A place I have frequented many times, the Manila Hotel is one of the most iconic and indeed old buildings in the capital. They also as it would appear have the best cocktails in Manila, something I have had the pleasure in checking!
What the Manila Hotel?
Located near Rizal Park and quite near the sea this hotel, which is over 100 years old is of Spanish origin and quite simply extremely elegant.
Some have argued it has seen better days, or that say the Hilton, or other brands are better none will give you the old colonial Raffles like experience that you get at the Manila Hotel. Upon entry you are struck by the old colonial building, with the main seating area usually having someone playing on the piano while the attentive staff are always there to help.
And so it makes a great place to drop in on when we have a tour.
The Best Cocktails in Manila
Saying the best cocktails in Manila might be a very broad statement, but hear me out! Many bars and restaurants try to reinvent the wheel, but simply create an egg – like my metaphor?
At the Manila Hotel they have a few signature cocktails, but also do classics such as a Moscow Mule, as well as a Singapore Sling, the very kind of cocktails that will get you compared to Raffles and what we expect from a top hotel. What makes them the best coattails in Manila is multifaceted, but I will list the main points. Firstly they use the correct glasses, so a Moscow Mule comes in a tin cup. This may not sound like much, but as a former professional bartender it means a lot to me and even affects the taste.
And the taste is not only amazing, but the drinks come out at just $6-7 a go, not cheap for Manila, but cheaper than England and with the ambience that it offers perhaps the cheapest such cocktails presented in such a way in the world.
To read about Fire Water click here.
And they have food at the Manila Hotel
As well as the best cocktails in Manila they also have a pretty decent menu, which includes bar snacks, local classics, as well as signature dishes. Keep in mind this is their “bar menu”, rather than something from the numerous restaurants here. For that I saw a suckling pig that looked amazing…
In the bar though they have a “club sandwich” that is triple layered and looks more like a feast than but a mere sandwich!
And that is why we always stop here on our way back from Smoky Mountain, for not only is this epic and elegant, but it truly offers a firm contrast to some of the darker sides of the Philippines.
You can join me on our Extreme Philippines Tour in 2024.