The building that now houses the Fairmont Makati and Raffles Makati was announced with much fanfair back in 2007. The entry of a new luxury hotel chain in Manila at the time marked the start of a flourishing decade for luxury hospitality in the Philippine capital after years of stagnation. The condominium units that accompanied the hotel were also marketed as being the most expensive in the entire country, a title that may still hold true to this day.
For the casual traveler or staycation-er, the location of Fairmont Makati couldn’t be more ideal. Located just next to Glorietta and across the street from Greenbelt, moving to some of the most compelling lifestyle and dining destinations in Makati require no more than a short stroll – a godsend given Manila’s notorious traffic jams.
I stayed at the Fairmont Makati towards the end of 2018, an extremely busy time for hotels in Manila. Compared to the majority of luxury hotels in the country, Fairmont Makati has a relatively modest lobby as it has to share its ground floor space with the Raffles Makati next door. Nevertheless, it is large enough to house a lobby lounge, bakeshop and the all-day dining restaurant, Spectrum, is also located here.
Fairmont Makati occupies the first eight floors of the building and during my stay, I was assigned to the 4th floor. This particular level is notable for also housing the inhouse gym, pool as well as a local branch of the Willow Spa (same name as with Fairmont hotels elsewhere).
For some reason, the ceiling at this floor came extra high and was easily 12 feet tall. My Fairmont Deluxe King Room measured a spacious 40 square meters with enough areas for an armchair, working desk as well as plenty of wardrobe space.
Fairmont Makati is fairly new, having opened in 2012 but the decor is deliberately classic in theme. It has all the hallmarks of the luxury hotel but with none of the flashy designs that you see in newer properties. The color scheme is fairly muted dominated by brown and beige, with a laquered headboard by the bed like with hotels of yore.
The most palpable sign of the room’s technological inclinations came in the way of the remote which can be used to control the mood lighting and even the air conditioning.
The room’s minibar came well-stocked with snacks as well as beverages. The complimentary caffeinated drinks came in the way of “Fairmont Blend” coffee and this was carefully replenished by housekeeping each day. I’m less of a caffeine drinker when I’m having staycations (why bother when the stay’s about relaxing?) so I prefer to keep myself hydrated through pure H2O. Curiously, I was told by guest services that bottled water is limited to up to 4 free bottles per day. This is probably the first time I’ve encountered such a limit during a 5-star hotel stay when it comes to the bottled water.
One of the nice features of the room is the toiletries set which comes from Le Labo (like with other Fairmont hotels). As with any respectable luxury property, there are separate enclosures for the shower and toilet areas.
One of the things to note about the Fairmont Makati is that certain facilities are shared with the condominium units in the building. This includes the fitness center which is why the one you find in this hotel is relatively more spacious than elsewhere. Boasting the complete set of exercise equipment, I also like how the gym comes with a nice fruit basket for users to refresh themselves during their workout. Beside the gym is the inhouse Willow Spa and from there, guests can also access the swimming pool. It was raining non-stop during my two day stay there and that hindered me from going for a dip.
My stay came with breakfast and as mentioned previously, this is served at the restaurant called Spectrum downstairs. Entering the venue for the first time, I immediately took to liking the floor-to-ceiling windows which really add a lot of natural light to the restaurant. There’s nothing like spending a leisurely morning with a view of the surrounding greenery. Surprisingly, there’s a lot of that outside even though the hotel’s located right smack in Ayala Center.
The breakfast buffet is comprised of a nice proportion of Filipino specialties. During the days I was there, I saw dried fish, beef tapa, longganisa (Filipino sausages) and even the local chocolate drink and soy pudding.
It was mostly the Filipino food that filled my tummy space during breakfast although the hotel interestingly has a few dishes I don’t see elsewhere. An example is quail egg which are cooked to order. Also, while chilled juices are available; I highly suggest going to the other juice counter to have some fresh juices and smoothies made.
Although relatively new, the Fairmont Makati retains the hallmark of a traditional luxury hotel. You won’t find any of the garish fittings or the unabashed opulence that you can see in some of the more recently built luxury properties in Manila but guests staying here still get all the bells and whistles of a 5-star hotel. More than the delightful service and topnotch facilities, the main advantage of staying in the Fairmont Makati is the location. For leisure guests, this means that you can walk all the way to Glorietta and Greenbelt without having to cross the street. In a heavily congested city like Manila, this can mean a whole lot of difference. For business travelers on the other hand, many of the offices around Ayala and Makati Avenues are easily within reach.
1 Raffles Drive
Makati Avenue, Makati
+63 2 555 9888