If there’s an oasis in the middle of the city, I will find it. Towering high above the busy streets in one of the most prestigious shopping and business district in Manila is the Fairmont Makati – a five-star luxury hotel in a skyscraper-style building with an amazing palm-fringed pool. We were in Manila for two days before flying south to Palawan Island to visit the incredible islands of El Nido. I was excited to get out to the islands, but having never been to Manila, I was keen to explore the city first.
Choosing a hotel as my base in Manila was easy – Fairmont Makati (along with its sister hotel Raffles Makati), has been winning awards and gracing best hotel lists since opening in late 2012 and for good reason. Its prime location, luxurious rooms and five-star facilities like its photogenic tropical pool, restaurants and Willow Stream Spa make it the ultimate urban oasis. Plus, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts stock my favourite Le Labo Rose 31 bathroom amenities.
While staying at the Fairmont Makati, I couldn’t help but notice a disproportionate amount of female teenage guests. Literally everywhere we went in the hotel, there were groups of local teenage girls. I had no idea what was going on until we were at breakfast one morning.
We shared the lift down with a bunch of young guys with super styled hair who were talking about some performance, but it wasn’t until I was waiting for my poached eggs next to one of them that I realised they were obviously part of some very famous boy band. A teenage girl approached the boy band member at the egg station looking like she was on the verge of hyperventilation. She asked him for a photo and an autograph, but the boy band member told her no, that he was trying to have breakfast. It was intense. The girl was on the verge of bursting into tears – she managed to keep it together and then ran off.
It seemed like teenage girls all over the city had checked into the Fairmont Makati in the hope of meeting the members of this boy band. While the egg station shutdown was harsh, I can totally understand – the dude was just trying to get a delicious omelette in peace. I later saw the boys mingling with fans in the hotel lobby and all was well again in the world.
We stayed in a Fairmont Guest Room with a view of the city. Rooms like the one we stayed in start at around AUD$290 per night including breakfast. Details here.
How to get there:
If you’re staying at the Fairmont Makati, I highly recommend booking a transfer through the hotel. Manila airport can be pretty hectic and if you fly in at a busy time, you can wait hours in line for a taxi. Booking a private car might seem like a bit of a luxury, but when you walk through the chaos at the arrivals gate to an air conditioned car with fresh bottles of water and an icy-cold towels, it will be worth it. The drive to Fairmont Makati can vary depending on traffic, but expect the12 kilometre drive to take around 15 minutes from The Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
- Cameras: Canon EOS 5D Mark III (on loan from Canon Australia), Canon EOS 70D (my personal camera) and the GoPro HERO4 Silver Edition (on loan from GoPro Australia).
- Lenses: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM (on loan from Canon Australia) and Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM.