Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Venue Hunt: Manila Hotel

The H2B and I have finally decided to let La Castellana go because of the numerous squatters we saw inside Intramuros during our random scouting of the area. Our wedding reception will probably end at around 10:00 in the evening and we fear for the safety of our guests walking towards their cars which are parked along the roads of Intramuros. We can picture a number of bad things happening to them in the dark. I am saddened by this. I can still remember back then when Intramuros was not a breeding ground for these people. Now, it looks so different and seems absolutely dangerous.

So, the H2B and I have decided to pursue having our wedding reception in a hotel since we feel this is the only option left to us in the area that we have chosen. Manila Hotel is the nearest one to San Agustin Church.

I loved the drive way immediately when we got off the car. I noted right away that they have Valet Parking which is a good thing. That way our guests would not be stressed out in looking for parking slots or walking a long way from their car.

I also loved the lobby and ambiance of Manila Hotel. It matches our vintage glam theme perfectly!

Our AE, Rheena, was very nice and accommodating. She gave us a copy of the packages right away and gave us a tour of the ballrooms.

Our first stop was the Centennial Ballroom. It has a very Filipiniana Vintage Theme. 

I was not particularly happy about the green carpet but perhaps with some nice mood lights this place can be transformed.

The chandeliers are also vintage-ish with an antique gold finish. The one in the center is not lighted but it's just the same as the others. Here's a closer look at the lights.

I also did not like the capiz walls. As I previously mentioned, it is a little too Filipiniana for my taste. 

Our next ballroom is the Fiesta Pavilion. At the time of our visit, there was a conference for the Lion's Club International. 

You know me, I love chandeliers. So that was the first thing that I noticed whenever I check out reception venues. And the Fiesta Pavilion passed my chandelier test. 

See, that post right there (picture below)? That is where the ballroom is cut. I was advised that for a 150 headcount we would be given 1/3 of the ballroom which would be good for 300 heads. 

That projector came with the Lion Club. But if we want to rent a projector from Manila Hotel it would cost PhP 15,000 pesos. 

Here is the other side of the ballroom. The Fiesta Pavilion can be divided into 3 ballrooms: Pandanggo, Polkabal and Rigodon. I feel it would be too small and crowded if they will only give us 1/3 of the ballroom. I was thinking more like at least 2/3 of the ballroom.  

The prime ballroom of Manila Hotel is the Maynila Ballroom. The package for this function hall is so much higher than the rest of the packages just because of the venue cost! 

Here is the entrance going to the Maynila Ballroom. It is fit for a grand entrance, I think. It is good for 300 PAX only.

Once you have reached the top of the entrance there is another set of stairs going down to the reception area.

Here are the walls of the ballroom. There are cascading lights that lend a dreamy feel to the place.

There is a scheduled Korean conference of some sort in the ballroom, hence the set up of the chairs and tables all facing the front.

Too bad the chandelier is not turned on but I think it looks like meteor showers if it is lighted.

Yeah, I think the Maynila Ballroom is nice but it is not work the price to use it.

What I really loved was the Chanpagne Room! Too bad it is just too small! It is only good for 150 heads maximum with no more place for a stage and a band. But it is the most beautiful of all the function halls of Manila Hotel. It has the same rate as the Maynila Ballroom. I thought it would be cheaper but as per the AE, since this is actually a restaurant they have a specific amount to totally close down. Yeah, ok, fine. 

I love the chandelier and the shabby chic theme of the chairs and couches. 

I think this would make a really nice Presidential Table. I just need to add some more vintage props on the table, though.

As per the waiter on duty, these crystal trees have green spotlights at night making them look ethereal.

This was my favorite corner of the room because of the side table and the lamps. I also love the painting and the gold mirror. It is all so vintage glam-ish! 

Despite the simple table set up, the chairs and couch really make up for it. I just love them!

Here is the entrance going to the Champagne Room. If it wasn't so small I would have booked the place on the spot. Too bad...

You can find the inclusions for the Manila Hotel packages here. The package I am interested in is the one that costs Php 259,340.75+++. As per our AE, there is an additional 23% which includes the VAT and SC so the total is Php 318,650.78 net. Here is my prospective menu:

Appetizer: Smoked Chicken - Shrimp Salad
Soup: Shrimp Bisque with Brandy Foam
Hot Entrees: Fusili Pepperonata
Sherbet: Passion Fruit
Main Course: Beef Stroganoff
Dessert: Mango Crepe on Caramel Sauce with Vanilla Ice Cream

There is also coffee and tea with cookies after dessert. So all in all, the sit down menu has 7 courses. However, the rate I mentioned above is only good for 2013. We can make the required down payment of PhP 50,000 but we will still be affected by the price increase for 2014 which would roughly be 10%. The reservation is only good for blocking our date.

I also verified what their bridal car is and I was advised that it is a Chrysler, not bad! Currently, their rooms are at PhP 6,500 good for 2 pax. We will be getting additional rooms for our families so we also need to consider these in our cost sheet. 

I am not all that sold in getting Manila Hotel because the only thing I liked about it is the ambiance and the food. The Valet Parking I know I can get with other hotels. I was also not very impressed with their ballrooms. I, however, love their lobby. It has an old rich feel to it. And the vintage-ness of the place is perfect for our theme. But I did not like their rooms because I feel it's too old and kinda dark. It will not be very picturesque and that worries me.

I am will still Manila Hotel in my list of considerations, but I don't think it will be anywhere near the top.

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