Big business hotels reign supreme throughout Metro Manila, the capital region of the Philippines, but there are a small number of intimate, design-oriented charmers. Take a look at the top boutique hotels in Makati, Quezon City, and Manila, the capital city.
The Picasso is an upper-middle-range boutique located in a safe, quiet part of Makati near shopping, dining and corporate offices. As its name suggests, the property was conceived as a tribute to the famous Spanish artist, with artsy decor and a variety of references to his life and work throughout. Large rooms have modern amenities -- such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen LCD TVs, iPod docks, and rainfall showers -- and feature fully equipped kitchenettes and balconies. On-site amenities include a popular restaurant, a bi-level gym, a meeting room, and a small business center. Additionally, the property also offers access to on-site partner facilities such as an art gallery showcasing local artists, a nail and hair salon, and a spa.
The Cocoon is a lovely 39-room boutique with a focus on preserving the environment. Rooms are beautifully decorated with lots of wood (mostly reclaimed) and soothing earth tones, and equipped with great amenities, such as LED flat-screen TVs, separate showers and tubs, organic toiletries, free Wi-Fi, and memory foam beds. Property highlights include a small rooftop pool, an upscale spa, and a poolside restaurant. Just note that the gym is a tiny room with two cardio machines, and that most major historic sights are a 25-minute drive away.
With a great location for exploring the historic sights of Manila, stylish contemporary rooms with great amenities, and several on-site dining options, the 57-room Bayleaf is easily one of the best upper-middle-range options in town. Aside from the sleek rooms, the rooftop bar -- featuring stunning panoramic views of Intramuros and the surrounding area, and a mellow yet chic vibe -- is the highlight here. Just note that the hotel lacks some of the amenities expected of hotels in this price range, including a fitness center, a pool, and a spa.
Soleste Suites is a small boutique offering good value in Quezon City. Rooms feature contemporary decor with a stylish details and solid amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, minibars or mini-fridges, and electric kettles. For a budget property, the hotel offers a good amount of on-site amenities, including a small fitness room; a cafe serving snacks and a few entrees, and a business center. Rates are not the lowest around, but freebies such as Wi-Fi, a la carte breakfast, and parking add value. Just note that rooms facing the highway can get some traffic noise even at night, and that the hotel is a 30-minute drive from Manila’s historic center.
White Knight Hotel is a charming 29-room boutique housed in a lovely colonial mansion located in the heart of Intramuros. Rooms are simple but cute and spacious, with classic Filipino decor, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and large bathrooms. The hotel has few on-site amenities aside from a small traditional local restaurant -- but affordable rates and attention to detail make this a great pick for those looking to be within walking distance of major historic attractions without breaking the bank.