25728381585 1fb3a235e4 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)
REVIEW – Busuanga Bay Lodge : Palawan, Philippines (Part 2)
October 14, 2016
PAGSS lounge MNL T2
REVIEW – PAGSS : Third Party Lounge , Manila T2
October 14, 2016

REVIEW – Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

fairmont makati pool

Fairmont

  • Location: Manila
  • Chain: Fairmont
  • Loyalty Program: Fairmont President’s Club
  • Loyalty Status During Stay: Premier
  • Room Type: Gold Room
  • Cost: 12,000 PHP per night inc tax.
  • Date: May 2015


Seeing as I used a trick (no longer available) to get Fairmont Premier status, I always try and figure Fairmonts into my travel plans, especially after my fantastic experience redeeming my suite award in Singapore. This time I used a guaranteed upgrade certificate to upgrade a deluxe room into a gold floor room with club lounge privileges.

The lobby of the Fairmont is not exactly grand, as the ceiling height is quite low, nonetheless there is an unmistakable air of quality to the place. The furniture looks elegant and thoughtfully arranged. They certainly didn’t cheap out on the floral display by the entrance either!

25099995424 727f9ec7d0 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

25730442065 bd670b2347 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

Check-in was a rapid affair, we were escorted to the room and shown all of the functions as well as being given the lowdown on the opening times of the various facilities.
25100042314 6939881c36 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The hallways were a little bland but I really liked the design of the foyers around the lifts, especially the chairs!
25100049994 43e78b21eb c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)


The Room


25635410671 5563cf9a63 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The entrance
25100086644 36dfab403c c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The centrepiece of the room was a large black cabinet inlayed with huge quantities of mother of pearl.
25429862210 333c6c7255 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

Inside was the coffee machine and mini-bar. I love how solid and well crafted the doors felt. In fact these seems to be a theme at Fairmont hotels. The design is never over the top, instead the focus is on quality. This may sound weird, but when the craftsmanship is this good, it is satisfying to just open and close drawers or to move chairs around
25429827030 1733deddbe c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

Not Nespresso but tastes pretty similar (and again seems better crafted)
25100187534 6993f4c07f c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

I prefer having these suede lined drawers versus those little Nespresso branded capsule stands
25609623742 458840de00 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

Awesome glassware
25635608801 9fc37a6934 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

I can’t emphasise enough how good an idea this is
25635671071 3e4ed4d344 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

Why don’t other hotel chains do this?!
25429988100 cc88812074 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The room was quite cosy but size was really not an issue for a one night stay
25730776095 3eb99d223d c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

25104189523 b6968239bd c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

25704775866 981f1ba9d5 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

Like sleeping on a cloud. Kudos for hanging interesting paintings where other hotels would leave a blank wall
25730869755 91c6bbc1fe c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

A universal power socket next to the bed. Again, why don’t all hotels do this?!
25635831271 4a9abe1ffc c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

My first stay but I appreciate the sentiment
25609933722 1d8c0f7ed4 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The bathroom had a sleek and modern design whilst still incorporating loads of marble
25609969852 8aaed1afe1 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

I love the presentation of the bathroom amenities. Fairmont uses Le Labo – Rose, which actually has a very rich and masculine smell. I prefer it to Park Hyatt’s Le Labo Bergamote.
25100590374 a723b9c6e2 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

You can contemplate Fibonacci whilst sitting on the toilet
25430327240 c158cd8ea0 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The ‘shower hallway’
25430357830 d4e9047415 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)


The Gold Lounge


After dropping our things off we headed to the Gold Lounge for happy hour. The first thing I noticed was how few people there were versus similar Hyatt and Conrad lounges
25731089315 ab1a0581f3 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

Everywhere you looked, you could see money had been spent on getting the place looking as good as possible
25430363980 562a038ce8 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The service was excellent, we were always checked on as soon as drinks were finished. The food was also replenished regularly, even with only 10 minutes to go until the end of happy hour
25104474003 8177fa4720 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The quality of the food was excellent and again a notable notch higher than the usual Grand Hyatt, Conrad and JW Marriott offerings. Unfortunately I totally forgot to take pictures of the savoury foods but no problem, immediately after cocktail hour came cake time!
25104480483 a158cf2a12 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

25705043986 5bbf8c42d6 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

25100689524 aa7259b9aa c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

After a fantastic night’s sleep I got up early and headed back to the Gold Lounge to grab a quick bite to eat before checking out the gym
25100712654 6fae1a89a0 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

At this time of the morning there were even less people than at cocktail hour
25610142202 9a9888bd8a c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The view from the lounge: The pool is shared by the Fairmont and the adjoining Raffles hotel 25100767854 73544808a3 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The pool isn’t huge but it is a very pleasantly designed space. Some eagle eyed readers may note that they have the same floating loungers as the Banyan Tree in Bali…
25430499470 2f7cb06485 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

There is something deeply energising about seeing the sun reflecting off the windows of an East Asian city skyline.
25705174316 3f7306a6c7 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

I was surprised at how clean and well maintained everything looked. I know Makati is an upscale area but I didn’t expect everything to look so pristine, anywhere in Manila
25430570760 5ac946b624 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The breakfast spread was not enormous but certainly more extensive than 90% of club lounges I’ve ever visited
25610297992 8901be75a3 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The main thing that stood out to me, again, was the quality of both the produce and the presentation
25100916274 dc2ce9233a c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

Some hot options
25430648920 edcec97a64 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

More hot options, the carb table and even fridges with ice cold drinks and chilled glasses
25610381142 63a2d9b7c6 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)


The Fitness and Spa facilities


Whilst in the lounge I requested the complimentary Reebok workout clothes hire (which included free socks and headphones to keep!). These arrived in a beautiful basket, just as I was finishing my food.
25731499755 8943e1b2a3 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

After so many days without an extensive gym facility (although Busuanga Bay Lodge did have a small room with one of those all-in-one machines), it was good to be able to get a decent workout in.
25430693800 0146a2d988 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

25731437805 ae8e9bb176 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

25430741380 40e877863a c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

25610467762 c42d365268 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

On the way into the gym I had enquired about getting a massage at the spa (I had two President’s club $25 vouchers which were about to expire). I was told that the spa doesn’t usually open so early but they would arrange for somebody to start early so that they could fit me in. I love how Fairmont employees always seem to go the extra mile.
25705682216 d4b8c74e66 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The massage was great, especially when you factor in the $50 discount. I thanked the masseuse profusely and tipped her accordingly, I was really surprised at the fact that she had so willingly begun work early just to please a customer.

I didn’t take extensive pics in the spa (obviously) but here is a pic of their awesome lighting
25636693761 a49e6d932c c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)


Breakfast


After my gym session and massage I went to the room to wake K and take her to the main buffet breakfast. We were warmly greeted and given a tour of the various stations before being shown to our seats

Some Western options
25430801840 31786125ed c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)The noodle and dim sum areas
25104922373 abcd77b44f c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The Hungarian sausage incursion into the noodle station
25731570975 863046ff1b c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

Spare ribs for breakfast!
25610577262 8c1d6b1411 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

The hotpot station
25101191814 00677c5b4e c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

More high quality produce
25101211254 27266a9d3f c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

Parfaits, muesli and granola
25101233684 6d08cbb1a9 c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

Nonplussed baker
25610665052 6b529a63ed c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

Deli section for freshly sliced meats and cheeses
25430981010 b9a96ee2af c - REVIEW - Fairmont Manila (Gold Room)

As you can see, the buffet was very extensive (albeit not quite as large as some of the more OTT offerings in Asia). More importantly though, the atmosphere was tranquil, the service was prompt and polite and the food was all of exceptional quality.

I was very impressed.


Conclusion


The above comment on the breakfast could easily be applied to the stay as a whole. My two Fairmont stays have left me with a longing to return and a deep wish for their footprint to be larger in the parts of the world which I tend to travel to.

I am very interested to see how the brand develops now that it has been bought by Accor. Given the phenomenal service I received at the Accor owned Sofitel So in Bangkok, I’m hoping that things will get even better.

The best comparison I can make is to Singapore Air. The Fairmont product is absolutely fantastic and very service orientated plus the hardware oozes understated quality. I am also now very keen to try a Raffles hotel to see if it is the Singapore Suites to Fairmont’s ‘Business Class’.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.