Hilton is undoubtedly one of the biggest and most well-known names in the hotel industry. During its time, the old Manila Hilton was the first five-star hotel in the country and housed the most prestigious VIP guests. It closed down its doors as the Hilton in the 80s. Years later, the Hilton makes its return, now under the wings of Resorts World Manila.
Hilton Manila officially opened their doors this October 2018. Located in Resorts World Manila, Hilton finds itself in a strategic location, being close to key points for tourists – the airport, Newport Mall, and the Casino.
Here’s the details on my pre-Christmas stay at the Hilton Manila…
Check out low Hilton Manila rates and availability from Booking.com.
Related Post: Shanghainese Cuisine at Hua Ting @HiltonManila
Madison Lounge is located at the Ground Floor of the Hilton Manila, which serves both as a lounge and bar.
The plush chairs make for a nice spot for a quick afternoon catch-up. But they’re also comfortable enough should you wish to stay longer into the night.
The lounge has an impressive display case that changes depending on the time of day. At night, it features their significant list of spirits.
Lemon Meringue Croissant (₱ 150)
All their croissants and danish are priced at ₱ 150 each. This Lemon Meringue and the Blueberry are my top choices.
Apart from the displayed pastries, Madison also has a small menu of Small Plates and Large Plates.
Madison Menu: Gin & Tonic, Signature & Classic Cocktails, House Champagne, Beers / Pastries, Coffee, Frappe, Tea, Fresh Juices, Carbonated Drinks, Bottled Water, Milk Shakes, Fruit Shakes / Small Plates, Large Plates, New York Sweets / Wine List / Spirits
Crispy School of Prawns (₱ 655) • Tossed in garlic, chili and spring onions, fermented chili and sour cream dip, lemon in cloth
Squeeze a bit of the lemon to counter the creamy dip that comes with it.
Manila Colada (₱ 375) • Absolut Vodka, Stiggins Fancy Pineapple Rum, Apple Juice, Coconut Milk
Did you know that the Piña Colada is a Hilton Signature?
Piña Colada – Spanish for strained pineapple – was officially invented on August 15, 1954 by a bartender named Ramón “Monchito” Marrero at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
We stayed in Room 911, a 40 sqm. King Guest Room with a Pool View.
From the entryway, there’s a small shelving space that houses the safety deposit box and the coffee and tea amenities. A little further is a small area for hanging clothes.
Hilton Manila features a four-point bathroom, which separates four individual areas of the bathroom.
The first two are the sink and the toilet.
There’s not much space on the sink to put my beauty stuff so I kept them hidden in the drawers instead.
And on the other side is the shower and the bathtub.
The toiletries are by Crabtree & Evelyn, a consistent fixture among Hilton hotels worldwide.
Hilton calls their beds as Serenity beds, vouching for their comfort and softness. The beds are so comfortable that I slept in the next morning and ditched my plans for a morning swim.
Additionally, they also have a pillow menu if you like something different from the standard.
At the other end of the room are the work desk and lounging area.
The huge window opens up to a nice view of the pool. Hilton shares the pool with the neighboring soon-to-open hotel, Sheraton.
Hilton has also done away with the door hangers that say “Do Not Disturb” or “Please make up my room.” Instead, the doors have a light indicator for either of the two. Red for the former, and Green for the latter.
I went for a quick dip right before dinner, as the pool closes early at 6 pm. Pool hours will soon change to allow for night swimming as soon as they finish installing the lights.
Plenty of lounge areas both in the pool and in the perimeter.
There’s also a swim-up bar at the pool, but I didn’t get anything as it was almost time for dinner.
Kusina is Hilton’s All-day Dining outlet that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet, and a la carte options for those not in the mood for a buffet.
Their interiors are bright and airy with lots of touches of wood and marble, giving the place an elegant feel.
The furniture is made by local artisans and takes on themes of traditional Filipino weaving.
The glasses are also made from recycled wine bottles.
The tables are laid out nicely and you won’t have to worry about bothering other tables.
For bigger groups, you can request to be seated at the long tables instead of the round tables.
For dinner, I like to start with the Asian section. Sashimi (no sushi, because it has rice), rolls, and some udon.
The Asian section has other rolls on display – Lumpiang Shanghai, Egg Rolls, and also some mini Banh Mi.
The bread section has a good variety – from soft rolls, loaves, to ciabattas.
The cheese selection is very limited, and could use more nuts too.
I do like how their salads are not limited to just green, leafy vegetables.
Filipino viands include Bicol Express, Pinakbet, and fried fish.
The highlight of Kusina is their Dampa section.
It’s just like the regular Dampa places where you select your seafood and ask the kitchen to cook it according to your liking.
The variety of seafood changes daily too. On my first try at Kusina, they had Curacha. But the second time I was there, there was no Curacha displayed.
The cooking methods are limited to what’s on their list.
I ordered a piece of Salted Egg Squid just to try it, and it needed a touch more flavor of the salted egg. The Lobster/Curacha with Garlic Butter and Cheese was decent. I think the Dampa section alone can give you enough value for money especially if you like seafood.
Don’t miss out on Kusina’s Kare-Kare. It’s one of their bestsellers in the a la carte menu.
For drinks, they have an assortment of samalamig.
And there’s also coffee and tea if you want warm drinks.
I always go for lemon tea at a buffet to reduce bloating.
For dessert, I kept it simple with a freshly baked bibingka. Theirs is not as fluffy as I normally like, but it’s enough to satiate my craving.
For breakfast, Hilton serves up the breakfast basics like bacon, eggs, and cereals.
The cereals are displayed in bowls instead of the dispensers. I find this to be more efficient but I fear that they might lose their crunch as they’re exposed.
The sushi section is open during breakfast.
What I like about Kusina’s breakfast offerings are the drinks. They have fresh juices available.
And some vegetable + fruit shooters. The Malunggay Banana was an easy shot, but the Orange + Carrots wasn’t to my liking.
I try not to get rice at buffets as it easily makes me full, but I do get few potatoes every now and then.
The best part of the breakfast buffet is the Taho! But be sure to come in early for breakfast, as this can run out before the buffet is scheduled to close.
Kusina’s buffet rates are as follows:
Lunch – PhP 1,900++ (Monday to Sunday)
Dinner – PhP 2,200++ (Sunday to Thursday) and PHP 2,500++ (Friday and Saturday)
Above rates are inclusive of VAT, subject to 10% Service Charge and local tax.
All in all, my stay at Hilton made for a relaxing productive Christmas weekend. I was able to do a bit of gift shopping at Newport Mall and even caught a movie at the Cinemas without having to brave through any of the Christmas traffic. I had a good night’s sleep in the room, although I would have wanted to do some night swimming too. The buffet selection is just right – not overwhelming but not lacking either. Lastly, the customer service is top notch. I have no complaints right from reception down to parking attendants.
I highly recommend a stay at the Hilton Manila if you’re looking for comfort during a 24-hour layover in Manila, or just a weekend staycation to take your mind off of things.
Check out low Holiday Inn Express Manila rates and availability from Booking.com.
Live an Awesome Life,
Monique of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: Our stay and meals was courtesy of Hilton Manila. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. If you have the Hilton Honors app installed on your phone, you can use it to unlock your room. Pretty nifty!