tea making facilities, in-room safe, flat screen TV, DVD player, iPod deck, cable TV, pay movies and minibar.
• A personal butler is on hand for any request.
• Sofitel’s signature MyBed
• Exclusive access to Club Millésime
• The room measures 462 square meters
Seeing the Imperial Residence made me feel like a celebrity, if not somebody from a royal family. Everything about the Imperial Residence is beyond my expectations. The furniture, the decor, and even the maid’s quarter is something I could not imagine seeing myself living in. And did I mention that the soap provided in this luxury hotel room is Hermes? For a regular person like me who only blogs for a living, the knowledge alone that something like this exists is huge!
I can’t help but be mesmerized with the sight of this Imperial Residence. Everything is perfect. And it would be a dream come true to have a chance to stay here even for just a night. But that, of course, would cost me Php 350,000.00. But heck, who knows when? It’s always free to dream.
Here are some of my photos taken during the website launch and on site tour:
It was a fun experience touring Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in virtual and real time. Their website is a big help especially to future guests who wants to check out the hotel facilities online. This is an excellent feature for tourists and even for my friends abroad since the website will make it easier for me to recommend the hotel to them. (You can view more of Orange Magazine TV’s photo coverage here)
The sights you see in the photos here (courtesy of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila) are best viewed in person. Don’t just take my word for it, do check out Sofitel Manila one of these days and experience for yourself all the great stuff this hotel has to offer.
Can’t wait to experience Sofitel Manila’s luxury treatment again!
To know more about Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, please see the following information below
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
Tel: (+632) 551-5555
Fax: (632) 551-5610