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Arts & Culture

Would You Sleep In An Aquino or Romulo Bedroom?

Check out these photos of rooms inspired by famous Filipino personalities, and get to know the amazing history of this hotel in Manila

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Photography: Courtesy of Waterfront Manila Pavilion

The hotel stands like a guarded secret across the iconic Philam Life Building, hidden among the high-rise condominiums, malls, and Ermita’s eternally busy streets. The main entrance is right off the corner from United Nations Avenue, and once you enter the lobby—even though it is brand-new—a sense of familiarity hits you, and memories come back.

This comes as no surprise, because the Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino (formerly the Manila Hilton) has been standing on that corner for almost 50 years. You’ve probably had an uncle or an aunt who held their wedding reception there, danced with a high school friend on her 18th birthday in one of its function rooms, or dined with your family at the Rotisserie.

Designed by Welton Beckett and Carlos Arguelles (who was also the architect of Philam Life), the former Manila Hilton was one of the most modern hotels in Asia. International and local celebrities, socialites, politicians, and everyone who was important graced its rooms and restaurants. The hotel has since undergone many incarnations since its inauguration in 1968 (at one point it was a Holiday Inn), and its latest is a multi-million-peso renovation to modernize its amenities and interiors.

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Aside from the updated suites and guest rooms, there are two suites that stand out: the Aquino Suite and the Romulo Suite, named in honor of two Filipinos who helped change our history. These are fitting names in a hotel that continues to stand firm and steady through the years. Tour the fascinating suites in the photo gallery below. 

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