Metro Manila · Luneta Hotel
Luneta Hotel is one of Manila's most beautiful and historical structures, built in 1918. Designed by the Spanish architect-engineer Salvador Farre, the belle epoque structure was once described as reminiscent of French Renaissance architecture with Filipino stylized beaux arts. It used to be home to local politicians, celebrities, expats and diplomats including former US President Dwight Eisenhower during its heyday. An important architecture of its time, its walls have kept many secrets, tragedies, triumphs, and stories of dalliances from its high-profile guests.
The hotel has changed owners a few times since its establishment. The Lacson family acquired the hotel in 2007, two decades after its was closed down and abandoned. Luneta Hotel was relaunched in May 2014.
"It took a long time to renovate the hotel," said Maria Nina Lacson, granddaughter of the departed owner of the hotel, during an interview with Megacitizens.com.
A survivor of the bombing of the capital during the Liberation of Manila in 1945, Luneta Hotel now acts as a reminder to the city's glorious and glamorous past --when Manila was considered the Paris of the East.
The restored hotel retains its original facade including the French windows, Fleur-De-Lis wrought irons and gargoyles holding the ledge and guarding the penthouse. One of the hotel architects told Megacitizens.com that these gargoyles used to serve as drains during its early years. Like fountains, the gargoyles would spout water from their mouths when it rained back in the day.
Legend has it also that the balconies used to have rubies and emeralds that when the sun's rays would hit them from Manila Bay, they made the hotel sparkle among the stone houses and storerooms surrounding it.
The hotel used to be one of the tallest buildings in Manila. The architect we interviewed said that its height even became the standard during those times.
Today, stepping inside the hotel is like being transported to Paris of the old days. Prim and proper porters await the guests on a red carpet. Lobby and bar are designed in art deco style, featuring carved ceilings and illuminated by beautiful chandeliers. Interesting also is the reception area where blown-up photos of the hotel, taken over the years, decorate a wall.
There are 27 standard rooms complete with basic amenities. The accommodations can have either Queen size or King size beds with down pillows and soft linens. Most toilets have bath tubs. The toiletries are from L'Occitane. High ceilings and French room accents like Fleur-De-Lis trays are some of the distinctive features of the rooms. "We tried to incorporate as much French influences as we could into the hotel." said Lacson.
The rooms open to a balcony, reminding you yet again of being in the City of Lights as you take in the sights and sound of similarly old buildings nearby and the busy streets and avenues below lined with trees.
Dining options include Cafe Yano located on the ground and second floors of the hotel. It opens from 6 am to 10 pm. Guests can enjoy their breakfast, lunch, merienda or dinner here. Food is Filipino-Spanish. They serve French wines among others. The Lounge Bar on the 6th floor also offers fine dining. Here, diners are offered views of Manila Bay while enjoying their favorite cocktail.
Why Megacitizens should pay this establishment a visit
Luneta Hotel is a boutique hotel and part of Philippine history. The hotel is small, allowing it to provide guests that more personalized attention. The location is near historical landmarks like Intramuros and other popular tourists spots such as Rizal Park, Manila Ocean Park, and Manila Bay.
Location & How To Get There
The Luneta Hotel is located near Rizal Park and Roxas Boulevard.
414 Kalaw Street, Ermita, Manila City
Tel: (63) 2 875 8921
Rack rates are PHP 8,800 net.