Marco Polo Manila: An Oasis of Refined Elegance in Ortigas

Perhaps, while passing by Ortigas at night, one glowing structure with maroon, green, and blue lights has captured your attention. Marco Polo Manila is this towering figure, a 5-star hotel with 316 rooms and suites, the first luxury property of the Wharf brand in the Philippines. Located conveniently in the Ortigas Business District, the hotel sits on the mixed-use building and stands tall and vibrant amidst the equally energetic city, providing easy access not just to corporate offices, but also to entertainment, shopping, and dining hubs.

At 45 stories, Marco Polo Hotel conveys the impression of grandeur amidst the soaring structures in Ortigas, and once inside, this stateliness become even more pronounced as fixtures of subdued green and gold tones greet you—from the lobby, to the front desk, and to the room interiors. Check-in is at the 24th floor, and here, you will instantly get a glimpse of what to expect from your stay at Marco Polo—Cucina restaurant sits on the left, providing a peak of exquisite dining; to the right, a wall of windows offering a breathtaking city view; and further right, the lounge, welcoming businessmen and midday cocktail drinkers alike.

I was able to experience a splendid stay at Marco Polo with my siblings just before Christmas—and it goes without saying that it was one pre-holiday present I would never forget. Read on to get to know more of Marco Polo.

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The Rooms

All guestrooms within Marco Polo’s 7 room categories—from Superior to Suite—boast of floor-to-ceiling windows, large high-grade beds, thick terry robes, mini-bars with Nespresso machines, executive desks, and spacious en suite bathrooms with marble tubs. We stayed in a Superior Room (PhP5,800/night with breakfast for 2), the hotel’s lowest-category room, but which is one of my favorite hotel rooms so far.


The spacious King-size bed has a goose down mattress topper, making our sleep very comfortable. The sheets smelled fresh and the pillow thickness was just right for me. The bed is flanked by low-hanging lamps which illuminate the green-and-brown room dramatically, together with the abstract décor placed right above the headboard.

Our bathroom was expansive and beautiful, with customized toiletries (whose box magically disappeared … into my bag! Joke!), a bath tub, a high-pressure rain shower, a toilet, and two thick terry robes. There’s a knob near the toilet which adjusts the volume of the TV. The only let-down was that it didn’t have a bidet.

One of the favorite pieces in the room was the chaise lounge by the window, a perfect relaxation spot for when you just want to watch TV, eat fruits by the window, or simply recline and admire the view. Our room was at the 40th floor, so had a far-reaching view of the metro.

The mini-bar contains snacks, miniature liquors, beers, and sparkling water—all for an extra charge, of course. The use of the Nespresso machine was complimentary though, and it came with 3 capsules of different flavors. I loved the Ristretto Intenso, which was the strongest among the three.

Other features of the room include two spacious closets, an executive desk with an IDD phone that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker, cable TV, safe box installed in one of the desk drawers, iron and ironing board, and ultra-fast, complimentary Wi-fi.

I like the color scheme of the room—crisp, elegant, and majestic. The design reminds you of nature and earthy elements. In addition, the room was luxurious without being over-the-top, radiating of subtle elegance. Marco Polo has one of the newest and most updated rooms in Manila, and ours was certainly most welcoming.


Dining

As of writing, Marco Polo’s dining establishments are helmed by Executive Chef Lluis Pessarodona, a Barcelona-born chef who specializes in Catalan cuisine. From international buffet selections and Cantonese cuisine, to Spanish tapas and European sweets, Marco Polo’s array of dining choices has something for you. 

Cucina

Complimentary breakfast is served at Cucina, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant. Here, guests are offered an extensive spread featuring Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean, American, and Continental cuisines. Whether you like starting with some warm breads and pastries, cheeses and cold cuts, or bacon and waffles, Cucina’s selection will definitely deliver, and I believe it's one of the best breakfast buffets in Manila. I loved the double chocolate muffins!

Sushi and sashimi are available, but make sure you don’t eat these on an empty stomach. An impressive noodle selection sits nearby with choices of toppings, noodles, and vegetables. Chefs are ever-busy at the omelet station, where diners choose their fillings and specify how they like their eggs.

The Indian Station is not as busy but one must try their paneer. I also had a special liking towards the mini burger patties in the American section—very juicy and flavorful! For something lighter, Cucina has healthy yogurts, delicate cold cuts, and cheeses.

Cucina also offers lunch and dinner buffets, both with even bigger selections than breakfast. One thing I like about Cucina is that it holds a food fest every once in a while, where in they feature a specific cuisine (last time it was German), and then, after some time, the most popular dishes are included permanently into Cucina’s menu! Like Chef Lluis’ insanely good Catalan Paella Mixta!


End your meals with a sweet note at Cucina—and this is not a suggestion, but rather, an order! Their dessert spread is divine, my favorites being the cheesecake, hazelnut opera cake, and chocolate truffles. Everything else was just as dessert-ified!


Lung Hin

Lung Hin is Marco Polo’s in-house specialty restaurant offering authentic Cantonese cuisine. My siblings and I had dinner here, and we enjoyed of variety of dim sum and Chinese favorites, family-style. If you’re a truffle lover, you must try the Pork Siomai in Truffle Sauce—the best siomai I’ve ever tasted! The siomai itself was meaty, the truffle sauce light and unobtrusive. Other dim sum I recommend are the savory Baked Pork BBQ Buns, the sweet Steamed Custard Buns, and the mildly spicy Radish Cake with XO Sauce.

For mains, we shared some dishes one would typically order at a family-style Chinese place. The Soy Chicken served with ginger dipping sauce was reminiscent of Wee Nam Kee, if not better. The Sweet and Sour Pork with Blue Berries had the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. Order some of the Chilled Avocado Sago right after!

Lung Hin has an extensive list of seafood items (lobster, fish, crab, abalone, etc.) but I’m not a huge fan of seafood, especially crustaceans. If you are, you should try their award-winning seafood dishes.

VU’s Sky Lounge

Situated at the 45th floor (sky deck) of Marco Polo, VU’s Sky Lounge is a laid-back posh bar offering the best panoramic view of the city. Tapas make up the menu, as well as a selection of wines, cocktails, beers, and liquors. If you’re looking for an upscale, secluded venue for your late-night alcohol cravings, VU’s is the perfect spot for you.

Connect Lounge 

Connect Lounge, the hotel's lobby lounge on the 24th floor, offers indulgent desserts alongside signature coffee concoctions, teas and wines. Cocktails and liquors are also available—so perhaps a lengthier meeting is ideal here, or simply a laid-back sundown session. Every 2PM to 6PM, they offer Afternoon Tea, a tea set consisting of amuse bouche, selected pastries, chocolate fondant, English scones, make-your-own sandwiches, and coffee or teaall for PhP788.



Café Pronto 

Café Pronto in the ground level offers sandwiches, cakes, pastries, breads, chocolates, cookies, and a range of quality coffees and tea. It’s perfect for a quick meal, or a casual meeting with a client.



Other Amenities

Flow Spa


During my stay, I was treated to an EXQUISITE 90-minute whole-body massage at Flow Spa (22nd floor). The Signature Flow Massage is a combination of Swedish, Shiatsu, Thai, and Hawaiian massages, a treatment that consists of gliding strokes, finger kneading, and circular motions that totally relaxed my muscles and untangled all tightness. It was simply the best!

I had the plush treatment room all to myself, along with a splendid nighttime sky view, a personal shower and toilet, and the amazing skills of Joyce, the therapist. Thank you to my friends at Marco Polo for this wonderful treat!

The massage rate is currently at PhP5,000 for 2 persons until January 17—normally at PhP3,300 each—so this is the perfect time to try it!

Pool and Gym

Both on the 22nd level, the pool and the gym offers checked-in guests the option to get some exercise while on a trip or staycation. I loved the lap pool which was positioned directly beside floor-to-ceiling windows, offering swimmers a stunning nightscape from outside. It was like a scene from a really sexy action-romance movie.

The gym houses state-of-the-art facilities which fitness junkies would surely get excited about. From basic treadmills to bicycles to a plethora of other equipment, the fitness center has something for your desired work out. It even offers complimentary Flow Smoothie in the locker area—perfect for consuming before and after your workout.


Marco Polo: An Oasis of Refined Elegance

The overall feel of Marco Polo is reminiscent of springtime with the muted browns, beiges, greens and golds bringing to mind sunlight weaving through forest leaves. Everywhere you look, there’s an element of nature hidden in one of the fixtures, whether it’s a carpet, a wall covering, or a sculpture. These breaths of life couldn’t have been more apt for a hotel that overflows with energy amidst a similarly vibrant city.

Marco Polo was like an oasis concealed in the city—a haven encased by four walls rising up to 45 stories. For anyone seeking an escape from the bustling city life, or a sanctuary while visiting for an official trip, this hotel can provide impeccable accommodations, superb service, and exquisite dining options—making it the perfect choice.


Criteria
Facilities
Service
Dining
Ambience
Location

TOTAL
Rating
5/5
4.5/5
5/5
5/5
4.5/5

4.8
Comments
One of the most updated hotels in the metro.
Most staff members were friendly and helpful; front desk and Cucina can be busy.
Exquisite dining choices; all restaurants have great offers.
I loved the subtle elegance of the hotel.
Near Ortigas business district; walking distance from Robinsons Galleria; a bit far from the airport but easily accessible by both North and South people
A luxurious escape in the heart of Ortigas with great dining choices, breathtaking views, and new amenities.

Points for improvement:

  • The hotel is near-perfect; bidets in the bathrooms would make it even more so. :)


~*~
Marco Polo Manila
Sapphire St. cor. Meralco Ave., Ortigas, Pasig City
+632.720.7720
manila@marcopolohotels.com


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Have you stayed at Marco Polo Manila? How was your experience?

My stay was sponsored by Marco Polo Manila. All opinions, however, are my own.

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